Thursday, January 27, 2005

The use of federal money to promote partisan agendas

Democrats are showing increasing skill at rapid response. Case in point is a new report from the House Democratic leadership on the recent revelations of questionable Bush administration expenditures for public relations (pdf). In it they demonstrate that the Bush administration has overseen a 128% increase in federal spending on such promotional activities. Furthermore, an increasing number of these activities are being contracted without "full and open competition". 40% of the 2004 contracts were noncompetitive.

The two aspects of this scandal (and I do think it is scandalous) that I find most disturbing are (1) the use of federal money to advocate policy change as opposed to just educating the public on existing policy and (2) the use of federal money to pay advocates who are already supporters, suggesting that federal money is being used as a reward for good behavior.

Click here to see the Executive Summary of the report

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