Bush Medicare Propaganda Illegal


Declares the General Accounting Office. From the Associated Press report as found on MSNBC's site:

The Bush administration?s promotion of the new Medicare law through videos made to look like news reports violated a prohibition against using public money for propaganda, Congress? General Accounting Office said Wednesday.

The materials in English and Spanish were produced by the Health and Human Services Department but did not identify their source. The videos, or parts of them, aired on at least 40 television stations in March, the department said.
The story packages violated the law because the government ?did not identify itself as the source of the news report,? said GAO, Congress? investigative arm.
Sen. Frank Lautenberg, D-N.J., who sought the GAO inquiry, said President Bush?s re-election campaign should repay the government for the cost of the videos. Lautenberg said he will introduce legislation to force the reimbursement.

?These funds were meant to help our seniors, not the president?s re-election campaign,? he said. HHS has said it spent about $43,000 to produce the materials.

Good luck to Lautenberg. I hope they apply the same legal thinking to the Office of National Drug Control Policy.

[Link via Rational Review]

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  1. Good that this was caught. But Lautenberg’s legislative solution sounds perilously close to a bill of attainder. Shouldn’t Bush be taken to court now? Maybe even (chuckle) impeached?

  2. Why, how could this be? After all, this administration is so LAW ABIDING. It must have been some sort of mistake. You know, a misunderstanding. Yeah, that’s the ticket. It was a misunderstanding.

  3. For once my Senator does something I agree with. Sadly there’s no way this will be applied to the ONDCP.

  4. I hear the adds for the Bush Medicare program (pill-aid)on a San Antonio radio station about 25 times a day. It is sponsered by the Chamber of Commerce.I did not know that C of C is a Government outfit.They are spending a lot of bucks on advertising.

  5. If the creator/sponsor of an ad is revealed, then it isn’t propaganda?

    Did I read that right?

  6. Has anybody put together a list of the 40 sorry excuses for TV news organizations that ran these videos? They should be subjected to some measure of public shame.

  7. so, if a television station doesn’t say some tape with a “reporter” came from the gov’t then it’s propaganda.

    and if that same station doesn’t say a tape with a “reporter” came from a company it’s….

    oh, wait…

  8. Boy, those Democrats really get pissy when someone steals their issue. I thought a bi-partisan congress passed this bill, so why can’t the videos also be seen as giving credit to the Democrats that supported it? Personally, I hope to never see the video because the bill sucks, and Bush is a vote buying cocksucker for pushing it.

  9. Wasn’t there an ONDCP reauthorization bill last year that allows the ONDCP explicitly to use ad funding for partisan purposes when fighting against state medical marijuana ballot initiatives? I’ve been unable to find out the status of the legislation, but it looks like Walters and his cronies have taken it to heart.

  10. Senator Lautenberg… hmmm. Oh yes, I remmeber him. He came out of senility, err, retirement to rescue the NJ Democrat party from Toricelli’s putative candidacy.

    I wonder who was guiding his hand while he wrote out that whining complaint about the Medicare ads?

  11. Why, why, WHY is this not bigger news?… why aren’t people outraged? Here in Wisconsin there has been a huge shake-up in State government over so much as making a single campaign related photocopy on a state owned copy machine… and as for misappropiating govt. funds: the WI Attorney General is being crucified over using her state car inappropriately (granted she did get drunk and crash it into a ditch earlier this year, the idiot.)

  12. what the hell is this rapiest doing here.
    Bush goverment has been like this. They’ve never kept theire promises.

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