Rep. Issa: Stimulus website is 'propaganda'

Rep. Darrell Issa (R-Calif.) on Monday accused the White House of using the stimulus tracking website Recovery.gov to disseminate propaganda.

Issa released a 37-page report documenting alleged misconduct by the Obama administration in several of its new-media projects. The report documents several instances in which government agencies allegedly promoted administration policies using federal resources. 

Issa called on the Government Accountability Office (GAO) to investigate the allegations and determine if the administration violated federal law by using taxpayers' dollars for political purposes.

ADVERTISEMENT
Specifically, the report points to websites it claims contain false or misleading information, such as Recovery.gov and HealthReform.gov, as well as to a conference call during which a White House staff member urged artists and entertainers to support President Obama's agenda.

Rather than serve as a tool for strong oversight and transparency, "Recovery.gov became a taxpayer-funded tool to promote false and misleading propaganda to support the Democrat-backed stimulus," the report states. "The manifest inaccuracies in the data the White House used to justify its economic policies constitutes the dissemination of false propaganda by the federal government."

Recovery Board Chairman Earl Devaney published a blog post Monday arguing the site has accomplished its objective by providing transparency of stimulus investments. 

"Although this new level of transparency may not be obvious to casual observers, it is inspiring real transformation in the federal government," Devaney wrote.

The report also accuses President Obama and Vice President Joe Biden of leveraging their White House platform "to promote websites designed to disseminate propaganda." It argues the claims made on Recovery.gov about jobs saved or created by the stimulus are fictitious and misleading, citing news reports and individual instances in which the displayed figures appeared to be incorrect.

The report notes the White House responded to critical reports by changing the displayed metric from "Jobs Created/Saved" to “Recovery Funded Jobs Reported by Recipients” but says there is no evidence the reported figures are any more accurate.

“Using new technologies and the remnants of the most expensive presidential campaign in history, the Obama administration’s use of taxpayer dollars to engage in covert propaganda is disconcerting," Issa said in a statement. "This new report and a GAO investigation are needed to help shed light on how taxpayer dollars are being spent to illegally further a political agenda.”