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"We Were Promised"

- September 1, 2012

Candidate Obama Railed Against An Unethical, Inefficient And Divided Washington, Yet That Is Exactly What His Presidency Has Produced

Obama In 2007: “We were promised a more ethical, efficient Washington, instead we have a town more wasteful and corrupt than it was before. We were promised a uniter, but he couldn’t even lead the half of the country who voted for him.” (Sen. Barack Obama, Remarks, Urbandale, IA, 12/22/07)

OBAMA CAMPAIGNED AGAINST A WASTEFUL AND CORRUPT WASHINGTON, BUT HIS ADMINISTRATION HAS BEEN PLAUGED BY EXTRAVAGANCE AND SCANDALS

Obama’s Scandals Are “Generating The Kinds Of Questions That No Administration Wants To Answer This Close To A Re-Election Bid.” “Neither Obama nor his top aides have been implicated, but both of those stories are generating the kinds of questions that no administration wants to answer this close to a re-election bid.” (David Jackson, “Obama Grapples With Secret Service, GSA Scandals,” USA Today , 4/18/12)

Under Obama, The GSA Squandered Taxpayer Money At Lavish Conferences

The General Services Administration’s 2010 Western Region Conference In Las Vegas “Made Headlines When An Inspector General Report Found A Pattern Of Excessive Spending, Waste, And Possible Fraud On The Pricey, Taxpayer-Funded Las Vegas Conference.” “The conference made headlines this week when an Inspector General report found a pattern of excessive spending, waste and possible fraud on the pricey, taxpayer-funded Las Vegas conference, where organizers went out of their way to organize a lavish, over-the-top celebration that included a mind reader, a clown, fancy food and several ‘trial runs’ by GSA employees.” (Byron Tau, “Videos Of $800K GSA Conference Surface,” Politico’s 44,” 4/7/12)

The GSA Inspector General Has Reported Another “Egregious Waste Of Taxpayer Dollars.” “The General Services Administration is back in Congress’s crosshairs today after the GSA’s inspector general reported to Congress on another installment of ‘egregious waste of taxpayer dollars’ at the beleaguered government agency.” (John Parkinson, “$20K For Drumsticks? GSA Blasted For One-Day Quarter-Million Dollar Awards Conference,” ABC News’ “ The Note,” 7/19/12)

GSA Is Under Investigation For Spending $268,732 On A One-Day Conference In 2010, Located In Arlington, VA. “This time, the agency is being investigated for spending $268,732 on a one-day conference for its Federal Acquisition Service division on Nov, 17, 2010, in Arlington, Virginia.” (John Parkinson, “$20K For Drumsticks? GSA Blasted For One-Day Quarter-Million Dollar Awards Conference,” ABC News’ “ The Note,” 7/19/12)

  • $20,000 Of Taxpayer Money Was Spent On Drumsticks, $35,000 For Picture Frames And $20,000 For Catering . “More than $20,000 of taxpayer money was spent on drumsticks for 4000 attendees, more than $8,500 for an appearance by someone called ‘Agent X’, according to the preliminary findings of the Inspector General. The event, which was held at the Crystal City Gateway Marriott just outside Washington, D.C., also included expenses of more than $35,000 for picture frames, $20,000 in catering charges as well as additional funding for a violinist and guitarist.” (John Parkinson, “$20K For Drumsticks? GSA Blasted For One-Day Quarter-Million Dollar Awards Conference,” ABC News’ “ The Note,” 7/19/12)
  • The GSA Spent $34,000 On The Venue, $7,700 For A Reception And $104,000 For Logistical And Management Services. “In addition to $20,000 for drumsticks, the agency's inspector general also informed Congress on Thursday that a preliminary review has found the spending included roughly $34,000 for the venue, including catering charges, room rental charges and AV charges; roughly $7,700 for a reception at a second hotel for the same one-day awards ceremony; and approximately $104,000 for logistical and management services provided by a outside vendor.” (“GSA Finds More Than $250,000 Spent On One-Day Event,” CNN, 7/19/12)

The White House Ignored Warnings About Restructuring Solyndra’s Loan, Wasting Millions Of Dollars That Taxpayers Will Never See Again

In January 2011, OMB Analyst Kelly Colyar Concluded That Restructuring Solyndra’s Loan Would Double The Taxpayers’ Loss. “Documents show that in January 2011, when Solyndra was in technical default on its loan, OMB analyst Kelly Colyar concluded that if the company were immediately liquidated, taxpayers would lose $141 million. If the loan were restructured and more money were released to Solyndra, she estimated, a subsequent default would cost taxpayers $385 million. The loss was attributable in part to allowing private investors to recover some of their money first.” (Joe Stephens and Carol Leonnig, “White House Analyst Warned Saving Solyndra Could Cost More Than Letting It Fail,” The Washington Post , 8/1/12)

  • Colyar Warned That Taxpayers Would Lose $385 Million If Solyndra Defaulted On The Restructured Loan Versus $141 Million If They Were Allowed To Liquidate. (Kelly T. Colyar, Email To Fouad Saad et. al., f. 631, 1/4/11)

According To Kelly Colyar Of The OMB, Then White House Chief Of Staff Bill Daley Had Been Briefed About OMB’s “Reservations About The Prospects Of The Company And DOE’s Proposal” To Restructure The Solyndra Loan. “You may recall that DOE announced in March that they had restructured the Solyndra loan. Prior to this restructuring, OMB staff expressed reservations about the prospects of the company and DOE’s proposal. The issue was discussed with the NEC and the Chief of Staff.” (Kelly T. Colyar, E-mail To Richard A. Mertens Et. Al, f. 732, 8/11/11)

Though Default Was Imminent, Secretary Chu Signed Off On Solyndra’s Restructure As A “Modification” Which Did Not Need OMB Scoring. “Even though OMB had not informed DOE of its decision, Secretary Chu signed the Action Memorandum authorizing the Solyndra restructuring on February 18, 2011. On February 22, 2011, the LPO Chief Counsel’s office contacted Mr. Silver and asked whether he or ‘someone at a senior DOE level confirmed (with OMB) that the restructuring is a ‘workout’ and not a ‘modification’? Mr. Silver responded that he thought DOE staff had resolved the matter, but Ms. Nwachuku explained that she had ‘sent emails and placed calls’ to OMB, and that during DOE’s most recent conversation, OMB had ‘concluded that a modification scoring was not required . . .’” (“The Solyndra Failure,” Committee On Energy And Commerce, U.S. House Of Representatives, 8/2/12, p. 102)

Obama’s “Wall Street Guy” And Top Bundler Jon Corzine Lost $1.6 Billion Of Customer Money And Has Escaped Prosecution

Jon Corzine Played A “Central Role” In Obama’s Wall Street Fundraising Efforts. “His new legal troubles, sparked by the bankruptcy filing of his investment firm, MF Global, could complicate the president’s efforts to raise money from the financial community given Corzine’s central role in those efforts.” (Michael Isikoff, “Corzine, Top Obama Fundraiser, Under FBI Investigation,” MSNBC, 11/2/11)

  • Obama: Corzine Is “Our Wall Street Guy.” “ The rollout also provided a showcase for Corzine, the former Goldman Sachs CEO whom Obama referred to as ‘our Wall Street guy’ at a meeting of Democratic governors in Chicago on Friday.” (Claire Heininger, “Corzine Profile Rises In Obama Camp,” The Star-Ledger (NJ), 6/23/08)

In November 2011, Jon Corzine, One Of Obama’s “Leading Wall Street Fundraisers,” Became “The Center Of An FBI Investigation” Due To $1.6 Billion Missing From Customer Accounts. “Jon Corzine, now the center of an FBI investigation into the handling of hundreds of millions of dollars invested in his securities firm, was one of the leading Wall Street fundraisers for President Obama’s campaign and suggested to investors that he might take a top administration post if the president were re-elected.” (Michael Isikoff, “Corzine, Top Obama Fundraiser, Under FBI Investigation,” MSNBC, 11/2/11)

  • In December 2011, Jon Corzine Testified Before The House Of Representatives, Saying: “I Simply Do Not Know Where The Money Is, Or Why The Accounts Have Not Been Reconciled To Date.” (Jon S. Corzine, Committee On Agriculture, U.S. House Of Representatives, Testimony, 12/8/11)

MF Global Trustee James Giddens “Sees Possible Civil Claims Against Former Chief Executive Jon Corzine.” “The trustee liquidating MF Global Holdings Ltd broker-dealer said on Monday he sees possible civil claims against former Chief Executive Jon Corzine and other top executives for breach of duties to customers.” (“Ex-MF Global CEO Jon Corzine Could Face Civil Claims, Trustee Says,” Reuters, 6/4/12)

While The Country Is Hurting, Obama’s Defense Secretary Takes $32,000 Flights Home On Weekends

Defense Secretary Leon Panetta Cost The Pentagon As Much As $860,000, About $32,000 Every Trip, As He Commutes Home For The Weekend Using A Military Gulfstream Jet. “Before accepting the job as defense secretary, Mr. Panetta negotiated his right to commute home to California nearly every weekend using a military equivalent of a Gulfstream jet, as his job as Pentagon chief requires him to do. The trips cost the government as much as $860,000, and Mr. Panetta paid about $630 per trip for a roundtrip flight that costs the Pentagon about $32,000, defense officials told the Associated Press.” (Susan Crabtree, “Panetta Paid $17k For $860K Commute To California,” The Washington Times, 4/6/12)

As The Pentagon Advocated For Deep Cuts In The Defense Budget, Mr. Panetta Was “Cross-Country Commuting” Even Though “The President Singled Out Travel As An Area Ripe For Savings.” “Mr. Panetta’s cross-country commuting was first reported by the Los Angeles Times in September, although that report did not detail the extent of the trips. The expenses involved with the commute drew another look after President Obama issued marching orders in November calling for all Cabinet agencies to cut back on everything — from out-of-town conferences to cellphone use and officials gifts such as pencils and mugs. The president singled out travel as an area ripe for savings.” (Susan Crabtree, “Panetta Paid $17k For $860K Commute To California,” The Washington Times, 4/6/12)

The Dubuque Telegraph Herald : “When Defense Secretary Leon Panetta Looks For Ways To Cut The Pentagon’s Proposed $614 Billion Budget, He Might Start By Examining His Own Expense Account.” (Editorial, Feds Should Look At Travel Expenses,” The Dubuque Telegraph Herald, 4/9/12)

OBAMA CAMPAIGNED AS A UNITER, BUT HAS ONLY BROUGHT DIVISION

Obama Has Been “Unable To Bridge A Political Divide That Had Only Grown Wider Since He Took Office With A Promise To Change The Ways Of Washington…” “A president who promised to bring the country together, who confidently presented himself as the transformational figure able to make that happen, now had his chance. But, like earlier policy battles, the debt ceiling negotiations revealed a divided figure, a man who remained aloof from a Congress where he once served and that he now needed. He was caught between his own aspirations for historical significance and his inherent political caution. And he was unable to bridge a political divide that had only grown wider since he took office with a promise to change the ways of Washington, underscoring the gulf between the way he campaigned and the way he had governed .” (Peter Wallsten, Lori Montgomery, and Scott Wilson, “Obama’s Evolution: Behind The Failed ‘Grand Bargain’ On The Debt,” The Washington Post , 3/17/12)

FactCheck.org: “[I]t’s Simply A Fact That The President Failed At ‘Bringing Democrats And Republicans Together.’” “To be sure, the president did sign the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act into law in 2010, but it wasn’t enacted by ‘bringing Democrats and Republicans together.’ The bill passed the Senate on Dec. 24, 2009, by a vote of 60-39, without any Republicans voting for it. And when the House passed its version of the bill almost three months later, by a vote of 219-212, it too garnered no support from Republicans. We won’t offer any opinion about whether one side is more to blame than the other for that, but it’s simply a fact that the president failed at ‘bringing Democrats and Republicans together.’” (D’Angelo Gore, “Promises, Promises,” FactCheck.org, 1/4/12)

Obama Admitted Washington Is Stuck With “More Of The Same” And “Maybe A Little Worse.” CNN’S WOLF BLITZER: “When we spoke here end of 2008, ‘hope and change.’ You know what I see in Washington still to this day? OBAMA: “More of the same.” BLITZER: “The same old same old.” OBAMA: “Yeah.” BLITZER: “A lot of bickering, backstabbing.” OBAMA: “Maybe a little worse.” (CNN’s “ The Situation Room,” 8/16/11)

  • Obama: “What I Said To Them Is You Deserve Better Than You Have Been Getting Out Of Washington Over The Last Two And A Half Months, For That Matter For The Last Two And A Half Years.” (President Barack Obama, Remarks At $35,800 Per Person Fundraiser, New York, NY, 8/11/11)

Obama Is Waging A “Divide And Conquer” Reelection Campaign

Obama Has Taken A “Different, Harder-Edged, More Overtly Partisan Path That Is Now Defining His Reelection Campaign.” “In the end, that brief effort, described by White House officials as the most intense and consequential of Obama’s presidency, not only illuminated pitfalls in the road he had taken during the previous three years but also directed him down a different, harder-edged, more overtly partisan path that is now defining his reelection campaign.” (Peter Wallsten, Lori Montgomery, and Scott Wilson, “Obama’s Evolution: Behind The Failed ‘Grand Bargain’ On The Debt,” The Washington Post , 3/17/12)

The Wall Street Journal: “He Was Elected On Hope And Change, But Now His Only Hope Is To Change The Subject To The Ogres He Claims Are The Disloyal Opposition.” (Editorial, “Paul Ryan’s Hunger Games,” The Wall Street Journal, 4/4/12)

“Today, Obama’s Campaign Is Very Much Playing The Usual Political Game Of Divide And Conquer.” “With Obama, though, we have more of a special case. This is the guy, after all, who eight years ago created his political brand with a stemwinder of a Democratic National Convention speech decrying the divisiveness of politics, and who four years ago ran a campaign defined by a positive vision of ‘hope’ and ‘change.’ Today, Obama’s campaign is very much playing the usual political game of divide and conquer.” (Aaron Blake, “Can The Campaign Of ‘Hope’ Go Negative?” The Washington Post, 4/9/12)

“The Democrat Who Once Pledged To Usher In A More Civilized Political Era Has Turned To Highly Critical Commercials.” “To win a second term, the Democrat who once pledged to usher in a more civilized political era has turned to highly critical commercials - at turns personal and snarky - to go toe to toe with Romney in a campaign noteworthy for its negativity and intensity.” (Beth Fouhy, “Obama Negative Ads Could Hurt Personal Popularity,” The Associated Press, 7/24/12)

  • Now, “Obama Heads Up A Seek-And-Destroy Effort.” “But that was sooooo 2004. Specifically, that was so soooo Barack Obama in 2004, when the little-known state Senator from Illinois made these inspiring comments at the Democratic National Convention. Four years after that, Obama waged his juggernaut of a hope-and-change campaign. Now he heads up a seek-and-destroy effort. That means TV viewers in battleground states like Florida will face a lot more negative messaging from both sides than in 2008.” (Marc Caputo, “Obama Borrows Campaign Tactics From Bush,” The Miami Herald,7/29/12)
  • Democrat Pollsters Pat Caddell And Doug Schoen: Obama Can Only Win By Running “The Most Negative Campaign In History.” “Put simply, it seems that the White House has concluded that if the president cannot run on his record, he will need to wage the most negative campaign in history to stand any chance. With his job approval ratings below 45% overall and below 40% on the economy, the president cannot affirmatively make the case that voters are better off now than they were four years ago. He—like everyone else—knows that they are worse off.”(Patrick H. Caddell and Douglas E. Schoen, “The Hillary Moment,” The Wall Street Journal, 11/21/11)
  • “Now, Faced With A Tough Re-Election Fight, President Obama Has, In Fundamental Respects, Adopted The Strategy He Denounced Eight Years Ago.” (Thomas B. Edsall, “The Politics Of Anything Goes,” The New York Times’ “Campaign Stops,” 7/23/12)

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