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Obama phones' padding pockets of Obama donor

Posted by on Oct. 10, 2012 at 9:06 PM
  • 8 Replies

‘Obama phones' padding pockets of Obama donor

KEVIN DANIELSEN OCTOBER 9, 2012 7:49 AM 

 

It wasn't long ago that the ‘Obama phone' video hit the web and went viral.  Since then, there has been a call for investigation into the ‘Obama phone' program; especially considering the circumstance surrounding the president and CEO of TracFone Wireless, the company providing the cell phones to the government.  The Washington Free Beacon reports:

The program expanded to include cell phones in 2008. That change has rapidly increased the cost to the federal government-$1.6 billion in 2011, up from $772 million in 2008. The number of Lifeline beneficiaries rose from 7.1 million to 12.5 million during the same period; cell phones account for roughly half of that 12.5 million.

The conflict of interest arrises when Obama campaign donations come into the picture.  The CEO of TracFone Wireless, Frederick ‘FJ' Pollak, has certainly been kind to the Obama campaign:

One of the major providers of the free cell phones-3.8 million subscribers as of late 2011-is Miami-based TracFone Wireless, a company whose president and CEO, Frederick "F.J." Pollak, has donated at least $156,500 to Democratic candidates and committees this cycle, including at least $50,000 to the Obama campaign.

I also forgot to mention the CEO's wife's involvement with the Obama campaign...

Pollak's wife, Abigail, is a campaign bundler for Obama who has raised more than $632,000 for the president this cycle, and more than $1.5 million since 2007. She has personally contributed more than $200,000 to Democratic candidates and committees since 2008.

The Pollak's have invited the President to their home for a $40,000-per-plate fundraiser event, visited the White House seven times, and Barack Obama even appointed Abigail ‘to serve on the "Commission to Study the Potential Creation of a National Museum of the American Latino."

What's in it for Pollak?  Well...

TracFone, a direct financial beneficiary of the Lifeline program, receives $10 a month for each subscriber in the form of federal subsidies. The company can make an additional profit selling extra minutes to Lifeline subscribers who exceed their monthly allowance of 250 prepaid minutes.

This is what the TracFone addition to Lifeline in 2008 looks like:

First, the CEO of TracFone, Mr. Pollak, approaches the President, pitching the idea that the US government should subsidize TracFones.  This is a sweet deal for Obama, since it will increase his popularity with his voter-base, and with it, the chances of reelection.  In addition, the Pollaks will step up their campaign contributions.

As a ‘thank you', President Obama will gush forth political favors in the form of a job on the "Commission to Study the Potential Creation of a National Museum of the American Latino" for Mrs. Pollak, and $10 per TracFone that the government subsidizes.  The rules on the program will be loose and will not see much oversight, so more and more TracFones can hit the streets with little regulation to stop them.

The CEO of TracFone gets rich, and Obama gets reelected ...all at the expense of the American taxpayer.

It's no wonder why this program has attracted whistle-blowers:

Sen. Claire McCaskill (D., Mo.), for example, found that the program was "ripe for fraud." In some cases, McCaskill noted in a December 2011 press release, the government was issuing multiple free phones to the same individuals.

Gotta love those sweet back room deals.  It's not like America is already bankrupt.

 

I feel obligated to post this video as well:

  
by on Oct. 10, 2012 at 9:06 PM
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Replies (1-8):
gsprofval
by Gold Member on Oct. 10, 2012 at 9:07 PM

That change has rapidly increased the cost to the federal government-$1.6 billion in 2011, up from $772 million in 2008. The number of Lifeline beneficiaries rose from 7.1 million to 12.5 million during the same period; cell phones account for roughly half of that 12.5 million.

143myboys9496
by Gold Member on Oct. 10, 2012 at 9:27 PM
2 moms liked this

 I can't afford MY cell phone bill and I'm paying for hers?? I don't have a smart phone, who wants to bet me she has an iPhone 4s??

Next Obama will be giving (to quote the video) "minorities" mortgage free houses.

So THAT'S why Romney sucks...he's going to make them pay for their own cell phones...

I work, I mean actually show up to work and know my job. Not just call in sick constantly. I really show up to work AND do work. I pay my bills, on time every month. I don't have a governement sponsored cell phone.

What the hell did I do wrong?

143myboys9496
by Gold Member on Oct. 10, 2012 at 9:30 PM
2 moms liked this

 "I promise to lower the deficit within 4 years"

And the truely sad thing is that the people that were given gov't paid cell phones (like the woman in the video) believe the gov't OWES them free phones.

Quoting gsprofval:

That change has rapidly increased the cost to the federal government-$1.6 billion in 2011, up from $772 million in 2008. The number of Lifeline beneficiaries rose from 7.1 million to 12.5 million during the same period; cell phones account for roughly half of that 12.5 million.

 

gsprofval
by Gold Member on Oct. 10, 2012 at 9:35 PM

I feel the same way. I work 2 jobs to make ends meet and spend most of my time grading, answering emails, and preparing for classes--when I'm NOT in class teaching.

Hell, what exactly ARE we doing wrong?

Sometimes I fell like my kids and I would be better of if I was saying "Welcome to Walmart" or "Do you want fries with that?"

Quoting 143myboys9496:

 I can't afford MY cell phone bill and I'm paying for hers?? I don't have a smart phone, who wants to bet me she has an iPhone 4s??

Next Obama will be giving (to quote the video) "minorities" mortgage free houses.

So THAT'S why Romney sucks...he's going to make them pay for their own cell phones...

I work, I mean actually show up to work and know my job. Not just call in sick constantly. I really show up to work AND do work. I pay my bills, on time every month. I don't have a governement sponsored cell phone.

What the hell did I do wrong?


GardenerArtist
by Bronze Member on Oct. 10, 2012 at 9:37 PM
1 mom liked this

How to get a Free Government Cell Phone

When people are searching for a free government cell phone, they are usually trying to find information on the Lifeline Program. The Lifeline Program allows low income households to receive free or discounted telephone services, in order to help them make ends meet each month. For most Americans, having a telephone is a necessity. A telephone is a link to the outside world, often times a necessity in landing a job. It is also something that is relied upon for emergencies, and when a family is in the low income bracket, it can be a difficult bill to manage each month. The following is how an individual can determine if they are eligible for the Lifeline program, and also how they can apply for this federal program.

Who is eligible for a Lifeline Government Phone?

In order to be eligible for Lifeline benefits, a person must first see if their state is a federal default state. These states include Delaware, Hawaii, Indiana, Iowa, Louisiana, New Hampshire, North Dakota and South Dakota. For individuals who reside in a federal default state, an individual must be enrolled in one of the following federal programs in order to be eligible for Lifeline service: Federal Public Housing Assistance, Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program, Medicaid, National School Lunch Program, Supplemental Security Income and Temporary Assistance for Needy Families. Also, an individual can be deemed eligible if their household income is at or below 135% of the federal poverty line.

_Kissy_
by on Oct. 10, 2012 at 9:40 PM


Quote:

Lifeline took off in the last decade, as prepaid cell phones became popular. In 2008 there were 7.1 million accounts nationwide. Today there are 12.5 million, about half of which are mobiles sold by Miami-based TracFone (AMX),Sprint (S), and hundreds of small regional companies. The government pays the carriers up to $10 a month for each Lifeline subscriber. Customers get free phones and 250 minutes of monthly airtime. It’s a good deal for them and a potential moneymaker for the mobile-phone providers, who can sell extra minutes once customers max out on their free ones. Both TracFone, which had 3.8 million Lifeline subscribers as of late last year, and Sprint, which declines to release figures, say revenue from selling consumers additional minutes is low.
Businessinsider
erika9009
by Silver Member on Oct. 10, 2012 at 9:46 PM

Pres Obama kicks back to a supporter.

It seems a lot of favors are being called into Obama now. 

But, then again, isn't this true for all politicians from both sides?

29again
by Gold Member on Oct. 10, 2012 at 9:51 PM


Quoting GardenerArtist:

How to get a Free Government Cell Phone


When people are searching for a free government cell phone, they are usually trying to find information on the Lifeline Program. The Lifeline Program allows low income households to receive free or discounted telephone services, in order to help them make ends meet each month. For most Americans, having a telephone is a necessity. A telephone is a link to the outside world, often times a necessity in landing a job. It is also something that is relied upon for emergencies, and when a family is in the low income bracket, it can be a difficult bill to manage each month. The following is how an individual can determine if they are eligible for the Lifeline program, and also how they can apply for this federal program.

Who is eligible for a Lifeline Government Phone?

In order to be eligible for Lifeline benefits, a person must first see if their state is a federal default state. These states include Delaware, Hawaii, Indiana, Iowa, Louisiana, New Hampshire, North Dakota and South Dakota. For individuals who reside in a federal default state, an individual must be enrolled in one of the following federal programs in order to be eligible for Lifeline service: Federal Public Housing Assistance, Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program, Medicaid, National School Lunch Program, Supplemental Security Income and Temporary Assistance for Needy Families. Also, an individual can be deemed eligible if their household income is at or below 135% of the federal poverty line.

Actually, the list of states that have the free cell phone service is much longer. 


SafeLink Wireless is currently available in Alabama, Arizona, Arkansas, Connecticut, DC, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Mississippi, Missouri, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Puerto Rico, Rhode Island, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Virginia, Washington, West Virginia and Wisconsin. You can also verify if SafeLink Wireless is available in your state by entering your home zip code here.


We are adding new regions all the time. To learn if SafeLink Wireless is coming to your state click here.

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