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APRIL 16, 2013                                                                                       

Cause of Action Report Finds Millions in Federal Tax Dollars Used for Lobbying

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Communities Putting Prevention to Work Program Became a Front for Cronyism, Propaganda, Lobbying, and Big Government

 

WASHINGTON – Cause of Action (CoA), a government accountability organization, today released “CPPW: Putting Politics to Work”, an investigative report exposing the endemic lack of oversight and accountability within the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) and its Centers for Disease Control (CDC), which led to the misuse of millions of taxpayer dollars by eight recipients of grants from the Communities Putting Prevention to Work (CPPW) program. Appropriated with $373 million under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (ARRA), the CPPW program was intended for job creation and public education on tobacco use and obesity prevention. $94.4 million of the CPPW funds were allocated to grantees included in this report.

CoA’s nineteen-month long investigation revealed that CPPW money supported lobbyists and public relations companies who used taxpayer dollars to push laws and agendas that would lead to tax increases on tobacco and sugar sweetened products—violating federal law as well as HHS and Office of Management and Budget guidelines.

Cause of Action’s Executive Director Dan Epstein explained the consequences of these findings:

Cause of Action has uncovered that the Department of Health and Human Services, the largest grant-issuing agency in the federal government, by failing to conduct effective oversight of the CPPW program, allowed taxpayer dollars to be misused, in some cases violating federal statute. With a program whose funding is expected to grow into the billions, how much more lobbying will the taxpayers be on the hook for before Kathleen Sebelius decides that it’s time to be accountable?”

Upon learning that the HHS Office of Inspector General (OIG) had issued a report in June 2012 on the alleged misconduct of CPPW grantees in Florence County, South Carolina, CoA expanded its own investigation. CoA is the first organization to report findings of federal money being dedicated for lobbying in these seven other communities:

  • Pima County, AZ
  • Mobile County, AL
  • Jefferson County, AL
  • Miami-Dade County, FL
  • DeKalb County, GA
  • Los Angeles County, CA
  • Santa Clara County, CA 

$2 billion in annual funding is currently scheduled for disbursement under the 2010 Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act’s Community Transformation Grants program to fight obesity use at the local, state, and federal level.

Click here to read a copy of the full report.

 

Comments

  1. So, what’s the next step. Will the people who illegally used this taxpayer money be prosecuted? Will the people who received the money be prosecuted and forced to give it back? Will this just be covered up and forgotten like most federal bureaucracy fraud and waste?

  2. Dick Belmont says:

    Remember Obama promising to end lobbyists and wasteful spending? His whole presidency has been one big lie and not even the spineless Republicans will call him out on it.

  3. Dick Belmont says:

    Remember Obama promising to end lobbyists and wasteful spending? His whole presidency has been one big lie and not even the spineless Republicans will call him out on it.

  4. D.C. Nance says:

    To answer your questions Tom,

    Question 1, NO, Question 2, NO and Question 3, YES.

    Washington just going about it’s real business, no story here.

  5. Where does Cause of Action get its funding? Is Cause of Action aware of the GAO investigation on this topic?

  6. Cause of Action has exposed the top glass of the “champagne tower of tobacco control”. The pharmas who sell the nicotine patches and Chantix are one of the bottles of champagne while the federal officials, who own pharma stock, or get pharma campaign donations, pour the other bottle into the top glass, with pharma, into the CDC, for disbursal into the lobbying groups, both in and out of state governments (including lobbying non profits, lying “researchers”, and a host of grant sucking leeches, who will say anything for a buck) where that money is doled into the glasses below. (Municipalities who are lobbying their own City Councils for smoking bans)
    This is about following the money as it fills the glasses, and skyrockets pharma profits.
    Their new “war” pn obesity started the day J&J bought Splenda. J&J’s “philanthropic arm” the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, is the lobbying arm of J&J, and, it looks like, the CDC is the marketing arm for them.

  7. Interesting. The last sentence of this news release actually ALTERS what the report itself says: It omits “tobacco use” from the following statement:

    “$2 billion in annual funding scheduled for
    disbursement in 2015 under the 2010 Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act’s Community
    Transformation Grants program to fight obesity and tobacco use at the local, state, and federal
    level.”

    The reason that’s such an important omission is clear: because **MOST** of this misappropriation of funds has been aimed at persecuting smokers, not the obese. Name a half dozen states that have “obesity taxes” if you can. Now try naming even a SINGLE state that doesn’t have a tobacco tax. Call your local congressperson and ask when the last time was that they were lobbied on obesity issues. Then ask when was the last time they were lobbied on tobacco issues.

    And aside from this “lobbyist” money, I believe there are a good number of documented instances of the “Stimulus” funds being directly paid to people to attack smokers.

    I would say that a fair response would be to declare **ALL** smoking bans and taxes enacted in the last five years null and void, with the tax money refunded to those who paid it and can provide testimony or evidence showing so.

    Michael J. McFadden
    Author of “Dissecting Antismokers’ Brains”

  8. Dave Kuneman says:

    It would be a different matter, if any of these government- sponsored cigarette tax hikes, and smoking bans, through lobbying, actually did improve public health.

    Just look at the data… despite all of these smoking bans, the claim of 53,000 secondhand smoke deaths each year is still made. Despite all the cigarette tax hikes, our smoking rate is hardly changed since 2003, and the claim of 430,000 smoking related deaths each year is still made. The proof is that these policies, through govt. sponsored lobbying are ineffective, thus a waste of tax-payer dollars.

Trackbacks

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  8. Anonymous says:

    […] to do the same thing, again in violation of the law. A report by the government watchdog group Cause of It gets even worse. Another watchdog group named American Commitment has found that instead of […]