An organization that serves as a watchdog on the U.S. government for American taxpayers has launched a campaign to uncover exactly how much tax money is being spent on parties at the Obama White House.
The president has shown a penchant for lavish galas, such as the huge assembly orchestrated in Denver when he accepted his party’s nomination for president – an outdoor gathering for some 75,000 featuring a stage with Greek columns. He also held a multimillion-dollar victory celebration in Chicago, and his fancy inauguration cost an estimated $170 million, according to ABC News.
Now, Larry Klayman, founder of Freedom Watch, told WND today he’s seeking information about the partying in the White House since the Obamas moved in.
As WND reported this week, Freedom Watch is seeking information from the federal government on who had input into bailout legislation and whether they got anything in return.
Klayman said the reports of the partying at the White House, “with the likes of Steve Wonder and other high priced entertainment stars,” will be the focus of document requests being submitted to the General Services Administration. The requests will seek to determine how much taxpayer money is being used.
“Barack and Michelle Obama have been throwing taxpayer funded parties nearly every night with their ‘friends’ and supporters, with Michelle Obama even exhorting them not to ‘break’ White House property,” Klayman’s announcement said.
“This party atmosphere sends the wrong message to the American people. As the Obama-Clinton crowd party on, the American people are suffering greatly,” Klayman said.
“It was right to criticize corporate execs for using taxpayer bailout money on bonuses and corporate junkets. In the face of this criticism, it is an outrage for Barack and Michelle Obama to party on, as Rome burns. It’s like throwing a party at a funeral,” he said.
According to a report by the news and commentary website Politico, many of the parties have been just that – parties, not political and government meetings.
“Using one of the world’s most famous private residences as bait, President Barack Obama and first lady Michelle Obama are unleashing a bipartisan charm offensive and exploiting every square inch of their new home to make friends and influence rivals. The social calendar suggests a return to the days of Camelot,” the report said.
“Since moving into their new digs, the first couple has hosted a half-dozen gatherings – from bipartisan cocktail receptions to a public open house to the more intimate Super Bowl party … ending many of their days past midnight,” the report said.
“Most recently … the Obamas opened the White House doors to House caucus leaders from the moderate Blue Dog Democrats and the Congressional Black Caucus. White House aides say the couple hopes to make the Wednesday cocktail parties a tradition.”
The report quoted White House Social Secretary Desiree Rogers saying the Obamas want to “replicate the same kind of environment they had in Chicago.”
“If there was a party or an event [in Chicago], they were there,” the report quoted “a friend” saying.
But is anything of government value accomplished?
“You would have felt like a fool talking about politics at this party,” said Eleanor Holmes Norton, D-D.C., said after one major event. “I was surprised how much of a social event it was and how little of a political occasion it was.”
Insiders said in the report that the Obama social schedule is busier than any other previous occupants of the White House.
“We haven’t seen this kind of entertaining in a really long time,” Dee Dee Myers, former White House press secretary to Bill Clinton, said in the report.
According to an ABC report, many of the parties have been on Wednesdays, and the report confirmed one featured a Stevie Wonder concert.
“This is a pretty big house, so we get lonely,” the report said Obama announced. “It’s hard for me to move around out there some times so I got to bring the world to me.” Published reports said the Jonas Brothers were on hand in the White House for a special event for the Obama daughters, Sasha and Malia, on inauguration night.
Dinners have featured lavish menus including “Celery Soup, Wild Mushroom Crisps, Steelhead Salmon with Citrus sauce, Crispy Spinach, Toasted Saffron Couscous Pearls, Baby Iceberg lettuce with Maytag Bleu Cheese and Yogurt ranch dressing and for dessert, Milk Chocolate velvet cake” – all served on gold-rimmed china.
Klayman has taken on the establishment in Washington several times, including when the U.S. Senate Foreign Relations Committee interviewed Sen. Hillary Clinton for her appointment by Obama as secretary of state.
The senators, however, ignored the shady parts of her background involving “Chinagate” and “Filegate,” he said.
In the Chinagate scandal, documented on the website for Judicial Watch, which Klayman previously led, technology companies allegedly made donations of millions of dollars to various Democratic Party entities, including President Bill Clinton’s 1996 re-election campaign, in return for permission to sell high-tech secrets to China.
“Filegate” developed when President Clinton and Hillary Clinton were accused of violating the privacy rights of their perceived political enemies by wrongly accessing and misusing the FBI files of staffers in the Reagan and George H.W. Bush administrations, among others.