The Washington Post

GSA becomes election issue

The General Services Administration has officially become an election issue.

The American Future Fund, an Iowa-based conservative group, has released a scathing commercial that frames the agency’s conferencing scandal squarely in the context of tax season.

“On Tax Day, did you ask yourself how exactly President Obama spends your money?” a voice-over asks.

The commercial details spending on an $820,000-plus Las Vegas conference held by a GSA regional office in 2010 and a week-long trip to Hawaii by five GSA employees to attend an hour-long ribbon-cutting ceremony.

Then the commercial asks what the officials in charge would say. It quotes the GSA official who orgnized the Las Vegas event, Jeff Neely, pleading the Fifth Amendment before the House oversight committee last week. It also shows him seated in a Las Vegas hot tub with two glasses of wine. That picture surfaced earlier this month after ABC News found it posted on Neely’s wife’s Google Plus account.

The commercial then speculates what President Obama “might” have said of the excessive spending.

“It’s a pretty big government,” the president says in the commercial.

The clip comes from a 2011 Univision interview with Obama on the Fast and Furious gun-running program. A reporter had asked him whether he had heard of the controversial campaign.

Ezra Klein wrote in The Washington Post on Tuesday about the impact scandals have on elections.


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