It turns out that President Barack “Change” Obama isn’t changing things that much after all. At least not for David Axelfod, who appears to be playing the classic Washington insider’s game for fun and profit.
Explains Ellen Carmichael of Americans for Prosperity:
While Axelrod worked behind the scenes to craft policy that would lead to a government overhaul of the medical industry, his firm in Chicago lobbied special interest groups to earn massive media contracts that would help dictate political discourse during the debate. According to an August 19, 2009 Associated Press report, President Obama’s efforts to push his health care reform agenda have created a “financial windfall in the election offseason to Democratic consulting firms that are closely connected” to the President and Axelrod.
These coalition groups are currently running “at least $24 million in pro-overhaul ads” with the help of GMMB, a consulting group led by a “top Obama campaign strategist” and AKPD Message and Media, the firm owned by none other than David Axelrod. Michael Axelrod, David’s son, now manages the day-to-day affairs of his father’s AKPD Message and Media, aided in part by his employee, David Plouffe, Obama’s presidential campaign manager.
One of their biggest clients, Americans for Stable Quality Care, is comprised of political and financial heavyweights like the Service Employees International Union (SEIU), American Medical Association (AMA), FamiliesUSA and PhRMA, the last promising to pony up $150 million to promote the President’s health care reform agenda.
While the Associated Press concedes that there is “no evidence that Axelrod directly profited from the group’s ads,” they also admit that he will draw $2 million from the firm over the next four years. The larger issue, Sheila Krumholz, executive director of the Center for Responsive Politics, contends, is a “network of relationships and overlapping interests” that could become a “problem as Obama tries to win the public over on health care and fulfill his promise to change the way Washington works.”
Nice work if you can find it. The recession obviously never really hit Mr. Axelrod!