Obama, Holder Sledgehammer the First Amendment

In a move that could have chilling First Amendment consequences, the Obama regime this week showed that it's willing to use the full weight and power of the Justice Department to pummel any media outlet that doesn't toe the party line.

Within days of the Gallup Organization issuing, essentially, a veiled warning to the Obama gang about tinkering with unemployment numbers, Obama's DOJ jumped, jackboots first, into a multi-million dollar legal action against Gallup, in a case initiated by a former Obama operative.

Others have noted that the DOJ action occurred after Gallup had Mitt Romney ahead of Obama in its polling for a few days. But as we've pointed out, it's not Gallup's horse race numbers that have the Chicago gang concerned. This far out from the election, Likely Voter numbers are about as convincing as David Axelrod's combover. What Axelrod and his co-conspirators are really worried about are Gallup's jobless numbers.

Gallup's monthly unemployment survey of 30,000 adults is arguably the most comprehensive research done on the nation's jobless situation, other than the Bureau of Labor Statistics study of 60,000 households.  Gallup publishes its research without seasonal adjustments.  The BLS's version applies adjustments in an alchemic formula that's more mysterious than the Shroud of Turin.

Twice this summer, Gallup has published a report calling into question discrepancies between its unadjusted research and what is being tallied in the adjusted O-fficial statistics.  In reporting in its latest jobless numbers -- in a commentary titled August Unemployment Not Looking Good -- Gallup noted (emphases added):

Regardless, barring heroic adjustments or a sharp change in direction, Gallup data suggest the seasonally adjusted U.S. unemployment rate for August will increase -- possibly substantially -- when announced in early September.

In other words, Gallup said the only way unemployment numbers don't go up next month is if someone in Obamaland puts a finger on the scale.

A few days later, Eric Holder dropped the fifty-pound sledgehammer on Gallup, joining in a "whistleblower" action.  The original complaint alleges that the Gallup organization inflated the number of hours required to do polling projects for the U.S. Mint, the State Department, and other federal agencies.  (Why federal agencies even think they need to do polling is another subject for another time.)

The complaint was filed by a former Gallup employee who -- in a sheer coincidence, no doubt -- was a field organizer for Obama in 2008, according to the Daily Caller and other sources.  Holder's action essentially makes the Justice Department the lawyer for the former (?) Obama operative.

From the DOJ release (emphasis added):

The lawsuit was filed under the qui tam, or whistleblower, provisions of the False Claims Act, which permit private parties to sue on behalf of the United States for submission of false claims to the government. The private plaintiffs are entitled to receive a share of any funds recovered through the lawsuit. The False Claims Act authorizes the United States to intervene in such a lawsuit and take over primary responsibility for litigating it. The False Claims Act allows for recovery of three times the government's losses, plus civil penalties.

For the record, Gallup's General Counsel Steve O'Brien denied any wrongdoing.  "We believe that the allegations and the legal theory that the Justice Department is using are entirely meritless."

As we have detailed, Gallup's unemployment data stands to potentially refute any attempt the Obama gang makes to portray an improving economy approaching the election.  Continuing abysmal jobless numbers, if accurately reported to voters, should all but doom Obama's chances in November.  If the Obama administration jobless claims do not jibe with the numbers reported by Gallup, even the Obama propaganda machine, the legacy media, might start to take note.

It could be yet another coincidence that, a few days after Gallup's comments about Obama administration unemployment data, the Department of Justice announced that it had joined in a complaint that had been filed three years earlier.

The timing, however, would indicate anything but.

If Gallup did something wrong, the company should be held to account.  But the timing of the action and the apparent ties of the original complainant to the Obama administration call into question the motivation behind the DOJ action.

You can say what you like about pollsters -- I never did care for 'em -- but Gallup publishes its information, much of it at least, publicly, on its website and through media outlets with which it partners.  Gallup's site publishes lively articles on research ranging from why hospitals don't provide great service to how many Americans smoke.  (Does a certain occupant of the White House, I wonder?)

Gallup has every First Amendment right that other media outlets have.  It will be interesting to see if any other media organizations side against Obama's apparent heavy-handed attempt to stifle Gallup's voice.

William Tate is an award-winning journalist and author.

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