Congressman Frank Pallone moving his lips, and fingers
On early Monday morning, 6:54, in the midst of the Bridgegate network and cable TV media feeding frenzy engulfing Governor Chris Christie, CNN reported an “Exclusive” story that “federal officials” were investigating whether Christie had “improperly used” some of the Sandy Relief money used to produce the Stonger than the Storm tourism ad campaign. The source of the “Exclusive” was Congressman Frank Pallone.
Within the hour, Pallone had widely released a statement to the media and posted it on his federally funded website, that contained the information reported “Exclusively” by CNN.
That should have been the media’s first clue that Pallone is not trustworthy. He offered an exclusive to CNN, and then spread, the story, like a crack whore needing another fix.
But no, the media lapped up the story. It led the 8 am hour of most network morning news shows, and dominated the the political news of the day as an “additional federal investigation” that Christie was facing.
The story was a lie. Not an exaggeration. A lie.
MMM was the first media outlet to fact check the story. We started doing so immediately upon reading it on CNN.
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Posted: January 15th, 2014 | Author: Art Gallagher | Filed under: #STTS, Frank Pallone, Pallone | Tags: #STTS, Chris Christie, Frank Pallone, HUD, HUD Inspector General David Montoya, Ian O'Connor | 7 Comments »
Governor Chris Christie and HUD Sec Shaun Donovan announce Sandy Relief Grants in Highlands, April 29, 2013
More on this story here and here.
UPDATE: Ian O’Connor of the HUD’s Inspector General’s Office responded to our inquiry regarding the audit into the #Stronger Than The Storm ad campaign.
“Is this audit anything other than what would occur in the normal course of events regarding any HUD grant?
Is there a separate investigation into the Stronger Than The Storm in ad campaign?”
“We received a request from Congress and are performing an audit to address those concerns.”
MMM followed up asking:
“Is there anything out of the ordinary about this audit?
Are all Congressional requests accepted?”
“We have no further statements.”
So here is what we know. Congressman Frank Pallone asked the Department of Housing and Urban Development to look into the Stronger than the Strom ad campaign.
HUD said, OK.
When the federal government grants money, for anything, they later follow up with an audit to be sure the money was spent as intended.
Congressman Frank Pallone thought it would be clever to inform the media that the Department of Housing and Urban Development’s audit into funds granted for Sandy Relief was an investigation into Governor Chris Christie and his appearance in last summer’s #Stronger Than The Storm ad campaign.
CNN and the left stream media either fell for it or went along this morning.
MMM asked Ray Zaccaro, Pallone’s press contact in Washington for documentation that the audit is anything other than the normal course of business. Zaccaro said there was no documentation, just a phone call from someone at HUD responding to Pallone’s August letter on the matter saying, “yeah, we’ll look into it.” Zaccaro said that HUD wouldn’t discuss investigations, “except with us, Members of Congress.”
MMM reached out to Brian Sullivan in HUD’s press office for confirmation of a separate investigation. Sullivan referred us to Marta Metelko in the HUD Inspector General’s office. We received an auto reply from Ms. Metelko referring us to Mr. Ian O’Connor. We’ve yet to hear back from O’Connor.
Posted: January 13th, 2014 | Author: Art Gallagher | Filed under: Uncategorized | Tags: #STTS, Chris Christie, Frank Pallone, HUD, HUD Secretary Shaun Donovan, Ian O'Connor, Marta Metelko, Ray Zaccaro, Stronger than the storm | 5 Comments »