For the Good of Illinois

News Busters: CBS, NBC Still Silent on Obama’s VA Spending $18 Million on Artwork

August 2, 2016 12:07 AM
(not rated)
 2016-08-02_12-07-42
 
Original Article Here
 
 

CBS, NBC Still Silent on Obama’s VA Spending $18 Million on Artwork

By Nicholas Fondacaro | August 2, 2016 | 12:59 AM EDT
 
 
When the evening newscasts wrapped up on Monday night, ABC was still the only network of the "big three" to cover the latest saga in the scandal at the Department of Veterans Affairs. It recently came to light that the VA had spent roughly $20 million dollars on art for its facilities. "But while the administration was spending more than ever on veterans it was also spending more of your tax dollars on art for veteran facilities," reported Fox News Correspondent Kevin Corke Monday evening.
 
"And we’re talking about millions like the $6 million spent on art at a facility in Palo Alto California; including more than $1 million doled out for a decorative rock," Corke said in his report. According to Corke the VA also spent, "$21,500 for a 27 foot artificial Christmas tree; that one delivered to a facility in Ohio."
 
The sheer cost of the expenditures is staggering:
 
In all, nearly $20 million spent between 2004 and 2014. The spending, laid out in a report by the watch dog group Open the Books, alleged the VA Spent $18 million of the $20 million during the Obama administration alone. Including millions spent on art during the VA scandal in Phoenix where dozens of veterans died waiting for care.
 
 
 
In his report Corke interviewed Adam Andrzejewski, the Founder and CEO of Open the Books, and he condemned the VA’s extravagant expenditures. "No blind veteran can see a fancy sculpture and every veteran deserves to be able to see a doctor," he exclaimed, "The VA is violating the sacred social bond to care for the warrior who fought so hard for us. And that’s why rooting out of waste, fraud, and duplication is so important."
 
Corke also noted that the ridiculous expenditures have caught the eye of Republican politicians on Capitol Hill. Illinoi Republican Senator Mark Kirk said in a statement, and repeated by Corke, ""I’m calling for an immediate moratorium on art purchases until a Congressionally approved process is formally instated, so the American people are informed on how their tax dollars are spent.""
 
In addition, Spanish-language networks Univision and Telemundo also have yet to have any reports on the VA’s extremely large purchases. And in contrast to the Spanish-language networks, CBS, and NBC their competitor ABC reported on the spending revelations the previous Friday. 
 
Transcript below: 
 
 
Fox News Channel
Special Report
August 1, 2016
6:20:40 PM Eastern
 
 
BRET BAIER: President Obama is touting progress in taking care of veterans by his administration, but even as the commander-in-chief talks about upgrading services, there are new questions tonight about where some of the money is really going. Correspondent Kevin Corke reports tonight from the White House.
 
[Cuts to video]
 
BARACK OBAMA: We've got a lot more work to do.
 
KEVIN CORKE: President Obama today at the Disabled American Veteran Convention in Atlanta, highlighting improvements in veterans care during his time in office.
 
OBAMA: Working together over these past eight years we’ve delivered real progress for our veterans. And we can’t tell up.
 
CORKE: In his remarks, the president thanked veterans for their service and tried to move beyond the headline grabbing scandals over lengthy wait times for veterans medical care.
 
OBAMA: During my presidency, we will have increased funding for veterans by more than 85 percent.
 
CORKE: But while the administration was spending more than ever on veterans it was also spending more of your tax dollars on art for veteran facilities. And we’re talking about millions like the $6 million spent on art at a facility in Palo Alto California; including more than $1 million doled out for a decorative rock. In all, nearly $20 million spent between 2004 and 2014. The spending, laid out in a report by the watch dog group Open the Books, alleged the VA Spent $18 million of the $20 million during the Obama administration alone. Including millions spent on art during the VA scandal in Phoenix where dozens of veterans died waiting for care.
 
ADAM ANDRZEJEWSKI: No blind veteran can see a fancy sculpture and every veteran deserves to be able to see a doctor.
 
CORKE: Critics like Open the Books’ Adam Andrzejewski says it's about priorities.
 
ANDRZEJEWSKI: The VA is violating the sacred social bond to care for the warrior who fought so hard for us. And that’s why rooting out of waste, fraud, and duplication is so important.
 
CORKE: On Capitol Hill, Illinoi Republican Senator Mark Kirk took notice. He wrote Veteran Affairs Secretary Bob McDonald to point out that, despite a moratorium, the VA still spend $1.8 million on art in 2015.  And in a statement Kirk said quote, "I’m calling for an immediate moratorium on art purchases until a Congressionally approved process is formally instated, so the American people are informed on how their tax dollars are spent."
 
[Cuts back to live]
 
CORKE: And one more expenditure to tell you about Bret. And this one is a real head scratcher too. $21,500 for a 27 foot artificial Christmas tree; that one delivered to a facility in Ohio. And it's difficult to explain expenditures like that when you consider the long wait times. And people were saying that was tied, at least in part, to not having the money for proper staffing.
 
 
Original Article Here
 

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