Brian Maass at CBS4 deserves to win the highest award for public service broadcast journalism this year for exposing rampant fraud in the Obamaphone program in Denver.
Maass’s story recently received the attention of the FCC, just as the government was preparing to expand the waste-filled cellphone program to include broadband service.
Federal Communications Commission Commissioner Ajit Pai showed the CBS4 report during an FCC meeting, and called the Denver station’s findings “shocking.”
“The CBS4 story highlighted the fact that in places there are no safeguards, workers are signing up people using fraudulent certifications,” said Pai, one of five FCC commissioners.
Before the feds expand the program to include broadband service, they really need to shut down the current fraud and abuse to prevent further waste of taxpayer dollars that are paid by cellphone users to the tune of $1.6 billion a year.
Unfortunately, the board disregarded the findings and voted 3-2 to expand the Lifeline program.
“There are no safeguards to make sure the dollars are spent wisely. In the middle of Denver at a tent this fraudulent activity was going on. If it can happen in Denver it can happen anywhere,” Pai said.
Of course it is. But it appears that the Obama-appointed commissioners were more interested in creating a legacy, albeit a wasteful one, for their boss, than looking out for the interest of taxpayers.