By Dick Morris on September 10, 2012
The Obama Administration’s Justice Department announced, on August 22nd, that it was joining a lawsuit by a former Gallup employee and whistleblower against the Gallup Corporation for allegedly overcharging the government on polling work.
The announcement comes on the heels of a confrontation between Gallup staffers and Obama strategist David Axelrod in which he accused the company of using out of date sampling methods which, he said, generated polling data negative to the president.
The whistleblower’s lawsuit has been kicking around since 2009, but the Justice Department joined the suit only after the run-in between Axelrod and Gallup in April of this year.
In a scene right out of a typical authoritarian regime, Fox News reports that “employees at the venerable Gallup polling firm suggested they felt threatened by Obama campaign adviser David Axelrod when he questioned the methodology of a mid-April poll showing Mitt Romney leading the president – according to internal emails published Thursday.”
That poll that sent Axelrod ballistic showed Romney leading Obama 48-43 percent.
The Daily Caller published e mails that started when Axelrod sent a tweet to Gallup saying the tracking poll was “saddled with some methodological problems” and directing followers to a National Journal story in which a professor suggested outdated sampling.
According to the email chain titled “Axelrod vs. Gallup,” the White House in addition asked that a Gallup staffer “come over and explain our methodology,” which was apparently perceived as a subtle threat.
Fox News reported that “a Gallup official said in an email he thought Axelrod’s pressure ‘sounds a little like a Godfather situation.’”
Gallup refused to change its methodology to suit the White House.
And the Justice Department intervention in the whistleblower suit came three months later. The whistleblower, Michael Lindley, claims that Gallup violated the False Claims Act by overcharging the federal government for its services to the U.S. Mint, the State Department and other federal agencies. The Justice Department plans to add Gallup’s work with FEMA to the list of alleged overcharges covered in the lawsuit.
Lindley charged that Gallup overestimated the number of hours of field work that the government surveys would require and that it billed the feds based on the inflated estimates.
According to the Washington Times, Lindley worked for the Obama campaign in 2008 as an Iowa field organizer based out of Council Bluffs, Iowa.
As the election progresses, this blatant effort to influence Gallup’s data and its poll numbers is an example of Chicago political thugs at their worst.