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Justice Department Targets Gallup With Multimillion Dollar False Claims Suit

“We’re just shocked the Department of Justice would pursue this kind of a meritless claim"

Image source: AP via Politico

The U.S. Department of Justice has joined a multimillion dollar lawsuit against the Gallup Organization, according to reports, shortly after the polling company issued a subtle warning to the Bureau of Labor Statistics against manipulating national unemployment figures.

William Tate at The American Thinker summarizes:

Gallup publishes its research without seasonal adjustments.  The [Bureau of Labor Statistics'] 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 [official] statistics.  In reporting its latest jobless numbers -- in a commentary titled August Unemployment Not Looking Good -- Gallup [noted]:

"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 [the administration] puts a finger on the scale. [Emphasis added]

According to the Washington Post, the suit was originally filed against Gallup three years ago, and alleges that Gallup inflated prices for contracts with the U.S. Mint, the State Department and other federal agencies.

“The result is that while the Government overpays for Gallup’s services in the form of a falsely inflated contract price, Gallup employees earn larger bonuses because the gross margin on the contract grows in proportion to both the larger contract price and lower actual costs,” the complaint states.

The Justice Department claims the U.S. “suffered actual damages of at least $10 million” on two separate occasions and, in the words of the Washington Post, Gallup reaped "outsized profits."

While agreeing that Gallup should pay the appropriate penalty if guilty, conservatives are quick to point out the suspicious timing and circumstances behind the suit.

One of the most significant aspects, discovered by the Daily Caller, is that the "whistleblower" behind the lawsuit, Michael Lindley, was a field organizer for Barack Obama during the 2008 election.

More than that, in today's era of appalling and largely unchecked government waste, it is somewhat significant that the Department of Justice chose to open up a three-year-old case over "outsized profits" against a company publishing information that could hurt the president's re-election effort.

Gallup maintains its innocence in the suit.

“We’re just shocked the Department of Justice would pursue this kind of a meritless claim,” William Kruse, associate counsel with Gallup, told Politico.

(H/T: David Madiera)

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