One of the major providers of the free cell phones—3.8 million subscribers as of late 2011—is Miami-based TracFone Wireless, a company whose president and CEO, Frederick “F.J.” Pollak, has donated at least $156,500 to Democratic candidates and committees this cycle, including at least $50,000 to the Obama campaign.
Pollak’s wife, Abigail, is a campaign bundler for Obama who has raised more than $632,000 for the president this cycle, and more than $1.5 million since 2007. She has personally contributed more than $200,000 to Democratic candidates and committees since 2008.
The Pollaks hosted Obama at their Miami Beach home in June for a $40,000-per-plate fundraising dinner, and hosted a similar event with Michelle Obama in July 2008. The couple personally donated a combined $66,200 to Obama’s reelection effort that year.
Visitor logs indicate that Frederick and Abigail Pollak have visited the White House seven times. In 2009, the president appointed Abigail to serve on the “Commission to Study the Potential Creation of a National Museum of the American Latino.”
TracFone, a direct financial beneficiary of the Lifeline program, receives $10 a month for each subscriber in the form of federal subsidies. The company can make an additional profit selling extra minutes to Lifeline subscribers who exceed their monthly allowance of 250 prepaid minutes.
TracFone and other wireless providers claim that revenue from selling additional minutes to Lifeline customers is low, but decline to publicly release such figures.
It looks similar to the government union racket — taxpayer dollars spent in ways that end up benefiting a Democrat constituent group or supporter, and end up buying more Democrat votes at the same time. The only loser is the loser who is paying his or her own cell phone bill, as a tax levied on that bill is the source of LifeLine’s money.
But we’re ugly to look into this story, in which fraud is evidently rampant and the politics spin the obvious way. And racist too.