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Reports Of Fraud, Abuse Surround Federal Free Phone Program
CBS Minnesota ^ | July 19, 2012 | Liz Collin

Posted on 07/23/2012 1:59:36 PM PDT by kevcol

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — A federal program is giving away thousands of free cell phones and minutes in Minnesota, and you’re paying for it.

Helping low-income people connect to services they need, the program gives free phones with hundreds of free minutes each month to people in need to land jobs, make appointments and stay in touch with family.

But the program has come under fire for its $1 billion price tag and reports of fraud.
.
.
Odell Hilson sold his phone for $20 because he needed the money. He didn’t remember which company gave it to him, but he didn’t seem to care that taxpayers picked up the tab.

“They would be upset, because they figure they were paying for it and if that’s the case, then that’s not my problem,” Hilson said
.
.
Still, Arkansas Congressman Tim Griffin doesn’t think the safeguards go far enough.

He believes most phones aren’t being used to help find jobs, and they’re costing the country far too much. The republican has introduced a bill in Washington to get rid of the cell phones and only cover landline costs.

“The federal government doesn’t need to be providing people with cell phones,” Griffin said.

(Excerpt) Read more at minnesota.cbslocal.com ...


TOPICS: Crime/Corruption; Culture/Society; Front Page News; Government; US: Minnesota
KEYWORDS: 2012; democrats; fraud; obama; obamaphones; taxes; taxpayers; waste; youpayforthis
“They would be upset, because they figure they were paying for it and if that’s the case, then that’s not my problem,” Hilson said


The Obama Phone Program

What exactly is the free Obama phone? The free Obama phone is a program that is meant to help the financially unstable who cannot afford access to a cell phone. Communication should not be limited to people in relation to what they are able to afford. The Lifeline program was actually created decades ago to help low income families have access to land lines. Over the years the cost of cell phones and cellular service has decreased and the program has been extended to cover cell phones.

During the Bush administration, there was the introduction of a project that gave subsidies to those who could not afford a phone. The basic principle of the program is that everyone should have access to emergency services like 911. There are a number of deaths that take place every year do to lack of proper communication, and access to emergency services should be a right for everyone.

The free Obama phone is an important program, especially for low income families that would otherwise not have access to basic communications. There are different plans to choose from. Some plans offer fewer minutes and more texting and some even include rollover minutes. Make sure you check out all the plans before choosing the one that is right for you. Get Started Now

Click Here to learn how to qualify. If you have further questions about the Obama Phone, visit our Obama Phone FAQ.


LINK: The Obama Phone Free Government Cell Phone Program.

1 posted on 07/23/2012 1:59:50 PM PDT by kevcol
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To: kevcol

Why doesn’t he bother to say, if you’re walking around with a free cell phone, you didn’t build that!

Imagine chastising working people so you can take their money and give it to deadbeats.


2 posted on 07/23/2012 2:04:13 PM PDT by Williams (No Obama)
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To: Williams

I wonder if these phones get daily texts of talking points from Baraq, MooseChelle, Nancy, and Harry?


3 posted on 07/23/2012 2:06:48 PM PDT by nascarnation
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To: Williams

If you sell crack on the street corner with an Odumbo
free phone, didn’t you have help with that?


4 posted on 07/23/2012 2:07:29 PM PDT by Fireone (Traitors must be purged from Washington D.C.- Impeach, convict, and sentence!)
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To: Williams

This is to little to late! Even if you tried to end this program now the ‘Lamestream Media’ would then be full of stories about jobs lost, doctors that could be called when needed, appointments that couldn’t get made and so forth because some heartless souls stopped a program for those less fortunate.


5 posted on 07/23/2012 2:09:17 PM PDT by Kartographer ("We mutually pledge to each other our lives, our fortunes and our sacred honor.")
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To: kevcol

The end of last year through the first half of this year, we have received this flier at least ten times.

http://hotr.us/graphics/phoneaddsmall.jpg


6 posted on 07/23/2012 2:09:17 PM PDT by DoughtyOne (Remove all Democrats from the Republican party, and we won't have much Left, just a lot of Right.)
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To: kevcol

"I'm shocked, just shocked!"

7 posted on 07/23/2012 2:10:52 PM PDT by dfwgator (FUJR (not you, Jim))
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To: kevcol

I’m shocked! shocked! that 0bama voters would fraudulently take advantage of a government program intended to help the truly needy.

“Food stamps, free cell phones, subsidized housing - because you got better things to spend your welfare check on”


8 posted on 07/23/2012 2:12:25 PM PDT by MrB (The difference between a Humanist and a Satanist - the latter knows whom he's working for)
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To: kevcol
The basic principle of the program is that everyone should have access to emergency services like 911.

PURE BOSH!!

The basic principle of the program is that all the producers should give all their money to the slackers.

9 posted on 07/23/2012 2:12:31 PM PDT by ProtectOurFreedom
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To: kevcol

Suprise!Suprise!!!


10 posted on 07/23/2012 2:12:50 PM PDT by mo (If you understand, no explanation is needed. If you don't understand, no explanation is possible.)
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To: kevcol
The right to have someone else pay your doctor bills

The right to have someone else pay your phone bill

The right to have someone else pay for your groceries

The right to have someone else pay for your housing

The right to have someone else edjumacate your chillin

The responsibility to ... oh wait there aren't any responsibilities that apply to the "needy" except perhaps the responsibility to have productive sex as often as biologically possible. After all someone else has to pay for the offspring that result.

11 posted on 07/23/2012 2:14:43 PM PDT by from occupied ga (Your government is your most dangerous enemy)
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To: ProtectOurFreedom

‘The basic principle of the program..”

Its “possibly” a “subsidy” to ATT, verizon,Sprint etc....a certain amount of that might return to a certain person’s campaign financing operation this fall...

just another good example of corporate fascism...


12 posted on 07/23/2012 2:15:51 PM PDT by mo (If you understand, no explanation is needed. If you don't understand, no explanation is possible.)
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To: kevcol
A spokesperson from the FCC said it has started to reform the program after getting complaints. By next year, it says there will be a national database to make it impossible for a household to get more than one free phone.

What are they gonna do, require picture ID before giving out these phones?

13 posted on 07/23/2012 2:16:10 PM PDT by Roccus
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To: ProtectOurFreedom
The basic principle of the program is that everyone should have access to emergency services like 911. PURE BOSH!!

Exactly. They want 911? Get them a 'reverse pager' that dials a single number and gives a location...or one of those alert necklaces that medical patients who are confined to their homes use.

Anything else is simply fertile ground for misuse.

14 posted on 07/23/2012 2:16:13 PM PDT by relictele
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To: kevcol

So, nobody freaked when they started adding those little FCC fees to your Telephone bill?

This is what they are for.
Another way to redistribute wealth, taking from you and giving to them.


15 posted on 07/23/2012 2:17:11 PM PDT by bill1952 (Choice is an illusion created between those with power - and those without)
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To: mo

"I cannot undertake to lay my finger on that article of the Constitution which granted a right to Congress of expending, on objects of benevolence, the money of their constituents." 
--James Madison

16 posted on 07/23/2012 2:17:25 PM PDT by Bloody Sam Roberts (As long a hundred of us remain alive we will never on any condition be brought under Obama's rule.)
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To: from occupied ga
to have productive sex

After encountering many of these offspring, I'm not sure the productivity score is very high :) But I know what you meant.

17 posted on 07/23/2012 2:17:59 PM PDT by relictele
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To: kevcol
I'd bet anything you can find the majority of "Flash Robs" are serviced by these "free" ObamaPhones.

No doubt they will also call The Faithful to vote for da Brutha in November, as well.

Our very own feral government is making us subsidize our own destruction. So, what else is new?

18 posted on 07/23/2012 2:20:37 PM PDT by Gritty (Money-no-object Big Government spends more and more money for less and less objects-Mark Steyn)
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To: Kartographer

We need to stop worrying what they will say, and fight them as they fight us every day.

A candidate who called out all these freeloaders would get 60% of the vote.


19 posted on 07/23/2012 2:20:53 PM PDT by Williams (No Obama)
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To: kevcol

I wonder how many of these phones are being used for illegal activities?

I bet a bunch are used for drug deals and gang communications.

This has bad idea written all over it.


20 posted on 07/23/2012 2:22:30 PM PDT by History Repeats (Drink plenty of TEA, but avoid the Koolaid.)
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To: Williams

BUT...But...but what about the children? (silently weeping. NOT!)


21 posted on 07/23/2012 2:24:28 PM PDT by Kartographer ("We mutually pledge to each other our lives, our fortunes and our sacred honor.")
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To: kevcol

What, do you expect these flash mobs to just organize themselves?


22 posted on 07/23/2012 2:29:20 PM PDT by Buckeye McFrog
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To: kevcol
What?
FRAUD.
No Way.
23 posted on 07/23/2012 2:31:07 PM PDT by DeaconRed (My vote in Nov will be dictated by my extreme hatred for ZERO and what he is doing to our country.)
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To: kevcol

A good friend of mine has just under $1M in cash in the bank. He owns his $500K house free and clear. He’s retired, has zero debt and no credit cards. His only income is less than $10K/year in interest on savings.

He recently discovered that he’s eligible for $250/month in food stamps, and a free Obamaphone based on his income being below the poverty line! Apparently some of these programs don’t even factor net worth into their equation of who’s qualified for them. Of course, being a conservative, he’s not having any of it. But, knowing that a millionaire is legally eligible for these so-called safety nets for the “poor” should be a scandal.


24 posted on 07/23/2012 2:32:07 PM PDT by lonevoice (Today I broke my personal record for most consecutive days lived)
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To: kevcol
Interview with this woman in line for a free phone:

REPORTER: On an abandoned West Side lot, a sign on a bright green tent advertises a deal too good for many to resist.

CITIZEN: My daughter told me about it.

REPORTER: What did she say?

CITIZEN: It’s a government phone.

REPORTER: So, you don’t have to pay anything for it?

CITIZEN: No.

REPORTER: She’s right. This is one case where free really means free, at least for the people receiving the phones.

.
.
REPORTER: Who pays for it?

CITIZEN: The government, the taxpayers, I don’t pay for it. Like I said, I can’t afford it, so it helps me.

REPORTER: You have a phone around your neck. Why do you need a phone that I pay for?

CITIZEN: I can stop paying for it.

25 posted on 07/23/2012 2:32:18 PM PDT by kevcol
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To: relictele

“They want 911? Get them a ‘reverse pager’”.

I think that would cost even more than necessary. It used to be, and I expect it still is, the case that any cell phone, even if not activated or connected to a provider, must be able to dial and connect to 911. Instead of sending old cell phones to landfills, etc., distribute them to these losers. That way, when they go to McDonalds they’d still be able to reach 911 if their Chicken McNugget box was short a piece.


26 posted on 07/23/2012 2:32:35 PM PDT by MayflowerMadam
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To: kevcol

If having a phone is important to finding a job then give them a softphone and featureless Voip . won’t cost $15 a month.


27 posted on 07/23/2012 2:38:19 PM PDT by Vendome (Don't take life so seriously, you won't live through it anyway)
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To: lonevoice

Our Governor, Tom Corbett, has tried to impose some asset tests on Food Stamps to prevent this kind of scenario. Advocates for the Pooooooor and the Religious Left have been dumping on him as if he is trying to steal the milk away from newborn babies.


28 posted on 07/23/2012 2:43:12 PM PDT by Buckeye McFrog
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To: kevcol
The republican has introduced a bill in Washington to get rid of the cell phones and only cover landline costs.

“The federal government doesn’t need to be providing people with cell phones,” Griffin said.

Yet another "republican" who doesn't get it. I don't have a land line, by choice. Why should I have to pay for anybody's phone but my own, cell or land line?

29 posted on 07/23/2012 2:45:51 PM PDT by Graybeard58 (Free people, when presented only with evil choices, create other choices.(EternalVigilance))
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To: kevcol
He believes most phones aren’t being used to help find jobs . . .

Another one of those Republican racists stereotyping the less fortunate.

30 posted on 07/23/2012 2:45:57 PM PDT by madprof98
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To: kevcol

The disgusting thing (but why choose just ONE?) about this is the sense of entitlement these parasites have.

“I deserve a cell phone!”
“Why?”
“Because I WANT one.”

And that line about “communication shouldn’t be dependent on one’s ability to afford it ...”. What?!?!! Of course it should! What ELSE should it depend on???


31 posted on 07/23/2012 2:48:19 PM PDT by IronJack (=)
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To: Roccus

A photo ID is already required to receive a phone. Yes, the same photo ID the “poor” aren’t able to get in order to vote.


32 posted on 07/23/2012 3:11:19 PM PDT by nodumbblonde ("The ladder of success is best climbed by stepping on the rungs of opportunity." - Ayn Rand)
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To: relictele

Any cellphone, even if it has no paid service, card, contract, month-to-month can dial 911. Same with a land line.


33 posted on 07/23/2012 3:18:25 PM PDT by matt04
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To: kevcol
But the program has come under fire for its $1 billion price tag and reports of fraud.

Maybe I should report my sis in law. She has muliple free cell phones. I said something to her about it, but of course, she ignored me.

34 posted on 07/23/2012 3:18:36 PM PDT by MEGoody (Ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.)
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To: kevcol
"The basic principle of the program is that everyone should have access to emergency services like 911."

You do not need cell phone service to call 911. The FCC requires wireless service providers to transmit all 911 calls, regardless of whether the caller subscribes to the provider’s service or not.

35 posted on 07/23/2012 3:24:23 PM PDT by Bubba_Leroy (The Obamanation Continues)
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To: kevcol
I know the press is incapable of finding anything out that's not fed to them by a dem operative, but it would be nice to know how many of those free phones are used in 'flashrobbing' stores. My guess? Most of 'em...
36 posted on 07/23/2012 3:28:11 PM PDT by GOPJ (Political correctness is simply George Orwell's Newspeak by a non-threatening name. FR- Bernard Marx)
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To: ProtectOurFreedom
The basic principle of the program is that everyone should have access to emergency services like 911. PURE BOSH!!

Phones that can be charged - one that no longer have contracts and can't be used to make phone calls - can still reach 911... So you're right, it's pure Bosh... (if you have an old cell phone it can be donated it to a local abused women's center for 911 calls - they can use them)

37 posted on 07/23/2012 3:32:12 PM PDT by GOPJ (Political correctness is simply George Orwell's Newspeak by a non-threatening name. FR- Bernard Marx)
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To: kevcol

Managed Health Services (MHS) does this in Indiana.
MHS is part of the Medicaid system.


38 posted on 07/23/2012 3:43:19 PM PDT by TheCause ("that these United Colonies are, and of right ought to be, free and independent States")
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To: kevcol

It is a program paid by anyone who gets a cell phone bill and varies from state to state. It is listed on the bill as “universal fee” or something like that. I expect that after the supreme court ruling on healthcare being considered a tax that anyone who has an income and DOES NOT have a cell phone will be taxed or penalized. Wait for it.


39 posted on 07/23/2012 3:54:51 PM PDT by Toespi
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To: kevcol

Knock me over with a freakin feather!

What did they think was going to happen?

Never mind. It’s about feeling good on the part of the donor.

Except the donor is using my money.


40 posted on 07/23/2012 4:17:59 PM PDT by cicero2k
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To: bill1952

Yes - as a matter of fact I DID call - was told it was DA LAW and Dey couldn’t do nuthin bout that charge. So in other words, just shut up and pay it.

As someone said on another thread about freebies - give em something free and they piddle in your Cheerios.

ALL this makes me sick. Take from the Haves and give to the Have Not’s - sound like a quote from that LBJ speech? Yep. Decades later - more welfare and more demands FROM them. Disgusting.


41 posted on 07/23/2012 4:20:45 PM PDT by WaterWeWaitinFor (November....... ah yes - leaves will fall and so will the Ozippy Admin.)
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To: kevcol

“These “Obama phones” as they are called by the underclass are nothing but highway robbery and the tax-paying public are the victims.


42 posted on 07/23/2012 4:58:08 PM PDT by elpadre (AfganistaMr Obama said the goal was to "disrupt, dismantle and defeat al-hereQaeda" and its allies.)
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To: kevcol

“These “Obama phones” as they are called by the underclass are nothing but highway robbery and the tax-paying public are the victims.


43 posted on 07/23/2012 4:58:56 PM PDT by elpadre (AfganistaMr Obama said the goal was to "disrupt, dismantle and defeat al-hereQaeda" and its allies.)
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To: kevcol

Here’s the video report on YouTube: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pRNWIWyWmRI&feature=plcp


44 posted on 07/23/2012 5:20:18 PM PDT by FDT2008
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To: ProtectOurFreedom

Well, here in Japan.. even if my mobile is disconnected, the 911 (119) service still works... maybe they should do the same back in the states... Then they couldn’t use that excuse ;))


45 posted on 07/23/2012 5:52:49 PM PDT by Bikkuri (Choose, a communist, socialist, or Patriot)
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To: MayflowerMadam

The comment about the nuggets has me rolling on the floor....thanks needed that chuckle


46 posted on 07/23/2012 8:56:05 PM PDT by Engedi
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To: ProtectOurFreedom; MayflowerMadam
 
 
The basic principle of the program is that everyone should have access to emergency services like 911.
 
Yep, utter garbage claim there - the FCC has made unfettered access to 911 over wireless providers a requirement since December of 1997, RE CC Docket No. 94-102 - http://transition.fcc.gov/Bureaus/Wireless/Orders/1997/fcc97402.txt
 
Whether you are a subscriber to a wireless carrier service or not, if a cell phone can power up, you can get 911.
 

47 posted on 07/24/2012 2:30:38 AM PDT by lapsus calami (What's that stink? Code Pink ! ! And their buddy Murtha, too!)
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To: MayflowerMadam; matt04

The point is not the cost and it’s not the requirement for phones to connect to 911 with or without a live contract.

The point is calling the bluff of people who simply want to keep the gravy train going. Counter their sophistry with a solution that doesn’t enable further misuse. Like ‘child porn,’ the 911 ruse is simply meant to deter the opposition.

In a similar vein, when Vonage and other services were becoming widely adopted, the landline telcos used their political influence to claim that end-users would be put in danger because 911 wouldn’t function properly. For better or worse, Vonage et al devised a system to facilitate 911. But the point was the the telcos were using the power of the state to protect their profits - yes, crony capitalism existed long before Obama took office.

911 isn’t a panacea. However, given the frequency of calls to 911 from areas with a large concentration of free phones, it’s important.


48 posted on 07/24/2012 6:29:37 AM PDT by relictele
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To: lonevoice

Your friend and I are alike in this regard.

I own two homes free and clear, two autos free and clear, and an aircraft free and clear.

I am eligible for food stamps, Medicaid - and a free phone!
LOL - I might be able to get section 8 housing if I tried.

Your friend does have far more in the bank than do I since I am cash poor compared to him. :)


49 posted on 07/24/2012 9:40:39 AM PDT by bill1952 (Choice is an illusion created between those with power - and those without)
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To: Bloody Sam Roberts

Great Quote!


50 posted on 07/24/2012 11:10:41 AM PDT by American in Israel (A wise man's heart directs him to the right, but the foolish mans heart directs him toward the left.)
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