The Department of Housing and Urban Development started mailing 64 GB $849 iPhone 5s to Obama supporters in Detroit last week, and plans to expand the effort nationwide. Sources within HUD say they may hand out up to 2 million such taxpayer-funded ‘Obamaphones’ over the next 3 months.
Officially the program is part of the Urban Technology Initiative – a government effort to close the ‘digital divide‘ by helping poor citizens access the internet. But sources say the mailing lists are compiled directly from the Obama campaign’s database, leading many critics to conclude the phones are recompense for voting Obama.
The existence of such an effort had long been rumoured in Washington, and those suspicions went nationwide last month after a Youtube video of an Obama supporter in Cleveland talking about her ‘Obamaphone’ went viral.
But today’s news comes as a shock even for those benefiting from the program. Shirley Jackson, an unemployed, unmarried mother of seven from Detroit’s East Side was as surprised as anyone when a shiny new iPhone 5 arrived in the mail yesterday:
“I went to a campaign event in Livonia in August. And this guy, this white motherfucker, he said – give us your name and address we gonna hook you up. I asked him what he meant and he said one word: ‘iPhones’ “.
“I didn’t think it would really happen, but today I got the package! Thanks America!”
Jackson says she’s unconcerned about spending so much taxpayer money, arguing that “only rich people like Bill Gates and Chris Rock pay taxes” and that they could surely afford it.
There’s An App For That
A review of the package by our correspondent found that even Obama’s free iPhones have been turned into powerful liberal campaign tools.
All of the phones have Obama for America as their default homepage. The also have apps preinstalled that help you find the nearest abortion clinic, weigh your drug stash, and count the number of white women you’ve slept with.
Additionally, each phone comes pre-loaded with videos like Malcolm X, and several adult titles including Affirmative Smacktion and Interracial Hussies 7.
Several prominent advocacy groups including Americans for Tax Reform and the Club for Growth have announced plans to challenge the program in court. But one legal analyst is pessimistic about the chances of ending the giveaway:
“The program is certainly illegal. But Obama’s packed the courts with his cronies so it will probably stand. Welcome to the new America.”
Watch: An Obama voter in Cleveland talking about her ‘Obamaphone’: