As travelers suffer through long airport security lines, the Transportation Security Administration is spending millions on advertising, public relations, new uniforms, and office furniture.
The agency has blamed budget constraints for the nightmarish lines, which have caused 4,000 Americans to miss their flights and 100 travelers to sleep on cots overnight at Chicago’s O’Hare airport.
However, an analysis of recent government contracts reveals that over the past month the TSA has spent more than $2 million on various services unrelated to increasing manpower or improving security.
The agency awarded a public relations contract worth $53,234 for news clippings and media monitoring from a company that worked with President Barack Obama’s 2012 reelection campaign.
Cision cites Obama’s campaign as a “success story” and credits its data operation for his victory over Republican nominee Mitt Romney. The company said the campaign used their “social intelligence software to monitor social and assess conversations of key audiences in swing states and respond accordingly.”
“The ability to collect and analyze data on a large scale allowed the Obama team to model behaviors and target communications,” Cision said. “The Obama team could, for example, predict which types of people could be persuaded by which forms of contact and content.”