One company told MailOnline it will fire a salesperson who laughed uproariously when a woman said she would sell her phone to buy shoes. Conservative firebrand James O’Keefe sent undercover actors to pose as ‘Obama phone’ seekers aiming to sell the goods; no one turned them down.
‘If you’re interested in learning — wanting to know how much the phone’s worth, [I] recommend you go to any pawn shop,’ this Stand Up Wireless worker told conservative activist James O’Keefe’s undercover plant. ‘They’ll be more than happy to tell you, OK?’
Undercover video shot in May by a conservative activist shows two corporate distributors of free cell phones handing out the mobile devices to people who have promised to sell them for drug money, to buy shoes and handbags, to pay off their bills, or just for extra spending cash.
The ‘Obama phone,’ which made its ignominious YouTube debut outside a Cleveland, Ohio presidential campaign event last September, is a project of the Federal Communications Commission’s ‘Lifeline’ program, which makes land line and mobile phones available to Americans who meet low-income requirements.
Lifeline was a $2.19 billion program in 2012.
Recipients most commonly demonstrate their need by flashing an Electronic Benefits Transfer card to verify their eligibility for welfare payments, or by bringing tax statements to a phone provider.
The phones’ legitimate purposes include poverty-level job applicants’ use as contact numbers for job interviews and emergency contacts for children of single parents.
But when James O’Keefe, whose Project Veritas is a perennial thorn in the side of progressive policymakers, sent an undercover actor into a Stand Up Wireless location in Philadelphia, the man’s stated purpose was to buy drugs.
‘Once you guys give me this phone, it’s my phone?’ he asked an employee inside a Philadelphia brick-and-mortal Stand Up Wireless location. ‘I can, like, sell it and stuff?’
‘Whatever you want to do with it,’ the worker replied.
‘So I’m [going to] get some money for heroin,’ he offered.
The employee coolly responded, ‘Hey, I don’t judge.’
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