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May 12, 2005

Ah. So That's How the Republican Party Works...

Mark Schmitt writes:

The Decembrist: Peter Ferrara: Too Busy Being a Hack: From Franklin Foer's article on Jack Abramoff and the corruption of Washington think tanks, I learn.... Consider the case of Peter Ferrara, the fellow who wrote a paper on privatizing Social Security in college and supposedly has spent the twenty years since refining and promoting the idea. Only he wasn't. What he was doing was Abramoff's errands:

As money-for-influence scandals unwind, pundits usually invoke Deep Throat's famous aphorism, 'Follow the money.' But, to understand Abramoff's success, you must follow the byline. Seemingly every time Abramoff acquired a client, Norquist or ATR's chief counsel, Peter Ferrara, would write a Washington Times column making that client's case. In the mid-'90s, Channel One, a TV network beamed into schools, paid Abramoff several hundred thousand dollars. Meanwhile, Norquist argued, 'Channel One has come up with a brilliant free-market innovation that can translate into lower taxes.' In 1998, the Puerto Rican statehood movement shelled out $400,000 for Abramoff's services. That year, Ferrara made the conservative case for that client's cause: 'Moreover, unlike the United States, Puerto Rico has school vouchers and school prayer. Polls indicate it would be another bastion for the religious right.' After Abramoff reportedly began working with the Malaysian government, a Ferrara op-ed argued, 'The U.S. should reaffirm its relations with Malaysia and collaborate closely with it in the global war against terror.'

The Republican scandals and the Republican policy failures, it turns out, are intimately related in more ways than you might realize.

Posted by DeLong at May 12, 2005 11:47 AM