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12/16/2005 Archived Entry: "More on Bandow"
Since posting the last item on Doug Bandow being 'on the take,' I have been surfing the Internet about the story with anger slowly rising up within me.
It would have been no big deal ethically if Doug had been open about his financial association with Republican Jack Abrahamoff, the indicted lobbyist in question, but Doug's work would have lost much of its impact if he had been candid because that impact sprang largely from the presumption of objectivity. Moreover, most of the periodicals that carried him would not have done so had they known his work was pay-for-play; in short, he committed fraud against those periodicals, those editors, those readers. This scandal harms not only Cato but all libertarian commentators, including me. He has done all of us a bad turn. And those hostile to libertarianism will run gleefully with the revelation...speculating about us all. Damn him.
And while I'm getting pissed off at Doug...I have to agree with the reaction of The Plain Dealer (Cleveland) columnist Connie Schultz to his explanation that the payola constituted a "lapse in judgment" on his part. She noted that "a lapse suggests a temporary or accidental stumble, while he admits to taking money from Abramoff '12 to 24 times' at $2,000 or so a pop. At that rate, it had become a second income." A lapse of judgment over a several year period beginning in the mid-90s? Give me a f***ing break.
I also agree with Jonah Goldberg's (National Review) assessment: "Stupid, Stupid, Stupid."
P.S. As a footnote, there actually was speculation that Doug was taking money from the pharm lobby when his article on drug reimportation appeared in National Review in 2003. But I never credited the rumor.