Say it ain't so, Peter.

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Back when we were young whippersnappers at Case, BJ and I had a radio show.

I interviewed a number of people for that show, including Peter Ferrara, who had written a book for the Cato Institute.

Welfare reform was a hot topic and I had asked him to give a phone interview talking about the basics of the issue for our listeners. Aid to Families with Dependent Children was having its parameters changed by the state in a money saving, AFDC recipient screwing kind of way and the debate in Ohio had degenerated into a shrill cacophany.

Peter Ferrara was a breath of fresh air. He had written a book on Social Security and was a clear thinking guy.

When we interviewed him, I was 18. To be honest, I was a sycophant in the interview and a bit startstruck. It was not my finest hour.

Nevertheless, he said some very clear headed things - like that women with dependent children should look to marriage to help sooth their woes and he also pointed out that individual stories can be moving, but to solve individual problems with policies that affect everyone are tragedies.

His thoughts on Social Security reform these days are still clear thinking, but he's become a one note piano (personal accounts, personal accounts, personal accounts). Personal accounts probably are the solution, but for God's sake repackage them.

In any event, the reason for the title of today's post is that he has admitted to taking money from indicted lobbyist Jack Abramoff. This same admission has brought low Doug Bandow, a fellow at Cato.

I don't know when he took money from Jack Abramoff to write articles that favored Jack's clients. The worst would be that Peter broke Cato's rules or took money from Jack Abramoff while he was an Assistant Attorney General or while he was working for President Reagan. The best would be that he did so while working for IPI.

Either way, I'd prefer to know up front who has paid to put information in front of my eyes and I'm disappointed that Peter Ferrara didn't feel that this worth mentioning to the folks who read what he has written.

On the other hand, it does pretty much mean that, unless he finds a way to rehabilitate his image, he'll be relegated to the dustbin of history. At this point, he's pretty much stated he's a whore and will shill for anyone with cash. Of course, he says he'll only prostitute himself long as he's already interested in the topic.

Riiiiiight. Sure. A coupla thousand bones for an essay might spark his interest, since we already know he's the kind of guy that would take a lobbyist's money, write an essay favorable to that lobbyist's clients and submit it as if it was an uninfluenced, unadulterated opinion.

Peter Ferrara's protestations sound like a woman accused of prostitution who says: "But they were all so good looking I would have slept with them anyway."

For shame, Peter, for shame.

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Oh that is so disappointing. Is noone free from monetary/political influence these days? When people at Cato are taking lobbyist money nothing is sacred. Disheartening.

Unimpeachable honor is as rare as infallibility in a culture that emphasizes money as a status symbol rather than rectitude of conduct and character. In other words, the people of whom you speak belong to a culture (American) that values what one has more than how one obtained it.
Is it surprising that anyone is taking bribes?

Abramoff is the gift that keeps on giving. If he cops a plea, a lot of people are going down. Forget Abscam, this is the big one.

And you know what, they damn well should go down.

Indeed they should. I wonder how deep the rabbit hole goes?

Hey, did you know that Jack Murtha was targeted by the FBI in the Abscam deal but never convicted? I wonder what happened there. Fascinating.

FWIW, USAT on Murtha/Abscam:

n the probe of what became known as the Abscam bribery scandal, Murtha was the only congressman involved in the complex case to emerge without facing criminal charges. He declared he was innocent, saying he had "met with two men who I believed had a substantial line of credit that could provide up to 1,000 jobs for the district. I broke no law. I took no money." A grand jury and the House ethics panel cleared Murtha of any wrongdoing.

A little more detail from the Pgh. Post-Gazette:

Mr. Murtha was one of eight members of Congress lured to a Washington townhouse by a team of FBI agents posing as representatives of a fictitious Arab sheik. They handed out briefcases filled with $50,000 in return for helping the sheik gain residency in the United States.

Mr. Murtha is on videotape telling the agents, "Not interested," but inviting the sheik to invest a few million in his struggling hometown, where unemployment reached 25 percent.

So, on first blush, not convicted for the reason he didn't do anything wrong.

Not bad, Mr. Murtha, not bad at all. Good for him.

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This page contains a single entry by Nate published on December 20, 2005 5:52 PM.

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