Franklin Foer’s article on Abramoff’s corruption of right-wing intellectuals is must-read background on the Bandow scandal. I think it really highlights the fact that conservatives and libertarians need to do a better job of self-policing. We have a natural tendency not to look too closely at our erstwhile ideological allies. I think a thorough housekeeping is in order: we need to not simply ignore “think tanks” and “journalists” that are little more than shills for special interests, but we need to actively dissociate ourselves from them and make sure we’re not tainted by their ethically dubious behavior.
Foer points out that all roads lead to Grover Norquist. As my personal contribution to the housekeeping, allow me to point out one of the most transparent front groups around, Grover’s Property Rights Alliance. As I hint at here and discuss here, this “think tank” is, in fact, no more than an excuse for the music, movie, and pharmaceutical industries to associate their pet issues with the public backlash against the Kelo decision. Reputable think tanks should stay as far away from them as possible.