One of the things that had been bugging me about the recent pay-for-play kerfuffle surrounding Doug Bandow and Jack Abramoff (beyond, that is, the professional seppuku of a guy who’d struck me as generally likeable in our few interactions) was a post at The New Republic‘s blog by Franklin Foer, who says he’d investigated the Bandow/Abramoff connection for an article that appeared in the magazine last May. Says Foer:

I asked Bandow point blank about his relationship with Abramoff, and he denied any financial relationship. (When I brought the matter to the attention of CATO officals, they declined to pursue it.)

And Foer declined to pursue whether “Cato” is an acronym. But I’ll confess, the post made me uneasy. Full disclosure: I used to work at Cato; I like and respect the folks who run it, and was more than a little disturbed by the charge that they had turned a blind eye to a fairly serious charge of conflict of interest. Well, Executive VP David Boaz writes to say that they didn’t:

Frank’s memory is mistaken. Or maybe we never got back to him. But in fact, as soon as we heard the allegations, we investigated them. Apparently the answers [we got] were not entirely accurate. As soon as we did find out the reality, we acted.

That sounds like a pretty reasonable response under the circumstances; it sounds like they got scammed too. I’d hope (though probably shouldn’t expect) that this would limit the amount of this muck from this that splashes on their glass foyer.

—posted by Julian


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