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Monday, March 05, 2007

Wall Street Journal and Buckeye Institute: Paid Propaganda Or Truth?

CINCINNATI (TDB) -- Both the Wall Street Journal and the non-partisan Buckeye Institute for Public Policy printed articles in the not so distant past that advocated in favor of Ken Blackwell's plan to cap taxes and spending in Ohio -- a plan that was called TEL. But there are records in Ohio showing that an economic consulting firm in Washington got a $41,500 payment from the TEL committee, and a partner in the firm was Blackwell's co-author on the Journal piece that the Buckeye Institute is still distributing on its Web site.

The payment shows up in Ohio campaign finance records filed last year in Columbus. The article was written in 2005 and remains online and effusive about TEL: "The proposed TEL would be terrific for Ohio's prosperity."

The article is HERE, and Blackwell and economist Dr. Arthur Laffer contended TEL was a needed reform. The independent, non-partisan and conservative leaning Buckeye Institute also published this piece by its president, David Hansen, that found benefits in TEL.

However, the Ohio Secretary of State's campaign finance Web site shows that a $41,500 payment went from the group sponsoring TEL to Laffer's firm last June. The payment from Citizens for Tax Reform to Arduin, Laffer & Moore was listed as reimbursement for consulting work.

Details about the economics consulting firm are HERE , and show that Laffer, who grew up in the Cleveland area, is a partner.

Blackwell is now a senior fellow at the Buckeye Institute. But how independent is the conservative think-tank? Blackwell helped fund Citizens for Tax Reform with his own money, Citizens for Tax Reform pushed TEL, Blackwell and Laffer together wrote an article praising TEL, the Buckeye Institute still is distributing the article online, and Laffer's firm got $41,500 from Citizens for Tax Reform, which, again, was partly funded by Blackwell.

Why is there still no public disclosure by the Buckeye Institute that Citizens for Tax Reform had a financial arrangement with Laffer's firm?


  1. -posted by Matt N.

    I think it would be very difficult to look at BI's policy papers and
    say they are partisan. That couldn't be said about the taxpayer-funded
    Policy Matters, which is run by liberal politicians and a union leader who was deeply involved in the BWC scandals.

  2. What a shocker! A free market conservative think tank favors a Tax and Expenditure Limitation Amendment. I wonder if there's any precedent? Bill, you are a blowhard.

  3. Anon 11:18 p.m.

    Whew. Blowhard? That puts me in some pretty good company, I suppose. Considering the kinds of political insults people toss around these days, blowhard ain't too bad. Thanks for stopping by. And, more importantly, thanks for being civil while expressing your opinion.