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Fake Op/Eds: Think Tanks and Piggy Banks
Two opinion columnists and fellows at conservative think tanks have admitted to taking money from indicted lobbyist Jack Abramoff to write favorable columns about his clients. The Cato Institute's Doug Bandow, who had a syndicated column with Copley News Service, "accepted money from Abramoff for writing between 12 and 24 articles over a period of years, beginning in the mid '90s." Bandow resigned from Cato, and his column has been suspended. The Institute for Policy Innovation's Peter Ferrara also wrote "pay for play" columns for Abramoff, but, unlike Bandow, he isn't remorseful. "I've done it in the past, and I'll do it in the future," Ferrara said. Ferrara's boss also says the arrangement isn't "wrong or unethical." None of the columns contained any disclosure. BusinessWeek noted that the columns "provided a seemingly independent validation of the arguments the Abramoff team were using to try to sway Congressional action."