Cato Senior Fellow Doug Bandow has resigned following the revelation that he wrote (for pay) articles promoting the interests of Jack Abramoff’s clients, including the Commonwealth of the Mariana Islands and the gaming interests of the Choctaw tribe. This is disappointing – I liked Bandow best among the Cato crew (unless you count Julian Sanchez). And the amount of money involved was piddling – $2000 a pop or about $24K all up. A quick-and-dirty consultancy job could have brought in a similar amount, without raising any conflict of interest.
Meanwhile, Peter Ferrara, a senior policy adviser at the conservative Institute for Policy Innovation is sticking to his job despite taking Abramoffs cash. No surprise there.
In Australia, we had an extensive controversy over cash for comment. The leading offender, Alan Jones, not only got off unscathed but went on to play a prominent role in stirring up the recent Sydney race riots.
But the question that really strikes me is this: If Bandow’s relatively minor ethical lapse is a sackable offence, how can Cato continue to harbour Steve Milloy? He’s not only a corporate shill of the worst kind, but a walking offence to civilised standards of behavior. Cato Institute President Edward Crane, who has failed to sack Milloy, ought to resign before Bandow.