The Rittenhouse Review

A Philadelphia Journal of Politics, Finance, Ethics, and Culture

Sunday, January 16, 2005  

A Language Only Conservatives Understand?

Ever since Williams/Paige-Gate erupted last week I’ve wondered how many right-wing and Republican bloggers not otherwise feasting on the vast conspiracy’s well funded gravy train were on the take. Then, after David Corn of The Nation got Armstrong Williams, the 240-thousand-dollar-man, on the record saying “There are others,” I couldn’t wait for the inevitable fallout, though I suspected it would take some time.

Well, it’s already begun. Actually, Ben Hanten of Dirty Flower wrote about this more than a month ago, not that anyone cared.

According to Hanten, Senator-elect John Thune (R-S.D.) “paid $27,000 to Jon Lauck of the Daschle v. Thune blog for five months work. Jason Van Beek of South Dakota Politics was paid $8,000 for the same period. (Thune defeated incumbent Senate Minority Leader Tom Daschle in the November election.)

There’s more:

This is insane. Nowhere on Daschle v. Thune was there a disclaimer that he was being paid $5,200 per month by a candidate. It brings Lauck’s entire credibility into question. As a state employee (instructor at SDSU [Ed.: South Dakota State University]) he is already pushing the limits ([former Gov. Bill] Janklow would never have allowed a liberal prof[essor] to publish [his/her] views). [Ed.: Emphasis in original.]

Van Beek’s $8,000 is no chump change either. These guys spent every day attacking Daschle and promoting the “Rock Star” Thune. They had perfect timing on issues like the last minute Daschle lawsuit. How could they have known? Because Dick Wadhams had hired them! [Ed.: Wadhams was Thune’s campaign manager.] Lauck admitted that he had access to information he wouldn’t have [had] otherwise.

Daschle v. Thune and South Dakota Politics were and forever will be paid advertisements by John Thune. And . . . now the two have joined forces. Lauck has quit his blog and joined Van Beek’s.

All materials paid for by a campaign need to have a disclaimer saying so. They deceived their readers. These guys sold their names and tarnished what little reputation and credibility bloggers have. Who can blame them for that kind of money?

Not me. Frankly, I wouldn’t mind a retainer like that secured by Daschle v. Thune, but I assure you that had I landed such a contract I would have told you about it. And I wouldn’t have spent the last 12 months subsisting on pasta and ramen.

(Thanks to Vaara of Silt 3.0 for the link.)

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