Too bad for Rush Limbaugh. He’d love to call talking money from Hugo Chavez “treason,” but he can’t, because it’s a Republican taking the money.
The right wing, for example the editorial page of the Wall Street Journal has made a huge fuss about the fact that Joe Kennedy’s Citizens Energy has taken some cheap oil from Venezuelan-owned Citgo to pass along to its low-income customers. Can you imagine the howls from the right if it turned out that one of the Democratic candidates had been on Hugo Chavez’s lobbying payroll?
A Republican Presidential candidate, of course, is a different matter altogether.
Yes, Giuliani says he doesn’t lobby for Citgo. So what?
His name is on the firm, and presumably he’s still cashing his paychecks. So some of that money has found its way into his pocket.
Either he knew that his firm was, in effect, working for the government of Venezuela, or he didn’t. Either way, it seems to raise a pretty serious question about his fitness for the White House.
However, I assume America’s Mayor is going to get a pass, again, while the AP sends someone to investigate Obama’s overdue library books.
Author: Mark Kleiman
Professor of Public Policy at the NYU Marron Institute for Urban Management and editor of the Journal of Drug Policy Analysis. Teaches about the methods of policy analysis about drug abuse control and crime control policy, working out the implications of two principles: that swift and certain sanctions don't have to be severe to be effective, and that well-designed threats usually don't have to be carried out.
Drugs and Drug Policy: What Everyone Needs to Know (with Jonathan Caulkins and Angela Hawken)
When Brute Force Fails: How to Have Less Crime and Less Punishment (Princeton, 2009; named one of the "books of the year" by The Economist
Against Excess: Drug Policy for Results (Basic, 1993)
Marijuana: Costs of Abuse, Costs of Control (Greenwood, 1989)
View all posts by Mark Kleiman