Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Correcting Big Journalism and Gateway Pundit

I spoke with Jim Hoft Sunday afternoon about errors in a post he wrote at Gateway Pundit and cross posted to Dana Loesch's Big Journalism. He said that he would consider updating his post, so I sent the following email to him and Dana Loesch with the request that it be added as an update on both sites:
Jim, Dana,

I'd like the following to appear as an update to Hoft's post at GatewayPundit and cross posted at Big Journalism.


First, thanks to Jim Hoft and Dana Loesch for allowing me an opportunity to update this post at GatewayPundit and Big Journalism. I've been involved with this story for about a month. I've reviewed the data which the Daily Caller reported on.That data is available at 24thState.com and has been culled from publicly available FEC reports. I blogged about it at Reboot Congress a couple days before Jim Hoft blogged it here.

Hoft's coverage misrepresents the source of the data. Ed Martin's campaign was not involved in researching Ann Wagner's financing. As I wrote on my blog [emphasis added]:

The story behind the data showing that Wagner's campaign has gotten about a quarter of its funding from Enterprise sources goes back to the document parties that 24thState.com kicked off in October of 2009. Some of the moms involved in those original document parties began to investigate Wagner's fund raising. That data is easily accessible at sites like OpenSecrets.org. The trick is determining who the employers are and if they're connected in an interesting way. In the case of Ann Wagner's Enterprise donations figuring out that the Crawford Group is an Enterprise holding company was a key discovery. This should serve as a rallying cry to Tea Party moms (and others) to dig into the donation data.

The contentious nature of the campaign in MO2 which pits the well-funded Ann Wagner against Tea Partier Ed Martin, has obscured what I believe is the most important aspect of this story: local Tea Party activists--no doubt, supporters of Ed Martin--have developed the capability to thoroughly review campaign contributions. While this has created angst within St. Louis conservative circles, it bodes well for the November elections. I expect these researchers will turn to Senator Claire McCaskill's FEC reports and other Democrats as the election nears.

I also take exception with a couple of other points that Hoft made. First, a Wall Street Journal story from January 29, 2009, makes clear that Enterprise Rent-a-Car lobbied Congress for TARP funding. I first learned about the TARP angle fromSteven Nelson's post at the Daily Caller. It's commendable that Enterprise didn't take any TARP funding, but that begs the question: why'd they ask for it if they didn't need it?

Second, Hoft correctly points out that Ann's husband Ray Wagner is not a registered lobbyist. However, Ray Wagner is Government & Public Affairs Vice-President for Enterprise. In that capacity, he stewards Enterprise's lobbying activities, so focusing on the fact that he personally is not a lobbyist obscures the point that all of Enterprise's lobbyist are his subordinates.

Thanks again to Jim Hoft and Dana Loesch for this opportunity to respond!

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