Posted by | February 11, 2011 15:04 | Filed under: Top Stories

by Stuart Shapiro

In a move worthy of Richard Nixon himself, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce last year hired a lobbying firm to discredit opposing interest groups.  Think Progress, one of those groups, got hold of a memo produced by “Team Themis” the name the dirty tricksters gave themselves (CREEP anyone?).

According to one document prepared by Team Themis, the campaign included an entrapment project. The proposal called for first creating a “false document, perhaps highlighting periodical financial information,” to give to a progressive group opposing the Chamber, and then to subsequently expose the document as a fake to undermine the credibility of the Chamber’s opponents. In addition, the group proposed creating a “fake insider persona” to “generate communications” with Change to Win.

While this type of activity certainly meets the criteria for the “Spirit of Enterprise” (see image above), I’m not sure it meets the criteria for a Spirit of Ethics.  Somewhere Haldeman and Ehrlichman are smiling.

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Copyright 2011 Liberaland
By: Stuart Shapiro

Stuart is a professor and the Director of the Public Policy
program at the Bloustein School of Planning and Public Policy at Rutgers
University. He teaches economics and cost-benefit analysis and studies
regulation in the United States at both the federal and state levels.
Prior to coming to Rutgers, Stuart worked for five years at the Office
of Management and Budget in Washington under Presidents Clinton and
George W. Bush.