By Tracy Dingmann
The Rio Grande Foundation’s unannounced reign over the Albuquerque Journal’s op-ed page continues unabated.
On Monday, the newspaper ran a guest column by Kenneth M. Brown, whom the Journal identified as a “Retired Senior Executive, National Science Foundation.”
Brown’s column, called “Template for N.M. Governor,” sketched out in great detail what the author, an economist, says he would look for in a candidate for governor of New Mexico. In making his case, the author took a number of pot shots at the state’s current governor, Bill Richardson.
New Mexico needs an honest governor, and I don’t mean one who merely avoids jail or denounces corruption in the abstract. I don’t need a governor who feigns surprise at its existence – “I’m shocked! Shocked! to learn of pay-to-play (sic).”
Oddly, Brown’s piece about his vision of New Mexico’s ideal next governor ends with a rousing cheer for Scott Brown, the recently victorious candidate for Senate in Massachusetts who was so rabidly championed by the Tea Party Movement.
What is a reader to make of this arguably partisan attack – one that’s not so cleverly disguised as a scholarly guest column?
Would it help to know that Brown is Director of Research for the Rio Grande Foundation, a libertarian group that has supported a number of Tea Party demonstrations in New Mexico? The Journal identification of him leaves that pertinent fact out.
We’ve written about the Journal’s propensity for Rio Grande Foundation columnists before and noted how odd it is that the paper never identifies the writers as such.
In fact, on Feb. 21, Brown himself co-authored a guest piece critical of several of President Obama’s economic initiatives with Micha Gisser, a Senior Fellow at the Rio Grande Foundation. I wrote about that column here and identified Gisser as a RGF operative, but missed Brown’s affiliation.
The Rio Grande Foundation’s extreme association with and access to the Journal’s editorial pages continues to astonish.