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Wednesday, March 01, 2006
 
Abramoff Story Continued--American Prospect Issues Correction!

(Welcome, fellow Ankle-Biting Pundits and Pajamas Media readers!)

Will the New York Times be next?

Some in the right-wing blogosphere have seized on a single fact in “Dems Don’t Know Jack,” Greg Sargent’s January 27 article on political contributions made by Indian tribes represented by Jack Abramoff.

Those critics, in an effort to discredit the whole piece and its conclusions about Abramoff's strongly Republican influence on the political donations of the Indian tribes he advised, have argued that we were wrong when we asserted that the donations to Democrats from Abramoff's tribal clients fell 9 percent after he became their lobbyist.


Yes, indeed, we have argued that very point. And guess what? The guy the Prospect hired to do the analysis agrees with us:

In the interest of accuracy, the Prospect asked Dwight Morris, the professional analyst who did the original research for our article, to take another look at the data. His conclusion is that the 9 percent figure -- an overall average which was based on our reading of his numbers -- can't be validated statistically; indeed, he thinks it's statistically invalid to do any before-and-after comparisons in this fashion.

The Prospect goes on to bloviate that this "simple fact" shouldn't be allowed to obscure the overall evidence that donations to Republicans increased more than did donations to Democrats, a conclusion that I have no real quarrel with. I am not trying to argue that this isn't mostly a Republican scandal, just that some Democrats are implicated as well. At any rate, this should force Paul Krugman to make a correction to his January 30, column where he claimed:

But the tribes were already giving money to Democrats before Mr. Abramoff entered the picture; he persuaded them to reduce those Democratic donations, while giving much more money to Republicans. A study commissioned by The American Prospect shows that the tribes’ donations to Democrats fell by 9 percent after they hired Mr. Abramoff, while their contributions to Republicans more than doubled. So in any normal sense of the word “directed,” Mr. Abramoff directed funds away from Democrats, not toward them.

Kudos to Don Luskin, who has pushed this forward far more than I could; had just Brainster's Blog been hammering this story, I doubt very much that the Prospect would have issued a correction.
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