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Friday, March 03, 2006
 
Another Krugman Scalp for the Trophy Wall

Donald Luskin reports that the Krugster was forced to 'fess up about the error in his January 30 column:

On Jan. 30 I cited an article in The American Prospect that reported that Indian tribes who hired Jack Abramoff had reduced their contributions to Democrats by 9 percent. Dwight Morris, who prepared the study on which the article was based, says on The American Prospect's blog that "there is no statistically valid way to calculate this number given the way the data were compiled." The American Prospect was sloppy, and so was I for not checking its methodology.

However, Mr. Morris goes on to say this is a minor point because other calculations show "an undeniably Republican shift in giving."

Pre-Abramoff, the tribes gave slightly more money to Democrats than to Republicans; post-Abramoff, they gave 70 percent to Republicans, versus only 30 percent to Democrats. In other words, there's nothing bipartisan about the Abramoff scandal.


As Don points out, the last two paragraphs are an attempt to reclaim his original point. What Krugman avoids saying is that giving by the tribes Abramoff represented to Democrats soared under Abramoff's tenure. Yes, giving to Republicans increased by even more. But it's quite apparent that Abramoff was buying influence (which is not illegal by the way) on both sides of the aisle.

Kudos to Don, who pushed this story further (and more successfully) than I could have on my own. This is the second time he and I have forced a correction out of Krugman; the first time was the mythical 98.55% turnout in Miami County, Ohio, which turned out to be a 72.3% turnout.

My original post (which simply concerned the American Prospect article) is here.

My follow-up post getting substantially more detailed and bringing Krugman's column into the story is here. Updates here and here.
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