Daily Archives: October 16, 2015

The hardest working man in the charity racket

This isn’t new news, but a correspondent has alerted me to some amusing details regarding the Ethan Allen Institute, a.k.a. the Vermont outlet of the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC). Specifically, EAI’s required annual filing with the IRS for 2014.

EAI, for those blessedly unaware, produces modest quantities of free-market puffery. And it proudly states as a matter of sacred principle, right there in its IRS Form 990-EZ, “We don’t receive — nor would we accept — government funding or support.”

Which is true except for EAI’s tax-deductible status, which is definitely a tangible form of government support.

Now, you might be dismayed at the thought of your tax dollars effectively underwriting EAI’s “educational activities,” but you can take some comfort in knowing how hard those guys are working for your money. Because according to page 2 of its filing, EAI President Rob Roper is working an average of 80 hours per week. His salary: a paltry $50,000.

On an hourly basis, the poor guy’s making less than Bernie Sanders minimum wage!

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Just a simple country farmer

The latest on alleged sex criminal and Republican Senator Norm McAllister comes by way of this week’s Seven Days, and it ought to be an occasion for liberal schadenfreude over the fact that Republicans are still stuck with this tar baby. In the story, McAllister insists he will not resign and won’t agree to a plea deal. Republicans had been hoping he would change his tune once it became clear that his criminal case wouldn’t be resolved until sometime next year. But his tune, like Yanni’s, remains the same.

Thus, the 2016 legislative session is set to begin with a whole lot of embarrassing questions and an intense focus on the McAllister case. He might even show up for work, which would be the circus of the century. The Senate may try to expel him, which would lead to, presumably, public testimony from the likes of his former Montpelier roomies, Sen. Kevin Mullin and Rep. Tim Corcoran. It would be instructive to hear them explain, under oath, how they remained clueless about what was happening when McAllister had a teenaged “assistant” sharing his bedroom.

The schadenfreude is tempered, however, because the Seven Days article itself is kind of disturbing. It’s basically a one-sided account from McAllister’s point of view, quoting him extensively, painting him as a sympathetic figure, and providing little context or pushback.

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