In a week that featured . . .
1) Nigel Wright being let off the hook by the RCMP for bribing sitting legislator Senator Mike Duffy in spite of weeks of PMO discussions involving over a dozen senior party officials re buying Duffy’s silence, and
2) Senator Linda Frum making the most idiotic and widely-mocked attack on Elections Canada over the Fair Elections Act to date, ie., that it is a conflict of interest for Elections Canada to both administer the vote during elections and encourage people to vote between elections
. . . it was fitting that Jay Watts III should dig up a piece of Canadian history that includes both Frum and Wright, as blogged by Brian Busby in a brilliant pair of blogposts that really should be savoured in their own right.
Seems in 1984, a rightwing Republican foundation confirmed it was funding several start-up campus publications in Canada among its 69 across North America. The Institute of Educational Affairs was set up by Irving Kristol, godfather of the US neoconservative movement, his fellow founding PNACer William Bennett, and William Simon, Reaganite, Richard Nixon’s treasury secretary and board director of Halliburton Canada — and it bankrolled:
~ University of Toronto Magazine, founded by Nigel Wright — already working in Muldoon’s PMO — and his friend and classmate Tony “Gazebo” Clement, and
~ McGill Magazine and editor Linda Frum, daughter of CBC’s Barbara Frum and sister to David “Axis of Evil” Frum
~ Libertas at Queens, run by the son of the CEO at the Bank of Montreal.
Wright told the Montreal Gazette at the time that he had “no misgivings about applying for and accepting money from the Republican foundation.”
The only advice he could recall receiving from the foundation was a circular “suggesting we publish nothing to do with the John Birch Society.”
The original Canadian University Press article (“Right-wing paper covertly funded from U.S.”) says seven other clones of Libertas appeared across Canadian campuses that month, including articles of unusual access for campus papers — like an interview with George Bush.
“We were happy to have help and advice from the Americans,” [Wright] said.
In 1982 the IEA and American Spectator, a prominent conservative newspaper, held a seminar for college students interested in starting or maintaining conservative newspapers. More than 40 students attended to hear speakers such as the Spectator’s R. Emett Tyrell Jr lecture on taste and strategy.
“Don’t print Klu Klux Klan literature,” Tyrell advised.
IEA Executive Director Phillip Marcus suggested: “If someone accuses you of being racist or sexist, accuse them back of McCarthy tactics.”
One person contacted who attended that conference but asked not to be identified said: “They told me that when I was ready to go ahead publishing, I shouldn’t worry about the money. They said they’d take care of that.”
From such smug little acorns are whole governments sprouted, along with their bent senators and chiefs of staff and covert bribes and Republican-style voter suppression bills.