by David Safier
Two unrelated items in the news about Goldwater Institute.
First: I haven't followed the G.I./Glendale dustup closely, but it may be reaching a head. Basically, Glendale is trying to keep the Phoenix Coyotes. G.I. says the deal would be a government giveaway, a gift to the current owners, and it is fighting the deal, hard. There's big money involved here. So the city is looking at suing not just G.I. but its individual directors as well, for big bucks.
The city is expected to sue for significant damages, a source close to the deal said, potentially as much as $500 million, the amount of economic impact Glendale estimates it would lose if the NHL team left for Canada. It could name members of the Goldwater board individually.
It's an interesting fight to watch, with conservative/libertarian G.I. bucking the moneyed interests that pay its bills, taking what seems to be a principled stance.
Second: On an unrelated note, it looks like I won't have G.I.'s Matthew Ladner to kick around anymore, at least not at short distance. Ladner is migrating to Jeb Bush's "Foundation for Excellence in Education" — Bush's choice of name, not mine — though Ladner will still be attached to G.I. as Senior Fellow.
Bush is becoming a major player in the conservative education world, even joining Obama on the stage a few days ago, so Ladner is definitely moving into the big leagues. I wish I could congratulate him on the move, but, well . . .
Matthew, if only you used your undeniable talents for good instead of evil, I would be less critical of what you do. When I say "good," I don't mean you should agree with me. I'm just saying, you should be an honest broker who makes honest arguments. If your educational ideas are as valid as you claim they are, they should stand up to genuine scholarship and argument and not need the purposeful slanting of data and overuse of sound bites which are the hallmarks of your writing. As a scholar, you're a flim flam man. As a logician, you're a politician. You're better than that intellectually, but, unfortunately, you have aligned yourself with the conservative notion that you are one of the elite who knows how things should be, and your job is to cram it down the throats of the nation by any lying, scheming means necessary. So in my book, you've just got a promotion to a higher level of political operative, still wearing the disguise of an educational theorist. To my way of thinking, that's nothing to be proud of.