Among people in the climate change denial business, Amy Ridenour, president and founder of the National Centre for Public Policy Research (NCPPR), has always been one of my favourites. She seemed like a sincere and well-meaning idealogue, rather than someone who was on the take, and I was seduced by her folksy approach. I even liked the way she workd her three six-year-olds into every third post, suggesting that, for her, “family values” is more about family than about politics.
When my colleague Kevin Grandia rounded up Amy's photo for a post yesterday, I was further impressed to see that she had been called to testify before a Senate committee - surely an honor that distinguishes her as an expert in something.
Well, apparently not. It turns out that Amy was called to testify before the Senate Indian Affairs Committee because she had been using the NCPPR to launder holiday money for former Republican House leader Tom DeLay. Check out the Wiki post on Amy and look especially at the old Washington Post coverage.
Clearly, this is old news for those inside the Beltway, but for us stragglers, it starts to explain the increasingly hysterical tenor of Amy's recent ravings against The Post. It also casts a cold shadow of doubt over the rest of her material. It places her in the circle with convicted influence peddlars like Jack Abramoff and Enron apologists like Edwin A. Buckham.
It's something to bear in mind the next time you see Amy arguing against increases in (other people's) minimum wage or savaging anyone who grants well-educated climate scientists their due.
Is Amy an idealogue? I still think so. Sincere and well-meaning? That's a closer call: check out the Wiki posts and decide for yourself.