Rep. Mark Souder (R-Ind.), who recently was edged out by Rep. F. James Sensenbrenner for the title of most gung-ho drug warrior in the House, is upset about a drug policy debate at this year's Conservative Political Action Conference featuring Ethan Nadelmann, executive director of the Drug Policy Alliance. Souder lays out his complaint in the Congressional Register:
George Soros, the radical liberal financier who dedicated himself to defeating President George W. Bush in the last election, has taken a lesson from Jack Abramoff.
As much of Abramoff's pernicious lobbying technique has come to light, we've seen how he was adept at manipulating certain conservative organizations to pursue a decidedly anti-conservative agenda, namely the promotion of gambling. By working hand in hand with the Traditional Values Coalition (TVC), for example, he was able in 2000 to undermine conservatives' best effort to outlaw on-line gambling. Proxy organizations played a fundamental role in Abramoff's strategy.
Since 1974, the American Conservative Union has held the Conservative Political Action Conference, or CPAC, which is billed as a three-day meeting for thousands of conservative activists and leaders to discuss current issues and policies and set the agenda for the future. I myself have addressed the conference in the past.
One can imagine a conservative's surprise to read on the CPAC 2006 agenda that a representative of the Marijuana Policy Project (MPP) is slated to moderate–yes, moderate–a panel Friday discussing drug policy. For those who are unacquainted with it, the pro-marijuana MPP has been funded by Soros in the past. Also represented on the panel is the Drug Policy Alliance, which is Soros' principal pro-drug arm. Incidentally, the moderator himself is a convicted drug dealer.
What on earth were the CPAC organizers thinking? Why would the American Conservative Union allow extremist liberals like George Soros and Peter Lewis (who is responsible for most of MPP's funding) to access a meeting of conservatives? And, in exactly whose estimation would there be balance in a debate moderated by the MPP?
Thanks to Accuracy in Media Report editor Cliff Kincaid, these are just a few of the questions that the CPAC organizers now face. I'd like to submit into the record his article of February 7, 2006, entitled "Soros Infiltrates Conservative Movement." In exchange for a donation, is this 32-year old conservative conference turning itself into a Soros proxy organization just like Abramoff's TVC?
Over the last number of months, we've been surprised to learn how one such as Abramoff was able to exploit conservatives for his own purposes. Surely in this environment we can't miss seeing it when it's happening once again.
I'm not sure what Souder means by "radical liberal" or "extremist liberal." Is that as left as you can get without actually being a leftist? Souder could not very well object to the drug policy debate by claiming that conservatives are of one mind on the subject, given the libertarian inclinations of many CPAC attendees and the antiprohibitionist sentiments expressed by prominent conservatives such as William F. Buckley. So instead his objection amounts to pointing out that Nadelmann, who is avowedly trying to build bridges between drug war opponents on the left and the right, runs an organization funded by a Democrat.
In case you're curious, here's the Cliff Kincaid column that apparently set Souder off. It is notable not only for the Soros bashing but for Kincaid's Harry Anslinger-style citation of brutal crimes allegedly caused by reefer madness.
[Thanks to DPA's Tony Newman for the tip.]