The ACU and Pay To Play

My colleague Erick Erickson has a very good piece up today on Mike Allen’s story on the American Conservative Union in Politico.

The long and the short of it, ACU, which is an advocacy group not a lobbying shop, seems to have offered to support Fedex against UPS’s attempt to use federal labor law to cripple Fedex. The support was contingent upon Fedex making a substantial cash donation to ACU and its various enterprises. When Fedex demurred, ACU Chairman David Keene promptly began to help UPS and the Teamsters.

While it is true that the ACU maintained its support of Fedex, the fact that its long time chairman began supporting UPS was tanatamount in conservative circles to the ACU changing position.

Other than its role in organizing CPAC, I’ve never been a huge fan of the ACU. So, to a certain extent, I’m more than a little smitten with schadenfreude over this. But in the bigger scheme of things it points to the dangers inherent in a movement when people, not ideas, begin to have influence.

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