Never seen former US Senate candidate Steve Laffey and lefty investigative journalist Greg Palast in the same place at the same time? It’s not just a coincidence.
 
While the one-time Republican mayor of Cranston and the cult-favorite scribe seem to have little in common on the surface, they are bound by an uncanny string of commonalities. It’s enough to make you wonder if the Trilateral Commission has been keeping this stuff quiet.

Published an anti-establishment polemic last year
LAFFEY:
Primary Mistake: How the Washington Republican Establishment Lost Everything in 2006 (and Sabotaged My Senatorial Campaign), published by Sentinel, an imprint of Penguin Group.
PALAST: Armed Madhouse: From Baghdad to New Orleans — Sordid Secrets & Strange Tales of a White House GONE WILD, published by Plume, an imprint of Penguin Group.

Rigorous academic credential
LAFFEY:
Harvard Business School.
PALAST: University of Chicago.

Special talent
LAFFEY:
Best retail political skills this side of Buddy Cianci.
PALAST: Best muckraking skills this side of George Seldes.

Past accomplishments
LAFFEY:
Made waves, using his financial-services background, emerging as a self-styled municipal messiah in financially troubled Cranston.
PALAST: Made waves, using his background in investigating corporate fraud, exposing the disenfranchisement of black voters in the 2000 election, among other scoops.

Outsider status
LAFFEY:
His book jacket says this about his 2006 US Senate primary fight with Lincoln Chafee and the GOP establishment in Washington: “It was the ultimate David vs. Goliath battle, drawing national attention as ‘the first skirmish in a very important war,’ as Pat Toomey wrote in the Wall Street Journal.”
PALAST: His bio says that his exposes “have won him a record six ‘Project Censored’ prizes for reporting the news American media doesn’t want you to hear. ‘The top investigative journalist in the United States is persona non grata in his country’s media’ (Asia Times).”

Pet theory
LAFFEY:
The national Republican Party has been taken over by expedient self-preservationists.
PALAST: US foreign policy has been taken over by neo-cons and the oil industry.

Milton friedman connection
LAFFEY:
Studied the economist theorist’s 10-part TV program as a youth and named the family black Lab for him.
PALAST: Studied with the economic theorist at the University of Chicago, surreptitiously working with the electrical and steelworkers’ unions.

Eponymous Web site
LAFFEY: Of course.
PALAST: Ditto.

Criticizes boondoggles
LAFFEY: Congressional earmarks; The Bridge to Nowhere.
PALAST: The Virginia-class submarine; The Crusader, a “self-propelled howitzer” created by Lockheed and General Dynamics.
 
Schtick
LAFFEY:
Distributed “Laffey Taffy,” while also riding in the “Rhody Reformer” RV, during his 2006 campaign.
PALAST: Distributed a remix, in which the words of Armed Madhouse are set to music, at gregpalast.com/remix/.

Cultural moment
LAFFEY: His work is name-checked by the conservatives who want him to be Rhode Island’s next governor.
PALAST: His work was name-checked by Florida college student Andrew “Don’t Tase me, bro” Meyer.

  Topics: This Just In , U.S. Government, U.S. Congressional News, Politics,  More more >
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