Liberals find another pro-reform Republican -- And once again, he's in the pay of industry 

President Obama and his media allies made a big deal about former Republican leaders who supported his health-care plan, arguing that even Republicans -- if freed from the political constraints of party loyalty -- like his proposal.

It turns out that these Republicans -- Bob Dole, Bill Frist, and Louis Sullivan -- all worked for companies that stood to profit from reform. This relevant fact was omitted in news accounts by ABC News, the New York Times, the Washington Post, and nearly everyone who wrote about it.

Today, liberal blogger Ezra Klein does it again. He interviews Mark McClellan, George W. Bush's Medicare director, and notes that McClellan "seems to think this is a pretty good bill."

But Klein neglects to point out that McClellan is a "special advisor" at venture capital firm General Atlantic LLC, where "He works closely with the healthcare sector." He's on the advisory board of health-care company Extend Health, Inc., and the advisory committee of biotech company InterWest Partners.

All of these seem relevant to his views on health-care mandates, subsidies, and regulations, but Klein omits them. The Post, which is diligent about pointing out whoever may lose money from bigger government, has a pattern of omitting conflicts of interest for advocates of bigger government.

As I blogged back in October:

Let's start with Dole's endorsement of ObamaCare: The Post ran an AP piece on Dole's Kansas City statements, and the paper mentioned Dole's support in a piece previewing the Senate Finance vote. Liberal blogger Ezra Klein blogged "The fact that Bill Frist and Bob Dole have come out in support of it is probably only making [Mitch] McConnell's job harder." The paper's "44" blog reported on Obama's touting of Dole's support, as did an AP piece the Post ran that day. An AP piece ran in the Post regarding a DNC ad quoting Dole, and a Post blog mentioned Dole and Obama's "strange bedfellows" allegiance on health care.

In all of these mentions, the Post never mentioned that Dole is a registered lobbyist at Alston & Bird, where he represents health-care clients.

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Timothy P. Carney

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