Wednesday, October 3, 2007

Out of state friend? Dick Morris? In Utah?

Paul Rolly's notes in the Salt Lake City Tribune caught my eye this morning, particularly this piece:

"Consulting the guru: Dick Morris, the former political adviser to President Clinton who resigned in the 1990s amid a call-girl and toe-sucking scandal, subsequently repented his wayward ways, including being a Clinton supporter. Now a regular Sean Hannity buddy on Fox News, he's joined Utah's voucher fight.
Morris contacted the pro-voucher Parents for Choice in Education recently and offered his expertise in campaign strategies, said PCE's Joe Hunter. He said Morris is not a full-time consultant, but lent his counsel to the campaign several days ago. Hunter said he doesn't know how much Morris was paid, but doubted it was much."

Well, so Dick Morris, the big-wig consultant wants to be on the Parents for Choice in Education (PCE) payroll? Interesting.

Morris gets paid between $20,000 and $25,000 for each speaking engagement, so tapping him to help the pro-private school voucher effort would cost a pretty penny.

But then PCE's funders(we still don't know who they are) may think Morris can help them win this campaign. Did they tell the Utah pro-voucher folks to retain him?

Still, don't look for Dick to spend too much time in Utah. Morris is speaking to a Republican group in Winston-Salem, NC on October 22. Oh and tickets to the event are only $25, so let's hope they have room for a big crowd.

Maybe it's that Morris really needs work. After all, it seems he owes the state of Connecticut some $280,000 in unpaid taxes, as reported by WTNH-TV of Hartford, CT.

Or perhaps it's that Morris needs to "buff" his reputation. You note that Rolly's piece referenced a "scandal" that Morris got caught up in.

Indeed. We're not just talking about a call-girl and toe-sucking situation. We're talking about Dick Morris, consultant, who let the prostitute he was cavorting with listen in to conversations with the President. You can read the full story here. Now, really, what kind of judgement does the man have?

Oh, wait, he says he has "reformed." OK, then maybe it won't be true that his phone number is in Deborah Jean Palfrey's telephone logs as reported here. Deborah Jean is the "DC Madam" who claims she supplied women for many powerful men in Washington, D.C.

But if Morris has reformed, and is the consultant that PCE's shadowy funders support, then maybe he can help their campaign.

Then again, maybe not. See what even his "friends" say about Morris' record:

"FOX News Managing Editor and Chief Washington Correspondent Brit Hume, anchor of Special Report with Brit Hume, has said of Dick Morris -- the onetime adviser to Bill Clinton turned FOX News Channel contributor -- "[S]ometimes he says things that you think are inspired from another planet. ... If you're a political analyst, being wrong is a drawback." Larry Sabato, director of the University of Virginia's Center for Politics, has said, "He's frequently wrong." And a Boston Globe review of Morris's 1999 book, The New Prince: Machiavelli Updated for the Twenty-First Century, noted that "Morris's contradictions and factual errors too often make a hash of what is supposed to be his argument." [USA Today, 8/16/00; The Boston Globe, 7/20/99]

Maybe that's a little harsh. Morris did, after all, predict that Newt Gingrich would enter the 2008 presidential race.

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