Political Correction

Rep. Jordan's Gas Price Witnesses: An Ideologue And A Donor

May 24, 2011 12:02 pm ET - by Matt Gertz

We've repeatedly documented the House Oversight Committee's extensive effort to ensure that Big Oil avoids any culpability for high gas prices and any increased regulation for potentially destructive activity. Tomorrow, Rep. Jim Jordan's (R-OH) Regulatory Affairs subcommittee will join the effort with a hearing entitled "How Federal Reserve Policies Add To Hard Times At The Pump."

Rep. Jim Jordan

And as with many oversight hearings, the witnesses for Jordan's appear to have been chosen based on ideology and cronyism.

Jordan has called Dr. Robert Murphy to testify. Murphy is a far-right economist who has worked for a wide array of conservative think tanks, including the Institute for Energy Research, the Pacific Research Institute, and the Mackinac Center for Public Policy. Those groups have received nearly $1 million from Big Oil, specifically Exxon Mobil and the Koch family foundations, making Murphy just the person to shift blame for high gas costs from oil companies to anyone else.

Murphy's professional resume also includes stops at Hillsdale College, a prominent right-wing school termed a "citadel of American conservatism" by National Review, and with the consulting firm of Art Laffer, the Reagan aide who popularized trickle-down economics.

Murphy is such an extreme anti-government libertarian that he called for the government to stop regulating airline security — two months after the September 11 attacks. He has also claimed that "If the government relinquished its role in handling contagious diseases, the public would be far safer." Oh, and he's written that President Lincoln was a "tyrant" and that "someone who thinks the Southern states should have been allowed to secede is quite clearly endorsing the principles of the Declaration of Independence."

In the tradition of Rep. Darrell Issa (R-CA), Jordan has also called one of his own donors to testify: Gregory Wannemacher, owner of the trucking company Wannemacher Total Logistics. Wannemacher has given more than $7,000 to Jordan's campaigns over the last three election cycles. He also donated $5,100 to the 2010 election campaign of Ohio's Republican governor John Kasich.

Of course, this isn't the first time a Jordan donor has been granted the limelight of the House Oversight committee.

To read our full fact check on Rep. Jordan's witnesses, click here.

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