by Mike Masnick
Thu, Jun 25th 2009 4:17am
It's no secret that a great deal of regulations and policies are really written and pushed by lobbyists, and politicians just put their own names on it. We've seen it quite blatantly at times, such as the case where a politician being quizzed about legislation he introduced deferred questions to the industry lobbyist in the room. However, Michael Geist has done an amazing job taking the recent plagiarized and deceptive report from The Conference Board of Canada, which had been totally rewritten due to complaints from lobbyists and has used it to demonstrate exactly how this "policy laundering" process works. Policy laundering is such a great and accurate term. The industry basically comes up with some totally bogus numbers and keeps pushing them over and over again, trying to get other sources to cite them. Then, once that happens, the numbers are now backed up as "fact" by some other citation, and things get even more involved. It's a neat little trick. When people actually go back and look for the specifics (like Julian Sanchez did recently) they discover a mess of smoke and mirrors and nothing whatsoever at the foundation. But because the numbers have been quoted so widely, often by "legitimate" third parties, they're suddenly taken as fact. Policy laundering indeed.
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