Wednesday, March 08, 2006

A quiz . . .

What do King Lear, the crazy incestuous old farmer in Jane Smiley’s 1000 Acres and Mitch Pearlstein have in common? [clock] tick tick tick tick [/clock]. Give up?

They each turned over the keys to the enterprise to the next generation, came to regret the move, and tried to get back inside. In Pearlstein’s case, it may actually work. Here is an article in the Strib today:

The Minneapolis-based conservative think tank Center of the American Experiment announced major restructuring of its top management on Tuesday.

The departures include some well known names in conservative political circles and with long-time connections to the state's Republican Party.

Mitch Pearlstein, the founder of the center, will return as president after a 20-month period as its president emeritus. Pearlstein said the center will restructure to return to addressing public policy issues such as poverty, race, values, economics and taxes.

"We used to focus more on cultural and social issues and want to return to that," he said, refusing to comment further on the departures.

Those leaving include Annette Meeks as the center's president and CEO; Corey Miltimore as its director of media research and study; Randy Wanke as communications director; Chris Tiedeman as director of government affairs and; Ryan Griffin as development director; and Jonathan Blake as research fellow.

Under the recent leadership, the center retooled itself and had begun to play an aggressive role in influencing public policy in Minnesota. As an example, last year it rolled out an ambitious project to help conservative students battle what the center saw as liberal orthodoxy in academia.

Most recently, before the 2006 Minnesota legislative session, the center released recommendations on legislative reform from a task force co-chaired by former Minnesota Senate Majority Leader Roger Moe and former Minnesota Republican Party Chair Chris Georgacas.

With a $1.4 million annual budget, the center, founded in 1990, was one of the first state-based conservative think tanks and has been a model for others.

Spot italicized a couple of interesting paragraphs. Pearlstein says that 1) the Center will “return” to more “public policy” issues, but 2) the Center used to focus more on cultural and social issues and will “return” to that. Let’s see a show of hands of people who think these two statements are like, inconsistent? Quite a few of you. Spot wonders what is really going on. Counterrevolution, probably.

Anyway, Annette Meeks is going the way of the old Professor at Intellectual Takeout, that Cliff’s Notes for Conservatives that was rolled out with such fanfare last year. Spotty says the whole site is a clunker; he wonders how much money the CAE has poured into that hole in the ground.

Jeebus, Spot almost forgot the best part! In the best Freudian headline of the year, the Strib’s head for this article is: Conservative think tank retools management. Why yes, that is exactly what’s happening.

Tags: sheds

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