- Washington ExaminerSenior Political Columnist, 2009 - present
- American Enterprise InstituteVisiting Fellow, 2012 - present
Last updated June 26, 2014
In case it doesn't come through in my writing, here's what I believe:
I'm a Catholic, and I like to consider myself an orthodox Catholic. My wife and I try to raise our kids according to Catholic teaching.
I describe myself as both conservative and libertarian. Some people object to one or the other labels applying to me. I have described my political prescriptions as "free-market populism" and "libertarian populism."
The political argument on which I spend the most time, energy, and thought is that big government--in the form of regulations, subsidies, mandates, et cetera--frequently benefits the big and politically connected, hurting consumers, small competitors, and taxpayers. Folks often describe my beat as battling "corporate welfare," and "crony capitalism." This is the subject of both of my books.
Last updated October 15, 2015
My full-time employer is the Washington Examiner. The Examiner is owned by Clarity Media, which is owned by Philip Anschutz.
My secondary employer is the American Enterprise Institute, where I am a visiting fellow. I understand AEI to be funded by corporations, individuals, and foundations. I play no role in fundraising. I have spoken to representatives of non-profit foundations that donate, but never with corporate donors.
Here, to the best of my knowledge, are all the other organizations that have paid me or provided me paid travel or lodging in the past twelve months or with whom I currently have an agreement to do work:
Federalist Society, speaker. I speak on religious liberty, regulation, lobbying, campaign finance, the revolving door, corruption, and the law at Federalist Society student chapters. Some of my speaking in past years has been part of a series sponsored by the Templeton Foundation. I don’t know anything else about FedSoc’s funding. Federalist Society pays me an honorarium and reimburses travel costs.
National Journalism Center speaker. I speak to NJC interns about reporting and opinion writing. NJC is a project of Young America’s Foundation. I don’t know anything about YAF’s or NJC’s funding. They've paid me and covered travel costs.
Intercollegiate Studies Institute speaker. I earn speaking fees for speaking to and debating before college students. For my out-of-town speeches, ISI also covers my travel and lodging, including meals. I know nothing about ISI's funding.
Reason Magazine freelance contributor. I have written three magazine pieces for Reason, for pay in the past two years. I think Reason is funded by the Reason Foundation, and I know nothing about the Foundation's donors.
Mercatus Center, Institute for Humane Studies, George Mason University. I have spoken to Mercatus interns, and at conferences organized by the groups, and provided expert commentary on a draft of a paper. The only thing I know about Mercatus Center funding is that the Charles Koch Foundation is a donor, but I'm told their funding base is far broader.
Hillsdale College, I presented a paper at a Hillsdale-sponsored conference in October 2014. Hillsdale paid me for my participation in the conference, and covered my travel and lodging to the conference.
Mackinac Center, The free-market think tank in Michigan paid me to speak there in April. They paid some of my travel expenses. I know nothing of Mackinac's funding.
Foundation for Government Accountability: I spoke, for pay, at an event organized by FGA, a free-market think-tank in Florida. They also covered my travel expenses. I know nothing of the group's funding.
Charles Koch Institute: I spoke to summer fellows at CKI, which paid me an honorarium and covered my Uber ride home.
Talisien Nexus: A non-profit in Hollywood paid me to speak to a "Liberty Lab" meeting, addressing a handful of filmmakers about the revolving door and regulatory robbery. I spoke via Skype, so there were no travel costs.
KCRW radio: The radio station paid me for a few appearances on the show "Left, Right, & Center." (I was the "Right.")
Cato Institute: I received an honorarium from Cato for my participation in an August Liberty Fund seminar.
University of Texas Center for Politics & Government: I spoke at UT in September. They paid me and covered some of my costs.
University of Dallas: I spoke at UD in September. The philosophy department paid me and covered some of my costs.
The New Criterion: I sat on a corruption and cronyism panel the magazine organized in New York. TNC paid my train fare, put me up for the night, and is paying me an honorarium.
Meals, et cetera: I attend for free many widely-attended events, such as receptions. Below are the non-widely-attended events I've attended, plus those for which I received any special discount or complimentary ticket. (Again, this is all to the best of my memory. This section is the one where I am most likely to be making an accidental omission.):
I spoke in August at a seminar in California organized by Freedom Partners, and the Koch network. They provided my travel to the seminar, lodging while there, and meals. I spoke at a January retreat for members of Congress hosted by the Heritage Foundation. They provided dinner, lodging, and a rental car. In February, I attended a dinner discussion hosted by Heritage. Twice, I've spoken on Heritage-organized briefings on Capitol Hill, and I ate their food.
I attended the Red Mass brunch with a friend from Sidley Austin law firm, and sat at a table bought by Sidley Austin. I attended the Media Research Center Dinner and sat at a table bought by Foster Friess. I have accepted complimentary dinner tickets from the Competitive Enterprise Institute and the Mercatus Center. I ate a lunch provided by the Heritage Foundation in two press gaggles (both with Bobby Jindal). The Cato Institute paid for my lunch (like one of the Heritage lunches, this was Chick-Fil-A) at a meeting on Capitol Hill. I drank a Budweiser at a reception hosted by HSBC at the Export-Import Bank annual conference.
When Politico named me to their Politico 50 list, the list was sponsored by Boeing.
Investments, Liabilities, etc...
I do not own securities in any individual companies, industries, or commodities. All of my investments (retirement accounts with Vanguard and Great West [I think this may have changed its name] [plus some money stuck with Charles Schwab and Scottrade]) are in broad-based mutual funds, such as S&P index funds -- mostly stocks, but also U.S. Treasury funds. A little bit of my HSA money, originally through JPMorgan Chase, is invested in a few JP Morgan mutual funds (I think), including a bonds fund. I have life insurance with USAA, and employer-sponsored health insurance with Cigna (now being bought by Anthem thanks to Obamacare-aided consolidation across the industry).
My home mortgage is with Wells Fargo, and we still own our previous house as landlords (Wells Fargo is also the lender there, and our tenants are not involved in politics or industry). My college loan (on pace to be paid off shortly before my 39th birthday) is with Navient, a spinoff of Sallie Mae. These are my only debts.
I received less than $500 in interest income this year from my bank accounts.
My wife's labor--raising a husband and five kids, and keeping a home--is all unremunerated. For her toil, she is paid in love, and probably many years off of purgatory.
My brother John writes columns on finance for the Wall Street Journal's "Heard on the Street" page. My brother Brian manages corporate communications for Rivada Networks, a telecom company dealing in wireless broadband; for this reason, I try to avoid writing about wireless spectrum issues. My brother Mike is a lawyer at a small firm in Louisiana, focusing on elder law and estate planning.
My father is a self-employed, largely retired lawyer in New York, and my mother is his paralegal/secretary/boss/wife. I know nothing of their current clients or cases.
- St. John's College, AnnapolisLiberal Arts, 1996 - 2000