Forbes waffles on Ellis; Brooks blasts Buchanan
Forward, Feb 1996
GOP DRAGGING BAGGAGE TO NEW HAMPSHIRE VOTE
Forward, Feb 1996
By JONATHAN MAHLER
The timing of the disclosure of the millionaire publisher's link to Mr. Ellis couldn't be more inopportune for Mr. Forbes, who is coming off a disappointing fourth-place finish in the Iowa caucuses, where he barely edged out Senator Gramm and talk-show host Alan Keyes. Meanwhile, Pat Buchanan's surprisingly strong showing in Iowa is unnerving Jewish Republicans who are warning of a repeat of 1992, when the right wing of the GOP emerged as a potent force in the party during the convention.
The link between the presidential aspirant and Mr. Ellis, a member of the board of the Pioneer Fund from 1973 to 1977, was first established a couple of weeks ago when Mr. Forbes was campaigning in the Granite State and was fleshed out this week in a New York Times column by Bob Herbert, who described Mr. Ellis as an "informal adviser" to Mr. Forbes. Now, the extent of the foundation's involvement in controversial research projects, borne out in a background report prepared by the Anti-Defamation League, is threatening to cast an even larger shadow over his run for the Republican nomination.
What's particularly troubling to some is the fact that the alliance between Messrs. Forbes and Ellis dates back to at least the early 1980s.
Mr. Ellis was ultimately forced to withdraw as a nominee.
For his part, Mr. Buchanan has incurred the wrath of Jewish Republicans in the past by criticizing American aid to Israel and defending accused Nazi war criminals like John Demjanjuk. In an interview with the Jewish Telegraphic Agency, Matthew Brooks, executive director of the National Jewish Coalition, downplayed the conservative commentator's second-place showing in Iowa.
Meanwhile, Gail Gans, associate director of the research department at the ADL, lambasted the scientific strategy of the Pioneer Fund.
Nobody is accusing Mr. Forbes himself of being anti-Semitic or racist; what is in question is his judgment in aligning himself with a man like Mr. Ellis and then failing to distance himself from him at the first available opportunity. Abraham Foxman, national director of the ADL, said he has expressed concern about the relationship and is waiting to hear back from Mr. Forbes.
Based in Manhattan, the Pioneer Fund was founded in 1937 by Wickliffe Draper, a textile magnate and Nazi sympathizer who believed in the intellectual superiority of white Anglo-Saxons. Its first president, Harry Laughlin, spearheaded the movement to keep "genetically inferior" immigrants - including Jews - out of America.
Once a relatively obscure organization, Pioneer Fund entered the spotlight roughly two years ago following the publication of "The Bell Curve," a book that attempted to prove that race and class differences are largely determined by genetic factors. Some critics took issue with the book's scholarship, focusing specifically on its reliance on research subsidized by the Pioneer Fund. One such critic was Charles Lane, who wrote in the New York Review of Books that "The Bell Curve's" research was based on " tainted sources."
Responding to Mr. Lane's criticism, Charles Murray, co-author of the book, suggested in Commentary magazine that the Pioneer Fund had changed since its inception:
Mr. Mehler doesn't buy the analogy.
Indeed, since 1981 the foundation has given hundreds of thousands of dollars to a variety of controversial researchers. According to Mr. Mehler' s research, the Pioneer Fund contributed more than $441,000 between 1981 and 1992 to the scientific efforts of J. Phillipe Rushton, a psychology professor at the University of Western Ontario in Canada. One of Mr. Rushton's theories is that blacks
Another recent beneficiary of Pioneer Fund dollars is Roger Pearson, author of "Eugenics and Race," a book published by a notorious Holocaust denier, Willis Carto. Mr. Mehler says that Mr. Pearson received $568,000 from the foundation between 1981 and 1991. For a brief stretch in the late 1960s, Mr. Pearson was editor of The New Patriot, a magazine created to explore "the Jewish question," which included such articles as "Swindlers and the Crematoria." According to the ADL report, Mr. Pearson now heads The Mankind Quarterly, a journal bankrolled by the Pioneer Fund that has published articles by Nazi scientists like Ottmar von Verschuer, a mentor of Josef Mengele.
For Mr. Forbes - who has been criticized in recent days for running negative campaign advertisements maligning his GOP colleagues - to regain his momentum, it may be necessary for him to repudiate Mr. Ellis and the Pioneer Fund. Says Mr. Mehler,