Larry Sabato, the omnipresent pundit and prognosticator who was revealed last week to call races in favor of congressman who send earmarks to his Institute for Politics, says he will work harder at disclosing his relationships with political benefactors.
Last year, Sabato's "Crystal Ball" predicted that his old college pal Rep. Virgil Goode (R-Va.)—who had diverted about $1.4 million a year in federal funding to Sabato's organization—would win reelection. He didn't. Last week, Politico wondered aloud whether all that money played a role in Sabato's judgment as a race-caller.
Today he tells the Plum Line's Greg Sargent that, while the earmarks had never been a secret, he will make sure similar situations are disclosed in all his political predictions in the future:
[I]n the interests of full disclosure, anytime we project election results in future years, we will put an asterisk and explanation next to the name of any member of Congress who assists us with federal funding.
That would be nice. But as we pointed out, Sabato makes a living be being an exceedingly convenient source to any reporter who calls him at any hour, and he said an awful lot of nice things about Goode over the years. We're confident that he will insist to any reporter he speaks to in the future that an asterisk appear next to any remark he makes about any politician who "assists" him with federal funding. But doesn't that kind of undermine the whole point of publicly defending political friends while quietly taking taxpayer money from them? He needs to come up with a new source of revenue.