Republicans buy off journalists in Florida

For the past several years I've been discribing the modern conservative movement and their Republican leaders as an "Information Age Tammany Hall."  It is a modern, and different, kind of political machine, but it is a classic political machine nonetheless. 

A few days ago, another piece of the machine unraveled.  In Miami, the political base of Jeb Bush, ten independent journalists and commentators were discovered to also be on the US government payroll, a seldom listened to TV and radio operation directed at sending American media to Cuba called TV Marti.  Given Jeb's relationship to this community, it is impossible to believe that he was not personally involved in the decisions on whom to pay off. 

As anyone who has worked in Miami knows, the Cuban media there is wildly Republican.  It seldom criticizes the Bush family, Republican Cuban leaders or the Republican Party.  In many ways it has been Rush Limbaugh and Fox News rolled into one.  Now we know one of the reasons why - payola. 

Our Miami-based Hispanic Strategy Center director Joe Garcia described the TV Marti payola scandal to the St Pete Times this way: "They have turned it into a banana republic radio station that is used for political patronage". 

My hope is the media there keeps digging on this one.  At some point it will all head right back to the two Bush brothers.