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National Commission on Fiscal Responsibility and Reform co-Chairmen Alan Simpson (L) and Erskine Bowles (R) speak at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce

Now they're in it for the money.

Well, isn't this a cozy little deal for everyone's favorite cat food salesmen, Alan Simpson and Erskine Bowles? They've moved on from volunteering their services to make life harder for old people to making a few bucks off of it with a new organization.

NEW YORK -- Politico chief White House correspondent Mike Allen wrote an article Thursday on The Campaign to Fix the Debt, a new initiative launched that day by Erskine Bowles and former Sen. Alan Simpson (R-Wyo.). Allen concluded his news story with a quote instructing readers that they could "learn more at” and promoted the piece in his must-read morning Playbook under the heading, "COMING ATTRACTIONS."

By Monday, The Campaign to Fix the Debt was sponsoring Playbook, with the email version of the morning newsletter describing Playbook as being "presented" by the new initiative.

Politico told Huffington Post, via a spokeswoman, that Allen has no decision making in sponsorship of the Playbook, which runs $15,000 a week. In Allen's original article, he "provided anonymity to a 'Fix the Debt official' in order to state the group's mission and describe how 'our national debt is getting in the way of America investing in and excelling at so many of the things that make us great.'" That exact wording was then used in the advertising copy in Playbook.

That's how it works in Washington. And, unfortunately, that's how policy is driven. A hacksters' self-reinforcing loop that far too many policy-makers read and believe is real.

Originally posted to Joan McCarter on Mon Nov 12, 2012 at 12:01 PM PST.

Also republished by The Democratic Wing of the Democratic Party and Daily Kos.

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