Blog Posts by Chris Moody

  • Jason Richwine, a Heritage Foundation analyst and the co-author of a study that measured the cost of an immigration reform bill, resigned from the conservative public policy organization after news organizations reported he had authored a dissertation asserting that Hispanics had lower IQs than whites and wrote for a website founded by white nationalists.

    "Jason Richwine let us know he’s decided to resign from his position. He’s no longer employed by Heritage," Heritage spokesman Mike Gonzales said. "It is our long-standing policy not to discuss internal personnel matters."

    The news of Richwine's resignation was first reported by David Weigel of Slate Magazine.

    Richwine came under scrutiny this week after he co-authored a study with Heritage senior research fellow Robert Rector estimating that it would cost $6.3 trillion to legalize immigrants currently living in the country unlawfully. Heritage -- under its new president, former South Carolina Republican Sen. Jim DeMint -- has worked

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  • White House calls for IRS investigation

    White House spokesman Jay Carney and Kentucky Sen. Mitch McConnell on Friday called for an investigation into the Internal Revenue Service after the federal agency apologized for placing heavier scrutiny on conservative groups than other applicants that applied for tax-exempt status between 2010 and 2012.

    "What we know about this is of concern and we certainly find that the actions taken, as reported, to be inappropriate. And we would fully expect the investigation to be thorough and corrections to be made in a case like this," Carney said during his daily press briefing with reporters on Friday afternoon.

    Carney emphasized that the IRS was an "independent" agency within the federal government and that any review would be handled by the Inspector General.

    The IRS announced earlier on Friday that "mistakes were made" when reviewing applications of conservative groups that organized during the rise of the tea party movement between 2010 and 2012. IRS employees centralized its applicant

    Read More »from White House calls for IRS investigation
  • Heritage immigration study co-author penned articles for ‘nationalist’ website

    Heritage Foundation analyst Jason Richwine, the co-author of a study claiming the immigration reform bill pending in the Senate would cost taxpayers $6.3 trillion, wrote two articles in 2010 for a website founded by Richard Spencer, a self-described "nationalist" who writes frequently about race and against "the abstract notion of human equality."

    Richwine's two stories for Spencer's website,, dealt with crime rates among Hispanics in the United States. describes itself as "dedicated to heretical perspectives on society and culture—popular, high, and otherwise—particularly those informed by radical, traditionalist, and nationalist outlooks."

    Richwine's articles on were posted within the first few weeks of the site's launch and were the last he wrote for the site.

    The website has published several controversial pieces about nationalism and race since Spencer founded it three years ago. Spencer is now the chairman of the

    Read More »from Heritage immigration study co-author penned articles for ‘nationalist’ website
  • Mark Sanford wins election for South Carolina House seat

    Former South Carolina Gov. Mark Sanford (Richard Ellis/Getty Images)

    MOUNT PLEASANT, S.C. -- Former South Carolina Gov. Mark Sanford defeated Democratic businesswoman Elizabeth Colbert Busch in a special House election for South Carolina's first congressional district, despite an expansive effort among Democrats to turn the district blue for the first time in more than 30 years.

    The seat, which was left open when Gov. Nikki Haley, a Republican, named former Republican Rep. Tim Scott to replace outgoing Republican Sen. Jim DeMint, will remain in GOP hands. Throughout the campaign, the seat appeared closer to going Democratic than at any time in the past three decades.

    Sanford, a candidate plagued by scandal after he admitted using public funds to leave the country to visit an Argentine mistress while governor in 2009, defeated 15 Republicans earlier this year to secure the party nomination. Aided by running in a solidly Republican district, Sanford overcame his past by arguing that the race was a referendum on President Barack Obama's policies, and that

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  • Ex-con finds inspiration in Mark Sanford’s quest for redemption

    Mark Sanford votes in the special election for South Carolina's first congressional disrict. (Mary Ann Chastain/Getty Images)

    CHARLESTON, S.C.—Before Mark Sanford walked into the local school district headquarters here to cast his ballot for Tuesday's special election, he took a moment to embrace Jason Cunningham, a 34-year-old local hip-hop artist and friend who came to show his support for the former governor.

    Cunningham, a well-built man in a red tank top who goes by the stage name J-Scribbles, has been following Sanford's career since 2010 when Cunningham was released from prison after serving a 16-year sentence for second-degree murder. Sanford left office at about the same time Cunningham exited prison. Cunningham said he has met Sanford several times during the campaign, and he views Sanford's effort to resuscitate his career as a source of inspiration for anyone with a troubled past looking for a second chance.

    "He has learned from this. I know he's learned from past mistakes. That's what life is—you fall, you get back up," Cunningham told Yahoo News and Slate Magazine. "Society, you know, they don't

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  • Mark Sanford’s long road to redemption leads to today's voting

    Mark Sanford used a picture of Nancy Pelosi as a stand-in for his opponent. (Richard Ellis/Getty Images)

    CHARLESTON, S.C.—With a saga like Mark Sanford's, it is difficult to determine where to begin.

    If you're just now joining us for Sanford's long road to redemption tour, let's start at the beginning and warp-speed to now.

    Sanford was once the popular Republican governor of South Carolina who in 2009 mysteriously disappeared from the state to rendezvous with an Argentine mistress. Sanford remained the state's chief executive even after the affair was made public. He ultimately pledged his love for the Argentine woman, divorced his wife, served out his term and retreated to a remote family farm in South Carolina. He emerged back into public life last year by announcing that he would run for the congressional seat that opened up after Tim Scott was appointed to the U.S. Senate. After defeating 15 other Republican contenders in a primary earlier this spring, Sanford became the party nominee and began campaigning against Democratic businesswoman Elizabeth Colbert Busch, none other than the

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  • Mark Sanford talks Buddhism, his daily meditation practice and unique campaign style

    Mark Sanford meets with voters at Whole Foods. (Yahoo News)

    CHARLESTON, S.C.—Mark Sanford is going to be rude and say hello.

    That is, at least, how he describes it when he introduces himself to strangers in grocery stores, ice cream parlors, diners and auto repair shops throughout South Carolina's First Congressional District. On Monday, the day before polls open for a special election here that will send a new lawmaker to Washington, the former governor-turned-House candidate spent most of his time driving around the district in search of people to meet.

    Between stops around town, Sanford ditched his campaign driver and started hitching rides with reporters. He asked to ride in Yahoo News' rental car and we zoomed off toward the next event. On the way, I asked him about his unorthodox campaign tactics. After all, Sanford was meeting only a couple people at each stop. The entire exercise seemed grossly inefficient.

    "My view is, bigger the crowd, the fewer the votes," Sanford said. "If you can just keep moving as an individual and you're

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  • Sanford poses with a Candice Glover t-shirt. (Chris Moody/Yahoo News)

    BEAUFORT, S.C.—Campaign fever has swept the lower region of South Carolina's first congressional district, but the anticipation for next week's election has little to do with Mark Sanford or Elizabeth Colbert Busch.

    It's for Beaufort-born Candice Glover, a 23-year-old finalist on the hit reality television show "American Idol." Over the weekend, storefronts along Main Street here were covered with campaign posters that read "Vote for Candice Y'all" and scores of locals sported "I Voted Candice Glover For American Idol" stickers on their chests. On Saturday, the town even organized a parade for her, where thousands lined the street to see their hometown hero perform before her final competition in Los Angeles. Aside from just a handful of people on the outskirts of the parade waving campaign posters for Sanford and a Colbert Busch yard sign planted along the parade route, all the attention was on Glover. (Colbert Busch visited Beaufort on Friday and Sanford attended the parade

    Read More »from Forget Sanford and Colbert Busch: ‘American Idol’s’ Candice Glover dominates S.C. Lowcountry
  • Joe Biden vs. Ted Cruz in South Carolina

    (Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

    COLUMBIA, S.C. -- Just two miles apart here on Friday night, Vice President Joseph Biden and Texas Republican Sen. Ted Cruz addressed their own party faithful, both outlining two wildly different visions for the future of the nation.

    It may be early, but both men are considered possible presidential prospects in the next national election, and their decision to address party members in South Carolina--a state that traditionally hosts the first presidential primary in the South--inevitably provokes speculation. Biden even joked that he was inviting it by speaking in South Carolina, but he insisted that wasn't why he came. (It didn't help that C-SPAN advertised both speeches as part of its new "Road to the White House 2016" series.)

    Speaking to South Carolina Democrats at their annual Jefferson Jackson fundraiser at the city's convention center, Biden defended government programs that offer subsidized health care and college loans and said that the Republican House budget proposal,

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  • Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla. (AP file photo)Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla. (AP file photo)

    In preparation for a new round of Senate hearings on bipartisan legislation to overhaul the nation's immigration system, bill co-author Florida Sen. Marco Rubio is urging skeptical conservatives who oppose it to instead work to toughen measures such as border security.

    Rubio, a Republican with one of the most conservative voting records in the chamber—and who rose to power with support from the tea party—has faced intense scrutiny from some conservative groups for his willingness to work with Democrats on writing the bill. On Friday, Rubio published an op-ed in the Wall Street Journal that called on them to work with him to rework the language in the bill. If they don't work with him on the legislation, Rubio warned, they will leave immigration reform to liberal Democrats, who he argued would legalize unlawful immigrants without balancing their approach with tougher border security.

    "Conservatism has always been about reforming government and solving problems, and that's why the

    Read More »from Rubio’s pitch to conservatives on immigration reform: If you don’t act, Obama will


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