Jason Zengerle

Jason Zengerle is an assistant editor at the New Republic and a former assistant editor at The American Prospect.

Recent Articles

Devil in the Details

BLOOD ON THE HIGHWAY? Who could be against traffic safety? Well, according to the sublimely named American Highway Users Alliance (AHUA), environmentalists and urban planners, of all people. At issue is the 1991 Inter-modal Surface Transportation Efficiency Act (ISTEA, known affectionately as "ice tea"), which is up for renewal this year. ISTEA signaled a major change in federal transportation policy. The law shifted billions of dollars traditionally earmarked for funding roads, bridges, and transit to new programs designed to promote alternative modes of transportation and to help cities and suburbs comply with more stringent clean air requirements. But according to the highway lobby, the environmentalists and urban planners who supported this measure have put millions of American drivers at risk by denying highway builders the funds to repair potholes, fix bridges, and otherwise keep highways in safe driving condition. In an interview with Congressional Quarterly , AHUA President...

Old Party, New Energy

I n the mid-1970s, the founding fathers of the New Right almost walked away from the Republican Party. Sickened by Watergate and angry at what they perceived as the Republican Party's moderation, Richard Viguerie, Howard Phillips, and Paul Weyrich strove to bring together the disparate conservative forces spawned by Barry Goldwater's 1964 presidential campaign into a single powerful coalition they hoped would form the base of a new political party. President, movement, and party, they thought, needed to be brought together in a new organization on the right. Between 1974 and 1977 these three men turned samizdats into publications, discussion groups into think tanks, and businessmen's lunches into political action committees (PACs). William F. Buckley's National Review provided the intellectual underpinnings. Viguerie, the original guru of direct mail, supplied the mailing lists. Phillips and Weyrich, the founders of the Conservative Caucus and the Committee for the Survival of a Free...

Hoop Schemes?

A White House congratulatory ceremony for a championship sports team is usually just a big, friendly photo opportunity, filled with the platitudes and gift exchanges typical of such an apolitical celebration. But in 1991, when the National Basketball Association (NBA) champion Chicago Bulls paid a visit to George Bush, Craig Hodges, then a backup guard for the Bulls, saw an opportunity for activism. Instead of presenting Bush with the customary team jersey, Hodges, who wore a dashiki for the occasion, handed the President a letter asking him to be more vigilant in rectifying injustices against African Americans. The White House episode was hardly out of character for Hodges, who frequently took advantage of his exposure to champion political causes. Hodges's complaints about the lack of African Americans in management positions in professional sports, his public dalliances with Louis Farrakhan and the Nation of Islam, and his outspoken criticism of less socially conscious black...