Former representative Tim Penny (D-Minn.) has joined the Cato Institute as a fellow in fiscal policy studies, and Leanne Abdnor has been named director of external affairs.
In his part-time post, Penny will work closely with Cato chairman William Niskanen and director of fiscal policy studies Stephen Moore on such issues as balancing the federal budget and reducing corporate welfare.
Penny said he joined Cato because the Institute's vision of limited government is in tune with the times. "I've long admired the Cato Institute and am delighted to be affiliated with them. In Washington today, small is beautiful and both Republicans and Democrats need to better articulate the means of reducing the size and scope of government in our society. Cato seeks to define a more limited role for government in America's future, and I look forward to working with the Institute to advance that goal," he said.
Cato Institute president Ed Crane said Penny's appointment reflects Cato's long history of calling on members of both parties to provide fiscal leadership. "We're proud to be associated with Tim Penny and look forward to working with him. During his years in Congress he earned a reputation for integrity and fiscal responsibility that was second to none. This appointment also underscores the nonpartisan approach to public policy that the Cato Institute has taken over the years," Crane said.
Abdnor, the niece of former senator James Abdnor (R-S.D.), worked for Venners and Co., a Washington lobbying firm, for nine years; she then spent five years directing the Washington office of a large corporation. She specialized in tax, energy, and environmental affairs. In her new role she serves as Cato's liaison with Congress and with the business community in Washington.