What I DON’T want for the holidays…

Hey kids, can’t figure out what to get mom and dad for the holidays this year? How about their very own political think tank!

No, it’s not a joke — the Berkeley-based, nonpartisan Bay Area Center of Voting Research (BACVR) has broken new think-tank ground by putting itself up for sale on eBay. The auction of BACVR, which made headlines back in ’05 by ranking America’s most liberal and conservative cities, began last week and will continue through 9 a.m. Dec. 3.

Co-founder Phil Reiff said BACVR “democratized the staid world of political research by creating the first Internet-based think tank. Using the eBay auction process to select the next leadership for BACVR is a perfect extension of our innovative approach.”

Reiff and co-founder Jason Alderman said they set the opening bid for BACVR intentionally low at $5,000 — chump change for instant punditry! — “in order to attract a wide array of potential new owners and to send a clear message to bidders that running a think tank can be done by anyone, not just Ivy-League professors and Washington, D.C. insiders.”

The BACVR founders say their work has been cited by academic researchers as well as by media outlets worldwide including the New York Times, USA Today, the Associated Press, Agence France-Presse, the San Francisco Chronicle, the Washington Times, the Baltimore Sun, the Miami Herald, the Detroit News, the Seattle Post-Intelligencer, the Indianapolis Star, the Minneapolis Star Tribune, the Arizona Republic — and the Oakland Tribune, by gosh! — among others. And foreign diplomats from Israel and China have sought out BACVR researchers to better understand the evolving American political process, they claim. Now this pedigree can be yours!

The winning bidder gets all of BACVR’s intellectual assets including the Web site, past research, and well-known name; as an Internet-based organization, it has no physical property or employees to pay.

But wait… order now and get a FREE set of Ginsu knives! (No, not really.)

Josh Richman

Josh Richman covers state and national politics for the Bay Area News Group. A New York City native, he earned a bachelor’s degree in journalism from the University of Missouri and reported for the Express-Times of Easton, Pa. for five years before coming to the Oakland Tribune and ANG Newspapers in 1997. He is a frequent guest on KQED Channel 9’s “This Week in Northern California;” a proud father; an Eagle Scout; a somewhat skilled player of low-stakes poker; a rather good cook; a firm believer in the use of semicolons; and an unabashed political junkie who will never, EVER seek elected office.