Michael McManus is a co-founder of Marriage Savers, a conservative advocacy group, and a syndicated columnist. His column, titled "Ethics & Religion," appears in 50 newspapers.
On Janaury 27, 2005, Salon reported that McManus had received $10,000 as a Department of Health and Human Services subcontractor, with the Lewin Group, a health care consultancy. The HHS contract was to provide presentations and trainings in support of the Bush administration's Community Healthy Marriage Initiative. "McManus provided training during two-day conferences in Chattanooga, Tenn., and also made presentations at HHS-sponsored conferences," reported Salon. 
McManus' dual role came under fire because he continued to write about the Bush initiative without disclosing the HHS contract. Salon reported that McManus wrote in an April 2004 column, "The Healthy Marriage Initiative would provide funds to help those couples improve their skills of conflict resolution so they might actually marry -- and be equipped to build a healthy marriage. Those skills can be taught by mentor couples in churches for free. But for the non-religious, counselors would be paid." In an earlier column, he wrote that the initiative "could be used to teach skills to improve communication and resolve conflict that would make the relationship happier and lead to a healthy marriage." 
- Covert propaganda
- Department of Health and Human Services
- Bush administration
- Maggie Gallagher
- Armstrong Williams
- Eric Boehlert, "Third Columnist Caught with Hand in the Bush Till," Salon, January 27, 2005. Article also available here.
- "Third Columnist Implicated with Payola Charges", Editor & Publisher, January 27, 2005.
- Dave Astor, "Pundit Payola: Syndicates Work to Prevent More Problems, Editor & Publisher, January 28, 2005.