Monday, July 23, 2012

Ethics Complaint Revives Charges of Watchdog Group Bias

Roll Call News has a story this morning on whether a particular Washington watchdog group is partisan or not. And buries the lede by not including the most relevant piece of information, the dispositive piece of information, until the last paragraph.
A just-filed ethics complaint is reigniting a long-running debate about whether one of Washington, D.C.’s most prominent watchdog groups is impartial or tilts to the left.

The complaint is widening a rift between Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington and House Oversight and Government Reform Chairman Darrell Issa (R-Calif.)...in past years, CREW has also faced complaints from the left, such as for investigating an Education Department regulation. In February, the Democracy Alliance, a group of wealthy Democratic benefactors, left CREW off a list of recommended funding priorities, urging its members donate to what are, broadly speaking, more partisan groups.
So far, so good, right? Maybe it's a partisan group, maybe it's not?

Sure. And then, if you read the entire thing, you get to the very end and find:
CREW was originally founded by Norman Eisen, the U.S. ambassador to the Czech Republic, who formerly served as President Barack Obama’s internal ethics cop. Eisen told Ms. magazine in 2007 he launched CREW to provide a balance to Judicial Watch and other right-wing legal watchdogs.
Mystery solved. Because obviously, you don't "balance" "right-wing" groups without being, well, "left-wing." CREW wasn't founded as a non-balanced group, and there's no reason whatsoever to think that it has somehow metamorphosized into one over the years...

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