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Disclose As We Say, Not As We Do

CREW's hypocrisy on donor disclosure goes ignored.

12:03 PM, Mar 24, 2011 • By MICHAEL WARREN
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Yesterday, Michael Shear of the New York Times wrote a one-sided report on Crossroads GPS, the conservative nonprofit founded by the left's bogeyman, Karl Rove. Crossroads recently launched wikicountability.org, a website that aims to push the Obama administration to respond to Freedom of Information Act requests. Cue the quote of outrage from Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW) executive director Melanie Sloan, a left-leaning government watchdog group (emphasis mine):

But the effort immediately drew criticism from Democrats and campaign watchdog groups, who noted that Crossroads had been under fire since its inception for refusing to reveal its donors.

“It is incredibly ironic that Crossroads wants to take about openness when they are highly secretive,” said Melanie Sloan, the executive director of Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington. “I think the whole thing is a gimmick. It is ridiculous coming from Rove.”...

Ms. Sloan said Crossroads could report its donors if it wanted to, and accused the group of hypocrisy.

I called CREW this morning to see if Melanie Sloan would talk about her own group's donors. 

"CREW does not discuss its donors," said communications director Garrett Russo. I asked him why not, since Sloan said Crossroads GPS was guilty of hypocrisy for not doing the same thing.

"CREW does not discuss its donors," Russo repeated. "That's about all I can tell you."

Crossroads, CREW, and most other private nonprofits in Washington won't disclose their donors, and they have every legal right not to. So why does CREW, the New York Times, and the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee (which launched wikiprocisy.org in response) hold Crossroads to a different standard? Or is this just another sucker punch at Karl Rove and conservatives?

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