Dem takeover: nonpartisan watchdog group now part of liberal operation

The formerly nonpartisan watchdog group has now aligned itself with some of the largest Democrats in Washington, DC. The watchdog group focused on ethics, but we're wondering who will hold this liberal group accountable for its own ethics violations? 

Paul Singer --- USA Today 

An interesting moment for the “good government” community in Washington: One of the most vocal congressional ethics watchdog groups is becoming part of a Democratic political operation.

Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington announced Wednesday that Democratic activist David Brock (a former Republican activist)  is becoming the new chairman of the CREW board — describing his empire this way:

Brock is the founder of the progressive media watchdog, Media Matters for America, the Democratic research Super PAC American Bridge and The American Independent Institute, which supports journalism that exposes the nexus of conservative power in Washington.

The group also added to the board Democratic political consultant David Mercer and San Francisco real-estate magnate Wayne Jordan, who is a big Democratic donor.

Politico casts the takeover a in its starkest political terms:

In a major power play that aligns liberal muscle more fully behind the Democratic Party — and Hillary Clinton — the self-described right-wing hitman-turned-Clinton enforcer David Brock is taking over a leading watchdog group, Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington.

Brock was elected chairman of the group’s board last week after laying out a multifaceted expansion intended to turn the group into a more muscular — and likely partisan — attack dog, according to sources familiar with the move.

Republicans have long believed that CREW was a Democratic front anyhow. It is headed by Melanie Sloan, who has her roots in politics working for Democrats; it did not release information on donors, but several Democratic-leaning foundations and unions have been big supporters; it tended to hit harder on Republican ethical violations than Democratic ones. Some years ago, I wrote a story for Roll Call questioning the group’s impartiality.

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