The Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington, or CREW, has been for years the go-to place for reports on unethical practices in government. No matter which side of the political aisle a politician was on, you could find their corrupt doings in reports released by the watchdog group.
David Brock, on the other hand, is a partisan hack, who has founded several groups to attack right-of-center organizations and labels anything not pro-Hillary Clinton as “right-wing bias.” He is also the head of two decidedly pro-Clinton organizations, one to explain away Hillary’s dealings and one that is a Super PAC supporting her run for president.
Two years ago, Brock was put on the board of CREW, and since then, it has taken a very partisan turn, according to Bloomberg Politics:
Annual rankings of the “most corrupt” members of Congress and a bi-annual list of the “worst” governors have stopped. A pipeline of in-depth reports on issues ranging from financial markets to timber-industry lobbying has gone dry. The group walked away from a spat over Hillary Clinton’s treatment of e-mails as secretary of state, even after an Inspector General found that CREW’s public records request had been improperly denied.
By 2013, CREW was filing an average of eight federal lawsuits each year, with a peak of 15 in 2007, public records show. In the nearly two years since Brock arrived in August 2014, the group has filed a total of four. Meanwhile, CREW also mothballed a number of projects related to government transparency, congressional corruption, and so-called Astroturf lobbying campaigns that purport to represent grassroots movements but are primarily the product of a few wealthy donors, a Bloomberg analysis of CREW’s work showed.
This is, of course, no coincidence. Brock, who is in no way bi-partisan, much less non-partisan, has very quietly, but very effectively, put a muzzle over CREW’s work when it comes to Democrats. The bolded line in that first quoted paragraph tells you all you need to know about how effective a watchdog group can be under Brock’s leadership.
This is how these things happen. A group that does good work will slowly, inevitably, take on the personalities of the strong partisans who infiltrate it. And it’s a shame because CREW was legitimately a very good place to go for this sort of information. Now, it’s doing almost no work, and when it does, you only hear of the unethical dealings from politicians from one particular party… and it’s not Brock’s.