CREW Cleaning The Republican’s House

By: Bob Parks

I must admit to having an initial gut response to CREW (Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington) and their current attempts to root out nepotism in our nation’s Capitol.

According to Josephine Hearn at The Politico, “House members are complaining that their spouses could lose their jobs, their family incomes could drop and, perhaps, the entire pattern of their family lives could change if an ethics reform bill just passed by the House becomes law.”

“The bill would bar campaigns from employing a lawmaker’s spouse. Its backers argue that employing a spouse creates an implicit conflict of interest, tempting lawmakers to overpay and tipping off contributors that some of their largesse will go directly to the lawmaker’s family.

Rhonda Rohrabacher has 3-year-old triplets and a work-at-home job as campaign manager to her husband, Rep. Dana Rohrabacher (R-Calif.).

She made $57,000 in the 2006 election cycle, according to a recent report by the liberal watchdog group Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington.

Under the proposed ban, Rhonda Rohrabacher would be out of a job.

“It’s gonna hurt me,” Rep. Rohrabacher said. “My family would be deprived of that income. I think it’s baloney. I think it’s just a way of not having to look at issues by making it a personal matter.”

Like I said, my initial response is that CREW’s initials really should be CRREW (Citizens for Responsibility and Republican Ethics in Washington) and are really do us a service by sanitizing the Republican Party and leaving exposed the Democrats for exclusive scrutiny.

I’m sure that when finished with the scandalous Republicans, CREW will go after Democrats like Senator Dianne Feinstein, Congressman William “The Fridge” Jefferson, or Senator Harry “The Real Land Deal” Reid. The Politico story did mention two Democrats, but the implication remains that this is a Republican problem.

CREW is a non-profit 501(c)(3) organization, thus is kind of forbidden from being too partisan, as it takes advantage of its tax-exempt status. Mentioning a couple of Democrats kind of lets them off the hook, for now.

But let us not forget, CREW Executive Director Melanie Sloan is the legal counsel for Joe (Valerie Plame) Wilson, and as of June 19 of this year, CREW “filed a Senate Ethics complaint against Senator David Vitter (R-LA) asking for an investigation into whether he violated the Senate Rules of Conduct by soliciting for prostitution”, as well as filing “a Federal Election Commission (FEC) complaint against the Republican Party of Minnesota and its former treasurer, Marina Taubenberger, alleging
multiple egregious violations of the Federal Election Campaign Act (FECA) and FEC regulations.”

It’s obvious that the “non partisan” CREW has the nation’s best interests at heart in seeking to rid Washington D.C. of corruption and is starting by cleaning the Republican house.

We need to get back to the ethics and ideals that gave us the Republican Revolution of 1994. Like in sports, we need to remember what got us here. You can’t do it without a good CREW.

I will be watching very closely to see when (and if) they turn on the Democrats with the same ferocity. If not, maybe someone should do some real investigating into the activities of CREW. If they want tax-exempt status, then they need give the same watchdog attention to the party that routinely raises taxes on everyone else. We wouldn’t want CREW to appear to have a conflict of interest.

Bob Parks is a staff writer for the New Media Alliance, Inc. ( The New Media Alliance is a non-profit (501c3) national coalition of writers, journalists and grass-roots media outlets.

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