THE SCANDAL over Congressman Mark Foley’s sexual misconduct has generated some unexpected blowback. It has pitted George Soros’ Shadow Party against the FBI.
The Soros-funded group CREW has effectively declared war on America’s top federal law enforcement agency. CREW has called on the Justice Department to investigate the FBI. In an October 5 statement, it accused the Bureau of having “fabricated and disseminated” falsehoods about CREW, as part of an FBI “cover-up” of the Foley scandal. (1)
In the war of words now raging between CREW and the FBI -- CREW through its press releases, and the FBI through anonymous press leaks – each accuses the other of obstructing justice in the Foley investigation.
CREW started the fight with a surprise announcement on October 2. It stated at a press conference that it had obtained some of Foley’s incriminating e-mail correspondence on July 21 – two months before ABC News broke the Foley story on September 28. CREW claimed that it had sought to interest FBI investigators in the Foley e-mails, but to no avail.
“Since the FBI has known about Rep. Foley’s emails since July, the question arises: Did the administration help to cover up Rep. Foley’s conduct and leave a potential sexual predator on the loose?...” asked CREW executive director Melanie Sloan. “The American public deserves to know not just how and why members of Congress failed to take action to protect the youngsters entrusted to the care of the House of Representatives, but also why the FBI – an agency charged with protecting the public – failed to safeguard other youngsters from a potential sexual predator.” (2)
FBI sources retort that it was CREW, not the Bureau, that was playing games with the Foley evidence. According to the Washington Post of October 5:
“…unidentified Justice and FBI officials told reporters that the e-mails provided by CREW were heavily redacted and that the group refused to provide unedited versions to the FBI. One law enforcement official – speaking on the condition of anonymity to discuss an ongoing investigation – also told The Washington Post the FBI believed that CREW may have received the e-mails as early as April and that the group refused to tell the FBI how they were obtained.” (3)
CREW says the G-men are lying. It has posted on its website a point-by-point refutation of their account. (4)
CREW – whose initials stand for Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington – presents itself as a non-partisan, public interest group, which litigates and brings ethics charges against corrupt politicians. Its website (citizensforethics.org) states that CREW, "targets government officials who sacrifice the common good to special interests. We will help Americans use litigation to shine a light on those who betray the public trust…” Despite this idealistic language, the degree to which CREW’s litigators target Republicans and spare Democrats lends credence to the view expressed by many Washington observers that CREW is little more than an attack machine for George Soros’ Shadow Party.
Shadow Party Agenda
The Shadow Party is a tightly-coordinated network of private groups through which Soros disburses campaign cash and exerts influence over the Democrats. In 2004, the Shadow Party raised more than $300 million for Democrat candidates. This gave Soros unprecedented power to bend the Democratic Party to his will. After the election, Soros operative and MoveOn PAC director Eli Pariser declared, “Now it’s our party: we bought it, we own it…” (5)
Shadow Party operative Robert Borosage expressed a similar view at the time. A hard-left militant during the ‘60s, Borosage now serves as co-director of the Campaign for America’s Future, a leftwing activist group which has received more than $300,000 from Soros’ Open Society Institute. In a November 29, 2004 article in the Marxist journal The Nation, Borosage and Nation editor Katrina Vanden Heuvel wrote:
“[P]rogressives drive this party now - we provide the energy, the organizers, the ground forces, the ideas, and much of the money. We should organize the opposition [against Republicans]. Progressives should mount a powerful assault on Republican boss Tom DeLay.” (6)
It is probably no coincidence that CREW executive director Melanie Sloan was thinking along the same lines. "Since I started [with CREW], the main thing I wanted to do was to go after Tom DeLay,” Sloan told the Wall Street Journal in May 2005. “DeLay is my top target.” The Journal reports:
"A former assistant U.S. attorney for the District of Columbia, Ms.
Sloan engineered an ethics complaint against Mr. DeLay in the House,
asked the Internal Revenue Service to audit a pair of Mr. DeLay's
fund-raising committees and sued the Federal Election Commission to
obtain more information about possible financial ties between Mr. DeLay
and a Kansas utility. She also urged the Justice Department to
investigate Mr. DeLay for his role in promising fund-raising help to a
family member of Nick Smith, at the time a Republican House
representative from Michigan, in exchange for Mr. Smith's vote on
Medicare legislation." (7)
CREW was joined in its campaign against DeLay by a swarm of Soros-funded groups, all posing as “non-partisan” watchdogs – among them Common Cause, Democracy 21, Public Citizen, Public Campaign and the Campaign Legal Center. (8) The above-named groups have all received large contributions from Soros’ Open Society Institute. Common Cause has received $650,000; Democracy 21, $300,000; Public Citizen, $275,000; and Public Campaign, $1.3 million.(9) The Campaign Legal Center acknowledges on its Web site that it too has received “generous financial support” from the Open Society Institute.
Most of CREW’s targets have been Republicans. On those few occasions when it picks fights with the left, it tends to target people like Green Party candidate Ralph Nader, whom Democrat leaders regard as competitors or spoilers. (10)
On March 14, 2006, The Hill newspaper reported that CREW had targeted 14 Republican legislators for lawsuits or ethics complaints, but only one Democrat (Sen. Blanche Lincoln of Arkansas). (11)
CREW was founded by Democrat activists Norm Eisen and Louis Mayberg. Eisen is an attorney. Mayberg is president and co-founder of the Bethesda, MD mutual fund management firm ProFund Advisors LLC.
CREW’s 990 IRS filing for 2001 lists its three founding directors as Louis Mayberg, Mark Penn and Daniel Berger. Mayberg and Berger are prominent Democrat donors. Mark Penn is a top Democrat strategist and pollster.
Penn played a decisive role in Bill Clinton's 1996 campaign, and served as head of message and strategy for Hillary Clinton's 2000 Senate campaign. Penn is a fellow of Simon Rosenberg's New Politics Institute (NPI), an important Shadow Party think tank. He is president and co-founder of the polling firm Penn & Schoen Associates.
CREW deputy director Naomi Seligman Steiner formerly served as communications director for Media Matters for America, yet another group with strong ties to Soros’ Shadow Party.
Melanie Sloan became executive director of CREW in 2003. She is a long-time Democrat operative, having served as a former aide to Rep. John Conyers and Senator Joe Biden.
Before joining CREW, Sloan served as nominations counsel for Joe Biden’s Senate Judiciary Committee (1993); counsel for the Crime Subcommittee of the House Judiciary Committee for Charles Schumer (1994); minority counsel for the U.S. House of Representatives Judiciary Committee under John Conyers (1995-1998); and assistant U.S. district attorney for the District of Columbia (1998-2003).
George Soros' Open Society Institute contributed $100,000 to CREW in January 2006. (12) More importantly, CREW has reportedly received substantial funding through the Democracy Alliance, a network of leftwing millionaires and billionaires organized by Soros. According to the Washington Post:
"...a Democracy Alliance blessing effectively jump-started
Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW)....
Alliance officials see CREW as a possible counterweight to
conservative-leaning Judicial Watch, which filed numerous lawsuits
against Clinton administration officials in the 1990s.” (13)
Other CREW funders include the Tides Foundation, the Barbra Streisand Foundation, the Arca Foundation, the David Geffen Foundation, the Wallace Global Fund, the Mayberg Family Charitable Foundation, the Woodbury Fund, Inc., and the Sheller Family Foundation – all institutions distinguished by their support for far-left causes. (14)
“The Mark Foley scandal is over, as the disgraced Congressman enters rehab and leaves politics forever,” states an October 4 e-mail to Nation subscribers. “But… the Republican Congressional Leadership scandal is most definitely not over.”
The Congress is well rid of Foley. No one is sorry to see him go. But, for the Shadow Party, the Foley scandal is merely a means to an end. Their goal is regime change. They will not relent until government power rests in Soros’ hands. And they will use any pretext to achieve that ambition.
Until now, CREW has met little resistance. The confidence with which it challenges the FBI bespeaks its long track record of success. It remains to be seen whether the FBI will crumble as easily before CREW’s onslaught as have so many Republican leaders.
1. Press Release: “CREW Demands DOJ I.G. Investigate FBI Cover-up on Inaction on Foley Emails Sent by CREW”, Citizens for Ethics and Responsibility in Washington (CREW), citizensforethics.org, 5 October 2006
2. Press Release: “CREW Urges DOG I.G. to Probe Why FBI Failed to Investigate Foley Emails Sent by CREW This Summer”, Citizens for Ethics and Responsibility in Washington (CREW), citizensforethics.org, 2 October 2006
3. Dan Eggen, “Watchdog Group Disputes FBI’s Claims on E-Mails”, Washington Post, 6 October 2006, A04
4. Press Release: “Lies vs. Facts: CREW’s Role in the Foley Scandal”, Citizens for Ethics and Responsibility in Washington (CREW), citizensforethics.org, 10 October 2006
5. Sam Hananel, “MoveOn to Democratic Party: 'We Own It'”, Associated Press, 9 December 2004
6. Robert L. Borosage and Katrina vanden Heuvel, “Progressives: Get Ready to Fight”, The Nation, 29 November 2004
7. Brody Mullins, “In Washington, Watchdogs Bear Watching”, Wall Street Journal, 10 May 2005
8. Alexander Bolton, “Watchdogs in Soros’s Pocket: GOP”, The Hill, March 23, 2005; Michelle Malkin, “Wobbly Watchdogs,” michellemalkin.com, June 22, 2004
9. “ The Soros Agenda: Free Speech for Billionaires Only,” The Wall Street Journal Online (OpinionJournal.com), January 3, 2004
10. Press Release: “CREW Files FEC and IRS Complaints Against Nader for President 2004 and Citizen Works”, Citizens for Ethics and Responsibility in Washington (CREW), citizensforethics.org, 25 June 2004
11. Alexander Bolton, “Watchdog’s Tax Status, Politics are Questioned,” The Hill, 14 March 2006
12. Sabrina Eaton, “Watchdog Group Gets Assist from Foe Ney”, The Plain Dealer (Cleveland), 24 May 2006
13. Jim VandeHei and Chris Cilizza, “A New Alliance of Democrats Spreads Funding”, Washington Post, 17 July 2006, A01
14. Guidestar.org, FoundationSearch.com.