Three Cheers for American Crossroads

Reporting on Politics and Policy.
March 23 2011 4:30 PM

Three Cheers for American Crossroads

Can somebody explain to me why I'm supposed to be put off by American Crossroads GPS launching a wiki to collect FOIAs and public information about the Obama administration? Because this is not doing it.

"It is incredibly ironic that Crossroads wants to [talk] 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."

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You know who else wants to talk about openness? CREW, which doesn't disclose its donors.

A top Democratic official joked that he "never knew Karl Rove was such a fan of F.O.I.A.’s., but we welcome his new-found interest in greater transparency. And given Crossroads and Mr. Rove’s new-found interest in transparency, we look forward to their taking this opportunity to disclose all Crossroads GPS donors, which to date they have kept secret."

Wait, who is joking about Karl Rove's interest in transparency? Because he or she did not allow the New York Times to say who he or she is .

In the future American Crossroads should not claim to have evidence of journalists doing things they didn't d o. The site launched with a non-scoop about journalists having "dinner" with Elizabeth Warren, and they didn't. ("I've never had dinner with Elizabeth Warren," Markos Moulitsas tells me.) But the goal of assembling public documents in one place is pretty obviously laudable.

David Weigel is a Slate political reporter. 

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