Home Committed Conservative Views CREW: It’s an Eminence Front

CREW: It’s an Eminence Front

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CREW "lawyers" Painter and Eisen

Hey CREW … “Come … and … join … the … party … dressed to kill.  It’s an eminence front.”

Behind an eminence front
Eminence front, it’s a put on
It’s an eminence front
It’s an eminence front, it’s a put on
An eminence front
Eminence front, it’s a put on
Eminence front
It’s an eminence front
It’s an eminence front, it’s a put on
It’s a put on, it’s a put on, it’s a put on

It’s a put on … as The Who famously sang. Of course, that Who song was purportedly about a drug fueled party and the phonies who attend, dressed to kill, wearing bling, and hiding their true identities as they run from reality.

The term, “eminence front” is more broadly about people who use bling, power, name-dropping, and all the false trappings of a con to put on a front that they are someone different and better than they really are.  It’s a put on.  It’s an eminence front.  These days, it’s easy to find an eminence front … often fueled instead by partisan zealotry.

Citizens for Responsible and Ethics in Washington (CREW) is an eminence front.  It’s a put on.  In fact, most organizations that begin with “Citizens” are not who they purport to be.  They are not grassroots movements of everyday citizens working tirelessly for a cause or effort.

CREW’s roots are not grass … but they are green.  These types of groups are astroturf groups.  They are political front groups. Huge, high money donors with specific, defined, political motives and agenda back these types of groups.  That doesn’t make them illegal; it just makes their whole shtick suspect.

CREW is a left-wing front group used by radical, left-wing, political interests mostly to attack and destroy the big money interest of another party, group, or candidate.  That’s the real irony.  See the “citizens” funding CREW.

CREW purports to be a nonprofit organization that “uses aggressive legal action, in-depth research, and bold communications to reduce the influence of money in politics and help foster a government that is ethical and accountable.”

That sure sounds great, except for the part where they are used BY moneyed interest to both influence political and government policy. None of this is terribly huge news inside beltway circles.

The “CREW” crew deserves a bit of strict scrutiny because the media treats them like they are both non-partisan and bi-partisan.  The media routinely interviews and holds CREW members and supporters out as non-partisan experts on outlets from cable, to public radio, to major news networks.  The treatment media have given CREW in no way resembles the treatment … or disdain … the media often heaps on other politically motivated and dark-money funded organizations.

The power of a front group is its veneer of legitimacy.  When mainstream media polishes that veneer, it only adds to power of the group by bolstering its appearance of legitimacy.  CREW is not a legitimate, non-partisan ethics think tank.  The media uses its power to add luster and credibility to CREW and other leftist groups, but it does not treat all such politically motivated groups the same.

Compare CREW for example, to Citizens United.  Most people think Citizens United is nothing more than the name of a legal decision that permits unlimited third-party political giving to Political Action Committees. Citizens United is actually another group engaged in the business of pushing influence and a political agenda.  It’s not “citizens” as the term would conjure up the image of neighbors banning together. it certainly isn’t non-partisan.

Citizens’ United has been around since 1988.  Do you hear its members on NPR, MSNBC, NBC, or CNN?  Are they treated as “experts” in PAC giving or grassroots organizing?  No, its members are treated, if at all by the mainstream media, as big money, corporate interests trying to sway and buy elections.  In fact, in the MSM, Citizens’ United is less an organization than it is a pejorative term.  Why is this so? Citizens United is on the wrong side of the media political agenda.

The CREW organization is getting, essentially, free publicity and in-kind donations from liberal media outlets who are improperly and incorrectly bolstering the organization and treating it as something other than an agenda driven, politically-financed, special interest group trying to influence politics, policy, and opinion.

One would be wise to treat this CREW and others with whom they regularly associate as nothing more than political activists.  I like to call these types who merge law, policy, and politics cloaked as law … Hactivists. They are not honest brokers in the ethics business.

What they do is perfectly legal and entirely misleading.

Indeed, some of their supporters and members are behind the frivolous Emoluments Clause movement launched by CREW supporters like Richard Painter, Norm Eisen, and Obama fundraiser and Hillary Clinton sycophant Lawrence Tribe. I exposed both the legal tomfoolery of their emoluments contrivance as well as the political hackery that was its motivation.

Even today … Painter, an anti-Trump Bushie … was humping the false narrative that Donald Trump, Jr.’s meeting with a Russian lawyer was “treason.”  It sure was stupid, and it might be a few other things too, including politically damaging … but it plainly wasn’t Treason.

Real lawyers … and real ethics lawyers … don’t tweet out this kind of obviously false, political-skulduggery masquerading as legal analysis.  But that’s the reason for which these CREW types live, and the purpose for which they are paid.  They are paid, political hactivists using the label and franchise of legitimacy to sell dissent, division, and discord for their political purposes.

Recently, Crew became the outside counsel in a new, politically motivated, legal action where DC and Maryland are suing President Trump for allegedly violating the Emoluments Clause.  The case is facially frivolous, though CREW undoubtedly found a forum before a judge least likely to dismiss the action and sanction the Plaintiffs.

CREW is not stupid … it just counts on the rest of us being so.

I don’t have a problem with organized special interest groups trying to influence the government … even in the misleading, incorrect, self-aggrandizing way that CREW and its front group does it.  We call that liberty.  My issue is when one is treated as something it is not.  When you see, hear, or read about CREW … you should consider their analysis dubious, untrustworthy, politically motivated, and profoundly misleading … no matter what media outlet is trying to shine that turd.

They may have legal and policy experts, but their purpose is highly political. 

Don’t expect any straight legal or policy analysis from that CREW.  Sing it with me

Come and join the party
Dress to kill
Won’t you come and join the party
Dress to kill, dress to kill

Behind an eminence front
An eminence front, it’s a put on
It’s just an eminence front
An eminence front, it’s a put on
An eminence front
An eminence front, it’s a put on
Eminence front
It’s an eminence front, it’s a put on
It’s a put on, it’s a put on, it’s a put on

Richard Kelsey

Author: Richard Kelsey

Richard Kelsey is the Editor-in-Chief of Committed Conservative.

He is an Attorney, a former Assistant Law School Dean, Law Professor, and Virginia state court law clerk. Dean Kelsey was also the CEO of a technology company specializing in combating cyber-fraud. He is a regular commentator on legal and political issues in print, radio and on TV.

Rich graduated from George Mason law school, clerked for the Arlington Circuit Court, and later joined an AM LAW top 10 law firm practicing commercial litigation. He left the firm to be counsel and CEO to a consulting firm, rising to CEO of Turiss, LLC, a technology firm specializing in computer forensics, digital investigations, and fighting cyber-fraud through civil intel services and new technologies. Upon the sale of the company, Kelsey returned to Mason Law, where in the years before his return, he both taught at the school and served as President of the Law Alumni Association. Kelsey was the Assistant Dean for Management and Planning.

At Mason, Dean Kelsey taught legal writing and analysis and an advanced litigation seminar. In 2014 he was elected by the graduating class as the faculty speaker at their graduation. While serving the former George Mason Law, Kelsey conceived of, planned, and brought to fruition Mason’s Center for the Protection of Intellectual Property, known as CPIP.

Rich has appeared on radio, TV, and in print hundreds of times as both a legal expert and political and legal commentator. He provided the legal analysis for all stages of the Bob McDonnell trial and appeal for numerous outlets including NPR and WMAL. He writes on occasion for the American Spectator and CNSNews.com. He returned to private practice in September of 2016, and he is working on a book/expose on legal education.

In his free time, Rich is part of the baseball mafia of Northern Virginia, serving on numerous boards and as a little league and travel baseball coach.

Rich has many opinions, and they are his own. His Twitter handle is @richkelsey.

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