Wednesday, August 25, 2004

"Sauce for the Gander"

Did you see the mainstream media furor about an outside lawyer advising the Bush-Cheney campaign who was also retained by the Swift Vets? My thought was there's a lawyer with a burgeoning practice, but Kerry spokesdroid Chad Clanton had his panties tightly knotted:
"It's another piece of the mounting evidence of the ties between the Bush campaign and this group," Kerry campaign spokesman Chad Clanton said of Ginsberg's admission.
and the flying monkeys in the mainstream media were chattering loudly and really upset.

Anyhow, NZ Bear does a little digging (you know, that icky stuff reporters used to do) and provides Sauce for the Gander: Sharing Lawyers With 527's. Follow the link for all the details, but basically he held off on publishing a story over the weekend about one Mr. Ned Reiff who is Deputy General Counsel for the Demorcratic National Committee as well as working for our little pals,
The reason I held off on publishing this information originally was that after consulting with some of the legal luminaries of the blogosphere, I did not get a clear answer as to whether Mr. Reiff's dual role was truly a conflict from an ethical, legal, or campaign-finance perspective (the consensus was that it didn't seem to be a conflict). And it honestly seems understandable to me that a lawyer might provide legal services to many groups without crossing the "coordination" line which 527's must honor.

But if Mr. Ginsberg is going to be criticized by Kerry's campaign for his dual role, it is only fair to ask the same questions about Mr. Reiff.

At this point, the Kerry campaign's belief that they can hold their opponents to one set of standards while blissfully ignoring the fact that their own partisans trample upon those same standards has passed being stupid, and is now becoming downright insulting. Did they really think that nobody would bother to check if the Democrats were similarly sharing lawyers with 527's?

That kind of carelessness might have cut it a few years ago, when somnolent Big Media hacks were satisfied to define reporting as getting quotes from both party's spokesmen. But times have changed, friends: there isn't just one new sheriff in town, there's thousands of us. We will fact-check your ass, and we will do it thoroughly and properly, with links and primary sources that let our readers decide where the truth lies. So straighten up and fly right, because we are watching --- and we do this crap for fun.
Yes, indeedy.

And what do you know, but the latest AP reports have this buried paragraph:
Joe Sandler, a lawyer for the DNC and, a group running anti-Bush ads, said there is nothing wrong with serving in both roles at once. Attorneys are ethically bound to maintain attorney-client confidentiality, and could lose their law licenses if they violate that, he said.
Joe, why don't you hop on over to Chad Clanton's office and point out the clue phone to him? Even the Evil Empire nearly gets it:
The campaign of Senator John Kerry shares a lawyer, Robert Bauer, with America Coming Together, a liberal group that is organizing a huge multimillion-dollar get-out-the-vote drive that is far more ambitious than the Swift boat group's activities. Mr. Ginsberg said his role was no different from Mr. Bauer's.

Mr. Bush's campaign aides have repeatedly said they have no connection to the group, almost all of whose challenges to Mr. Kerry and his war record have been contradicted by official war records and even some of its members' own past statements.
More like almost all the challenges have been upheld by official war records and the candidate's past statements, not to mention the fact that Lurch provided "entertainment" to the POW's at the Hanoi Hilton. But more on that later.