Amid all the many news stories today about the House Ethics Committee finding long-time Representative Charles Rangel (D-NY) guilty of a long list of ethics offenses, I’m seeing very few hat tips to the National Legal and Policy Center, the northern Virginia-based ethics watchdog group that uncovered these transgressions.
The NLPC did not learn about these ethics breaches easily. It took years, literally years, of painstaking and often dull research. Moreover, the NLPC was careful with the details, never making allegations until the facts were in, or issuing press releases for its own self-aggrandizement, although the temptation to do so must have been strong.
If a journalist had uncovered all these details about a veteran Congressman — the Chairman of the tax-writing, Social Security-overseeing Ways and Means Committee, for heaven’s sake — the press would be talking Pulitzer nomination. Because a non-profit did it — and one run by two conservatives, no less — most of the press ignores its role. I don’t even see the NLPC’s two principals, Peter Flaherty and Ken Boehm, being quoted nearly as often as they should be (note: the same cannot be said for a left-wing “ethics” group that did not break this story), which is stupid of the press, because Peter and Ken know a lot of other things they haven’t made public yet.
I just wanted to vent about this a little, because these offenses were ongoing, and where was the New York Times? The Washington Post? Off turning in quasi-opinion pieces mostly, and leaving the heavy and now mostly uncredited lifting to a smallish think-tank. For shame.