Media Watch: Unethical attack by CREW’s Melanie Sloan

May 1, 2013   •  By David Keating   •    •  

Melanie Sloan today took an unethical shot at Federal Election Commissioner Donald McGahn, writing in Politico that he “has boasted, ‘I’m not enforcing the law as Congress passed it. … I plead guilty as charged.’ Yet enforcement of our campaign finance laws is critical to instilling confidence in the integrity of public officials and federal elections.”

“Why is this unethical?  Simple.  The quote is taken out of context and anyone who found the quote knows better.  It was reported in the Open Secrets blog in 2011 by Michael Beckel, who gave the context: “McGahn’s admission of ‘guilt,’ however, came with a catch: He argued that it wasn’t his job to enforce this law as Congress passed it.  Instead, he said, the commission’s job was to enforce the law as it’s been upheld by the judicial branch of government.”

As Brad Smith noted in 2011 about the speech, “McGahn confessed that, when the Federal Election Campaign Act and the Constitution, as interpreted by the Supreme Court, are in conflict, he sides with the latter. Specifically, Commissioner McGahn stated bluntly, ‘I’m not enforcing the law as Congress passed it.'”

A group that calls itself Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington ought to take more responsibility for its own ethics.  Shame on you Melanie Sloan.

David Keating

David Keating