Talk:Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington

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Copyright allegations[edit]

The list as constructed is a reproduction of p.29 of the report and was removed per WP:COPYVIO. Lionel (talk) 05:23, 19 June 2011 (UTC)

Not true and very presumptuous Lionel. I built the list from their main website and never opened the PDF till you pointed it out. I reverted your deletion. We can discuss it here anytime you like.Veriss (talk) 06:59, 19 June 2011 (UTC)
We disagree on both points. It is a copyvio, and my action was in the best interest of the encyclopedia. And I never suggested that you plagiarized. Suspected content tagged for copyvio and reported. Lionel (talk) 09:07, 19 June 2011 (UTC)
I'm 100% sure this copyvio is unintentional, but regardless we should act in the best interests of Wikipedia as Lionelt is attempting to do. I think if the wording in the "allegations" column was changed so it was no longer the exact wording in CREW's chart (something like "acceptance of a bribe" to "taking bribes"), it would be sufficient. Perhaps the info in that column could provide more specific details of the allegations, both to better inform the reader and move further away from being an inadvertent copy of CREW's chart. Gamaliel (talk) 15:39, 19 June 2011 (UTC)
If I were general counsel for CREW and saw the table I would send Wikimedia Found a cease and desist. Why don't we just wait and see what WP:CP determines.Lionel (talk) 21:19, 19 June 2011 (UTC)
I took the liberty of cutting this discussion out into it's own section. I did not alter any text except the indents when I did so. Veriss (talk) 00:45, 20 June 2011 (UTC)

The chart in question, available here [1], was built using solely the information provided by CREW on their CREW's Most Corrupt website and the 26 sub-pages concerning the 26 members in their report as well as the Wikipedia pages for the members. I never saw page 29 of "CREW's Most Corrupt 2010.PDF" until the chart was listed as a copyright violation. I will point out the differences in the chart I wrote and the chart on page 29 of their report below. (Note page 29 as displayed in the Adobe PDF viewer is actually page 27 in CREW's report but I will use page 29 to prevent confusion.)

  1. Page 29 of their report has at least 27 allegation categories. The website and the 26 sub-pages use only ten categories and then an additional category of allegation called "other" that lists some miscellaneous transgressions in note format. The chart I wrote uses the ten categories plus the "other" category format that the website uses. If the chart was a copy of page 29 it would have used all 27 categories instead of the 10+ categories used by the website. I believe that several of the allegation categories on page 29 never appear in our chart.
  2. Page 29 of their report only lists Republicans. The article's chart lists both Democrats and Republicans in the alphabetical order used by CREW's website. I chose to leave the chart's default listing as alphabetical in deference to CREW's NPOV alphabetical listing on their website and commented on that in "Note 2: The default listing is in CREW's original alphabetical order." If I had copied from page 29 then presumably I would have had to also copy and then merge the names from page 28 as well so then my note would have been a blatant lie or at least deceptive -- and pointless.
  3. I made the decision to not attempt to paraphrase the wording used in CREW's allegations because they were simple terms commonly used and understood to mean specific legal or political things. To change the wording of the allegation categories would have left me open to charges of POV if the changes were perceived to either soften the allegations or make them sound harsher.
  4. The titles, spellings of their names, party affiliation and states were verified on their Wikipedia pages, and in some minor instances corrected, when their names were wikilinked. This information is available in multiple locations, including Wikipedia, so is not exclusive to CREW's website or report.
  5. The column titled "Status" was created using the information on the member's Wikipedia pages. The data in this column is not provided on page 29, their website, or to my knowledge anywhere else in their lengthy report since neither the website nor the report has been updated since its release. In retrospect, this fact should be indicated in a note below the chart and I will do so once the copyvio report is resolved.
  6. Page 29 does not identify the title, Senator or Representative, at all but their titles are provided on the website in abbreviated form. I expanded their titles to the full words after comparing the information from the website to their Wikipedia pages.
  7. Page 29 uses different column headings and a very different chart structure that only resembles our chart in very limited ways.
  8. The website provides information that was not used in our chart such as the date they assumed office, the district they represent and notes about the member's history with CREW. I considered including the information about the date they assumed office because it was also available on the members' Wikipedia pages but ultimately decided it was not needed since the members' articles were just a Wikilink click away. I decided not to include their districts as unneeded detail for our purposes. Of significance, I decided not to include CREW's comments on their history with each member out of concern for both copyright and WP:BLP issues and the sourcing and WP:NPOV problems that would arise from its inclusion. I wanted to report on their allegations, not be CREW's mouthpiece.
  9. The Duplicate Detector Tool's report cited in the COPYVIO report is flawed in several very obvious ways.
  1. The tool is merely a software tool for flagging possible content, it requires review by an attentive human to verify that it is not a false positive.
  2. The tool was used incorrectly and scanned the entire article, not the section the chart is located in, against the entire report, not page 29 (or possibly also page 28), so the results are flawed. The vast majority of those false positives come from elsewhere in the article, for example "national legal and policy center", "crew executive director melanie sloan", "las vegas review journal", etc. These are terms found in just the first few matches that obviously are not in the section alleged to be a copyright violation.
  3. The 53 cited matches include unavoidable matches such as names, proper titles and proper names, legal terms and common phrasings such as "under investigation", "since its founding" and "government watchdog groups".
  4. At least 45 of the 53 terms the tool identified as matches are false positives so the tool's report is basically useless.

Our chart is a paraphrasing of the information distilled from at least 27 pages on their website and the 26 member's Wikipedia pages. It is quite clear that the chart did not use page 29 of their report as the basis for its data.

This COPYVIO report is at best very overzealous reporting since due diligence was not followed in using the tools correctly nor evaluating the reports and available materials before filing the COPYVIO report resulting in what I believe to be a frivolous report. Very sincerely, Veriss (talk) 02:17, 20 June 2011 (UTC)

  • Not copy vio. Sounds reasonable to me. As I said, copyvio is being misapplied. The false positives and common phrases are an important point. Niteshift36 (talk) 04:29, 20 June 2011 (UTC)
  • Not copyvio. The chart as it appears in the article is not a copyright violation. Wording such as "enrichment of self" and "acceptance of a bribe" in the article's chart does not match the PDF chart, or even line up with its columns. Binksternet (talk) 10:16, 20 June 2011 (UTC)
  • Not copyvio. You obviously put in a lot of work to create the chart, something entirely unnecessary if you had copied the information from the summary page of the report. Plus, the many differences you detailed show that it is not a copyvio. Drrll (talk) 12:17, 20 June 2011 (UTC)

NOTE - Why is the list even reproduced? It is not done for any of the other years. This doesn't appear to be written with a historical perspective in mind. Arzel (talk) 03:49, 21 June 2011 (UTC)

  • The list was created to address repeated concerns of WP:UNDUE (undue weight) because of so much discussion about the organization's politics and ideology but no discussion about their activities. I made the list as an initial attempt to help balance the discussion. It was not done for any other years yet because so far no one else volunteered to work on adding much discussion about their activities and history. Veriss (talk) 04:00, 21 June 2011 (UTC)
    • I don't see how that list adresses any aspect of undue weight regarding anything. It looks strangely odd to put together a table for one single year, and the balanced solution would be to create a table for every year which would result in an article of nothing more than a long list of tables. What happens for their 2011 list. Do you create a table for that year and remove the table for 2010? The table itself doesn't add any discussion about their activities, and would appear to violate manual of stlye regarding WP:LIST via tables. Arzel (talk) 04:54, 21 June 2011 (UTC)
      • Feel free to aquaint yourself with and become involved in the lengthy NPOV discussions in the sections above. Fresh ideas and viewpoints will be welcomed. While you are here, your experienced opinion on the copyvio discussion this particular section is about is more then welcome. Cheers, Veriss (talk) 05:03, 21 June 2011 (UTC)
        • Yes, I should have read up a bit. It would not appear to be a copyvio in the most strict sense, but it might be borderline. I'll comment above, but I think it is a moot point as it appears to be undue weight for the article. Arzel (talk) 05:18, 21 June 2011 (UTC)

Moving forward[edit]

I suggest that the copyvio tag should be removed in a day if no editor can show it to be truly plagiarized rather than assembled. Binksternet (talk) 04:30, 21 June 2011 (UTC)

After reviewing the lengthy policy discussion at WP:CP, even if we feel the report was frivolous, we are still constrained by several pieces of guidance. Quoted from the policy:
  • "Any contributor is welcome to help investigate articles listed for copyright concerns, although only administrators, copyright problems board clerks, and OTRS team members should remove {copyvio} tags and mark listings resolved". The policy reiterates that "If the article is tagged for {copyvio}, you should allow an administrator or copyright problems clerk to remove the tag."
  • "Pages should stay listed for a minimum of 5 days before they are checked and processed by copyright problems board clerks, 7 days before they are checked or processed by administrators, who close the daily listings."
We are probably stuck with this freaking huge COPYVIO banner splashed across the middle of our article for at least a week or until one of the 'Copyright problems board administrators' works their way down the list to our article. Veriss (talk) 05:10, 21 June 2011 (UTC)
I hold that if the article was tagged frivolously, the tag could be removed by anyone. Binksternet (talk) 15:42, 21 June 2011 (UTC)
Perhaps you can ask any WP:SYSOP other then Gamaliel, who has been involved in several discussions here recently and would likely request to be recused. I hate that that huge freakin' banner is splashed across our article. Please let me know if anyone sees a way I can be helpful removing this blight from our article. Veriss (talk) 08:42, 22 June 2011 (UTC)
CREW Associate: I haven't reviewed the whole "license to Wikipedia" text, but we have Most Corrupt [2] and all of our other reports on Scribd, where they're licensed Attribution-NonCommercial 3.0 Unported [3] as per Creative Comons. 70.91.64.85 (talk) 18:05, 23 June 2011 (UTC)
I'm certainly not an expert on licensing issues but I think the "Noncommercial" restriction prevents its use by the Wikipedia foundation as a full out copy. This link to WP:Compatible license may help illustrate the issue. Someone with more experience on copyright issues and Wikipedia will need to confirm my supposition and provide recommendations. Veriss (talk) 02:43, 24 June 2011 (UTC)
Non-commercial licensing is not compatible with Wikipedia's CC-BY-SA as depicted in the chart from the link above. Although Wikipedia doesn't sell content, the decision to disallow NC material was made. If the list were licensed CC-BY-SA then there would be no problem. There is an essay here on lists and copyright which can help explain the use of lists in Wikipedia better. Essentially, factual lists are okay but those of opinion, such as the list in question, are difficult to reproduce in Wikipedia. For example, in the article The 500 Greatest Songs of All Time, only the top 10 are displayed. This is based off of consensus and copyright. I feel this situation will come down to the same. I am a clerk at WP:CP where this problem has been listed and think an experienced administrator could judge consensus or shed some more light.--NortyNort (Holla) 12:57, 29 June 2011 (UTC)

───────────────────────── First, I think it's perfectly obvious that any copyright issues here are inadvertent. This is not at all a case of wanton reproduction of clearly copyrighted content, even though I do agree that this is a copyright issue based on the nature of the list. I feel quite certain that this is the kind of list our associate counsel cautioned us to avoid, as it is not an objective compilation but consists entirely of opinion. As such, I'm afraid that it falls under WP:NFC guidelines, where we see (based on her advice) "unacceptable" text examples including "A complete or partial recreation of "Top 100" or similar lists where the list has been selected in a creative manner...." While this is obviously a different kind of list, I'm afraid we would need compatible licensing to include it beyond the boundaries of "fair use".

Our counsel suggested that we can discuss these lists and discuss the inclusion of elements on them, even if we cannot include them in their entirety. For instance, it might be possible to note in prose format that the list includes x individuals - name, name, name - for "financial disclosure violations and improper conduct", of which x - name, name - were also guilty of "gift rule violations."

These are very complicated situations. After dealing with a list issue only yesterday, I've attempted to launch a long overdue discussion at the copyright talk page about how we can best handle these lists, but so far have no responses. It will almost certainly head for an RfC, but I'm hoping to get enough feedback to at least suggest a workable approach prior to doing so. Our old rule of thumb (keeping the top 5 or 10) is strongly discouraged by our attorney, but we need to come up with something that works. :/ --Moonriddengirl (talk) 15:00, 3 July 2011 (UTC)

Thank you for your time. I find your analysis well founded and of course wholly agree with your determination. – Lionel (talk) 10:12, 4 July 2011 (UTC)

Public perception[edit]

The following confusing text was in the article, and I first tried to fix it by referring to the cited sources -- then brought it here for discussion. I'd like to be clear on what it is we're trying to convey to the reader with this paragraph:

In a March 2011 New York Times article about conservative issue-advocacy group American Crossroads, CREW Executive Director Melanie Sloan stated (about an American Crossroads initiative) “It is incredibly ironic that Crossroads wants to take [sic] about openness when they are highly secretive..."[36] For example, when contacted by The Weekly Standard for information on CREW's own sources of funding, CREW communications director Garrett Russo responded that "CREW does not discuss its donors," and upon further prodding, "CREW does not discuss its donors," and "That's about all I can tell you."[37]

It appears to be inserted into our article to "criticize" CREW in some way, but I'm not sure what that criticism is. Sloan commented on the irony that Karl Rove's group was demanding transparency while not being transparent itself, and Michael Warren of the Weekly Standard agrees that Rove's group, CREW, etc., are legally allowed to keep donor lists secret. Xenophrenic (talk) 16:27, 18 June 2011 (UTC)

En dashes[edit]

At the style guideline WP:DASH we are instructed not to use two hyphens to stand for an en dash. Binksternet (talk) 10:19, 20 June 2011 (UTC)

I reverted my edit and replaced your en dashes. En dashes do look much better than two hyphens. Veriss (talk) 17:22, 20 June 2011 (UTC)

Footnotes[edit]

Could someone with the time replace footnotes (4-10)that refer to a part of the topic with footnotes to the related original text original. The paragraph and the footnotes I copied below. They all mention the CREW lists, but the footnotes do NOT take you to the lists and at least some of the lists are available as I found the one I want for 2006 on Google.

Since Santorum and CREW lists are NOW in the news, it should be improved SOON.

"CREW’s Most Corrupt"

CREW has published seven annual reports since 2005 of the politicians that CREW identifies as the most corrupt members of Congress. The 2005 report included 11 Republicans and 2 Democrats;[4] the 2006 report included 17 Republicans and 3 Democrats;[5] the 2007 report included 18 Republicans and 4 Democrats;[6]; the 2008 report included 17 Republicans and 7 Democrats;[7] the 2009 report included 7 Republicans and 8 Democrats;[8] the 2010 report included 16 Republicans and 10 Democrats;[9] the 2011 report included 10 Republicans and 4 Democrats.[10]

4^ "Ethically Challenged?". Roll Call. 27 September 2005. 5 ^ O'Brien, Tim (28 September 2006). "Sweeney official admits `error'". The Times Union. http://alb.merlinone.net/mweb/wmsql.wm.request?oneimage&imageid=6360686. Retrieved 15 June 2011. 6^ Warner, Bob (19 September 2007). "Murtha is on list of 'corrupt'". The Philadelphia Daily News. 7 ^ "The Buzz". Sacramento Bee. 12 September 2008. 8 ^ Spillman, Benjamin (16 September 2009). "Watchdog group adds Ensign to list". Las Vegas Review-Journal. http://www.lvrj.com/news/Watchdog-group-adds-Ensign-to-list.html. Retrieved 15 June 2011. 9 ^ "Group takes bipartisan slap at La. senators". The Associated Press State & Local Wire. 13 October 2010. http://www.wwltv.com/news/politics/Landrieu-Vitter-make-list-of-most-corrupt-members-of-Congress-104880049.html. Retrieved 15 June 2011. 10^ Boyle, Matthew (20 September 2011). "CREW names ‘most corrupt members of Congress,’ critics raise questions". The Daily Caller. http://dailycaller.com/2011/09/20/crew-names-%E2%80%98most-corrupt-members-of-congress%E2%80%99-critics-raise-questions/. Retrieved 21 September 2011.

I Googled "crew most corrupt 2006" and got this, so the original listings should be available <http://www.citizensforethics.org/press/entry/crew-releases-second-annual-most-corrupt-members-of-congress-report>

Areader2 (talk) 19:55, 10 January 2012 (UTC)areader2, Jan 10, 2011 1:50CST

  • That is exactly the problem........the list changes every year and we are WP:NOTNEWS. We don't jump on something just because it is in the news at the moment. See WP:RECENTISM. Niteshift36 (talk) 02:21, 11 January 2012 (UTC)

Lead of the article[edit]

What is wrong with this edit clarifying the lead of the article? Hammerstown3 (talk) 04:21, 14 January 2013 (UTC)

The edit summary reverting that edit per WP:BRD said:
(rev to repair cite errors; returned summary info to WP:LEDE deleted w/o explanation; rem weasel word phrasing; rev punctuation misplacement)
That should help. Xenophrenic (talk) 04:39, 14 January 2013 (UTC)
You need to be more specific than slapping a bunch of templates/unproven allegations together, please provide detailed examples of each.Hammerstown3 (talk) 05:02, 14 January 2013 (UTC)
Examples: here. Note the cite errors? (Hard to miss, really.) See how text is missing from the lede after this edit? See the selective use of words like "noted"? Xenophrenic (talk) 05:14, 14 January 2013 (UTC)

Nov 11 edits[edit]

I've reviewed, and partially reverted edits made on November 11 for the reasons listed below. There were many article improvements, but some problematic edits appeared. I've also made a few copy edits and additions, also explained below:

  • Slightly reworded "officially nonpartisan but progressive" because that is an invalid juxtaposition unless "progressive" was supposed to be "Progressive Party" (the source used the clearer but still confusing "progressive but nonpartisan"); also, it's either nonpartisan or not by IRS exemption standards, so "officially" is superfluous.
  • Reverted the insertion of this sentence as not conveyed by sources: When David Brock, a Democrat and the founder of Media Matters for America, became the chairman of CREW's board of directors in 2014, the organization adopted a more explicitly partisan stance. — The cited source doesn't say that. See the next bullet-point for related info.
  • Removed as unsourced the word "and partisan" from this sentence: Brock was elected as CREW's board president after laying out a broad plan to turn the organization into a more muscular and partisan organization. I checked its IRS status, and it is still nonpartisan. I note that the cited Politico source only says "likely partisan", and attributes that speculation to anonymous sources rather than state it as fact -- yet it somehow made its way into our article (the lead, no less) as a fact in Wikipedia's voice. I'm sure that was just an oversight.
  • Removed the following sentence: Brock made clear he intends to create a more politically oriented arm registered under section 501(c)4, and also form a new overtly partisan watchdog group called The American Democracy Legal Fund registered under section 527, allowing it to engage in direct political activity. The last half is about a completely different and unrelated group (perhaps add it to Brock article?), and I don't see an indication that he ever followed through with creating a 501(c)(4) "partisan arm". If he did, and if it is part of this organization, we should add that information with proper sourcing.
  • I reworded the "CREW typically targets Republicans" sentence in the lead to more accurately summarize the information in the body of the article, and the sources. "Typically targets" suggests a present-tense modus operandi, when the sources are actually saying that most of the congresspersons charged by CREW with corruption have been Republican. Note the difference. Then the sources often cite numbers to show the disparity, for example, "Only 25 of the 88 'Most Corrupt' were Democrats"; so I added the sourced figures to the lead to clarify.
  • Removed the "purportedly" weasel word from the text.
  • Lengthened lead sentence to better describe the organization.
  • Added co-founder to infobox, as it previously only showed one of the co-founders.
  • Removed unsourced sentence tagged with a "Citation Needed" from 'Allegations of partisanship' section.
  • Changed "released a reported" to "released a report".
  • Corrected the quote from "Broadcasting & Cable" source, and changed description of source from "journal" to "magazine".
  • Expanded FOIA to Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) in the lead, and corrected the Wiki-link to it.
  • Removed the text "but had no impact on the gratuity's issuance" from the Appropriations Resolution content as not conveyed by cited source.

Xenophrenic (talk) 17:00, 12 December 2015 (UTC)

@Xenophrenic: I would have to question this entirely. The below (from the Media Matters page) shows that partisanship and IRA exemption standards have little to do with each other. Also "progressive" is a de facto synonym for "Democrat" in US politics, so let's not be cute about it. Quis separabit? 01:07, 13 December 2015 (UTC)

Marcus Owens, former director of the IRS's Exempt Organizations Division, told ''Politico'' in 2011 that he believed the law was on Media Matters's side.<ref name="politico_b">{{cite web|last=Hagey|first=Keach|url=http://dyn.politico.com/printstory.cfm?uuid=5ABF908B-38CF-4639-B0FD-CE99E09DA1FD|title=Fox News takes on Media Matters|publisher=Dyn.politico.com|date=2011-07-07|accessdate=2013-11-28}}</ref> Owens told Fox Business that only an IRS probe could reveal if partisan activity takes up a substantial enough part of MMfA's operations to disallow its tax-free status; the IRS does allow limited political activity at nonprofits, so long as it does not take up a substantial amount of their operations.<ref name="foxbusiness_a">{{cite web|author=Elizabeth MacDonald|url=http://www.foxbusiness.com/markets/2011/08/04/former-white-house-counsel-to-irs-yank-media-matters-tax-exempt-status/?intcmp=related|title=Former White House Counsel to IRS: Pull Media Matters’ Tax-Exempt Status|publisher=Foxbusiness.com|date=2011-08-04|accessdate=2013-11-28}}</ref>

Hi, Rms125a@hotmail.com. I've (again) reverted your bold edit which placed unsourced content in the lead of the article. Specifically, this sentence:
When David Brock, a Democrat and the founder of Media Matters for America, became the chairman of CREW's board of directors in 2014, the organization adopted a more explicitly partisan stance.
The cited source does not say that CREW has adopted a more explicitly partisan stance. Or even a partisan stance. It does quote Politico in speculating "likely partisan" attributed to anonymous sources, but never declares it as fact. And as I noted above, CREW still maintains a 501(c)3 status not maintainable by politically partisan organizations. Of course IRS exemption qualification and partisan political activity have a lot to do with each other. Your excerpt from the MMfA page doesn't refute that.
Also "progressive" is a de facto synonym for "Democrat" in US politics, so let's not be cute about it.
I'm not sure what world you live in (FOX & Friends perhaps?), but in the real world, "Progressive" (darn that Lincoln–Roosevelt League) is a specific ideology involving reform, irrespective of political parties, while Democrat is a specific political party. But all that aside, if you are insisting (read: being cute) on inserting "CREW is explicitly partisan! Thanks Obamers!1!!", please provide the reliable sources here which convey that information so that they may be reviewed and discussed. Regards, Xenophrenic (talk) 07:59, 13 December 2015 (UTC)

Removing "non-partisan" from lede[edit]

The description of CREW as "non-partisan" in the lede does not match the rest of the article, CREW's founding, or CREW's current description of itself.

Based on the article itself, the organization was founded to be “a counter-weight to conservative watchdog groups.” More recently, as the article notes, “current Democratic activist David Brock was elected chairman of CREW’s board.” The longest section of the article is titled “allegations of partisanship.”[4]

CREW itself does not describe itself as “non-partisan” in its “About Us” section on its website.[5] Similarly, a 501(c)(3) organization does not equate with non-partisanship (it simply means “it may not attempt to influence legislation as a substantial part of its activities and it may not participate in any campaign activity for or against political candidates.”).[6]

While the article does not state it clearly, it appears the “non-partisan” description comes from CREW's inclusion of “25 Democrats and 63 Republicans” on its list of most corrupt politicians since 2005. However, CREW has not published one of those lists since 2013.[7][8]

Pin go (talk) 16:23, 15 May 2017 (UTC) Pin_go

  • I don't oppose it. When you say you're there to be a watchdog against one side, you stop being non-partisan. Niteshift36 (talk) 18:39, 15 May 2017 (UTC)
  • When you say you're there to be a watchdog against one side, and that side is a political party, you stop being non-partisan. CREW is non-partisan. It says so in their mission statement (still present in our article), and in its description of itself in its press releases here, for example, and in its overview description here, and is routinely referred to as such in reliable sources, as in here. In addition, it is a 501(c)(3) organization in good standing, which it would not be if it participated in partisan activities, per IRS regulations. For a detailed explanation of what constitutes partisan activity, this is a good source -- granted, it is complicated and nuanced set of rules, but can be summarized as "an organization that is operated for the benefit of private parties, including political entities, rather than for the benefit of the public will not qualify as an IRC 501(c)(3) organization." I've returned the appropriate descriptor. Regards, Xenophrenic (talk) 15:12, 10 June 2017 (UTC)
"CREW is non-partisan. It says so in their mission statement (still present in our article), and in its description of itself in its press releases here, for example, and in its overview description here, and is routinely referred to as such in reliable sources, as in here. In addition, it is a 501(c)(3) organization in good standing, which it would not be if it participated in partisan activities, per IRS regulations."───────────────────────── @Xenophrenic -- are you kidding me? You believe everything in its mission statement? Seriously. anyway, what matters is not verbiage but actions, and CREW's history is that of partisan ("progressive") conduct and actions. Quis separabit? 05:25, 11 June 2017 (UTC)
No, Rms125a@hotmail.com, reliable sources is what matters, and a bit of careful reading couldn't hurt, either. If CREW's status has been revoked, you'll have to provide evidence for me to review, before removing the nonpartisan descriptor. (And FYI: "progressive" isn't a party, although there are progressive parties - but CREW is not affiliated with them.) Alternatively, we could raise the issue at the Reliable Sources Noticeboard and try to generate more input on the matter. Regards, Xenophrenic (talk) 22:16, 11 June 2017 (UTC)

Bizarre Categories[edit]

The addition of Category:Foreign Members of the Royal Society by User:The$park seems baseless and confusing. The addition of Category:Non_State_Actor (also by User:The$park) seems bizarre. Is every NGO, corporation, organization, glee club and individual supposed to be tagged with this? 2001:4998:EFFD:519:54AD:F184:595A:2C42 (talk) 23:18, 12 June 2017 (UTC)

Just glee clubs, I think. Regardless, categories should first be supported in the body of the article. Xenophrenic (talk) 21:41, 13 June 2017 (UTC)

Liberal, Conservative, Nonpartisan, Nonprofit[edit]

It would seem to me, that with the Washington Post and the New York Times calling them "liberal," Wikipedia shouldn't have any problem calling them that. Their recent filings have been nearly all anti-Republican. Student7 (talk) 18:41, 25 July 2017 (UTC)

Wikipedia should refer to them as what they are, and nothing more. Defining them as "liberal" could be seen as unnecessary puffery. As for your assertion that their "recent filings have been nearly all anti-Republican", I'd be interested in seeing the reliable sources making that claim. (I'm fairly certain their filings are "anti-corruption", and I'm fairly certain "she is a Republican!" is not sufficient grounds for filing.) Xenophrenic (talk) 18:03, 27 July 2017 (UTC)

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Recent edits (Feb 2018)[edit]

I've reverted this this edit, which purports to remove content per the essay WP:MISSION and per the essay WP:COPYQUOTE. But the content removed was neither the subject's mission statement (it was, instead, a no longer used statement presented for historical context) nor was it a non-fair use of a minimal quotation. Perhaps the editor's concerns could be better expressed here? Xenophrenic (talk) 01:27, 23 February 2018 (UTC)

Our copyright policy is clear: "Articles...may...use brief verbatim textual excerpts from copyrighted media" (Ital. mine) WP:NFCCP. The content you added comprises almost 40% of the source. That is not fair use. Your addition is a copyvio.– Lionel(talk) 02:22, 23 February 2018 (UTC)
Our copyright policy is indeed clear: "Brief quotations of copyrighted text may be used to illustrate a point, establish context, or attribute a point of view or idea." I disagree that the excerpt does not qualify as fair use. The content I returned to the article comprises less than .01% of the source (the website), and less than 30% of that specific webpage from the website (which can be further reduced by citing other pages from their first months of operation, i.e.; link). But I don't think copyvio is the real concern motivating the deletion of the content here, otherwise a briefer (or paraphrased) replacement would have been proposed instead of wholesale deletion. No? Regards, Xenophrenic (talk) 17:28, 23 February 2018 (UTC)
I don't understand why it's important to feature such a large chunk of a mission statement that's not even the current mission statement. I think it should be removed. Marquardtika (talk) 02:25, 23 February 2018 (UTC)
Perhaps I can help your understanding. Back in 2008, media sources made a bit of a clamor over CREW's evolving mission statement (led by Singer's Roll Call article, which is featured prominently in its very own sub-header). Rather than pick and choose between which old and/or new mission statements to display, and to avoid the WP:OR speculation over why certain statements were changed or dropped, the brief original mission statement was simply included verbatim. Regards, Xenophrenic (talk) 17:28, 23 February 2018 (UTC)
To be clear, I see no reason why the section can't be improved and updated (and I now note that instead of a 'mission statement', they instead have greatly expanded 'Who We Are/What We Do' sections). Have any ideas? My initial comment here was simply to note my objection to the grounds given for the cited content deletion. Xenophrenic (talk) 17:54, 23 February 2018 (UTC)
This massive coverage in the article to a 3 year span in the life of a mission statement sourced to only 1 reference is the epitome of WP:UNDUE. Not to mention this "scandal" happened more than 10 years ago. Not to mention--and most importantly--this is a copyright violation NFCCP. – Lionel(talk) 18:07, 23 February 2018 (UTC)
No, Lionelt, it is not a violation of WP:NFC. As for your assertion that the content is undue, I'm not seeing "massive coverage", but at least you have grounds for a weak case. But taking your queue, may I assume you would be okay with removing the whole "Daily Caller" section (10 years old, cited to the very same one source, and just as "massive") as the epitome of undue? Xenophrenic (talk) 08:31, 24 February 2018 (UTC)
IMO, the existing "mission" section prose perfectly adequately represents the shift in the organization's mission without the need for the verbose block quote. We have a good encyclopedic summary, so no need to quote heavily from the primary material. Marquardtika (talk) 19:13, 23 February 2018 (UTC)
I somewhat agree with you, especially after seeing some of the very same verbiage contained in the box-quote appearing in the adjacent paragraph as well. And framing of quotes should be reserved for information that is vital and still current. Regards, Xenophrenic (talk) 08:31, 24 February 2018 (UTC)

Recent edits (July 2018)[edit]

I've reverted this POV edit, for the very same reasons given before (ibid):

Edit summary: (+mvd oddly selected 2-year segment of org's 15+ year history from lead to personnel section; -rmv attribution of fact per WP:YESPOV; -rmv speculation; +more NPOV header)

To be even more specific, you removed "nonpartisan U.S. government ethics and accountability watchdog organization" from the lead without justification. Please check the secondary reliable sourcing. You also removed Bookbinder from the 'Key People' field of the IB - he's the Executive Director. You'll need to provide really good reasoning for that. And you also removed "CREW works to expose ethics violations and corruption by government officials and institutions" from the lead paragraph. Just FYI, the lead paragraph is supposed to explain what the group does. And I see you (again) stuck "According to CREW..." attribution before factual content that is not sourced just to CREW sources. Policy says you aren't supposed to do that. Also, we have multiple citations to Politico references written by different reporters, so changing ref names in the reference templates to a generic "Politico" is unhelpful. Also, your edit summary said content cited to "Bloomberg" was removed? Could you please specify exactly which content that was?

I see you've again tried to push some unsupported 'Brock' stuff into the lead. When you first tried that, you admitted your reasoning was "there is clearly an organizational POV and we should say so". Wikipedia has policies against that kind of editing. What is your reasoning this time? I described that content addition as "unsupported" because the source you cited laid out Brocks plans and what he wanted to do, while you changed that to read as if he had done it. We'll need actual reliable sources detailing that. And you do realize he came and went in 2 years, and that was years ago, so you were putting your synthesis in the article lead … why? Regards, Xenophrenic (talk) 06:58, 31 July 2018 (UTC)

This editor has indeed been doing a lot of problematic editing. Gandydancer (talk) 13:15, 31 July 2018 (UTC)
Your edits obscure the fact, covered repeatedly in RS, that under David Brock, CREW became part of the Democratic Party infrastructure. This is not a secret, or a criticism. It is a well-documented fact that was in fact trumpeted by Brock himself. For instance, you added "Brock was elected as CREW's board president after laying out a broad plan to turn the organization into a more muscular organization..." "More muscular" is completely meaningless and euphemistic...muscular, to what end? The Vogel piece in Politico elaborates that CREW began "working in close coordination with Democrat-backing nonprofits and super PACs." You've also removed the fact that CREW opened a 501c4 to go along with its 501c3, and you've removed the fact that CREW has sued Trump multiple times; I've no idea why you would do that when RS cover the lawsuits in spades and our article has an entire section on the highly noteworthy case CREW v. Trump. CREW is nominally nonpartisan but most RS characterize it as liberal, for example here and here. Ample RS point out that it mostly goes after the GOP. I don't see why this is controversial--the group is proud of this, in fact. No need to obscure it. Marquardtika (talk) 18:35, 31 July 2018 (UTC)
Your edits obscure the fact, covered repeatedly in RS, that... -- Marquardtika
Stop right there. No. My edits obscured nothing. If you'll re-read my comment above, and check the edit history, you'll find that you added content that was unsupported by the sources you cited, so I removed those additions. If you wish to convey "facts", you'll need to accompany them with the reliable sources that convey those facts. That's Wikipedia 101. If those facts are indeed "covered repeatedly in RS", then this should be easy for you.
CREW became part of the Democratic Party infrastructure... -- Marquardtika
No. Citation needed. (That isn't supported by the Vogel piece in Politico, by the way.) Perhaps you misunderstood when Vogel said CREW has operated as a nonprofit registered under a section of the Tax Code — 501(c)3 — that prohibits partisan activity; under Brock’s leadership it will add a new more politically oriented arm registered under section 501(c)4.? CREW is still (as of today) registered as a nonpartisan 501(c)3, and has been continuously since 2003, but if you have reliable sources about a "partisan arm" as a legal part of CREW, I am most interested in reviewing those sources, please.
"you added "Brock was elected as CREW's board president after laying out a broad plan to turn the organization into a more muscular organization..." -- Marquardtika
No. You are mistaken. That content was added by a sockpuppet of a perma-banned editor, not me. But it appears to be supported by the cited source.
...Politico elaborates that CREW began "working in close coordination with Democrat-backing nonprofits and super PACs." -- Marquardtika
No. It does not. It predicts that CREW "will operate in close coordination with Brock’s growing fleet of aggressive Democrat-backing nonprofits and super PACs", eventually as part of Brock's "ambitious plans", but to twist that into your personal interpretation of "began" is against policy. Perhaps you can share with us some reliable sources that provide actual coverage of such coordination? I would be interested in reviewing those sources.
You've also removed the fact that CREW opened a 501c4 to go along with its 501c3. -- Marquardtika
No. I did not. I removed the unsourced assertion that a 501c4 has already been opened. (See above.)
and you've removed the fact that CREW has sued Trump multiple times -- Marquardtika
No. I did not. I removed the unsupported fact that CREW has filed a number of lawsuits against President Donald Trump. Unless you meant that number to be "1", as that is what your references conveyed. I am aware, of course, that there is more than one suit against Trump and his administration (as the source you linked below alludes to, and there are even a couple listed in this article already), but there were also more than one filed against the Obama administration, etc. Could you expand on why you chose to mention only Trump in your addition to the lead of our article?
CREW is nominally nonpartisan but most RS characterize it as liberal, for example [here] and [here]. -- Marquardtika
No. CREW is legally and literally, not "nominally", nonpartisan, and your two citations do not say otherwise. It's in the IRS records, and supported by reliable sources. With that out of the way, let's address your second assertion, that "most RS characterize it as liberal", which is also not conveyed by your two sources (neither source says how "most" sources characterize CREW). Can I play, too? Most RS do not characterize CREW as liberal, for example [9], [10], [11], and further report that it is nonpartisan as well. There are liberal Republicans and conservative Democrats and progressive Independents, but liberal, conservative and progressive are not Parties, so I am unsure why you mashed them into the same sentence with your comments about being "nonpartisan".
Ample RS point out that it mostly goes after the GOP. I don't see why this is controversial--the group is proud of this, in fact. No need to obscure it. -- Marquardtika
Citation needed. For sure there are sources which allege CREW "mostly goes after the GOP". There are also sources which show that "there are more GOP to go after", when it comes to accountability and ethics. In addition, there are sources which show that CREW targets a sizeable portion of DEMS as well. So perhaps you meant to imply that CREW is "partisan", except when they aren't partisan? Or perhaps they are partisan, but really suck at it? I'll wait to see your high-quality reliable sources (preferably up-to-date sources). I'm really, really looking forward to the sources that say CREW "is proud of" going mostly after GOP. Let's see the sources; no need to obscure them. Regards, Xenophrenic (talk) 00:22, 1 August 2018 (UTC)
You seem to be feeling butthurt; take a breather if you need to. You're over complicating this. The Washington Post says CREW "is nonpartisan" but that "its leaders also describe it as progressive." It is legally and officially nonpartisan, as in not affiliated with a registered political party, as all registered 501c3 nonprofits are, but it has a point of view, in this case, a progressive one. They say so themselves. I'm not sure why you are going to great pains to prevent the group from being described in a way in which it describes itself. Progressive, liberal, left-leaning, pick one. Perhaps go with the The Gray Lady, which says liberal. You keep saying "citation needed" above...but the citations have been provided. You just don't seem to like them. Have you read the full Bloomberg piece? You only added content from the subheading, not the meat of the article, which makes me think that perhaps you're not a Bloomberg subscriber and cannot view the whole piece. I can include more text from it if you like. Also, the Vogel piece that you say is speculation includes "Brock confirmed the basics of the shakeup in an interview...The reconfigured CREW, which is searching for a new executive director, will add a more politically oriented arm, expand its focus into state politics and donor targeting and will operate in close coordination with Brock’s growing fleet of aggressive Democrat-backing nonprofits and super PACs — Media Matters, American Bridge and the American Independent Institute." Brock literally confirmed this. It is not controversial or in dispute. Also in Vogel's piece, and in the Bloomberg piece: "CREW has pursued litigation and ethics complaints against primarily — though not exclusively — Republican public officials." Finally, you don't want to put Trump lawsuits in the lede because I didn't also add content on Obama lawsuits? See WP:OSE. If there were notable Obama lawsuits, great, add them. But the fact that no Obama lawsuits are currently mentioned in the lede is not a good reason to remove Trump lawsuits. I'm sure CREW won't mind; I get at least one email blast/fundraising solicitation from them a week about a new lawsuit they've filed against Trump. Marquardtika (talk) 02:03, 1 August 2018 (UTC)
You lost me at "You seem to be feeling butthurt". If you have a proposed content addition(s), please lay it out here, including the sourcing and location -- and let's review it. I stand by the fact that citations are needed to support your proposed content, and just because you claim "citations have been provided", you are missing the more important requirement that those sources have to actually support your proposed text. I'll await your proposals. Xenophrenic (talk) 02:49, 1 August 2018 (UTC)
Here is another interesting source: "Richard Painter is at the center of more than 180 legal challenges to Trump and his administration as vice chairman of the left-leaning Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington." We really need to get this article up to speed with coverage of the Brock era and the Painter era/response to Trump administration. It is woefully incomplete as is. Marquardtika (talk) 19:17, 31 July 2018 (UTC)
Information on the "180 legal challenges" would certainly have been interesting, if there was any information on it. There wasn't. If you are suggesting article improvement based on reliably sourced, encyclopedic information, count me in. However, if your only intent is to perpetuate the stale meme that CREW is "part of the Democratic Party infrastructure", or has "clearly an organizational POV and we should say so", you are likely to experience some friction. I know it's trendy these days to deny facts, argue only hyperbolically, and turn ethics and accountability on its head -- and that makes the CREW Wikipedia article an enticing playground -- but we can do better than that. Regards, Xenophrenic (talk) 00:22, 1 August 2018 (UTC)
This source also mentions 180 legal challenges against Trump and his administration, but still lacks details. This is one case filed in New York and another filed in D.C., and an appeal, but they look almost like primary sources. This book (pages 24-28ish) covers the general positions of the parties in the court cases, with an old summary by The Atlantic here. Might be helpful; not sure yet. Xenophrenic (talk) 17:02, 2 August 2018 (UTC)

Proposed wording changes[edit]

Ok, let's start with the first sentence. We currently have "Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW) is a nonprofit 501(c)(3) and nonpartisan U.S. government ethics and accountability watchdog organization." The given sources are HuffPost, U.S. News & World Report, and Washington Information Directory. HuffPost says CREW is a "government watchdog group." U.S. News and World Report says CREW is "nonpartisan." The directory entry says CREW "Promotes ethics and accountability in government and public life. Investigates, reports, and litigates government misconduct. Seeks to enforce government disclosure of information." The sourcing isn't very good, as none of the given sources actually indicate that CREW is a nonprofit 501(c)(3). A better sourced and more accurate first sentence would be: "Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW) is a nonpartisan[1] and progressive[2][3] nonprofit 501(c)(3)[4] U.S. government watchdog organization with a stated aim of using 'aggressive legal action, in-depth research, and bold communications to advance its mission of reducing the influence of money in politics and helping to foster a government that is ethical and accountable.'"[5] Marquardtika (talk) 18:49, 1 August 2018 (UTC)

References

  1. ^ Thomas, Lauren (July 24, 2018). "Ivanka Trump is shutting down her fashion brand". CNBC. Retrieved 1 August 2018.
  2. ^ Phillips, Amber (April 30, 2018). "Make no mistake: Richard Painter is running for Senate, thanks to Trump". Washington Post. Retrieved 1 August 2018.
  3. ^ "A look at the group suing Trump over business conflicts". Chicago Tribune. January 23, 2017. Retrieved 1 August 2018.
  4. ^ Vogel, Kenneth (August 13, 2014). "David Brock expands empire". Politico. Retrieved 1 August 2018.
  5. ^ "What We Do". Citizens for Responsbility and Ethics in Washington. Retrieved 1 August 2018.
Thank you for the proposed wording changes, and your reasoning behind them. To begin with, I think it's important that we remember that the WP:LEAD is a summary of the most important parts of the article, and in its most improved form will have little or no source citations accompanying the text. The sourcing will be located in the body proper, where there are already (or should be) many more sources covering the nonprofit, nonpartisan, etc., details. That may explain why the sourcing doesn't appear "very good", if you are just looking at the few that were thrown into the lead.
So if I understand your proposal, you wish to reorganize the order of the identifiers, add the "progressive" identifier as a statement of fact, and change the "ethics" and "accountability" watchdog facts to merely "stated aims" attributed to CREW themselves? I see a few problems with those changes. Briefly, before I look into specific sources more closely, "ethics", "accountability" (and oddly absent "transparency") are all factual identifiers easily sourced to high-quality reliable sources. "Progressive", which you propose as a statement of fact in Wikipedia's voice, is according to your 2 proposed sources attributed to claims by CREW leadership. Our article already conveys that CREW does (or did) say that they were progressive, and our article even presently categorizes CREW as a progressivism group, but to make it an assertion of fact in the lead sentence is unsupported (and also strikes me as rather promotional and flowery puffery). I also see that while CREW touted their efforts as "progressive" in their earlier years, that claim no longer appear on their website or press releases. I can find some sources that still say "progressive", and also some that say "liberal", and "left-leaning", but the vast majority omit all of those colorizations (each of which means something different, by the way). None of those are WP:Defining characteristics of the organization ("a defining characteristic is one that reliable, secondary sources commonly and consistently define, in prose, the subject as having"), although heavily politicized sources certainly go to great lengths to say otherwise.
I appreciate that you are proposing more recent sources. That's a plus. Sources that aren't actually about the subject (CREW), and only mention it in passing (see your Phillips source in WaPo above) are inferior, and are a negative. Putting a quote from the subject, complete with undue flowery adjectives ("aggressive"! "bold"! "in-depth"! Buy now, before supplies run out!) in the lead sentence shouldn't be done. We can quote CREW when appropriate, but we should defer to high quality secondary sources when available. Xenophrenic (talk) 17:32, 2 August 2018 (UTC)
I don't understand from your comments above whether you have a specific alternative suggestion for improving the first sentence--could you share one? I also agree with you that "the WP:LEAD is a summary of the most important parts of the article," which makes it problematic that in its current form, our lede contains nothing about the entire section titled "Allegations of partisanship", which makes up a significant chunk of the article's body. How should we go about summarizing that content in the lede? The lede should also note the organization's shift under Brock; something to the effect of "Since 2014, when David Brock became CREW's chairman, the organization has primarily targeted Republicans," which is covered in-depth in high quality RS like the Bloomberg piece, which I'm still not sure if you have access to, as well as USA Today and several Politico sources already linked above. The USA Today piece actually says "One of the most vocal congressional ethics watchdog groups is becoming part of a Democratic political operation." This Center for Public Integrity piece from 2016 listed CREW "Among the most notable pro-Clinton organizations in operation this election." It says "CREW had aggressively targeted Republicans, but Democrats, too. Many key staffers left soon after Brock became its chairman, and since then, the organization has almost exclusively pursued Republicans and conservative organizations through federal complaints and its own investigations, a Center for Public Integrity analysis of its activity indicates." In keeping with these RS, this article needs to describe the evolution of CREW from a watchdog group targeting both political parties to a group which primarily targets Republicans. Our article currently doesn't adequately describe this, but we have a bunch of the group's mission statements from different years for some reason. Yes, lets include more of what RS have said about the group, and less of what CREW has said about itself. Marquardtika (talk) 20:21, 2 August 2018 (UTC)
My improvement to the first sentence would be to move the reference citations to the appropriate sections in the body of the article, as the information is succinct and uncontroversial. I might consider the addition of the "transparency" descriptor, as I mentioned above, but I find it more productive to develop the content in the body of the article first, and then the lead will virtually write itself once that is done. Regarding the "Allegations of partisanship" section, which has its own lead sentence stating, "CREW operates as a 501(c)(3) nonprofit prohibited from engaging in partisan activity", one could argue the important information from that section is already summarized in the lead, which already notes they have targeted both Democrats and Republicans. Adding that various political actors have alleged partisanship is rather like adding that the sky is blue and water is wet; uninformative, and not lead material. Regarding the "shift under Brock" during his brief 2 years with the organization, I'm not persuaded that is lead material, but do think there should be more coverage in the history subsection noting his arrival, his stated focus and the subsequent exodus of several key people, and his departure in 2016. I've seen the Bloomberg, USA Today and CPI pieces, in total, and not just select quotes - and I think that makes a difference in what we take away from those articles. USA Today is allowed to make sensational predictions like "is becoming part of a Democratic political operation" that didn't come to pass, while Wikipedia is not. CPI and Bloomberg both convey that during the Brock stint (also described as the 2016 campaign season), the great majority of the organizations and people under CREW scrutiny were conservative and Republican, but they also convey that CREW's new focus was on campaign violations and dark money in campaigns, an arena vastly dominated by conservative Republicans, so the math actually makes sense. Even CPI had to admit (although they buried it at the end of their article), 501(c)(3)s — This the designation the Internal Revenue Service uses for charities, hospitals, universities and educational groups and is the most restrictive when it comes to political activities. Some small amount of lobbying is allowed, but spending on behalf of a candidate is absolutely against the law. Such groups must fulfill some sort of charitable or educational purpose to keep their tax status. Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington, led in part by Hillary Clinton ally David Brock, maintains a 501(c)(3) status. Xenophrenic (talk) 00:43, 4 August 2018 (UTC)
There is no dispute that outside observers regard Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington as a liberal organization. (I could provide dozens of citations if anyone doubts this fact.) However, many edits making this basic point have, in my opinion, been improperly deleted.Ebw343 (talk) 01:32, 3 August 2018 (UTC)
There is certainly no dispute that some outside observers regard CREW as all sorts of things, including "liberal" (although what that means isn't stated), and our article already mentions that basic point. Xenophrenic (talk) 18:35, 3 August 2018 (UTC)
I'm not buying that CREW being nonpartisan is any more of a defining feature of the organization than CREW being progressive/liberal is. They are both equally well-sourced and not contradictory. If you look through Category:501(c)(3) nonprofit organizations, you'll see its highly typical of our articles about nonprofit 501c3 groups to state their ideological orientation in the first sentence as a defining feature of the group, along with stating that the groups are nonprofit and nonpartisan. All 501c3s are prohibited from engaging in explicitly partisan activity as a condition of their tax status, but many 501c3s have ideological stances. The two aren't mutually exclusive. CREW is frequently described as liberal/progressive, including by its own leadership, and there's no compelling reason not to put that in our lede here. We could add something to the lede about how it is sometimes described as liberal, sometimes as nonpartisan, etc., but there is really no good reason for not having any discussion of the group's ideological stance in the lede when it has been covered widely and is indeed a central part of the body of the article. I can put together the best sourcing for both descriptors and launch an RFC is that would be helpful. Marquardtika (talk) 19:02, 3 August 2018 (UTC)
A defining feature, for Wikipedia's purpose, is a feature that is consistently used by reliable sources, a qualification which nonprofit, nonpartisan 503(c)1 organization certainly meets. The ambiguous "liberal" feature does not. And "liberal/progressive" isn't a thing; those are two different terms. Perhaps if you explained to me your notion of just what it means when a government watchdog group that focuses on ethics, transparency and accountability has a "liberal ideological orientation". I don't see where the intersection is between the watchdog function and Respect for individual freedoms, rights, and the opinions of others, and strikes me as unduly promotional. Xenophrenic (talk) 19:33, 3 August 2018 (UTC)
When CREW was first formed back in 2003, they declared themselves to be a "progressive" counterpart or alternative to the Judicial Watch group, which describes itself as "conservative". More recently, CREW has dropped the "progressive" descriptor, while Judicial Watch still maintains the "conservative" label on their "About Us" and main website pages. Now here's the funny thing: A spokesperson for CREW has famously explained, "Transparency and good government are progressive values." But Judicial Watch has said (and still says) they "use the Freedom of Information Act and other open records laws to achieve conservative goals of accountability and openness in government." So apparently every "ideology" claims the same values, which isn't very helpful for us in describing these specific organizations. Xenophrenic (talk) 20:03, 3 August 2018 (UTC)
There is overwhelming support for the fact that independent, outside observers regard CREW as liberal -- that's the word they use. The word "liberal" is not ambiguous. In fact, other organizations on Wikipedia that are described as "liberal" link to liberal. The lede should say so -- the current lede gives the misleading impression that CREW does not have a well-documented and public POV. Ebw343 (talk) 23:43, 3 August 2018 (UTC)
I already agreed with you that some observers claim CREW is "liberal", and our article already conveys that. And yes, the word liberal is indeed very ambiguous, which is why Wikipedia's link to it is a DISAMBIGUATION page. As for your suggestion that "the lede should say so", I disagree. The lead is for the summary of important facts about the article subject, not transient criticism by politicized actors. Now if you think the article subject "has a well-documented POV", then let's see your good reliable sourcing to support that assertion. And please, try to present sources that comprehensively explain what that 'POV' means, rather than sources that just stick a political dogwhistle label on the organization with no intelligent context. Xenophrenic (talk) 00:24, 4 August 2018 (UTC)
The article most certainly does not convey that CREW is characterized by independent news sources such as the Wapo and NYT as liberal. The word "liberal" is not ambiguous, and it is not true that Wikipedia's link to it is to a disambiguation page. Proof: liberal. This is not "transient criticism by political actors." We're talking about mainstream news organizations. This is not a dog whistle issue -- except to someone who believes the word "liberal" is a term of derision.
I think at this point we need another editor to weigh in. The current lede gives a false impression as to CREW's POV. IMO, editor Xenophrenic is being unreasonably sensitive to the word "liberal" being used to characterize CREW, despite the fact that mainstream news organizations use that very (unambiguous) word to describe CREW and have done so for years. Ebw343 (talk) 02:22, 4 August 2018 (UTC)
Incorrect. Liberal is indeed a disambiguation page (just click on it and see). What you provided as "proof" is actually an WP:EASTEREGG link (did you really think no one would catch that?) to one of many pages about a very ambiguous and expansive subject. Also, there are several examples already in our article of CREW being referred to as "liberal" (just hit CTRL-F, and search for the word). What you are arguing for is to add "liberal" to the lead as a defining characteristic or "POV", but you apparently can't even explain what that means with regard to a government watchdog organization. I'll repeat what I asked you above: if you think the article subject "has a well-documented POV", then let's see your good reliable sourcing to support that assertion. And please, try to present sources that comprehensively explain what that 'POV' means, rather than sources that just stick a political dogwhistle label on the organization with no intelligent context. Once again, you've provided no such sources. If this description is so unambiguous as you claim, then surely you can simply explain what that description means and provide the sources showing how it applies here, right? Xenophrenic (talk) 08:08, 4 August 2018 (UTC)
Once again, you're wrong. As I correctly stated: "In fact, other organizations on Wikipedia that are described as "liberal" link to liberal." This is an absolutely correct statement. You simply changed the link to one not used in the descriptions of U.S. organizations. In any event, your bias is clear in your references to "transient criticism by political actors" and "dog whistles." I'll wait for the RFC.Ebw343 (talk) 14:10, 4 August 2018 (UTC)
I've asked you twice if you could explain what you mean when you call a government watchdog "liberal". Still no answer from you. How, exactly, is a government ethics and accountability watchdog "liberal"? Still no answer. I've checked your Wikilink to our 'Modern liberalism in the United States' article, and there is nothing in there related to ethics & accountability watchdogs. Still no answer. I've asked you for reliable sources that explain what makes a government watchdog "liberal", and what that means, and you've provided none (and that includes the sources you once tried to add, which only toss the word out in passing with no explanation). Still no answer. My bias toward having good quality encyclopedic information in our articles instead of identity politics gameplaying is indeed very clear - so, what's your point? If you can't explain why you want to stick the ambiguous word "liberal" into the article lead, or can't detail what you mean when you say "CREW's POV", you should have just said so and saved us both a lot of typing. Regards, Xenophrenic (talk) 23:14, 4 August 2018 (UTC)
There are countless articles by well-recognized, mainstream news sources that characterize CREW as liberal -- an unambiguous word in American politics. I'm not "call[ing] a government watchdog 'liberal.'" I'm quoting independent, authoritative third parties. You clearly have an agenda. I'll wait for the RFC. Ebw343 (talk) 02:03, 5 August 2018 (UTC)
I've asked you three times if you could explain what you mean when you call a government watchdog "liberal". Still no answer. Just personal attacks. You say it is an unambiguous word in American politics, yet you cannot explain to me what is meant by a "liberal" government watchdog. It's not in the links you provided. And now that you are done "waiting for an RfC", it is apparent you still can't answer. Xenophrenic (talk) 19:18, 8 August 2018 (UTC)
Which part of "I'm not "call[ing] a government watchdog 'liberal.'" I'm quoting independent, authoritative third parties." do you not understand? Ebw343 (talk) 06:45, 9 August 2018 (UTC)
I will draft an RFC since it doesn't seem like we're resolving anything here. Busy for a few days but will work on it. Marquardtika (talk) 03:17, 4 August 2018 (UTC)
Storing some additional sourcing here: Politico, New York Magazine. Marquardtika (talk) 04:08, 4 August 2018 (UTC)
Thank you. Ebw343 (talk) 04:27, 4 August 2018 (UTC)

Outdated mission statement[edit]

Why are we using an archive of a 2012 mission statement in the lede? CREW has a newer mission statement available. Marquardtika (talk) 21:22, 31 July 2018 (UTC)

I'm going to go out on a limb here and suggest that we have a citation because a citation was requested. Citations in the LEAD can probably be removed as unnecessary, as long as the content in the lead is already cited in the body of the article. Fun fact: we currently have citations in our article to the various evolving mission statements from 2003, 2012, 2015, and Present. Each is probably relevant to the content for which they were cited. Regards, Xenophrenic (talk) 00:46, 1 August 2018 (UTC)

RFC on first sentence of article[edit]

Should the first sentence of the article read:

Option 1: "Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW) is a nonprofit 501(c)(3) and nonpartisan U.S. government ethics and accountability watchdog organization."[1][2][3]

or

Option 2: "Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW) is a nonpartisan[4] and progressive[5][6] nonprofit 501(c)(3)[7] U.S. government ethics and accountability watchdog organization." Marquardtika (talk) 19:07, 6 August 2018 (UTC)

References

  1. ^ Blumenthal, Paul (July 9, 2013). "Citizens United Lawyer Jim Bopp Hit With Tax Complaint From Watchdog Group". Huffington Post. Retrieved November 11, 2015.
  2. ^ Secret House GOP Vote Guts Ethics Panel, Prompts Outcry; U.S. News & World Report; Gabrielle Levy; January 3, 2017
  3. ^ Washington Information Directory 2017-2018; CQ Press; 2017; Pg. 327
  4. ^ Thomas, Lauren (July 24, 2018). "Ivanka Trump is shutting down her fashion brand". CNBC. Retrieved 1 August 2018.
  5. ^ Phillips, Amber (April 30, 2018). "Make no mistake: Richard Painter is running for Senate, thanks to Trump". Washington Post. Retrieved 1 August 2018.
  6. ^ "A look at the group suing Trump over business conflicts". Chicago Tribune. January 23, 2017. Retrieved 1 August 2018.
  7. ^ Vogel, Kenneth (August 13, 2014). "David Brock expands empire". Politico. Retrieved 1 August 2018.
  • Option 2: As the Chicago Tribune and Washington Post sources above show, CREW has self-described as both nonpartisan and progressive. The two terms are not mutually exclusive and are both well-sourced. There is no policy-based reason why we shouldn't follow both reliable sources and the organization's own self-description and use both terms in the first sentence. Marquardtika (talk) 19:11, 6 August 2018 (UTC)
"Nonprofit" and "Nonpartisan" are both objectively defined terms that are commonly and consistently used without attribution when describing CREW, which is why they appear in the lead sentence. You wish to add "progressive", which is a subjective term (improper for the lead) that violates both WP:PEACOCK and WP:LABEL. Also, you present the word as a fact in Wikipedia's voice (in violation of WP:RS), while the sources you provide either attribute it as merely a self-description or avoid using the word at all. I'm sure if you search enough you can locate some sources that use the word "progressive" in-passing without the attribution caveat, and you can update your RfC sources accordingly, but that is still far from qualifying the adjective as part of a policy-compliant, neutrally worded lead sentence. Xenophrenic (talk) 19:18, 8 August 2018 (UTC)
  • Option 2 is better.Ebw343 (talk) 19:51, 6 August 2018 (UTC)
Could I trouble you to give your reasoning? It would be unfortunate to have this response discarded as irrelevant. Xenophrenic (talk) 19:18, 8 August 2018 (UTC)
  • Option 1 is better. We shouldn't put much weight on self-descriptions (primary source). In addition, the term "progressive" can be sensed as being relative in nature, with some politicians, bylaws, objectives, actions, thoughts, decisions, etc., being more "progressive" than others. Mercy11 (talk)
This isn't simply an issue of self-descriptions. There are dozens of third-party news articles from the NYT, Wapo, and others that describe CREW as progressive or liberal, including several of the articles cited by editor Marquardtika. Ebw343 (talk) 00:18, 8 August 2018 (UTC)
That is correct. CREW is frequently described as liberal, left-leaning, or progressive in reliable sourcing. I picked "progressive" for the RFC because it's also a term the group has self-identified with. Looking at the organization's web page, I can't find a place where they self-identify as non-partisan. They are sometimes referred to as nonpartisan in the media, though, which is why using multiple terms in the lede seems appropriate. But the sourcing is actually stronger for liberal/progressive than for nonpartisan. Marquardtika (talk) 04:33, 8 August 2018 (UTC)
Mercy11 is correct. We shouldn't put as much weight on subjective self-description, especially when it isn't even a defining feature of the subject, and is only sporadically used in passing by sources. The sources provided in this RfC above note that 'progressive' is a self-description, (WaPo: "Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington, which is nonpartisan but whose leaders also describe it as progressive."). Even the creator of this RfC admits that sources have variously referred to CREW as "left-leaning", "progressive", "liberal", or none of the above, and aren't at all consistent in how they refer to the subject - so they had to "pick" one. That isn't how we do things, and it certainly isn't how we write a WP:LEADSENTENCE.
I checked the organization's website, and I can't find where they call themselves "progressive" even once, while they describe themselves as "Nonprofit" and "Nonpartisan" all over it, and in reprints of their press releases, and in all of their legal filings, and in their employment applications, and in their FAQs, etc. Even simple comparison of Google searches (very unscientific, I know) for CREW after forcing the inclusion or exclusion of words like "progressive", "liberal", "nonpartisan", etc., indicate that nonpartisan is common, while progressive and liberal are relatively rare by comparison. Xenophrenic (talk) 19:18, 8 August 2018 (UTC)
  • Comment - This RfC looks to be problematic and malformed, as it proposes an either/or selection between only two choices: (1) keep the present lead sentence wording and sources, or (2) add the adjective "progressive" as a statement of fact in Wikipedia's voice, but add sources that do not support it as a fact, only as attributed self-description (or not present at all). The lead sentence is for conveying facts about the subject, not ambiguous self-descriptions that aren't consistently or even frequently used by reliable sources or the organization itself. The RfC proposes an option to violate Wikipedia policy, perhaps unintentionally, so unless it is reformulated, Option 1 is the only policy-compliant option of the two offered. Xenophrenic (talk) 19:18, 8 August 2018 (UTC)
This is not an issue of "self description." The plain fact, which editor Xenophrenic attempts to hide with his/her own "very unscientific" research, is that there are literally thousands of news articles by reputable, mainstream news sources that characterize CREW as either progressive or liberal or both. The current lead section fails to convey this simple fact. As a result, the current lead section is not consistent with Wikipedia's policy regarding the "Lead Section" of an article:
"The lead section (also known as the lead or introduction) of a Wikipedia article is the section before the table of contents and the first heading. The lead serves as an introduction to the article and a summary of its most important contents. It is not a news-style lead or "lede" paragraph. The average Wikipedia visit is a few minutes. The lead is the first thing most people will read on arriving at an article. It gives the basics in a nutshell and cultivates interest in reading on – though not by teasing the reader or hinting at what follows. It should be written in a clear, accessible style with a neutral point of view. The lead should stand on its own as a concise overview of the article's topic. It should identify the topic, establish context, explain why the topic is notable, and summarize the most important points, including any prominent controversies. The notability of the article's subject is usually established in the first few sentences. Like in the body of the article itself, the emphasis given to material in the lead should roughly reflect its importance to the topic, according to reliable, published sources. Apart from basic facts, significant information should not appear in the lead if it is not covered in the remainder of the article."
A simple sentence in the Lead Section stating: "CREW has been described as a progressive or liberal organization by independent observers," with several cites to news sources like the NYT and Wapo, would suffice.Ebw343 (talk) 06:37, 9 August 2018 (UTC)
  • Option 1 for now, mostly on long-standing status quo, but it does need work. The coverage I see (e.g. from the Washington Post, The Hill, Bloomberg) talk of CREW having standing issues, Brock perhaps not being bipartisan, and of their watchdog status fades after arrival of Brock. The lead reads like self-WP:PROMOTION and coverage indicates it is a bit off. But... that still seems the legal charter and stance - the Organization has not changed, even if the practice currently is not non-partisan or watchdog. I think the lead is reasonable as a scope statement as long as para 3 is giving perspective of recent press coverage of CREW. Cheers Markbassett (talk) 05:38, 12 August 2018 (UTC)