LTC Bullet:  Roll Call Exposes Sleazy CREW 

Wednesday, January 30, 2008 

Asheville, North Carolina-- 

LTC Comment:  Roll Call, the highly respected Capitol Hill newspaper, investigated CREW and found disreputable motives and tactics.  Vindication for the Center after the ***news.*** 

*** LTC TOUR INFO.  You'll find everything about the Center's 2008 LTC Wake-Up Tour at www.centerltc.com.  View the LTC TOUR SPONSOR PACKET including 2008 LTC Tour Sponsorship Levels.  SILVER BULLET PICTURES -- Size and Positioning of Sponsors' Logos.  2008 LTC Tour Calendar and Schedule.  See also:  Sponsorship Opportunity as Regional Representative, LTC Tour Media Coverage and Subscribe to our YouTube channel -- See our LTC Tour videos. *** 

*** MORE MEDIA.  Special thanks to the Center for Long-Term Care Reform's Asheville, NC Regional Representative David Hensley and his wife Carol for their efforts to publicize the National Long-Term Care Consciousness Tour.  Because of their initiative The Asheville Tribune published a story this week about our new report on long-term care financing in North Carolina:  "Locke Study Shows Long-Term Care Costs Could Strain N.C. Budget:  Report Offers Tools to Cope with Baby Boom Retirements." *** 

*** LTC TOUR RADIO.  Listen to the WLRN (FM 91.3) "Topical Currents" radio show broadcast January 15 in Miami.  It featured Center president Steve Moses, "Fearless Caregiver" Gary Barg, and the Center for Long-Term Care Reform's Regional Representative in Miami George Braddock.  Check it out at http://207.145.75.57/audio/TC/2008/jan08/tc_01-15-08.mp3.  And special thanks to Regional Rep Braddock for his help getting the Center's message of responsible LTC planning out to public radio listeners throughout southern Florida. *** 

*** LTC TOUR VIDEOS.  Subscribe to the LTC Tour's very own YouTube channel at http://www.youtube.com/LTCconsciousnessTOUR.  Don't miss any of our videos from the LTC Tour.  Early broadcasts include Steve Moses explaining the Tour's purpose, a home health care agency owner vowing to use LTCI instead of Medicaid planning, and Regional Representatives of the Center talking about their passionate support for the LTC Tour and the Center.  Special thanks to the Tour's marketing and public relations consultant, Marilee Driscoll, well known author and speaker on long-term care issues, for producing these clips. *** 

 

LTC BULLET:  ROLL CALL EXPOSES SLEAZY CREW 

LTC Comment:  A couple months ago, the Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW) started popping up in Google alerts for the Center for LTC Reform.  CREW claimed that I am a mouthpiece for LTC insurance carriers and that the Center is a wholly-owned subsidiary of the LTC insurance industry.  CREW dusted off specious criticism first levied against the Center by NAELA members years ago.  It urged Senator Grassley, the Senate Finance Committee and the NAIC to investigate the Center for Long-Term Care Reform. 

Of course, nothing ever came of this cybernetic slander.  We never heard word one from the Senator, the Committee or the NAIC.  Nevertheless, when a well-financed hate group decides to throw mud on the internet, what can you do?  It's a logical impossibility to prove one's innocence.  So groundless accusations hang out there making friends wonder and opponents rejoice.  How can a small, family-run, lightly funded public policy advocacy organization like the Center fight back against web-based bullies? 

We can't, of course, but big, credible, media outlets like Roll Call can.  Last week a reporter from the newspaper called me.  He was baffled by CREW's attacks on the Center.  I explained that CREW's unfounded criticism and charges came from Medicaid planners and others who bash private sector LTC solutions and seek a government take-over of long-term care.  He said he'd found enough evidence to conclude that CREW's attacks on the Center and others were "tantamount to legal malpractice." 

Yesterday, Roll Call published an expose' of CREW that revealed the radical group's richly endowed funding sources and censured its methods and objectives.  As of this morning, the whole Roll Call article ("Watchdog, Donors Share Common Foes" by Paul Singer) was still available free of charge at http://www.rollcall.com/issues/53_85/news/21796-1.html?type=pf.  A few snippets follow.  Then our comment on the irony of politically based criticism of the Center. 

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"Several news stories - in this newspaper as well as in The Washington Post, The Wall Street Journal and others - have pointed out that much of CREW's funding comes from liberal groups and big donors to Democratic candidates and causes. And all but a handful of its complaints against Members of Congress have targeted Republicans. . . . 

"On Sept. 1, 2006, CREW received $75,000 from the SEIU [Service Employees International Union], according to documents that the union filed with the Department of Labor. . . . 

"Like most CREW filings, the complaint the organization filed with the DOJ against Musgrave was based on local news stories, and the document contains no indication that CREW made independent efforts to confirm the details. 

"Republicans complain that the overwhelming majority of CREW’s targets are GOP officeholders or allied organizations. CREW denies a partisan bias to its activities. . . . 

"Since there is no public process for arbitrating ethics complaints or DOJ investigations, CREW can issue a press release and there is no way for the target of the complaint to be publicly exonerated. 'Where do you go to get your reputation back?' asked Stefan Passantino, who served as counsel for then-Speaker Dennis Hastert (R-Ill.), who was targeted by CREW. . . . 

"CREW also has lost most of its legal expertise. Of the 13 staff members listed on the organization’s Web site in December 2006, at least eight have left, and Roll Call has identified three other staff members who have worked there and left in the past year or so. While the 2006 staff included a chief counsel position, two senior counsels and two counsels, only the chief counsel still works at CREW, and no other staff member besides Executive Director Melanie Sloan has a legal background, according to the CREW Web site." 

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LTC Comment:  The irony of a leftist hit-group attacking the Center for LTC Reform as if we were a conservative advocacy organization is rich.  The Center's objective is to save Medicaid as a long-term care safety net for the poor.  We fight against the lawyers who misappropriate Medicaid to benefit their affluent clients.  We fight against organizations that undercut Medicaid by opposing new private sector revenues to shore up the struggling public assistance program.  Saving Medicaid is a fairness issue.  Political parties and ideologies don't matter.  What's important is that scarce public welfare resources go to people in need and that others, who are affluent, healthy and young enough, plan responsibly for long-term care.  Let's all pull together, whatever our political preferences, to save Medicaid for people in need and encourage responsible long-term care planning for those who are able.