On the Right: the next tea party: Obama’s data mining?

Data mining graphic from Direct Marketing Magazine.

The name is innocuous: National Legal and Policy Center. The description benign, talking about how it was

founded in late 1991 following the release of the Senate Ethics Committee report whitewashing the Keating Five. The report made reference to the Code of Ethics for Government, but not by name, presumably for fear of giving it greater standing. NLPC was founded to promote ethics, and to give the Code the visibility it deserves.

Heck, it could be CREW. But a story by Ken Boehm which made it to the Mememorandum list today raised my suspicions “Obama White House Has Secret Plan To Harvest Personal Data From Social Networking Websites.”

In the course of investigating procurement by the White House New Media office, NLPC discovered a 51-page solicitation of bids that was filed on Friday, August 21, 2009. Filed as Solicitation # WHO-S-09-0003, it is posted at FedBizzOps.com. Click here to download a 51-page pdf of the solicitation .

While the solicitation specifies a 12-month contract, it allows for seven one-year extensions. It specifies no dollar cap.

I’ll look into the claims. After all, sometimes the mainstream media is a bit slow on the draw in criticizing Obama. And he’s been a disappointment in continuing Bush’s policies on domestic spying. But so far, the only bloggers salivating are on the right, such as Matthew Vadum,

But, I was right that the Center is not exactly non-partisan, according to Sourcewatch, which cites Susan Crabtree, writing for the hardly liberal The Hill. (I’ve linked to the page on Rangel’s website, because the orginal link is broken, although a look at Google’s cache reveals the story as genuine.

When the news broke that Rep. Charles Rangel (D-N.Y.) may have been abusing New York City rent-control laws, Peter Flaherty and Ken Boehm smelled blood.

The two investigators are principals and founders of the National Legal and Policy Center, a conservative watchdog group whose research has spurred news stories taking Rangel to task for alleged ethical violations.

The center has time, money and seasoned Washington hands, who research publicly available information.

The center’s nonprofit status allows it to keep its funding private. Flaherty wouldn’t disclose his donor list but acknowledged that the biggest source of funds comes from foundations associated with Richard Mellon Scaife, the billionaire heir to the Mellon fortune and well-known supporter of conservative public policy organizations….

Flaherty and Boehm, friends since their days at Citizens for Reagan, say their work is legitimate and motivated less by a conservative point of view than a belief that bigger government leads to more opportunities for corruption.

Like there was no corruption under their Republican heroes. Right.

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