Tucker Carlson’s The Daily Caller has quickly distinguished itself as an online news source full of people just like Carlson — tired hacks with little intellectual integrity. Patrick Howley, who dubs himself an “investigative reporter,” breathlessly exposes the “strong Obama connections” of the husband of Lois Lerner, the IRS official who apologized last week for that agency’s targeting of conservative groups for additional scrutiny. Here’s what he managed to come up with:
IRS Exempt Organizations Division director Lois G. Lerner, who has been described as “apolitical” in mainstream press coverage of the IRS scandal, is married to tax attorney Michael R. Miles, a partner at the law firm Sutherland Asbill & Brennan. The firm is based in Atlanta but has a number of offices including in Washington, D.C., where Miles works.
The 400-attorney firm hosted an organizing meeting at its Atlanta office for people interested in helping with voter registration for the Obama re-election campaign…
Longtime Sutherland partner David Adelman, the former Democratic minority whip of the Georgia state senate, serves as ambassador to the Republic of Singapore in the Obama administration.
Wow. Such “strong connections.” Walter Olson dispatches this nonsense with extreme prejudice:
Really? In a 387-lawyer BigLaw firm, those are the strongest Obama links Howley was able to come up with? As with virtually all BigLaw firms, Sutherland has attorneys active in both parties who host events favorable to one side or the other. It took me only a minute or two on search engines to confirm that Sutherland lawyers and alumni are quite successful in landing prominent appointments under Republicans. Here’s a 14-year Sutherland alum (though he’d moved on to other employers in the interim) who served as National Executive Director of Lawyers for Bush-Cheney in 2000 and went on to a distinguished career as ambassador appointed by that administration. Here’s a Sutherland attorney (“top lawyer at the Pentagon for six years”) nominated by President George W. Bush to the Fourth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals.
Of course, some BigLaw firms do have a distinct coloration that falls toward one side of the political spectrum while tolerating the occasional maverick from the other. Is this true of Sutherland? I consulted the Open Secrets database and found that in the last election cycle the firm’s lawyers donated $41,700 to Mitt Romney and $35,413 to Barack Obama. In Congressional races, the firm’s lawyers donated $38,040 to Republican candidates and $25,350 to Democrats. The biggest recipient by far in the Congressional races? Ted Cruz (R-Texas), who got $16,250 from Sutherland lawyers. Overall, these figures would rank Sutherland as not a particularly heavy hitter among law firms in federal donations. Twenty other law firms’ attorneys gave upwards of $1.2 million in the last election cycle, mostly leaning much more toward the Democratic side than did the donations from Sutherland’s attorneys.
OMG! Lerner has “strong Cruz connections.” The easiest lie to make is the one that cherry picks information and leaves out contrary evidence.