Anthony Weiner is catching hell for his ongoing genital tweeting and naughty texting. But though the former congressman and mayoral candidate has his issues, he was right about one thing when he worked on Capitol Hill: Clarence Thomas.
Many have forgotten that back in 2011, before the failed DM seen round the world, Weiner was on a tear, railing almost daily against Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas. At the time, the Affordable Care Act was winding its way through federal courts on its way to the SCOTUS, and Weiner was among the loudest voices demanding that Thomas recuse himself. He even taunted Thomas about what he called the conflicts of interest embedded in Thomas’ finances, on — you guessed it — Twitter.
At issue: Justice Thomas’ failure to disclose his wife Virginia “Ginny” Thomas’ employment with the Heritage Foundation — a key voice opposing the healthcare law (which Thomas corrected by filing amended disclosure forms in January 2011) and the more than $550,000 his wife, Ginny, raised in 2009 to start an anti-healthcare reform Tea Party organization and consulting firm Liberty Central.
Ginni Thomas was the founder and leader of Liberty Central, a political nonprofit “dedicated to opposing what she characterizes as the leftist ‘tyranny’ of President Obama and Democrats in Congress.” The group was funded by Harlan Crow, frequent patron of the Thomas’ projects and causes and a financial supporter of right-wing campaigns such as the “swift boat” attacks on then-presidential candidate John Kerry and the advertising push to confirm President George W. Bush’s Supreme Court nominees. Crow also serves on the board of the American Enterprise Institute, whose Edward Blum brought the two most recent attacks on the Voting Rights Act and affirmative action before the Supreme Court. Justice Thomas favored Blum’s positions against progressive precedent on both civil rights issues.
Ginni Thomas’ direction of Liberty Central was heavily criticized in the run-up to the Supreme Court’s decision on the constitutionality of the Affordable Care Act because Justice Thomas “was planning to rule on the healthcare law when his wife, a conservative lobbyist, has made so much money challenging the law.” As U.S. News & World Report explained, this paid activism continued even after Ginni Thomas stepped down from Liberty Central to form a separate lobbying firm, Liberty Consulting:
Apparently, Ginny Thomas’ “advocacy” hasn’t died down, even after the ACA was ratified by the Supreme Court, thanks to a surprise change of sides by conservative Chief Justice John Roberts. Mother Jones reports that Mrs. Thomas is a key member of a new, D.C.-based conservative coalition whose goal is to wage a “a 30 front war seeking to fundamentally transform the nation.” And by “transform,” they mean to begin to “win the message war” that the group says progressives are currently winning, and to get conservative policies entrenched, enacted, and popularized. Mother Jones reports that the group, which includes former Florida Congressman Allen West, former U.N. Ambassador John Bolton, former Ohio Secretary of State Ken Blackwell, and reporters from Breitbart News and the Washington Examiner, have another target, besides “the left:”
Dubbed Groundswell, this coalition convenes weekly in the offices of Judicial Watch, the conservative legal watchdog group. During these hush-hush sessions and through a Google group, the members of Groundswell—including aides to congressional Republicans—cook up battle plans for their ongoing fights against the Obama administration, congressional Democrats, progressive outfits, and the Republican establishment and “clueless” GOP congressional leaders. They devise strategies for killing immigration reform, hyping the Benghazi controversy, and countering the impression that the GOP exploits racism. And the Groundswell gang is mounting a behind-the-scenes organized effort to eradicate the outsize influence of GOP über-strategist/pundit Karl Rove within Republican and conservative ranks.
According to Media Matters, memos obtained by Mother Jones indicate that Mrs. Thomas “is continuing to be paid on issues and court cases that will likely come before her husband once again.”