The Times does not spell this out, noting in passing that “because of its tax designation [Crossroads GPS] is supposed to focus primarily on issues rather than candidates,” but not finishing that thought (and if doesn’t, it could lose its tax designation, i.e., that which allows it to keep its donors secret.) The only account I found that makes this point explicitly is at Salon, from Alex Pareene, who put it this way:

I am always in favor of more document dumps and FOIA requests and damning information about our government, but the obvious purpose of Wikicountability is to foment misleading talking points.

Well, actually, the point of Wikicountability is to allow Rove’s nonprofit “educational” 501(c)(4) to maintain its nonprofit status by pretending to be doing something nonpolitical with 50 percent of the money they’ve raised from secret donors.

If not “the point” of Wikicountability, this—that Crossroads GPS must do “social welfare” work in addition to funding attack ads during elections in order to keep on keeping its donors secret—is certainly a point, and one that should be mentioned in any report on the group’s non-election-related activities. This is the second time I’ve noticed the Times failing to do so.

Liz Cox Barrett is a writer at CJR.