-Originally blogged by Jessica Pieklo on Care2.com
March 22, 2011- Ginni Thomas, founder of the Tea Party lobbying group Liberty Central and wife to Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas will be joining the news blog The Daily Caller.
Thomas joins the group founded by Tucker Carlson and former chief policy advisor to Dick Cheney Neil Patel to bring her "energy and enthusiasm" as a special correspondent interviewing key political and community leaders.
In many ways the move is a logical evolution for a career that has so far placed Thomas squarely in the shadows of policy-making, first at the Heritage Foundation to her time as a Congressional aide. And it may be an attempt to deflect criticism launched at her husband as a result of his failure to recuse himself from cases where his wife's lobbying groups have not only participated, but stand to benefit from, a decision in their favor. After all, "special correspondent" sounds a lot better than "lobbyist".
But those questions plaguing Justice Thomas, and the Court, are not going away anytime soon. The FCC is considering a rule that would require disclosure of the groups behind the groups funding attack ads. That means that groups like Thomas' Liberty Central, or other innocuous-sounding astroturf organization will have to disclose any source supplying 10 percent of a group's financing.
While there's no guarantee the rule will be adopted, it does represent a renewed and determined push toward transparency in advertising in the wake of the Citizens United decision–a decision that Justice Thomas is under fire for. So long as the attack on the decision keeps up, so too will the questions concerning whether or not Thomas should have recused himself from that case given his wife's lobbying interests and his own failure to disclose hundreds of thousands of dollars in her income.
And given the unapologetic hard-right bend to The Daily Caller it is safe to assume Thomas' work will come under additional scrutiny–and as it should. Our electoral system and the courts charged with monitoring it need a good spring cleaning.