Crossroads GPS, a Republican 501(c)(4) co-founded by Karl Rove that spent over $17 million in the 2010 cycle, launched a new initiative in late March intended to serve as an opposition research database: Wikicountability.org.
Using a modified version of the public content model pioneered by Wikipedia, Wikicountability will serve as a clearinghouse for documents obtained from the Obama administration via Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests. (Unlike Wikipedia, editors of Wikicountability must be approved before they can contribute.) The new site’s opening salvo was a revelation that over $3 million in taxpayer funds had been used to pay for ads promoting healthcare reform.
Wikicountability was founded with the unspoken aim of countering the influence of progressive outlets that gather opposition research, such as the Center for American Progress and Media Matters for America. Wikicountability intends to pick up the “oppo” slack that traditional Republican research arms such as the Media Research Center, Accuracy in Media, and Judicial Watch, not to mention the Republican National Committee, have left in recent years.
Already a favorite bogeyman of liberal groups, Crossroads GPS has come under particular criticism for pursuing a project ostensibly devoted to increasing government transparency while refusing to reveal its donors. To highlight this contradiction, the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee launched a site of its own in response to Wikicountability: Wikipocrisy.org.