According to research Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington has conducted, Berman & Company uses corporate money to set up phony nonprofits to disseminate misinformation. In addition to ABI, by our count he’s behind at least 22 other groups – often as the executive director – and he passes himself and his staff off as experts on a number of hot-button issues. Berman’s nonprofits are astroturfing for big moneyed special interests.

Longwell plays many different roles in Berman’s nonprofit empire. In addition to her position at ABI, she is the communications director for both the Center for Consumer Freedom and the Center for Union Facts, to name just two. She has served as an “expert” on a number of different topics, ranging from organized labor to health care reform, sweeteners to alcohol detection devices. Her real expertise is in hiding her real agenda from the media.
Longwell suggests the potential inconvenience and infringement on personal freedom of a few sober drivers far outweighs the danger of one drunk driver on the road. According to recent data released by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, over 10,000 crash deaths were the result of drivers impaired by alcohol in 2009. One of those was 11-year-old Leandra Rosado, who was killed and another six children were injured when Carmen Huertas got behind the wheel with a blood alcohol level of .132. 

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, an average drunk driver has driven drunk at least 80 times before her first arrest. Another study indicates that over 50% of drunk drivers continue to drive after their licenses have been suspended. 

Rather than catching a drunk driver once she’s killed someone, doesn’t it make more sense to stop her before she gets behind the wheel?  Longwell would rather we focus on the potential inconvenience and infringement on personal freedoms she claims a few sober drivers might suffer than the proven danger of drunk drivers on the road. 

It seems there is nothing Berman and Longwell won’t say for a big enough paycheck.

Sloan is the executive director of Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW), a non-partisan good government group. For more information on CREW’s work regarding Berman & Company, please visit