U.S. Senator Conrad Burns of Montana charged that CREW was "maliciously false" and "partisan hacks" in calling him corrupt in 2005. The Billings Gazette reported that CREW defended itself:
"We are progressive," said Naomi Seligman, the group's deputy director... "We do work within a larger progressive infrastructure." Seligman suggested her group is the progressive counterweight to Judicial Watch, a group from the right that calls itself "a non-profit, public interest law firm dedicated to fighting government corruption"... "We've gone after a fair number of Democrats, even in this study," Seligman said, [and Burns] "should be answering the charges, not slinging charges."