Government transparency group mistaken for 'reopen America' advocates

Online commenters are confusing a long-time advocacy group for government transparency and accountability, Open the Government, with the protests to reopen the economy and lift coronavirus-related restrictions.

Open the Government is a nonpartisan coalition that supports policies that create a more responsive and accountable government.

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"It's been our name since 2003 because we believe in an informed public and that the public has the right to know what our government is doing," said Lisa Rosenberg, Open the Government's executive director.

But after the group had people reach out who thought they were part of the protests to open America, it sent out an e-mail blast reminding subscribers of their mission.

Many of those people remained confused about the group's name and responded with some vulgar and unpleasant language.

Some have used expletives and demeaning quips, like:

"Change your name. It looks like you're part of the idiot group carrying assault weapons and ignoring COVID-19-related safety rules," said one e-mailer.

Rosenberg says she and her staff have taken the hate e-mails in stride, giving commenters the benefit of the doubt that maybe they just didn't do enough research about the group.

"You have to kind of laugh these things off. Again, if I lost sleep over the fact that some people were upset with our name you know that would just push me over the edge. There's a lot bigger things to worry about right now," said Rosenberg.