They are simply using the first rule in contemporary American politics: the accusation is the conviction.
One response I often make to this accusation is the to compare the comment policy of leading skeptic and alarmist climate sites.
To me, this accusation is as ridiculous as a husband blaming his wife for being liked by other men even though she has no control over their liking.
Not only because you are clearly in the wrong and I am clearly in the right, but because because you have conditioned me to associate you accusing me of something with an apology; the accusation is the apology.
To some extent, this reflects the nature of American politics today, where no claim or accusation is too bizarre, or requires any evidence whatsoever to be taken at least somewhat seriously by many in the media.
The accusation is that the actuarial report shows that HCR increases the deficit.
The accusation is not simply that the reviewer thinks highly of their own opinion and will hold to it in the face of opposition.
The accusation is that they disregard the legitimacy of contrary opinion on the principle that judgement is their prerogative alone, that they are asserting a privileged status, expecting it to be recognised.
Thus, if the promotion warrant has been veriified and you and your friends say that all three were done at the same time, your accusation is without merit and your entire accusation does not stand.