Friday, April 14, 2006

Press gets it wrong - again

I was reading
a story on the SF Chronicle website about the gay families who will be taking their children to the Easter Egg hunt at the White house this year when I was stopped in my tracks by this quote:

Despite the criticism from some quarters, the Christian Coalition, a leading conservative group, said it does not object to gay and lesbian families participating in the White House event.

'If it's an open event, it's an open event,' said Michele Combs, a spokeswoman for the Christian Coalition. 'If they are protesting, I think that's wrong. ... If they are just going with their kids, I don't see where there's a problem with that.'


Now two things immediately popped to mind when I read that. First off, that has to be one of the most sane statements ever attributed to the Christian Coalition. The second thing is, of course, the description of that organization as "a leading conservative group".

According to an article this week in The Washington Post:

The once-mighty Christian Coalition, founded 17 years ago by the Rev. Pat Robertson as the political fundraising and lobbying engine of the Christian right, is more than $2 million in debt, beset by creditors' lawsuits and struggling to hold on to some of its state chapters.

In March, one of its most effective chapters, the Christian Coalition of Iowa, cut ties with the national organization and reincorporated itself as the Iowa Christian Alliance, saying it "found it impossible to continue to carry a name that in any way associated us with this national organization."

"The credibility is just not there like it once was," said Stephen L. Scheffler, president of the Iowa affiliate since 2000. "The budget has shrunk from $26 million to $1 million. There's a trail of debt. . . . We believe, our board believes, any Christian organization has an obligation to pay its debts in a timely fashion."

At its peak a decade ago, the Christian Coalition deployed a dozen lobbyists on Capitol Hill. Today, it has a single Washington employee who works out of his home. Its phone number with a 202 area code is automatically forwarded to a small office in Charleston, S.C.


Now if the press still has to go find a quote from some anti-gay organization every time our community makes the news, perhaps they would do well to make sure that the anti-gay organizations they turn to are actually legitimate. Could it be a sign of the times that Americans have become so accepting to their gay neighbors and relatives that its getting pretty darn hard to sustain an organization on heterosexism and bigotry? It appears so.

2 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

NOW the Christian Coalition has done PRECISELY the same
thing as they accused Bill Clinton about... falsifying
evidence to affect a pending lawsuit.

The Christian Coalition of America, Inc. doctored and
falsified previously-filed Lobbying Reports in the office of
the Secretary of the Senate, United States Senate, clumsily
erasing the name of Mr. Tracy Ammons as one of the lobbyists
who lobbied on behalf of The Christian Coalition of America,
Inc. as Chief Senate Lobbyist.

Currently, you can see all of this for yourself at:
http://sopr.senate.gov
Or examine the records of the Secretary of the Senate,
Office of Public Records on Capitol Hill.

COMPARE the two versions of reports for 2002 and 2003.
You will see that the Christian Coalition FALSIFIED
its lobbying reports by clumsiliy erasing Tracy Ammons'
name on each of the pages of the second filing.

There is enormous evidence that Mr. Ammons WAS lobbying on
behalf of The Christian Coalition of America, Inc.

Comparing the original and amended Lobbying Reports shows
that The Christian Coalition of America, Inc. violated 18
U.S.C. § 1001 against filing a false or misleading report
to the government, including lobbying reports to the U.S.
Congress' lobbyist office.

WHY WOULD THE CHRISTIAN COALITION DO THIS?

To influence a lawsuit....

This is the same thing that Bill Clinton was accused of re:
Monica Lewinksy. The Right said that the reason Bill Clinton
had to be impeached was that he had interefered with a
judicial proceeding by giving false testimony about oral
sex, in the Paula Jones lawsuit.

On November 1, 2001, Mr. Tracy Ammons began as Chief Senate
Lobbyist for The Christian Coalition of America.

For the second half of 2001, both halves of 2002, and the
first half of 2003, The Christian Coalition of America, Inc.
filed Lobbying Reports reporting Mr. Tracy Ammons as a
lobbyist lobbying extensively on its behalf.

The Christian Coalition issued business cards to Mr. Tracy
Ammons with the title "legislative associate" – the same
title under which he is identified in the original 2002 and
2003 Lobbying Reports filed with the Secretary of the Senate.

A brochure mailed to donors by the Christian Coalition,
over Roberta Combs' signature, identifies Mr. Tracy
Ammons as part of the Christian Coalition's lobbying
team, praises him as one of "these wonderful Christian
lobbyists," and identifies him as Chief Senate Lobbyist
for the Christian Coalition of America. The Christian
Coalition website (which is "cached" on www.zoominfo.com)
also has the same admissions by the Christian Coalition.

However, Mr. Ammons was never paid most of his salary.
Therefore, in 2004, he filed a lawsuit for the collection of
$114,000 in unpaid salary from these lobbying activities.

THEREFORE, THE DOCTORING OF THE LOBBYING REPORTS IS AN
ATTEMPT by the Christian Coalition TO DESTROY EVIDENCE and
defraud a judicial proceeding, to defraud and deceive the
tribunal deciding Mr. Ammons’ claim.

The new office headquarters for The Christian Coalition of
America, Inc. is now at 8730 Northpark Boulevard, Building
4, Suite C, Charleston, S.C. 29406. Their phone is (202)
479-6900.

3:56 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

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3:40 PM  

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