Among the other positions he's staked out,
Norquist believes social security should be replaced with individual
investments in the stock market. "If you privatize social security, if
you voucher-ize education, if you sell $270 billion worth of airports
and wastewater treatment plants, eliminate welfare, and so on, you can
cut the government to basically half its present size," Norquist
Norquist is busily raising money -- he said he plans to raise millions
-- to promote similar initiatives on next November's ballot in at least
eight states and to lobby for passage of such bills in every state where
legislatures meet in 2000. Norquist adds: "Incidentally, there's
an added bonus. It also de-funds the GOP's best-financed and most
This is a message California Gov. Pete Wilson carried as well, to the
Republican Governors Association and a meeting with members of the U.S.
Chamber of Commerce. Wilson's anti-union sentiment was no surprise
to California workers. Back in the 1970s, as mayor of San Diego,
Wilson was constantly fighting with unionized bus drivers, fire fighters
and other employees.
Norquist's Americans for Tax Reform did much of the heavy lifting on this
initiative, paying for a 1.5-million-piece mailing to get the
proposition on the June ballot. This group and Norquist contributed
$441,000 to the campaign. Not surprising, given the Norquist connection,
Americans for Tax Reform is pressing hard for medical savings accounts
as a key to "Medicare reform."
As you can see from this example, the
Religious Right through the Republican Party focuses is on making a
profit for their contributors who are for the most part - Big Business!
They try to decrease the ballot power of their opponents by legislation.
They want to do away with Social Security and make everyone become
involved in the stock market which is not a very good idea given the ups
and downs of the stock market, but Big Business will thrive because of
the influx of money. They want to do away with Medicare and
Medicaid and just give everyone Medical Savings accounts which can be
tax deductible, but only the well off or rich can use them.
They want to give vouchers to students to be used at any public or
private school they want to go to, only experience has shown that the
religious private schools find ways of keeping the most needy from being
accepted and the only ones who get to use these vouchers are the ones
who already have their kids in private schools. Plus the private
schools get to force their brand of religion on defenseless children.
Pretty good deal - the rich get richer because the are subsidized in
their choice of private schools, and the poor get nothing but the same.
Pretty sick isn't it? But we will all be suffering if these greedy
immoral individuals have their way.
During the 1970s, an effort to organize
social conservatives resulted in a network of activists under the
leadership of Paul Weyrich, beer baron Joseph Coors, former presidential
candidate Howard Phillips, NCPAC founder Terry Dolan, and direct mail
guru Richard Viguerie. It was Weyrich, founder of the Committee for the
Survival of a Free Congress, and Viguerie, who first understood the
politics of organizing religious leaders around the abortion issue.
Weyrich brought in Jerry Falwell with the formation of the Moral
Majority and persuaded Pat Robertson to run for president in 1988.
Weyrich and Viguerie believed that social conservatives could be
organized into a group that would form a following greater than the
activist core of either the Democratic or Republican parties. As Richard
Viguerie said: "I organize discontent."
In 1973, Paul Weyrich and Joseph Coors
created The Heritage Foundation to develop public policy.
Weyrich also established the Free Congress Foundation, a 501(c)(3)
organization created to disseminate public policy from the right. The
Heritage Foundation, under Weyrichs direction, then organized the
American Legislative Exchange Council, a Washington-based association
whose membership is made up primarily of conservative Republican state
legislators. Together the three founded the State Policy Network to
oversee an association of state-based think tanks that function as
Heritage-like organizations at the state level.
To summarize, the Right Wing Conservative
movement is disciplined, organized and extremely well funded. It has a
national reach and management with a local presence. This movement is:
- grounded in the
Religious Right, representing millions of
- coordinated through the
Council for National Policy, representing
the nation's leading conservative activists;
- funded by wealthy
Conservative Philanthropic Foundations;
- guided by high-profile national policy
organizations, including the Heritage
American Legislative Exchange Council
Americans for Tax Reform,
Center for the Study of Popular Culture,
and the Alexis de Tocqueville Institution;
- executed locally with lobbying,
research, and media spin through the conservative think ranks that are
members of the State Policy Network;
- largely controlled by a small group of
individuals and organizations representing some of the wealthiest people
in the country.
This movement has swept through the
states of Washington and California and is now at work in more than two
dozen other states. What this alliance has movement to achieve in
California and the U.S. House and Senate, it is attempting to achieve in
each of the other states. Just as devolution has shifted power from
Washington, DC, to the 50 states, so too does this movement seek to
empower its supporters in methodically accomplishing their agenda on a
This page will expose the efforts of this
national coalition of Right Wing groups in its efforts to:
Take over public education, as well as revoke First
Amendment guarantees, including the separation of church and state and
freedom of speech; Mandate sectarian prayer in schools; Deny civil
rights to all Americans; Fight gun safety; Fight campaign finance
reform, and Fight efforts to protect the environment.
To find out how we can stop this
insideous cancer from spreading any further, we will look at the
operations and policies of the following organizations and individuals
which provide the policy direction, funding, and framework for the
Christian Conservative movement. They often have interrelated boards and
funding sources. They include:
- The Religious Right which is the heart
which produces the grassroots support, this includes focus on the
family, Christian Coalition, etc.
- The Council for National Policy is the
Nervous System, it provides the networking resource where all the
individuals and groups can meet in secrecy and map out their insidious
plot to take over the minds and hearts of every American. The
Council is the principal coordinating body-and funding mechanism-for
political projects of religious conservatives.
- The many Conservative philanthropic
foundations and organizations are the Energy of the beast. they provide
the financial resources needed to influence elections.
- The Heritage Foundation is the brains
of the beast, it dispenses the philosophical direction. This
organization is by far the largest and best funded "think tank' in the
country, and with the Republican takeover of Congress in 1994, it has
been the most influential conservative voice in Congress. On the issue
of "paycheck protection," Heritage has been playing a supportive public
relations role to Americans for Tax Reform, ALEC, and members of the
State Policy Network. To foster legislation on the state level, Heritage
has worked with ALEC, the Family Research Council, and other
conservative and religious policy organizations to create. a network of
state-based think tanks that provide some of the most effective arms and
legs for the conservative movement. Some of its co-conspirators
are: The Americans for Tax Reform - Among the most active
organizations, Americans for Tax Reform was the largest donor in support
of California Prop 226 (contributing, $441,000); the National
Right to Work Legal Defense and Education Foundation - As the law firm
for the National Right to Work Committee, the Foundation has taken an
active role around the country by supplying the legal muscle for
"paycheck protection' drives and has worked closely with Americans for
Tax Reform and ALEC. It claims to have more than 400 court cases pending
nationwide; The Center for the Study of Popular Culture - David
Horowitz, the president of the Center for the Study of Popular Culture,
has long been an adversary of the NEA. In a September 1996 Los Angeles
Times interview he said, "'We want to take them out of politics, not
just in California, but in every state in the Union."; The Alexis de
Tocqueville Institution - One of the most aggressively pro-voucher
groups, the institution recruits high-profile figure ' s to promote its
agenda. It specifically targets the NEA for criticism and was rated by
the National Journal as one of the "up and coming think tanks" in
- The American Legislative Exchange
Council (ALEC) is the Skeleton, which furnishes the framework for
legislative initiatives. Although nominally a bipartisan
organization, ALECs strong conservative bent accounts for the bulk of
its membership (of 3,000 state legislators) being from the Republican
side of the aisle. Working with the other organizations listed here and
the State Policy Network, ALEC has circulated model "paycheck
protection' and other conservative legislation to states.
- The State Policy Network is the Arms
and Legs, which supply support to legislators committed to conservative
ballot initiatives or legislative action.
Playing a leading role (politically and
financially) are seven individuals:
* Grover Norquist - president of
Americans for Tax Reform, which was the single biggest contributor to
Prop 226-$441,000. Norquist has pled-,ed to spend $10 million to put
anti-worker measures on ballots in up to eight states this year.
* Bob Williams - president of the
Evergreen Freedom Foundation, which spearheaded the Washington paycheck
* Howard Ahmanson, Jr. - Religious Right
* J. Patrick Rooney - Golden Rule
Insurance Company CEO Emeritus.
* Richard Scaife - Pittsburgh billionaire
and owner of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review.
* James R. Leininger - Conservative Texas
* John Walton - of the Wal-Mart fortune.
THE RELIGIOUS RIGHT
The "heart" of this network of
conservative organizations working to take away our religious freedom is
the Religious Right. Made up of dozens of religious groups around the
country, this network has supplied leadership, staff, money, and
grassroots power to many conservative causes in the past two decades.
The most active and well-funded of these religious organizations are
Focus on the Family, the Family Research Council, and the Christian
Coalition. Each plays a role by either mobilizing members or
contributing directly to the effort. They provide the leadership,
staff, money, and grassroots power to many conservative causes.
Due to the nonprofit status of religious
right groups, it is difficult to pinpoint the extent of their
involvement in various political initiatives. But it is clear that
groups associated with the religious right paid for mailings, phone
banks, voter guides, and get-out-the-vote efforts.
The Christian Coalition, for example,
said it would distribute two million voter guides in churches the Sunday
before the June 2 vote on Prop 226, according to The Washington Post. A
letter from Focus on the Family president James Dobson was mailed to
thousands of Californians, urging their support for the initiative. The
Family Research Council, through its "advocacy" arm American Renewal,
contributed $10,000 during the final days of the campaign.
FOCUS ON THE FAMILY
Dr. James Dobson
has lobbied Washington more powerfully than any single person or
organization on the religious right today and is arguably the most
respected man in the social conservative movement. Dobson is president
of Focus on the Family, the largest and strongest Religious Right
organization both financially and in terms of its grassroots strength
and impact. He has the media arm, the ua-,sroots organization, and the
lobbying arm to exert his influence. Focus on the Family, plus his
Washin6,ton lobbying group, the Family Research Council, raised
approximately $125 million in 1996, reporting gross receipts of nearly
$1 1 0 million with assets of some $72 million.
Dobson is effectively getting his message
out to a worldwide audience. Focus on the Family reaches more than six
million people through its 15 monthly and bimonthly magazines and
newsletters. In 1996, Focus published and distributed more than 78
A daily radio audience of nearly six ml I
Ilion people listen to Focus radio programs on more than two thousand
TJ.S. stations and 1,500 stations internationally. The organization
publishes books as well, including Gary Bauer's biography, Our Home, Our
Dream Dobson, himself, has written 14 books on child rearing and
Dobson, who claims 3.5 million families
on his mailing list, reaches his many followers through his folksy radio
program, which deals primarily with child rearing and family counseling.
Ofien, families initially come to Focus on the Family for advice and
grief counseling. The staff then converts that initial contact into
contributions and grassroots action with sophisticated product
marketing, premiums, and political messages that advance Dobson's
"Until recants [Dobson] was regarded
among many on Capitol Hill as a bumpkin wbo imagines himself to be a
political leader Conservatives know better. Washington Post
Dobson also commands a network of family
policy councils in more than 30 states. These councils comprise the
grassroots arm of Dobson's network, even though the individual councils
claim to be totally independent. Focus delivers these councils'
literature tucked into Dobso@s letters. Focus employees travel around
the country to lead Community Impact Seminars, which are really
grassroots training seminars. Some of the Family Policy
Councils-including the Alabama Family Alliance and the Capital Resource
Institute-also belong to the State Policy Network, whose supporters
include activists involved in national anti-employee initiatives.
Dobson, used the Capitol Resource Institute to distribute a letter
urging voters to support Prop 226.
"If I go, I'll take as many people with
me as possible." James Dobson
In July 1996, Dobson was highly critical
of Republican presidential candidate Bob Dole, who declared he would
have no litmus test on abortion. Dobson described his constituency at
that time: "Their views are not represented ... by The New York 7z-mes
or by what goes on on Capitol Hill. ...They are concerned about same sex
ideology and what their kids are being taught in school. Theyre waiting
for some political Figure to articulate those views. And no one does."
That political figure could have included
Dobson, before his stroke, but more likely will be his man Gary Bauer,
who appears to be raising his profile and2-lready is holding fundraisers
to test the waters. Addressing about 300 members of the secretive
Council for National Policy in 1997, Dobson said that Christians have
been betrayed by the Republican party. In his remarks before the
Council, DobsonDlecIge to personally lead a national campaign to weed
out GOP-elecred officials who have failed to keep promises to uphold
strict Bible-based principles as part of their lawmaking activities. His
call, which he likened to the voter revolt that overthrew the @ig Parry
in the 1800s, was delivered to the Southern Baptist Convention, which
met June 9-1 1, 1998, in Salt L-ake City.
On March 5, Dobson sent a scathing letter
to Rep. Tom Coburn (R-OK) in reply to -a request from House Speaker Newt
Gingrich for Dr. Dobsoa's top legislative priorities. Speaking on behalf
of the "pro-rrioral" community, Dobson writes, "It would be refreshing,
indeed, to have a senior politician devote even a single speech to the
value system from which this list is drawn. No such speech has been
given to my knowledge and virtually none of our objectives has been met.
Thus, it is curious that the Speaker is asking now for confirmation of
the principles and policies that have been emphasized ... etc. etc."
Educational issues cited are: school vouchers, opposition to national
testing, opposition to Goals 2000, and eliminating the Department of
After a litany of priorities, Dobson
delivers the emotional example, which links education and homosexuality:
"No better examples exists than the complete silence amon@ Republican
leaders after the President gave the credibility of his office to
homosexual activists, and then called for 2, revamping of school
curricula to include homosexual propaganda. That was outrageous.),
Dobson believes comprehensive sex
education is a tool of homosexuals and leftists. Focus on the Family is
a member of the National Coalition for Abstinence Education, made up of
62 grassroots groups, including Phyllis Sclilafly's Eagle Forum.
Observers believe that if their demands
are not met, Dobson and his followers could lead a revolt that would
spell disaster for the Republican party in the 2003 elections, and if
not that, in the presidential election of 2004.
At this writing, there is a likely
possibility Bauer will run, with Dobso@s backingkicking the campaign off
in Iowa-and using the -,-ay/education issue as far as he can go with it.
FAMILY RESEARCH COUNCIL (FRC)
Family Research Council (FRC) is a
"nonprofit, non-partisan educational organization," originally founded
in 1983. Today it operates as the lobbving arm for Focus on the Family
and carries out much of Dobson's political work. Fic merged with Focus
on the Family from 1988 to 1992, then reorganized and incorporated as a
separate nonprofit corporation based in Washington, DC. James Dobson,
president and CEO of Focus on the Family, hired
Gary Bauer to run the Family Research Council in 1989.
FRC exists to reaffirm and promote
nationally, and particularly in Washington, DC, "the traditional family
unit and the Judeo-Christian value system upon which it is built." While
the Council distanced itself from Focus on the Family in 1992 for tax
purposes-so as not to jeopardize Focus' tax status-the two organizations
are legally separate but "spiritually one," according to Dobson. Bauer
has access to Dobson's powerful radio network and Dobson serves on FRC's
board of directors. Other board members include: Ronald Blue, Lee Eaton,
Edgar Prince, Larry Smith.
FRC has 90 employees, 455,000 members and
a $14 million annual budget. Bauer sends a daily fax to 7,000 people and
delivers a radio message on about 300 Christian stations. Bauer's
wealthy backers include the DeVos family of Amway Corp. and Howard
Ahmanson, a millionaire California religious conservative.
FRC officers include: Gary L. Bauer,
president; Philip Olsen, vice president of education and development;
Charles A. Donovan, vice president for program planning; Kristi Stone
Hamrick, director of communications; Robert H. Knight, director of
According to The Weekly Standard, Bauer
has transformed himself into the "most influential social conservative
in Washington-and perhaps in America." Gary Bauer is a lawyer who held
several posts in the Reagan Administration, including director of the
White House Office of Policy Development., undersecretary for the U.S.
Department of Education, undersecretary for planning, budget and
evaluation for the Education Department, and senior policy analyst for
the Reagan-Bush campaign.
"With Ralph Reed gone and his successors
at the Christian Coalition, Don Hodel and Randy Tate, unable to match
his sway, Bauer is the number one social conservat ive, according to The
Weekly Standard. Supporters are already holding fundraisers for Bauer's
presidential bid in 2000.
Bauer has made a habit lateiv of bucking
Washingtons conservative establishment. First, it was Bauer who launcheg
the partial-birth abortion litmus test for candidates backed by the
Republican National Committee. Second, it was Bauer who mounted a
campaign to block most favored nation status for China.
On the issue of Social Security
privatization, Bauer broke with m conservative Grover Norquist,
promoting a "family friendly' tax, rather than the flat tax proposed by
Dick Armey and Steve Forbes or the national sales tax pushed by Bill
Archer. And it was Bauer who launched an independent expenditures effort
in the special California election to replace Congressman Walter Capps,
going against the GOP-liandpicked candidate Brooks Firestone, who lost
in the primary. In May, American Renewal, Inc.-an arm of Bauer's FRC
based at FRCs Washington headquarrers@ontributed $10,000 to Prop 226.
Bauer's prominence has invited
comparisons to Ralph Reed, the charismatic former executive director of
the Christian Coalition. The most important difference between the two
men, according to the Wall Streetjournal, may be stylistic. "Many
Republicans see Mr. Bauer as more rigid and uncompromising than Mr.
Reed. He's also more ready to openly criticize Republicans. Reed is a
pragmatist. Bauer is a rabble rouser."
Bauer is placing increasing emphasis on
the anti-homosexual activities of FRC. Last spring, FRC launched
"CultureFacts," edited by Peter LaBarbera, under the supervision of
Robert Knight. LaBarbera is a former reporter for the Washing-ton Times
and now publisher of the Lambda Report on Homosexual Activism. Robert
Knight is the director of cultural studies at FRC and was instrumental
in crafting the 1996 Defense of Marriage Act, according to his
Bauer says he wants politicians to "speak
out for normalcy and for the values the overwhelming number of their
voters have." Bauer says sexual preferences should not be protected
under civil rights laws or receive federal subsidies. He rails against
the "gay rights agenda' and demands that the "Secretary of Education
stop the pressure on school officials to introduce gay issues in the
c@sroom." In July 1998, the Christian Coalition and Focus on the Family
led a coalition of religious groups that launched an anti-homosexuality
campaign through newspaper ads that describe homosexuality as a sin and
a mental illness.
FRC offers a fax service called EdFacts.
There, one finds the widest possible range of Religious Right commentary
on Congressional legislative issues concerning education. Focusing on
the NEA, a recent banner headline read, "NEA & AFT on Verge of Merge
.... the new mega-union would be a lobbying superpower'in Washington."
The publication expressed FRCs concern about the merger. "In years past,
these unions have opposed the most basic pro-family education reforms.
They bitterly oppose parental choice in education, disdain phonics, and
promote gay rights."
In Bauer's book, Our Hopes and Dreams,
published by Focus on the Family, he poses five questions to ask of
"Those Who Would Lead Us" in the chapter entitled "Schools That Teach
Question #5.- 'Will you support the eight
of teachers to teach withoutjoining the National Education Association
or American Federation of Teachers? According to Forbes magazine, the
NF,4 collcts some $750 million in annual dues from all Levels of the
union. A significant portion of that money is spent on partisan
political activity and efforts to oppose educational reforms ranging
from parental choice to parental ?lights and limits on value-free sex
educational. Bauer issued a press release in November 1997
stating, "Students at the elementary and high school levels are being
denied the right to receive the best possible education by defenders of
a failing status quo who insist on propping up a monopolistic education
CAMPAIGN FOR WORKING FAMILIES
To raise money for its political
activities, FRC has formed a political action committee, Campaign for
Working Families. In 1997, it raised some $2 million. In the first Seven
months of 1998, it has raised $2.1 million. The PAC weighed in heavily
in the March 10 California special election to replace Rep. Walter
Capps. It waged an aggressive independent expenditure campaign backing
Tom J. Bordonaro, Jr. With FRC's backing, Bordonaro defeated the GOP-
backed (and Gingrich-backed) candidate, Brooks Firestone. FRC was behind
television ads on the partial birth abortion issue, deemed "too craphic"
to run by all three of the local Santa Barbara television network
Other major contributions from the
Campaign for Working Families PAC include: $12,500 to Mark Earley for
Attorney General (R-VA); $4,000 to Mike Pappas for Congress (R-Nj);
$4,000 to Helen Chenowerli for Congress (R-ID); and Bordonaro for
Congress ($5,000). The president of Campaign for Working Families
is Jeffrey Bell, a former Federal Reserve Board economist and Wall
Street analyst. Bell was unsuccessful in his campaign for U.S. Senate in
New Jersey in 1978. He is the author of Populism and Elitism and was the
prime mover behind the Colorado ballot initiative to add a Parental
Rights Amendment to Colorado's state constitution in 1996. Explaining
his strong support for the amendment that would give parents the right
"to direct and control the upbringing education, values, and discipline
of their children," Bell proclaimed that "victory here could be more
important than Dole's election or the control of Congress." Speaking at
a Christian Coalition conference, Bell referred to opponents of the
Amendment as "people who believe the measure is about a small group
suing teachers, doctors, nurses, librarians, movie theaters, and schools
to impose their views on everyone else."
In 1993, Bell founded a parental rights
group, Of the People, in Arlington, Viroinia. He has also served
on the Advisory Board of Rev. Pat RobertsoZs Catholic Alliance.
Recognizing the essential role of
fundraising in his lobbying efforts, Bauer plans to emphasize the role
of his PAC in the future. "Over the next couple of years, I've decided
to lay down some important markers," says Bauer. "'We've got to show
some of these thick-headed politicians, the ones who just don't get it,
that values issues should be at the center of the national debate. Our
PAC will help the politicians who believe these thin without shame and
embarrassment, and work a-,ainst those who don't."
Throughout the Family Research Council
activities, homosexuality and education are central issues. In a Capitol
Hill briefing in support of the Defense of Marriace Act, representatives
of the FRC denounced what they see as homosexual correctness advancing
in Americas schools. The FRC stated, "The campaign to teach school
children and teens that gay is OK benefits from the usual coordination
of a united gay movement, which has the advantage of pressing for a
single radical goal, versus its pro-family opponents who face a
multiplicity of challenges...Parents who simply want a good education
for their children are increasingly confronted with the prospect of
seeing precious educational resources spent on talking about
homosexuality, and they are drawn into time-consuming and divisive
debates over this issue."
Singled out in FRCs attacks on
homosexuality are Kevin Jennings, executive director of the Gay, Lesbian
and Straight Education Network (GLSEN), the promoting of "Gay History
Month," and GIAD (Gay and Lesbian Alliance against Defamation).
The Family Research Council often allies
itself with other Religious Right organizations on specific projects.
Last year, FRC joined with the Southern Baptist Convention, Focus on the
Family, Donald Wildmon's American Family Association, Beverly LaHaye's
Concerned Women of America, and the Rev. James Kennedys Coral Ridge
Ministries in a letter-writing protest of American Airlines' gay
policies. Alliances with other Religious Right organizations are
established by Bauer's activities on their behalf. He now serves on the
executive committee of the Council for National Policy and is also on
the board of directors of the Declaration Foundation. Founded by Alan
Keyes, who ran unsuccessfully as a Republican candidate for president in
1996, the Declaration Foundation is dedicated to "restoring" America by
returning to the principles of the Declaration of Independence.
Among his other activities: Bauer serves
on the advisory board of the National Federation of Republican
Assemblies (NFRA), along with Phyllis Schlafly of the Eagle Forum and
Bay Buchanan. NFRA is the umbrella organization for state-based groups,
the first of which was the California Republican Assembly (CPA), a
Religious Right Republican "caucus" that has taken control of the
statewide party and holds a dozen top positions in the party structure,
including the chairmanship. CRA takes credit for winning the ballot
initiatives Prop 187 and Prop 209; and supports actively the California
Reform Initiative. Nearly 40 states now have religious-conservative
A presidential campaign in 2000 by Bauer
should be anticipated. Bauer has ind:,cared his intention to run for
president. He has been coordinating at least the Iowa caucuses portion
of such a move with Bill Horn, the most rabidly anti-gay crusader in
Iowa. Horn produced the videotape, The Gay Agenda; and recently produced
and now actively promotes another new videotape: NF-4: Abuse of power.
A Bauer presidential run would leverage
off some 30 state "family policy councils" created by and tied to
Dobson's Focus on the Family, giving him a built-in national network.
Founded by Christian broadcaster, the
Rev. M. G. "Pat" Robertson in 1989 in the wake of his failed 1988
presidential bid, the Chesapeake, Virginia-based Christian Coalition
claims 1.7 million members and more than 1,000 chapters nationwide.
Working through its state-based Coalition
groups and with "pro-family" groups including organizations allied with
Focus on the Family, the Family Foundation, and, at one time, the
Robertson- founded Catholic Alliance, the Christian Coalition has been
one of the most effective mobilization networks in the country. Yet in
1997,. contributions dropped to $17 million after the record-high $26
million in 1996, forcing the Coalition to lay off twenty of'its one
hundred staffers, suspend publication of its magazine, and generally
reorganize its activities. After a change in leadership in 1997, the
Coalition is looking to the future with plans announced this year to
strengthen its network for the next two election cycles.
While Focus on the Family has its radio
network, Robertson has worked effectively through television. Supporters
are encouraged by Robertson and others through The 700 Club and through
extensive mail solicitation to lobby on "family' issues, such as
abortion, vouchers, parental rights, and sex education before
legislatures, and to ,et involved in local, state, and federal
Though the Christian Coalition
steadfastly proclaims that its political and legislative efforts are
simply "voter educatio@' and participation in 'Public policy," the
Christian Federal Election Commission has challenged the Coalitio@s
level of political involvement in a pending lawsuit. Its tax-exempt
status remains under review by the Internal Revenue Service.
Political consultant Ralph Reed served as
executive clirector of the Christian Coalition until 1997. Robertson
split Rced's job and brought on former U.S. Rep. Randy Tate as executive
director and Don Hodel as president. In addition to serving on the board
and sta-ff of Focus on the Family, Hodel once chaired the Independence
Institute of Colorado. Hodel has been active in the Council for National
Policy, serving as vice chairman.
Operating as a 501 (c) (4)-a provisional
status that is still under review by the Internal Revenue Service-the
Christian Coalition reported a record- high $26,487,746 in total
revenues in 1996. Nearly $15 million of its revenue came from direct
mail solicitations and $4 million from telemar",-ting. In 1996, expenses
totaled $27,041,692, with legislative efforts accounting for about $12
million of all expenses and field and education together accounting for
another $5 million.
The Coalition maintains that its
principal purpose is to "encourage active citizenship among people
professing the Christian faith." Projects it funded in 1996 included:
* Lobbying and grassroots mobilization in
states and in Congress for "pro-family, faith.pro-life" issues;
* "Educational" efforts that include
"voter guides" detailing candidate positions on issues important to the
Coalition (abortion, school vouchers, etc);
* Training for political involvement
through the annual "Road to Victory " conference;
* Conducting seminars, such as "Building
a Neighborhood Organization", and "Voter Registration," aimed at
encouraging involvement in the public policy process;
* Distributing the Christian Coalition
Campaign Handbook, with step-by-step instructions for organizing people
and communities for candidates and causes.
The Christian Coalition empire includes
other notable Virginia-based, Robertson- founded affiliates: Operation
Blessing, an international relief organization ($36,325,987 in revenues
in 1996), and the Christian Broadcasting Network ($99 million in
revenues in 1996),.home of The 700 Club, which claims about 7 million
Before the Christian Coalition, CBN
already had affiliates set up to encourage Christians to get involved in
government-the Freedom Council, National Perspectives Institute, and the
National Freedom Institute-which afl.stopped operating in October 1986.
The three affiliates were targeted in an Internal Revenue Service audit
of CBN's activities that was just settled this year. In announcing the
settlement of the 12-year-old audit, the IRS said CBN lost its
tax-exempt status in 1986 and 1987 because of rules, prohibiting
intervention in political ac tivities and had to pav an undisclosed
"signiflcant payment" to the IRS.
Robertson founded Regent University
(formerly CBN University) and its law school to train a new generation
of Christian attorneys. The first dean of the law school was Herb Titus,
who caught the beliefs of P-J. Rushdoony, the father of Christian
Reconstructionism. Titus is a board member of the Conservative Caucus,
based in Washington, DC.
Robertson opened the American Center for
Law and Justice ($6,849,036 in revenues in FY 1996; $7,514,461 in
expenses) on the Regent campus in 1990 to fight for "religlous liberty,
the sanctity of human life, and the two-parent, marriage-bound family."
Today the Center's attorneys, led by chief counsel Jay Sekulow, argue
cases to uphold parental rights, pro-life positions and religious
expression. In 1997, the ACLJ was active in working with churches whose
tax status has been challenged by the IRS. Sekulow wrote in August 1997
that "the IRS has been used as a political weapon for far too long."
The Catholic Alliance, founded as part of
the Christian Coalition in 1995 but spun off on its own in 1996, was
intended to oraanize conservative Catholics to the Coalition ranks. It
has, however, drawn criticism from Catholic leaders. The group, which
lobbies, distributes voter guides, and has helped run a partial-birth
abortion media campaign, claims 50,000 members nationwide, and has
outlined a direct mail campai-n to double its revenues to $3.5 million
by 2000. Dr. Keith Fournier is president of the Alliance. Advisory board
members include Jeffrey Bell, president of the Family Research Council's
Campaign for Working Families PAC.
The Christian Coalition faces ongoing tax
troubles. Christian Coaiition leaders regularly defend the Coalition's
activities as nonpartisan and strictly aimed at voter education. Yet the
Federal Election Commission sued the Coalition in July 1996, challenging
its distribution of voter guides as a partisan activity and alleging the
group worked to defeat congressional candidates in 1990, 1992, and 199't
and worked on behalf of George Bush in the presidential race. The FEC
charged that voter @des were pro Republican literature and that
"cooperation and consultations" with campaigns constituted in-kind
contributions. Allegations outlined in the suit began with a 1992
lawsuit filed by the Democratic party of Virginia challenging the
Coalitio@s voter guides.
The Coalition continued its voter guide
practice, announcing distribution of 2 million pro-Prop 226 voter guides
in California churches the Sunday before the June 2 vote.
In the 1997 Virginia governor's race,
Coalition members were instructed and mobilized to defeat Democratic
candidates for governor and House of Delegates. At one workshop in
August 1997, attendees were instructed to work against the Democratic
nominee for -overnor, Don Beyer (The Wlashington Post, Sept. 28, 1997).
Robertson contributed $50,000 to the Republican candidate, James
Gilmore, who won the governor's race. (In March 1998, Gilmore named
Robertso@s son, Tim, to a coveted spot on the University of Virginia
board of visitors.) In the same race, Virginia members of the Coalition
received postcards and raped messages urging them to call the Democratic
campaign headquarters to protest television ads. The hundreds of cans
effectively shut down the headquarters for several days.
Robertsons "Operation Blessing," an
international relief effort intended to distribute food and medical
supplies nationally, also drew fire over its tax status in 1997 and
1998. Reports that Robertson used Operation Blessing planes to remove
diamonds from Zambia as part of a diamond mining, operation he owns
prompted a Virginia state senator to to challenge, without success,
Blessing's tax status in the 1998 legislative session.
"I told Don Hodel when he joined us, my
dear friend, I want to hold out to you the possibility of selecting the
next president of the United States, because I think that's what we have
in this organization." Pat Robertson
In September 1997, Robertson caused a
flap when his clearly political remarks to supporters in a closed-door
meeting in Atlanta were reported. He told the group that it is time the
Coalition got something in return for the Republican majority supporters
Some of the elected to Congress in 1994. "We just tell these guys,
'Look, we put you in power in 1994 and we want you to deliver ...Don’t
give us all this stuff about you've got a country's different agenda.
This is what we're going to do this year. And we're going to hold your
feet to the fire while you do it.'
The Coalition's plans for this year
include a "church-based" strategy to expand its grassroots reach in time
for the 1998 and 2000 elections. In February 1998, crowing they were
"fresh from victory in Maine"-where Coalition members take credit for
mobilizing defeat of a gay-rights measure-Tate announced a new plan to
expand its organizational base and recruit 1 00,000 "church liaisons" by
The Coalition says the additional
partners will be used to lobby for its national agenda: overriding
President Clinton's veto of the partial birth abortion ban; adopting
Provide legislation creating education scholarships and education
savings accounts; eliminating the marriage tax penalty; passing a
Religious Freedom Amendment and the Freedom from Religious Persecution
Act. State legislative issues targeted in the strategy include funding
for parental rights and notification laws and defeating state
In reviewing the announcement, Americans
United for Separation of Church and religious State-the group that taped
Robertso@s September 1997 remarks and that is a party to challenging the
Coalition's tax status-advised churches that the new drive could
indanger their tax status if they choose to participate.
COUNCIL FOR NATIONAL POLICY
In addition to heading up the Free
Congress Foundation, Weyrich joined Coors and Viguerie as key players in
the Council for National Policy (CNP), which began operation in 1982 as
the conservative alternative to the Council on Foreign Relations.
Membership is by invitation only and dues run $2,000- plus a year. In
1997, the Council for National Policy had income of $617,773 and assets
The Council for National Policy operates
as a highly secretive compact that includes conservative activists and
intellectuals, former government and military leaders, TV preachers, and
state and federal legislators. The Council is the principal coordinating
body-and funding mechanism-for political projects of religious
conservatives. It also operates a political action committee-CNP Action,
The Council's membership list includes a
who's who of conservative activism and includes representatives from
some of America's wealthiest and most politically active families, such
as Coors, DeVos, Hunt, and Scaife.
Council members include: Christian
Coalition activists Ralph Reed, Pat Robertson, and Don Hodel; Eagle
Forums Phyllis Schlafly; James Dobson of Focus on the Family;
Congressman Robert K. Dornan (former Republican congressman from
California), Congressman William Dannemeyer (R-CA), former U.S. Senate
candidate and current talk show host Oliver North (R-VA); Moral Majority
founder Jerry Falwell; the Rev. Lou Sheldon who heads the Traditional
Value Coalition; Ed Feulner of The Heritage Foundation; Burton Pines of
Heritage Foundation; John Whitehead of the Rutherford Institute; Gary
Bauer of the Family Research Council; and Reed Larson of National Right
to Work. CNP Executive Director Morton Blackwell was also the founder
and president of the Leadership Institute.
Several active CNP leaders have a mentor
in CNP late member Rousas J. Rushdoony, known as the father of Christian
Reconstructionism. Rushdoony, who recently passed away in his 80s,
founded the Chalcedon Institute in California, espousing the concept
that the United states should be governed by Old Testament law.
Reconstructionism wants to see the United States become a theocracy much
like the Massachusettes Bay Colony. (Remember the Salem Witch Trials?)
Rushdoony has been a major influence in
the life of CNP founding member Howard Phillips, whose resume includes
serving as chairman of the Conservative Caucus and chairman of the U.S.
Taxpayers Alliance. Rushdoony has also received substantial financial
support from millionaire Christian conservative Howard Ahmanson of
California-a major supporter of the California Prop 226 initiative-who
was listed on CNPs board of governors in 1996.
AMERICANS FOR TAX REFORM
With leaders and foot soldiers aligned
thru a grassroots structure, the network needs only policy and lobbying
organizations to carry out the agenda. Among the most active of these
organizations, especially in the anti-employee initiative, is Americans
for Tax Reform (ATR), first organized in 1985 to build grass-roots
support for President Reagan's 1986 tax cut. Since char time, ATR has
reorganized into a 501 (c) (4) and set up the Americans for Tax Reform
Foundation as a 501 (c)(3). Prior to the anti-employee initiative, ATRs
principal missions have been seeking signatures from candidates for
public office for its "Taxpayer Protection Pledge," opposing the Value
Added Tax in Congress and sponsoring the calculation of National Cost of
ATR is headed by President Grover
Norquist, who reports to the IRS that he received no salary from ATR and
only $12,670 from the ATR Foundation in 1996. Norquist's full
compensation is unclear. He receives speaking fees and book royalties
and has begun lobbying for the Merritt Group Of Alexandria, Virginia, a
move that has generated some criticism among Republicans.
ATR and the ATR Foundation are located
together in Washington, DC, and have a combined staff of six employees.
ATR and the Foundation share administrative expense, staff, and
contributions. According to its 1996 IRS Form 990, ATR had total income
of $6,547,008 with assets of $114,552 while the ATR Foundation had total
revenues of $3,125,636 with assets of $36,021 in 1996 ' In 1996, ATR
spent $2,865,257 on direct mail for the Republican National Committee as
an independent expenditure campaign but as much as $4 million in 1996
The ATR Foundation is the principal
fund-raising arm of the parent organization and has received major gifts
* $100,000 from the John M. Olin
* $40,000 from the Lynde and Harry
* $ 1 0,000 from the John William Pope
* $5,000 from the Roe Foundation
* $15,000 from the J.M. Foundation
The Foundation is the principal means of
support for ATR and ran a deficit of $146,353 in 1996.
Over the last five years, contributions
and foundation grants have grown at the rate of 35 percent per year. A
close associate and political advisor to House Speaker Newt Gingrich of
Georgia, Grover Norquist holds forth every Wednesday morning before a
select group of Republican lobbyists and "true believers" at ATRs
offices in what has come to be known as the "Wednesday Group." The
purpose of the informal group is to offer suggestions to the Speaker and
the House leadership and to network ATR in Washington and around the
Americans for Tax Reform was the largest
single donor of California's Prop 226 initiative. Before the loss in
California, ATR committed to raise and spend as much as $10 million to
push similar measures in other states. Norquist met with Governor Pete
Wilson in California, along with former Wilson Press Secretary Dan
Schnur, who now represents business interests in Silicon Valley, to kick
off ATR's California effort to pass Prop 226. He also has visited about
a half-dozen other states to encourage similar ballot initiatives and
union hostile legislation. Working with ALEC and the National Right to,
Work Foundation, which has pledged anti-union legal assistance in
states, Norquist has barnstormed his message across the country Norquist
participates in Council for National Policy meetings and ATR is an
associate member of the State Policy Network.
ATR contributed $4 million to
congressional candidates in 1996
Norquist worked with Republican
political consultant Carolyn Malenick-, president of Triad Management,
on the California initiative. Malenick has close personal ties to both
the Scaife and Koch families, and worked on the initiative with close
friend and California political consultant Carlos Rodriguez. Malenick
received criticism during the Senate campaign finance hearings for her
role in running soft money independent expenditure campaigns for the
Republican National Committee.
Malenick also has close ties to the
religious right. She was a consultant for Oliver North and assistant to
Richard Viguerie. She has also worked for the Old-Time Gospel Hour and
the Moral Majority in Lynchburg, Virginia. In 1996, Malenick and
Rodriguez worked for a number of Republican campaigns, including the
campaign of Representative Bob Schafer (R-CO), who has taken the lead on
"paycheck protection" legislation in the U.S. House. Senator Don Nickels
(R-OK) is a close friend of Malenicles and made a promotional video for
Triad Management that created controversy over the propriety The Nation
of such an endorsement of their services by a U.S. senator. Nickels
sponsored "pay- check protection" legislation in the U.S. Senate last
Malenick and Rodriguez also worked on
Rep. David McIntos@s (R-IN) race. in 1996. Rodriguez is especially close
to McIntosh, who is the former staff director of the Bush
Administration's Council on Competiveness chaired by Vice President Dan
Quayle. McIntosh also spent his first term in the U.S. House holding
hearing's on federal legislation that would "de-fund the left."
NATIONAL RIGHT TO WORK LEGAL DEFENSE
AND EDUCATION FOUNDATION
Founded in 1968 as a 501 (c) (3) by the
National Right to Work Committee, the provides the National Right to
Work Legal Defense and Education Foundation functions as the Committee's
law firm, filing suits against organizations it believes have violated
workers' rights to refuse union membership. In 1988, the foundation won
the case of Beck v. Communications Workers of america, which allowed
non-union employees in a union shop to pay only for those activities of
the union that related to contract negotiations and to refuse to pay for
political activities. The Foundation has taken an active role around the
country by supplying the legal muscle for "paycheck protection" drives
and has worked closely with Americans for Tax Reform and the American
Legislative Exchange Council. It claims to have over 400 cases pending
On May 5, the Foundation filed a lawsuit
on behalf of professors at the University of Alaska seeking a court
order to enjoin the local teachers union from collecting dues from
university employees' paychecks.
In 1995, the Foundation had revenues of
$4,490,369 and expenses of $3,737,546 for an excess of revenue over
expenses of $757,823. It reported net assets of $2,262,095. Total
salaries and benefits were $2,238,050. The Foundation had program costs
of $3,147,910 for 1995. The Foundation shares-office space, equipment,
and employees with the National Right to Work Committee and the National
Institute for Labor Relations Research. The Foundation employs a staff
of five attorneys and in 1995 spent $110,702 on outside counsel and
received court-awarded legal fees of $45,114.
Reed Larson serves as president of the
Foundation as well as president of the National Right to Work Committee.
He is also executive director for the National Institute for Labor
Relations Research. Larson receives salary and benefits of $96,497 from
the Foundation and $44,168 from the Committee for total compensation of
$140,665. Rex H. Reed serves as executive vice president and secretary
of the Foundation on a @ll-time basis. Reed receives salary and benefits
of $186,728, while Edith Hakola serves as vice president and treasurer,
and receives total compensation of $178,347.
The Foundation relies heavily on
conservative philanthropic foundations for a major part of its operating
budget. In 1995, the Foundation received $100,000 from the John M. Olin
Foundation, $60,000 from the Sunmark Foundation, and $50,000 from the
J.M. Kirby foundation, with smaller grants from additional foundations.
The Foundation spent most of its $334,512
in fund-raising costs on direct mail in 1995. Those appeals were similar
in tone and content to a letter from former Vice President Dan Quayle
that was sent March 1998. The letter on behalf of the Foundation said
the reason why our "personal goals for the country have been thwarted
and why big government and "far left politicians in Washington still
[call] the shots" is because of "union boss cash." Quayle asked readers
to contribute to the Foundation so it could "mount the legal attack so
critical to derail [John] Sweeneys illegal, no-holds barred campaign to
buy control of Congress and ram his agenda down our throats," and "to
act decisively to shut down Big Labor's plans to retake Congress in the
CENTER FOR THE STUDY OF POPULAR
David Horowitz, president of the Center
for the Study of Popular Culture, has long been an adversary of the
National Education Association. In a September 1996 Los Angeles Times
interview he said, "We want to take them out of politics, not just in
California, but in every state in the union." His comments were in
response to an arbitrator's ruling over the use of non-members dues in
the 1993 Prop 174 voucher campaign.
The Los Angeles-based 5 01 (c) (3)
organization reported total revenue of $2.5 million in 1996 and expenses
of $2.6 million, down from the year before when the group took in $3.3
million. The Center's publications, including The Education Report Card,
command the largest share of expenses.
Contributor lists available for 1995
shows contributions of $525,000 from the Sarah Scaife Foundation and the
Scaife Family Foundation, plus $780,000 from the Lynde and Harry Bradley
Foundation. Horowitz has gone on the attack this year defending the
contributions the Center receives from Richard Scaife as being just a
portion of the contributions the Center receives from twenty-some
foundations and 15,000 individuals. (Los Angeles Times, February 24,
1998). Horowitz says lie is a trustee of the Mart Drudge Legal Fund, to
help Drudge in a defamation suit Filed against him by White House aide
ALEXIS DE TOCQUEVILLE INSTITUTION
The 12-year-old Alexis de Tocqueville
Institution, rated by the National Journal as one of the Five "up and
coming" Washington, DC, think tanks, promotes the concept of "classic
liberalism" in research, education, taxes, immigration, defense, and
deret,)iaation issues. The Institution has selected the NEA as a regular
target, producing a report on the "fiscal impact" of NEAS legislative
agenda, paid for by a -,rant from the Olin Foundation.
The Institution is also tied to the
conservative coalition of pro-voucher groups, including the Coalition to
Educate America, the Center for Education Reform, and the @ Challenger
Network, coordinated to take on the Washington Education Association.
With assets of $218,925, the Institution
raised $565,841 in revenue in 1994. It spent $400,000 on its 'programs
that year. In 1995, it received grants from the Lynde p nd Harry Bradley
Foundation ($20,000), the John M. Olin Foundation ($1 0,000), and the
John William Pope Foundation ($1 0,000).
In addition to its efforts on education
issues, the Institution has studied the concept of privatizing the
Department of Defense.
FOUNDATIONS AND ORGANIZATIONS
The lions share of funding for the
movement, including the organizations described above, comes from
conservative philanthropic foundations financed by a handful of the
nation's wealthiest people, including:
* Sarah Scaife Foundation
* Lynde and Harry Bradley Foundation
* Carthage Foundation
* Earhart Foundation
* Charles G. Koch
* David H. Koch
* Claude R. Lambe
* Philip M. McKenna
* J.M. Foundation
* John M. Olin Foundation
* Henry Salvatori Foundation
* Smith Richardson Foundation
The Claremont Institute, which played a
leading role in promoting Prop 226, has received donations from the
Sarah Scaife, Carthage, John M. Olin, Philip McKenna, Robert and Janice
McNair, J.M., and Roe Foundations. The Bradley Foundation has provided
$2.4 million over five years to set up the Wisconsin Policy Research
Institute, a State Policy Network member that pushes vouchers.
THE HERITAGE FOUNDATION
The Heritage Foundation was established
in 1973 under the direction of Paul Weyrich with seed funding from
Joseph Coors. The mission of the Foundation is "...To formulate and
promote conservative public policies based on the principles of free
enterprise, limited government, individual freedom, traditional American
values, and a strong national defense."
Heritage is by far the largest and
best-funded "think tank' in the country, and, with the Republican
takeover of Congress in 1994, it is easily the most influential
conservative voice in the Congress.
Heritage is a 501(c)(3) organization with
revenues of $28,626,078 in 1996. Expenses for 1996 were $24,195,169 for
an excess of revenue over expenses of $4,430,909. Heritage reports total
net assets for 1996 of $47,580,039. The Foundation receives 85 percent
of its income from grants and contributions from individuals,
foundations, and businesses.
Its list of donors reads like a who's who
of American conservative philanthropy and American business. Heritage
also received program income of $462,214 from subscriptions to Polit),
Review (more than 30,000 in circulation) and The Insider magazines and
from books like School Choice Programs 1998 - What’s Happening in the
States. Heritage also received $12,096 from advertising, $726,070 from
the rental of mailing lists, $78,489 from building rental income,
$1,138,371 from dividends and interest, and $6,670,253 from the sale of
Direct income is also received from Town
Hall, a Web site Heritage has created with National Review. The site was
developed with a loan of $500,000 from the Lynde and Harry Bradley
Foundation. Town Hall is a 501 (c) (4) in which Heritage has 50 percent
ownership and received income of $376,0 1 0 in 1996. The function of
Town Hall is to spread the conservative gospel and network among 35
religious and social conservative "member -,roups" like the American
Association of Christian Schools, the American Conservative Union, ALEC,
Americans for Tax Reform, Empower America, the Family Research Council,
and the Claremont Institute.
Heritage spent $3,091,827 on fund-raising
and receives funding from almost all of the conservative foundations in
the country. In 1996, Heritage used Factory Direct Limited of Los
Angeles ($414,638) and Winchefl and Associates ($309,281) and Precision
Marketing ($165,654), both of Arlington, VA, to provide membership
services. Public relations services are provided by Newton and
Associates ($128,000) of Washington, DC. Outside legal counsel is
William Lehrfeld ($126,105), also of Washington. From a pro-ram
perspective, the Heritage Foundation spent $10,125,159 on research,
$6,003,526 on educational programs, and $4,170,745 on media and
government relations for total program costs of $20,299,430.
The president and CEO of Heritage is
Edwin J. Feulner, Jr. The former staff director of the House Republican
Study Committee, Feulner came to Heritage three years after it,.-,,as
founded. Most recently Feulner took a leave of absence from his post at
Heritage to serve as staff director and counselor for Jack Kemp's Vice
Presidential campaign. During 1996, Feulner was paid $243,953 in salary
and benefits and received a bonus of S197,470. Feulner is a member of
the executive committee of the Council for National Policy,. Philip N.
Treelike, executive vice president, is number two at the Foundation,
receiving $184,233 in salar-yr and benefits with a bonus of $81,3@0.
Heritage employs an executive staff of
fourteen officers to run the Foundation with a payroll cost of
$2,115,858. The Foundation as a whole has more than 160 employees and a
total payroll of $10,222,773. Heritage also employs a number of
"Distinguished Scholars.' In 1996, they included former Attorney General
Edwin Meese (S230,734), former Secretary of Education William Bennett
(S215,680), Thomas Atwood ($89,395), David Winston (5 103,857), and
Marshall Whiteman ($80,283).
The Board of Directors and Trustees for
The Heritage Foundation are a conservative master list of the Republican
* Chairman - Dr. David R. Brown
* Vice Chairman - Richard Scaife
* Secretary - J. Frederic Reach
* Midge Decker (Institute on Religion and
* Thomas L. Rhodes (President,.
* William E. Simon (former Secretary of
* Jay Van Andel (Founder, Amway
* Thomas A. Roe (The Roe Foundation)
* J. William Middendorf II (former U.S.
Ambassador to the OAS)
* Frank Shakespeare (former U.S.
Ambassador to the Vatican)
* William J. Hume
* Preston A. Wells
* Edwin J. Feulner, Jr.
* Douglas F. Allison
* Holland H. Coors
* Barb Van Andel-Gaby
The scope of The Heritage Foundation's
research, public relations, and conservative issue advocacy dwarfs all
its competitors. According to the Wall Street journal, Heritage is the
most frequently quoted think tank in America. Heritage has been active
on such issues as welfare reform, telecommunications and electric
utility reform, agricultural subsidies, budget reform, Medicare reform,
regulatory reform, tax reduction, immigration reform, affirmative
action, school vouchers, and "Paycheck protection."
On the issue of "paycheck protection,"
Heritage has been playing a supportive public relations role to
Americans for Tax Reform, ALEC, and members of the State Policy Network
such as the Evergreen Freedom Foundation in Washington State. In a
recent commentary entitled "Give Workers Their Dues" in Policy Review,
Heritage President Fe..ulner reported on the progress of their efforts.
"Happily, lawmakers in all 50 states plan
to offer legislation prohibiting the use of a union member's dues for
political purposes without the member's express permission. In
California a 'Paycheck protection initiative, requiring both employers
and unions to get workers' written Oks before using their money for
politics, is headed for the June ballot. Similar -grassroots drives are
moving forward in at least eight other states. In Congress, comparable
workers-rights legislation also is in the offing." - Edwin FetAner
Citing Communications Workers of America
V. Beck, Feulner noted that under Beck, "A teacher who backs school
choice can refuse to allow her union dues to be used in a campaign
against educational vouchers." In his opinion therefore, "What's needed
to bolster those rights is affirmative legislation."
To foster legislation at the state level,
Heritage has worked with A.LEC, the Family Research Council, and other
conservative and religious policy organizations to create a network of
state-based think tanks in the image of the Heritage Foundation. It is
these think tanks that provide some of the most effective arms and legs
for the conservative movement in America.
AMERICAN LEGISLATIVE EXCHANGE
Founded in 1973 by Paul Weyrich, head of
the Committee for Survival of a Free Congress and a Principal founder of
the Heritage Foundation,. ALEC was created to nurture conservative
legislators around the country. ALEC was formed in 1973 in Illinois and
relocated to Washington, DC, several years later. For a period of time,
it shared a building with the Heritage Foundation. Although nominally a
bipartisan organization, ALECs strongly conservative bent results in the
bulk of its membership being from the Republican side of the aisle.
ALEC's goal is to make business a natural
ally of state legislators and to advance a conservative free-market
agenda that is consistent with religious conservatism. ALEC's literature
puts it this way: "ALECs credo is that business can, should, and must be
an ally of legislators," and that its "...cornerstone is the forum it
provides for the private sector to work in a one-on-one relationship
with state legislators to develop public policies that are pro-growth,
pro-business and pro-freedom."
ALEC is a 501 (c) (3) membership
organization, claiming nearly 3,000 state legislators as members from
every state (there are about 7,500 state legislators serving in the
United States at any one time). In its current literature, ALEC boasts
that its membership includes 31 Speakers and Speaker Pro Tems; 37 Senate
Presidents and Senate President Pro Tems; 25 Senate Majority and
Minority Leaders; and 38 House Majority and Minority Leaders. Among its
alumni, ALEC claims 12 sitting governors and more than 80 members of
ALEC has a senior staff of six people and
a total staff complement that has ranged as high as thirty. Former
Executive Director, Daniel Denning, had salary and benefits in 1996
totaling $141,969. Denning has since beco@e director of Heritage 25 for
the Heritage Foundation. ALEC reported total revenues in 1996 of
In addition to its membership of elected
officials, ALEC includes representatives of the corporate world as both
active members and funders of the organization. Literature from their
National Orientation Conference lists over 300 corporate sponsors of
In its literature, ALEC states that it
"ensures loyalty from its legislative and corporate constituencies by
involving them directly in the operation of the organization." ALEC
accomplishes this by pairing state legislators, who serve as ALEC State
Chairs, with representatives of business, who serve as ALEC State
Private Sector Chairs. According to current ALEC literature, every state
in the nation, as well as Puerto Rico, is represented by at least one
legislative ALEC State Chair, and most also have a Private Sector Chair.
ALECs current Private Enterprise Board
includes Alan Auger from Coors Brewing Company, who serves as the
board's chairman, and Michael Morgan from Koch Industries as first vice
chairman. The board draws from a galaxy of corporate America and
includes J. Patrick Rooney, CEO emeritus of Golden Rule Insurance
ALEC is unabashedly a pro-business
activist organization. In addition to aggressively pairing elected
officials with local business representatives in each state, ALEC
maintains fifteen task forces to craft model legislation and set the
organizations political agenda in specific policy areas. Each of these
task forces is chaired by an elected official and a Private Sector
Chair. The task forces cover:
* Business & Labor
* Civil Justice
* Criminal Justice
* Empowerment, Opportunity, & Urban
* Energy, Environment, & Natural
* Health Care
* Real Estate, Banking, Financial
* Substance Abuse
* Tax & Fiscal Policy
* Trade, Travel, & Tourism
* Transportation & Public Works
In these topic areas, ALEC claims to have
developed more than 150 pieces of model legislation. ALEC maintains that
in 1995-96 a total of 1,647 bills based on its model legislation were
introduced in all 50 states, with 365 bills being enacted-a success rate
of 22 percent. In addition to model legislation, ALEC provides its
members with dozens of position papers and research reports on topics
related to its policy agenda. ALEC claims the most recent round of state
legislative sessions was its most successful to date. Research indicates
ALEC has grown steadily in recent years, adding members and increasing
its budget as well as increasing the number of ALEC-sponsored bills
introduced in stare legislatures across the country.
With the recent and continuing shift in
legislative priorities and in power from the federal government back to
the states, ALEC is in a key position to affect the political direction
of public policy in each of its issue areas. ALEC is well-organized,
well-funded and poised to take advantage of the resurgence of state
power that has come about as a result of the conservative shift in
ALEC, working in cooperation with
Heritage, Americans for Tax Reform, the National Right to Work
Foundation, the Alexis de TocqueviBe Institution, and the State Policy
Network, has circulated model "paycheck protection' legislation to
states for consideration in legislatures this year.
Membership in ALEC is based on the level
of funding by a business or individual. The following is a partial list
of companies that maintain membership in ALEC and their contribution
Jefferson Club ($50,000)
Philip Morris Management Corp.
Madison Club ($25,000)
Eli Lilly and Company
Shell Oil Company Foundation
State Farm Insurance Company
Franklin Club ($15,000)
Joseph E. Seagram
Washington Club ($10,000)
Under the general "Members and
Contributors" listing are nearly 300 other business and trade
THE STATE POLICY NETWORK
Providing the arms and legs on the state
level for the national conservative movement is a growing web of
interrelated think tanks in about 35 states. These think tanks share
nearly identical agendas, including the privatization of most public
services and a fierce opposition to organized labor. Created in the
image of the Heritage Foundation, these state policy institutions-linked
as members of 'Most of the money the State Policy Network (SPN)-provide
a local tie to media and conservative policy briefings for legislators
and business leaders.
Associate members of SPN anchor the
network. They include the Heritage Foundation, Americans for Tax Reform,
ALEC, the Center for Education Reform, Competitive Enterprise Institute,
Golden Rule Insurance Co., and CEO America. ALEC, for example, uses SPN
as a clearinghouse to craft model legislation on conservative issues and
to provide testimony in state capitols. Heritage serves as a bridge for
SPN and its members to other national groups.
Most of the money supporting Prop 226
came from individuals connected with SPN. Richard Mellon Scaife, for
example, has funded several SPN groups. J. Patrick RooneVs Golden Rule
is the only corporate member of SPN. And CEO America, whose board
includes Rooney and John Walton, is a member of SPN.
In California, the leading SPN members
include Capitol Resource Institute (affiliated with Focus on the
Family), Golden State Center for Public Policy, the Pacific Research
Institute, the Reason Foundation, and the California Public Policy
Foundation. In recent battles in the State of V7ashin-con, the SPN
member Evergreen Freedom Foundation played the leading- role in
initiating and publicizing attacks against the Washington Education
The following sections of this report
provide details about the conservative network and its components. Using
publicly available sources, we have documented the interrelationships
among conservative think tanks, Foundations, legislative and grassroots
organizations, and a handful of wealthy individuals.
This report paints a clear picture of the
motivation and agenda of the organized effort to push paycheck
protection: to reduce the political power of the NEA and others fighting
to improve public schools.