Monday, April 17, 2006

I Thought They Were Just Morally Bankrupt.....

Oh how the mighty have fallen, and it couldn't happen to a nicer bunch of self-righteous theocratic twerps.
Christian Coalition Shrinks as Debt Grows
By Alan Cooperman and Thomas B. Edsall
Washington Post Staff Writers
Monday, April 10, 2006; A01

In an era when conservative Christians enjoy access and influence throughout the federal government, the organization that fueled their rise has fallen on hard times.

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....

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.....

The coalition's decline is a story that can perhaps best be told along biblical lines: It is the narrative of a group that wandered after the departure of its early leaders, lost faith in some of its guiding principles and struggled to keep its identity after entering the promised land -- in this case, the land of political influence.

From its inception, the coalition was built around two individuals, Robertson and Ralph Reed. Both were big personalities with big followings.

"After the founders left, the Christian Coalition never fully recovered," said James L. Guth, an expert on politics and religion at Furman University in South Carolina. "The dependence on Robertson and Reed was really disastrous."

Reed left in 1997 to become a Republican political consultant and is now seeking the Republican nomination for lieutenant governor of Georgia. Once a golden boy of GOP politics, he has recently had his reputation tarnished by his ties to lobbyist Jack Abramoff.

Robertson resigned as the Christian Coalition's president in 2001 after defending China's one-child policy in a CNN interview that fellow conservatives viewed with horror. It was among the most damaging in a series of remarks that have hurt Robertson's standing among evangelical Christians -- and may have hurt the Christian Coalition as well.

While the Christian Coalition seems to be in a death spiral, we also know that, Dobson led, Focus on the Family the successor organization. With their recent implication in the STILL growing Abramoff scandals, it remains to be seen if FOF and its lobby biscuit Ralph Reed will walk away scott free. If any one has followed Reed's career of screw ups, total exoneration seems unlikely.

The tentacles of Jack Abramoff have wound their way through out much of the Republican Party, including Conrad Burn's (R-MT) troubled re-election bid for the US Senate and indicted former Republican House Majority Leader, Tom Delay and his cadre of disciples. These include DeLay's replacement John Boehner (R-OH) and a LHC Right Wing Jerk of the Month & one of CREW's 13 Most Ethically Challenged Members of Congress , Roy Blunt (R-MO). Lest we forget to mention how Rick "Man on Dog" Santorum helped fertilize the field, for this kind of wanton corruption to flourish on K Street.

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