Traditional Values Coalition misrepresents itself with 'U.S. taxpayer census' fundraiser
This is a tale about what the fringe social conservative movement stoops to when it knows it cannot reveal its true agenda to the general public. These organizations have to find creative ways to bring in the dough and keep the morally bankrupt ship of hate afloat.
Rev. Lou Sheldon, the head of the Traditional Values Coalition (TVC), a man who has the ear of this White House, is well-known for his obsession with all things he perceives as “gay”:
This is probably not the most flattering image you’d want to use in a general fundraising campaign when the political cards are down.
The San Francisco Chronicle reports on interesting alternative efforts to fill the coffers of the TVC, and it will curl your hair. Someone should get on the horn with Sheldon about that little matter of “bearing false witness.”
Marcia Zwick, a resident in Napa, California, received an official-looking document in the mail labeled “U.S. Taxpayer Census — Do Not Tamper: Reply Within 5 Days.” What was in the envelope?
“This U.S. Taxpayer Census has been specially commissioned to gather public opinion in America’s ‘grassroots’ about the new Social Security Preservation Act (HR 219) now pending in the U.S. Congress,” it says.
“This Census is individually registered under your name to represent Napa public opinion in California 01 voting district. So it is critical you return it — even if you are undecided about some answers.”
In reality, the “Census” is a mailer from something called the Christian Seniors Association. And of the nine questions it asks, six involve a slanted look at Social Security and three involve donating money to the right-wing organization.
The CSA is billed in the letter accompanying the “census” as an AARP alternative for conservatives. But wait, there’s more…
It’s not until you get to the fine print on the back of the association’s Census form that you learn the organization “is a division of Traditional Values Coalition” and that “all contributions are combined to help pay Traditional Values Coalition expenses.”
More after the flip…Yes, Lou, his spawn Andrea Lafferty (who works at TVC), and her husband Jim Lafferty, the executive director of the Christian Seniors Association, are running a fundraising scam on the public to further their battle against the LGBT community. And get a load of this:
Jim Lafferty previously served as press secretary to former House Majority Leader Tom DeLay, a Texas Republican who resigned this year after being indicted on campaign finance charges. (Lafferty said DeLay remains a friend and could one day play a role in the Christian Seniors Association.)
He explained that the Christian Seniors Association, with 40,000 members nationwide, can’t independently support its lobbying activities, so it relies on the Traditional Values Coalition for funding.
…”It all goes into a TVC account, but there are separate records for the CSA,” he said. “The CSA is a project of the TVC.”
The financial ties between the organizations may be separate, but I wonder if the residents in California’s 01 voting district saw anything in the “U.S. Taxpayer Census” they from received from TVC that indicated Lou is an advocate of “ex-gay” therapy, spouts junk discredited science, or that he ties gays to pedophilia whenever possible on his web site:
This is Lou’s depiction of your average homo behavior.
Apparently not, according to the Chronicle piece:
When I told Zwick what I’d learned, she said she was “stupefied” by the group’s fundraising effort.
“There’s nothing in there where they say what they’re going to do with the funds,” she observed. “It’s nothing but obfuscation.”
Well, given how unhinged and shrill organizations like TVC are, they cannot successfully market their particular brand of bigotry to a wide audience, so they are dependent on shadow, almost benign wingnut efforts like Christian Seniors Association, which are devoid of their hate rhetoric.
Why can’t the Traditional Values Coaltion uses this mailer as a cross-marketing opportunity to let the folks who receive the census in the mail (likely the first contact that these residents have had with TVC) know more about the organization?
Perhaps they could include a coupon or brochure for Lou’s book, “The Agenda: The Homosexual Plan to Change America,” or provide a URL to this portion of the TVC site so that they can get to know more about the organization that they might donate to:
These folks are disgusting, and the fact that Lou has “Reverend” in front of his name is even more offensive.
Hat tip, Autumn.