Last month while you were sleeping, the Christian Coalition of Ohio (CCO) went out of business. But don’t get too excited. It re-formed under a new name, The Ohio Christian Alliance
On July 22, CCO executive director Chris Long issued a press release announcing the name change and CCO disaffiliation with the moribund, financially strapped, and ethically challenged Christian Coalition of America (CCA) national office.
Taking a swipe at his former mother, Long wrote of CCA:
“We will only be of service to our Lord and our fellow man if we uphold standards of moral integrity. We are choosing not to compromise our original mission of restoring righteousness to our land through voter education and working for pro-life, pro-family traditional values…It was a sad day when our board found it impossible to continue to maintain a name that was associated with the national organization, the Christian Coalition of America. We desire to carry out the original mission without compromise and with integrity.”
A few days later, Long elaborated. In a short article in the July 28 Columbus Dispatch Faith & Values section, Long says that National didn’t “pay a lot of attention” to two key OCC issues argued recently on Capitol Hill: the federal marriage amendment and the expansion of stem cell research--issues he says are the “core issues that we’re all about.”
The Ohio problem is part of a larger National willful disregard for state organization priorities, a problem which has led at least two other state organizations, Iowa and Maryland, to break away from the National office. This spring, Iowa disaffiliated and reformed as the Iowa Christian Alliance and Maryland merged with the Association of Maryland Families/Maryland Family Protection Lobby. More may be on the way.
THE LEAKY BUCKET
The Christian Coalition, founded in 1989 by televangelist Pat Robertson and political operative Ralph Reed, has been hinky from the get-go. In 1996, CCA’s chief financial officer Judy Leibert, reported Reeds’s alleged financial shenanigans with a vendor to federal prosecutors. Reed was never prosecuted, but resigned the following year to set up a political consulting firm. In 1998, People for the American Way asked the IRS to investigate CCA's political activities including its “voters guides,“ which resulted in CCA losing its provisional tax exempt status a year later. Other observers say, though, that CCA’s downward spiral didn’t really start until 2001 when the controversial Robertson, saying he wanted to get out of politics, stepped down after coming under fire from the Right when he agreed publicly with China’s 1-child policy and -- in the eyes of his grassroots constituency--abortion.. His replacement, Roberta Combs, Robertson’s 1988 South Carolina presidential campaign chair, has been blamed for much of CCA’s cognitive dissonance since then, such as the 2003 Alabama dust-up when National supported a proposed state tax increase that the Christian Coalition of Alabama, the Eagle Forum, National Taxpayers Union, and other rightwing groups opposed. The proposal was defeated. There has also been bickering between state organizations and National over the protracted IRS investigation with states arguing that the agreement National made with IRS about its “voter guides” in order to restore its tax exempt status, makes the guides less effective. The camel’s back finally broke, though, when National joined what Dick Armey calls “a sit-in with the far left activist group MoveOn.org” and a bevy of other liberal organizations to support the federal net neutrality act--a bill that CCA state organizations and numerous conservative organizations despise.
Perhaps Mrs. Combs (right) and National have been too busy fending off lawsuits, bill collectors and accusations of racism and nepotism to bother with what is happening in the sticks. In 2002, around the time Mrs Combs took the reigns, CCA was socked with a racial discrimination suit filed by 10 African American employees and former employees who said they'd been forced to come to work through the backdoor and eat lunch in a separate dining space. CCA eventually paid out close to $1 million in an out-of-court settlement ($300,000 to plaintiffs and nearly $700,000 in legal fees).
And a lot more money leaked out or dried up depending on who’s telling the story. Combs daughter Michele Combs (Ammons), claims that it’s hard to raise money when your man is in the White House. Steve Scheffler, director of the Iowa Christian Alliance, complained recently in the Washington Times that since 1996 National’s annual budget dropped from $26 million to $1 million and is $2 million in debt, a figure that Combs doesn’t dispute. CCA, in fact, has still not paid off its big name 2002 Road to Victory conference (which I attended) in Washington and is up to its neck in creditor lawsuits.
According to a recent report in the Washington Post, CCA’s longtime law firm, Huff, Poole & Mahoney PC in Virginia Beach says CCA owes it over $69,000. The Virginian-Pilot earlier reported that the firm had secured a 2003 judgment of $63,959 against CCA that resulted in a garnishment of the organization’s bank account and a partial payment of $21,136. Oklahoma fundraising firm Global Direct says its owed $87,000. Focus Direct Inc. a San Antonio direct-mail company was stiffed for tens of millions of CCA 2000 presidential election voter guides it printed and mailed. The company received a $200,000 settlement in 2004. CAA’s former Chesapeake, Virginia landlord sued the group in 2001 for $76,546 in back rent. Even the company that packed up furniture when Combs moved the national office from Washington Metro to Charlestown in 2002 is standing in line for $1890. Pitney-Bowes and FedEx are also suing. Tammy Farmer, a bookkeeper for National in 2001 filed an affidavit saying that phone service was cut off occasionally and vendors refused to do business with them. “I witnessed a very consistent and chronic pattern of Roberta Combs intentionally refusing to pay valid debts, salaries and accounts for no discernible reason,” she said . “Don’t pay, they’ll never sue,” Combs told her. Steve Scheffler commented:. “We believe, our board believes, any Christian organization has an obligation to pay its debts in a timely fashion.”
To add insult to injury, in 2003 Mrs. Combs pulled National into the messy divorce and child custody battle of her daughter Michele Ammons, who she appointed CCA events coordinator (and later its vice president ) and her soon-to-be former son-in-law Tracey Ammons, CCA’s former lobbyist. In a complex 2004 post-divorce action, Tracey Ammons claimed National owned him around $123,000 in back pay which he alleged was held by Millennium Consulting a company set up in 2002 by Michele, and owned solely by her. The complicated arrangement set National against IRS “excess benefits” regulations and reportedly created questions of insurance fraud. Pretty heady stuff for the traditional values crowd.
And, of course, there’s the Jack Abramoff-Ralph Reed mess.
BUT BACK TO OHIO…
On August 21, the Ohio Christian Alliance will throw its annual golf outing fundraiser at the Rosemont Country Club in the Akron suburb of Fairlawn--with a very interesting speakers list: Assistant Secretary of State Monty Lobb and Jerry Corsi, co-author of Ken Blackwell’s “visionary” plan for Ohio (and the country if he gets his way) Rebuilding America.
Monty Lobb (no downloadable photo available) is not a household name. He should be. Appointed Blackwell’s chief of staff in 1999, since March he’s been the secretary of state’s mini-me breaking tie votes in county election board disputes and signing off on directives and advisories, duties which Blackwell is mandated under Ohio law to do himself. Blackwell spokesperson Carlo LoParo tried to brush off criticism of the hand-over, saying Blackwell outsourced the work to Lobb under a vaguely worded regulation. And as both the SOS and Republican gubernatorial candidate Blackwell wanted a “level of insulation for the decisions in his office,” but he remains “ultimately responsible” for every decision Lobb makes. The implications of this arrangement are obvious. Steve Harsman, Director of the Montgomery County Board of Elections and president of the Ohio Association of Election Officials says that election officials are concerned that Blackwell isn’t breaking the ties or making other decisions himself. He told the Columbus Dispatch that the SOS decisions have larger ramifications because they set precedents for similar disputes and officials need guidance because of changes in this year’s election laws. “These are critical items, and we need that leadership from Mr Blackwell.”
One of Lobb’s tie-breakers involves the bid of conservative Columbus Republican Charlie Morrison (right) to run as an Independent against incumbent moderate Republican Cong. Deb Pryce in November. When the Madison County BOE deadlocked on Morrison’s certification, “Blackwell” stepped in and ruled that Morrison was disqualified under Ohio law to run as an Independent because he held Republican Party affiliation. Morrison had not only run for Republican Party posts in the May primary, but had voted Republican in that primary--just one day before filing his papers in Madison County. Ohio's"sore loser law" is up to interpretation and Morrison has filed an appeal in Federal Court. But it appears that Blackwell & Co's' real deal is to keep Morrison, who until recently supported Blackwell, from snagging conservative votes from Pryce who is taking a pounding in the polls from Democrat challenger Mary Jo Kilroy.
Lobb also broke a tie vote in Clermont County which favored Republicans in a hiring dispute over a new deputy director.
Of equal interest: Lobb is director of Blackwell’s Ohio Center for Civic Character, the character building scheme run out of the SOS office, which has come under scrutiny since the Cincinnati Beacon and Akron Beacon Journal investigated its connection to Bill Gothard's cultish Institute for Basic Life Principles. A few years ago I did a preliminary investigation of Gothard. It needs serious updating, so for now I‘ll remain silent on this intriguing topic. But if the Gothard-Blackwell connection is solid, and it appears it is, it could cause a bit of a hurley-burley amongst some important Ohio theocons, especially in the Cinci area, who don‘t go with some of Gothard‘s nuttier ideas. For a detailed look at Gothard connection to Cinci’s rightwing political establishment see “The Grand Unification Theory: From Local Republican Phil Heimlich to President George W. Bush” published in the August 5, 2006 Cincinnati Beacon. For a number of other Hamilton County Gothard sightings go to the CB’s search engine and type in “Gothard.”
Lobb is no political innocent. He’s a longtime theoconic player with an historical relationship to Cincinnati‘s right wing. From he was president of Citizens for Community Values (CVV). CCV was founded in 1955 as Citizens for Decent Literature by anti-porn loon and later Lincoln Savings and Loan felon Charles H Keating, Jr. After several name and leadership changes in 1983 it became CVV, and is now run by Blackwell’s best bud, self-described “recovering pornocholic,” Phil Burress (left). CCV is a local affiliate of Focus on the Family and works with Russell Johnson‘s Ohio Restoration Project and Rod Parsley‘s Reformation Ohio. CCV spends a lot of time running porn shops out of business, shutting down strip clubs, removing Playboy and Penthouse from newsstands, cleansing local cable of unwholesome displays of sex, demanding that the Marriott remove its soft-porn pay-per-view movies from its hotels, and protecting Ohio from the queer menance. It enjoys support from Cincinnati millionaire businessman Carl Linder, former Bengal’s coach Sam Wyche and retired Bengals players Jim Breech and Hall of Famer Anthony Munoz, Hamilton County Prosecutor Joe Deeters, and Larry Flynt ‘s porn- obsessed stalker Hamilton Count Sheriff Simon Leis. In 1992, CCV sent out an X-rated mailing to members warning of “women’s genitals, sexual intercourse, masturbation, oral and anal sex, mechanical vaginas. penis enlargers, vibrator use, and excretory functions” on the “public airwaves.” CCV’s thousands of worker bees, in collusion with Ken Blackwell, and the Parsley and Johnston groups were largely responsible for passage of the 2004 Draconian “anti-gay marriage” amendment to the Ohio Constitution that lured conservatives to the polls not only to “save marriage,” but to push Bush over the top (if indeed he did go over the top)
In 1990 Lobb and Simon Leis, spearheaded letter-writing and fund withholding campaigns and the eventual prosecution of the Cincinnati’s Contemporary Arts Center director Dennis Barrie on pandering charges when he refused to remove nine pictures (later seven) deemed pornographic by CCV from the center‘s Robert Mapplethorpe show, "The Perfect Moment." Lobb even shows up--or rather an actor playing him does--in the Showtime production, Dirty Pictures, a made-for-cable movie about what might be the most controversial art show in American history. Lobb remains proud of his role in of art critic, even though the jury acqutted.
Lobb has a whiff of Republican piety and respectability, but Jerome Corsi, who unaccountably holds a doctorate in Political Science from Harvard and bills himself as an expert on terrorism carries the stench of rotten meat. He is best known as the co-author of the 2004 best seller Unfit for Command--Swift Boat Veterans Speak Out Against John Kerry. His new book, Minutemen: The Battle to Secure America’s Borders, written with Minutemen founder Jim Gilchrist and Cong. Tom Tancredo, is just out. No one should be surprised then that Corsi is in Ohio flogging his book(s)--and Blackwell.
Before the publication of Unfit for Command, Corsi was a frequent contributor to Free Republic.com forums where he routinely red-baited “BJ“ and “HELLory Clintoon.“ John Kerry, Ted Kennedy, Katie Couric, Peter Jennings, and John Lennon. A certified homophobe, he speculated routinely on the sexual leanings of liberals, Democrats, “ragheads,” movie stars, and the Pope.
I took a break from writing this and went through literally hundreds of Corsi’s Freeper posts written between to get a feel for what this guy is about. It‘s not so much the vileness of the juvenile rantings of this chickenhawk bully, (though they are bad enough, but then I have a high tolerance for hyperbole and BS), the type of which can be found on most any Internet Usenet group, but the sheer volume of the work that is overpowering. In nicer times Corsi would have wasted his fetid life writing poison pen letters to his neighbors or beating up queers in back allies or turning his co-workers over to Joe McCarthy, but in these unnice times, he’s ascended to the heights of political relevancy and praise as pundit, respected authority, truth-teller, and well-paid, after diner speaker, legitimized by Ken Blackwell, the Republican Party, and born again Christians who claim to value character, ethics, and morality.
Shortly before publication of Unfit for Command, Corsi issued a pre-emptive “apology” to all the groups he offended in his Freeper Days. Those comments certainly didn’t reflect Corsi‘s “real“ beliefs he cried. They were only meant to provoke discussion. He told the Washington Post in 2005 that the posts were “old news” and feigned surprise that anybody cared.
The Freeper posts resurfaced when Blackwell’s book came out earlier this year, and at least some of the Blackwell camp were unaware of Corsi's Freeper history. Blackwell’s campaign spokesperson Gene Pearce was charged with clean-up duty. Dan Williamson in his weekly political column in The Other Paper (February 9-15, 2006, no longer online) quoted Pearce who practiically held his nose. “What Corsi said goes beyond reasonable rational discourse, and it’s appropriate that he apologized.” Pearce averred that didn’t know if his boss had known about the posts before the book deal was signed.
How could Blackwell NOT have known? But then, if Blackwell doesn’t mind sharing the podium in front of the statehouse with Qu’ran burning Operation Save America's Flip Benham, why would Corsi bother him?
Ohio Christian Alliance press release, July 22, 2006: We will only be of service to our Lord and our fellow man if we uphold standards of moral integrity"
Monty Lobb, The Spirit of Citizenship and Democracy newsletter, Summer 2004, published by the office of the Ohio Secretary of State:"Demonstrating high character is intentional. One can show high character simply by respecting others by keeping promises and trusts, by forgiving the transgressions of others, or seeking the forgiveness of ones we may slight. People with high character simply strive to treat others as they expect to be treated."
Ken Blackwell from“Declaration of Character: Noble visions, worthy missions and guiding values all require and are validated by character ethics. Thus, a strong character foundation is and always will the key predicator of the true personal health, impersonal vitality, and organization success".
Uncommon Sense ™: from the American Center for Civic Character published on the Ohio Secretary of State webpage: “COMPASSION FOR OTHERS: High-character people are compelled by wisdom, fidelity and integrity to extend unmerited kindness to others as an act of the will, They are compelled by a operative conscience (rather than their emotions alone) to be genuinely benevolent and sacrificially giving. They abhor meanness, cruelty, and neglect of others. Act-of the-will compassion makes loving the “hard-to-love” possible. (Observable Virtues: kind, gentle, patient, benevolent, generous.)”
Jerry Corsi to Freeper Forums, January 29, 2003: Only HELLary supports terrorists who torture and kill childre -- "It takes a Mosque" ought to be her next book. Kissey, Kissey, Mrs. ARABrat. Anyone out there looking into the terrorist connections into HELLary's campaign fundraising efforts?"
Me, August 18, 2006: If it looks like a duck.
Between September 26, 2001 and August 7 2004, Jerry Corsi under the sig “jrlc” slung hundreds of cow pies on to the Freeper Forums. Below is a selection of my personal favorites (spelling has not been corrected). Media Matters has culled its favorites here. If you prefer the Corsi Immersion Program, go directly to Free Republic.
THE CATHOLIC CHURCH
*Maybe while he's there he can tell the UN what he's going to do about the sexual crimes committed by "priests" in his "Church" during his tenure. Or, maybe that's the connection -- boy buggering in both Islam and Catholicism is okay with the Pope as long as it isn't reported by the liberal press. (March 3, 2003)
*(On Cardinal Law’s Resignation): So this is what the last days of the Catholic Church are going to look like. Buggering boys undermines the moral base and the laywers rip the gold off the Vatican altars. We may get one more Pope, when this senile one dies, but that's probably about it. (December 16, 2002)
CATHOLICISM AND ISLAM (together)
*The liberal press needs to take off the eye shades. The valued sexual "property" in Saudi Arabia is a boy prior to the age of puberty. Boy Buggering is the prefered sexual outlet -- women are considered dirty -- worthy only for procreation. Women bleed, as the Rolling Stones liked to point out -- so in this Muslim world, they are dirty. A little boy is a precious fruit -- too bad the Catholic Priests hadn't discovered Saudi Arabia. Their Muslim brethern would have welcomed their "boy love" society. (September 14, 2002)
*Isn't the Democratic Party the official SODOMIZER PROTECTION ASSOCIATION of AMERICA -- oh, I forgot, it was just an accident that Clintoon's first act in office was to promote "gays in the military." RAGHEADS are Boy-Bumpers as clearly as they are Women-Haters -- it all goes together. (November 11, 2001)
*Has anyone cross-referenced the list of terrorist organizations and funding fronts with the lists of donors to Bill, Hillary and the DNC while Clinton was in office? Could be worth the effort to see if there are any in common. September 26, 2001`)
*(Presidential aspirations):Let the FAT HOG run!!! (August 30, 2003)
*The only way to beat this bitch is to nail her on the issues. She's got the victim role down. Get her to go public on all the details of her voting, her speeches, her health care program -- detail, detail, detail. Force her to deny, change ground and recant ON THE ISSUES. All this personal BS is all too easy for HELLary. Make her be the communist she is ON THE ISSUES or get her to abandon her socialist base in an attempt to move to the center. Get her to LIE, LIE, LIE but only ON THE ISSUES -- forget all this BJ Bill BS. (June 8, 2003)
*Anybody ask why HELLary couldn't keep BJ Bill satisfied? Not lesbo or anything, is she? (June 8, 2003)
*Only HELLary supports terrorists who torture and kill childre -- "It takes a Mosque" ought to be her next book. Kissey, Kissey, Mrs. ARABrat. Anyone out there looking into the terrorist connections intoHELLary's campaign fundraising efforts? (January 29, 2003)
*(caption of 1971 picture of John Kerry and Ted Kennedy) "First let's undermine the US in Vietnam. Then we can go for gay marriage. When you get to be Pres. JFK-lite, there will be no end to how much of America we can destroy.” (May 17, 2004)
*The LIMOUSINE LIBERAL candidate, JOHN KERRY, has a problem -- nobody wants to run with him. It's like even the RATS see him as a ship going down and they know that if they got on, they'd have to jump off in the end. Maybe he can run with a dead Communist guy, John Lennon” (April 11, 2004)
*Pacifist. Communist. Liar. These are the words that come to mind listening to Kerry promote himself even 30 years ago. (March 21, 2004)
*Kerry is a Manchurian Candidate, he wants to capture the White House to promote his anti-American, Communist-leftist agenda. Any victory for the enemies of the USA, will be perceived as a victory for him. Kerry has supported Socialists and Communists since he got back from Vietnam (March 14, 2004)
John F*ing Commie Kerry discusses trashing Joe L. with his top advisor (February 4, 2004)
ISLAM AND MUSLIMS:
*Let's see exactly why it isn't the case that Islam is a worthless, dangerous Satanic religion? Where's the proof to the contrary? (May 4, 2004)
*Sharon sets the trap and invites mad-dog rag-head homide bombing after agreeing to the "roadmap." ArabRAT won't be able to stop his coward terrorist buddies from being themselves. Let's see how long it takes GWB to decide he has no alternative but to crush Hamas, the other BS groups like Hezbollah -- why stop there -- on to Damascas and Riyahd. (May 30, 2003)
*Time to pound Syria -- no more Hamas, no more Islamic Jihad, no more Hezbollah -- Talibanize them (May 15, 2003)
*Islam is like a virus -- it affects the mind -- maybe even better as an analogy -- it is a cancer that destroys the body it infects. A throwback, Medieval, anti-modern, anti-science, anti-knowledge doctrine. Then too, Islam is a peaceful religion only so long as the women are beaten, the boys buggered, and the infidels killed. Worthless. No doctor would hesitate to eliminate cancer cells from the body. (November 26, 2002)
*Exatly, Grandpa Dave -- the only thing you forgot was that the RAG HEADS are also Little Boy Humpers, not just Goat Humpers. This goes along with their hatred of women. When is the leftist media going to start reporting on the homosexuality at the core of these Arab societies -- Oh, I forgot, ISLAM IS A PEACEFUL RELIGION. Yeah, right (November 16, 2002)
COMMUNISM -- it's simple NBC = NOTHING BUT COMMUNISM (April 19, 2004)
Chris Matthews belongs in France -- disgusting NBC (Nothing But Communism) show. Clinton Chris or is it Commie Chris should wake up and realize Tip O'Neill is dead and his form of warmed-over liberalism is dead as well. Commie Chris would be the first to echo HELLary in asking "What did he know and when did he know it" if Bush did nothing against Iraq (as Matthews and the French now urge) and Iraq or Iraq-backed terrorists (March 9, 2003)
Little Katie Communist -- proves the point -- all you have to do to advance at NBC is be a raving leftist a$whore. December 19, 2001)
Protestors greet Jerry Corsi, August 28, 2004 Borders Books and Music, Canton, Ohio. (Photo courtesy of Gust Andrews).