|Organized interests and well-organized individuals endeavor to shape election-year debate at every stage of the process.|
|General Election Activity by Subject
C H I L D R E N
-The Every Child Matters Education Fund aims "to help push children's many needs to a higher place on the country's political and policy agenda. The Every Child Matters Education Fund conducts polls, publishes reports, works with reporters and state children's groups, runs advertising, and conducts campaigns on behalf children."
V E T E R A N S
C H U R C H & S T A T E
-Sojourners, "a Christian ministry whose mission is to proclaim and practice the biblical call to integrate spiritual renewal and social justice," in August 2004 launched a petition declaring that "God is not a Republican...or a Democrat." This appeared as a full page ad in the Aug. 30, 2004 New York Times (paid for by nearly 3,500 supporters of Sojourners magazine) and later in other newspapers.
-On May 1, 2004 Bishop of Colorado Springs Michael J. Sheridan issued a pastoral letter on the "duties of Catholic politicians and voters." He wrote,
There must be no confusion in these matters. Any Catholic politicians who advocate for abortion, for illicit stem cell research or for any form of euthanasia ipso facto place themselves outside full communion with the Church and so jeopardize their salvation. Any Catholics who vote for candidates who stand for abortion, illicit stem cell research or euthanasia suffer the same fateful consequences.On May 27, 2004 Americans United for Separation of Church and State took issue with Sheridan's letter, calling on the Internal Revenue Service to investigate electioneering by the Roman Catholic Diocese of Colorado Springs. See also AU's publication "Religion, Partisan Politics And Tax Exemption: What Federal Law Requires – And Why" >>
-The United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) issued a statement "Faithful Citizenship: A Catholic Call to Political Responsibility" in September 2003.
-On October 31, 2004, the Sunday before the election, Rev. Dr. George F. Regas, rector emeritus, delivered a sermon at All Saints Church in Pasadena, CA titled "If Jesus debated Senator Kerry and President Bush." The IRS sent a letter to the church on June 9, 2005 putting into question its tax exempt status on the grounds that the sermon "may constitute intervention in a political campaign." This investigation was still continuing as of September 2006 and church officials, believing their First Amendment rights were being violated, moved to challenge IRS summons in court.
L A W S U I T A B U S E
-On August 24, 2004 the U.S. Chamber of Commerce announced "initiatives to educate voters about the devastating impact of a runaway legal system on the American way of life." These include a new 527, The November Fund, which will wage a media campaign in seven battleground states as well as a voter education program in 6-10 key states.
M I S C E L L A N E O U S
-On April 28, 2004 Raul Yzaguirre, president of the National Council of La Raza, penned a letter to Sen. John Kerry "regarding the remarkable and unacceptable absence of Latinos in your campaign."
-GrannyVoter launched on Sept. 12 2004 in Washington, DC. "We are a group of eleven grandmothers with thirty-two grandchildren among us... We are all women over the age of 60 who came of age in the 60's. We are of the generation of women who shattered society's old notions and created new ones. We believe older citizens like us can remain active, politically engaged, effective and above all, concerned with issues beyond themselves. We call ourselves Next Step Women... We are Mary Catherine Bateson, cultural anthropologist and author; Nancy Berkley, author and golf marketing consultant; Rita Bornstein, consultant to higher education; Geraldine Ferraro, consultant and former Vice Presidential candidate; Ellen Goodman, columnist; Ruth Massinga, foundation president; Rosemary Masters, psychotherapist; Patricia O'Brien, author; Nell Painter, historian; Letty Cottin Pogrebin, writer; and Patricia Schroeder, former Congresswoman."
Copyright © 2002, 2003, 2004 Eric M. Appleman/Democracy in Action.