Kansas Attorney General Kline's Leaked Memo For Church Involvement In Politics
Bruce Wilson printable version print page     Bookmark and Share
Tue Sep 19, 2006 at 12:39:27 PM EST
[ Note: news of The Kline Memo Circulated A Few Days Ago Via The Interfaith Alliance : See press release below ] Jews On First has written a detailed summary of the scandal emerging around a recent memo, written by Kansas Attorney Phil Kline and advocating aggressive church involvement in politics, that was recently leaked to the press:

[ here's the original memo ]

In a tough battle for reelection, Kansas Attorney General Phill Kline gave his campaign staff detailed instructions on how to use churches to raise funds, recruit campaign volunteers and collect voter contact information. He wrote the instructions in a memo obtained by news organizations and JewsOnFirst.org.

Kline writes that the "goal" of receptions, which his staff will organize to dovetail with church services, "is to walk away with contact information, money and volunteers and a committee in each church." He names three of the churches already involved in his campaign.

Kline's August 8th memo lays bare for the world (including Democratic Party leaders who might care to protest) the details of how at least one Republican on the religious right uses churches for electoral operations. There is no reason to assume that Kline just created this campaign model.

Kline's closing instructions about telling cooperating churches how to protect their tax-exempt status, are nonchalantly dismissive. He tells his staff to prepare a "2-pager," only part of which will be about what the law allows.

    Should prepare guidance sheet for those who are showing the church video. 2 pager that includes: goals for showing the video, IRS rules guidance regarding what they can and cannot do (this should not take long -- no use of church assets -- can show it at church as long as they do not deny opposition of showing their own video -- no need to invite the other, just cannot deny -- etc)

"Our efforts in the churches"
Kline is known beyond the realm of bright-red Kansas Republicanism for demanding abortion patients' records and ordering healthcare providers to report teenagers who have sex.

Kline writes that his staff should use the memo (which you can see here) as "a checklist to improve on our efforts" in the churches. He directs them to "maximize my presence in a community. Where possible, get additional churches involved."

[ here is the smoking gun. emphasis mine - BW ]

Kline tells his staff how to form a campaign committee for him at each church that will educate and register voters, "encourage people to contribute and volunteer" and network with their own email lists. He instructs :

   

Recontact all churches and specifically get in touch with key contact there to form a church lay committee for the campaign.
Immediate Release

The Interfaith Alliance

September 12, 2006

Contact: Don Parker, 202.639.6370, ext. 111

Kansas Attorney General Advises Churches to Skirt the Law



Washington, September 12 – In response to a leaked memo from Kansas Attorney General Phill Kline to his re-election campaign staff, detailing a strategy for collecting money and volunteer support from churches, pastors, and church members, The Interfaith Alliance released the following statements from the Rev. Dr. C. Welton Gaddy, president of the nonpartisan grassroots organization, and from Michael Bayouth, chair of Wichita MAINstream, an Affiliate of The Interfaith Alliance:

A "church effort" memo from Kansas Attorney General Phill Kline has outlined one of the most blatant and aggressive strategies to use religion in a political campaign that I have ever seen. As the senior pastor of a Baptist congregation in Louisiana myself, I can assure you this outrageous elaboration of a campaign strategy for involving churches in a partisan electoral effort offends me beyond measure and evokes from me the strongest level of condemnation. The candidate admits that churches that show his campaign video must not deny opposing candidates an opportunity to show their own videos but coyly tells churches that they do not have to invite other candidates to visit with them. Counsel on how to get away with being politically partisan in a house of worship raises serious ethical, legal and spiritual questions. Kline demonstrates no reticence about manipulating houses of worship—indeed he calls for the organization of "church lay committees" to win votes—or about jeopardizing the reputations and legal standing of religious leaders, some of whom he cites by name, and the houses of worship in which they minister. This memo also raises questions about whether the chief law enforcement officer of Kansas takes a wink-wink, nod-nod view of the law. I also think that this memo would raise as many concerns about legality for the IRS as it does about spirituality for those of us concerned about the integrity of religion in relation to politics.

C. Welton Gaddy

President

The Interfaith Alliance



This memo affords a blatant disregard for the integrity of the separation of religion and government by one of our highest elected officials. Kline's strategy toys with the tax-exempt status of churches for his own political ambitions, with little consideration for the church, religion, people of faith."

Michael Bayouth,

Chair of Wichita MAINstream, an Affiliate of The Interfaith Alliance



The Interfaith Alliance (TIA) is a nonpartisan, grassroots organization dedicated to promoting the positive and healing role of religion in the life of the nation and challenging those who manipulate religion to promote a narrow, divisive agenda. With more than 185,000 members drawn from more than 75 faith traditions and 75 local activist groups throughout America, TIA promotes compassion, civility and mutual respect for human dignity in our increasingly diverse society.

www.interfaithalliance.org




Display:
God's law. the laws of our country, none of these matter, they only care about using hatred to accrue power to themselves.  What bothers me is they abuse my faith in doing it.

by nofundy on Tue Sep 19, 2006 at 03:04:16 PM EST

..........courtesy of the Topeka Capital-Journal, for anyone who wants/needs to quote from it without having to retype this garbage:

Kline's memo shows inner workings of campaign

My mom has been fighting tooth and nail with her supposedly mainline Baptist church to get all the Religious Right propaganda off the "Welcome Center" table. She says the church's Advisory Council voted "her way" the other night, but a few members objected heartily to her calling it "propaganda."

She's been thoroughly disgusted and "pissed off" (her words, from someone who doesn't even say "gosh"!) for years with all the RR crap that's been showing up at church and has been pretty vocal about it, but I'm not sure she knows just how nasty and borderline illegal they can be. I forwarded her a copy of the memo this morning. I hope she can find a way to use it!


by anomalous4 on Wed Sep 20, 2006 at 11:41:44 AM EST

And, best of luck to your mother.

by Bruce Wilson on Wed Sep 20, 2006 at 02:54:55 PM EST
Parent


And clearly illegal.

Besides writing letters, do you think anything can be done about this?
Is an IRS complaint appropriate?
Are Kansas progressive attorneys likely to file an election violation complaint?
Or would the complaint just go to Kline's office and into the circular file? 

Thanks for the Jews on First link.
Too much information, not enough time.



by justintime on Thu Sep 21, 2006 at 01:12:42 PM EST
Is to try and influence the upcoming election. I doubt Kline will care much about complaints sent his way.

by Bruce Wilson on Fri Sep 29, 2006 at 12:45:21 PM EST
Parent



WWW Talk To Action


On Christmas Day, in the Morning
In recent years at Christmastime, I have posted a response to the preposterous-but-malevolent claims broadcast on Fox News and elsewhere that there is a......
By Frederick Clarkson (2 comments)
Hallelujah, Mike Huckabee, Hallelujah
Fox News personality Mike Huckabee had a defining moment in the wake of the Newtown massacre. One that as we enter the 2016 presidential......
By Frederick Clarkson (2 comments)
Moses And Michele: Departing Member Of Congress Spreads More Misinformation
The Religious Right's Moses fixation continues to grow.As you might recall, the Texas State Board of Education recently demanded social studies textbooks that highlight......
By Rob Boston (0 comments)
Christian Right Silent about Bob Jones U Sex Abuse Report
One of the deep scandals of our time, and apparently times past, is that sex abuse, particularly of children, has been so tolerated and......
By Frederick Clarkson (2 comments)
Boot These Bigoted Bans: Movement Seeks To Remove Anti-Atheist Bias From State Constitutions
Eight states still have provisions in their constitutions that either bar atheists outright from holding public office or require people to believe certain things......
By Rob Boston (1 comment)
James Madison and Tax-Supported Chaplains
In light of former Sen. Rick Santorum's recent silly declaration that “the words ‘separation of church and state’ is not in the U.S. Constitution,......
By Chris Rodda (0 comments)
Death to Obama; Death to "Homos"; What's Next?
When the Obama administration was young, threats against the president were common, and sometimes quite public. One notorious such incident was that of Rev.......
By Frederick Clarkson (0 comments)
Rick Scarborough's America
When Stand Up Sunday was convened by Mike Huckabee in Houston it was to feature the leading spokesmen for the Religious Right agenda.  The......
By wilkyjr (0 comments)
The Republican Diversity Program... Is Working
I don't usually write directly about electoral politics, but sometimes I bring an outsider's perspective to how the inside looks to some of the......
By Frederick Clarkson (1 comment)
American Christian Right Leaders in Rome
The remarkable and growing alliance between conservative Catholicism and protestant evangelicalism was on prominent display at a recent event at the Vatican. My colleague......
By Frederick Clarkson (0 comments)
Religious Supremacism on the Rise Against Marriage Equality
This is a crosspost of an op-ed I recently published at LGBTQ Nation.  -- FC Christian right undermines marriage equality with religious supremacism FREDERICK......
By Frederick Clarkson (0 comments)
The Author of Loathing Lincoln Explains Why Some on the Christian Right Loathe Lincoln
One under-reported result of the 2014 elections was the rise of Neo-Confederate politics in the U.S. This included the election of unabashed apologist for......
By Frank Cocozzelli (2 comments)
A Catholic Theocracy Grows in Florida
Catholic Right pizza mogul Tom Monaghan and his Ave Maria School of Law are back in the news.  Journalist Eleanor Bader has a new......
By Frederick Clarkson (6 comments)
Mississippi Madness: Group Wants To Designate An Official Religion
A group in Mississippi is collecting signatures for a ballot initiative to change the state constitution in several ways.The proposal put forth by the......
By Rob Boston (5 comments)
I Stand Sunday Part 2
I Stand Sunday took place in Houston, Nov. 2, 2014, motivated by the cities' mayor who subpoenaed sermons from local pastors.  The host church......
By wilkyjr (1 comment)

Charles Taze Russell and John Hagee
No doubt exists that Texas mega-church Pastor John Hagee would be loathe to be associated with the theology of Pastor C.T. Russell (wrongly credited with founding the Jehovah's Witnesses) but their theological orbits, while......
COinMS (0 comments)
A death among the common people ... imagination.
Or maybe my title would better fit as “Laws, Books, where to find, and the people who trust them.”What a society we've become!The wise ones tell us over and over how the more things......
Arthur Ruger (0 comments)
Deconstructing the Dominionists, Part VI
This is part 6 of a series by guest front pager Mahanoy, originally dated November 15, 2007 which I had to delete and repost for technical reasons. It is referred to in this post,......
Frederick Clarkson (1 comment)
Republican infighting in Mississippi
After a bruising GOP runoff election for U.S. Senator, current MS Senator Thad Cochran has retained his position and will face Travis Childers (Democrat) in the next senate election. The MS GOP is fractured......
COinMS (2 comments)
America's Most Convenient Bank® refuses to serve Christians
Representatives of a well known faith-based charitable organization were refused a New Jersey bank’s notarization service by an atheist employee. After inquiring about the nature of the non-profit organization and the documents requiring......
Jody Lane (5 comments)
John Benefiel takes credit for GOP takeover of Oklahoma
Many of you know that Oklahoma has turned an unrecognizable shade of red in recent years.  Yesterday, one of the leading members of the New Apostolic Reformation all but declared that he was responsible......
Christian Dem in NC (2 comments)
John Benefiel thinks America is under curse because Egyptians dedicated North America to Baal
You may remember that Rick Perry put together his "Response" prayer rallies with the help of a slew of NAR figures.  One of them was John Benefiel, an Oklahoma City-based "apostle."  He heads up......
Christian Dem in NC (4 comments)
Mississippi Religious Freedom Restoration Act.
Yes, that's right. We have totally lost our religious freedom in Mississippi and it must be restored by our legislators. ......
COinMS (1 comment)
Bill Gothard accused of harassing women and failing to report child abuse
Surprised no one's mentioned this, but one of the longest-standing leaders of the religious right is in a world of trouble.  Bill Gothard has been active in the fundie movement for over half......
Christian Dem in NC (2 comments)
Eugene Delgaudio may lose his day job as Virginia county supervisor
Surprised no one's noticed this, but one of the nation's most virulent homophobes is in a fight to keep his day job.  Eugene Delgaudio is best known as the head of Public Advocate......
Christian Dem in NC (0 comments)
Starkville Becomes First City in Mississippi to Pass Resolution Recognizing LGBT Residents
This caught me by surprise. I guess times are a changin in Dixieland. ------------------------------------- Cross posted from the HRC blog. Starkville Becomes First City in Mississippi to Pass Resolution Recognizing LGBT Residents January 21,......
COinMS (0 comments)
Robert Knight: Running against evolution could potentially be a winner for the GOP
In one of the starkest instances yet of how far gone the religious right is, one of its leading activists thinks that he's found another potential wedge issue that could drive more people into......
Christian Dem in NC (2 comments)
First Catholic official convicted in child sex abuse scandal has conviction overturned
Last year, Monsignor William Lynn, the Archdiocese of Philadelphia's secretary for clergy, was convicted of reassigning a priest whom he knew had molested a young boy to a parish that had a school attached......
Christian Dem in NC (0 comments)
Quotes From Sarah Palin 'War on Christmas" Book v. Quotes From 1920s Anti-Jewish Propaganda
The point of this comparison is not to cast Sarah Palin as a Nazi. Rather, my intent is to underline uncomfortable similarities between contemporary "war on Christmas" talking points propagated by elements of the......
Bruce Wilson (0 comments)
Francis sets up commission on how to deal with pedophile priests
Late yesterday Pope Francis announced--apparently after some prodding--that he will set up a panel to advise him on how to deal with child abuse by priests. The announcement was a forthright acknowledgment by the......
Christian Dem in NC (0 comments)

More Diaries...




All trademarks and copyrights on this page are owned by their respective companies. Comments, posts, stories, and all other content are owned by the authors. Everything else © 2005 Talk to Action, LLC.