IFAS | Freedom Writer | April 1994 | stealth.html

Stealth? Deception? You decide.

The Christian Coalition claims it doesn't back candidates. It claims it doesn't run stealth campaigns. It claims its voter guides are non-partisan. It claims to control massive voter blocs. Is the Christian Coalition telling the truth? You decide.

The following text is transcribed from a presentation by Max C. Karrer, M.D., at the Christian Coalition's Road to Victory conference in Washington, DC, last September. Dr. Karrer is the North Florida Coordinator for the Christian Coalition of Florida and the chairman of the finance committee to the board of trustees for Regent University. He also serves on the executive board of the Republican Party of Duvall County, Florida. Titled "Using Computers at the Grass Roots," the presentation attracted a standing-room-only crowd.

"First you select your churches. There are some churches where you would not necessarily find what I call Christians in the church. You select your evangelical churches, your renewed churches, your charismatic churches. You don't select your liberal, mainline denominations. If you select your churches right, you'll have a 90% match on voters who will be with us. That's what we do.

"As an example of how this works, we had a legislative race where we had a female Jewish lawyer liberal, feminist endorsed by NOW who had knocked out three years ago a pro-life Christian. We didn't know what we were doing they poured NARAL money in and managed to beat him by 200 votes. And it was all because we didn't know what we were doing.

"By this time she was the darling of the Democrats in the Florida legislature. They gave her all the choice committee assignments; they had bigger and better plans for her, and so on. And we had a fellow who was running for his first political office named Jim Fuller who jumped into the race.

"This time we had our Christian voter data base. We had our church liaison committees. We had our voter guides going. And we could quietly we were not allowed to give them away, so we charged him five dollars but we printed labels for him of the Christian voters, which enabled him to put out directed mailings to the Christian voter, that he would not necessarily do to the general public.

"To make a long story short, he beat her 65% to 35% it was a landslide. And they didn't know what hit them, because you want to talk about stealth campaigns it was quietly done, and they didn't realize they were in trouble, until it was too late. This also convinced the state Republican Party that they better deal with the Christian Coalition, at least in Duvall County, because every candidate we got behind won [emphasis added], in Duvall in the '92 elections. This was the method we used.

"We don't GIVE our list to anybody. What we will do is print labels for some people. That we WILL do I SOLD him the labels, I didn't GIVE them to him. It's legal then, see. For five dollars!

"The thing I want to say about building up a Christian data voter base is: political candidates, or politicians, only understand two things, and that's money and votes. And if they think you control a lot of votes, you suddenly become very powerful in their eyes.

"Politicians in our section think we have a bigger data voter base than we do. But we don't change that perception, we don't tell them. They come to us now. When someone wants to run for office, they come to Christian Coalition; they want to talk to us. It gives you and not just for elections it gives you tremendous lobbying power with the legislator, because they think you have this huge bloc of voters that you can swing though you can't necessarily."

© 1998 Institute for First Amendment Studies, Inc.