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Religious Right's Ralph Reed Field-Tests Plan for Beating Obama

Reed's Faith and Freedom Coalition, "a 21st-century version of the Christian Coalition on steroids," is leading the effort.

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In his closing remarks at the Faith and Freedom Coalition gala, Reed stated his goals for the organization, one of which is to have a $100 million budget by 2015.

In 2010, according to FFC's most recently available IRS filing, the organization took in $5.5 million, and ended up $300,000 in the red. But its intake was up astronomically from the year before, when in 2009, FFC claimed receipts of a mere $743,000. If Reed was able to increase his intake by anywhere near the same margin the following year, his current budget may be in excess of $25 million.

While media focused their attention on better-known right-wing groups such as Americans for Prosperity, Reed has been quietly building his scrappy little organization in the hopes of winning Mitt Romney the presidency, and a nice financial windfall for Reed, who helped engineer George W. Bush's 2000 victory for the Republican presidential nomination.

Calling his faithful to action, Reed urged them to engage their friends and neighbors in his 2012 voter turnout effort. "I want you to consider this a divine appointment," he said. Then he left the stage to make way for Rebecca Kleefisch, lieutenant governor of Wisconsin, the intended exemplar of what Reed could accomplish on a polarized electoral landscape.

Petite and attractive, in a shiny green silk skirt suit and with a Sarah Palin-style hairdo, Kleefisch told the story of the Wisconsin recall in the right-wing style, painting her opponents as dangerous and threatening. She, too, called upon the Faith and Freedom Coalition audience to action.

"My hope is that Wisconsin encourages others to lead with servants' hearts," she said.



UPDATE - October 15, 2012: This article details the contents of a packet that was distributed during a Faith and Freedom Coalition conference in Washington, D.C., on June 16, 2012, containing materials bearing the name and logo of Millennium Marketing, a subsidiary of Century Strategies, a for-profit political consulting firm of which Ralph Reed is chief executive officer. Reed is also the president of the non-profit Faith and Freedom Coalition.

During the last week of September, attorneys for Ralph Reed and Millennium Marketing contacted AlterNet and author Adele Stan in a letter denying any payment to Millennium Marketing by Faith and Freedom Coalition “for any work” -- a narrow term that does not, in the legal sense, describe consulting fees -- and denying that Millennium Marketing provided the services to Faith and Freedom Coalition that are described in the packet, which was distributed by Rick Furr of the Mobile Sports Group at the conclusion of a breakout session of the Faith and Freedom Coalition conference titled “Champion the Vote.” In the letter, Reed’s attorney also threatened to bring a lawsuit against AlterNet.

The packet passed out by Furr also included a business card bearing his name and the Millennium Marketing logo; beneath Furr’s name, the title “Executive Director” appears.  

The letter was the first response AlterNet received to a request for comment made to Reed in a phone call to his Century Strategies office on June 29, 2012.

Furr, according to J. Randolph Evans of the McKenna, Long & Aldridge law firm, which represents Millennium and Reed, was not authorized to use the Millennium Marketing name or logo on the materials he distributed at the Faith and Freedom Coalition gathering; Evans also provided AlterNet with a letter signed by Furr and Scott Foernsler of LSN Mobile, in which they apologize for having done so, and state that Millennium Marketing played no role in the services provided by LSN Mobile and Mobile Sports Group to Faith and Freedom Coalition for its voter turnout efforts during Wisconsin’s gubernatorial recall election, despite assertions made in packet materials that it had.

We note that Faith and Freedom Coalition’s own national field director, Billy Kirkland, confirmed to Stan in a June 29 phone call that FFC had “used” Millennium Marketing in Wisconsin where, he said, “they were a big help.”

The letter signed by Furr and Foernsler contains the following paragraph: