Freedom Writer - March 1995
Coalition activist booted from Fresno DA's office
FRESNO, California — Deputy district attorney Diane DiMaggio, a founder
and past president of the Christian Coalition of Fresno, has given
a new meaning to the term "stealth." Working quietly from her computer
and phone at the district attorney's office in Fresno County, DiMaggio
allegedly recruited Republican voters for the Fresno County Republican
As a result, on January 9th, DiMaggio was fired from her job for allegedly
misappropriating public funds — a felony, according to the Fresno
County Sheriff's Department. Criminal charges are pending.
The allegations came about when the DA's office installed new computers,
and, during the process of data transfer, extensive data of a political
nature showed up on DiMaggio's computer. Armed with a search warrant,
officers found political circulars and other documents in DiMaggio's
office, including literature from anti-abortion groups and Concerned
Women for America.
The story, which first appeared in _The_Fresno_Bee_ on February 7th,
failed to mention DiMaggio's connections to the Religious Right. In
fact, as far back as 1991, in a letter to the editor of _The_Fresno_
Bee_, DiMaggio attacked Martin Young, a subscriber to the Institute
for First Amendment Studies' _Freedom_Writer_ newsletter.
She accused Young, an active Roman Catholic, of "Christian bashing
and anti-Christian bigotry" because he publicly challenged the Christian
Coalition's agenda. "The true threat to the Bill of Rights," she wrote,
"is the myth of 'separation of church and state' recently foisted
on us by the secular humanist majority on the late Supreme Court."
DiMaggio, who led a church-based voter registration drive prior to
the November 1994 elections, also worked as a private political consultant,
according to an affidavit, and had a contract with the Fresno County
Republican Central Committee.
She apparently did her political consulting work from her desk in
the DA's office. According to _The_Fresno_Bee_, phone records from
DiMaggio's phone at the DA's office from September 1993 to October
1994 showed that 309 calls were made to the Fresno Republican headquarters.
_The_Bee_ also said DiMaggio's secretary had complained to a supervisor
last fall that DiMaggio tried to recruit her to work as a Republican
precinct captain. She said that most of DiMaggio's phone calls "were
political in nature."
_The_Freedom_Writer_ has obtained political materials from the Fresno
Christian Coalition, including a "Dear Pastor" letter sent out to
churches in 1992. "As Christians," the letter states, "we are constantly
shocked to find that our legislators are passing laws that threaten
our religious freedoms, destroy our families, and promote abomination."
The one-page letter closes with an appeal to join the "Christian Coalition
Voter Registration campaign." The letter is signed by Diane DiMaggio,
president of the Fresno Christian Coalition.
Last year DiMaggio turned the leadership of the Fresno Christian Coalition
over to Ken Davis. Sources said that she remains active with the Fresno
Christian Coalition, but time restraints prohibited her from continuing
Last year DiMaggio told a columnist at _The_Fresno_Bee_ that the Coalition
opposes "abortion, special privileges for gays," and "generally anything"
supported by the American Civil Liberties Union. Apparently, though,
DiMaggio supports special privileges for Christians involved in political
activities at taxpayer expense.
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