Freedom Writer - November 1995
GOP shells out to Sheldon
By Jerry Sloan
Republicans in California are in an uproar because
the week before the general election the state Republican
Party paid $47,000 to the nonprofit Traditional Values
Coalition (TVC) of Anaheim, chaired by the infamous
Rev. Louis P. Sheldon. The money was used to produce
TVC's annual voter guide.
According to IRS regulations, nonprofits are not supposed
to endorse candidates for political offices, but many
on both the left and the right produce "balanced" guides
on issues which they support. They do this by listing
hot-button issues and giving the Republican and Democratic
For instance, the TVC guide listed such concerns as
abortion, homosexuality, school prayer, and "scientific"
creationism. Usually the Republican candidate is opposed
to abortion and gay rights, and supports school prayer
and the teaching of "scientific" creationism. The Democratic
candidate's position of these issues is generally the
opposite. The IRS considers this balanced even though
the voter guides are usually aimed at a specific bloc
Research by Project Tocsin of Sacramento first discovered
a $35,000 payment to TVC listed on documents filed
with the office of charitable trusts. Further research
by Dan Morain of The Los Angeles Times discovered an
additional $12,000 which TVC failed to report, but
the Republicans did.
Needless to say, both Democrats and many mainstream
Republicans are upset by the disclosure. Democrats
are saying they are going to file complaints with the
IRS and other agencies because they believe that since
the voter guides are financed by the Republican Party,
they are partisan in nature and therefore violate IRS
The Democrats' position is strengthened by a remark
made by John Peschong, executive director of the California
Republican Party, who was reported in The Los Angeles
Times as saying, "They were delivering votes. They
were making sure that people who support the Republican
Party went to the polls — and they do a very good job."
Many mainstream Republicans were upset when they heard
about the party giving money to the TVC. One lifelong
Republican of over fifty years contacted by Project
Tocsin asked to remain anonymous but said, "I can't
believe the party gave those bastards money. I am going
to rethink my contributions to the party."
Hollywood attorney Thomas Hunter Russell, a member
of the gay-oriented Log Cabin Republican Club of Los
Angeles, who describes himself as a fifth-generation
Republican and chair of the board of the oldest Protestant
church in Los Angeles, demanded in a letter to Peschong
that the party ask for the money back even if it meant
filing a lawsuit against the TVC. Russell further demanded
assurances that "no more party funds will be provided
to these neo-nuts from the TVC or the misnamed Christian
The collusion between the TVC and the Republican Party
has particularly upset members of the lesbigay community
because of Sheldon's notorious record as a professional
gay-basher. Briefly, the highlights of Sheldon's career:
1978 Executive director of the Defend Our Children
which sponsored the infamous Proposition 6, the Briggs
initiative, which would have banned gay and lesbian
schoolteachers in California. It failed overwhelmingly.
1983 Founded the California Educational Institute for
Truth and Morality. In 1987 the name was changed to
Traditional Values Coalition.
1985 Proposed that everyone who might contract the
AIDS virus be sent to "cities of refuge."
1986 Supported a Lyndon Larouche initiative which would
have required registration of AIDS patients.
1991 Asked the attorney general to prepare language
for a state constitutional amendment to forbid civil
rights protection for gay, lesbian, and bisexual persons.
The language was prepared but never submitted to the
The TVC regularly appears at various public hearings
at the legislature and the state board of education
to oppose sex education and any textbook which might
in any way present homosexuality in a favorable light.
1992 The TVC was fined $2000 by the California Fair
Political Practices Commission for trying to hide a
$6000 contribution to San Franciscans for Common Sense,
a group which attempted to repeal the city's domestic
Twice this fall Congressional hearings were demanded
by Sheldon to consider cutting off federal funds to
any school district which might have programs that
support gay youth.
Sheldon has played fast and loose with the rules, as
he has pushed his agenda of hate.
Tocsin, a group that researches the Religious Right
in California. _
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