Religious Right Watch: Far-Right Organizations in Texas

Following are some of the most prominent far-right organizations in Texas. Data comes from tax records (Form 990) nonprofit organizations file with the U.S. Internal Revenue Service.

Educational Research Analysts
Houston Area Pastor Council
Heritage Alliance
The Justice Foundation
At the Gate/At the Gate Ministries
Liberty Institute/Texas Values
Life Dynamics
Texas Alliance for Life
Texas Eagle Forum
Texans for Life Coalition
Texas Public Policy Foundation
Texas Right to Life Committee
Texas Restoration Project/Niemoller Foundation
Vision America
WallBuilders

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Contact Information
P.O. Box 7518
Longview, Texas 75607-7518
Phone: (903) 753-5993
E-mail: info@textbookreviews.org

Management
Neal Frey, president

Board
Neal Frey, president
Judith Frey, secretary
Rebecca Rosenberger, director
Richard Gibson, director
Noah Frey, director

Educational Research Analysts
501(c)(3) nonprofit
EIN: 75-1407723

Educational Research Analysts, based in Longview, Texas, is one of the oldest textbook censorship organizations in the country. The late Mel and Norma Gabler of Longview (Texas), who started the organization, began reviewing textbooks in the 1960s. The Gablers and their successors have criticized textbooks for the “politically correct degradation of academics,” coverage of evolution and, as they see it, failure to promote phonics-based reading instruction, free enterprise, a strict interpretation of the U.S.Constitution, respect for Judeo-Christian morals, and abstinence-only-until-marriage sex education in health textbooks. Neal Frey, a longtime textbook reviewer for the Gablers, runs the organization today. For an informative feature on Frey, see “Chapter& Verse,” Teacher Magazine, Jan. 1, 2006 (www.edweek.org).

More about Educational Research Analysts and Neal Frey on our TFN Insider blog.

Website
http://www.textbookreviews.org/

Financial Information

Year
1998
Revenue
$158,780
Assets
2007 $96,269 $337,228
2008 $194,397 $408,800
2009 $50,787 $354,998
2010 $61,649 $323,597
2011 $79,971 $312,042

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Contact Information
P.O. Box 692207
Houston, TX 77269
Email: info@uspastorcouncil.org

Management
David Welch, executive director

Houston Area Pastor Council (US Pastor Council, Texas Pastor Council)
501(c)(3) nonprofit
EIN: 20-0456376

The Houston Area Pastor Council/Texas Pastor Council/US Pastor Council mobilizes clergy behind right-wing causes in Houston and at the state level. In recent years the rabidly anti-gay group has led a smear campaign against Annise Parker, who won election as Houston’s first only gay mayor in 2009. The group has called Parker a “sodomite” and attacked her for supposedly trying to “impose” a “San Francisco-style Gay Lesbian Bisexual Transgender” agenda on the city. It has also criticized her support for same-sex marriage. The group’s leader, Dave Welch, called a federal judge a “domestic enemy” and compared her to terrorists for ruling against “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell,” the now-ended policy barring openly gay people from serving in the U.S. military.

Welch says progressive clergy “disgust me” and has suggested that they are not “real” pastors. He has testified before the State Board of Education, including in favor of an anti-Muslim resolution (2010) and requiring students to learn creationist arguments against evolution in public school science classes (2009).

The organization opposed the re-election of state Rep. Joe Straus, R-San Antonio, as speaker of the Texas House in 2011. A major fundraiser in 2013 featured Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott and Baylor University President Ken Starr.

More about the Houston Area Pastor Council/Texas Pastor Council and Dave Welch on our TFN Insider blog.

Website
uspastorcouncil.org

Financial Information
Guidestar.com reports that the US Pastor Council is registered with the Internal Revenue Service, but Guidestar has no posted Form 990s from the organization.

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Contact Information
P.O. Box 741777
Dallas, TX 75374-1777
Email: info@heritagealliance.com

Board
Richard A. Ford, president
Jim Sneeringer, executive vice president
R. Gregory Lamb, secretary
Julie Ford, treasurer
Cindy Sullivan
Jerry Tuma
J. Keet Lewis

Heritage Alliance
501(c)(4)nonprofit
EIN: 73-1164337

Founded by Richard Ford, the Heritage Alliance and the Heritage Alliance PAC are successors to the Free Market Committee and the Free Enterprise PAC, or FreePAC. Funded by conservative donors such as San Antonio businessman James Leininger, FreePAC tried to purge moderates from the ranks of Republican elected officials by funding incendiary mailers attacking a half-dozen GOP House members and senators during the party primary elections in 2002. Some of the mailers included photos of men kissing and charged that their moderate Republican targets were anti-family and supportive of teaching children about gay sex. They also attacked those lawmakers for supporting women’s reproductive rights, including access to abortion services. The attacks drew condemnation from newspapers and other Republican officials from across the state, and all six of the targeted Republican moderates won their primaries. In 2005 the Heritage Alliance Marriage PAC worked to pass a state constitutional ban on same-sex marriage and civil unions. (Such unions were already prohibited by state law.) In 2007 the group supported legislation that essentially allows student speakers to evangelize at public school events.

According to tax records, Heritage Alliance PAC loaned Heritage Alliance $25,000 in 2011.

Website
heritagealliance.com

Financial Information

Year
2007
Revenue
$164,725
Assets
-$25,717
2008 $49,580.22 $8,119.15
2009 $127,100 -$133,737
2010 $210,460 -$117,787
2011 $119,173 -$180,688

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Contact Information
Texas Justice Foundation
18615 Tuscany Stone, #200
San Antonio, Texas 78258
Phone: (210) 614-7051
E-mail: info@txjf.org

Board
James R. Leininger, chairman
Allan E. Parker, Jr., president
Richard C. Trotter, vice president
Mark Dorazio
Fritz Steiger
Arch Bonnema

The Justice Foundation
501(c)(3) nonprofit
EIN: 74-2676958

The Justice Foundation (formerly Texas Justice Foundation) is a San Antonio-based litigation and advocacy group that focuses on social issues like abortion, school prayer and “parental rights.” The anti-abortion group argues that abortion harms women and supports “trigger laws” that would automatically ban abortion – often with no exceptions – should the U.S. Supreme Court overturn its landmark 1973 Roe v. Wade ruling.

TJF was formed as a spin-off of the Texas Public Policy Foundation to litigate on behalf of what TJF considers “good government practices.” TJF has filed legal briefs in support of the right of people under restraining orders to bear arms, the right of students to impose their religious beliefs on others, and the religious right’s campaign for “parental rights.” TJF has also advocated for publicly funded vouchers that would pay for students’ tuition at private and religious schools.

Attorney Allan Parker leads TJF and is a former Bexar County Christian Coalition president.

Website
txjf.org

Financial Information

Year
1998
Revenue
$796,915
Assets
2007 $1,037,968 $28,070
2008 $1,214,324 $286,808
2009 $735,329 $233,798
2010 $503,466 $39,044
2011 $386,571 $11,549

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Contact Information
7203 Wilder Street
San Antonio, Texas 78250
Phone: 210-677-8214
Email: justiceatthegate@aol.com

Management
Alice Patterson, director
John Patterson, director

At the Gate/At the Gate Ministries, Inc. (Justice at the Gate)
501(c)(3) nonprofit
EIN: 75-2633461

Justice at the Gate is the assumed name of At the Gate Ministries, Inc. The group’s Web site is a tool for building a political machine based on local organizers. The site invites visitors to volunteer for such positions as”civic awareness coordinators” and city or county coordinators. Coordinators distribute election material and facilitate voter registration efforts. The organization’s president, Alice Patterson, was a key supporter of Texas Gov. Rick Perry’s “The Response” prayer rally at Reliant Stadium in Houston in August 2011. Gov. Perry announced his ill-fated bid for the 2012 Republican presidential nomination shortly afterward.

More about At the Gate on our TFN Insider blog.

Website
justiceatthegate.org

Financial Information

Year
1998
Revenue
$91,775
Assets
2006 $613,754 $20,472
2011 $83,987 $14,597

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Contact Information
Liberty Institute
2001 West Plano Parkway
Plano, Texas 75075
Phone: 972-423-8889
E-mail: info@libertyinstitute.org

Management/staff
Kelly J. Shackelford, president/CEO
Mark E. Swafford, executive vice president
Hiram S. Sasser, director of litigation
Jeffrey C. Mateer, litigation attorney

Board and Executive Committee (2011)
W.W. Caruth III, chairman, executive committee
Bill Crocker, executive committee
Tim Dunn, vice chairman, executive committee
Mark Cover, secretary, executive committee
Al Angell, executive committee
James Robertson, executive committee
Jerry Brown
Deborah Muse Carlson
Judge Paul Pressler
Dale Brown
Paco and Kay Jordan
Kyle Stallings

Liberty Institute/Texas Values (formerly Free Market Foundation)
501(c)(3) nonprofit
EIN: 75-1403169

Liberty Institute has become one of the best-funded far-right groups in Texas. Its head is Kelly Shackelford, an attorney who previously worked for the right-wing Rutherford Institute.

The Free Market Foundation changed its name to Liberty Institute in late 2009. The group also dropped the name of Liberty Legal for its legal arm. In 2012 the group reorganized and created Texas Values as an entity within Liberty Institute that focuses on public policy issues in Texas. Jonathan Saenz is the president and Austin-based lobbyist for Texas Values. Liberty Institute reintroduced itself as a litigation group with a focus on issues across the country.

The organization lobbies at the Texas Legislature and the State Board of Education. It opposed the re-election of state Rep. Joe Straus as speaker of the Texas House in 2011 and 2013.

The organization has worked to mobilize conservative Christian pastors as a strategy in advancing its political agenda. For example, the group played a prominent role in helping organize and promote the Texas Restoration Project. The Restoration Project held a series of “Pastor Policy Briefings” that drew thousands of pastors and their spouses to events in Austin, Dallas Houston and San Antonio. (See listing for Texas Restoration Project below.)

The group has inserted itself into legal battles ranging from religion in public schools to gay rights. For example, Liberty Institute represented the Ector County Independent School District (Odessa, Texas) in its unsuccessful effort in 2007-08 to use a blatantly sectarian and error-riddled curriculum for public school classes about the Bible. The school district agreed in March 2008 to stop using that curriculum (from the National Council on Bible Curriculum in Public Schools) and adopt a new one for use in its high school courses about the Bible.

Liberty Institute has also worked to undermine the teaching of evolution in science classrooms and in 2009 supported the State Board of Education’s controversial revision of new history curriculum standards that the conservative Thomas B. Fordham Institute has criticized as “a politicized distortion of history” filled with “misrepresentations at every turn.”

More about Liberty Institute/Texas Values and Kelly Shackelford on our TFN Insider blog.

Websites
libertyinstitute.org, txvalues.org

Financial Information

Year
1997
Revenue
$314,004
Assets
2007 $1,818,637 $1,751,826
2008 $2,273,292 $2,082,795
2009 $2,482,263 $2,733,782
2010 $2,926,048 $2,947,010
2011 $725,516 $2,304,957

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Contact Information
Life Dynamics, Inc.
P.O. Box 2226
Denton,TX 76202

Management
Mark Crutcher, founder and president
Board Members
Mark Crutcher, president
B.J. Posey, director
Cherie Johnson, director
Arden Morley, director
Tulane Crutcher, secretary/treasurer
Louise Coleman, director
Terrance Anderson, vice president

Life Dynamics
501(c)(3) nonprofit
EIN: 75-2436409

Founded in 1992, Life Dynamics opposes the right to abortion in all circumstances, including to save the life of the mother. The group has backed its extreme position with extreme tactics, including the distribution of literature with “jokes” suggesting that doctors who perform abortions should be shot. The group also distributed a video charging that clinics were engaged in an illegal underground trafficking of fetal tissue. When members of a Congressional committee pointed out discrepancies between the statements of a spokesman in the video and statements on an affidavit by the same individual,the spokesperson answered: “I would go by the affidavit, when I was under oath I told the truth. Anything I said on the video when I was not under oath, that is a different story.” (Roll Call, 3/13/2000)

Life Dynamics has also threatened legal action against school districts. The group sent a letter to school districts notifying them that they could be held liable for not reporting criminal activity if any minor sought family planning services as a result of finding out about these services through school. (www.lifedynamics.com/Anti-Abortion_Prolife/Teen_Abortion_Facts/)

Website
lifedynamics.com

Financial Information

Year
1998
Revenue
$914,657
Assets
2007 $763,219 $1,038,678
2008 $448,717 $951,780
2009 $542,943 $953,103
2010 $537,106 $946,079

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Contact Information
Texas Alliance for Life and Texas Alliance for Life Trust Fund
P.O. Box 49137
Austin, TX 78765-9137
5120477-1244
E-mail: info@texasallianceforlife.org

Management,
Texas Alliance for Life Trust Fund

Joseph Pojman, executive director
Christopher Maska, trustee

Leadership and Board,
Texas Alliance for Life

Joseph Pojman, executive director
Cynthia Mernasco, treasurer
Christopher Maska, vice president
Beverly Nuckols, secretary
Kayo O’Keefe
John Partndge
Jim Teegarden
Jim Shaw
Jayme Bennett
Dennis McQueen
Davida Strike
David Smith
Scott Gilmore
Brandon Frye
Amy O’Donnell
Terrance Anderson, vice president

Texas Alliance for Life
501(c)(4) nonprofit
EIN: 74-2505952

Texas Alliance for Life Trust Fund
501(c)(3) nonprofit
EIN: 74-2727699

Texas Alliance for Life was created in 1988 by Joseph Pojman as the Greater Austin Right to Life Committee. In 1999, the organization adopted another name: Texas Coalition of Parents’ Rights. Finally, in 2002, the organization became known as Texas Alliance for Life, but it may still operate under any of the assumed names. Texas Alliance for Life holds anti-abortion rallies around the state and opposes a woman’s right to choose whether or not to have an abortion; embryonic stem cell research; and the expansion of Planned Parenthood facilities. Although officially nonpartisan, the group has made its support for certain political candidates – especially Gov. Rick Perry – obvious. “The pro-life vote, generated with the help of Texas Alliance for Life, gave Perry a strong margin of victory,” the group wrote after the governor’s re-election in November 2006 (“TAL Update 12/4/06.)

Pojman strongly opposed the election of state Rep. Tom Straus, R-San Antonio, as speaker of the Texas House in January 2009. “We will have almost no chance of getting badly needed pro-life bills through the committee process and onto the House floor, effectively killing them,” Pojman said. (“Texas House speaker throws in the towel,” Associated Press, Jan. 5, 2009)

More about Texas Alliance for Life on our TFN Insider blog.

Website
texasallianceforlife.org

Financial Information,
Texas Alliance for Life 501(c)(4)

Year
2004
Revenue
$72,361
Assets
-$5,876
2005 $73,666 $13,959
2006 $85,543 $14,019
2007 $92,075 $31,427
2008 $153,760 $13,169
2009 $168,008 $14,354
2010 $224,733 -$8,861

Financial Information,
Texas Alliance for Life Trust Fund 501(c)(3)

Year
1999
Revenue
$72,994
Assets
2004 $124,542 -$13,738
2005 $137,161 $21,420
2006 $154,483 $33,337
2007 $220,629 $80,674
2008 $178,470 $62,581
2009 $199,769 $43,686
2010 $193,590 $81,605

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Contact Information
Texas Eagle Forum and Texas Eagle Education Fund
P.O. Box 795354
Dallas, TX 75379
Phone: 972-250-0734
E-mail: torch@texaseagle.org

Leadership
(for both the Texas Eagle Forum and Texas Eagle Education Fund)

Pat Carlson, president (Replaced by Cathie Adams in January 2012)
MerryLynn Gerstenschlager, vice president
Marilyn Statler, secretary/treasurer

Texas Eagle Forum
501(c)(4) nonprofit
EIN: 75-2310138

Texas Eagle Education Fund
501(c)(3) nonprofit
EIN: 75-2310139

The Texas Eagle Forum is a branch of the national Eagle Forum, which is headed by founder Phyllis Schlafly. The Texas chapter’s longtime president, Cathie Adams, resigned to become chair of the Republican Party of Texas in fall of 2009. Pat Carlson, who has focused on environmental issues for the organization, became president when Adams stepped down. Following her defeat in a bid for a second term as Texas GOP chair in 2010, Adams resumed her position as president of Texas Eagle Forum.

During her tenure as the group’s present, Adams has rarely showed a problem with using religion as a political weapon. Shortly before the November 2008 presidential election, for example, she sent an e-mail to activists in which she viciously attacked Democratic nominee Barack Obama’s religious faith. “While many question Barak Hussein Obama’s ‘religion’…, themore important question is whether he has a ‘relationship’ with Jesus Christ because that is the only HOPE that any of us have to obtain eternal life,”Adams wrote. “I personally see NO evidence that Obama has that kind of ‘saving faith.'” She then encouraged the recipients of her e-mail to help the Republican Party turn out voters on election day.

Adams has also been a strident opponent of state Rep. Joe Straus, R-San Antonio, who became speaker of the Texas House in 2009. She has accused Straus of allegedly betraying conservative causes on issues such as abortion and gay rights. The group strongly opposed Straus’ re-election as House speaker in 2011, calling Straus a “Republican in Name Only,” or RINO.

Texas Eagle Forum has also been active at the State Board of Education (SBOE) on textbook and curriculum issues. The group’s representatives have often testified at SBOE hearings on curriculum standards and textbook content. Texas Eagle Forum supported American history curriculum standards that even the conservative Thomas B. Fordham Institute has called a “political distortion” filled with “misrepresentations at every turn.” It also promoted an SBOE resolution that falsely attacked history textbooks as anti-Christian and pro-Muslim, and opposes information on contraception in health classes.Moreover, the group has been a staunch opponent of any instruction on birth control and STD and AIDS prevention in high school health classes.

More about Texas Eagle Forum and Cathie Adams on our TFN Insider blog.

Website
texaseagle.org

Financial Information,
Texas Eagle Forum 501(c)(4)

Year
2004
Revenue
$55,814
Assets
2008 $49,580 $54,530
2009 $42,152 $35,625
2010 $31,848 $25,858
2011 $26,158 $22,330

Financial Information,
Texas Eagle Education Fund 501(c)(3)

Year
2001
Revenue
$46,390
Assets
2008 $8,420 -$13,216
2009 $20,197 -$9,951
2010 $20,396 -$6,760
2011 $7,245 -$12,876

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Contact Information
Texans for Life Coalition
5616 Forest Bend Drive
Arlington,TX 76017
Phone: 817-572-1115, 972-790-9044
E-mail: kwright@texlife.org, bgarcia@texlife.org

Management
Kyleen Wright, president and CEO

Leadership
Kyleen Wright, president and CEO
Sheree Havlik, director
Jeffrey Stewart, director
Dr. Jack Hatcher, director
Dot Hogue, treasurer
David Edmondson, vice president
Casey Burke, director
Betty Garcia, secretary

Texans for Life Coalition
501(c)(3)nonprofit
EIN: 75-1908415

The anti-abortion group Texans for Life Coalition (formerly Texans United for Life) also opposes embryonic stem cell research as well as teaching students in high school health classes about birth control and STD/AIDS prevention other than through abstinence. In 2009, the group’s president, Kyleen Wright, shockingly testified at the TexasLegislature against legislation requiring that information taught in public school sex education classes be medically accurate. Wright argued that such legislation was backed by Planned Parenthood and other groups supporting comprehensive sex education.

More about Texans for Life Coalition on our TFN Insider blog.

Website
texlife.org

Financial Information

Year
2000
Revenue
$168,565
Assets
2008 $110,307 -$14,625
2009 $104,268 -$12,747
2010 $88,847 -$9,293
2011 $105,484 -$3,579
2012 $109,726 -$6,550

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Contact Information
Texas Public Policy Foundation
900 Congress Ave., Suite 400
Austin, TX 78701
Phone: 512-472-7200
E-mail: info@TexasPolicy.com

Board of Directors
Dr. James Leininer, chairman emeritus
Wendy Lee Gramm, chairman
Tim Dunn, vice chairman
Thomas Lyles, secretary
Ernesto Angelo, treasurer
Kendall Miller, director
Phil D. Adams, director
Brenda Pejovich, director
Jeff Sandefer, director
George W. Strake, Jr., director
Vance C. Miller, director
Kyle Stallings, director
Victor Leal, director
George Seay, director

Staff
Brooke Rollins, president
Arlene Wohlgemuth, executive director
Shari Hanrahan, vice president of outreach
Talmadge Heflin, director, Center for Fiscal Policy
William Peacock III, vice president of research and planning
Joshua Trevino, vice president of policy and communications
Mary Katherine Stout, director,Laffer Center
Marc Levin, director, Center for Effective Justice
Kathleen White, independent contractor, environmental and energy research

Texas Public Policy Foundation
501(c)(3) nonprofit
EIN: 74-2524057

While its work today is not tied explicitly to the religious right, the Texas Public Policy Foundation (TPPF) has played an increasingly influential role in shaping public policy in Texas from a far-right perspective. In fact, many Republican lawmakers attend TPPF’s “policy orientation” events, and TPPF leaders and staff members advise Gov. Rick Perry and other elected officials on public policy. The group has supported censorship of school textbooks in the past, opposes funding for the Children’s Health Insurance Program and promotes policies – such as private school vouchers and school “deregulation” – that threaten public education in the state.

In 2009 the group waded back into the education “culture wars” by unfairly criticizing the early work of teachers, scholars and others who were revising social studies curriculum standards for Texas public schools. Even State Board of Education members later acknowledged that TPPF had been working from preliminary documents that did not accurately reflect the work of the curriculum teams. Even so, TPPF and its allies on the state board continued to flog teachers on the curriculum teams throughout 2009, absurdly suggesting that they wanted changes to the social studies standards that were unpatriotic and even anti-Christian.

San Antonio businessman Dr. James Leininger founded TPPF in 1989, using the Heritage Foundationas a model for a conservative “think tank.” The organization writes and disseminates supportive reports on issues long important to Dr. Leininger,especially private school vouchers and tort reform.

More about the Texas Public Policy Foundation on our TFN Insider blog.

Website
texaspolicy.com

Financial Information

Year
1997
Revenue
$810,456
Assets
2007 $2,522,968 $1,383,929
2008 $3,522,429 $1,950,316
2009 $3,223,804 $2,143,756
2010 $4,674,836 $3,428,404
2011 $5,756,074 $4,235,880

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Contact Information
9800 Centre Pkwy Ste 200
Houston, TX 77036

Leadership
Texas Right to Life Committee

Dr. Joseph Graham, board president
James Graham, board secretary
Elizabeth Graham, board treasurer
Patrick Linbeck, board member
Guido Costantini, board member
Leadership,
Texas Right to Life Committee Education Fund (c3)

Dr. Joseph Graham, board president

Texas Right to Life Committee
501(c)(4)
EIN: 23-7373806

Texas Right to Life Committee Educational Fund
501(c)(3)
EIN: 76-0116723

Texas Right to Life Committee is one of the best-funded and bills itself as the oldest of the anti-abortion organizations in Texas. Both the c4 (Texas Right toLife Committee) and c3 (Texas Right to Life Committee Education Fund) focus on opposition to abortion and embryonic stem cell research.

Like other anti-abortion groups, Texas Right to Life peddles a variety of unproven or discredited medical claims. For example, the group argues that hormonal contraception (“the pill”) and emergency contraception cause abortions. In fact,there is no medical evidence that this is true.

The organization also promotes the discredited claim that abortion raises a woman’s risk of breast cancer. For more about how breast cancer argument was drafted into the arsenal of anti-abortion groups, click here.

Website
texasrighttolife.com

Financial Information,
Texas Right to Life Committee (c)(4)

Year
2007
Revenue
$1,036,612
Assets
$232,896
2008 $812,813 $280,896
2009 $845,099 $226,396
2010 $714,403 $192,643
2011 $843,718 $40,753

Financial Information.
Texas Right to Life Committee Educational Fund (c3)

Year
2007
Revenue
$558,758
Assets
$385,972
2008 $552,571 $345,598
2009 $555,198 $221,876
2010 $705,314 $212,322
2011 $1,048,082 $402,283

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Texas Restoration Project Contact Information

P.O. Box 200222
Austin, TX 78720-0222
Phone: (800) 491-9032
Email: restoration@sanjacintogroup.com

Niemoller Foundation Contact Information
427 West 20th Street, Suite 501
Houston, TX 77008-2431
(713) 869-8346

Niemoller Foundation Board(2008)
Rev. Laurence L. White
Deborah White
Andrew A. Adams

Texas Restoration Project/Niemoller Foundation
Niemoller was a 501(c)(3)private nonprofit foundation
EIN: Niemoller’s EIN is11-3749299

The Texas Restoration Project, a network of conservative Christian pastors, was part of a growing web of similar organizations in various states. It became active in Texas in 2005 and later became a tool for marketing products to conservative clergy who had earlier signed up for e-mails. Typical e-mails, for example, have invited pastors to purchase tickets for cruises or tours with conservative personalities to the Holy Land and other venues.

Much of the funding for its political activities came from the Niemoller Foundation, a 501(c)(3) private foundation that was dissolved December 31, 2008. The Niemoller Foundation was headed by the Texas Restoration Project’s chairman, Rev. Laurence White, as well as his wife and Andrew Adams. The Niemoller Foundation has also funded similar “Restoration” or “Renewal”projects in other states, raising and spending more than $2.1 million from 2005 through 2007 for such pastor-mobilization efforts. According to IRS records, much of Niemoller’s 2005 funding came from prominent Republican donors Dr. James Leininger of San Antonio, Houston homebuilder Bob Perry, East Texas chicken tycoon Bo Pilgrim, and liquor distributor Don O’Neal. All had been prominent contributors to Gov. Rick Perry’s political campaigns. Since 2005, much of Niemoller’s funding appears to have come from Leininger and the American Family Association.

Most of the states with similar “Restoration” or “Renewal” projects were key battlegrounds in the 2008 presidential election, although the Niemoller Foundation appears to have limited its funding to Texas, Colorado and Florida. Most of the projects have been established since 2004. Prominent supporters have included Rod Parsley – a fundamentalist evangelical pastor from Ohio – and David Barton, the former vice chair of the Texas Republican Party and the founder and head of WallBuilders, a Texas-based group that opposes separation of church and state.

More about the Texas Restoration Project on our TFN Insider blog.

More about the Texas Restoration Project here.

Financial Information

Year
2005
Revenue
$1,289,000
Assets
2006 $615,057
2007 $237,967
2008 $115

Major Contractors Listed

2008 IRS Form 990 lists $25,321 in compensation for Laurence White. The Niemoller Foundation was dissolved on December 31, 2008.

2007 IRS Form 990:
David Lane for fundraising – $56,000
Renaissance Hotel-Austin – $92,323
2006 IRS Form 990:
San Jacinto Public Affairs, Austin – $50,136
Marriott Denver Tech Center – $93,508
David Lane, fundraising – $201,478
Focus on the Family $112,492

2005 IRS Form 990:
San Jacinto Public Affairs, Austin – $473,881
Hilton, Austin – $293,910
David Lane, fundraising – $167,500
Free Market Foundation, Plano – $100,278
Justice at the Gate, San Antonio – $100,000

Direct Charitable Activity

2007 IRS Form 990:
Conference, Texas Pastors’ Policy Briefing, Jan. 15-16 – $193,720

2006 IRS Form 990:
Conference, Florida Pastors’ Policy Briefing, Jan. 15-16 – $52,965
Conference, Colorado Pastors’ Policy Briefing, June 5-6 – $162,675
Conference, Colorado Pastors’ Policy Briefing, Oct. 2-4 – $176,650

2005 IRS Form 990:
Conference, Austin Pastors’ Policy Briefing, May 23-24 – $261,047
Conference, Austin Pastors’ Policy Briefing, Aug. 23-24 – $261,047
Conference, Pastor Mobilization, Fort Worth, Dallas, San Antonio, Austin – $200,000

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Contact Information
Vision America Action

501(c)(4)
P.O. Box 10
Lufkin, Texas 75902
Phone: 866-522-5582
Fax: 936-560-3902
E-mail: mail@visionamerica.us

Vision America Action
902 S.E. Stallings Drive
Nacogdoches, TX 75964

Board,
Vision America Mobilized 501(c)(3)

Rick Scarborough, president
William Gattis
Damon Keeley
Randall Odom
Mike Valerio
Keith Drewery
John Graves
Steve Riggle
Rev. Steve Smother
Dr. Warren Guy
Dr. C.H. Cathcart

Board,
Vision America Action 501(c)(4)

Rick Scarborough, president
Thomas Smith, vice president

Vision America
501(c)(3)
EIN: 76-0572974

Vision America Action
501(c)(4)
EIN: 20-2575367

Founded in 1994, the Lufkin (Texas)-basedgroup calls on pastors – so-called “patriot pastors” – to promote a conservative political agenda in their congregations. That agenda is virulently anti-gay and includes opposition to abortion rights, comprehensive sex education and embryonic stem cell research. One of the members of the group’s board of directors is the Rev. Dr. Laurence White, who has served as chairman of the Texas Restoration Project – another organization whose mission is to mobilize pastors into a conservative political force.

Vision America’s fundraising has declined substantially in recent years. In 2005, for example, tax records show the organization raised about $1.4 million. Fundraising in 2008 was less than half that figure and was down to $433,930 in 2010.

The president of Vision America is Rick Scarborough, a former Southern Baptist pastor who is a prominent leader in the far right’s campaign to undermine an independent judiciary. In fact, the group has called for the impeachment of “activist judges” whose rulings it opposes. Scarborough has been one of the loudest voices proclaiming that “activist judges” are engaged in a “war on Christians” and people of faith. In March 2006, for example, Vision America hosted a national conference in Washington, D.C., called “The War on Christians and Values Voters.” The event featured a long list of heavy hitters on the far right, including former U.S. Rep. Tom DeLay of Texas, U.S. Sen. John Cornyn of Texas, Phyllis Schlafly of Eagle Forum, and former Republican presidential candidate Alan Keyes.

More about Vision America and Rick Scarborough on our TFN Insider blog.

Website
visionamerica.us

Financial Information,
Vision America Mobilized 501(c)(3)

Year
1998
Revenue
$131,826
Assets
2007 $499,390 $-95,048
2008 $685,704 -$81,661
2009 $328,330 -$122,382
2010 $433,930 -$97,063
2011 $421,892 -$56,549

Financial Information,
Vision America Action 501(c)(4)

Year
2008
Revenue
$290,356
Assets
$3,213
2009 $43,242 $-4,780
2010 $96,021 -$9,907
2011 $20,135 -$1,914

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Contact Information
P.O. Box 397
Aledo, TX 76008-0397
Phone: (817) 441-6044
E-mail: info@wallbuilders.com

Board
Charles D. Barton, president
Cheryl Barton,secretary/treasurer
Rose Barton, director
Jeff Fisher, director
Richard Watson, director
Stephen McDowell, director

WallBuilder Presentations, Inc.
501(c)(3) nonprofit
EIN: 75-1627779

Headquartered in the North Texas town of Aledo, WallBuilders promotes the notion that the United States is a Christian nation, founded on Christian principles and that its laws should be based on conservative Christian biblical teaching. The group has an increasingly partisan agenda as well. Its founder and president, David Barton, was vice chair of the Republican Party of Texas from 1998 to 2006. He remains a prominent speaker before Republican and other conservative groups around the country.

Although he has no academic credentials in the field, Barton served as an “expert” adviser to the Texas State Board of Education during the board’s revision of social studies curriculum standards in 2009-10. Barton made a number of highly controversial recommendations while in that role, including the removal of revered labor leader Cesar Chavez from the standards, arguing that Chavez was a poor role model for students. The board rejected that recommendation. It was more accommodating, however, to Barton’s call for revising the political history of the civil rights movement. Barton argued that Congress was more supportive than the judiciary and even civil rights activists themselves in promoting equal rights. He has also suggested that the passage of major civil rights legislation in the Democratic-dominated Congress was due mostly to the support of Republicans.

Barton has strongly opposed the election of state Rep. Joe Straus, R-San Antonio, as speaker of the Texas House. He has argued that Straus is a “liberal Republican” with a “clear voting record that demonstrates overt hostility toward unborn life and traditional family values.”

In 2004, Barton served as a political consultant for the Republican National Committee, traveling the country and speaking at about 300 RNC-sponsored lunches for local evangelical pastors. During these lunches, he presented a slideshow of American monuments, discussed his view of America’s Christian heritage, encouraged pastors to endorse political candidates from the pulpit.

Barton has published several books and produced several videotapes calling for the restoration of “America’s Christian values.” In these works Barton argues that the separation of church and state is a myth foisted on the country when the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that government-sponsored prayer in the public schools was unconstitutional.The United States ,Barton insists, was founded by Christians and was intended to be a fundamentalist-style “Christian nation.” In fact, Barton argues that the Supreme Court’s ruling against state-sponsored prayer in schools is directly tied to the erosion of morals in this country and is just one example of “renegade federal judges who too often impose their own personal values on communities.”

Barton’s 2012 book, The Jefferson Lies, was a flop. Christian publisher Thomas Nelson Publishing dropped the book about Thomas Jefferson in August after a number of scholars noted that it was filled with distortions of fact. In January 2013, WallBuilders began offering copies of the book at a substantially reduced price.

Barton’s other publications and videos are widely distributedt hrough other religious-right organizations, such as Focus on the Family and Rev. Jerry Falwell’s Liberty University bookstore. WallBuilders’ has also marketed materials in public schools as a “Biblical History of the Middle East.” When parents in a Mississippi public school asserted that the course designed by Barton was a ruse for teaching fundamentalist Christianity,a federal court ruled that materials like Barton’s video “America’s Godly Heritage” were inappropriate for use in public schools. The U.S. district judge acknowledged that the films are an attempt to indoctrinate students in religious beliefs under the ruse of “Mid-East History.” Even so, the North Carolina-based National Council on Bible Curriculum in Public Schools (NCBCPS) has recommended Barton’s materials for teachers who use the NCBCPS’s own curriculum.

Barton also takes on issues that would seemingly have little to do with WallBuilders mission. In June 2007, for example, Barton told the Environment and Public Works Committeeof the U. S. Senate that the federal government should take no action on climate change, an environmental crisis on which Barton remains a skeptic. His radio program, WallBuilders Live, (which he co-hosts with fellow WallBuilders speaker and former Texas legislator Rick Green) has featured prominent opponents of gun control.

WallBuilders’ revenue increased substantially in 2011 – nearly four times over the previous year. The last time the organization experienced a similarly substantial jump in revenue was 1999, the year after Barton became vice chairman of the Texas Republican Party. The organization saw smaller bumps in revenue in the 2004 and 2008presidential election years. The last time WallBuilders reported revenue of less than $1 million was in 2003.

More about WallBuilders, David Barton and Rick Green on our TFN Insider blog.

More about David Barton here.

Website
wallbuilders.com

Financial Information

Year
1997
Revenue
$424,949.91
Assets
2007 $1,164,140 $1,169,421
2008 $1,465,063 $1,154,201
2009 $1,091,531 $1,231,322
2010 $1,146,110 $1,276,094
2011 $4,421,356 $1,673,344

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In often party-line votes today and Tuesday on revised social studies standards, the SBOE disregarded calls from hundreds of scholars & teachers to correct key historical distortions on topics ranging from the Civil War and civil rights to the role of religion in American history pic.twitter.com/krRv…

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