The Great Recession of 2007-09 affected fundraising for far-right groups in in Texas in different ways, an analysis of tax records shows. Like most nonprofits across the country, nearly all of the far-right groups the Texas Freedom Network monitors in this state saw declines in fundraising that ranged from temporary blips to severe shortfalls between 2007 and 2011. A few have bounced back, however, and are raising more money now than they did prior to the economic downturn.

You can check out data on finances, leadership and other information about far-right groups across the state in a new resource on TFN’s website. That new section of our website looks at groups that are part of the religious right or that otherwise support private school vouchers, textbook censorship or work on other issues TFN addresses. We will add groups and revise information as needed.

The most recent tax records available show that the textbook censorship group Educational Research Analysts founded by the late Mel and Norma Gabler of Longview in East Texas, the anti-abortion group The Justice Foundation in San Antonio and Rick Scarbor0ugh’s Vision America organizations in Lufkin were among the groups taking the biggest financial… Read More

TFN just sent the following alert to our members regarding SBOE Chair Barbara Cargill’s testimony before the Senate Committee on Nominations. To sign up to get these alerts, click here.

Senator Watson’s tough questions produce promises from Cargill. Will she keep them?

Barbara Cargill got tough questions and made some new commitments when the Senate Nominations Committee considered her reappointment as chair of the Texas State Board of Education on Monday. Under intense questioning from Sen. Kirk Watson, D-Austin, who had clearly done his homework, Cargill addressed a number of issues that have caused some of the biggest problems at the state board in recent years. We’ll know in real time if Ms. Cargill intends to keep the commitments she made:… Read More

A leading candidate for the most outrageous bill of this year’s legislative session in Texas is HB 649, filed today by state Rep. Jonathan Stickland, R-Bedford, who is valiantly sticking up for a big corporation’s refusal to comply with the law and, while he’s at it, intruding in a woman’s private medical decisions.

This all stems from the fight between the Hobby Lobby arts and crafts store chain and the federal government. The owners of Hobby Lobby, based on what they say is a religious conviction, have sued the feds because they don’t want to comply with the contraception mandate in the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare). The ACA mandates that health insurance plans provided by most employers (religious institutions like churches are exempted) include coverage for contraception. Refusing to comply has the company facing millions in federal fines.

Not to worry, Hobby Lobby. Stickland has you covered. His legislation would allow business that refuse to comply with the mandate to recoup the fines paid to the feds in the form of a state tax break.

Anybody want to do the math on how much $$ it would cost the state each year just to cover Hobby… Read More

by Jose Medina

Given the contemptible blame game the religious right has chosen to engage in since last week’s horrible incident at Sandy Hook Elementary in Newtown, Conn., the image below of a new gun store in El Paso caught our attention.

The juxtaposition of Bible verses next to announcements of “SATURDAY PSYCHO” sales for a $4.99 box of ammo or $100 off an AK-47 on the store’s Facebook page also seemed a tad oblivious of current events.

Only in Texas.

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John McTernan, Pennsylvania founder of Defend and Proclaim the Faith ministries, says Hurricane Sandy is only the latest example of how God is punishing America:

God is systematically destroying America. Just look at what has happened this year.

There was an incredible heatwave and drought that destroyed massive amounts of the crops. This drought has not let up and now covers about 65 percent of the country.

The drought triggered record forest fires in the West.

The East was not affected by the drought, but now the most powerful hurricane on record is heading directly towards Philadelphia and New York City. It could do catastrophic damage to the entire Northeast!

If you add the area of the drought and now the hurricane together, it would be about 80 percent of the country! As I said, the Holy God of Israel is systematically destroying America right before our eyes.

And why is God doing this? McTernan blames homosexuality, Islam and what he sees as America’s failure to stand up for Israel. And he thinks both President Obama and Mitt Romney are guilty parties and that “the church” is failing to act:

“Obama is 100 percent behind the Muslim Brotherhood… Read More