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Bush Campaign Seeks Help From Congregations

[ In the related story from the 1 July Washington Post by Alan Cooperman:

The Bush-Cheney reelection campaign has sent a detailed plan of action to religious volunteers across the country…. The instruction sheet … lists 22 “duties” to be performed by specific dates. By July 31, for example, volunteers are to “send your Church Directory to your State Bush-Cheney ’04 Headquarters or give [it] to a BC04 Field Rep” and “Talk to your Pastor about holding a Citizenship Sunday and Voter Registration Drive.”

and, as the Associated Press reports (3 July), even the Southern Baptist Convention is perturbed:

The Southern Baptist Convention, a conservative denomination closely aligned with President Bush, said it was offended by the Bush-Cheney campaign’s effort to use church rosters for campaign purposes.

“I’m appalled that the Bush-Cheney campaign would intrude on a local congregation in this way,” said Richard Land, president of the Southern Baptist Convention’s Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission.

–BL ]

excerpted from June 3, 2004 | New York Times

by DAVID D. KIRKPATRICK

The Bush campaign is seeking to enlist thousands of religious congregations around the country in distributing campaign information and registering voters, according to an e-mail message sent to many members of the clergy and others in Pennsylvania…. Steve Schmidt, a spokesman for the Bush administration, said … that the e-mail message was about “building the most sophisticated grass-roots presidential campaign in the country’s history.”

In the message, dated early Tuesday afternoon, Luke Bernstein, coalitions coordinator for the Bush campaign in Pennsylvania, wrote: “The Bush-Cheney ’04 national headquarters in Virginia has asked us to identify 1,600 `Friendly Congregations’ in Pennsylvania where voters friendly to President Bush might gather on a regular basis.” In each targeted “place of worship” … “we’d like to identify a volunteer who can help distribute general information to other supporters.”

Click here to read the rest of the story.

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