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


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.”

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