National Journal did an article today about Faith & Freedom
Coalition's explosive grassroots momentum and our Conference
and Strategy Briefing. You can read it below. If you haven't
signed up for the Conference and Strategy Briefing in DC yet, please do
National Executive Director
& Freedom Coalition
Coalition Strikes A Chord
While the tea party movement may be geared toward voters upset with the
Obama administration over fiscal matters, Ralph Reed's year-old
organization, the Faith and Freedom Coalition, is an outlet for
conservative voters who care about a range of issues.
Reed, the longtime executive director of the Christian Coalition, said
his organization is "going gangbusters" as a reaction to Obama.
He said the organization has drawn 400,000 activists, 125,000 of whom
have donated, and it is adding 1,000 members per day.
"I've never seen anything like this in my career," he said in an
interview. "We call President Obama the 'Greenhouse Effect' around
here: He's causing us to blossom." Reed said his organization is
running in 23 states, and it plans to get involved in races in about 15
states this fall from coast to coast.
He knows the midterm elections are turning on fiscal matters, which he
calls "the initial animating force" for all of the grassroots activism
on the right this year.
"This election is about jobs, jobs and jobs," he said.
Nevertheless, Reed's organization is functioning almost as a
clearinghouse for conservative voters looking for an outlet where they
can exercise all of their views. As Reed put it, he is fully on board
with the tea party focus on fiscal issues, but he also believes the
Obama administration is radical on other issues, from 'don't ask, don't
tell,' to his court nominations, to some specifics of the healthcare
And his team has some experience in building coalitions. His national
executive director is Gregg Keller, a veteran Missouri-based political
operative who served as national coalitions director to former
Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney's 2008 presidential campaign. Keller ran
former Missouri Sen. Jim Talent's 2006 race and has deep ties to
conservative leaders in the Show-Me State from his time with Talent,
which spanned his senatorial career.
But Romney is unlikely to be one of the stars of the organization's
planned Washington debut next month. Featured speakers at the Sept.
9-11 "conference and strategy briefing" include former House Speaker
Newt Gingrich, R-Ga.; former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee and Virginia
Gov. Bob McDonnell. Reed said former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin may
attend, and all potential 2012 GOP presidential hopefuls have been
invited -- but the event is designed as a training session for the
by Erin McPike