Focus on the Family’s Health Care Fundraising Pitch

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As the health care bill nears a final vote this weekend, religious and social conservatives seem to be seizing the opportunity to maximize its fundraising potential. Yesterday, former Christian Coalition leader Ralph Reed e-blasted readers of WorldNet Daily asking for “donations” to his new advocacy group for “FaxGrams” to Congress opposing the bill. Today comes the lobbying arm of the slightly broke evangelical powerhouse Focus on the Family, which claims in an email that it has already spent $800,000 trying to defeat the Democrats’ health care proposal. Tom Minnery, the senior vice president for Focus on the Family Action, wrote to supporters on the eve of “one of the most historic votes in history,” that Focus was “stretched thin” by the health care battle and needed some extra cash to continue its fight to hold legislators accountable. He writes:

“There’s an old saying that there are two seasons in politics: legislative season and campaign season. When the politicians have finished voting on the bills, campaign season begins. That’s the time for you and me to hold them accountable. And after all of the secrecy, stunts and parliamentary shenanigans of the past year—on health care alone—lots of accountability is going to be needed!

That’s why I’m urgently asking you to help Focus Action hold them accountable with a special gift today. The election may be a few months away, but the accountability work starts right now—while the American people still remember what just happened.”

He might have added that health care reform has been a “special gift” to struggling right-wing groups looking for something to stoke hysterical fundraising appeals. No doubt there will be many more to come over the next 72 hours.

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We've never been very good at being conservative.

And usually, that serves us well in doing the ambitious, hard-hitting journalism that you turn to Mother Jones for. But it also means we can't afford to come up short when it comes to scratching together the funds it takes to keep our team firing on all cylinders, and the truth is, we finished our budgeting cycle on June 30 about $100,000 short of our online goal.

This is no time to come up short. It's time to fight like hell, as our namesake would tell us to do, for a democracy where minority rule cannot impose an extreme agenda, where facts matter, and where accountability has a chance at the polls and in the press. If you value our reporting and you can right now, please help us dig out of the $100,000 hole we're starting our new budgeting cycle in with an always-needed and always-appreciated donation today.

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