Last year, the paper version of Unfair Park ran a piece on FreePAC, the Dallas-based right-wing political action committee founded by Richard Ford--who's so right-wing that in 2002 he went after Jeff Wentworth, a five-term Republican state senator from San Antonio, even though Wentworth wrote legislation that would make gay marriage illegal in Texas. Ford, part of the so-called New Christian Right, is back to work this campaign season: FreePAC, also known as Heritage Alliance PAC, has just sent to candidates its 2006 questionnaire that some folks (like, oh, the nonpartisan Texas Freedom Network) damn as the beginning of "a new smear campaign against political and religious moderates."
Gee, dunno why TFN would think that. Oh, wait. Yes I do. Here's the first question on the list, beneath the heading "Statement of Beliefs":
"Please initial on the provided line if you agree with the statement that follows.
I believe that the authority to be an officeholder comes from ______ the voters, ______ the Constitution, and ______ God."
Following that, there's this:
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"______ I believe God is the source of spiritual, moral, and political freedom."
This goes on for a while: Respondents are asked to check off whether they believe in limited government, free enterprise, etc.--all the good things that make a good Republican, in other words, unless you're a president obsessed with growing the government, I guess. Recipients of the form are also asked to initial whether they believe "in traditional Judeo-Christian values" and "that leaders who seek wisdom from God will have the courage to stand alone and be good stewards of their authority." And dispersed throughout this part of the questionnaire are quotes from the likes of President William Taft, Thomas Jefferson, James Madison, Thomas Paine and that other great thinkerer, George W. Bush. Also cited is a ruling from the Pennsylvania Supreme Court in 1824, when this was a most enlightened republic: "No free government now exists in the world, unless where Christianity is acknowledged, and is the religion of the country." Where this puts the rest of us godless sodomites, I have no idea.
Then there's the "free response questions" section, which is like an essay test if all the answers were one sentence long. It's divided into categories: Candidacy, Philosophical and Personal. Under Candidacy are questions like this one: "If you could accomplish only three priorities during your term in office, what would they be?" The correct answers, according to the key provided to me by The Almighty, are: "Set those gays straight," "Send those Mexicans back to Russia" and "Outlaw the browner religions." Wait, I just received The Word that there are no wrong answers, only wrong people.
Beneath the "Philosophical" heading is a question to which I eagerly await the answer: "In 100 years, if the United States no longer exists, what do you think will have caused our demise?" If you answer, "Questionnaires like this one," then you immediately flunk the test and have to give $10,000 to FreePAC before you're sentenced to eternal damnation. And under "Personal," the final request is that you "please list three references other than family members (with phone numbers)...if possible, please include your pastor or worship leader." Unfair Park's offering $20 to the first respondent who includes the name of his or her imam and can provide the necessary documentation. --Robert Wilonsky