Family Policy Alliance

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The Family Policy Alliance (FPA) is a 501(c)(4) “social welfare group” that advocates right-wing policy on the issues of abortion, marriage and religious freedom. Formerly known as Citizenlink, the FPA is an affiliate organization of Focus on the Family and has affiliate chapters in 40 states across the country. The group states, “our vision is a nation where God is honored, religious freedom flourishes, families thrive and life is cherished.”[1] The FPA also runs the Family Policy Foundation, a 501(c)(3). The FPA organizes advocacy with religious communities at the local and national level. It also conducts voter mobilization and provides a “Statesmen Academy” for politicians to promote right-wing religious values.[1]

News and Controversies

Funding for Religious Right Groups Nationwide

The Family Policy Alliance has been a major donor to right-wing religious groups in nearly every state for several years. The FPA uses its funding and network of affiliates to undermine freedom to marry and the right to choose at the grassroots level. Between 2011 and 2015, FPA has contributed nearly $7 million to 37 different affiliated organizations.[2]

Anti-Transgender Policy

In February 2018, the Family Policy Alliance sponsored a wide-ranging anti-transgender resolution drafted by the Kansas Republican Committee. The resolution affirms “God’s design for gender as determined by biological sex and not by self-perception” and opposes “all efforts to validate transgender identity,” including opposing any medical treatments to alter a person’s body to conform with his or her perceived gender identity.[3] FPA of Kansas President Eric Teetsel, the primary sponsor stated, “Ultimately, an ideology that says you can determine your own gender identity is broken and it’s going to lead to a lot of pain, and that’s why it’s important to bring us back to what we know to be true and good.”[3]

Opposition of Adoption by LGBT Couples

In May 2018, the Family Policy Alliance supported Kansas legislation which enables tax-payer funded adoption services to refuse placing children in LGBT homes. It allows the adoption agencies to use “religious exemptions” to refuse otherwise valid requests from deserving LGBT couples. FPA President & CEO Paul Weber stated the FPA is “proud to stand” in support of the new laws in Kansas and Oklahoma, calling them an “important religious freedom victory on behalf of all families.”[4]

Supporting Oppressive Gay-Conversion Therapy for Children

In a fundraising request from August 2017, FPA President & CEO Paul Weber asked for donations to fight laws which ban discredited therapies that try to alter sexual orientation. Weber wrote “[c]hildhood sexual abuse is common for those who struggle with homosexual feelings, temptations, orientation and identity,” and added “bans on therapy for minors are an attempt to force acceptance of homosexuality right into our own homes.”[5]

Politicizing the Courts

The Family Policy Alliance and its affiliates have sought to remake the American judiciary and promote their religious agenda by opposing judges that do not adhere to a “strict constructionist” philosophy. The group consistently decries what it terms “judicial activism,” which are typically judicial decisions in favor marriage equality, privacy rights and various civil rights. The Arkansas chapter of the FPA, the Arkansas Family Council targets members of the judiciary it feels does not fit into its political views. In 2014, the Arkansas Family Council backed a legislative resolution condemning Circuit Court Judge Chris Piazza for striking down a constitutional amendment banning same-sex marriage and threatened to put a judicial recall measure on the ballot. However, the group did not follow through on its threat.[2] The Family Policy Alliance of Kansas was active in a 2016 campaign against several Supreme Court Justices for their rulings on school funding and abortion. Steve Brunk, executive director of Family Policy Alliance of Kansas, urged residents to vote no in an op-ed appearing in the Wichita Eagle titled “Stand Up to Bad Judicial Decisions.”[2] In 2006, the Family Action Counsel of Tennessee (FACT), an ally of FPA, led an effort to defeat four state Supreme Court justices, who six years earlier had affirmed a right to abortion in Planned Parenthood of Middle Tennessee v. Sundquist. FACT campaigned against justices it perceived as too progressive again in 2014 and was also part of the successful campaign to remove merit selection of judges, switching the selection process to gubernatorial selection with approval from the state legislature.[2]

Ties to the Koch Brothers

In an effort to influence the 2014 midterm elections, Freedom Partners Chamber of Commerce, which is a central organization in the Kochs’ dark money network, contributed $885,000 to the Family Policy Alliance, then called Citizenlink. The contributions were specifically targeted for voter mobilization efforts to drive socially right-wing voters to the polls. FPA reported spending almost $250,000 on direct mail to support Republican Senate candidates Bill Cassidy in Louisiana, Tom Cotton in Arkansas, Joni Ernst in Iowa, Cory Gardner in Colorado, Pat Roberts in Kansas, Dan Sullivan in Alaska and Thom Tillis in North Carolina. Each of these candidates were supported for their right-wing positions on abortion and same-sex marriage. The socially conservative campaign tactics of FPA and the candidates they supported with Koch money represented a contradiction with the Koch's personal beliefs, as exemplified by David Koch's 2012 statement that he "believes in gay marriage."[6] In total, the Kochs' spent more than $1 million on FPA during the 2014 midterm election cycle.[7]

History

Focus on the Family states that in April 2004, "Focus on the Family Action, a cultural action organization legally separate from Focus on the Family was formed". This organization later became known as Citizenlink before being renamed the Family Policy Alliance in 2016.[8] However, Focus on the Family also states, "since 1988, business and community leaders from across the nation have formed state-level organizations to invest in the future of America's families."[9] These organizations are now arms of the Family Policy Alliance.

Core Financials

2017[10]

  • Total Revenue: $2,904,894
  • Total Expenses: $4,030,997
  • Net Assets: $980,040

2016[11]

  • Total Revenue: $4,572,053
  • Total Expenses: $4,354,833
  • Net Assets: $2,106,143

2015[12]

  • Total Revenue: $4,482,967
  • Total Expenses: $4,792,3463
  • Net Assets: $1,888,923

2014[13]

  • Total Revenue: $5,648,096
  • Total Expenses: $5,221,987
  • Net Assets: $2,198,302

Personnel

As of June 27, 2018:[14]

Executive Leadership

  • Paul Weber, President & CEO
  • Tom Minnery, President Emeritus

Board of Directors

  • Gen. Patrick Caruana
  • Rev. Ren Broekhuizen
  • Michael Geer
  • Tim Goeglein
  • Jim Goodloe
  • Ladonna Y. Lee
  • Dan Mellema
  • Doug Napier
  • Steve Taylor

Contact Information

Family Policy Alliance
8655 Explorer Drive
Colorado Springs, CO 80920
Telephone: 866-655-4545
Website: https://familypolicyalliance.com/

Articles and Resources

IRS Form 990 Filings

2015

Reports

Conquering the Courts


Related PRWatch Articles

External Resources

References

  1. 1.0 1.1 Family Policy Alliance, About Us, accessed June 27, 2018.
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 Arn Pearson, Conquering the Courts The Religious Right’s Fight to Rig the Rules and Undermine Judicial Independence, “Center for Media and Democracy”, May 2018.
  3. 3.0 3.1 Associated Press, Kansas GOP votes to oppose validating transgender identity, “Lawrence Journal-World”, February 19, 2018.
  4. Chris Johnson, Kansas governor signs ‘religious freedom’ anti-LGBT adoption law, “Washington Blade”, May 18, 2018.
  5. Miranda Blue, Focus On The Family Political Arm Seeks Money To Fight ‘Ex-Gay’ Therapy Bans, "Right Wing Watch", August 9, 2017.
  6. Paul Blumenthal, Koch Brothers Fund Group That Contradicts Their Ideology In 2014 Election Push, "Huffington Post", October 23, 2014.
  7. Paul Blumenthal, The Kochs’ Dark Money Reaches All The Way To NRA, Religious Groups, "Huffington Post", November 17, 2015.
  8. Focus on the Family, Historical Timeline, accessed July 5, 2018.
  9. Focus on the Family Issue Analysts, [https://www.focusonthefamily.com/socialissues/how-to-get-involved/state-policy-councils/state-policy-groups State Policy Groups, "Focus on the Family", accessed July 4, 2018.
  10. Family Policy Alliance, Consolidated Financial Statements with Independent Auditors' Report, September 30, 2017 and 2016.
  11. Family Policy Alliance, Consolidated Financial Statements with Independent Auditors' Report, September 30, 2016 and 2015.
  12. Citizenlink and CL Foundation, Inc., Consolidated Financial Statements with Independent Auditors' Report, September 30, 2015 and 2014.
  13. Citizenlink and CL Foundation, Inc., Consolidated Financial Statements with Independent Auditors' Report, September 30, 2014.
  14. Family Policy Alliance, Leadership, accessed June 27, 2018.