The Money Behind Those Restoration Projects

The Texas Freedom Network discovers the source of the funding behind the various right-wing "restoration" projects popping up around the country - primarily "God's Sugar Daddy" James Leininger and the American Family Association, who funneled their money through something called the Niemoller Foundation:

As it turns out, the executive director of the Texas Restoration Project — a man named David Lane — also helped organize similar pastor recruitment efforts elsewhere. We began to see “Renewal” and “Restoration” projects crop up in Colorado, Florida, Iowa and other states that were expected to become major battlegrounds in the 2008 presidential election.

Documents filed by Niemoller with the IRS show that Leininger and the far-right American Family Association were continuing to funnel hundreds of thousands of dollars into the Niemoller Foundation in 2006 and 2007, when these national pastor recruitment efforts were moving into high gear. In 2006 more than $200,000 of the Niemoller money went to pay the salary of Lane for “fundraising.” Niemoller also spent nearly $400,000 on “Pastors’ Policy Briefings” in Florida (Jan. 15-16, 2006) and Colorado (June 5-6 and again Oct. 2-4 of that year). Niemoller reported $615,000 in contributions that year, much of it from Leininger and the AFA (which were the only two names listed as “substantial contributors” on the foundation’s IRS Form 990).

IRS documents show that Niemoller raised another nearly $240,000 in 2007, nearly all of it from Leininger. That money helped cover $56,000 for Lane’s salary and nearly $200,000 to pay for an Austin ”Pastors’ Policy Briefing” to celebrate Gov. Perry’s reinauguration in January of that year.