Virginia GOP Paid $80K to Far-Right Homeschoolers' Group

In September, we reported that Virginia Republican gubernatorial candidate Ken Cuccinelli had called in religious-right reinforcements in the form of Generation Joshua, a branch of the Home School Legal Defense Association (HSLDA) that sends homeschoolers to campaign on behalf of conservative candidates across the country.

It turns out there was something in it for the homeschoolers’ group other than working to rid Virginia of the scourges of “abortion, homosexuality, and moral relativism.” Roll Call’s Political Money Line reports that the week before the election, the Republican Party of Virginia disbursed $79,500 to the HSLDA’s federal PAC .

This is a big windfall for a group that in the 2012 election cycle took in just $46,000 and spent $32,000 supporting a handful of right-wing candidates including Todd Akin and Michele Bachmann.

HSLDA is run by Michael Farris, who is also the founder and president of Patrick Henry College, a religious-right institution intended to prepare homeschoolers for leadership positions in the conservative movement. Generation Joshua is a parallel effort that has marshalled homeschooled children to campaign on behalf of far-right candidates including Bachmann and Cuccinelli.

In September, we noted some of Farris and HSLDA’s greatest hits:

Generation Joshua’s William Estrada said the youth group deserves credit for swaying former Hawaii Gov. Linda Lingle’s decision to veto a civil unions law and Farris successfully led the opposition to the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities.

Last December, Farris gained publicity for his drive to make sure that no gay students are attending Patrick Henry College. A Patrick Henry professor during the college's annual “Faith and Reason” lecture criticized the government for prosecuting rape, sexual harassment, child abuse and domestic violence cases.

Just this month, Farris testified before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee to promote the conspiracy theory that the U.S. ratifying the U.N Convention on the Rights of Persons With Disabilities would in fact lead to the banning of homeschooling.