The government of Jefferson County, Alabama is making some sharp budget cuts to deal with a $30 million shortfall, but commissioners have scrounged up resources for at least one new priority: subsidizing a far-right activist group:
The Jefferson County Commission voted Tuesday to spend $15,000 to help a conservative group host a forum next month on global warming, immigration, education policy and other politically charged topics.
Eagle Forum of Alabama is part of the national Eagle Forum, an organization founded by Phyllis Schlafly, a longtime conservative political activist.
According to county commission president Bettye Fine Collins, the money is to help the Eagle Forum “work with the state school board and work with the local school system.” The Eagle Forum’s “leadership conference,” however, hardly sounds like an after-school program:
Eagle Forum of Alabama will hold its Twenty-Seventh Annual Leadership Conference on February 22-23, 2008 at the Birmingham Marriott on Highway 280. This years speakers include: Gary Palmer of the Alabama Policy Institute, Kris Kobach of the University of Missouri, Kansas City School of Law K.C. McAlpin of ProEnglish, Phyllis Schlafly and many more! We will be covering a variety of topics including: “Press One for English”; “What States Are Doing About Illegal Immigration”; and “What America Needs From Its Next President.”
Collins had participated in an Eagle Forum event in the past, and another commissioner received an award from the group for his “leadership in working for God, Family, and Country.”
Twenty-two years ago, PFAW urged an investigation when the Eagle Forum was awarded a $600,000 grant from the Reagan administration Justice Department to counteract “the feminist agenda” on the issue of domestic violence.