Focus on the Family Shacks Up With Schenck

There is nothing particularly ground-breaking contained in this latest video update from Rob Schenck of Faith and Action, but it does provide some interesting insight into how closely many of the right-wing groups we write about here are intertwined.

Schenck is discussing the expansion of their ministry into new space and, at the 1:40 mark, he begins to relate all of the various groups who currently occupy space in Faith to Action’s Washington DC headquarters, among them the Christian Defense Coalition, Priests for Life, the National Pro-Life Action Center, the Judicial Action Group, and the Life Education and Resource Network.

Schenck also states that they recently had a new addition, saying they are now sharing the space with the man who is the “eyes and ears of Focus on the Family for Capitol Hill.”  That would be Tim Goeglein, the former Bush Administration aide was forced to step down after admitting he plagiarized numerous columns when he was writing for The News-Sentinel in Fort Wayne, Indiana and last week was hired by Focus to be their chief lobbyist in DC.  In fact, in its announcement, Focus explicitly referred to Goeglein as the man who would “be our eyes and ears in Washington.”

We have written about Schenck a number of times, most recently when he, Pat Mahoney of the Christian Defense Coalition, and Rep. Paul Brown anointed the door at the Capitol before Barack Obama’s inauguration.  While far from a household name, Schenck has seemingly been becoming more influential over the last few years – he met privately with John McCain during the campaign and even received a VIP invitation to McCain’s announcement that Sarah Palin would be his running mate, where he had the opportunity to speak with both of them.  

He also has a history of harassing Democratic politicians, especially former President Bill Clinton, having been arrested back in 1992 for thrusting a fetus at him during the campaign and being stopped by the Secret Service after confronting him outside of the Washington Cathedral in 1996. He was also deeply involved in the early 1990’s in protesting women’s health clinics, including targeting one where a doctor was eventually assassinated.

And now Focus on the Family’s lead lobbyist will apparently be sharing office space with Schenck and the gaggle of fringe Religious Right groups who inhabit his orbit.