FRC’s Realization: You Can’t Make Policy If You Don’t Have Allied Politicians

Last week we noted that two key figures at the Family Research Council had been promoted to positions running FRC’s political arms at FRC Action and the FRC Action PAC.

Yesterday, Dan Gilgoff reported that these promotions were part of an overall “re-jiggering” in which the organization has “cut or downgraded to contractor status roughly a half-dozen staff positions” due in part to the economic climate.

But the moves also came about because the organization seems to have realized that its efforts to promote right-wing policy aren’t really going to go anywhere until they can get more politicians who share their views into office and, as such, they are shifting their focus toward trying to make that happen:

With the GOP more or less powerless in the capital for the next couple of years, FRC is also shifting its focus from policy to politics, with chief lobbyist Tom McClusky moving to Family Research Council Action—FRC’s sister political group—to breathe new life into the outfit. McClusky says he wants to have 200,000 dues-paying members signed up by year’s end, around 2½ times the size of the current membership rolls. Another of McClusky’s top priorities: finding socially conservative Democrats to support in Senate and House races. Last year, FRC Action endorsed two: North Carolina Reps. Heath Shuler and Mike McIntyre.

This does not seem like a particularly significant change, as FRC has always been more about politics than policy. But it is a clear sign that they realize that their agenda has has taken a beating in recent elections and led to the current political environment in which their influence has dramatically waned … and it looks like they are now making a sustained commitment to reversing that trend.