Despite sharing a name, numerous connections and an anti-gay marriage agenda, Iowa Family Policy Center President Chuck Hurley says the new incarnation of his organization — The Family Leader — has no affiliation whatsoever to a national group with the same name and apparent ties to the Mormon church.
IFPC's The Family Leader will be an umbrella group led by former gubernatorial candidate Bob Vander Plaats, fresh from his successful campaign to oust three Iowa Supreme Court justices for their 2009 gay marriage ruling. The new group will incorporate the Iowa Family Policy Center, the IFPC PAC and the formerly federally funded program Marriage Matters.According to 990 tax forms, the national Family Leader Network was founded in 2006 and is based in Fairfax, Va. However, there is no such entity listed with the Virginia Secretary of the Commonwealth. The 990 was filed by a board member of The Family Leader Network based in Utah, but the Utah Secretary of State has no record of the organization either.
The national Family Leader Network recently joined with the National Organization for Marriage (NOM) to file an Amicus brief in support of California's Prop 8, a voter-approved ban on same-sex marriage that was overturned by a federal judge. NOM was instrumental in Vander Plaats' campaign to oust three Supreme Court justices, spending $635,627 in Iowa, including more than $435,000 on TV advertising. The group also spent nearly $30,000 to co-sponsor the statewide "Judge Bus" tour that capped off the anti-retention campaign.
Hurley told the Iowa Independent the two groups having the same name and similar political views was just coincidence.
The national Family Leader Network's president, Maurine Proctor, is also founder and editor in chief for Meridian Magazine, a Church of the Latter Day Saints publication.
Frank Schubert, president of Sacramento based Schubert Flint Public Affairs, was the chief strategist of the Prop 8 initiative. He was also paid a small amount – $500 — by Vander Plaats' Iowa for Freedom organization for media consulting on the anti-retention campaign.
Much like the IFPC's The Family leader, the national Family Leader's mission is "to develop public policy that supports traditional marriage and family" as well as fight "the homosexual agenda in the classroom." Request for comment from the national Family Leader Network by The Iowa Independent wasn't returned.
Excerpted from IFPC denies new group has ties to national organization with same name, By Andy Kopsa, Iowa Independent