Friday, July 23, 2004

The Bush campaign infuriated people -- including the quite conservative Southern Baptist Convention -- with a plan like this, so the Bushies said, Hey, what the hell, let's do it with the Catholics:

GOP Seeks Catholic Parish Directories

The Republican National Committee has asked Bush-backing Roman Catholics to provide copies of their parish directories to help register Catholics to vote in the November election, a use of personal information not necessarily condoned by dioceses around the country.

In a story posted Thursday on its Web site, the National Catholic Reporter said a GOP official had urged people who attended a Catholic outreach event in January to provide parish directories and membership lists to the political party.

"Access to these directories is critical as it allows us to identify and contact those Catholics who are likely to be supportive of President Bush's compassionate conservative agenda," wrote Martin J. Gillespie, director of Catholic Outreach at the RNC. "Please forward any directories you are able to collect to my attention."...

An RNC spokeswoman, Christine Iverson, said it was all innocent, and seemed not exactly up to speed on the procedure:

Iverson said she did not know if the GOP had sought similar directories from other religious organizations....

Er, Christine, perhaps for your birthday, just to help you do your job better, we can get you a subscription to The Washington Post or USA Today, or maybe a satellite dish, so you can watch CNN.

Someone needs to explain to Rove and Bush that you assume Catholics are right wing at your political peril, no matter how many Catholic bishops you hear working on their Pat Robertson imitations. And someone also needs to explain to Rove and Bush that trying to turn church officials into precinct captains, by asking them to turn over lists that "often contain personal information about church members, including names of family members, home addresses and phone numbers," is just nasty.

(Story via BuzzFlash.)

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