Fat Salaries For "Yes on 8" Campaign's Evangelical Directors Paid For By LDS (Mormon) Contributions

UPDATE IX: Justin McLachlan's latest: CFC tries to distance itself from Protectmarriage.com PAC

And Kevin over at Preemptive Karma weighs in: Gay hating Cali-vangelical fatcat lines own pockets

While the gals over at Lavender Newswire help spread the good news of our dumb luck that the opposing team chose Ron Prentice to run Yes on 8: We’ll Give You Some Upbeat Prop 8 News, If You Promise Not to Get Complacent

Hellmut: Suckering the Saints?

UPDATE VIII: Wow, that was fast. The patriotdesign.com website has already been pulled down. Well, here's the WHOIS info for posterity's sake:

Domain Name.......... patriotdesign.com
Creation Date........ 2005-10-06
Registration Date.... 2005-10-06
Expiry Date.......... 2010-10-06
Organisation Name.... Daniel Kirby

UPDATE VII: The OC Register takes the CFC to task over spending

UPDATE VI: 35% of donors to Protectmarriage.com are LDS (Mormon)

UPDATE V: Orange County's OC WATCHDOG: Crusading for ‘Judeo-Christian values’ doesn’t come cheap

UPDATE IV: In a bizarre twist, the California Family Council has now posted a message on its website in which it attempts to distance itself from ProtectMarriage.com (the ballot measure committee sponsored by its own affiliate, California Renewal).

<-pg1 Then: CFC Donor Letter (PDF) pg2->

"Fantastic progress is being made toward qualifying the marriage amendment for the November election! ... Yet while I serve as the chairman of the ProtectMarriage.com steering committee, CFC's expenses also continue! ... Following are the major activities of CFC and its affiliated 501(c)(4), California Renewal:
ProtectMarriage.com - Spearheading the California Marriage Protection Act."

-- Ron Prentice, March 2008
CEO, California Family Council
Exec. Dir., California Familly Alliance
Exec. Dir, California Renewal
Chairman, ProtectMarriage.com

v- Now: CFC Website -v

"While California Family Council certainly supports the protection of marriage, ProtectMarriage.com - Yes on 8 is a separate ballot measure committee registered with the Secretary of State and regulated as a campaign committee."

-- Policy Fact Sheet (9/13/08) CALIFORNIAFAMILY.ORG

Something about the CFC's mutable representations between then and now has brought to mind the New Testament story of Peter's threefold denial. That tale begins with a bit of bravado as well - "Lord, I am ready to go with you to prison!" - but, as we all know, it ends in tears of shame:

"And the Lord turned and looked upon
Peter, and Peter remembered the word
Of the Lord, how He has said to him,
'I tell you Peter, the cock will not
crow tonight until you have said three
times that you do not know me,'
And Peter went out and wept..."
(Luke 22:61-62)

Shorter CFC: "Huh? What? ProtectMarriage.com? Ohhhh ... right, those guys. Yeah, we've heard of 'em and like what they're doin', but you'd really need to go chase down the Sec. of State to find out what's happening on their side. Best of luck to ya'."

Attitude noted. Which is why I'm guessing it's still too early to expect reports of weeping to start leaking out of the Yes on 8 campaign (what I am hearing is that we might be getting our hands on a podcast of some "gnashing of teeth" [secretly recorded at a certain Riverside office] - but nothing confirmed, yet).

All my goofing aside, the reason the California Family Council is trying to distance themselves from ProtectMarriage.com is because the CFC is a 501(c)(3). It's precisely because of the legal restrictions on the scope of 501(c)(3) activities that the CFC was required to set up the 501(c)(4) called California Renewal.

With California Renewal now suspended, I have no idea how or why the CFC crew is being allowed to continue advocating for Prop 8. That they do continue to advocate - and apparently have no intention of making things right of their own accord - demonstrates their unseemly lack of regard for the state of California and its laws.

UPDATE III: Justin McLachlan has succeeded in getting the list of the California Family Council directors:

John Whiffen

Sandee Beckers

Patrick Van Daele

Karen Holgate

Philip Kell

Rob Nelson

Dave Sawkins

Doug Swardstrom

Steve Taylor

Please head over to Justin's place for his commentary and notes re each director.

If you know anything about Rob Nelson or Steve Taylor, please leave a comment.

Steve Taylor of Christian Rights Ministries ??

Or this Steve Taylor?

Steve Taylor is the retired chairman and chief executive officer of Fresh Express. Mr. Taylor is the grandson of Bruce Church, founder of Bruce Church, Inc. and Fresh Express Incorporated. Mr. Taylor earned his B.A. in psychology from the University of California, Berkeley, and his MBA from Harvard Business School. He is currently consulting for Fresh Express, serves on several boards, and is involved in various public policy and cultural issues.

Well, we'll know soon enough.

And after all the delays, finally naming your board wasn't that hard, now was it, Ron?

UPDATE II: Lo and behold, I managed to find a Form 990 for the California Family Alliance:

The (currently suspended) CFA is/was run by a subset of the (currently suspended) California Renewal crew: Phil Kell, Sandee Beckers, Patrick Van Daele and Ron Prentice.

Once again, it took a while to find this one. I still don't know what the story is here, but my understanding is that these IRS documents are meant to be part of the public record.

From Wikipedia:

Failure to file required returns such as Form 990 (Return of Organization Exempt From Income Tax) may result in monetary fines of up to $250,000 per year. Exempt or political organizations (excluding churches or similar religious entities) must make their returns, reports, notices, and exempt applications available for public inspection.


Failure to timely file such returns and to make other specific information available to the public is also prohibited.

Sounds serious.

Just thinking out loud: ProtectMarriage.com - Yes on 8 is a sponsored committee. The sponsor is California Renewal, which happens to be a political nonprofit affiliate of the California Family Council. So, when I read a paragraph like this over at the California Family Council website ...

While California Family Council certainly supports the protection of marriage, ProtectMarriage.com – YES on 8 is a separate ballot measure committee registered with the Secretary of State and regulated as a campaign committee.

... I'm left scratching my head at their suggestion that there's some kind of neat division here. As far as I can tell, it's the same crew running all three entities - CFC, CR, and CFA (California Family Alliance is a California Family Council asset). And since Cali Renewal and the CFA are both suspended at the moment, let's just focus on the controlling entity that's still active: the CFC. Why doesn't the CFC just come out and name their directors?


UPDATE I: Justin McLachlan's latest post on this topic: CFC: The mystery deepens

I'm looking forward to finding more info about these California Renewal directors:

- John Whiffen, M.D. (Board Chairman, National Physicians Center for Family Resources - a faith-based advocacy group that was contracted by Bush Administration federal health officials to develop an abstinence education curriculum)
- Sandee Beckers (Former President, Eagle Forum of California)
- Peter Henderson (California Family Council)
- Patrick Van Daele (Van Daele Development Corporation)
- Philip Kell (Senior VP, COO of the California Baptist Foundation)
- Ron Prentice (California Family Council)
- David Bauer (JohnsonClark CFO who filed CR's IRS Form 990)

In the meantime, some interesting connections here:

CALIFORNIA RENEWAL / Status: suspended / 2900 ADAMS ST STE C25, RIVERSIDE, CA 92504 / Agent: DANIEL KIRBY





EAGLE FORUM OF CALIFORNIA / Status: suspended / 4600 CAMPUS DR #200, NEWPORT BEACH, CA 92660 / Agent: JO ELLEN ALLEN

My thoughts at this point:

California Renewal is suspended, but at least we have an outdated list of directors. California Family Council is active, but no current info available on the directors. Both share their offices with Van Daele Development Corp.

You know, the whole point of requiring regular reports from outfits like these is to make it easy for the average citizen to understand who they're supporting with their contributions.

These folks are making it anything but easy. Why?

Oh, and seeing Daniel Kirby's name listed as the agent for both CR and CFC, and knowing that he's the owner of Patriot Design, I wonder if his firm has gotten business for printing, direct mail, signs, websites or the like from ProtectMarriage.com?

Sure enough:

02/15/2008: PATRIOT DESIGN: PRINTING: $3,117.60
03/14/2008: PATRIOT DESIGN: PRINTING: $4,318.10

Of course, that's peanuts compared to the $882,900 that ProtectMarriage.com paid to Bader & Associates to collect signatures for Prop 8. And with all the money that Bader & Associates have made in the signature collecting biz, you'd think they could afford to upgrade their lame website.



Prop 8 Comic Relief: New Provo-based Fundraising Powerhouse

Check out SupportProp8 ... one of the latest "Yes on 8" sites. Thing is, this one's such an obvious scam, it makes for a little comic relief.

Take a look, and I think you'll see what I mean. I especially enjoyed their tips on how to "volunteer" ... and absolutely loved Volunteer Opportunity #3: "Link to us from your blog or any other website!"

Since they conveniently provided the code, I'm gonna go ahead and become a SupportProp8 volunteer right here at my place:


Too funny.

Here's their contact info:

Sterling Beck
Sterling Advertising
341 E 300 S
Provo, Utah 84606

Sterling, I'm looking forward to contacting your bishop about your little website. If you didn't have a huge "DONATE" graphic on your front page, I'd let it slide - but since you do, what you're doing amounts to fraud, buddy.

Then again, what am I thinking? Rock on, dude. Every dollar that gets sent your way is one less dollar that's gonna get spent on actually passing Prop 8. Cool.


Hee hee.

Seriously, though, I was relieved to see that the PayPal button on this Provo dude's site isn't actually "live" ... it's just a graphic, no functionality, so ... no harm, no foul.

In fact, the LATEST NEWS headlines that he's got up on his front page led me to wonder if he might be running psyops for the NO on 8 side:

* BREAKING: Senator Feinstein Declares Opposition to Proposition 8
* Group of Los Angeles Republicans Oppose Prop 8
* San Francisco based poll claims support waning for prop. 8

I mean, if I was a Prop 8 supporter, those are three headlines that would certainly make me pause and wonder before clicking the ol' donation button.

All this time, I've been assuming all the psyop guys were already contracted exclusive with the Yes crew. If we managed to finally get one for our side, by all means, welcome aboard, Sterling.

And if that's what's goin' on here, well, all I wanna say to Brother Beck is:

Sneaky, bro. Well done.

Ron Prentice is CEO of the California Family Council and Chairman of ProtectMarriage.com, the committee behind Prop 8 (the folks working to ban gay marriage in California).

Ron is set to be be honored at the Values Voter Summit 2008 (September 12-14) with Focus on the Family Action's Family Champion Award.

Justin McLachlan has broken a major story in the Proposition 8 battle: California Family Council spends most of the public's contributions on employees, not programs

The money was supposed to go to support the California Family Council's charitable mission, instead, most of it went into the pockets of the organization's employees.

Please read Justin's entire piece and then catch his follow-up post here: So who's really running this place?

As I pointed out in my story about the California Family Council, the one thing I wasn't able to nail down explicitly is exactly who, if anyone, is on the board of directors.

Nonprofit watchdogs generally say an organization like the CFC should have at least 5 board members, a large majority of whom are independent (read: not paid). But the CFC's tax returns only list Ron Prentice, its executive director, and Peter Henderson, its director of strategic programs, in the sections where board members are supposed to be listed.

I trust we'll begin to see more news and blog pieces referencing Justin's research into Ron Prentice and his pocket-lining ways - articles like these:

California Anti-Gay Leaders Rake It In

Since 2003, the public has given the Riverside, Calif.-based California Family Council (CFC) nearly $3 million to support charitable work that the organizations says "protects and fosters judeo-Christian principles in California's laws." But, according to its federal tax returns, little more than $500,000 of that money has gone to "program services," or expenses directly related to that charitable work.

In contrast, the CFC's top two employees, including its founder and executive director, Ron Prentice, were paid a total of $1.1 million over four years. The CFC's other employees earned a total of $900,000 in compensation — bringing the total spent on employees at the Council to about $2 million since it began in 2003.

Bash Gays - Get Rich

Wanna get rich but haven't quite found your angle yet? Why not go into the gay bashing business? At least, that's how the leaders of the gay hating organization California Family Council made their money.

Calif. Anti-Gay Group Successful--At Lining Leaders’ Pockets, Says Blog

Of the money taken in by the CFC over the four years of its existence, only 18 percent has gone to program services, according to McLachlan’s article. In its first two years, the CFC spent nothing at all on program services, though it took in more than one and a half million dollars.

REVEALED: California Family Council An Illegally Run Sham "Charity"

It turns out the anti-gay Christers at the Focus On The Family-related California Family Council are a bunch of crooks. A look at their finances has revealed that almost all of their fundraising goes to pay the high salaries of their executives.

Con Artist Exposed As Heading Prop 8 Campaign

As Justin McLachlan exposes, Ron Prentice has been operating a scam - raising money from good religious people - but using it to line his own pocket instead of using the money as he said he would. He is nothing but a con-artist. And now he is trying to con the people of California into bashing gay and lesbian families - so he can add another million or so to his bank account.

Anti-Gay Organization is Personal Money Machine

I have long held that a great many of the "pro-family" organizations have as their main agenda making a nice comfortable living for their founders and "ex-gay" for pay employees. True, there is also the political agenda of keeping alive the choice myth, but the real goal is money. Emerging facts about the Riverside, California-based California Family Council which claims to have a mission to protect and foster Judeo-Christian principles in California’s laws, for the benefit of its families is a case in point. These charlatans continue to prey on their sheep-like contributors to finance their comfortable life style and no doubt laugh all the way to the bank.

Pro Prop 8 Group Squandering Resources

The battle for equality, fairness and rights, aka Prop. 8 is an extremely close fight. So, it is with pleasure that I pass along this story about the California Family Council (CFC). They have been raising millions to pass Prop. 8, but instead of spending most of the money on GOTV efforts, the leaders have been lining their own pockets.

Does 'A Prentice' need Trump's financial advice?

... perhaps Mr. Prentice should focus on his own house rather than spending so much time accusing our side of chicanery.

ProtectMarriage.com: Lowdown on “Shady” Operation Makes Prop 8 Leaders Sound Like… Well, Crooks

Also of interest: The CFC has apparently never listed its directors on its own Web site. The “Directors & Staff” page currently reads: “Page coming shortly. Please check back soon.”

You can check back all you like, but that page has been in this state of limbo since at least 2004.

Foreigners Attempting to Seize Control of California Constitution

... have you heard about how one of Prop 8's big backers was accused of being a shady "charity" with its hands all tied up in tax evasion, spending most of its donations on its leaders' own salaries? Why are we not surprised.

California Research Council's leader gets rich off his organization

Looks like some California homophobes have been caught with their hands in the piggy bank ...

The California Majority Report: This Week's Fresh Fruit and Stale Bread

Stale Bread: Ron Prentice. Since 2003, the California Family Council, a charity that "protects and fosters judeo-Christian principles in California's laws" (Translation: hates on the gays, science, and entertainment industry), has collected over $3 million, yet just over $500,000 has gone to charitable work. Ron Prentice, the CFC's founder and executive director, pocketed over $1.1 million during that time period, and other employees earned $900,000. Creating a racket designed to take money from people who support the CFC's agenda, while only using one-sixth of that money for actual work? Hmm. On second thought, maybe this one actually deserves a Fresh Fruit.

New Entrants To The "No On 8" Team: Dianne Feinstein, Mary Cheney (!):

It's quite a coalition that can include all of these disparate elements of the political spectrum. Meanwhile, Ron Prentice of the "California Family Council," running the Yes on 8 side of things, is funneling donations into his own pocket.

CFC Spends Most of the Public's Contributions on Salaries

Justin McLachlan, a freelance journalist living in southern California, has discovered that the California Family Council (CFC), a leading proponent of California's Prop. 8, is spending most of its contributions on salaries - more than half of that for its top two employees.

Where is the Mormon Money Going?

So, the organization that the LDS church is pushing it's members to donate to, is spending the donations on employee salaries, not really the campaign. Is this really a non-profit group or another scam?

Exciting, lucrative jobs in the anti-equality industry! Apply now!

Would you be shocked to learn that the forces allied against full equality for gay people are sometimes less than fully ethical in their methods?

You would?

Then you'll probably be shocked to learn that more than half of the money raised in the fight against gay marriage isn't actually going to that fight, but to the fundraisers. Of the $3 million donated to preventing all those oh-so-stylish gay California weddings, only about $500,000 is going directly to the cause.

Here's my favorite part- of the money the California Family Council received in its first two years of operation, none of it went to "program services." Can you imagine? None of it. But the heads of the organization are making six-figure salaries.

I think I'm in the wrong line of work. Maybe I should quit teaching public school and go into preying on people's prejudices while the money's still good. Ten years from now, I have a feeling that this particular well is going to go a bit dryer, and some of these anti-gay fundraisers might just have to get real jobs.

Liars & Thieves

The California Family Council ain't helping nobody but themselves.

Just a heads up, Ron. This story ain't goin' away.

Somewhere along the way, while collecting the above links, I stumbled upon a YouTube clip of a talk that Thomas S. Monson gave back in April of 2007. Here's a transcript of a story he told in that talk:

"Several years ago we had a young paperboy who didn't always deliver the paper in the manner intended. Instead of getting the paper on the porch, he sometimes accidentally threw it into the bushes or even close to the street. Some on his paper route decided to start a petition of complaint. One day a delegation came to our home and asked my wife, Frances, to sign the petition. She declined, saying, "Why, he's just a little boy, and the papers are so heavy for him. I would never be critical of him, for he tries his best." The petition, however, was signed by many of the others on the paper route and sent to the boy's supervisors.

Not many days afterward, I came home from work and found Frances in tears. When she was finally able to talk, she told me that she had just learned that the body of the little paperboy had been found in his garage, where he had taken his own life. Apparently the criticism heaped upon him had been too much for him to bear. How grateful we were that we had not joined in that criticism. What a vivid lesson this has always been regarding the importance of being nonjudgmental and treating everyone with kindness."

The Yes on 8 coalition and its supporters have largely ignored the lesson of this story and shown little regard for other basic Christian precepts such as honesty.


Papa Giorgio said...


I wanted to quickly refute what Chino Blanco said over on my site. I looked at the linked article and I want to make mention that the "hired staff" are all the legal experts, witnesses, counsel, and the like in this hugely legal battle. Last time I checked lawyers do not come cheap... especially when you sue California, which the California Family Council -- among other legal battles.

Papa Giorgio


Chino Blanco said...


You obviously haven't taken the time to peruse the actual IRS filings.

The kind of expenses you're talking about would've been reported as such ... but they weren't - because you're just making stuff up.

Nice try.

Chino Blanco said...

By the way, when I first came across Justin's report, I did bother to track down the source documents that confirm his numbers. Take a gander for yourself, PG, if you've got the patience:

2007 Form 990:


2006 Form 990:


2005 Form 990:


Papa Giorgio said...


I contacted CFC and linked them over to Justin Mclachlan article as well as our discussion (they hadn't seen it yet). They put a small response to it up today on their site with more to come I am sure. Here is their response as of the 13th:

Policy Fact Sheet (9/13/08)
Since its establishment in 2003 as a 501(c)3 not-for-profit organization, a board of directors has governed California Family Council (CFC). CFC’s board is currently comprised of nine members with meetings held on a quarterly basis. The board of directors hires CFC’s chief executive officer, and the CEO is accountable to that board.

An independent accounting firm provides monthly services to California Family Council, and an annual audit of income and expenses is accomplished at the request of the board of directors.

CFC staff members are responsible for the professional management of the organization’s programs, events, and administration, and the vast majority of income is used for such costs. All personnel costs are proportionately attributed in our accounting to the activities. At the board’s request, past public reports will be reviewed with consideration given to reporting the division of expenses into categories.

While California Family Council certainly supports the protection of marriage, ProtectMarriage.com – YES on 8 is a separate ballot measure committee registered with the Secretary of State and regulated as a campaign committee.

Chino Blanco said...

The board of directors page on the the CFC's Web site is empty -- has been for years, as has been noted elsewhere.

In other words, why don't we know the names of these nine board members? What's the big secret?

ChinoBlanco on Twitter


    News and views on NOM, marriage equality and the Mormon church from a former LDS missionary. This site is not affiliated with The National Organization for Marriage or The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. © Copyright 2009 by Chino Blanco. All Rights Reserved.

    Add to Technorati Favorites