With a hat tip to the tip line and a commenter, we have this information.
Dave Johnston, who
is was the head of the Christian Coalition for Middle Georgia, was willing to go on record and to bat in support of Casey Cagle.
Dave, fwiw, is an outstanding guy, active in the community, and a real leader in the area. He represents the Christian Coalition as a humble servant, not a flashy egotist or dictatorial tyrant.
Well, it appears that because he was unwilling to go along with the Christian Coalition of Georgia’s support of Ralph Reed, Dave has been stripped of his position in Middle Georgia.
Now, I should say as well that it is my understanding from a variety of parties that Dave made his endorsement of Cagle in his personal, not his professional, capacity. That makes this ouster all the worse.
Multiple and many updates below the fold.
[UPDATE:] I’m told by a party familiar with both sides of the situation that this is a bit more complicated than first reported. Apparently, Mr. Johnston identified himself as being with the Christian Coalition — implying less subtly than he should have that his organization was supporting Cagle. But, the Georgia Christian Coalition is a 501(c)(3) and cannot endorse lest the IRS come after them.
Yes, yes, I know Sadie is for Ralph. But she has not endorsed him and neither has the Christian Coalition. The IRS is rather clear — words have meaning here. Heck, words actually have more meaning here than deeds. And because of Johnston’s words, he was booted.
Coincidentally, who taught the CC this lesson in fearing the IRS? How about a certain candidate running for Lt. Governor whose actions allegedly led to the national CC losing its 501(c)(3) status.
[UPDATE 2] It’s close to midnight. But another update. I’m told by a source close to Cagle that Sadie has personally appeared in multiple pieces of lit for Ralph and has gone on the record in the AJC with her support of Ralph.
I’ll agree with the source — there seems to be a double standard at work here.
[UPDATE 3] Okay, so now that we’ve got lots of updates on this, I’m willing to give a lawyer friend of mine the final word. He’s a Democrat with no dog in the fight. He writes:
[His wife] got the phone call from Johnston. [Ed. — she, unlike him, votes Republican] It sounded like he was saying his group, not just him, was endorsing Cagle. Sadie Fields did endorse Dorian, er . . . Reed, but while she was connected with the Christian Coalition, it’s pretty clear from my lexis search that she was endorsing as an individual — even though we all know what that means. Johnston’s call sounded like it went beyond that to me. But, let’s be frank — the man did not toe the corporate line and that has reprecussions. Though considering the IRS took out the national Christian Coalition, I’d be worried too.
[UPDATE 4] Someone sent to the tipline a copy of an article that describes Sadie Fields’s endorsement of Bill Stephens. This is what Update 3 is getting at. From the article:
Mrs. Fields explained her personal endorsement of Stephens today: “Bill was instrumental in passing the Georgia amendment defining marriage, which was critical to our state. He is a proven conservative and Iâ m proud to be standing here today with Bill Stephens.