The Economic Downturn and GOP’s Lack of Power Force Family Research Council to Re-jigger

The conservative Christian group has cut staff and is shifting focus from policy to politics.

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By Dan Gilgoff, God & Country

In light of the economic recession and the Democrats' across-the-board power in Washington, the Family Research Council is doing some re-jiggering. The largely evangelical group, seen as the most powerful inside-the-beltway conservative Christian advocacy organization, has either cut or downgraded to contractor status roughly a half-dozen staff positions, according to an FRC source.

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.

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