City Della Opponent Represented Religious-Right Group
posted by August 30 at 11:05 AMon
Tim Burgess, who’s challenging City Council incumbent David Della, once provided media planning, copy-writing, media buying, and other consulting services to Concerned Women for America, a fundamentalist Christian group that’s best known for fighting against equal rights for gays and lesbians.
Among other things, the group:
• Advocated against over-the-counter emergency contraception, arguing that access to EC “encouraged women and girls to begin having sex”;
• Has said that gay marriage is “capable of destroying those things that are the foundation of strong communities and nations”;
• Expressed disgust that VP Dick Cheney’s lesbian daughter, Mary Cheney, was pregnant;
• Still actively opposes the Equal Rights Amendment, which they believe would result in “the elimination of our God-given roles as men and women, resulting in the redefinition — and eventual destruction — of family.”
• Has publicly expressed the view that “Christian values should dominate our government. The test of those values is the Bible. Politicians who do not use the Bible to guide their public and private lives do not belong in office.”
They also oppose abortion rights, support a ban on embryonic stem-cell research, oppose comprehensive sex education, and believe birth control is a form of abortion.
The firm Burgess founded, now called Merkle/Domain, is “a full-service direct response agency that exclusively serves nonprofit organizations in North America and Europe by helping them raise more money,” according to the company’s web site. They represented CWFA for eight or nine years, according to Burgess. He says that he does not agree with CWFA’s political views, but adds that he was fully aware of those views when he took them on as a client. “We were in the business of helping nonprofit organizations with their marketing,” Burgess says. “We generally did not have an ideological screen on clients. We’ve served all kinds of groups, [including] some others that I don’t always agree with.” At some point, Burgess says, “we allowed our employees to opt out of working on their projects, which I personally took advantage of. I stopped working on their projects.” Merkle/Domain told Concerned Women it was dropping them as a client in 2003 and stopped serving them in 2004. “I can’t change history,” Burgess says. “
Burgess says he’s been up-front about his work for CWFA in endorsement meetings. And he has received endorsements from many progressive groups and individuals, including the 34th and 46th District Democrats. Former City Council member Tina Podlodowski and state Rep. Joe McDermott, both gay, have endorsed him. And the gay and lesbian candidate ratings group SEAMEC gave him a rating of 3—”meets expectations”—noting in the minutes of the discussion that “prominent leaders in the LGBT community are supporting Mr. Burgess’s candidacy, which suggests his support for marriage equality and LGBT rights is genuine.”