GOP adviser Ralph Reed, who built the Christian Coalition into a potent political force in the 1990s, and helped elect George W. Bush win two presidential elections, is starting a group aimed at using the Web to mobilize a new generation of values voters.
The effort will not only target the GOP's traditional faith-based allies--white evangelicals and observant Catholics—but will also reach out to Democratic-leaning constituencies, including Hispanics, blacks, young people, and women, Reed told U.S. News & World Report.
It will be called the Faith and Freedom Coalition.
"This is not your daddy's Christian Coalition," Reed said in an interview Monday. "It's got to be more brown, more black, more female, and younger. It's critical that we open the door wide and let them know if they share our values and believe in the principles of faith and marriage and family, they're welcome."
"There's a whole rising generation of young leaders in the faith community, and rather than nab the publicity I did at Christian Coalition, I want to cultivate and train that rising generation," Reed said. "One question is, who is our future Barack Obama, doing local organizing just like he was in the 1990s?"
The group has attracted very little media attention so far. Reed said that was intentional: "We're less focused on the pyrotechnics than on being a strong grass-roots presence all the way down to the precinct level, which has always been my emphasis."
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