The New Jersey Family Policy Council (NJFPC) is a not-for-profit corporation organized under Section 501(c)(3) of the IRS Code. The group is supposed to be educational, not political. According to its public filings with the IRS, the NJFPC has been around since 1996. It’s mission is to support traditional conservative religious values such as the right-to-life.
The NJFPC is run by Len Deo, who as President of the NJFPC received a salary of $103,225.00 in 2016. William Horsey is the Chairman and Ray Velez is the Vice Chairman/Treasurer. They, along with 8 trustees, are responsible for the actions of the NJFPC. The NJFPC also operates a lobby organization called NJ Family First, but this organization does not appear to be genuinely independent, relying totally on the operations of its parent for its existence.
According to the public records filed with the IRS, the NJFPC was recently operating in the red. Salaries account for most of the NJFPC’s outflow. Since 2014, financial contributions to the NJFPC have steeply declined.
So where did they come up with the money to trash a pro-life, conservative candidate in a Republican Primary?
Just before the June 5th Republican primary, NJ Family First – a subsidiary of the New Jersey Family Policy Council – did something it has never done before. It instructed Republican primary voters on how to vote, explicitly telling them to vote for one candidate and against another.
They had never done so against a Democrat. Even the most liberal, far-left, anti-traditional values, pro-abortion Democrats have been spared this kind of treatment. They saved this kind of trashing for a Republican.
And guess which Republican they attacked?
Yes, the NJFPC attacked the most consistently Pro-Life/Pro-Traditional Values Republican in New Jersey. The conservative Republican who led the fight and who put the money together to defeat the 2007 ballot question to use taxpayer money to fund embryonic stem-cell research in New Jersey. The conservative Republican who led the fight and who put the money together to defeat Garden State Equality’s same-sex marriage legislative push in 2009-10. The conservative Republican who led the fight and who put the money together to stop the nomination of left-wing sexologist Janet Rosenzweig as the State’s Commissioner of the Department of Children and Families.
The NJFPC chose to attack Steve Lonegan, a conservative Republican who was ENDORSED by the New Jersey Right to Life PAC, the National Right to Life PAC, United States Senator Ted Cruz, United States Senator Rand Paul, State Senator Mike Doherty, State Senator Gerry Cardinale, State Senator Joe Pennacchio, State Senator Steve Oroho, and every other Pro-Life Legislator in the State.
Why? And from where did they get the money to pay for the attack?
The answer to that question might lay with who the NJFPC’s attack mailer asked voters to support: Pro-abortion candidate John McCann. Yes, the same John McCann who challenged Scott Garrett and Gerry Cardinale for the 5th District Congressional seat in 2002 on the grounds that they were “Pro-Life” and “too conservative.”
Just days before the NJFPC’s attack mailer hit, McCann was quoted in the Bergen Record (June 1, 2018):
“Lonegan is staunchly pro-life, and recently told an audience at the Knights of Columbus in Fair Lawn that he'd support every anti-abortion bill that came before him. He's tried to tag McCann as being pro-choice, but McCann says the label doesn't fit.
‘I believe that life begins at conception,’ McCann said.
But when asked whether he would support any future bill to further limit abortion, McCann indicated he would not.
‘The law is what is,’ he said.”
John McCann has made so many contradictory statements regarding traditional values, conservatives, abortion – even with regards to his own spouse (an OB-GYN physician). McCann is clearly uncomfortable with the people who support groups like the NJFPC. Year in and year out, the New Jersey Family Policy Council pleads for money from good traditional values conservatives. Is this how NJFPC uses its good name?
How is the New Jersey Family Policy Council ever going to get its good name back? Having seen its endorsement so obviously compromised – some would say “bought” – how can the NJFPC hold its head up to take a principled stand? How can it ever be taken seriously again?