Thursday, February 16, 2017

Hate group leader does the "matching gift" grift for Stutzman

Alan Sears
Alan Sears, former CEO of Alliance Defending Freedom, is as full of shit as the next hate group leader (or former hate group leader). Supposedly matching grants are a scam. They are merely a restructuring of donations that are already pledged or even received. They are not contingent upon the donations of others.

I give Sears extra points for sheer audacity. I just received: “Double your gift now to fight injustice against Barronelle.” Then:

$2 million? Sears already knows that the chances of getting the Supreme Court to hear this case are next to nil. He has already had a nearly identical client, Elane Photography, denied a hearing. But even if he thought that there was a chance, what exactly does it cost for ADF to file a petition for certiorari?

The $2 million is just the floor. Suppose they raised the full amount of what they claim is a matching gift. At $450/hour (and ADF attorneys earn nothing even close to that) that's close to 9,000 hours which equates to roughly 4¼ man years of work at the full rate disregarding the fact that there are lower-cost associates and clerical staff. That would be some fucking petition.

Okay, so maybe they want the money on hand in case they luck out and the case is heard. Maybe but still these are not legal superstars by any stretch of the imagination. If they were they wouldn't be with ADF.

Sears' pitch continues with:
The ACLU recently raised $24 million in one weekend. And history has shown us what they do with their money. In 2013, for example, they filed a lawsuit to make an example of a humble grandmother in Washington named Barronelle Stutzman who was simply operating her small business consistently with her religious beliefs about marriage. That lawsuit could financially devastate her.
We do not get to choose which laws we will obey. ADF is a proponent of Christian privilege and Christian supremacy. According to their logic there is one set of laws for conservative Christians and another set of laws for everyone else. And humble? What could be more arrogant than defying the law to refuse service because of one's self-righteousness? The fact that she is a grandmother is entirely irrelevant. She is old enough to know better.
The ACLU does not stand for freedom—they defend government coercion of innocent Americans who are peacefully living out their faith.
The key driver was not the ACLU but Washington's AG, Bob Ferguson who took great pride in doing the right thing on this case. I am sorry but there is nothing peaceful about ruining a couple's marriage with “we don't serve your kind here.” The refusal of service and the ensuing consequences were nothing less than devastating for the couple. They are the victims of Barronelle Stutzman's holier-than-thou indifference. She is the bigoted and malicious perpetrator of a lawless act. How'd I do on the hyperbole scale?
When some of our Ministry Friends heard about the Washington Supreme Court’s ruling, they responded immediately by providing a $2 million matching gift to help take Barronelle’s case to the U.S. Supreme Court. So any gift that you make will now be matched, dollar for dollar, which means that each dollar you give will go twice as far. We must defend Barronelle and others like her. Her case could have an impact on all of us!
Again, it is a lie. These conservative Christians don't seem to have much use for basic honesty. If you take money on false pretenses that is often called “fraud.”

By the way, this is the second email from ADF today. The first came from the new hate group leader, Michael Farris. He was even more full of shit:
They’ve threatened the humble grandmother and local florist with financial ruin from crippling attorney’s fees. They’ve assaulted her character and her professional reputation. And they’ve done all of this because she acted consistently with her faith and declined to participate in a long-time customer’s same sex wedding. But Barronelle will not give up her freedom without a fight.
ADF is representing her for free so those attorney's fees aren't “crippling” and the state has not gone after her for legal fees. As for assaulting her character and professional reputation; Stutzman did a pretty good job of that with no help from whomever “they” are. None of these consequences have anything to do with her faith. They happened because she broke the law. It should not be a difficult concept for a lawyer to grasp, even one with ADF.

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