The Conservative Christian Center – started as two chapters in south Central Pennsylvania – is going national. The two CCC chapters started out as county chapters of Americans for Christian Traditions in our Nation. After “Action of PA” closed without warning or explanation, volunteers in York and Cumberland County continued as “Action” groups. They made a connection with each other in late 2015 and agreed to be chapters of the new Conservative Christian Center.
Both CCC chapters continued to have Candidate Forum events in 2016 and continued to distribute literature for people of faith to show the difference between candidates for office. The York Chapter sent out a questionnaire to candidates asking them 10 public policy questions and rated the answers 1 to 10 points. The total earned by a candidate determined the candidate score, “A” for best, or “B” or “C” with “D” for “Did not respond.” The candidates survey responses are posted on this website, published in a Value Voters guide (also shown on this website) and published as half page or full page newspaper ads in the local city newspaper.
Professor Kevin Peterson (Major, USAF, Retired) has been Project Director of Conservative Christian Center since it was formed in late 2015 where he spoke at the founding meeting of the Cumberland chapter and then later spoke at the annual Candidate Forum and “Statesman of the Year” breakfast of the York Chapter. Ross Cleveland of Cumberland County, has served as CCC South Central PA Regional Director for the same time period.
Last year, for the first time, CCC came under criticism by a candidate for county office whose survey answers earned her a “C” rating, the same as the Democrat candidate for that office. She and some local GOP officials noticed that CCC is not a part of the Republican Party and – they claimed – unfairly gave some GOP candidates a low rating.
Facts are stubborn things. Our facts are simple: the ratings of candidates are not “given” to them but earned by their answers to the questions we ask. If they give no answers, they earned a “D” rating. If they answer very few questions, they earn a “C” rating. If the Democrat answers more questions “correctly” then the Democrat may earn a better score than the Republican. CCC is non-partisan and does not advocate for any candidate or party, with a fiscal sponsor (US Public Policy Council) which has for 30 years been recognized by the IRS as a 501(c)4 non-profit organization. In its most recent Form 990 tax filing USPPC reported nearly $5 million in annual revenue (fiscal year ending 9/30). That number will likely be increased by the end of this fiscal year.
Unfairly, the GOP critic of Conservative Christian Center tries to persuade GOP county committeemen that there is something bad about a non-partisan organization asking questions of candidates for office. CCC finds such criticism of our most basic free speech rights to be repugnant. CCC will continue its core mission to increase voter turnout among people of faith by addressing the issues they most care about without fear or favor.
Many other organizations send out questionnaire’s to candidates and/or give them ratings based on their survey response or on their voting record. Among them are the National Rifle Association, American Conservative Union, Heritage Action and on the left, the American Civil Liberties Union. Others – such as the Catholic Church in this Diocese – ask questions and report the candidate answers, without a score. Some claim to have no bias, such as the local Bar Association for attorneys (which has been disputed with documentation in one of the books by Former GOP House Speaker Newt Gingrich, speaking of the National Bar Association).
Being non-partisan does not mean there’s no bias. The groups mentioned above have either a conservative or a liberal bias (or a bias in favor of the teachings of the Catholic Church). “Non-partisan” simply means they do not favor Republicans or Democrats.
The CCC bias is in favor of the issues of interest to church-going, conservative-minded, people of faith. CCC hopes to reverse the trend of recent years where there are less of them voting, and more agnostic, atheist and non Christians, non-Jews, voting in elections. We think that America will be a better place, if the faith community increases its participation in public policy issues and voting with “an informed conscience.”
Stay tuned for more news about the new national program of Conservative Christian Center, led by National Project Director, Professor Kevin Peterson.