The national Catholic-based advocacy group CatholicVote.org is launching a $500,000 digital media campaign Tuesday targeting Catholic voters in key swing states, including Pennsylvania, Ohio, Florida and Nevada.
The ad campaign condemns anti-Catholic statements in emails from the account of Hillary Clinton campaign chairman John Podesta.
The emails, revealed by WikiLeaks, show that in February of 2012, Podesta and Sandy Newman – the president of Voices for Progress – discussed how to “plant the seeds of revolution” within the Catholic Church using progressive-created dissident “Catholic” groups, such as Catholics in Alliance for the Common Good and Catholics United. Newman referred to the Catholic Church as a “middle ages dictatorship.”
In 2011, another leaked email thread shows senior fellow at the Center for American Progress John Halpin complaining to Podesta and the Clinton campaign’s communications director Jennifer Palmieri about conservative Catholics.
“It’s an amazing bastardization of the faith,” Halpin said. “They must be attracted to the systematic thought and severely backward gender relations and must be totally unaware of Catholic democracy.”
The ad campaign will focus primarily on Catholic voters in the metropolitan Philadelphia area, where Catholics make up 29 percent of Pennsylvania’s population.
President of CatholicVote.org Brian Burch says Catholic voters should know the truth about the flagrant anti-Catholic bigotry at the core of the Clinton campaign.
“The level of disdain for Catholics contained in these emails could turn large numbers of undecided Catholic voters against Clinton,” asserts Burch. “It’s one thing to suggest you disagree with the Catholic Church on certain issues. But it’s entirely different to mock, ridicule, and scheme to turn Catholics against each other for political gain.”
Jennifer Palmieri dismissively questioned the sincerity of the faith of many Catholics, while campaign chair John Podesta admitted that he helped create Catholic front groups to sow discord and turn Catholics against their own shepherds. Neither Palmieri nor Podesta has apologized despite demands from top ranking Catholic bishops, including the Cardinal Archbishop of New York. Had similar comments been made about Muslims or Jewish leaders, the campaign would have reacted differently.
“Voters deserve to know the truth before making their decision on Election Day,” Burch said.