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Public Eye



Gary Bauer disobeyed Daddy, so Daddy had to get out the belt. That's how one former Focus on the Family employee described last week's bitter split between Colorado Springs resident, presidential kingmaker James Dobson and Bauer, the erstwhile candidate whose hard-line opposition to abortion and trade with China weren't sufficient to rally enough support to put him in the White House.

When Bauer decided to throw his support behind John McCain last week, the Focus president crucified his now ex-pal Bauer -- even denouncing him during an appearance on a radio talk show hosted by One World Order conspiracy theorist Larry Bates.

Apparently the idea of adultery in McCain's past was so abhorrent that Dobson couldn't sit idly by while the infidel marched through South Carolina. Heard some 500 times a week in South Carolina, Focus' popular radio program is widely considered nothing short of the Voice of God. So it may not be much of a coincidence that after New Hampshire's upset, a rattled George W. Bush ran straight into the arms of the racist anti-Catholics who run Bob Jones University.

With Dobson's help, McCain was trounced in South Carolina, and Bush emerged as the darling of the extreme right wing. And, the longtime symbiotic friendship between Bauer and Dobson was possibly irreparably ruptured.

What a shame. Dobson and Bauer used to have so much fun together! As head of the Washington-based Family Research Council, Bauer lobbied on behalf of Focus on the Family and even hired Dobson's son, Ryan Dobson, to oversee his youth operations.

Perhaps W. will agree to fill in where Bauer left off.

It's hard to figure how Colorado statehouse candidate David Schultheis will be affected by the Bauer/Dobson split. After all, Schultheis is running to represent House District 22, home of Dobson himself.

But Schultheis, a vocal supporter of Bauer's anti-abortion candidacy, also gave $1,000 to Dobson's now-nemesis.

It was just another personality change for Schultheis, who a few months ago proudly announced that he has become just like moderate Republican Marcy Morrison, who has held the District 22 seat for six years.

The special kinship, between Schultheis and Morrison was, apparently, short-lived and the 'new' Schultheis is back, attacking Morrison with a vengeance.

And, now he claims he has a bigger problem. In a Jan. 27 letter -- which his opponents are now calling the 'Rabbit Letter' -- Schultheis broke the news that he is the victim of decapitated rabbit attacks because of his Christian beliefs.

'Since I announced my candidacy last Sept. 25, my wife and I have been the subject of extreme intolerance for our conservative views. On several occasions, we have been vandalized by perpetrators who have left decapitated rabbits and entrails on the front porch of our home.

'We see this as a form of extreme intolerance for people who hold our Judeo-Christian values. This harassment and intimidation has only strengthened our resolve to stand firm against the increased intolerance towards people of faith.'

Schultheis didn't explain the connection between headless rabbit vandalism and anti-Christian sentiments.

But Schultheis, who will run against former D-11 board member Kent Olvey, made it clear he suspects the 'extremely liberal wing of the Republican Party' is attempting to thwart him.

Last week in this space we detailed the daily newspaper's feel-good coverage about the proposed homeless mall south of downtown. Their news coverage has been particularly glowing.

We knew that the G's Public Editor Jon Stepleton is also on the board of the local Red Cross, a beneficiary of the proposed homeless mall. But given our well-documented blind faith that such conflicts never result in churlishness over at the daily paper, we didn't mention Stepleton's high-profile connection in the column.

However, when astute Indy reader Matt Parkhouse pointed out that Stepleton was one of nine people who toured the Village of St. Vincent de Paul homeless campus in San Diego, we thought the whole connection was too coincidental. After all, the group returned from their San Diego junket convinced the mall approach is a viable way to help the homeless here.

'Might this just have something to do with why so little is being mentioned [in the G] of the many downsides of the proposed mega-shelter?' Parkhouse wondered.


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