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God-O-Meter

hudson.jpgCatholics United’s call for Catholic author/Republican operative Deal Hudson (pictured) to resign from his advisory role aboard John McCain’s campaign is generating some major news coverage. Catholics United is calling for Hudson’s resignation over allegations that he sexually harassed a college student while he was teaching at Fordham University–Hudson has expressed “guilt and regret” over the incident, according to the Washington Post–and because of what the group calls Hudson’s “divisive and controversial nature.”
For years, the Religious Right used the tactic of calling for the resignation of faith-based campaign advisors for being insufficiently religious or morally compromised against Democratic candidates. In 2004, the Catholic League For Religious and Civil Rights attacked John Kerry’s religious outreach director because she “was raised without any faith and didn’t become an evangelical Christian until she attended Earlham College” and because it said “Her resume is that of a person looking for a job working for Fidel Castro.” The Kerry campaign wound up silencing her.
The Catholic League attacked the Democratic National Committee’s religious outreach director a couple months later for being hostile to religion’s role in public life. She quickly resigned.
Now liberal Catholics are adopting that same tactic against the McCain campaign. Interesting to note that the Catholic League has issued a press release defending Hudson and his role aboard the McCain campaign. But Hudson did wind up resigning from the Bush-Cheney ’04 campaign over the same sexual harassment allegations.
Which got God-o-Meter thinking: what provoked Catholics United to begin calling for Hudson’s head now, since the allegations are nothing new? Here’s what Catholics United organizing director James Salt tells GOM via email:

Deal Hudson is increasingly becoming McCain’s chief Catholic surrogate. Just this past Monday Deal Hudson did a radio show on behalf of the McCain campaign. He was also the chief instigator of the Hagee apology to Donohue. As he comes out more in the open, we wanted to call attention to McCain’s vetting of his Catholic surrogates. I don’t think McCain knew about Hudson’s background.

How will the McCain camp respond? Keep Hudson or throw him overboard? The McCain camp angered the Christian Right when it threw evangelical supporters John Hagee and Rod Parsley under the bus a couple months ago. Will it do the same thing this time around and risk angering conservative Catholics? If so, the list of prominent religious conservatives supporting McCain will get pretty thin.


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