Terry Gross and Fresh Air broke this story yesterday, with an interview with Jeff Sharlet, author of “The Family.”
For those who haven’t read or followed the coverage of “The Family”, this clandestine group, which includes many nationally recognized lawmakers, is probably best known for their C Street house on Capitol Hill, which serves as a group home for some of America’ most arch-conservative, evangelical politicians (not all live in the house, but all of them are connected): Jim Inhofe, Tom Coburn, Joe Pitts, Chuck Grassley, Sam Brownback, John Ensign, Mike Enzi, Bart Stupak and others.
HERE IS THE MAJOR FINDING:
GROSS: So you’re reporting the story for the first time today, and you found this story – this direct connection between The Family and the proposed [Uganda anti-gay hate] legislation by following the money?
Mr. SHARLET: Yes, it’s – I always say that the family is secretive, but not secret. You can go and look at 990s, tax forms and follow the money through these organizations that The Family describe as invisible. But you go and you look. You follow that money. You look at their archives. You do interviews where you can. It’s not so invisible anymore. So that’s how working with some research colleagues we discovered that David Bahati, the man behind this legislation, is really deeply, deeply involved in The Family’s work in Uganda, that the ethics minister of Uganda, Museveni’s kind of right hand man, a guy named Nsaba Buturo, is also helping to organize The Family’s National Prayer Breakfast. And here’s a guy who has been the main force for this Anti-Homosexuality Act in Uganda’s executive office and has been very vocal about what he’s doing, and in a rather extreme and hateful way. But these guys are not so much under the influence of The Family. They are, in Uganda, The Family.
GROSS: So how did you find out that Bahati is directly connected to The Family? You’ve described him as a core member of The Family. And this is the person who introduced the anti-gay legislation in Uganda that calls for the death penalty for some gay people.
Mr. SHARLET: Looking at the, The Family’s 990s, where they’re moving their money to – into this African leadership academy called Cornerstone, which runs two programs: Youth Corps, which has described its in the past as an international quote, “invisible family binding together world leaders,” and also, an alumni organization designed to place Cornerstone grads – graduates of this sort of very elite educational program and politics and NGO’s through something called the African Youth Leadership Forum, which is run by -according to Ugandan media – which is run by David Bahati, this same legislator who introduced the Anti-Homosexuality Act.