Atheist Advocacy Group May Lobby by Promising Non-Endorsement

March 13, 2004

Source: The Washington Post

On March 13, 2004 The Washington Post reported, "Atheists and other nonbelievers launched a political action committee Tuesday to endorse candidates and lobby lawmakers to remove all traces of religion from the government. But organizers acknowledged that they face a major problem: Most politicians won't want public support from their new group, which calls itself the Godless Americans Political Action Committee, or GAMPAC.   So American Atheists President Ellen Johnson, who announced the formation of the group, proposes an unusual approach: GAMPAC could use the threat of endorsement to pressure lawmakers into siding with the group on issues.   'If a candidate says, 'Don't endorse me,' we will have to say we have the right to endorse somebody, but perhaps we can talk about what we can get in terms of promises from that candidate to help us out in return for not endorsing him," Johnson told a sparsely attended news conference at the National Press Club."