Wesley Goodman, a Republican member of the Ohio Legislature, resigned this week after it was revealed that he had a long history of having trysts, welcome and unwelcome, with teenage boys. The Washington Post has emails that show Tony Perkins of the Family Research Council, knew about this and did nothing to blow the whistle on Goodman even as he got elected to office.
On a fall evening two years ago, donors gathered during a conference at a Ritz-Carlton hotel near Washington to raise funds for a 31-year-old candidate for the Ohio legislature who was a rising star in evangelical politics.
Hours later, upstairs in a hotel guest room, an 18-year-old college student who had come to the event with his parents said the candidate unzipped his pants and fondled him in the middle of the night. The frightened teenager fled the room and told his mother and stepfather, who demanded action from the head of the organization hosting the conference.
“If we endorse these types of individuals, then it would seem our whole weekend together was nothing more than a charade,” the stepfather wrote to Tony Perkins, president of the Council for National Policy.
“Trust me . . . this will not be ignored nor swept aside,” replied Perkins, who also heads the Family Research Council, a prominent evangelical activist group. “It will be dealt with swiftly, but with prudence.”
“With prudence” apparently means without making anything public that might embarrass his organization. Perkins sent a private letter to Goodman urging him to drop out of the race, but he went on to win the Republican primary and the general election last November. Perkins did nothing. He didn’t make public what he knew so that it could give that information to voters, and Goodman went on to not only win but to victimize more people as a result.
Goodman, you see, worked for the Council for National Policy, a rather secretive far-right group that is not nearly as well known as the Family Research Council. Perkins leads both organizations. It was founded by Tim LaHaye, author of the Left Behind series of books, and four others. Its board includes Christian Reconstructionists like Michael Peroutka, and one early board member was RJ Rushdoony, the founder of Christian Reconstructionism. They think gay people should be put to death, but Perkins apparently thinks that if someone publicly supports them but is privately gay and has a thing for teenagers, that’s best kept private so as not to hurt the public image of their “family values” group.