You may remember that Kevin Cole — the Pearland, TX councilman who sent us a threatening, profanity-laced email in response to our work on dropthehammer.org — was also a deacon at First Baptist Church of Pearland.
Today, Pearland and First Baptist are on the front page of the Washington Post. Shailagh Murray profiles Rick Scarborough, a minister at First Baptist. Murray reports:
Scarborough is a potent force with close ties to House Majority Leader Tom DeLay (R-Tex.) and influential Senate conservatives…Scarborough for years was little known outside of Texas despite long-standing ties to DeLay, who calls the preacher “one of my closest friends,” and his 2002 anointment by Jerry Falwell as one of the new leaders of the religious right in America.
Recently, Scarborough has gained recognition from his work to abolish the judicial filibuster. He organized the conference “Confronting The Judicial War On Faith Conference” in early April which featured an address by Tom DeLay. Scarborough also maintains a website, stopactivistsjudges.org.
According to the article, Scarborough has been instrumental in getting church members like Cole into local elected office:
[Scarborough] became a prominent force on the local political scene. Within a few years, members of his church had been elected to the Pearland city council and school board, and were hired for top local government jobs, including city manager and police chief.
But there have been problems:
Several of his [Scarborough's] church members who won local school board and city council seats proved inept or uninspiring as public officials.
Is Cole one of the “inept or uninspiring” public officials? Was his email to us an isolated incident or part of how Scarborough’s crew does business? Inquiring minds want to know.