(The Secret Money blog is a joint project of the Center for Investigative Reporting and National Public Radio.)Click here to listen to the anti-Obama ad

Retired Texas Bishop Rene Gracida says that Catholics cannot, in good conscience, vote for Obama. Now, in a last-ditch attempt to derail Latino support for Obama, an anti-abortion crusader and anti-illegal immigration activist have teamed up to blast out Gracida’s message by email to nearly three million Latino voters and reaching even more people by radio.

Randall Terry, the aggressive anti-abortion organizer who founded Operation Rescue, says it was his idea. He enlisted Gracida, who made national headlines in 1990 by excommunicating three Catholics for assisting with abortions. In 2004, Gracida gave a special benediction for the Republican National Convention.

In the English-language version of his anti-Obama message, Gracida says, “A Catholic cannot be said to have voted in this election with a good conscience if they have voted for a pro-abortion candidate. Barack Hussein Obama is a pro-abortion candidate.” You can hear the Spanish version here.

Terry called the email blast “a blockbuster because Obama is desperate to take the Hispanic vote.” He told us the emails went to “2.9 million Hispanic voters” as well as “100,000 whites.” He corrected that to “100,000 Americans,” then quickly said that didn’t sound quite right either. He said he hasn’t had much sleep, due to this last-minute effort.

RightMarch.com provided financial and logistical support for the campaign, buying a bit of radio time in Ohio, and procuring the massive email list to reach Latinos.

RightMarch’s president, William Greene, made illegal immigration his top issue last year, when he lost a special election for Congress in Georgia. A fundraising letter of support for Greene from the Minuteman Civil Defense Corps PAC (which we profiled here) described Greene thusly:

  • Bill has been a leader in the fight against illegal immigration as a grassroots activist, delivering millions of messages to Capitol Hill from constituents, demanding NO AMNESTY for illegals;
  • He has personally mustered with us on the U.S.-Mexican border as a volunteer with the Minuteman Civil Defense Corps, standing watch to report the illegals streaming unhindered across our officially undefended Arizona border;
  • Bill has helped us to raise tens of thousands of dollars for MCDC operations and projects, such as the Border Fence Project…
  • He has pushed hard for congressional bills to de-fund pro-illegal immigration groups like the ACLU and La Raza, to take away their ill-gotten gains stolen from the pockets of unwilling and unsuspecting taxpayers.

Terry said radio hosts are picking up the Bishop Gracida ad and broadcasting it for free. Some individuals are paying for airtime themselves, he said, and one businessman in Ohio paid for a TV version of the ad.

“The glory of this is that it’s free,” Terry said. “It’s viral!”

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