Center for Arizona Policy
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The Center for Arizona Policy (CAP) is a nonprofit conservative lobbying group based in Arizona. The organization advocates for the passage of socially conservative policies in the state. It also produces voter guides to encourage its supporters to elect conservative lawmakers. Over 100 bills supported by CAP have been signed into law in Arizona.
The Center works on issues related to three main categories: Life, Marriage & Family, and Religious Liberty. CAP employees co-wrote Arizona's controversial SB 1062, which would have shielded business owners and employees from lawsuits if they refused service to anyone based on sincerely held religious beliefs. The bill was vetoed by governor Jan Brewer.
The Center for Arizona Policy was founded by Len Munsil in 1995; he served as Founding President and General Counsel until 2005. The current President is Cathi Herrod, who joined the organization as legal counsel in 1997.
CAP receives some of its funding from the National Christian Charitable Foundation, an organization largely funded with money from the Hobby Lobby craft store company. In 2011 the Foundation awarded $236,250 of the $1.6 million CAP received in grant revenue that year.
CAP has supported and lobbied for over 100 bills that have been signed into law in Arizona. In 2012 alone, 13 CAP-supported bills passed, including a law banning abortion after 20 weeks of pregnancy.
The Center for Arizona Policy, along with the Alliance Defending Freedom, helped write Arizona Senate Bill 1062, a controversial bill that, if signed into law, would have allowed business owners and employees to refuse to serve anyone based on sincerely held religious beliefs. Supporters of the bill claimed it was meant to protect the religious freedoms of Arizonans, while opponents pointed out that it was intended to allow discrimination against lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender people. Top aides for Arizona Governor Jan Brewer worked closely with CAP in crafting the language of the bill, but Brewer, in response to boycott threats and other economic pressure from various national groups, vetoed it on February 26, 2014, a few days after it passed the state Senate and House. CAP and its president Cathi Herrod received a great deal of media attention during the debate over the bill, with several stories highlighting the amount of influence the organization has in Arizona politics.
- Fischer, Howard (2 March 2014). "Cathi Herrod at helm of conservative Center for Arizona Policy, guiding lawmakers". Arizona Daily Sun. Retrieved 29 March 2014.
- Clifton, Eli (27 March 2014). "Hobby Lobby's secret agenda: How it's quietly funding a vast right-wing movement". Salon.com. Retrieved 29 March 2014.
- "Frequently Asked Questions". CAP website. Center for Arizona Policy. Retrieved 29 March 2014.
- "Biography of the President". ACU Website. Arizona Christian University. Retrieved 29 March 2014.
- "Cathi Herrod". Center for Arizona Policy. Retrieved 29 March 2014.
- "CAP-Supported Bills That Became Law" (PDF). Center for Arizona Policy. Retrieved 29 March 2014.
- "Capitol Impact: 2012 Legislative Recap" (PDF). Center for Arizona Policy. Retrieved 29 March 2014.
- Wingett Sanchez, Yvonne; Pitzl, Mary Jo (11 March 2014). "Brewer staff helped work on SB 1062". azcentral.com. Gannett. Retrieved 29 March 2014.
- Ashtari, Shadee (28 February 2014). "How One Right-Wing Christian Group Is Leading Arizona's March Toward Conservative Extremism". Huffington Post. TheHuffingtonPost.com, Inc. Retrieved 29 March 2014.