Innocence Project Goes Tea Party? (Not Quite)

The Des Moines Register reports on an Iowa Tea Party Bus Tour, in which five of the fringier GOP Presidential candidates have agreed to participate; the three-week event will tout conservative, Tea Partyish stuff while offering a platform for Michele Bachmann, Herman Cain, Rick Santorum, et al.

The article says that the tour "is being organized by the tea party in cooperation with American Principles in Action, the Innocence Project and the Leadership Institute."

Well, that caught my eye. I've had a lot of dealings with the Innocence Project, and they're not usually sponsoring Michele Bachmann campaign events. And I'm not aware of any Tea Party organizations putting high priority on the injustices perpetrated against potentially innocent convicted criminals.

I thought maybe there was another 'Innocence Project,' but the article specifies that "The Innocence Project is a non-profit legal clinic at Yeshiva University dedicated to exonerating wrongfully convicted people through DNA testing and reforms." And it links to the Innocence Project I am familiar with.

So I called Paul Cates, communications director for the Innocence Project. He seemed a bit startled that his organization was sponsoring a Tea Party bus tour in Iowa. "I would think I would know," he said.

Well, I tracked down the answer. The reporter got it a little wrong (hey, it happens). The actual sponsoring organization is "Preserve Innocence," a project of right-wing advocacy group American Principals in Action. Preserve Innocence seeks to protect children from schools trying to ply them with sex education, homosexual propaganda in the form of 'stop bullying' campaigns, and various so-called 'health programs.'

That makes more sense. The Innocence Project is innocent. Preserve Innocence, carry on.

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