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Despite a huge surge in conservative Gary Bauer's public profile brought on by his bid for the presidency, Bauer would not be welcomed back by some at the Family Research Council (FRC), which he led for many years. Some critics cite an organizational confusion Bauer left behind. Others, more sympathetic to Bauer, demur on his return because they believe his Republican identity would clash with the nonprofit organization's nonpartisan stance.

Bauer started his campaign for the Republican presidential nomination one year ago. Before that he led the Family Research Council for more than ten years, taking it from a three-person, $1 million operation to a 120-person, $14 million operation. Before joining FRC, he served as President Reagan's assistant for policy development. Pushed into a last place finish in New Hampshire, Bauer dropped out of the Republican Presidential race Friday.

Bauer knew that going back to the FRC wouldn't be welcomed by many. In a late fall internal survey, more than 60 percent of the staffers at the prominent religious right organization answered that somebody with a politically partisan high profile should not become its leader. Staffers interviewed by CT say that most people took this to mean that Gary Bauer shouldn't come back as president of the Family Research Council.

The most common reason cited for wariness of any Bauer return is to avoid the appearance of favoring the Republicans over the Democrats. "This was a concern of all," said Bob Morrison, a senior staff member at FRC. "We have to work with both parties." Suggestions of other high profile Republicans like Sen. Dan Coates (R-Indiana) as possible leaders of the policy group have also come under the same criticism. Democrats at FRC say that ...

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February 2000

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