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Are local community groups all beholden to TBSC?
by John E. Colby
Sunday Nov 24th, 2013 4:07 PM
After publicizing Freedom of Information (FOI) requests which expose potential fraud by local government and social service providers who I allege are abusing public compassion for the homeless, Santa Cruz politician Steve Pleich removed me (without warning or notice) from his Facebook group called Citizens For a Better Santa Cruz (CFAB SC).
Several homeless activists have complained that Pleich's Facebook group panders to Take Back Santa Cruz (TBSC) supporters — who spew anti-homeless bigotry and bait homeless activists on this group — while silencing those who speak up for the homeless and criticize local politicians.

First Robert Norse was removed by Pleich for criticizing TBSC and the Santa Cruz City Council. Now I have been removed. Brent Adams fears he will soon be removed too. How many other activists and TBSC critics will be removed from CFAB SC until it becomes just another forum for anti-homeless sentiment (dominated by TBSC members)?

This is another example of how TBSC has run a well planned campaign to subvert public forums and community discussion by essentially taking them over. Unfortunately seemingly well intentioned people like Pleich appear to have fallen victim to TBSC's efforts to dominate public discourse and reshape Santa Cruz to their liking.

This is how small, fringe groups overthrow legitimate governments, putting in place totalitarian regimes. I fear for Santa Cruz. The town I fell in love with has become a bastion of hatred and bigotry. TBSC has employed an effective campaign to use well meaning liberals for a hateful agenda which has poisoned our town.

Where will this end? Will we allow TBSC to Take Over Santa Cruz or will we fight for justice and free speech?

Comments  (Hide Comments)

by G
Monday Nov 25th, 2013 8:18 AM
I've long wondered about the impact of 'DC politics' and their local 'moles' (groomed, recruited, or fashion victimized (like Pleich)).

Do TBSC founders/members/supporters have ties to Rove/Koch ish conspirators?

If I'm not mistaken, Ryan Coonerty spent some time in Washington DC. If so, what 'networking' did he do while there, what 'training' did he receive, what 'quid pro quo' was established, and what 'agendas' did he drag back with him? This is why I think of Ryan Coonerty as a 'mini-Rove'. It is also interesing to note that his 'Wikipedia page' lacks any mention of homeless and sleeping ban 'controversy', even in the criticism section. Ryan Coonerty is clearly a controversial figure in those local hot button issues and has been widely criticized for years (including the infamous denoucement at the local ACLU awards ceremony

Before acusing me of being a 'conspiracy theorist', note that at some point seeking redress via peaceful protest (see: Declaration Of Independence and United States Constitution) was reclassified as terrorism (see: Patriot Acts (with the curiously timed attack on Congress when the Patriot Act was being considered) and recent Stratfor email leaks) by those that are so quick to label others as 'conspiracy theorists', even 50 years after a 'probable bloody coup'.
by Razer Ray
Monday Nov 25th, 2013 11:32 AM
Wouldn't be their vitriol for that org (which I share, and due to 'skin in the homeless 'game', exceed either of them in.) in an environment intended by Steve Pleich to foster discussion would it?

They don't WANT discussion, for a variety of reasons I wouldn't care to go into here.

Nevertheless it's an inappropriate place for their comments unless they're looking to discuss the issues with others whose opinions differ in any number of ways.

Personally I don't think either of them are CAPABLE of discussion with people whose views don't match theirs. Brent's response to my questioning his motives regarding his BUSINESS PLAN for an alleged "Sanctuary Camp" is telling:

by Robert Norse
Monday Nov 25th, 2013 4:44 PM
I was, Steve told me, the first person banned from Steve Pleich's Citizens for a Better Santa Cruz facebook page. He assured me at the time that he hadn't censored Linda Lemaster nor Jim Weller--as they told me had happened.

I was "banned for life" for posting a link to the Ken Collins video ( ) in a thread where Collins credibility was in, I believe, in question.

I was told later that this was done after Pamela Comstock had left the site in a huff after some criticism (no idea if this was true or not).

This morning I had an e-mail exchange with Steve about his action in banning John, which he agreed could be made public. I cleaned up spelling errors and made a few changes in my wording, but I'm reprinting it below.

A more lengthy and heated discussion of the censorship and banning issues can be found at Citizens for a Better Santa Cruz at on a number of threads.

The problem with censorship generally and Pleich's censorship in particular is that those of us whose ideas are attacked are gagged from responding, and so those reading miss half of the conversation. This is most especially true when the attacks assert false claims most familiar to those attacked.

For me what is repellent about this situation is the rightward tip of the website, which suggests a political motivation--not to offend a certain constituency. I know a part of it may simply be Steve's temperment, his authoritarianism (which I share), and his desire to control (which I also share). Still, I think it's best to let these things work on--encourage people to start new threads to get back on topic and encourage participants to ignore rather than respond to personal attacks.


From: colby [at]
Date: Sun, 24 Nov 2013 13:12:51 -0800
Subject: I'm really disappointed in you Steve
To: spleich [at]

Hi Steve:
I notice that you removed me from your CFAB Facebook group without a warning or even notifying me. I'm really disappointed in you. I thought you were — unlike the City establishment and vocal community groups fostering hatred against the poor and homeless — a truth seeker.
As you know, I don't pull punches in my advocacy. My guide is the truth, not to be liked or be accepted into any particular group. Apparently you, like many others, are sadly beholden to Take Back Santa Cruz members who censor those who they disagree with. I thought you shared my goal of a participatory democracy. I guess you are just another politician seeking favors.
My former therapist said all those we look up to will eventually disappoint us. Now I don't trust you have not been passing my carbon copied communications to you to government insiders. You've lost my trust. I won't be carbon copying you anymore.
The truth hurts, but it's the truth.
Worst you are allowing my LGBTQ stalker to post freely in your group while you're censoring me. What a disappointment!!!

On Mon, Nov 25, 2013 at 7:09 AM, Robert wrote:

Steve: What was your rationale for banning John?

Date: Mon, 25 Nov 2013 07:29:27 -0800
Subject: Re: FW: I'm really disappointed in you Steve
From: spleich [at]
To: rnorse3 [at]

As a courtesy to you I will provide a single, brief explanation. John consistently attacks those whom he deems to be engaged in some unlawful or secretive enterprise without any foundation in fact whatever. These arguments are always subject to evidence he thinks he will discover through the requests for public records that never seem to yield the substantive proof he needs. By contrast and to be fair, when you criticize or take exception to something, your arguments invariably contain some facts in support or, at least, some scintilla of evidence. I did not create CFAB SC as a forum for John's ceaseless screed about how unfair the world seems to him personally and as a whole; He has two perfectly serviceable facebook pages of his own to publish and pursue that agenda.
By the way, the final "tipping point" for me was John's most recent attack post in which he attributed his facts in support to a "tipster"; his word, not mine.
Be well,

From: rnorse3 [at]
To: spleich [at]
Subject: RE: I'm really disappointed in you Steve
Date: Mon, 25 Nov 2013 07:53:03 -0800

Thanks for the prompt and pertinent response. I don't think I agree with you your evaluation, but it would have to be looked at on a case by case basis. Do you have any specific examples where you feel John's claims are "without any foundation in fact"?

I do respect John's interest and determination to get documentation if seeming over-zealous at times.

I think John may reach at over-broad (often conspiratorial) conclusions, but I believe his instincts are compassionate and worthwhile. Plus he strives to find evidence either pro or con, and his pressure on public agencies is usually a good thing.

Perhaps a better way to go would be to allow initial comments and then direct people to the offender's website for "further discussion" of a particular issue which you feel has no merit. This would avoid the repressive mechanism of banning, and would be bit better than simple censorship, since you are giving those who are interested in the info or claim posted a specific place to go to continue the discussion.

The same standard could be applied to John, myself, Ken Collins, Pamela Comstock, and other worthies who in past and present have graced your site (though only the first two banned, as far as I know).



Steve didn't respond to this e-mail. He did post a new set of "guidelines" on his web page while apparently maintaining the "ban" on me and John Colby.

The core statement (which may simply be his first draft of the guidelines) asserts:

Guidelines for Page Etiquette

1. Personal attacks are not allowed on the CFAB SC Facebook page. Please discuss issues, not individuals. A personal attack consists of accusations or derogatory remarks directed at a named individual, or against an unnamed individual whose identity is clearly known. A simple guideline to note: posts that contain the word "you" are likely personal attacks. At the first instance of a personal attack, the sender will be placed on moderated status and all further posts will be approved by the page Administrator before distribution to the group, until the sender agrees to refrain from further personal attacks. If the sender persists in sending posts containing personal attacks, the sender will be removed from the member list.

Steve does not claim that Colby personally attacked either another poster or even a specific public figure (though that should be accepted and encouraged), but that he tired of what he felt was Colby's "unsubstantiated" claims and his "ceaseless screeds about how unfair the world seems to him personally".

When he banned me, it was because I disobeyed his order "not to post the Ken Collins video" (which I didn't do--rather a link to it as part of a relevant discussion).

I've suggested Steve acted impulsively and would do well to rethink his actions if he wants genuine dialogue particularly in a leftward direction. No soap. Too bad.
by justCausingTrouble
Monday Nov 25th, 2013 5:45 PM
Steve may now believe there are more votes in supporting TBSC than in supporting the homeless.
by petraK
Monday Nov 25th, 2013 9:25 PM
John raised 2 points. One has to do with SteveP's FB group and what the operational goals are/how it's actually run. The second, and perhaps more important question is TBSC's infiltration and influence in politics and more importantly governance in this community.

Let me start at the outset that I am still suspicious as how the group operates. Whether by accident or intention they seem to be replicating techniques that are used when groups or governments are trying to regime change. TBSC leadership has consistently skewed and misrepresented and in many cases made up facts to support their POV. And they repeat these misrepresentations enough so that the lead story, the byline, the debate becomes not about whether their assertions are truthful or not but rather how to "fix" the factual situation they've misrepresented. To date, I have yet to see a TBSC fact check or truth squad consistently dog them. I think it would be good for a group of 10-20 people do what TBSC does which is to flood the media, but in the truth squad's case, just consistently be in their shit calling them on their falsehoods. We know their BS talking points, I don't know why this hasn't been done yet in any organized manner.
Here's how you infiltrate government and gain more power. This only works of course if you have people on the inside of government you are going to help your cause. Let's look at the women's safety and TBSC interface.

The following event took place in 2010


Thursday, January 28, 2010 6 – 7:30 pm co sponsored by CPVAW and concerned women in Santa Cruz
for reference look to:

Now according to city minutes here's what happened in 2011

-on January 5, 2011 SC CPVAW welcomed new commission member Heather Babcock. (Heather is sister of Analicia Cube and Treasurer of TBSC.) In her first meeting this item was introduced:

-Take Back Our Streets Event 2011
Recommendation --- Discuss the idea of a “Take Back Our Streets” event in 2011 similar to
January 2010 event coordinated by community women’s group and, by motion, take action as
ACTION: Commissioner Christie
made a motion, seconded by Chair Watkins, that an ad hoc
committee be established for quick action by Februa
ry to develop and finalize a “Take Back Our
Streets” event in 2011. The motion passed unanimously. (Commissioner Leon absent)
Ad hoc members: Commissioners Babcock, Christie, Watkins

Notice Heather Babcock was appointed to the committee planning and coordinating the event.

now look how the co-sponsors of the event have changed in 2011 with the introduction of TBSC co-founder and Treasurer Babcock helping "plan" the event


Friday, February 18, 2011 6:30 – 7:30 pm

City Hall Courtyard – 809 Center St., Santa Cruz

“Take Back Our Streets" invites everyone who wishes to make our streets safer for all community members to walk freely without the fear of being attacked.


Co-sponsored by the Commission for the Prevention of Violence Against Women (CPVAW) and Take Back Santa Cruz <<<<<<<<

pretty cool huh?

So now every time the city helps sponsor a women's safety event, TBSC (an entity not supposed to be involved in politics) gets a new chunk of members and perhaps people to donate money.

Slick huh?

I wonder who nominated and appointed Ms Babcock. The same goes for Comstock because at some point she joins CPVAW.
by average SC resident
Tuesday Nov 26th, 2013 3:09 AM
Regime change is absolutely the goal. The average Santa Cruz resident is fed up with the increased crime and antisocial behavior of a large percentage of the homeless population. We want the criminal homeless gotten rid of, hence the popularity of TBSC. We are completely unapologetic about that.
by G
Tuesday Nov 26th, 2013 8:04 AM
"Regime change is absolutely the goal."

A bit of truth.

"The average Santa Cruz resident is fed up with the increased crime and antisocial behavior of a large percentage of the homeless population."

Falsehoods... [affirming the consequent, existential fallacy, fallacy of exclusive premises, argument from ignorance, argument from repetition, begging the question, burden of proof, correlative-based fallacies, equivocation, ecological fallacy, fallacy of composition, etc, etc, etc]

"We want the criminal homeless gotten rid of, hence the popularity of TBSC."

Another falsehood... [affirming the consequent, existential fallacy, fallacy of exclusive premises, argument from ignorance, argument from repetition, begging the question, burden of proof, correlative-based fallacies, equivocation, ecological fallacy, fallacy of composition, etc, etc, etc]

"We are completely unapologetic about that."

A bit of truth.

Let's generalize that (anonymous) pronouncement...

"Regime change is absolutely the [TBSC] goal."

"[TBSC] is fed up with the [] behavior of [others]."

"[TBSC] want [others] gotten rid of []."

"[TBSC is] completely unapologetic []."

Note the broad use of "GOTTEN RID OF"; does that remind you of any historical precedents?

Clearly, TBSC proudly endorses sentiments that are a gross divergence from Constitutional tradition and basic human decency. For now, they must cloak their motives in false rhetoric and demonization of others, to avoid upsetting 'normal folk'.
by Get rid of TBSC
Tuesday Nov 26th, 2013 8:12 AM
"We want the criminal homeless gotten rid of"

Steve Schlicht is that you?

Are you fine with them dying?

Mayor's Public Safety Task Force Member Steve Schlicht (of TBSC) is "fine with junkies dying"
by Get rid of TBSC
Tuesday Nov 26th, 2013 8:20 AM
Well I got news for you, Ken Skindog Collins: Your fancy trash grabber isn't big enough to get rid of the homeless.

Now go take back your reputation.

Santa Cruz Clean Team Scandal Video with Faces Obscured, Staring Ken Skindog Collins as the Poker
by Get rid of CFABSC
Tuesday Nov 26th, 2013 8:24 AM
And I would be booted.

Protecting hate speech and covering up TBSC's dirty deeds is priority one at CFABSC.
by Razer Ray
Tuesday Nov 26th, 2013 8:26 AM
If the video referred to is the "Clean Team" homeless bashing porn vid, it was an obvious hoax which ended up being promoted by Robert then used by TBSC to 'distance itself' from those bad bad people of the clean team.

Why are you even bothering to discuss it Robert? It's BULLSHIT.

Further, as I stated more politely in a comment above YOU DO NOT DISCUSS. It it not in your realm of conversational capacities. You have a diatribe of 'talking points' often 'talking past' the people you're allegedly having a discussion with to push some other point not even under discussion (see chart above for more on that) or so tangential *I* can't even see the connection, and IT IS disruptive.

by arrestTBSC
Tuesday Nov 26th, 2013 9:52 PM
since public sleep is a crime, all the homeless are criminals.
TBSC just wants to replace harmless sleepers with their child molesting members, like Dylan Greiner.

and TBSC does hijack other peoples work, look how comestock took credit for micah's porta-potty. were the shrinking sidewalks even her idea? i don't see how she can take credit for sanctuary camp, but i am sure that's next.

by Petra Kropotkin
Tuesday Nov 26th, 2013 10:46 PM
I'm the last person to defend TBSC but I don't think it does us, the opposition, any good to overstate (like they do) or make up (like they do) facts

Dylan whatever his name was was certainly involved in TBSC and a posterchild for the group but he's not their leader nor did he run it.

I think there are enough factual elements to critique the group on without over the top claims and posturing.

If there is going to be a truth squad critiquing the BS claims city commissions, task farces and TBSC press releases and claim we have to exercise restraint and be clear and truthful in our analysis.
by evenIfTheyMIGHTnotRunIt
Wednesday Nov 27th, 2013 1:25 AM
look how hard it is for TBSC to refute that charge, for THEM to say 'Dylan Greiner did not run TBSC, he was just our poster boy' doesn't make them look any less repellant to the public. it also exposes an undeniable truth, Dylan is the kind of person attracted to TBSC. the more the public is reminded of that fact, the fewer people there will be that want to be known as TBSC members.

and their influence evaporates.

besides, who runs TBSC anyway? that securities fraud guy?
his wife? barry swenson? wells fargo? an autonomous collective?
by John E. Colby
Wednesday Nov 27th, 2013 10:38 PM
For once a Take Back Santa Cruz (TBSC) member honestly presented their agenda:

average SC resident
Tuesday Nov 26th, 2013 3:09 AM
Regime change is absolutely the goal. The average Santa Cruz resident is fed up with the increased crime and antisocial behavior of a large percentage of the homeless population. We want the criminal homeless gotten rid of, hence the popularity of TBSC. We are completely unapologetic about that.

TBSC is executing a coup to takeover our community as warned by Naomi Wolf (quite presciently).
by average SC resident
Wednesday Nov 27th, 2013 11:58 PM
All the average SC resident wants is less dirty needles, less property (and other) crime, and less antisocial behaviors in our town. How can you possibly argue with the premise that we'd be better off without that? I know that the concept of personal accountability is patently offensive to most of you "activists," but most people don't think it's okay to go to the bathroom and leave biohazardous trash all over our town and beaches. We think that is something police should be cracking down on. To most people, it is unfathomable that you would disagree with that.
by John E. Colby
Thursday Nov 28th, 2013 12:19 AM
by average SC resident
Wednesday Nov 27th, 2013 11:58 PM
All the average SC resident wants is less dirty needles, less property (and other) crime, and less antisocial behaviors in our town. How can you possibly argue with the premise that we'd be better off without that? I know that the concept of personal accountability is patently offensive to most of you "activists," but most people don't think it's okay to go to the bathroom and leave biohazardous trash all over our town and beaches. We think that is something police should be cracking down on. To most people, it is unfathomable that you would disagree with that.

Now you seem to be backing off from your sincerely honest statement admitting Take Back Santa Cruz (TBSC) members want regime change. Step #1 in regime change is citing a (hyped or fabricated) public safety threat to justify subverting the rule of law to shutdown an open society.

Admittedly, many Germans in the 1930s, Italians in the 1920s, Soviets during the Stalin years and Chileans prior to Pinochet's coup had some legitimate concerns about people they believed to be "anti-social". Like Naomi Wolf said in the videos, people at the margins of society, like homeless people in Santa Cruz, are the first ones to be targeted.

But with regime change, it never stops with the margins. Sooner or later people central to a functioning democracy, like SC homeless activists and so called anarchists, are attacked and removed. Journalists are intimidated, like Santa Cruz MSM who censor themselves when it comes to right wing City Council members and Take Back Santa Cruz (TBSC). Why doesn't KSBW, when covering the investigation of Dylan Greiner's sexual crimes, ever mention that he was an important member in TBSC? That's because they are self censoring themselves. In the same way, liberal politicians have come beholden to TBSC trolls because they fear if they don't they'll be marginalized and lose their insider status in the political establishment.

Thank you for being honest in your first comment claiming TBSC members want regime change: that's your goal. Clearly the members of this forum shining a light on what that comment portends led to you backpedaling.

Clearly, the vitriolic 'values' of TBSC are counter to those of religions (as well as secular moral philosophies), but (oddly) it is often difficult to find religious leaders making clear and emphatic statements, until now...

The Pope urges care for the weakest members of society: “the homeless, the addicted, refugees, indigenous peoples, the elderly who are increasingly isolated and abandoned” and migrants, for whom the Pope exhorts “a generous openness”.

“As long as the problems of the poor are not radically resolved … no solution will be found for this world’s problems”.

He adds an admonition: “Any Church community”, if it believes it can forget about the poor, runs the risk of “breaking down”.

Repent, TBSC, repent.

by Razer Ray
Tuesday Dec 3rd, 2013 11:19 AM
According to a Russian friend of mine whose lived in Argentina for decades the Pope is NOT a 'lefty', he was a Peronista priest. AKA a corporatist. Link below

When he says: "As long as the problems of the poor are not radically resolved..."

He either considers them BlackShirts-of-the-Future (for the church) or that OTHER "Radical Resolution", a Final Solution. I think the former.

Nevertheless, the Catholic church as an institution OR any other organized religion's leadership HAVE NO INTEREST in the poor except as an army for their benefit and will support their issues as long as it suits the religion's purposes.
When he was appointed, critics described how Pope Francis had ties to the military junta which committed deplorable human rights abuses, like making thousands (even tens of thousands) disappear. Apparently the Argentine military dictatorship had the blessing of the Catholic Church, just like Franco's Spanish fascists were supported by the Church.

Apparently Pope Francis had suspicious connections to the Argentine Dirty War. Here is some reading for those interested in this:
by G
Wednesday Dec 4th, 2013 5:44 AM
Before selection, it was widely reported that Pope Francis was an opponent of 'liberation theology'.

Before selection, it was widely reported that Pope Francis had skeletons in 'the backyard'.

It was widely reported that the Vatican hired Opus Dei groupie Greg Burke, former employee of Fox News and Time (both of which have baggage of their own), to handle Vatican PR (in the wake of yet another pedophile scandal, banking scandal, and fascist sympathizer scandal).

Note that after selection, during the 'return to core competencies' PR push (see: Greg Burke), Pope Francis has made a habit of 'liberation theology'-like statements, in the wake of the resignation of an unpopular and controversial Pope (reminds me of Nixon, and his 'followers').

Note that after selection, groups like the Palin/Limbaugh crowd have run into trouble talking trash about Pope Francis, _opposition from groups normally silent_ about the rantings of Palin/Limbaugh's. The Limbaugh stuff might be planned, and maybe even the Pope is being played (or will be 'eliminated'), but I suspect if that is the case the plan will backfire.

Note that after selection, groups like TBSC have (as far as I know) become silent when confronted with the recent admonishments of Pope Francis. Repent, TBSC, repent!

Note that after selection, hate-based politicians like Mathews (infamous author of the Red Church letter) are forced to add the statements of Pope Francis to their political calculus, and have to reconsider making factually inaccurate statements that are rooted in reflexive negative emotional responses to truth, because the Pope's authority supercedes theirs, by orders of magnitude.

Just because YOU might not be Catholic does NOT mean a LOT of other people aren't, including those that have sought to persecute 'others'. Their political actions are now being shaped by those admonishments.
by Dan Waterhouse, Newslink Fresno
Wednesday Dec 4th, 2013 6:09 AM
Me thinks people have overblown the Pope's authority. Yes, he can set the tone, but church observers agree he can't tell the bishops what to do.

When Pope Francis made his statements about gays and lesbians, many saw it as portending a change in attitude in the Catholic Church. Almost immediately the conservative US bishops (who make up the bulk of church leadership in this country) made it clear they did not agree with the Pope. Knowledgeable people all agreed the bishops could go their own way and there was little the Vatican could do about it.

What we have is a Pope who professes concern for the poor and downtrodden, and a church hierarchy that doesn't necessarily agree with his positions. Conservative Catholics certainly don't-I've seen letters in our local newspaper from them saying Pope Francis has been possessed by the current cultural decline and immorality. While I think schism won't happen, I think there may be attempts to split off from Mother Church by the conservatives.
by G
Wednesday Dec 4th, 2013 8:46 AM
The Pope has authority within the Catholic church (which seems to frown on straying from doctrine). It's a large organization, apparently an order of magnitude larger than the estimated number of atheists around (now I'm resisting a decimation pun). The Pope is also recognized as a 'head of state', which is a (tiny) separate issue. How broad and deep that authority is (note the 'representative on Earth' title) apparently depends on what a given Pope has to say, although the Vatican Councils seem to frown on trash talking the Pope, even if controversial, so anyone that does so is eroding the authority of the Pope, schism or otherwise, and may be putting their eternity on the line.

Sure, there have been many warnings about birth control, and unapproved sex, which are famously ignored (even among Bishops!). Sometimes it gets so bad someone calls out the Pope, clearly and emphatically. Doing so because the Pope is calling for an end to hatred of the poor will, in my opinion, require more than a logo change.

Personally, I find it interesting that a Pope can be considered controversial when echoing the Sermon On The Mount.

As for LGBeTc; locally, they seem to embrace TBSC (, which is disappointing.
by Dan Waterhouse, Newslink Fresno
Thursday Dec 5th, 2013 6:03 AM
The consensus among Catholic Church watchers, G, is that the conservative U.S. bishops will go their own way, regardless of what Pope Francis says. For example, when he recently said the church needs to stop focusing on abortion and gays, the bishops said they would not stop. They now believe they are the true guardians of the Catholic Church (at least in the U.S.). They also publicly disagreed with his recent comments regarding economic policy and the poor.

I agree with your premise that traditional churches are top-down organizations. But when the down doesn't agree with what the top does or says, one gets what happened when the Episcopal Church elected a gay bishop several years ago-the conservatives left, taking their churches and money with them.

Lastly, I can't speak for the LGBT community in SC regarding its support of groups like TBSC. I can say however that members of Fresno's LGBT community support a group similar to TBSC here. Our LGBT community tends to be conservative, especially where it comes to its image. Last Pride here, quite a few lesbians were joining the Log Cabin Republicans. That's Fresno. That's how we roll here. Many Fresnans refer to SC as the "People's Republic of SC" with distaste.
Personally, I can't say I'm surprised, but their increasing brazenness is interesting.

Meanwhile, back at the coalitions; Fresno LGBeTc embrace TBSC-ish groupies too? That shouldn't be surprising, I guess, some say the Nazi's had a big butch closet...