Bill Federer

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“Saint Phyllis” is what she was called in our home. My mother, Tirzah Federer, had attended one Phyllis’ first organizational meetings and was inspired to raise all eleven of us children with an education on the issues from The Phyllis Schlafly Report. To this day, one cannot visit my mother without receiving several copies.

Responding to Phyllis’ call for involvement, my mother would take me as a teenager to the YAF (Young Americans for Freedom) headquarters to stuff envelopes for mailings to fight the leftist group SDS (Students for a Democratic Society), ironically run by individuals who helped mentor those currently occupying the White House. My mother would have us carrying pro-life signs protesting abortion in downtown St. Louis. She recruited me to drive our van filled with ladies to lobby in Jefferson City or to an event at Washington University where I had my first shocked exposure to militant lesbian activists. All this involvement can be traced back to my mom’s respect for Phyllis Schlafly.

After marrying and living in Oklahoma and Texas, my wife Sue and I began volunteering to help youth at church. Phyllis came to Texas several times where we heard her challenge people of faith to take responsibility for our country's future. My wife and I were inspired to serve as precinct chairmen and delegates to the State Republican Convention. After writing a best-selling book, we moved back to Missouri where I was recruited to run for Congress. Phyllis Schlafly was one of the first to endorse me, and in 1998, we gave House Minority Leader Dick Gephart the lowest reelection margin of his career. In 2000, the weight of Phyllis’ reputation resulted in a formidable campaign being assembled with the President’s uncle co-chairing my finance campaign and top business leaders raising over $3 million. Political history was made when the top three Republican members of Congress, Dennis Hastert, Dick Army and J.C. Watts, came to St. Louis to campaign against the top Democrat in Congress. Judge Roy Moore and Alan Keyes headlined events, Chuck Norris and Ted Nugent did radio ads, and endorsements were sent from Pat Boone, Art Linkletter, and Zig Ziglar. The race forced Gephart to spend cumulatively over $9 million, draining his Democrat Leader’s Victory Fund. This was the most expensive Congressional race ever in Missouri, and also made legal history as a judge allowed us to use CSPAN footage without their consent, to Gephart’s consternation, airing a clip of him telling a National Gay and Lesbian Task Force audience that he favored gay scoutmasters. Election day saw my name being left off of ballots and boxes of ballots being lost. In fact, the voter fraud was so rampant that afterwards I helped Phyllis compile stories of voter fraud from across the nation. Democrats decided Gephart was too vulnerable so they voted him out of his Minority Leader’s position, after which he dropped out of Congress. Though we did not win, with Phyllis’ help, we helped send Dick Gephart into an early retirement!

I then resumed writing, publishing over 20 books and doing TV and radio, being a repeated guest on Eagle Forum Live with Phyllis Schlafly. Phyllis helped open major doors for me by having me speak at events she hosted when I was a delegate to the National Republican Convention, as well as her National Eagle Forum Conferences, and Eagle Forum Collegians conferences at the Heritage Foundation. I was honored when Phyllis awarded me the prestigious National Eagle Award. She also encouraged my children, whom I would often bring with me to events. Once my daughter’s teacher read the Social Studies textbook which mentioned Phyllis Schlafly fighting ERA. My daughter got the class’ attention by saying she was with Phyllis just the week before. Phyllis’ sister-in-law, Eleanor Schlafly, has been so kind as to publish reviews of my books in the Mindszenty Report.

Phyllis Schlafly is greatly responsible for inspiring my civic involvement. As the Book of Proverbs states, “A good person leaves an inheritance to their children’s children,” Phyllis Schlafly has inspired millions to stay in the battle to pass to our posterity the blessings of freedom.

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