Back then, there was a Facebook group with 45 members (today its up to 121); the administrators were the national group, Pat Blackburn (the national chapter coordinator), and Sheila Armstrong. Armstrong is the woman who shared her personal grief over gun violence at a campaign event with Dr. Oz, without anyone mentioning that she was a paid member of the campaign staff. In April, she launched a new Pennsylvania chapter office of the Black Conservatives Federation.
So they've been trying hard to find people to lead operations there. And somehow they ended up with Philip Fisher, Jr., a registered sex offender.
Chris Brennan reported the story for the Philadelphia Inquirer. Fisher is a pastor and (now-ex-) GOP ward leader in Philly "who co-ordinates faith-based outreach for Philadelphia's Moms for Liberty chapter." Fisher is not listed as an administrator on the group's Facebook page.
He said his conviction is the result of a “railroad job” concocted by the political action committee for Lyndon LaRouche, a fringe conspiracy theorist who ran repeatedly for president.
Fisher, who worked for LaRouche’s organization, called it “a cult” and said he was set up while trying to break free.
Brennan also talked to Armstrong, "another Republican ward leader who chairs the local Moms for Liberty chapter;" though the chapter still doesn't have a page on the M4L website, Armstrong is still one of the Facebook page admins. Armstrong says Fisher was a volunteer for the rally, and she was "astounded to hear" about his sex offender status. She might have mentioned that he is also apparently the Head of Communications for Black Conservative Federation for Pennsylvania. She had just run him through the state Department of Human Services for a child abuse history check and it came back negative. DHS told Brennan that "not all criminal convictions involving minors are considered child abuse."
Fisher is listed on the Megan's Law website. His conviction was in 2012 in Chicago for aggravated sexual abuse of a 14-year-old boy when Fisher was 25.
The national M4L organization had not yet offered Brennan a comment. I imagine they have a few choice comments being offered in private.
I don't bring the story up to condemn them for using a registered sex offender who appears to have kept his status secret from plenty of folks. I just want to note that Philadelphia County is a big place with a lot of people, and yet somehow, even tapped into an organization for Black conservatives, Moms for Liberty can't quite get a local Philly chapter off the ground without this kind of unforced error. There are counties in this state with three and four M4L official leads in their chapter. Not so many grass roots in Philly, apparently.