Lower Providence Township Board of Supervisors Chair Cara Coless is under fire for Facebook posts demeaning the pro-parents’ group Moms for Liberty and urging boycotts on behalf of her politics.
According to its website, the Montgomery County Moms for Liberty “is dedicated to the survival of America by unifying, educating, and empowering parents to defend their parental rights at all levels of government.” They have been involved in the ongoing public policy debate over the balance between parents’ rights and the authority of school boards and education bureaucrats over children in public schools.
But according to Vicki Flannery, founder of the Montgomery County chapter of Moms for Liberty, opponents of their parental rights effort have started playing dirty. She told DVJournal that Coless is part of a Stop Moms for Liberty effort, and they have obtained a list of her members and were distributing it. They have home addresses and places of employment, as well.
“More than anything, I feel bad for my members,” said Flannery. “They’re doing what they feel is best and getting doxed. We’re all neighbors. We may not agree, but we don’t have to ruin people’s lives over it.”
Targeting businesses because the owners or employees support parent activism in public schools is particularly disturbing, Flannery said.
“They want to shut down a business for adults with special needs,” Flannery said. Another business, Local Tap in Lansdale, was targeted because it allows Moms for Liberty to meet there. Flannery pointed out that it has hosted events for Democrats, as well.
At the April Board of Supervisors meeting, two residents complained about Coless’ behavior and called on her to resign. Coless blamed someone else for one of the Facebook posts and said she had merely been tagged in it.
“He took it from a private Democratic group,” said Coless, whose term ends in 2025. “I am 100 percent supportive of free speech. And the freedom of comprehensive education that prepares all students to think critically about facts (and) prepares students no matter their religion, economic status, race, or gender. With that, I believe that Moms for Liberty, a group founded in Florida, supported by political PACs like the Heritage Foundation, is a danger to public education.
“This is still a free country, and I am well within my right as an elected (official) and as a citizen to inform a private Democratic group of a local meeting being held at a business in North Wales. Moms for Liberty is a danger to LGBTQ and transgender citizens…I did not ask for a mob. I did not ask to censor that organization or boycott, as has been termed…I will not be resigning. I will serve out my term.”
Flannery says she is concerned because Facebook posts that included Coless asked people to attend the Moms for Liberty meeting to cause “good trouble.” She was worried enough that she reported it to the police. In the end, no troublemakers came.
“I had to make a guest list (for the meeting),” said Flannery. “And people had to pay to come in.” The endorsed Republican candidates for commissioner, Tom DiBello and Liz Ferry, spoke to the group, along with school board candidates, she said.
Flannery praised Local Tap’s owner, Theresa Modestine, who “took a stand and refused to let us be shut down.”
Progressives have used similar tactics before to target members of the Trump administration, for example, and to try to intimidate U.S. Supreme Court justices at their homes after the Dobbs decision was leaked.
As for Coless, Flannery said, “I think public officials should be held to higher standards. She shared a screenshot of my meeting info.” And also put the tavern on the list of businesses not to patronize. “She has definitely failed her constituents by acting this way.”