WASHINGTON, D.C., June 28, 2013 (LifeSiteNews.com) – A Texas state senator has emerged as a “national hero” and “rising Democratic star,” in the words of mainstream media outlets, after she carried out an eleven-hour filibuster this week that paved the way for the failure of a sweeping pro-life bill. Pundits are musing about Sen. Wendy Davis’ chances at taking on Gov. Rick Perry in the state’s 2014 gubernatorial contest, and some zealous media supporters are even charting her path to the presidency.

But amidst the abortion lobby’s love fest with Davis, some Catholic bloggers and pro-life activists are pointing out that a senior official at the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) played an official role in getting her elected to the Texas State Senate in the first place.

Ralph McCloud, director of the Catholic Campaign for Human Development, an arm of the USCCB dedicated to combatting domestic poverty, served as the treasurer on Davis’ campaign team in her bid for the State Senate in 2008, in which she unseated a pro-life incumbent, Republican Kim Brimer.

McCloud’s role on the campaign was first revealed two years ago by the blog Creative Minority Report amidst revelations, still ongoing, that the Catholic agency was involved in funding dozens of groups that advocate for abortion, same-sex “marriage”, contraception, prostitution, and other evils condemned by the Church.

McCloud responded at the time that he was not aware of Davis’ position on abortion and that his role on the campaign was minimal.

But critics pointed out that Davis’ stance on abortion was clear even then. Her campaign was strongly backed by Planned Parenthood and the pro-abortion PAC Annie’s List raised hundreds of thousands of dollars on her behalf while McCloud was serving as treasurer.

McCloud had served with Davis on the Fort Worth City Council from 1999 to 2005. In his response, he said Davis was a “friend and colleague” who had asked him to serve as treasurer in an “honorary role” and that he was “unaware that she subsequently took a position on abortion that conflicted with my own strong pro-life convictions.”

“We had never discussed or worked on issues related to protecting the unborn or abortion. At the time I gave my permission to serve the honorary role as treasurer, Ms. Davis had taken no position on abortion nor accepted any campaign funds,” he said.

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“I am deeply and consistently pro-life, beginning with protecting the lives of unborn children, the most vulnerable in our midst,” he said. “More importantly, CCHD is fully and completely committed to upholding the teaching of the Catholic Church on the life and dignity of all. I am proud of my role as Director in insuring that CCHD abides by these principles and am working to strengthen them in carrying out the review and renewal of CCHD.”

During his tenure as head of CCHD since 2007, McCloud has been charged with overseeing a review and renewal of the organization launched by the bishops. He has been involved in defunding several grantees after investigations by independent pro-life researchers, earning the organization much scorn among left-wing activists and media.

But the organization has also strongly lashed out at faithful Catholic critics, and has continued to fund numerous problematic groups without addressing concerns raised by investigators.

“Regardless of whether or not Ralph McCloud knew just how pro-abortion Wendy Davis is, she was able to filibuster a legislative restriction on abortion because McCloud helped her win a senate seat,” said Michael Hichborn, director of American Life League’s Defend the Faith project.  “In part, he must own responsibility for that filibuster."

"The real problem here is that McCloud had an obligation to know where Wendy Davis stood on moral issues before he gave her a ringing endorsement and agreed to be her campaign treasurer, but he didn't even ask,” said Hichborn. “If he is unable to discern where a colleague he's worked with for six years stood on abortion, then how on Earth is he going to be able to determine which organizations are worthy of Catholic funds? It would seem that our findings over the past four years speak for themselves."

"Last summer, we proved to McCloud that the Gamaliel Foundation was lying directly to him over their membership in a pro-homosexual organization, and that was when he cancelled our meeting and stopped communicating with us,” Hichborn added. “Perhaps with Wendy Davis' recent activities, he will realize that hiding from the facts will only get him into trouble."

LifeSiteNews.com contacted McCloud by phone and e-mail but did not hear back by press time.