The 72-year-old Dobson, a psychologist by training, has been one of the most powerful religious conservatives in the U.S. for decades. His Focus on the Family organization, despite a financial downturn in recent years, is one of the most influential right-wing Christian organizations. It was a major donor to California's anti-gay-marriage Proposition 8, and its daily radio program is heard on hundreds of religious radio stations around the country.
However, the Proposition 8 win (after which Dobson said he was "jubilant" over the anti-gay law) may have been the group's high point. Earlier this month they lost a battle when the Colorado House passed a domestic partners health care bill. And while it was giving lavishly to the Prop. 8 battle, it continued to suffer financially, laying off 20% of its staff.
The new head of the organization is a retired Air Force general -- Colorado Springs is also home to the Air Force Academy, which has been the site of alleged proselytizing by evangelical Christians -- who is also a former executive with defense contractor Northrup Grumman.