ALEC

American Legislative Exchange Council

Founded in the early 1970s to promote right-wing policies at the state level, the American Legislative Exchange Council's focus has shifted to favor the promotion of state legislation and regulation that benefits its corporate sponsors. A fact that should come as no surprise given its funding by right-wing foundations and corporate membership fees ranging from $5000 to $50,000. The council boasts a large clearinghouse of research, model bills, and legislative strategies to promote its agenda.

American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC)
1129 20th Street NW - Suite 500
Washington, DC 20036
Website: www.alec.org

Founders: Paul Weyrich, Henry Hyde, Lou Barnett, and others
Executive Director: Ron Scheberle

Established: 1973
Financials: $7,803,119 (2007 budget)
Employees: 28

Board Members: South Carolina Representative Liston Barfield; Utah Senator Curt Bramble; North Carolina Representative Harold Brubaker; Indiana Senator Jim Buck; Texas Representative Tom Craddick; New Mexico Senator Kent Cravens; Mississippi Representative Jim Ellington; Louisiana Representative Noble Ellington; Indiana Representative Dave Frizzell; Mississippi Senator Billy Hewes III; Virginia Representative Bill Howell; New York Senator Owen Johnson; Arkansas Senator Michael Lamoureux; Tennessee Representative Steve McDaniel; Kansas Senator Ray Merrick; Connecticut Representative John Piscopo; Nevada Senator Bill Raggio; Nevada Senator Dean Rhoads; Georgia Senator Chip Rogers; Ohio Senator William Seitz; Tennessee Representative Curry Todd; Iowa Representative Linda Upmeyer; Kansas Senator Susan Wagle

Private Enterprise Board:
Sano Blocker, Energy Future Holdings; Don Bohn, Johnson & Johnson; Jeff Bond, PhRMA;Bill Carmichael, American Bail Coalition; Derek Crawford, Kraft Foods, Inc. John Del Giorno, GlaxoSmithKline;Matt Echols, Coca-Cola Company; Jim Epperson, Jr., AT&T Services, Inc.; Michael Hubert, Pfizer Inc; Teresa Jennings, Reed Elsevier, Inc.; Ken Lane, DIAGEO; Kelly Mader, Peabody Energy; Bernie McKay, Intuit, Inc.; Mike Morgan, Koch Industries, Inc.;Kevin Murphy, ExxonMobil Corp.; Sandra Oliver, Bayer Corporation; David Powers, Reynolds American Inc.;Maggie Sans, Wal-Mart Stores, Inc.; Russell Smoldon, Salt River Project; Toby Spangler, Altria Client Services, Inc.; Roland Spies, State Farm Insurance Co.; Pat Thomas, United Parcel Service; Jerry Watson, Chairman Emeritus
Membership: claims over 2,000 state legislators as members
Publications: ALEC Policy Forum: A Journal for State and National Policymakers, policy papers, Task Force reports (9), Leadership Briefing (newsletter), Inside ALEC (monthly publication)

Principal Issues

  • The American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) is a right-wing public policy organization with strong ties to major corporations, trade associations and right-wing politicians.
  • ALEC's agenda includes rolling back civil rights, challenging government restrictions on polluters, infringing on workers’ rights, limiting government regulations of commerce, privatizing public services, and representing the interests of the corporations that make up its supporters.
  • ALEC's mission: "To promote the principles of federalism by developing and promoting policies…To enlist state legislators from all parties and members of the private sector who share ALEC's mission…To conduct a policy-making program that unites members of the public and private sector in a dynamic partnership to support research, policy development, and dissemination activities."
  • ALEC is supported by many right-wing foundations and organizations, including, but not limited to: National Rifle Association, Family Research Council, Heritage Foundation, Sarah Scaife Foundation, Milliken Foundation, DeVos Foundation, Bradley Foundation, and the Olin Foundation.ALEC has approximately three hundred corporate sponsors. Several well-known and closely-tied organizations include: [] American Nuclear Energy Council, American Petroleum Institute, Amoco, Chevron, Coors Brewing Company, Shell, Texaco, Union Pacific Railroad, Pharmaceutical Research & Manufacturers of America, Phillip Morris, and R.J. Reynolds Tobacco.
  • ALEC has proposed that many public services, such as schools, prisons, public transportation, and social and welfare services, be taken over by for-profit private businesses.
  • One of ALEC's central concerns is government regulations of businesses, especially ones that protect the environment and/or public health.

Activities

  • ALEC develops and creates "model" legislation and through its national political network lobbies to get it passed in state legislatures. In 2009, 826 model ALEC bills were introduced in state legislatures, 115 of which were eventually enacted into law.
  • ALEC has 9 "Task Forces" - Commerce & Economic Development Task Force; Criminal Justice Task Force; Energy, Environment, Natural Resources & Agriculture Task Force; Tax & Fiscal Policy Task Force; Trade & Transportation Task Force; Health & Human Services Task Force; Education Task Force; Telecommunications & Information Technology Task Force; and the Federalism Task Force.
  • ALEC works closely with the State Policy Network, a national network of right-wing groups and foundations that push their agenda on the local and state level.
  • ALEC has been a strong supporter of deregulation of various industries. For example, in the 1990's ALEC championed deregulation of the electricity industry by arguing that states had a monopoly over the "utility markets." During this time Kenneth Lay of Enron was an active, outspoken member who strongly supported deregulation.
  • ALEC has had some success in attempts to privatize education. It created the first private school voucher legislation that proposed giving public education funds to private schools, and is currently celebrating the 2005 passage of a school choice bill in Utah. ALEC strongly supports Bush's No Child Left Behind Act, and argues that market competition will force public schools to improve or be put out of business.
    ALEC applauds the decision to not sign the "economy-busting Kyoto Protocol," which it accurately describes as the "international treaty to regulate emissions of greenhouse gases like carbon dioxide."

Funding

  • In 2007 ALEC had $7,803,119 in revenue and $3,168,106 in assets. Businesses and foundations contributing to ALEC include Exxon Mobil, the Scaife family (Allegheny Foundation and the Scaife Family Foundation), the Coors family (Castle Rock Foundation), Charles Koch (Charles G. Koch Charitable Foundation and the Claude R. Lambe Charitable Foundation), the Bradley family (The Lynde and Harry Bradley Foundation) and the Olin family (John M. Olin Foundation).
  • Corporate membership fees range between $5,000 and $50,000 with additional annual fees to participate in certain task forces.

History

  • ALEC's early years conformed to Paul Weyrich's vision, focusing on standard right-wing causes such as opposing abortion and women's rights and supporting school prayer.
  • In the 1980s ALEC's focus changed due to increased corporate interest and donations.
  • ALEC was one of President Reagan's strongest supporters throughout the 1980s, for which it gained significant notoriety. Many of ALEC's key employees were offered jobs in the Reagan administration.
  • In the mid-1980s ALEC began its own political action committee, ALEC-PAC, which targeted key races to influence partisan control of state legislatures.

ALEC Quotes:

  • "Our members join for the purpose of having a seat at the table. That's just what we do, that's the service we offer. The organization is supported by money from the corporate sector, and, by paying to be members, corporations are allowed the opportunity to sit down at the table and discuss the issues that they have an interest in." -Dennis Bartlett, ALEC, 1997

Updated: May 2011

Right Wing Round-Up - 9/22/14

Right Wing Round-Up - 2/5/14

Right Wing Round-Up - 12/10/13

Right Wing Round-Up - 12/3/13

'Choice' School Accountability in the Eye of the Beholder – or Big Donor

Right-wing political strategists have invested huge sums in recent decades to undermine public support for public schools.

Right Wing Round-Up - 11/30/12

'I Don't Want Everybody to Vote' – The Roots of GOP Voter Suppression

The lower the turnout tomorrow, the better Mitt Romney will do. It’s always been this way for Republicans. Anyone who doubts that needs to watch the video below. 

The media frequently reports on right-wing and GOP voter suppression efforts, but they rarely acknowledge the root cause – Republicans do better when fewer people vote. This is the driving force behind the GOP’s draconian voter ID laws and efforts to limit early voting, voter registration drives, and provisional voting.
 
The right wing and GOP have whipped up hysteria around voter fraud, which is virtually non-existent, in order to justify roadblocks to voting for millions of Americans. I’ll let Paul Weyrich explain why.
 
Weyrich is widely regarded as the “founding father of the conservative movement.” He founded ALEC and co-founded the Heritage Foundation, Moral Majority, Council for National Policy, and Free Congress Foundation, among others.
 
Speaking more than 30 years ago at a right-wing conference in Dallas, Weyrich set out the case for voter suppression. The right-wing and GOP are still acting on it to this day.
 
Watch:
"I don't want everybody to vote. Elections are not won by a majority of people. They never have been from the beginning of our country, and they are not now. As a matter of fact our leverage in the elections quite candidly goes up as the voting populace goes down."

 

Gates Foundation Raises Eyebrows with Grant to Right-Wing Lobbying Group

“We don’t want to be part of the controversy.” That’s what Melinda Gates, co-chair of the Gates Foundation, told NPR when asked why the foundation’s work on reproductive health avoided support for abortion care. While this was a grave disappointment to global women’s health advocates, it wasn’t altogether surprising. Despite the Gates Foundation’s staggering wealth and influence and willingness to try new – sometimes controversial – approaches, it steadfastly steers clear of political fights.

That’s why a recent award of $376,635 to a right-wing lobbying group, the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC), is raising eyebrows, and more, in progressive and philanthropy circles. Knowingly or not, the Gates Foundation has just stepped on a political landmine.
ALEC is engaged in all of the fiercest political fights of our day – working hand-in-hand with companies seeking to roll back healthcare reform, environmental protections, workers’ rights, corporate accountability, and taxes on the wealthy. The Gates Foundation, which is “dedicated to the idea that all people deserve the chance to live a healthy and productive life,” should know that those aims are incompatible with ALEC’s efforts to undermine Americans’ health, safety, and economic security to benefit the bottom line of its corporate backers.
 
The stated purpose of the Gates Foundation grant to ALEC is “to educate and engage its membership on more efficient state budget approaches to drive greater student outcomes, as well as educate them on beneficial ways to recruit, retain, evaluate and compensate effective teaching based upon merit and achievement.” On the face of it, this pales in comparison to ALEC’s other education work, which promotes large-scale voucher and privatization schemes that would destroy, not improve, the public education system.
 
Interestingly, Lee Fang recently reported in The Nation on the various ways that the Gates Foundation and ALEC are working – independently – to promote for-profit distance learning. These programs typically undermine public schools while benefiting technology and software companies, including Microsoft. The educational value of such programs is also highly contested.
 
But the bigger issue here is that the Gates Foundation – a grant-making behemoth – is legitimizing ALEC and all of its egregious lobbying by directly supporting a portion of the group’s work. One can only hope that the Gates Foundation staff responsible for the grant were narrowly focused on education policy and unaware of ALEC’s broader agenda. Either way, the foundation seems headed into the middle of a controversy, which is remarkable for an organization that took pains to avoid “the controversy” in the reproductive health arena.
 
For a primer on ALEC, see People For the American Way’s recent report:
When state legislators across the nation introduce similar or identical bills designed to boost corporate power and profits, reduce workers rights, limit corporate accountability for pollution, or restrict voting by minorities, odds are good that the legislation was not written by a state lawmaker but by corporate lobbyists working through the American Legislative Exchange Council.  ALEC is a one-stop shop for corporations looking to identify friendly state legislators and work with them to get special-interest legislation introduced. It’s win-win for corporations, their lobbyists, and right-wing legislators. But the big losers are citizens whose rights and interests are sold off to the highest bidder.

 

Schweddy Balls Make AFA Squirm

The American Family Association affiliate OneMillionMoms is calling on activists to boycott Ben & Jerry’s because of the company’s new Schweddy Balls ice cream. In an email, the group describes the legendary Saturday Night Live skit featuring People For the American Way board member Alec Baldwin, Ana Gasteyer and Molly Shannon that gives the ice cream its name, but doesn’t see the humor in it. “The vulgar new flavor has turned something as innocent as ice cream into something repulsive,” the group writes.

Urging activists to demand “that no additional Schweddy Balls ice cream be distributed,” the AFA wants its members to tell Ben & Jerry’s to “refrain from producing another batch with this name or any other offensive names or you will no longer be able to purchase their products.” The AFA also knocks Ben & Jerry’s Hubby Hubby ice cream, produced to raise awareness of marriage equality, and laments “that offending customers has become an annual tradition for Ben & Jerry’s”:

Ben & Jerry's announced their newest ice cream flavor which sounds anything but appealing. Schweddy Balls is the best they could come up with. The vulgar new flavor has turned something as innocent as ice cream into something repulsive. Not exactly what you want a child asking for at the supermarket.

The name originated from a Saturday Night Live skit featuring Alec Baldwin as Pete Schweddy, owner of a holiday bakery called Season's Eatings. "There are lots of great treats this time of year," Schweddy says. "Zucchini bread, fruitcake, but the thing I most like to bring out at this time of the year are my balls."

He then explains that he sells popcorn balls, cheese balls, rum balls—balls for every taste—and the ball puns proceed for about four minutes. Ben & Jerry's chose to go with fudge-covered rum and malt balls for their flavor. The skit culminates in Baldwin stating that "No one can resist my Schweddy Balls."

In the past, Ben & Jerry's has released controversial ice creams, like a special edition of Chubby Hubby called Hubby Hubby last year which celebrated gay marriage. It seems that offending customers has become an annual tradition for Ben & Jerry's.

The ice cream is being released in a limited batch, which means it will be distributed nationwide but only for three or four months. If it proves popular, another batch might be forthcoming, but we hope not.

"The name is irreverent," says Ben & Jerry's spokesman Sean Greenwood. "But we've always been about having some irreverence and having some fun ... We're not trying to offend people. Our fans get the humor."

TAKE ACTION

Please send Ben & Jerry's Public Relations Manager, Sean Greenwood, an email letter requesting that no additional Schweddy Balls ice cream be distributed. Also, highly recommend they refrain from producing another batch with this name or any other offensive names or you will no longer be able to purchase their products.

Anti-Gay Groups Rally To Defend Anti-Gay 'Charity' Group

A campaign spearheaded by LGBT rights and women’s rights groups Change.org and AllOut.org, encouraging companies to drop their ties to the Charity Give Back Group (formerly the Christian Values Network), unsurprisingly has the Religious Right up in arms. The CGBG “operates a sort of online mall, donating a portion of each purchase to religious nonprofits,” Michelle Goldberg explains. “Among them are conservative organizations like Focus on the Family, The Family Research Council, Promise Keepers, and a number of anti-abortion crisis pregnancy centers.”

The campaign to get businesses to opt out of CGBG’s program has been very successful, with over 200 companies such as Delta, Apple and Macy’s dropping out of the program so far.

Focus on the Family is now encouraging its members to write to the companies that have ended their ties with CGBG. And today, the Family Research Council launched the “Resist Discrimination” campaign, demanding companies “resist pressure to discriminate against customers with a traditional, biblical view of marriage” with a warning that they “should beware of online activists who spread misinformation to pressure retailers to discriminate against customers and charities with Judeo-Christian moral views, including marriage as the union of a man and a woman.” Of course, Focus on the Family and the FRC would never support similar pressure campaigns…right?

As a matter of the fact, FRC was part of a campaign last year that threatened to boycott Comedy Central if the channel did not drop a planned comedy show about Jesus Christ, and in 2008 endorsed a five month boycott of McDonalds and Wal-Mart because of the companies’ ties to the National Gay and Lesbian Chamber of Commerce. Focus on the Family also closed its Wells Fargo accounts in 2005 to protest the bank’s donation to the Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation. In 2006, Focus on the Family founder and then-president James Dobson urged members to boycott Proctor & Gamble because of its support for a gay-rights initiative. “For Procter & Gamble to align itself with radical groups committed to redefining marriage in our country is an affront to its customers,” Dobson said.

The CGBG was founded by Stephen Baldwin (Alec Baldwin’s brother) and Michael Lohan (Lindsay Lohan’s father), with Mike Huckabee acting as its spokesman. Now, the CGBG is advised by Baldwin and Kevin McCullough, who run XtreMEDIA. McCullough recently acted as a spokesperson for CGBG’s response to the AllOut! and Change.org campaign, saying the groups were disseminating a “dishonest message.” While FRC and Focus’s active opposition to LGBT and women’s rights is well documented, McCullough is a lesser known activist. He has a radio show on the Christian channel Family NET and stands in for American Family Association spokesman Bryan Fischer when the latter is on vacation from his show on American Family Radio.

While McCullough claims that the CGBG shouldn’t be attacked over its ties to the FRC and Focus, McCullough’s own anti-gay activism speaks for itself.

Right Wing Round-Up

  • PFAW: ALEC: The Voice of Corporate Special Interests In State Legislatures.
  • Kevin Drum: Quote of the Day: Truth is Libel.
  • Jason Cherkis @ Huffington Post: David Barton's Tax Records Boast Expertise In Black History.
  • Joe.My.God: Anti-Gay Christianist Hate Group Launches Ad Denouncing Harvey Milk Day.
  • ACLU: Debunking the Mythical "Sharia Threat" to Our Judicial System.
  • Zack Ford @ Wonk Room: FOX News Unleashes Transphobic Assault Against Chaz Bono.

Lawrence O'Donnell Exposes ALEC

Cross-posted on the People For blog

Last night, People For’s Andrew Gillum went on the Last Word with Lawrence O’Donnell to discuss the new Right Wing Watch: In Focus report on ALEC, the group that helps corporate donors get legislation they like placed in statehouses.

Read the report and watch the clip:

Visit msnbc.com for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy

Public Policy, Private Corporations: Detaining Immigrants for Profit

People For the American Way has been documenting the ways in which corporate interests, with a big boost from the Supreme Court, are pouring unprecedented sums of money into this year’s elections to buy themselves an even more corporation-friendly government. This morning, National Public Radio reported on another way that corporate interests are shaping public policy. Remember that controversial anti-immigrant law in Arizona? Turns out it was drafted at a conference of right-wing legislators with help from private prison corporations that see the detention of immigrants as a new profit center.

According to Corrections Corporation of America reports reviewed by NPR, executives believe immigrant detention is their next big market. Last year, they wrote that they expect to bring in "a significant portion of our revenues" from Immigration and Customs Enforcement, the agency that detains illegal immigrants….
 
NPR also notes that as soon as the bill was introduced in Arizona, prison industry money followed:
 
Thirty-six co-sponsors jumped on, a number almost unheard of in the capitol.  According to records obtained by NPR, two-thirds of them either went to that December meeting or are ALEC members....
 
At the state Capitol, campaign donations started to appear.
 
Thirty of the 36 co-sponsors received donations over the next six months, from prison lobbyists or prison companies — Corrections Corporation of America, Management and Training Corporation and The Geo Group. 
 
By April, the bill was on Gov. Jan Brewer's desk.
 
On a May conference call with investors, NPR reports, one prison industry official expressed hope for more help from the federal level:
 
" Those people coming across the border and getting caught are going to have to be detained and that for me, at least I think, there's going to be enhanced opportunities for what we do."
 
Here’s some more information about the American Legislative Exchange Council, a group that brings corporate donors together with conservative state lawmakers to push anti-regulatory legislation on a range of issues.

GOD TV to Air Engle's Houston Rally

Since it was announced last week, Lou Engle's rally to protest a Planned Parenthood facility in Houston has been picking up supporters.  In addition to the original line-up featuring the likes of Tony Perkins, Harry Jackson, and Richard Land, others like Mat Staver and Concerned Women for America have signed on as well.

And now the event is going to go out across the airways via on GOD TV:

GOD TV is to break with its regular schedule on Sunday to air 'TheCall Crisis' LIVE from Houston, TX, where one of the largest abortion facilities in the world, is being built. Hosted by Lou Engle, the four-hour program will focus on prayer for the right to life and the prevention of this 'super center' opening.

Thousands of Christians will be gathering to fast and pray in Texas over the next few days and GOD TV founders Rory & Wendy Alec are encouraging the GOD TV family across the globe to join them in intercession via GOD TV on Sunday January 17th at 7pm (Eastern) with a replay on Monday January 18th at 2pm (Eastern).

Broadcast direct from Grace Community Church in Houston, TheCall Crisis will feature various speakers. In addition to Lou Engle, these include: Sammy Rodriguez, Tony Perkins, Mathew Staver, Dr. Richard Land, Ken Blackwell and Bishop Harry Jackson.

"Thirty-seven years ago abortion was legalized in Texas; now let it begin to be reversed there," said Lou Engle, the founder of TheCall. "Who ever heard of such a thing as an 'abortion super center', God wants to raise up a massive prayer movement that will say 'No,' and who will be part of the answer as we fast and pray."

...

"We are a voice rising out of Houston declaring that we don't want this'," says Lou Engle. "It's time to let the unborn go free and spare pregnant mothers the agony of guilt. US public opinion over abortion is shifting radically to pro-LIFE and we have to continue to stand against abortion and support adoption.

"May a great demonstration of compassion rise up in Houston which will launch a mass movement of pregnant mother care and adoption. God has a dream for every mother and child and a six-story massive abortion facility has never been a part of that dream. Let's end the nightmare and let the dream live."

Right Wing Leftovers

  • Michael Steele just might luck out - meanwhile he's getting support from Sarah Palin ... and being mocked by Dana Milbank.
  • Two people arrested during the protests at Notre Dame are still sitting in jail, refusing bail and vowing to remain there until their hearing in three weeks.
  • Tony Perkins insists that his Call 2 Fall is not political, but Adelle Banks notes that his emails to supporters seem to suggest otherwise.
  • Speaking of FRC, they and Americans United for Life are sponsoring a pre-ALEC event for state legislators in July just before the annual ALEC Conference in order to inform legislators "about the key life and family issues affecting your state" and "discuss the latest legislative initiatives and state legislative trends."
  • The John Birch Society rips into the Religious Right for turning Carrie Prejean into a movement hero.
  • Finally, allow me to apologize for the lack of posts today, but I was having various computer problems.  Also, I'll be on vacation until next Wednesday ... so don't let the Right do anything crazy  while I’m gone.

Focus Covets GOD TV's Audience

It seems that God TV is fast becoming the Religious Right's media outlet of choice.

Just before the election, relatively moderate right-wing figures like John Hagee, Pat Robertson, Tony Perkins, and James Dobson participated in a God TV "Election Special" where they split time with fringe figures like Jill Austin, Cindy Jacobs, and Lou Engle (and if you think people like Hagee and Robertson don't deserve to be called "relatively moderate," they you obviously aren't familiar with people like Austin or Jacobs.  Compared to them, Robertson and the like seem downright reasonable):

God TV's founders, Rory and Wendy Alec, then followed up that special with a new series designed to prepare their viewers for the End Times:

Guests on 'Apocalypse and the End Times' include: Grant Jeffrey, who has written 'The Next World War' and 'Countdown To The Apocalypse'; Dr Mike Evans author of 'Betrayed: The Conspiracy to Divide Jerusalem' and 'The Final Move Beyond Iraq'; Gary Kah, author of 'En Route to Global Occupation' and 'The New World Religion'; Chuck Missler, author of many books, including 'Alien Encounters' who will share on the UFO controversy; and Dr Larry Bates, author of 'The New Economic Disorder' who will teach believers how to protect their assets in a time of crisis ....Throughout the month, a wide range of topics will be covered on GOD TV - from the Second Coming to the Rapture, the Illuminati, the antichrist, mark of the beast as well as issues such as UFOs and Aliens, bird flue and the current economic meltdown.

Now it looks like Focus on the Family has been so impressed with the station that they have decided to partner up:

For the past 10 years Focus on the Family has bravely proclaimed a bold message of freedom in Christ through its 'Love Won Out' conferences. Now for the first time, this important event is to be televised around the world by GOD TV, starting this Friday, January 16.

...

"As a Christian broadcaster, it has been on my heart for years to reach out to those in the Church who may be struggling with issues of same-sex attraction, as these are so rarely addressed in our current Church environments," said Wendy Alec who heads up GOD TV's programming. "It is therefore a great privilege for GOD TV to be partnering with Focus on the Family to bring this much-needed series to TV screens across the globe."

"Homosexuality affects men and women from different countries and cultures," said Melissa Fryrear, director of Focus' gender issues department. "Yet the Bible's message to them remains the same: change is possible for those who struggle with unwanted same-sex attraction. The platform GOD TV provides us is a dream come true and an answered prayer. I can't think of a better way to commemorate Love Won Out's first decade than celebrating the important milestone at home, while sharing our joy with the world."

As it turns out, the first airing of FOF's "Love Won Out" conference follows directly on the heels of the latest installment of "Apocalypse & The End Times," while the second follows coverage of the International Prophecy Conference.  

Apparently Focus on the Family considers viewers of this sort of programming to be just the kind of audience it is trying to reach with its message.

TheCall, International

I have no idea what is going on in Kenya that requires immediate intervention by Lou Engle, but apparently he and God TV see something at work there that warrants their first African-based rally:

"Kenya stands at a critical juncture as its newspaper headlines expose the frailty of the nation's moral fabric," said Lou Engle, "but there is the promise of a great awakening on the horizon. It is always darkest before dawn, and the Church is set to enter its finest hour. When it seems like there is no hope, God still has a holy prescription: 'Blow the trumpet in Zion, declare a fast, call a sacred assembly!' (Joel 2). We are therefore calling the people of Kenya to gather in nation's capital, on December 6th, to cry out to God for mercy and revival."

...

"We sense God's Hand on TheCall Kenya and it's strategic timing," said Wendy Alec who is GOD TV's Director of Television, "which is why we will be broadcasting the entire event LIVE to our potential viewing audience of almost half a billion viewers in 214 nations. It is only through prayer and fasting that we will see revival come to our nations and we encourage viewers to tune in and stand with the people of Kenya in prayer, and as they do, we believe the Lord will touch them wherever they live."

Christians and Mulsims are slaughtering each other in Nigeria, a genocide continues in Darfur, a horrific conflict continues to plague the Democratic Republic of Congo, and Somalia is wracked with unimaginable horrors while pirates ply its seas ... yet apparently it is Kenya's unravelling "moral fabric" that Engle seeks to save.

GOD TV's Logical Follow-Up

If you are Rory and Wendy Alec, the founders behind GodTV, how do you follow up your massively successful election special in which a cavalcade of right-wing luminaries mingled with a bunch of borderline luncatics and your guests declared that we were locked in a "spiritual battle" in which "absolutely everything" was on the line, warned that a Barack Obama victory would signal that “we have not chosen God’s best," recounted visions they had in which they saw the forces of evil commiserating at a casino in the sky while they smoked cigars, drank whiskey, and had the faces of dogs, screeched that they needed to fervently pray to let God’s will be done in America as it is in Heaven, and lamented that Pat Robertson was not running for president this cycle?

Admittedly, it is hard to top that, but Rory and Wendy are nothing if not committed and resourceful, which is why they are unveiling their latest GodTV series asking if we are now living in the End Times:

Rory & Wendy Alec will be hosting a new End-Time series on Fridays at 8.30pm and Sundays at 9pm entitled 'Apocalypse and the End Times' which will feature interviews with internationally-acclaimed Bible Prophecy experts, while also giving the GOD TV visionaries an opportunity to encourage viewers worldwide as they share their personal perspectives on the subjects being discussed.

Guests on 'Apocalypse and the End Times' include: Grant Jeffrey, who has written 'The Next World War' and 'Countdown To The Apocalypse'; Dr Mike Evans author of 'Betrayed: The Conspiracy to Divide Jerusalem' and 'The Final Move Beyond Iraq'; Gary Kah, author of 'En Route to Global Occupation' and 'The New World Religion'; Chuck Missler, author of many books, including 'Alien Encounters' who will share on the UFO controversy; and Dr Larry Bates, author of 'The New Economic Disorder' who will teach believers how to protect their assets in a time of crisis.

Other new programs coming up on GOD TV this month include an End-Time series at 7.30pm on Fridays with Mike Bickle, Director of the International House of Prayer in Kansas City (IHOP-KC), who will teach on how the Bride of Christ must prepare for the Bridegroom. Rick Joyner of MorningStar Ministries will also present a series of round-table discussions on the End-Times on Mondays at 11am.

Throughout the month, a wide range of topics will be covered on GOD TV - from the Second Coming to the Rapture, the Illuminati, the antichrist, mark of the beast as well as issues such as UFOs and Aliens, bird flue and the current economic meltdown.

"We are certainly living in the most exciting era of world history, as we await the return of our Lord Jesus," said Wendy Alec who is GOD TV's Director of Television. "Although nobody knows exactly when this will be, God has laid a tremendous sobriety on our hearts concerning the End-Times and these programs will allow our viewers to explore many different questions as to the times and seasons we are living in - enabling them to draw key insights from some of the greatest teachers on the subject."

The God TV Election Special

Among the myriad of excuses the Religious Right will roll out tomorrow should John McCain lose will be the idea that McCain just didn’t energize the base and so they stayed home.  That may very well be the case, but it certainly won’t be because right-wing leaders sat on the sidelines and didn't do everything in their power to mobilize their base.  

Case in point: the God TV Election Special, which has been airing in constant rotation over the last several days.  

Because it is my job to watch these things so that you don’t have to, that is exactly what I did and I can say that I have never seen one program that included so many high-profile Religious Right leaders coupled with such egregious nuttiness.

Traditionally, when you see people like James Dobson and Tony Perkins, people like Pat Robertson and “prophetic intercessors” like Cindy Jacobs are nowhere to be found.  But in the case of the God TV Election Special, they have all come together to plead with Christians to pray, fast, and above all, vote:

GOD TV's 2008 US Election Special is a passionate call for GOD TV's viewers in America and around the world to pray for the election and to encourage all American believers to exercise their right to vote. The two-hour program features many high-profile Christian leaders such as: Pat Robertson, Founder of CBN; Jay Sekulow, Chief Counsel for the American Center for Law and Justice; Bishop Wellington Boone, Pastor, Father's House Church; Luis Palau, Evangelist; Tony Perkins, President of the Family Research Council; Rick Joyner, Senior Pastor, Morningstar Fellowship Church; Jill Austin, Founder, Master Potter Ministries; John Hagee,  Senior Pastor, Cornerstone Church; Cindy Jacobs, Founder, Generals International; Lou Engle, Co-founder of TheCall; Mike Bickle, Director of the International House of Prayer in Kansas City, (IHOP-KC);  Harry Jackson, Founder and Chairman of the High Impact Leadership. Coalition (HILC); and Jim Garlow, Senior Pastor of Skyline Wesleyan Church.

Below is a ten-minute synopsis of the two hour program featuring Rick Joyner proclaiming that they will see a “dramatic victory of light over dark,” but only if the church will finally stand up; Bishop Harry Jackson saying that an Obama victory will signal that “we have not chosen God’s best” and predicting that there will be riots in Washington, DC if Obama loses; John Hagee warning that the righteous cannot get into positions of authority if the righteous do not vote; Jill Austin recounting a vision she received from the Lord of the forces of evil commiserating at a casino in the sky where they smoked cigars and drank whiskey and had the faces of dogs; Rep. Trent Franks sharing God’s blessing with the entire world; Harry Jackson (again) saying that the only way John McCain will get elected is if Christian rise up to put him in office despite his failure to adequately reach out to them, in which case he owes them big time; Cindy Jacobs getting increasingly worked up over the need to pray to let God’s will be done in America as it is in Heaven; Election Special co-host Wendy Alec lamenting to Pat Robertson that he was not running for president this cycle; Tony Perkins explaining that we are in a “spiritual battle”; James Dobson asking for worldwide prayer because “absolutely everything” is on the line; and finally Lou Engle, well, being Lou Engle.

So while you are waiting for the polls to close and the election results to start rolling in, sit back and enjoy ten minutes of unfettered Religious Right hysteria (or at least fast forward and watch the Jill Austin and Cindy Jacobs portions):

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