Family Research Council

Religious Right Putting Pressure on CPAC to Drop GOProud

The other day we noted that the American Principles Project had informed the American Conservative Union that they would not be participating in next year's CPAC because of the decision to allow GOProud to serve as a sponsor.

Today, APP's Malia Blom went on CBN News to explain that they would not participate so long as CPAC was going to include groups like GOProud to who "actively work against a fundamental principle of conservatism: faith, family, traditional marriage": 

And the APP is not alone in pressuring CPAC to drop GOProud, as both the American Family Association and the Family Research Council weighing in as well

The American Family Association is also deciding whether to stay away from CPAC again this year over GOProud.

"We didn't send our radio talk show hosts up there last year because of GOProud," said AFA president Tim Wildmon. "We will have to look at their level of participation this year. In the next couple of weeks we'll decide."

The Family Research Council is working with ACU directly about the GOProud issue.

"We have communicated privately with the board with the desire to see this resolved in a way that benefits America's families," Family Research Council vice president for communications JP Duffy told WND.

More Good News For Huckabee: James Robison Is Back In Business

For the last several months we've been noting the gradual re-emergence of James Robison, who was an influential leader back at the founding of the Religious Right but who eventually sort of fell off the radar. 

But in the last year or so, he has suddenly become more and more involved in Religious Right activism and I guess nothing better demonstrates that fact like this article, via AU, reporting that a few months back Robison convened a large gathering of leaders to plot how to defeat President Obama in 2012:

Conservative Christian leaders from across the nation met two months ago near the Dallas airport to strategize about replacing President Barack Obama with someone who matches their agenda – a move that paralleled an effort by Christian leaders in 1979 to defeat then President Jimmy Carter.

About 40 conservative Christian leaders gathered in Dallas on Sept. 8-9 to begin laying the groundwork for a religious-political movement similar to the one that helped Ronald Reagan oust the Baptist Sunday school teacher from the Oval Office. Convened by evangelist James Robison – a key figure in the religious effort 30 years ago to promote Reagan's candidacy – the list of attendees included many of the most prominent Christian evangelists and ministers, including several Southern Baptist leaders.

Southern Baptist leaders attending the meeting included: Richard Land (president of the SBC's Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission); Richard Lee (pastor and the editor of The American Patriot's Bible); John Meador (pastor of First Baptist Church of Euless, Texas); and Paige Patterson (president of Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary).

Others at the meeting included: Tony Evans (a megachurch pastor in Texas); Father Joseph Fessio (founder and editor of Ignatius Press); Craig Groeschel (pastor of LifeChurch.tv); Miles McPherson (a megachurch pastor in California who spoke at the 2008 Republican National Convention); Johnnie Moore (a vice president at Liberty University who defended the school's decisions to have Glenn Beck and Newt Gingrich as recent speakers); Tom Mullins (a megachurch pastor in Florida); Doug Napier (legal counsel at the Alliance Defense Fund); Dino Rizzo (a megachurch pastor in Louisiana); Dave Roever (an evangelist who prayed at Glenn Beck's "Restoring Honor" rally); Mark Rutland (president of Oral Roberts University); David Stone (a megachurch pastor in Kentucky); and Stu Weber (a megachurch pastor in Oregon).

Several conservative Christian leaders highly active in politics attended the meeting, including: Stephen Broden (a pastor and Republican politician in Texas); Keith Butler (a pastor and Republican politician in Michigan); Maggie Gallagher (a conservative columnist who received tens of thousands of dollars for her work from the George W. Bush administration); Jim Garlow (chairman of Newt Gingrich's organization, Renewing American Leadership); Harry Jackson (pastor of Hope Christian Church in Washington, D.C.); Gene Mills (executive director of the Louisiana Family Forum); and Tony Perkins (president of the Family Research Council).

Some attendees have been guests on Glenn Beck's program on Fox News (including Broden, Garlow, Lee, McPherson, Mullins, Robison, Roever and Stone), and several were involved with his "Restoring Honor" rally (including Jackson, Land, Lee, Gallagher, Garlow and Roever).

Three of the attendees at the meeting have been under investigation since 2007 by Republican U.S. Sen. Chuck Grassley, a Baptist from Iowa, for perhaps violating IRS tax-exempt rules. Those at the meeting included televangelists Kenneth Copeland, Creflo Dollar and Joyce Meyer.

Other individuals helped plan the September meeting but were unable to attend. They included: Jerry Falwell Jr. (president of Liberty University); Jack Graham (a former president of the Southern Baptist Convention); O.S. Hawkins (head of the SBC's Guidestone Financial Resources); Jack Hayford (president of Foursquare International); and author Ravi Zacharias.

I should point out, also, that Robison's return can only be good news for Mike Huckabee, as Robison was his mentor back in the 1970s, leading Huckabee to drop out of seminary so he could go to work for Robison as his director of communications.

If Robison and crew are looking to replace Obama "with someone who matches their agenda," Huckabee seems like a perfect fit.

Meet Congressman-Elect Tom Marino: Plagued by Corruption Charges

Following the election, RWW will bring you our list of the "The Ten Scariest Republicans Heading to Congress." Our ninth candidate profile is on Tom Marino of Pennsylvania:

In 2007, Tom Marino resigned from his position as US Attorney in Pennsylvania after a corruption scandal clouded his career and raised questions about his honesty. Marino had used his official title as US Attorney to provide a reference in 2005 to his “close friend,” convicted felon Louis DeNaples, who was trying to win the state gaming commission’s approval to open slot machines at a resort he owned. When his office began an investigation into DeNaples for lying about his ties to organized crime, Marino's assistants uncovered his reference and notified the Justice Department, which transferred the investigation out of Marino’s office. But questions about Marino’s ties to DeNaples remained.

Defending his actions, Marino said on a local radio show that the Department of Justice gave him permission to be a reference for DeNaples. But the Justice Department says there is “no record of Marino having received the permission” to serve as a reference for DeNaples and that Marino never informed the General Counsel office. Although Marino stands by his claim that he received written permission, he failed to produce any letter from the Department.

When the Justice Department launched an investigation into Marino’s actions, he resigned and promptly took a $250,000-a-year job as “DeNaples’ in-house lawyer.” Marino later under-reported his income on his financial disclosure forms, reporting that he only received $25,000 from DeNaples. Even Zack Oldham of the conservative blog RedState said of Marino’s actions: “The reality is just as bad as–if not worse than–the optics of this scandal.”

The DeNaples affair wasn’t even the first time Marino had run into corruption accusations. When Marino was District Attorney in Lycoming County, he tried to get a friend out of a drug charge by going behind the back of the county judge who had refused to toss out his friend’s conviction. According to the Luzeme County Citizens Voice, Marino “approached another judge and won the expungement, but the plan backfired when the second judge learned of the first judge's involvement in the case.”

Marino continued to struggle with the truth in his campaign for Congress. He criticized his opponent, Rep. Chris Carney, for leaving Washington as an anti-abortion rights bill was being circulated during the health care reform debate. Carney was not in Washington at the time because his wife was undergoing surgery for breast cancer.

He later alleged that Carney “has no problem spending taxpayers’ money for abortions” and that Pennsylvania women were receiving taxpayer-subsidized abortions under the new health care law, even though nonpartisan fact-checkers have confirmed, repeatedly, that the law prohibits taxpayer funding for abortion.

Marino also berated his opponent for refusing to take questions from the press on political matters after Carney, a Navy Reservist, was called for active duty and was barred by law from making “statements to or answer questions from the news media regarding political issues or regarding government policies.”

But his ethical challenges have not kept the far-right from embracing him. In fact, his rightwing politics have earned him the endorsement of Phyllis Schlafly’s Eagle Forum, Rick Santorum’s America’s Foundation, Mike Huckabee’s HuckPAC, the Family Research Council, and the Government Is Not God PAC.

On the issue of immigration, Marino opposes a pathway for citizenship for illegal immigrants, and touts his endorsement from Americans for Legal Immigration PAC, which has been called a “nativist extremist organization” by the Southern Poverty Law Center. In his Americans for Legal Immigration PAC survey, Marino says he strongly favors Arizona’s severe SB 1070 law, would refuse to support comprehensive immigration reform, and that he would consider impeaching the President over immigration policy.

Marino said he would vote against extending unemployment benefits, maintaining that some of the people on unemployment simply don’t “want to go get work because they are being paid to stay home.” He said that non-senior citizens should face cuts in Social Security benefits if not the elimination of the program altogether, saying: “my generation and probably the generation that follows me, we are going to have to step up to the plate and say, ‘We are not going to get Social Security.’” The 60 Plus Association, a front group for the health care and pharmaceutical industries which supports privatizing Social Security, aired TV ads on Marino’s behalf.

In a radio interview in August, Marino reportedly suggested eliminating the IRS and the Departments of Education and Energy and replacing them with new agencies, saying, “There’s got to be a total revolution there.”

Despite the ethical cloud surrounding Marino, his hard-line conservative views and support from the Radical Right helped him win election to Congress. Watch this segment from an NBC affiliate revealing Marino’s ethical troubles:

 

 

 

Religious Right Blasts GOProud For Trying To Co-Opt Movement and Destroy Society

As we noted yesterday, the gay conservative group GOProud was urging the Republican Party to ignore the Religious Right's social issues agenda and the effort, not surprisingly, was not going over well with the Religious Right.

Concerned Women for America responded by saying that rather than ignoring social issues, such issues must be placed "at the very top of the list," which is a view shared by Gary Bauer, who dismisses GOProud as a "liberal group": 

There has been a lot of talk in recent weeks about the GOP establishment trying to co-opt the Tea Party into abandoning its commitment to fiscal conservatism. Unfortunately, at least one liberal group has already convinced some Tea Party leaders to abandon values issues.

I was very disappointed to read this morning that a pro-homosexual rights group has gotten more than a dozen Tea Party activists to sign on to a letter to new members of Congress. According to Politico, the letter urges them to focus exclusively on fiscal issues, and to oppose the consideration of social issues as part of the agenda for the new Congress. That is terrible advice, and it presents a false choice ... Tonight, I will be attending a reception for new House members. I promise you I will encourage them to fight for the entire conservative agenda — including values issues!

The Family Research Council also weighed in to blast GOProud as a phony conservatives who are out to co-opt the movement in an effort sow anarchy and destroy the fabric of society:

A group that had nothing to do with bringing the Republicans to power suddenly wants to dictate what the party does with it. GOProud, an aggressive pro-homosexual organization that desperately wants to be taken seriously by conservatives, is trying to force its way into the movement by persuading a small handful of tea partiers to sign on to a social truce for the 112th Congress.

...

If anyone's doing the co-opting, it's GOProud--whose "social truce" isn't a truce at all. If Republicans stand down on social issues, it's in this group's interest! GOProud is the one actively fighting for same-sex "marriage," homosexuals in the military, and gay "rights." Essentially they're saying, "We'll keep marching our priorities forward and you" (meaning conservatives) "stand down."

I say, no way! For starters, that won't fly with the broader Tea Party movement which is solidly in the social conservative camp (see DeMint, Jim). Secondly, it's a losing strategy for America. We need to shrink the size of government, but America needs strong families. Those families--not GOProud's phony substitutes--are the backbone of society. Think about the welfare costs associated with the breakdown of social order. Think about the cost in terms of crime and the criminal justice system. What about the loss of human potential? Do these folks really think we can just eliminate those government expenditures overnight? What this crowd is advocating will lead to anarchy, which, ironically, would provide GOProud and friends a perfect environment for their lifestyle.

Meet Congresswoman-Elect Vicky Hartzler: Missouri’s Anti-Gay Zealot

Following last Tuesday's election, RWW will bring you our list of the "The Ten Scariest Republicans Heading to Congress." Our seventh candidate profile is on Missouri's Vicky Hartzler:

Although Ike Skelton, the long-time representative in Missouri’s fourth congressional district, was far from a supporter of LGBT equality, Vicky Hartzler, who defeated him in this year’s election, has based her political career on supporting discrimination against gays and lesbians.

A former state legislator, she was the spokeswoman and public face of the Coalition to Protect Marriage in Missouri, which successfully amended the state constitution to include a ban same-sex marriage (which was already banned by statute) in 2004. The New York Times writes that her group used “church functions, yard signs and a ‘marriage chain’ of rallies across the state,” and Hartzler “said she hoped that the outcome would send a loud message to the rest of the country: ‘Here in the heartland we have a heart for families, and this is how deeply we feel about marriage.’”

Her work helped her receive praise from Religious Right leaders like Mike Huckabee, Tony Perkins of the Family Research Council, and Penny Nance of Concerned Women PAC.

Mother Jones asked if Hartzler was the “most anti-gay candidate in America” since she believes that repealing Don’t Ask Don’t Tell will “put us at risk,” maintains that sexual orientation is a choice and therefore gay people aren’t entitled to civil rights, and dubbed hate crimes legislation one of the “the extreme agenda items of the gay movement.”

Paul Guequierre of the Human Rights Campaign told Mother Jones that while “Ike Skelton has not been a friend of the LGBT community,” unlike Hartzler, “he does not wake up in the morning thinking about what he can do to harm the LGBT community.”

A staunch anti-choice activist, Hartzler supported legislation which “would have allowed for prosecutors to charge women who obtained late-term abortions with murder” and “also have permitted second-degree murder charges to be filed against doctors who performed such procedures.” She was also the chief sponsor of a bill that would pressure women seeking an abortion to view their sonograms. Throughout her career in the State House, she consistently received perfect ratings from the right-wing Missouri Family Network.

Hartzler wrote a book for Christian activists running for office called “Running God’s Way: Step by Step to a Successful Political Campaign,” which “discusses how to run a political campaign by using events and stories in the bible as a guide.” Phyllis Schlafly gave her a laudatory introduction at an Eagle Forum event, calling her book “a manual for action.”

In a profile by the American Family Association, Hartzler said that she found inspiration from God to run for public office at the age of nine, and her book maintains that “Christians must become more active in politics if they are to have the impact God calls them to have.” Hartzler said that her book provides Christian candidates with “the tools and inspiration they need to bring God’s light in a darkening world.”

According to one sympathetic review in a local newspaper, Hartzler’s book “praises Absalom — a rebellious son of King David, God’s anointed leader for Israel and according to Christian theology an early example of divinely ordained rule prefiguring that of Jesus Christ — as being the “first politician” and an example for modern political leaders. In Hartzler’s words, ‘Absalom won over the hearts of the people of Israel using time-tested campaign strategies. We, too, can campaign successfully following these same guidelines.’”

A climate change denier, Hartzler asserted that she does not believe in climate change since she read “some articles that [said] it’s actually decreasing, that we have climates getting colder…and certainly, I don’t believe that if there is a climate change that man has a very significant role in that.”

Hartzler ran an ugly anti-immigrant ad against Ike Skelton, where she claimed that by voting to reauthorize the Children’s Health Insurance Program he supports “welfare benefits” for “illegal immigrants”, and criticized him for opposing a measure that would prohibit illegal immigrants from attending public schools as “giving illegal immigrants free education.”

She appealed to Tea Partiers by slamming government spending, as she blasted Congress’s spending plans and said that “we just want the government to leave us alone here in Missouri’s 4th.” However, according to the Kansas City Star, Hartzler’s “farm has received $774,325 in federal subsidies from 1995 to 2009.” She defended the government farm subsidies as a “national defense issue,” and claimed that she would not support cuts to Social Security, Medicare, or defense.

In an editorial board interview she couldn’t name any programs she would cut funding to other than “the Lady Bird Highway Beautification projects. She indicated that garden clubs could do some of this work along the highways, saving public funds.”

However, Hartzler does appear to support spending money to expand the role of the Navy in Missouri, as she argued that under Skelton’s watch the landlocked state has “the smallest Navy here that we have had since the early 1960s.”

Hartzler blended her Tea Party lip service and Religious Right advocacy to topple one of the most powerful members of the House, and will now bring her years of anti-equality and anti-choice activism to become a prominent voice of the Far-Right in the GOP-led House.

 

 

 

 

 

Right Lines Up Squarely Behind DeMint, Threatens to Take Out Any Republican Who Opposes Him

Since the election, it has become abundantly clear that Sen. Jim DeMint has become the member of Congress who represents the agenda of the GOP's right-wing base and Tea Party movement.

Earlier this week, the Family Research Council announced that it was seeking one million people who were willing to pray for DeMint as takes on the Republican establishment and seeks to remake it in his own image.

And now Richard Viguerie and dozens of right-wing leaders are opening threatening the entire GOP establishment that they will seek to destroy any Republican who stands in DeMint's way:

Prominent conservative leaders are putting critics of Sen. Jim DeMint on notice: Stop blaming the South Carolina Republican for the GOP’s failure to take back the majority in the Senate -- or else.

Led by conservative icon Richard Viguerie, who heads the Web site ConservativeHQ.com, a group of three dozen high-profile DeMint backers, say they will respond to the senator’s detractors “in word and deed.”

“Conservatives will not only challenge and beat more Republican senators in Republican primaries, but conservatives will stop funding and volunteering for the NRSC and the RNC,” Viguerie wrote in a letter addressed to Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, National Republican Senatorial Committee Chairman John Cornyn, Republican National Committee Chairman Michael Steele. “Instead, conservatives will send their money to, and volunteer for, Senator DeMint’s Senate Conservative Fund and the candidates Senator DeMint supports.”

And Viguerie and his counterparts didn’t stop there:

“It would be our goal for the Senate Conservatives Fund to raise more money than the NRSC,” the letter continues. “Conservatives will also work to defeat in Republican primaries those Republicans who retain consultants who criticize or try to undermine Senator DeMint.”

...

In his letter Viguerie warned that “such false and unfair attacks aid and abet President Obama, the Democratic Party and the liberal media,” adding: “We consider such attacks on Senator Jim DeMint an attack on us and all conservatives.”

As of Friday the letter was co-signed by 36 leaders and the writers are seeking to double that number by Monday.

The Republicans made huge gains in the election just over a week ago ... and they are already at each others throats.

Right Wing Leftovers

  • Sadly, Rep. Michele Bachmann has dropped her leadership bid.
  • But Richard Viguerie is not giving up.
  • Speaking of Bachmann, why am I not surprised to see that she thinks David Barton would be a great teacher for his classes on the Constitution?
  • Minnesota Family Council intends to push for a vote in 2012 to ban gay marriage.
  • The Religious Right expects big things from the new GOP Congress when it comes to abortion.
  • Shockingly, when Peter LaBarbera offered half-price admission to married couples, he didn't intend it to apply to married gay couples.
  • Finally, the quote of the day from the Family Research Council's latest prayer update: "Lord, thank You for Your grace, so evident in these elections. We dedicate our newly elected leaders to You. Help them to draw near and draw strength from You as never before. Grant them spiritual discernment in an environment of intense daily spiritual warfare. Protect them and their families. Enable them to withstand every evil. May God's people, in pulpit and pew, intercede for them often, pulling down spiritual strongholds that will enable them to enact public policy that is righteous and just. Guide them by the light of Your Word and grant them success!"

FRC Blasts Cao, Warns Other Republicans Not To Support Gays

Last week we noted that, after having endorsed Joseph Cao in 2008, the Family Research Council turned around and ran ads against him this year because he was insufficiently anti-gay.

Today, Cao told Warren Throckmorton that he thought FRC's actions were "inexcusable," and FRC responded with a statement blasting Cao and warning every other Republican that they would face similar campaigns if they don't support FRC's anti-gay agenda: 

First, FRC Action is not a Republican organization. We are a conservative Christian organization that advocates for the family based upon biblical values and truths. Many of the problems we face today in America are the result of Republican leadership.

When Cao first ran in 2008, he sought my support and promised to be a conservative, morally based vote for the family. I endorsed him in that race and because of the unique situation with Jefferson under indictment and no other viable Democrat in the race, Cao won. In the last two years he has amassed one of the worst voting records of any Republican in Congress on our issues. By the way, the homosexual community masquerading as Republicans in New Orleans decried our ad against Cao because he was pro-life. Cao was at best a pro-life vote, under pressure.

Cao was the lone Republican who voted for the government takeover of healthcare when it first passed the House. A lot of time and energy was spent on getting him to vote against the measure when it came back to the House from the Senate with taxpayer funding of abortion included. It he was truly pro-life, he would have been leading the charge against President Obama’s plan; instead he was meeting with him in the White House. Secondly, we are not a single issue organization that only focuses on the life issue. We look at where Members stand on life, marriage, family and religious liberty. Cao’s score on FRC Action’s vote scorecard was 62, lowest of the Louisiana House delegation. His score was lower than Charlie Melancon, the one Louisiana Democrat in the House.

Cao repeatedly voted for key provisions of the homosexual agenda including: Hate Crimes, the overturning of “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell,” even though military leaders said don’t do it. The straw that broke the camel’s back for me was when he recently helped the Log Cabin Republicans (homosexual Republicans) raise money for their political operation. It was the Log Cabin Republicans that recently filed a lawsuit against the military in an attempt to force them to allow open homosexuality in the military, which military leaders have said could potentially undermine their ability to accomplish their mission. The Log Cabin Republicans succeeded at the district court level and for one day the military was forced to change their policy and even had to recruit homosexuals. That case is currently on appeal.

I also wanted to send a very clear message to Republicans across the country; if you take a stand against the family, we will take a stand against you. These squishy Republicans need to know that we will come after them, just like the Democrats.

Of course, Cao wasn't alone in attending the Log Cabin fundraiser - he was joined by Rep. Judy Biggert (R-IL), Rep. Charles Djou (R-HI), Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-FL), Sen.John Cornyn (R-TX), and Rep, Pete Sessions (R-TX).

I guess these GOP members of Congress should all expect FRC to run ads against them as well? 

FRC Seeking a Million Prayers For Sen. DeMint

The Family Research Council has sent out an email seeking one million people who are willing to pray for Sen. Jim DeMint in his battle against the Republican establishment:

Recently Sen. Jim DeMint (R-S.C.), a well-rounded conservative stalwart in the U.S. Senate, has come under attack from both left wing groups and establishment Republicans because he has refused to waver in his defense of the family. When liberals gang up on a principled leader, doing what is right can seem like a lonely effort. That's why we're gathering together one million Americans to pray on a regular basis for Sen. DeMint.

The senator has expressed his appreciation for those who would pray for him, and has agreed to keep those who pledge to pray updated with specific prayer requests as he works with the new Congress on issues critical to faith, family, and freedom.

Sen. DeMint need not feel alone in his convictions -- will you stand with me and Americans across the nation as we pray for Sen. Jim DeMint?

From FRC's press release:

"To those of us who know and admire Sen. Jim DeMint, these recent attacks on his character have been difficult to stomach. In the aftermath of last Tuesday's election, Sen. DeMint has been unfairly blamed for the Republicans' shortcomings in the Senate. Perhaps more than any other GOP member, Sen. DeMint is responsible for giving Americans hope that what's wrong in Washington can be fixed if we simply return to our nation's founding principles and work within - not around - the Constitution.

"When the Establishment failed to energize the base with its moderate platform, Sen. DeMint became a crusader for principled conservatism that reached beyond the GOP. When people gang up on a principled leader, doing what is right can seem like a lonely effort. That's why FRC is gathering together one million Americans to pray on a regular basis for Sen. DeMint.

"We want the men and women from both parties to know that an attack on Sen. DeMint is an attack on all conservatives and people of faith. In my conversations, Sen. DeMint has expressed his appreciation for those who would pray for him and has agreed to keep those who pledge to pray updated with specific prayer requests as he works with the new Congress on issues critical to our families. To join us in lifting up Sen. DeMint and other leaders of conviction, go to www.frc.org/pray."

Religious Right Lining Up Behind Bachmann

When Rep. Mike Pence announced that he was stepping down from his position as head of the House Republican Conference, the Family Research Council immediately issued a statement saying that choosing his replacement would be the "first major test for the new Republican majority."

The two leading candidates for the position are Rep. Jeb Hensarling and Rep. Michele Bachmann, and while Hensarling appears to be emerging as the front-runner and racking up the support of GOP leaders, it looks like the Religious Right is backing Bachmann:

Concerned Women for America thinks ... [t]here are plenty of competent and fearless leaders at the ready who deserve a seat at the table. Rep. Michele Bachmann from Minnesota comes to mind. She has been an outspoken conservative leader of the Tea Party movement from the beginning, and we think she deserves serious consideration for a leadership position.

Conservative women won big this election cycle, and the Tea Party helped to propel them to victory. In fact, women in general swung 14 points for Republicans. It seems time to add a stiletto to the clubby, well-heeled leadership team.

And Richard Viguerie has even unveiled a petition asking Reps. Boehner and Cantor to "withdraw your endorsement of Rep. Hensarling for the House Republican Conference and allow Rep. Bachmann (or anyone else who wishes to join the race) a fair and open election process that equally respects the voice of each Republican House member." 

Ostensibly, Viguerie's petition is just asking for a fair election, but he is making no secret of his support for Bachmann:

Viguerie told Newsmax in an e-mail: "Yes, I think it's important that Michele Bachmann be elected as the House Republican Conference Chair. All other leadership positions, including committee chairs, are controlled by [presumptive House Speaker] John Boehner and Eric Cantor — men associated with the big-government Republicans that so angered the GOP's base and most of America.

"The Republican congressional leaders need to send a message that they are open under new management," he wrote. "Unfortunately, while Congressman Jeb Hensarling is a good conservative, his close association with the old guard Republican failed leadership sends the wrong message to tea partiers."

Bob Vander Plaats Now Running The Religious Right Show In Iowa

Earlier this year, Bob Vander Plaats made an effort to secure the GOP nomination for Governor in Iowa and lost to Terry Branstad, prompting the right-wing state affiliate of Focus on the Family, the Iowa Family Policy Center, to announce that it was going to sit out the race.

Vander Plaats went on to head Iowa For Freedom and team up with national groups like the Family Research Council, National Organization for Marriage, and American Family Association, as well as the Iowa Family Policy Center, in carrying out "God's will" by removing three state Supreme Court justices over the marriage equality ruling.

Fresh off that victory, Vander Plaats has now been placed in control over IFPC and its affiliated Marriage Matters and is bringing in Mike Huckabee to help raise much needed funds:

Even before the votes were counted last Tuesday, Vander Plaats already had his next move mapped out. Last month, the Board of Directors of the Iowa Family Policy Center (IFPC) named Vander Plaats the CEO of an organization called The Family Group, which oversees IFPC and Marriage Matters. A source told TheIowaRepublican.com that Vander Plaats signed a three-year contract that will pay him around $120,000 annually.

...

Ironically, the organization that Vander Plaats is taking over doesn’t look anything like the one that aided him in the Republican gubernatorial primary. Mike Hartwig, who has headed up Marriage Matters since its creation was shown the door. Likewise, Tom Steen, who was appointed by the Board of IFPC to be the organization’s Chief Operating Officer in March of 2009, is gone. So too is IFPC’s communications director, Bryan English.

Vander Plaats is now charged with turning around the organization. His chief responsibility will be raising money for the organization. Not only will he have to raise the necessary funds to pay his $120,000 a year salary, but he is also going to have to raise the funds to pay the salaries of longtime IFPC President Chuck Hurley, Vander Plaats will also have to fund the two staff positions that he created following the departures of those listed above.

All of this may explain why Vander Plaats didn’t use Mike Huckabee’s celebrity to aide with Iowa for Freedom’s campaign. Instead, Huckabee will headline a fundraising event for IFPC on November 21st at First Federated Church in Des Moines. The funds raised at this event will go towards covering IFPC’s operating expenses.

Ken Blackwell & Mike Lee Team Up to Pass Balanced Budget Amendment

Ken Blackwell wears many hats:

Ken Blackwell is the Senior Fellow for Family Empowerment at the Family Research Council, and the Ronald Reagan Distinguished Fellow for Public Policy at the Buckeye Institute in Columbus, Ohio. He is a visiting fellow at the Texas Public Policy Foundation and the American Civil Rights Union. He serves on the Board of Directors of the Club for Growth, National Taxpayers Union and Pastors Retreat Network. Mr. Blackwell is also the Chairman for the Coalition for a Conservative Majority, and a member of the National Rifle Association’s Public Affairs Committee. He is a columnist for the New York Sun, a contributing editor and columnist for the conservative news and opinion site Townhall.com, and a public affairs commentator for the Salem Radio Network.

To this list we can now add Chairman of a new group named "Balanced Budget Amendment Now" which, as its name suggests, is going to be focused solely on passing a Balanced Budget Amendment and has already received the support of Senator-Elect Mike Lee (R-UT): 

A new organization has launched to campaign for a balanced budget amendment to the Constitution, Balanced Budget Amendment Now. Focused solely on passing a balanced budget amendment (BBA), the group seeks to enlist 5,000 – 10,000 voters in each congressional district who will urge their members of Congress to vote for a BBA. This organization will be chaired by the Honorable Kenneth Blackwell, a longtime taxpayer advocate and fiscal conservative.

"We're glad to see the historic change in Congress and in state houses across America. The people have spoken forcefully, and they reject the profligate spending and massive expansion of government that they see in Washington, DC. The new Congress will face tremendous pressure as they seek to cut spending, and Balanced Budget Amendment Now will be there to remind them that they weren't elected to trim spending or slow down the rate of growth, but to cut, de-authorize and balance the budget.

"To that end, we want to give the 112th Congress and future Congresses a valuable tool to keep spending in check, a BBA to the Constitution. Our first step towards this goal is a vote on the BBA by October 1, 2011, the first day of the next fiscal year. Only by the active participation of 'We the People' can we force Congress and the President to act, before it's too late to avoid an economic collapse," concluded Blackwell.

Balanced Budget Amendment Now has asked Senator-Elect Mike Lee (R-UT) to draft BBA language and to enlist the support of his colleagues. Senator-Elect Lee stated, "The time has come for Congress to do the right thing and pass a balanced budget amendment. The majority of states in this country balance their budgets every year. Requiring Congress to do the same simply requires self-restraint, fiscal discipline, forethought and a commitment to follow both the roles and restraints outlined in the Constitution."

Lee concluded, "I applaud the efforts of groups like Balanced Budget Amendment Now for moving this issue forward. This is the type of dialogue and discussion Congress and our citizens need to engage in at this critical time in our nation's history. A balanced budget amendment is an important first step to reclaiming our future."

FRC: If Survey Says Soldiers Don't Oppose Repealing DADT, The Survey Must Be Flawed

Last week, leaked results from the Pentagon's survey revealed that most soldiers were unopposed to repealing Don't Ask, Don't Tell.

So, if you are the Family Research Council, it can only mean that the survey is flawed and cannot be trusted

The Pentagon study used six instruments to collect service member views about homosexuality and the proposed repeal, the most critical aspect of the study. Those instruments include closed door town hall-like meetings followed by focus groups and two confidential web-based comment sites. However, these instruments lack the scientific rigor of random sampling allegedly used by two Pentagon surveys, one for military members and another for their spouses. But those surveys are suspect.

The military member survey ignores important questions and has serious flaws.

  • It fails to ask whether the homosexual ban should be repealed and whether the respondent is homosexual.
  • It asks numerous questions about the impact perceived homosexuals have on unit performance and for a variety of undefined military concepts like readiness. The poll fails to corroborate the validity of the perceptions.
  • It presents homosexuality -- which is not defined -- as a neutral factor and privacy questions only offer accommodation answers.
  • Only one in four members randomly selected to participate in the survey actually participated.

The military spouse survey has similar flaws.

  • It fails to ask whether the homosexual ban should be repealed and the impact of open homosexuality for military children.
  • It does not address religious and moral objections to homosexuality nor define homosexuality.
  • It does not address privacy and spousal concerns about open homosexual behavior in the military community.
  • It assumes homosexual couples will receive the same benefits as married heterosexual military couples--although granting such benefits would likely violate the federal Defense of Marriage Act.

Congress should insist on receiving detailed results from these surveys, carefully scrutinize how the Pentagon uses the views collected from these six instruments, and reject any analysis based on unscientific and or biased questioning.

Meet Congressman-Elect Raul Labrador: Bryan Fischer’s Favorite Tea Partier

Following Tuesday's election, RWW will bring you our list of the "The Ten Scariest Republicans Heading to Congress." Our second candidate profile is on a hero to Idaho's Religious Right and Tea Party movements, Raul Labrador:

In the Republican primary to see who would face off against Democratic Rep. Walt Minnick, Raul Labrador ran to the right of his very conservative opponent who was endorsed by Sarah Palin and the NRCC. Labrador rallied support from Religious Right and Tea Party groups in order to upset Republican Vaughn Ward, whose campaign imploded, and he went on to defeat Rep. Minnick.

Labrador made his right-wing views clear when he announced his campaign in an email “to a former Idaho blogger known for his extreme conservative views.” He supports withdrawing the US from the United Nations, returning to the Gold Standard, and eliminating the Department of Education. Labrador even wants to repeal the 17th Amendment and end the right of voters to elect their Senators, bizarrely saying that it is “the constitutional position to take” and the only way to make sure “that US Senators are actually beholden to the people.”

In the State House, Labrador said he will work “tirelessly to defund and repeal Obamacare” and spearheaded the passage of a bill which compels the Attorney General to challenge the health care reform law in federal court and bars the government from mandating coverage. When speaking to radio talk show host Laura Ingraham, Labrador maintained that the law was “historic, but remember, Benedict Arnold was also historic, he betrayed our nation. And I think the Democratic Party betrayed our nation yesterday as well.”

An anti-government zealot, he backed bills which seek to reaffirm Idaho’s sovereignty from the federal government, to limit “Congress’ power under the commerce clause,” and to stop the federal government from enforcing gun laws.

He won support from the Religious Right community and the American Family Association’s director of public policy and talk show host Bryan Fischer, who compared gays to terrorists and believes that Muslims should be prohibited from building mosques in the US, called Labrador his “good friend” and the two hosted Tea Party rallies together. Labrador voted to make the federal government “provide for the presence of God in the public domain,” supports the ban on openly gay and lesbian soldiers from serving in the military, and opposes same-sex marriage rights.

The Family Research Council Action PAC ran radio ads endorsing Labrador, who supported him as a result of his 100% anti-choice record: he voted to allow medical professionals to refuse contraceptives, voted in favor of increasing burdens on women seeking to terminate their pregnancy, and lauds his opposition to abortion in all cases. Penny Nance of the far-right Concerned Women for America showered praise on Labrador, the National Right to Life Committee extolled his “exemplary pro-life record,” and he was a principal legislative ally of Idaho Chooses Life.

A proponent of corporate interests, Labrador wants to scrap the progressive income tax in favor of a national sales tax, supports the Supreme Court’s decision in Citizens United, and signed Grover Norquist’s anti-tax pledge. Even though he opposes the Stimulus, as a State Representative he repeatedly voted in favor of spending federal money provided by the Stimulus. On immigration, Arizona’s notorious Sheriff Joe Arpaio endorsed Labrador, who has said that illegal immigrants are “going to have to self-deport.”

Raul Labrador’s fanatical mission to rewrite the Constitution and dismantle the federal government has generated massive support from the Tea Party, and Religious Right figures like Bryan Fischer and Peggy Nance have given Labrador their blessing as a result of his rigid anti-choice and anti-equality views. As a result of the election, Labrador is set to bring his extremist views and rightwing platform from the Idaho State House to the US Congress.

 

 

 

Party (Again) At Brent Bozell's House!

Right after the election in 2008, a group of right-wing leaders gathered at Brent Bozell's house to lick their wounds and begin plotting their return.

They are now crediting the meeting with laying the groundwork for the republican gains in the last election and so they are gathering once again to strategize ways to solidify and expand their gains in the next election:

A group of conservative leaders who helped steer their movement away from a painful defeat in 2008 and toward an electoral comeback in 2010, plan to meet privately on Friday to map out their strategy for the next two years.

Led by Brent Bozell, president of the Media Research Center, a conservative media watchdog group, and the nephew of the late conservative icon William F. Buckley, Jr., the gathering will include a who’s who of right-leaning activists.

Joining Bozell at his mountain retreat in Stanley, Va. will be Tony Perkins, president of the Family Research Council; Tim Phillips, president of Americans for Prosperity, one of the most active conservative groups of 2010 election cycle; former Indiana Republican Rep. Dave McIntosh; Becky Norton Dunlop, vice president at the Heritage Foundation; Frank Gaffney, founder and president of the Center for Security Policy; Al Regnery, publisher of the American Spectator magazine; and Leonard Leo, executive vice president of The Federalist Society.

The group includes many of the same individuals who, in the words of one conservative activist, helped define President Barack Obama, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi as “far leftists” who were tipping the country “toward socialism” -- an idea that energized the conservative base this year.

...

Many of the same individuals who will gather at Bozell’s home this week took part in a similar meeting after the 2008 election, not only to lick their wounds after Obama swept into the White House and Democrats scored big gains in Congress, but also to plot a course out of the political wilderness

After that session, Bozell declared “the moderate wing of the Republican Party is dead,” and his counterpart, Tony Perkins, warned that candidates for elected officials who are “squishy on conservative principles” would no longer be tolerated.

Friday’s discussion will focus on the issues that will continue to drive movement supporters, including an emphasis on limited, constitutional government. The group also plans to look ahead to the 2012 election cycle, identifying some of the rising-star candidates who have the best chance to defeat President Obama.

To pass muster among members of this group, the activist who outlined the meeting’s agenda, said potential 2012 candidates will have to be “full-throttle, across-the-board conservatives."

Right Wing Leftovers

  • Lou Engle's roommate is now the Governor of Kansas.
  • I really am not looking forward to having to listen to Ralph Reed's "expert analysis" for the next two years.
  • The Family Research Council prays that Congress will now "prevent any law offensive to faith, family or freedom!"
  • Quote of the day from Bill Donohue: "Last night they proved once again that of the three major religions in the U.S., [Catholics] are the ones that count most."
  • Finally, I wonder if the topic of James Dobson's radio program today was designed to provide solace to Democrats: "Learning to Embrace Brokenness."

Everything You Need To Know About The FRC

As we noted the other day, the Family Research Council had run ads against Rep. Joseph Cao in Louisiana because, after having endorsed him in 2008, FRC decided that Cao was insufficiently anti-gay.

Last night, Cao lost his re-election bid.

Contrast that with another Louisiana politician, Sen. David Vitter, who admitted to involvement with prostitutes.  What does FRC have to say about that?

All is forgiven:

“He came forward, took responsibilities for his actions, acknowledged it, asked for forgiveness, has remained consistent in his positions and the voters in Louisiana have responded positively to that,” Tony Perkins, president of the Family Research Council, told The Ballot Box.

“He had enough time between when this event became public and when he had to stand for reelection, he was able to convince voters that he had changed,” added Perkins. “People make mistakes, but its whether or not we recognize we made a mistake” that’s the issue.

...

Perkins said he and Vitter spoke after D.C. Madam news broke.

“He left me convinced that I should give him another chance,” he said. “He certainly has not changed his positions. If anything, he’s gotten stronger and more resolute in his firm conservative stance.”

So let that be a lesson to other Republican leaders: if you support things like Hate Crimes legislation or the repeal of Don't Ask, Don't Tell, FRC will attack you for helping to "advance the radical social agendas of homosexual activists."

But if you are a "family values" conservative who frequents prostitutes and says you are sorry once you get caught, FRC won't hold it against you.

Chuck Hurley: "We Did God's Will" By Removing Iowa Supreme Court Justices

Outside anti-gay organizations like the American Family Association, Family Research Council, Alliance Defense Fund, Faith & Freedom Coalition and National Organization for Marriage spent more than $1 million targeting three Iowa Supreme Court justices for defeat over the court's ruling in favor of marriage equality ... and I can't say that I am surprised that the effort paid off:

Three Iowa Supreme Court justices lost their seats Tuesday in a historic upset fueled by their 2009 decision that allowed same-sex couples to marry.

Vote totals from 96% of Iowa's 1,774 precincts showed Chief Justice Marsha Ternus and Justices David Baker and Michael Streit with less than the simple majority needed to stay on the bench.

Their removal marked the first time an Iowa Supreme Court justice has not been retained since 1962, when the merit selection and retention system for judges was adopted.

So, of course, the professional anti-gay activists are busy congratulating themselves for having carried out God's will:

[F]ollowing Tuesday night's election, Chuck Hurley, president of the Iowa Family Policy Center (IFPC), informed OneNewsNow those judges will soon be out of a job.

"So we're praising God; we're thanking all the Iowans who stood up to judicial tyranny," he shares. "It's great news in Iowa, and it's great news for the country that judges don't have to lord it over us. 'We the people' are the ultimate authority."

The pro-family advocate adds that one of the most heartening aspects of the campaign was the fact that hundreds of pastors across the state spoke out about the issue.

"God is our ultimate authority, and we think that we did God's will by standing up to the three judges who would try to redefine God's institution and say that marriage is anything other than one man and one woman," Hurley explains.

Fischer: "The American Standard Ought to be a Minimum of Three Children per Married Couple"

The great thing about the American Family Association's Bryan Fischer is his willingness to take a current Religious Right issue and carry it to its logical conclusion, regardless how of extreme said conclusion might be. 

Case in point, last week we noted that the Family Research Council announced that it was willing to fight any effort to include coverage for birth control in health care reform legislation on the grounds that "fertility isn't a disease."

But leave it to Fischer to take an even more radical position by announcing not only his opposition to using tax dollars to provide birth control to the unmarried couples, but to married couples as well ... and then taking a position even more radical than that by declaring that married couples ought to be obligated to have a minimum of at least three children

We want married couples to have more children, not fewer. Our problem is not that married couples are having too many kids, our problem is that they aren't having enough.

Our fertility rate right now is barely at replacement level, and that’s with 40% of our children born out-of-wedlock -- bastards, to use the quaint and correct term (dictionary: “bastard: a person born of parents not married to each other”). That’s not name-calling, it’s telling the truth.

...

The last thing we need is any public policy that encourages married couples to have fewer children. In fact, the American standard ought to be a minimum of three children per married couple.

God’s original instruction to our first parents was to “be fruitful, multiply and fill the earth.” This command, which theologians call the “Cultural Mandate,” has never been rescinded. It’s still in effect today, just as much in effect as it was when first uttered 6,000 years ago.

In order to “multiply” - that is, to grow in number - each couple has to have at least three children.

How Times Have Changed

In 2008, the Family Research Council endorsed Joseph Cao for Congress:

Today FRC Action PAC is endorsing Joseph Cao for Congress representing the second district of Louisiana.

"Joseph Cao will be a true friend of the family. We need representatives who will fight to defend the family against the radical leadership in the House of Representatives," said Tony Perkins, President of FRC Action PAC. "I feel confident in Joseph Cao's ability to do just that.

"Joseph Cao's amazing life story is a testament to the high-caliber Congressman he would be. The second district of Louisiana deserves the type of leadership and integrity that he brings.

"We will need many pro-family representatives in the next Congress and FRC Action PAC believes that Joseph Cao will be a true advocate for the issues that best uphold and strengthen families. We are proud to support his candidacy."

Cao won his race and is now running for re-election ... and FRC is running ads against him because he turned out to be insufficiently anti-gay:

The conservative Family Research Council Action PAC has launched a last-minute radio ad campaign against Rep. Anh "Joseph" Cao, R-New Orleans, for his support of gay rights ... Cao's "record is dismal on our issues," Tony Perkins, the former Louisiana legislator who heads the Washington-based FRC, said Saturday.

...

"Who is Rep. Joseph Cao representing in Washington?" the FRC ad asks. "Cao has repeatedly voted for extra protections for homosexuals at the cost of religious liberty. Cao voted to use the military to advance the radical social agendas of homosexual activists and he voted for a so-called hate crimes bill that places your personal liberties at jeopardy."

Cao co-sponsored both the Hate Crimes Protection Act of 2009 and House legislation to repeal the policy that prohibits openly gay men and women from serving in the armed forces, known as "don't ask, don't tell."

"I believe it is a human rights violation to impose government-sanctioned penalties on a group of people just because of their sexual orientation, just as it would be a human rights violation to impose penalties on a group because of its religious affiliation or race," Cao said. "I will continue to fight for the protection of human rights for all people."

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801 G Street, NW Washington, DC 20001 www.frc.org President: Tony Perkins Date of founding: 1983 Membership: 455,000 members. Finances: $10 million (2000 revenue)   MORE >

Family Research Council Posts Archive

Brian Tashman, Friday 02/22/2013, 6:45pm
Even though studies keep proving that morning-after pills don’t cause abortion, Religious Right groups will continue to baselessly argue otherwise.  Family Research Council invites you to the National Organization for Marriage’s anti-gay Marriage March. Yet another tough break for professional vote-suppressor Hans von Spakovsky.  Anyone want to buy Human Events? AFA’s Buster Wilson is mad at us because we quoted him verbatim.  Rick Warren is very, very, very sad that Tim Tebow pulled out of his appearance at Robert Jeffress... MORE >
Peter Montgomery, Wednesday 02/20/2013, 6:27pm
The Family Research Council hosted a panel discussion Wednesday on religious liberty in America.  If you have paid any attention at all to the frantic warnings from FRC’s Tony Perkins that tyranny is on the march, you could have guessed what was coming.  The overall theme of the conversation was that the HHS mandate for insurance coverage of contraception is a dire threat to religious freedom in America.  So are the advance of marriage equality and laws against anti-gay discrimination – or the “sexual liberty agenda.” The panel featured three lawyers:... MORE >
Peter Montgomery, Tuesday 02/19/2013, 3:17pm
The Family Research Council has launched what it is describing as “an ambitious, no-holds-barred campaign to keep marriage as between one man and one woman and preserve the American family.”  FRC is worried about two cases before the Supreme Court that will have “a lasting impact on the very soul of our nation” -- one on California’s Prop 8 and one on the federal Defense of Marriage Act.  In a direct-mail piece dated on Valentine’s Day, FRC President Tony Perkins says it is important to get members of Congress “to pressure the Supreme Court... MORE >
Brian Tashman, Friday 02/15/2013, 12:00pm
Congressman Steve Scalise (R-LA) appeared on Washington Watch with Family Research Council president Tony Perkins yesterday to discuss the State of the Union address where he pushed the standard right-wing canards that President Obama is leading an attack on freedom and trying to exploit “tragedies that he uses to his own benefit.” Perkins: There’s not been an administration that’s been more hostile to our first freedom, our fundamental right of the freedom of speech and the freedom of religion. Scalise: Right, look, just go in order. Right after that, he’s... MORE >
Brian Tashman, Thursday 02/14/2013, 5:00pm
After losing his bid for a second term in Congress, despite a more favorable district, Allen West is continuing his work as a fulltime conservative blowhard (but without a taxpayer-funded salary). West is working at PJ Media and appeared yesterday on Washington Watch with Family Research Council leaders Tony Perkins and Jerry Boykin, where he criticized the lifting of the bans on women in combat and gays and lesbians in the military. West told Boykin that “the liberal progressive left” is “coming at the military so viciously and vehemently because they want to tear down that... MORE >
Brian Tashman, Wednesday 02/13/2013, 12:00pm
While he certainly has a lot of competition serving among the likes of Michele Bachmann, Steve King, Louie Gohmert and Steve Stockman, Rep. Tim Huelskamp is doing his best to position himself as the leading congressman of the anti-gay radical right. Huelskamp told Family Research Council president Tony Perkins in an interview before last night’s State of the Union address that President Obama seeks “to destroy the family and replace it with his view of a radical new social agenda.” This President has a radical social agenda and the media will probably give him a pass when... MORE >
Brian Tashman, Tuesday 02/12/2013, 1:00pm
Family Research Council vice president Jerry Boykin has joined the right-wing smear campaign against John Brennan and Chuck Hagel, President Obama’s nominees to lead the CIA and the Department of Defense, respectively. In an interview with fellow anti-Muslim activist Frank Gaffney, Boykin said that Hagel “has demonstrated some rather anti-Semitic tendencies in not being willing to stand with Israel” and that Brennan is “very sympathetic to the jihadist cause.” Boykin added that Brennan “personally brought in a number of very subversive elements and... MORE >
Brian Tashman, Monday 02/11/2013, 5:30pm
Rep. Louie Gohmert (R-TX) appeared on today’s edition of Washington Watch Weekly with Tony Perkins in order to criticize the U.S. military for removing a small church steeple and cross-shaped windows at an Afghan base, which he claims means that the military won’t let service members worship. As NBC News reported, the steeple and cross “violated Army regulations and could reinforce suspicions that the United States is fighting a holy war” against Islam, which is exactly how Taliban insurgents are framing the war. But Gohmert said that by removing the steeple the... MORE >