Florida

Right Wing Round-Up

Ralph Reed’s Anointed Candidates

After receiving support and encouragement from potential presidential candidates like Tim Pawlenty, Newt Gingrich, and Mike Pence, Ralph Reed’s new group is now courting voters by running radio ads to defeat vulnerable Democratic incumbents. Here are some of the Republican candidates that the Faith and Freedom Coalition say have “a big belief in faith and freedom,” and are hoping to elect to the US House:

  • Iowa’s Brad Zaun, who is challenging Leonard Boswell, “had to be told by West Des Moines police in 2001 to stay away from a former girlfriend who had accused him of harassing her, a police report shows. The woman called police in the early morning hours in April 2001 to complain that a former boyfriend, identified as Zaun, had gone to her home and had pounded on her windows. ‘Brad yelled from outside calling her slut and other names,’ the police report states.”
  • Scott DesJarlais of Tennessee was accused by his ex-wife of “harassment, intimidation and physical abuse.” Divorce records show that DesJarlais was accused of “dry firing a gun outside the Plaintiff’s locked bedroom door, admission of suicidal ideation, holding a gun in his mouth for three hours, an incident of physical intimidation at the hospital; and previous threatening behavior ... i.e. shoving, tripping, pushing down, etc.” Following the divorce, the police were called on DesJarlais for harassing his ex-wife.
  • Allen West, the tea party sensation challenging Ron Klein in Florida, is closely tied to the Outlaws motorcycle gang, which is involved in criminal activity such as drug dealing and lists convicted murderers on its website as members. Members of the Outlaws are even present at his campaign stop, where they have been accused of intimidating Democratic trackers. West himself called on his campaign supporters to make his opponent “scared to come out of his house,” and was forced to leave the military after he “threatened to kill a police officer, then fired a 9mm next to his head to make the threat credible.”
  • Pennsylvania’s Lou Barletta promised to make the city of Hazelton “the toughest place on illegal immigrants in America” by passing draconian laws to stop illegal immigrants from receiving housing or employment. While the Mayor became an all-star to the anti-immigrant movement, his city “has the highest unemployment rate of any city in Pennsylvania.”

Reed is running cookie-cutter ads to help their favored candidates:

It's us vs them. Big government vs a big belief in faith and freedom.  Scott DesJarlais vs Lincoln Davis.  Davis is a 'Them,' like Obama, like Pelosi. He voted for their Stimulus Plan that wasted our money, for taxpayer funded bailouts of Wall Street, for taxpayer funded abortion. DesJarlais is one of us. He says faith in God and the freedom to become all we want to be made America great. We must choose an ‘us.’ Someone who gets it, will protect our freedom and defend our faith. Please vote faith, vote freedom, vote DesJarlais. Because it’s us vs. them.

 

New Ralph Reed Ad Campaign Literally Declares "It's Us Vs Them"

Ever since he was anointed as "The Right Hand of God" fifteen years ago, Ralph Reed has enjoyed a reputation as the Religious Right's leading political operative. 

So influential is Reed, in fact, that even his work exploiting his Religious Right allies on behalf of disgraced criminal lobbyist Jack Abramoff's gambling clients could not sink his career, as he returned last year with a new group called the Faith and Freedom Coalition, which he touted as a more hip, more strident "21st Century version of the Christian Coalition on steroids, married with MoveOn.org, with a sprinkling of the NRA." And the rest of the right-wing movement eagerly embraced him once again.

But at heart, Reed is just another right-wing political hack, and a pretty blatant and unoriginal one at that.  And nothing better demonstrates that the FFC is spending half a million dollars to run a more absurdly over-the-top radio ad than you could even imagine: 

The Faith and Freedom Coalition will announce Tuesday evening that it is launching a $500,000 radio ad campaign to increase evangelical and conservative turnout next week.

The socially conservative group, led by Ralph Reed, will target 18 House and Senate races with the independent expenditure effort.

At the top of its list is the Nevada Senate contest, where Republican Sharron Angle is trying to unseat Democratic Majority Leader Harry Reid. The group will also debut ads bolstering the Republican nominees in the tight Colorado and Washington Senate races.

Incumbent House Democrats being targeted by the group are Ciro Rodriguez (Texas), Paul Kanjorski (Pennsylvania), Jerry McNerney and Loretta Sanchez (California), Tom Perriello (Virginia), Sanford Bishop and Jim Marshall (Georgia), John Spratt (South Carolina), John Boccieri (Ohio), Allen Boyd and Ron Klein (Florida), John Salazar (Colorado), Leonard Boswell (Iowa) and Lincoln Davis (Tennessee).

Here is ad Reed is running against Harry Reid and its theme is literally "us vs. them" - you really need to listen to it in order to fully understand just how truly awful it is:

It's Us versus Them. Big government versus a big belief in faith and freedom. Sharron Angle versus Harry Reid.

Reid is a "them," like Obama, like Pelosi. He voted for their stimulus plan that only wasted our money, civilian trials for foreign terrorists, and government-run health care.

Angle is one of us. She says it is faith in God and the freedom to become all we want that made America great.

We must choose an "us." Someone who gets it, will protect our freedom, and defend our faith.

Please, vote faith, vote freedom, vote Angle.

It's Us versus Them.

The various other versions of the ad can be found here.

The Right truly has become a parody of itself.

Dobson Making Election Robocalls For NOM?

I generally don't write blog posts based on things printed in the Letters to the Editor section of newspapers, but I am making an exception in this case because this letter in the Sarasota Herald Tribune reports that James Dobson is making pre-election robocalls:

After a busy day of doing errands, including voting for the candidates I believe in, I came home to find what I consider an outrageous message on my answering machine. A man identifying himself as James Dobson asked me to talk to my pastor and congregation (I have none) regarding whom I should vote for, so they could instruct me on Judeo-Christian thoughts in a document called "Voters Guide on Values and Truth." These people appear to belong to a group called "Family Talk" and are funded by the National Congregation for Marriage Education Fund.

Presumably, the author meant the National Organization for Marriage Education Fund.

Right Wing Round-Up

Right Wing Round-Up

2012 Candidates Weekly Update 10/19/10

Haley Barbour

Washington: Ranked #1 of GQ’s “DC Power List” (GQ, 10/18).

Mississippi: NYT columnist looks into his record of pardons as Governor (NYT, 10/15).

GOP: Raises $31 million for Republican Governors Association (WaPo, 10/14).

Mitch Daniels

Economy: Hit by conservatives for floating idea of value added tax (Newsweek, 10/18).

2012: Praised by President of US Chamber of Commerce (Courier & Press, 10/13).

Newt Gingrich

2010: Predicts takeover of House and Senate by GOP (KTAR, 10/18).

Fundraising: His 527, which has no cap on donations, raised over $4 million (Politico, 10/16).

Mike Huckabee

Media: Brings Ohio GOP gubernatorial nominee on TV show, says he is “not the least bit objective” (Media Matters, 10/18).

Crime: Seattle Times looks into Huckabee’s pardon of Maurice Clemmons (Seattle Times, 10/17).

Religious Right: Tells “Freedom, Faith and Family” conference that God guided Founding Fathers, condemns abortion (Winston-Salem Journal, 10/16).

2010: Predicts a “tsunami of change” while campaigning for Indiana Republicans (Indiana News Center, 10/13).

Mitt Romney

2010: Campaigns for Wisconsin’s Scott Walker and Minnesota’s Tom Emmer (GOP12, 10/18).

Fundraising: Collects $1.7 million for leadership PAC over summer (Politico, 10/14).

Iowa: May not focus as much attention on Iowa Caucuses in 2012 as he did in 2008 (Des Moines Register, 10/14).

Sarah Palin

Tea Party: Launches Tea Party Express Bus Tour in Reno, NV (Christian Science Monitor, 10/18).

2010: Set to rally in Florida with Michael Steele and Marco Rubio after appearing with Steele in California (Politico, 10/18).

Religious Right: Speaks to Liberty and Freedom Foundation about patriotism, God, and Pat Tillman; knocks First Lady Michelle Obama (Opposing Views, 10/17).

George Pataki

Health Care: Wants 1 million people to sign his petition to repeal reform law (Jackson Citizen Patriot, 10/14; The Hill, 10/14).

Economy: Criticizes Obama Administration’s green-jobs initiatives (Wall Street Journal, 10/14).

Tim Pawlenty

GOP: Holds rally with Mitt Romney in Minnesota (Star Tribune, 10/18).

Government: Criticizes federal government spending but requests money from Washington for flood aid (Up Take, 10/18).

Fundraising: Leadership PAC raised over half a million dollars over the Summer (AP, 10/14).

Rick Santorum

Abortion: Set to address Tennessee Right to Life’s annual dinner (Knoxville News, 10/17).

Religious Right: Spoke Friday to Cornerstone Action fundraiser (CPR Action, 10/15).

2012 Candidates Weekly Update 10/12/10

Newt Gingrich

Extremism: Detractors condemn Gingrich’s increasingly heated rhetoric (Politico, 10/11).

Government: Calls Democrats “the party of food stamps” (AP, 10/7).

Health Care: Pushes repeal of reform law to business conference (The Bakersfield Californian, 10/9).

Mike Huckabee

2010: Solicits contributions for Alan Grayson’s opponent Dan Webster (Sunshine State News, 10/11).

Media: Coulter says Huckabee is the “only one true Christian liberal in the country” (Mediaite, 10/10).

Sarah Palin

Poll: Just 22% of Americans view Palin positively (CBS News, 10/6).

2010: Says midterm election represents a “Great Awakening” among voters (Politico, 10/11).

Media: Blasts the “lamestream media” and Tea Party critics at “Patriotic Gala” fundraiser (MSNBC, 10/11).

Foreign Affairs: Tells NewsMax that a nuclear Iran could “lead to an Armageddon” (News Max, 10/11).

Tim Pawlenty

Religious Right: Fundraises for Ralph Reed’s Faith and Freedom Coalition (Iowa Politics, 10/10).

Iowa: Visits three cities and hosts fundraiser with GOP gubernatorial nominee Terry Branstad (Radio Iowa, 10/11).

Health Care: Dubs reform law “one of the worst pieces of legislation in modern history” (Sioux City Journal, 10/9).

Ron Paul

Iowa: Speaking at University of Iowa and a GOP fundraiser later this month (Iowa Independent, 10/11).

Tea Party: Praises “Nullification” movement at Tea Party convention (Slate, 10/9).

Mike Pence

Religious Right: Tells Virginia Family Foundation that “the problems we have as a nation are not just political, but moral” (Richmond Times Dispatch, 10/10).

GOP: Headlines Reagan Day Dinner in Florida (Saint Peters Blog, 10/11).

Mitt Romney

Religious Right: Avoids comment on Mormon leader’s anti-gay speech (Salt Lake City Tribune, 10/7).

Health Care: MA Republicans don’t want Romney to denounce reform law he signed as governor (Boston Globe, 10/8).

Foreign Affairs: Knocks Obama for “apologizing for America” (The Bakersfield Californian, 10/9).

Rick Santorum

Iowa: Launches Iowa Keystone PAC to help state Republicans (Politico, 10/7).

Religious Right: Criticizes ACLU over reproductive rights (NewsMax, 10/9).

2010 Right Wing Candidates Weekly Update 10/06

Sharron Angle

Tea Party: Blasts GOP establishment while talking up “juice” with Senate leaders in talk with Nevada Tea Party nominee (WaPo, 10/4).

Poll: Fox News poll showing Angle up by 3% criticized as weighted towards conservatives (LVRG, 10/5).

Government: Claims that Sharia law is on the march and that “government isn't what our founding fathers put into the Constitution” (PFAW Blog, 10/1).

Ad: New ad maliciously attacks Harry Reid over illegal immigration, DREAM Act (KVVU, 10/5).

Ken Buck

Poll: Bennet leads Buck by 1% in new Colorado poll (Public Policy Polling, 10/5).

Religious Right: Reverses himself on Personhood Amendment, which would ban abortion (CBS, 10/4).

Outside groups: Race leads the nation in spending from outside groups (Denver Post, 10/5).

Carly Fiorina

Religious Right: National Organization for Marriage launches bus tour for Fiorina to win over Latino voters (OC Weekly, 10/4).

Ad: RNC donates $2 million to help put Fiorina back on the air (Oakland Tribune, 10/4).

Poll: Trails Boxer by 4% in latest Reuters/Ipsos poll of California voters (Reuters, 10/5).

Joe Miller

Government: Supports repeal of the 17th Amendment, seeks term limits Amendment (News-Miner, 10/5).

Palin: Attempted to block “troopergate” investigation of Palin (Alaska Dispatch, 10/1).

2012: Todd Palin angry that Miller refuses to confirm if Sarah Palin is qualified to be president (Salon, 10/5).

Unemployment: Although he seeks their elimination, his wife received unemployment (HuffPo, 10/5).

Outside groups: Tea Party Express releases ad targeting Murkowski (The Hill, 10/4).

Christine O’Donnell

China: In 2006, said that China plotted overthrow of US (WaPo, 10/5).

Ad: Tells viewers “I’m not a witch; I’m nothing you’ve heard: I’m you” in new ad (ABC, 10/4).

Rand Paul

Government: Claims Medicaid leads to “intergenerational welfare” (Lexington Herald Leader, 10/4).

Social Security: Suggests raising retirement age in debate (Salon, 10/2).

Ad: DSCC blasts Paul for $2,000 Medicare deductible proposal, non-Kentucky ties (DSCC, 10/5).

Controversy: Calls Conway ad that features father of drug-abuse victim “creepy” (AP, 10/1).

Marco Rubio

Social Security: New Crist ad blasts Rubio for supporting retirement age increase (The Page, 10/5).

Religious Right: Wins endorsement of Florida Right to Life (LifeNews, 10/4).

Finances: New questions raised about Rubio’s expenses (Sun Sentinel, 10/4).

Pat Toomey

Wall Street: MoJo looks into Toomey’s past in derivatives trading (Mother Jones, 10/5).

Social Security: Stands by privatizing Social Security (Crooks and Liars, 9/29).

Gary Cass' One-Sided Definition of Anti-Christian Defamation

Sometimes you just have to marvel at the cluelessness of some Religious Right leaders, like when Gary Cass of the Christian Anti-Defamation Commission declares that he is outraged that anyone would dare to attack an opponent's faith: 

Incumbent Florida Congressman, Alan Grayson, has stooped to a new low in his attempt to get reelected. He has taken aim at the faith of his opponent, Dan Webster, who is a Christian. Grayson's ads quote Webster out of context and calls Webster "Taliban Dan Webster" ... This overt attack on Dan Webster's faith and is no less bigoted than any racist or anti-Semitic slur," said Dr. Gary Cass of DefendChristians.Org ... DefendChristians.Org is calling on the public to demand an apology and retraction by Grayson in order to send a warning that Christians will not allow themselves to be demonized by anyone, especially by those seeking public office.

Do I need to point out that Cass this his own organization ran a seven-part series entitled "7 Reasons Why Barack Obama is Not a Christian" and has done nothing but attack Obama's faith since he took office.

In fact, it was just last week that Cass claimed that Obama's "policies are so radically liberal ... that it's hard for me to take his faith claims seriously" and blasted him as more of a "limousine Marxist hypocrite" than a Christian. 

Apparently, attacking an opponent's faith is nothing more than a bigoted attempt to demonize them ... which just so happens to be what exactly has Cass been doing for the last two years.

2012 Candidates Weekly Update 10/5/10

Newt Gingrich

Government: Bashes the welfare state in Texas speech (Dallas Morning News, 10/4).

2010: Raising money for right-wing Minnesota gubernatorial candidate Tom Emmer (MPR, 10/4).

Mike Huckabee

2010: Says that mid-term elections will be a “political tsunami” (The Page, 10/4).

Florida: Refuses to back Florida GOP gubernatorial nominee Rick Scott (Florida Times-Union, 10/4).

New York: Praises controversial New York GOP gubernatorial nominee Carl Paladino (NewsHounds, 10/1).

GOP: Claims that he backs the Tea Party over the Party “establishment” (The Page, 10/4).

Column: Knocks “Kleptocrats” in Fox News column (Fox News, 10/4).

Sarah Palin

Critics: Tells Mark Levin that she and her husband “bite our tongue” at critics (GOP12, 10/4).

2010: Holding GOP Victory rallies in California and Florida (HuffPo, 9/30).

Alaska: Ties to Senate GOP nominee Joe Miller go back to Troopergate (KTUU, 10/1).

Religious Right: Speaks to “pregnancy crisis center” advertising organization tonight in Houston (Houston First Baptist Church, 10/5).

Tim Pawlenty

Government: Receives an “A” grade from libertarian Cato Institute (Cato, 9/30).

New Hampshire: Campaigns in the Granite State for GOP candidates (NECN, 9/30).

Mike Pence

Religious Right: Speaks to Ralph Reed’s Faith and Freedom Coalition in Iowa (Caffeinated Thoughts, 10/3).

Mitt Romney

Poll: Leads all 2012 GOP presidential hopefuls with 19% of support from Republicans (US News, 9/30).

Iowa: Endorses 38 Republican candidates in Iowa (CNN, 10/1).

Rick Santorum

Iowa: Will visit Davenport’s GOP headquarters next week (Quad-City Times, 10/4).

2010: Talks midterm election with National Review Online (NRO, 10/1).

Right Wing Round-Up

The Rise of Al Mohler: From D. James Kennedy to Seminary President

Christianity Today has a long profile of Albert Mohler, president of the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, that focuses largely on theological battles within the denomination, but also contains some interesting information ... like the fact that at the age of 15, he was taken under the wing of D. James Kennedy:

At age 15, R. Albert Mohler Jr. had a crisis of faith. Two years earlier, his family had moved from the conservative idyll of Lakeland, Florida, to the other end of the world: Pompano Beach, 200 miles south ... In Pompano Beach, torn from everything he knew, Mohler found himself in class sitting next to the children of rabbis and Roman Catholics, the high-school honors curriculum stirring in his mind the biggest questions of existence.

The curious teen's youth pastor offered the diversions of his megachurch's bowling alley and gymnasium, but had no answers to his questions. He took the boy to meet the minister of a fast-growing congregation down the highway in Fort Lauderdale: Coral Ridge Presbyterian Church. D. James Kennedy listened to Mohler and knew just the antidote to his anxieties. Francis Schaeffer's He is Not Silent "had an absolutely determinative impact on my life as a young teenager," Mohler says. "Not that I understood everything that Schaeffer was saying, but it came with incredible assurance that there were legitimate Christian answers to these questions." Schaeffer became a hero; Kennedy, a lifelong mentor. At 15, Mohler was already a friend of culture warriors and a citizen of the wider evangelical world—yet still a born-and-bred member of the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary (SBC), where the culture wars seemed remote and evangelical was a "Yankee word."

The article also explains how, in the early 1990s, Mohler became head of the SBC as conservatives were solidifying their control after the bruising battles of the 1980s. At the time, some were hopeful that Mohler would be a moderating influence because "in 1984 lent his signature to a full-page ad in the Louisville Courier-Journal protesting the SBC's recent resolution condemning female ordination" ... but they were quickly disappointed, as Mohler had become heavily influenced by "presuppositionalism" and set about purging the moderates from the faculty: 

Presuppositionalism is a system of thought that boils down to the slogans advocated by that other prominent presuppositionalist, Francis Schaeffer: There is no such thing as neutrality. Every worldview is predicated on certain founding assumptions, and those of Christianity are incompatible with those undergirding the secular humanist worldview. Studying Barth's effort to mediate between the presuppositions of Christianity and those of secular modernity hardened Mohler's conviction that "mediating between modernity and Christian orthodoxy doesn't work."

After graduation, Mohler's stint covering SBC news at the Christian Index convinced him that the battle between conservatives and moderates was not a matter of politics or personalities but of presuppositions. He saw that "these are two fundamentally different understandings of the Baptist faith, Baptist identity, and the future of the SBC," he says. When he took office at Southern Seminary in 1993, compromise and accommodation were not strategies he had in mind.

Within three years of Mohler's inauguration, Southern Seminary's faculty and administration had turned over almost completely. He asserted control over the seminary's hiring and tenure processes, insisting that even inerrantist evangelicals hired as compromise candidates were unacceptable if they supported women's ordination. "It was like John Grisham's The Firm," says Carey Newman, director of Baylor University Press, who joined Southern's faculty in 1993 but left after five tense years. "Al recruited young lieutenants, students who were spies in the classes who would report back to him what was being said in every classroom."

The seminary's Abstract of Principles did not address women's ordination, but Mohler and the trustees believed that faculty should conform to what they considered the prevailing sentiment among Southern Baptist laypeople. Through a combination of forced resignations and "golden parachute" retirement packages, Mohler purged the School of Theology, closed the School of Social Work, and replaced moderates with inerrantist faculty who agreed with him on abortion, homosexuality, women's ordination, and his brand of Reformed theology.

Of course, this sort of hard-line stance doesn't come as much of a surprise given that Mohler is equally opposed to Christians who practice yoga or associate with Mormons.

Right Wing Watch In Focus: "Rogues' Gallery"

Today, People For the American Way released out latest Right Wing Watch In Focus report examining the slate of extremist GOP Senate candidates running for office this year.

Entitled "The Rogues' Gallery: Right-Wing Candidates Have A Dangerous Agenda for America and Could Turn the Senate," the report examines the radical agendas and views held by Joe Miller, Carly Fiorina, Ken Buck, Christine O'Donnell, Marco Rubio, Rand Paul, Roy Blunt, Sharron Angle, Kelly Ayotte, Richard Burr, Rob Portman, Pat Toomey, Mike Lee, Ron Johnson, and Dino Rossi, plus the role that Sen. Jim DeMint has played in dragging the GOP further and further to the right.

Here is the introduction:

Republicans in the U.S. Senate have already broken all records for unprincipled partisan obstructionism, preventing the administration from putting people into key positions in the executive branch, blocking judicial confirmations, and delaying and preventing Congress from dealing with important issues facing the nation, from financial reform to immigration. Now a bumper crop of far-right GOP candidates threatens to turn the "deliberative body"into a haven for extremists who view much of the federal government as unconstitutional and who are itching to shut it down.

Fueled by the unlimited deep pockets of billionaire anti-government ideologues, various Tea Party and corporate-interest groups have poured money into primary elections this year. They and conservative voters angry about the actions of the Obama administration have replaced even very conservative senators and candidates backed by the national Republican establishment with others who embrace a range of radically right-wing views on the Constitution, the role of government, the protection of individual freedoms, and the separation of church and state.

Recently, Religious Right leaders have been grousing that Republican candidates arent talking enough about abortion and same-sex marriage. But this report indicates that anti-gay and anti-choice activists have little to worry about, as the right-wing candidates profiled here share those anti-freedom positions even if theyre talking more about shutting down federal agencies, privatizing Social Security, and eliminating most of the taxes paid by the wealthiest Americans. A number of these candidates oppose legal abortion even in cases of rape or incest.

Sen. Jim DeMint of South Carolina is helping to lead the charge with his Senate Conservatives Fund. DeMint, an absolute favorite of both the Tea Party and Religious Right political movements for his uncompromising extremism on both economic and social issues, is at the far right fringe of the Republican Party and has committed himself to helping elect more like-minded colleagues. Sarah Palin, also popular among both Tea Party and Religious Right activists, has also injected her high-profile name, busy Twitter fingers, and PAC cash into numerous Senate races.

Among the right-wing insurgents who defeated candidates backed by national party leadership are Christine ODonnell of Delaware, Joe Miller of Alaska, Marco Rubio of Florida, Rand Paul of Kentucky, Sharron Angle of Nevada, Ken Buck of Colorado, and Mike Lee of Utah. Others, like Carly Fiorina of California, came through crowded primaries where right-wing leaders split their endorsements, but have now coalesced around her candidacy.

And thanks to the conservative Supreme Courts ruling in the Citizens United case, which said corporations have the same rights as citizens to make independent expenditures in elections, right-wing candidates across the board will be benefitting from a massive infusion of corporate money designed to elect candidates who will oppose governmental efforts to hold them accountable, for example environmental protections and government regulation of the financial industry practices that led the nation into a deep recession.

This In Focus provides an introduction to a select group of right-wing candidates who hope to ride a wave of toxic Tea Party anger into the U.S. Senate. The potential impact of a Senate with even half of these DeMint-Palin acolytes would be devastating to the Senates ability to function and the federal governments ability to protect the safety and well-being of American citizens.

Be sure to read the whole thing.

2010 Right Wing Candidates Weekly Update 9/29

Your update on the right-wing candidates running for US Senate for 9/22-9/29.

Sharron Angle

Government: Angle and her husband are both covered by government health care plans (Alternet, 9/28).

Health Care: Criticized for mocking “Autism” coverage (The Plum Line, 9/27).

Fundraising: Comedian Dennis Miller to raise money for Angle (LVRJ, 9/28).

House: Angle’s unpopularity may hurt Nevada’s GOP House candidates (The Hill, 9/28).

Poll: One poll shows Reid leading Angle by 5%, other finds a tie (Las Vegas Sun 9/25, LVRJ 9/28).

Ken Buck

Poll: DSCC poll shows Buck trailing Bennet by 2% (Politico, 9/29).

GOP: Senators McConnell and Cornyn host fundraiser for Buck (AP, 9/28).

Right-wing: Tries to portray himself as more moderate after primary (RCP, 9/24).

Carly Fiorina

Corporate: Rightwing Koch brothers take interest in Fiorina’s campaign (LA Times, 9/25).

Outside groups: Chamber of Commerce and FreedomWorks to bolster Fiorina (LA Times, 9/28).

Poll: Trails Boxer by 8% in new poll of California voters (San Jose Mercury News, 9/25).

Ad: New ad labels Boxer as “arrogant” (The Atlantic, 9/23).

Joe Miller

Government: Expresses support for increased spending for public health and education in 2004 survey (KTUU, 9/24).

Controversy: Classified himself as “low-income” on hunting license application (Anchorage Daily News, 9/27).

Outside groups: Tea Party Express to help Miller against McAdams, Murkowski (Daily News-Miner, 9/28).

Christine O’Donnell

Finances: CREW looks into O’Donnell’s poor financial record (News Journal, 9/29).

Science: Declares evolution “a myth” on Politically Incorrect (Huffington Post, 9/25).

Controversy: Falsely claims she attended Claremont McKenna and Oxford for graduate school (Mediaite, 9/29).

GOP: Shames Republican leadership for not supporting complete repeal of Health Care Reform (ABC News, 9/28).

Rand Paul

Ad: Blasted for supporting $2,000 Medicare deductible (Herald Leader, 9/29).

Right-wing: Member of ultraconservative medical group (Courier Journal, 9/24).

Poll: Leads Conway by just 2% in latest poll of Kentucky voters (TPMDC, 9/27).

Economy: Speaks out against raising taxes on wealthy (Huffington Post, 9/27).

Dino Rossi

Controversy: BIAW fined for illegally supporting Rossi’s gubernatorial campaign (Seattle PI, 9/24).

Ad: CommonsenseTen hits Rossi on housing crisis (Politico, 9/24).

Marco Rubio

Controversy: Releases Spanish-language ad despite support for English-only policies (Florida Independent, 9/29).

Social Security: Reverses himself on Social Security privatization (St. Petersburg Times, 9/28).

Finances: New questions about Rubio’s expenses flare (Orlando Sentinel, 9/24).

Pat Toomey

Poll: Toomey holds slight lead, but one-third of Pennsylvania voters still undecided (WPVI, 9/29).

GOP: Distances himself from spending under Bush Administration (AP, 9/27).

Right-wing: Columnist examines Toomey’s far-right beliefs while leading Club for Growth (Inquirer, 9/26).

Right Wing Hypocrites Outraged By New Grayson Ad

Rep. Alan Grayson released a new ad in which he called his Republican opponent "Taliban Dan Webster":

And so, of course, the Religious Right is outraged:

“Alan Grayson is an embarrassment to the citizens of Florida,” said Gary Bauer, chairman of the Campaign for Working Families which has backed Webster. “While the voters of his district lose their jobs and their homes he conducts a campaign of smears and hatred against anyone who challenges the tax raising, big government policies that he has voted for. November 2 can’t come quickly enough.”

“The Grayson ads are despicable and reach a new low which reflect the character of the man who approved them,“ said John Stemberger, president of Florida Family Action. “Christians everywhere ought to be outraged at Grayson and his bigoted claims.”

Can I just point out that Stemberger is being sued for $10 million by the attorney for Rifqa Bary's parents for repeatedly accusing him of having ties to terrorists and that the Florida Bar Association is preparing to file a misconduct complaint against him?

Can I also point out that just a few weeks ago, Gary Bauer explicitly compared progressives to Islamic terrorists?

Progressives and Islamists are indeed on the same side. Their common disdain for Christianity explains why left-wing judges in America find any inkling of Christianity in the public square unconstitutional, while Islamist judges in the Middle East deem it executable.

Their common view that life is expendable explains the left’s embrace abortion-on-demand and why the Islamists don’t hesitate to deploy their own children for homicide bombings.

Their common totalitarian impulse explains why each group has as its governing objective to render its subjects entirely dependent on the state for everything in their lives, from education to healthcare.

So what was that they were saying about the despicable new lows reached of those who smears their political opponents?

Florida Bar To File Misconduct Complaint Against John Stemberger

A few weeks back we noted that the Florida Family Policy Council's John Stemberger was being sued for $10 million over his role in the Rifqa Bary saga.

And now it looks like things are getting progressively worse for him as the Florida Bar Association is preparing to file a misconduct complaint against him:

A professional organization for lawyers said Thursday it is drafting a misconduct complaint against the former attorney of a teenager from Ohio who ran away to Florida after converting to Christianity.

John Stemberger, an Orlando, Fla., lawyer, represented Rifqa Bary after she alleged her Muslim parents in suburban Columbus would harm her for converting.

The Florida Bar's grievance committee found enough evidence of alleged misconduct to prepare a complaint, said bar spokeswoman Karen Kirksey.

The bar looked into the matter after a formal complaint was filed with the group by Ohio lawyer Omar Tarazi, who represented Bary's parents in Ohio juvenile court.

Tarazi alleged Stemberger misrepresented himself as Bary's lawyer after Bary returned to Ohio and had new lawyers. Tarazi, who is Muslim, also accused Stemberger of alleging that Tarazi has terrorist ties.

The bar committee expects to file its complaint with the Florida Supreme Court this fall.

Gee, who would have ever imagined that Stemberger's legal work might be questionable:

An attorney suing Dollar Rent-A-Car has apologized for filing a lawsuit that characterized the Irish as hopelessly tethered to pubs and pints and unfit to drive the highways of America.

John Stemberger admitted he made a mistake and promised Wednesday to rewrite the negligence lawsuit he filed in March.

The suit was filed on behalf of the family of Carmel Elizabeth Cunningham, an Irish woman who was killed last year when her boyfriend, Sean McGrath, crashed their rental car. He is also Irish.

Prosecutors say McGrath, 33, was drunk at the time of the crash and have charged him with manslaughter. A warrant has been issued for his arrest.

In the suit, Stemberger claimed Dollar "knew or should have known about the unique cultural and ethnic customs existing in Ireland which involve the regular consumption of alcohol at `Pubs' as a major component to Irish social life.''

He went on to charge that Dollar "knew or should have known that Sean McGrath would have a high propensity to drink alcohol.''

On a side note, according to Stemberger's Twitter account, he attended an Arlington Group meeting in Washington DC last week and then spoke in South Carolina along with Newt Gingrich and David Barton.

Right Wing Leftovers

  • A Florida appeals court struck down the state's ban on gay adoption and Liberty Counsel does not approve.
  • Did you know that Christine O'Donnell's S.A.L.T used to be closely affiliated with Rob Schenck's Faith and Action?
  • Speaking of O'Donnell, looks like she has hired the same attorneys who represented Harry Jackson in his fight against marriage equality in Washington DC.
  • And speaking of Harry Jackson, he says President Obama and the Congressional Black Caucus are are trying to "keep naive African Americans on the political plantation through the mid-term and next presidential elections."
  • Rep. Pete Sessions has reportedly dropped out of attending the Log Cabin Republican fundraiser.
  • Ken Cuccinelli thanks Mike Huckabee and HuckPAC for thanking him.
  • Finally, every member of Glenn Beck's "Black Robe Brigade" is an apostate.

Value Voter Recap: We're All Tea Partiers Now (Including God)

The so-called Values Voter Summit, organized by the Family Research Council and sponsored by a number of right-wing groups, brought more than 2,000 activists (their count) to Washington D.C. for two solid days of speeches, workshops, networking, and a chance to spend time with others who passionately hate President Obama and the Democratic congressional leadership. Addressing the crowd were a number of GOP presidential hopefuls, including Newt Gingrich, Rick Santorum, Mike Huckabee, and Rep. Mike Pence (who eked out a narrow victory over Huckabee in the straw poll). Not surprisingly, conference speakers echoed the themes heard at the smaller Faith and Freedom conference convened by Ralph Reed just one week earlier.

Here were the top themes emerging from these Religious Right political conferences.
 
1) We’re All Tea Partiers Now (Including God)
 
The Faith and Freedom conference and Values Voter Summit signaled the Religious Right’s full embrace of (or effort to co-opt) the Tea Party movement and its activists’ anti-Washington energies. Rep. Michele Bachmann, a superstar in both the Religious Right and Tea Party movements, railed at Tea Party critics: “If you are scared of the Tea Party movement, you are afraid of Thomas Jefferson, who penned our mission statement [the Declaration of Independence].”
 
The events were also designed to attack the notion that the Tea Party movement is, or should be, focused only on economic issues and not on moral ones. This is more than the ongoing effort to solidify a working electoral partnership among fiscal, social, and national security conservatives. This is an ideological campaign against the very idea that one can legitimately be a fiscal conservative without embracing the Religious Right’s “family values” agenda on issues such as legal abortion and marriage equality. At the Values Voter Summit, there was little patience for libertarians who consider themselves economically conservative but socially liberal. Sen. Jim DeMint, greeted as a folk-hero for his success at backing Tea Party challengers to establishment GOP candidates, took on the idea directly, saying “you can’t be a true fiscal conservative if you do not understand the value of a culture that is based on values.” 
 
Others echoed the theme. A Heritage Foundation video declared that faith is necessary for liberty. Rep Mike Pence, the dark-horse winner of the summit’s straw poll, said America’s darkest moments have come when economic arguments trumped moral principles. Newt Gingrich declared that activists have to go back to making the moral case for free enterprise, not the economic case. David Limbaugh decried “economic justice,” which he called a leftist euphemism for “confiscation.” 
 
At a Values Voter Summit panel on the Tea Party movement, two activists described their work as being inspired in part by instructions they received from God in the early morning hours, like Glenn Beck; one insisted that her activism was not just about taxes but about getting America to turn back to God.
 
2) Nothing is more important than the 2010 and 2012 elections.
 
Nearly every speaker said that the 2010 election is the most important in our lifetime. Speakers insisted that President Obama, his administration, and Democratic congressional leaders are not only wrong, they are evil and are out to destroy the American experiment in limited government and individual liberty.  It is simply not possible to overstate the level of anger and hostility directed toward Obama (described as an America-hating narcissistic Marxist), House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid. 
 
Activists were told they must fast, pray, and work hard to defeat Democrats this November. The Family Research Council urged people to visit the website of Pray and A.C.T, a campaign led by Jim Garlow, who has been a rising star on the Religious Right since leading religious organizing on behalf of California’s anti-gay Prop 8. Ralph Reed is promising to share with local activists a massive new database of faith-based and fiscally conservative voters that he is building. 
 
Activists were also told that they must plan to keep sacrificing their time, energy and money for the next two years to make sure that Obama is defeated in 2012. Former Sen. Rick Santorum told activists not to expect dramatic improvements even if they win big in November: things won’t really change for the better as long as the White House is in Obama’s hands. Activists were warned that these two elections may be the last chance to stop the nation’s slide toward socialism and the end of America as we know it.
 
Right-wing speakers are optimistic about the possibility of delivering both the House and Senate into Republican hands and electing a conservative Republican president in 2012. FRC’s PAC held a fundraiser Friday night for Christine O’Donnell, the new Tea Party-backed GOP Senate candidate from Delaware, and other like-minded candidates.   Ralph Reed said that voter registration and focused turnout campaigns being waged by his and other right-wing groups would turn this from a good election cycle for Republicans into a historically sweeping one. And there’s particular excitement that Florida GOP Senate candidate Marco Rubio could be the face of the GOP’s future: right-wing strategists see him as Ronald Reagan and Barack Obama rolled into one appealing, Latino-vote-getting package.
 
3) Repealing Health Care Reform the Top Legislative Priority
 
According to several Values Voter Summit speakers, health care reform legislation signed into law by President Obama wasn’t really about health care at all. It was about extending the power of the federal government into tyrannical realms. Repealing “Obamacare” before it fully goes into effect is the top legislative priority of movement leaders. Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell was one of several speakers who called the legislation unconstitutional, saying that if the legislation was allowed to stand, it would effectively spell the end of any limits on federal power. 
 
4) Muslims Replace Immigrants as a Top Target
 
While previous conferences have portrayed unchecked illegal immigration as the most dire threat to America, this year’s speakers picked up on the right-wing generated furor over a proposed Islamic center in lower Manhattan – the inaccurately dubbed “Ground Zero Mosque” – to make repeated bitter denunciations of Islam. Immigration was not completely ignored: Presidential hopeful Mitt Romney, in a list of complaints, denounced the White House for being an administration “whose idea of a rogue state is Arizona,” and the Heritage Foundation sponsored a workshop on “The Real Cost of Illegal Immigration.” But the real energy was in attacking Islam, which was a primary focus of remarks by Bill Bennett and Gary Bauer.
 
5) Pursuit of Happiness With an Asterisk: Gays Need Not Apply
 
Not surprisingly, all the talk about individual liberty being at the core of our national identity did not extend to the freedom of gay and lesbian Americans to pursue happiness by marrying the person they love. Several speakers exhorted attendees to help mobilize conservative voters in Iowa to turn out for upcoming retention elections and vote against Iowa Supreme Court justices who ruled that denying gay couples the freedom to marriage violated the state’s constitution. The American Family Association’s Bryan Fischer, who insisted that there is no confusion about what is right in the sight of God and what is evil in the sight of God, said that politicians who support, defend, and promote “counterfeits” to marriage (which include not only marriage equality but also civil unions and domestic partnerships) are doing something evil and deserve condemnation. Fischer repeated Religious Right claims that LGBT equality and religious liberty are incompatible: “we are going to have to choose between the homosexual agenda and religious liberty because we simply cannot have both.”
 
The federal Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell law which forbids gay members of the Armed Forces for serving openly and honestly, was also high on speakers’ minds. Sen. James Inhofe urged people to call their senators in advance of a scheduled vote on a defense authorization bill that would include language to overturn Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell as well as language that would, in his words, turn military hospitals into abortion clinics. 

2012 Candidates Weekly Update 9/21/10

Your update on the potential 2012 Presidential candidates for 9/14-9/21:

Mitch Daniels

2012: Newt Gingrich says Daniels should run for President (Courier & Press, 9/21).

Economy: Attends Chamber of Commerce event in Indianapolis (WIBC, 9/20).

PAC: Leadership PAC runs ads encouraging IN voters to support Republicans (Politico, 9/19).

Newt Gingrich

Religious Right: Demands ban on Sharia Law’s use in US Courts (TPM, 9/18).

Health Care: Calls for HHS Sec. Kathleen Sebelius’ resignation, compares her service to “Soviet tyranny” (Politico, 9/18).

GOP: Headlines fundraiser for the Minnesota GOP (Star Tribune, 9/17).

Obama: Gingrich attacked by critics for pushing over the top anti-Obama rhetoric (NY Daily News, 9/20).

Mike Huckabee

Obama: Criticizes President’s treatment of Christians (Newsmax, 9/17).

GOP: “Thrilled” about the defeat of “establishment” candidate in primaries (Huffington Post, 9/20).

2010: Expects a Republican wave in home state of Arkansas (Arkansas Democrat Gazette, 9/20).

Sarah Palin

Iowa: Speaks at Iowa’s Ronald Reagan Dinner, tells Fox News she may “give it a shot” to Presidential run (NY Daily News, 9/18).

2012: Wins straw poll of presidential prospects at RightNation convention (Chicago Sun-Times, 9/20).

2010: Tweets to Delaware’s Christine O’Donnell with a warning against “appeasing nat'l media” that’s “seeking ur destruction” (The Hill, 9/19).

Religious Right: FRC head Tony Perkins suggests that Palin is a “cheerleader” rather than a presidential candidate (Politico, 9/18).

Media: Claims that journalists disrespect fallen troops when they “tell lies” about her (Des Moines Register, 9/17).

Poll: Rasmussen survey says slight majority of Americans identify more with Palin’s views than Obama’s (Rasmussen Reports, 9/20).

Tim Pawlenty

2010: Fundraising for GOP gubernatorial nominee Scott Walker in Wisconsin (AP, 9/20).

Economy: WSJ profiles Governors like Pawlenty and others who visited China (WSJ, 9/20).

Mike Pence

Religious Right: Indiana Congressman wins a plurality of votes at Values Voter Summit’s 2012 straw poll (MSNBC, 9/18).

2012: Speaks to conservative Hillsdale College about the Presidency (EducationNews, 9/21).

2010: Defends Christine O’Donnell in Delaware from attacks (CNN, 9/20).

Mitt Romney

New Hampshire: Romney’s Leadership PAC endorses and donates to victors of GOP primaries (Politics Daily, 9/18).

Religious Right: Lashes out at Obama’s economic and social policies, “counterfeit” values at Values Voter Summit (Religion Dispatches, 9/20).

Poll: Leads 2012 pack with 22% support from Republicans (Public Policy Polling, 9/12).

2010: Going to Florida to stump for Gov hopeful Rick Scott (Daily Sun, 9/20).

Rick Santorum

South Carolina: Tests message in early primary state (Daily Caller, 9/16).

Religious Right: Says that families don’t exist in poor neighborhoods (CBS News, 9/17).

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