Minnesota

Leading GOP Contenders to Speak At Forums Hosted By Iowa's Leading Anti-Gay Group

The other day, Brian noted that Former Minnesota Governor Tim Pawlenty would soon be heading to Iowa to discuss "pro-family issues, all the way from life and marriage to economic policy and energy policy" at a forum being hosted by the right-wing group The Family Leader

The Family Leader is the new group that is being run by Bob Vander Plaats after his successful effort to remove three state Supreme Court justices over the court's gay marriage ruling ... and it looks like Pawlenty will be just the first in a series of GOP presidential hopefuls to participate in such forums for the anti-gay group: 

The series line-up begins with former Minnesota Governor Tim Pawlenty on Monday, February 7. Former U.S. House Speaker Newt Gingrich, former Pennsylvania Senator Rick Santorum, Minnesota Congresswoman Michele Bachmann, and businessman and radio host Herman Cain have also made commitments to participate. Other invited speakers include former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee, Indiana Governor Mitch Daniels, South Dakota Senator John Thune, former Alaska Governor Sarah Palin, Mississippi Governor Haley Barbour, and Indiana Representative Mike Pence.

“Iowans play a vital role in hosting the first-in-the-nation presidential caucus, and it is our privilege to offer this Presidential Lecture Series in order to provide our very influential base an opportunity to gain insight into our political process,” said Bob Vander Plaats, president and CEO of The FAMiLY LEADER. “Our base is serious about its role in the political process and the Presidential Lecture Series is a focused strategy to facilitate meaningful exposure to our constituents.”

It is worth pointing out that Vander Plaats' crusade against the Supreme Court continues to this day, leading a former advisor to declare that he has become "obsessed with the gay-marriage issue" and that his effort had deep support from many of the national anti-gay Religious Right groups, including the American Family Association and its bigot-in-chief Bryan Fischer.

Cain Tells Fischer He'll De-Fund Planned Parenthood, Reinstate DADT, and Veto ENDA

The Bryan Fischer primary continues.

Last week, former Minnesota Governor Tim Pawlenty sat down with Bryan Fischer, one of the Religious Right's biggest bigots, and pledged that he would reinstate Don't Ask, Don't Tell if elected president.

Yesterday, Herman Cain, who also hosts a radio program for AFA, appeared on Fischer's radio program and likewise pledged to reinstate DADT, while also saying he would appoint only judges who share his Christian belief that life begins as conception, would de-fund Planned Parenthood, and veto the Employment Non-Discrimination Act:

Cain also related to Fischer how "God is speaking to me through my granddaughter" and her text message to tell him he needs to run for president:

Cain Tells Fischer He'll De-Fund Planned Parenthood, Reinstate DADT, and Veto ENDA

The Bryan Fischer primary continues.

Last week, former Minnesota Governor Tim Pawlenty sat down with Bryan Fischer, one of the Religious Right's biggest bigots, and pledged that he would reinstate Don't Ask, Don't Tell if elected president.

Yesterday, Herman Cain, who also hosts a radio program for AFA, appeared on Fischer's radio program and likewise pledged to reinstate DADT, while also saying he would appoint only judges who share his Christian belief that life begins as conception, would de-fund Planned Parenthood, and veto the Employment Non-Discrimination Act:

Cain also related to Fischer how "God is speaking to me through my granddaughter" and her text message to tell him he needs to run for president:

Pawlenty to Meet with Anti-Gay Iowa Group

After telling the American Family Association’s Bryan Fischer that he would work to reinstate Don’t Ask Don’t Tell as President, former Minnesota Governor Tim Pawlenty will continue to court anti-gay leaders by meeting with Iowa’s Bob Vander Plaats and his organization, The Family Leader. Vander Plaats told the Des Moines Register that his group will be “hosting Governor Pawlenty in Iowa” in early February to discuss “pro-family issues, all the way from life and marriage to economic policy and energy policy.”

After losing the race for the Republican nomination for governor, Vander Plaats became a leader of Iowa’s Religious Right after he coordinated a successful campaign to block the retention of three Iowa Supreme Court justices who supported the Court’s unanimous ruling to legalize same-sex marriage. Vander Plaats, who a former aide said is “obsessed with the gay marriage issue,” has since called for the removal of the entire Supreme Court because of the Court's decision in favor of marriage equality. The Family Leader is the parent organization of Marriage Matters, the Iowa Family PAC, and the Iowa Family Policy Center, an organization that attacks “the public health crisis of same-sex activity” and tells church groups that they can “protect your children” from “homosexual activists.”

Pawlenty, who is currently touring the country to promote his new book Courage to Stand, has been beefing up his credibility with the Religious Right, bragging to Bryan Fischer about his record of appointing far-right judges to Minnesota courts and calling for the reinstatement of Don’t Ask Don’t Tell:

Pawlenty to Meet with Anti-Gay Iowa Group

After telling the American Family Association’s Bryan Fischer that he would work to reinstate Don’t Ask Don’t Tell as President, former Minnesota Governor Tim Pawlenty will continue to court anti-gay leaders by meeting with Iowa’s Bob Vander Plaats and his organization, The Family Leader. Vander Plaats told the Des Moines Register that his group will be “hosting Governor Pawlenty in Iowa” in early February to discuss “pro-family issues, all the way from life and marriage to economic policy and energy policy.”

After losing the race for the Republican nomination for governor, Vander Plaats became a leader of Iowa’s Religious Right after he coordinated a successful campaign to block the retention of three Iowa Supreme Court justices who supported the Court’s unanimous ruling to legalize same-sex marriage. Vander Plaats, who a former aide said is “obsessed with the gay marriage issue,” has since called for the removal of the entire Supreme Court because of the Court's decision in favor of marriage equality. The Family Leader is the parent organization of Marriage Matters, the Iowa Family PAC, and the Iowa Family Policy Center, an organization that attacks “the public health crisis of same-sex activity” and tells church groups that they can “protect your children” from “homosexual activists.”

Pawlenty, who is currently touring the country to promote his new book Courage to Stand, has been beefing up his credibility with the Religious Right, bragging to Bryan Fischer about his record of appointing far-right judges to Minnesota courts and calling for the reinstatement of Don’t Ask Don’t Tell:

2012 Candidates Weekly Update 1/18/10

Michele Bachmann

GOP: Scheduled to address Montana GOP's Lincoln/Reagan Dinner on Feb 5 (Politico, 1/17).

Iowa: Conservatives in Iowa excited about Bachmann's appearance at Iowans for Tax Relief event this week (Minnesota Public Radio, 1/17).

Religious Right: Ultraconservative writer Joseph Farah praises potential Bachmann bid (WND, 1/11).

Haley Barbour

Immigration: Draconian Arizona-style law on immigrant rights to be considered by the Mississippi state legislature (Fox News, 1/17).

2012: Says he won't make a decision about a presidential run until the spring (WSJ, 1/14).

John Bolton

2012: Tells Russia Today that he could win the GOP nomination since he is in "the mainstream of the Republican Party" (GOP12, 1/17).

Foreign affairs: Knocks Obama Administration's handling of the political crisis in Lebanon (The Hill, 1/16).

Mike Huckabee

Alaska: Travelling to Alaska with a "Christian-based" cruise (HuffPo, 1/14).

Religious Right: Sarah Posner analyzes Huckabee's ties to Evangelical voters, "Christian nation mythology" (Religion Dispatches, 1/12).

Sarah Palin

Fox News: Tells Sean Hannity that Tucson shooting was "left-leaning," defends herself from criticism (Mediaite, 1/17).

Polling: Performs well among Republicans nationwide, but not in early primary states (Public Policy Polling, 1/14).

Arizona: Video response to Tucson shootings widely panned (Politico, 1/13; Salon, 1/12).

Tim Pawlenty

Economics: Opposes raising the debt ceiling despite prospect of default (HufPo, 1/16).

Religious Right: Tells Bryan Fischer of AFA that he supports reinstating Don't Ask Don't Tell (RWW, 1/13).

Palin: Says that her "bullseye" crosshairs map of congressional Democrats isn't "his style" (MinnPost, 1/12).

Mike Pence

2012: Former GOP Congressman launches a draft-Pence petition called the American President Committee (AP, 1/17).

Reproductive Rights: Planned Parenthood criticizes Pence's legislation to strip the group of federal funds (Muncie Star Press, 1/12).

Media: Introduces bill to block possible implementation of the Fairness Doctrine on talk radio (The Hill, 1/12).

Gun Violence: Denounces calls for gun control measures after Tuscon shootings (TPM, 1/12).

Rick Perry

2012: Begins polling voters outside of Texas (NRO, 1/17).

Immigration: Presses for new laws to curb immigrant rights (NYT, 1/15).

Mitt Romney

Foreign affairs: Meets with Israel's Prime Minister after visiting Afghanistan (Politico, 1/14).

Campaign: Hires new political director and pollster (RealClearPolitics, 1/13).

2012: Signs point to spring announcement as Romney steps down from the board of Marriott International (AP, 1/12).

Rick Santorum

South Carolina: Addressed the Aiken Republican Club 2011 kickoff meeting (The Augusta Chronicle, 1/17).

Religious Right: Keynoted major anti-choice rally in Columbia, South Carolina (The State, 1/16).

New Hampshire: Interviewed by Boston Herald at Granite Oath PAC house party (Boston Herald, 1/14).

John Thune

CPAC: Set to address Conservative Political Action Conference in February despite Religious Right boycott (Argus Leader, 1/13).

GOP: Keynote speaker for Missouri Republican Party's Lincoln Days fundraiser (News Leader, 1/11).

2012 Candidates Weekly Update 1/18/10

Michele Bachmann

GOP: Scheduled to address Montana GOP's Lincoln/Reagan Dinner on Feb 5 (Politico, 1/17).

Iowa: Conservatives in Iowa excited about Bachmann's appearance at Iowans for Tax Relief event this week (Minnesota Public Radio, 1/17).

Religious Right: Ultraconservative writer Joseph Farah praises potential Bachmann bid (WND, 1/11).

Haley Barbour

Immigration: Draconian Arizona-style law on immigrant rights to be considered by the Mississippi state legislature (Fox News, 1/17).

2012: Says he won't make a decision about a presidential run until the spring (WSJ, 1/14).

John Bolton

2012: Tells Russia Today that he could win the GOP nomination since he is in "the mainstream of the Republican Party" (GOP12, 1/17).

Foreign affairs: Knocks Obama Administration's handling of the political crisis in Lebanon (The Hill, 1/16).

Mike Huckabee

Alaska: Travelling to Alaska with a "Christian-based" cruise (HuffPo, 1/14).

Religious Right: Sarah Posner analyzes Huckabee's ties to Evangelical voters, "Christian nation mythology" (Religion Dispatches, 1/12).

Sarah Palin

Fox News: Tells Sean Hannity that Tucson shooting was "left-leaning," defends herself from criticism (Mediaite, 1/17).

Polling: Performs well among Republicans nationwide, but not in early primary states (Public Policy Polling, 1/14).

Arizona: Video response to Tucson shootings widely panned (Politico, 1/13; Salon, 1/12).

Tim Pawlenty

Economics: Opposes raising the debt ceiling despite prospect of default (HufPo, 1/16).

Religious Right: Tells Bryan Fischer of AFA that he supports reinstating Don't Ask Don't Tell (RWW, 1/13).

Palin: Says that her "bullseye" crosshairs map of congressional Democrats isn't "his style" (MinnPost, 1/12).

Mike Pence

2012: Former GOP Congressman launches a draft-Pence petition called the American President Committee (AP, 1/17).

Reproductive Rights: Planned Parenthood criticizes Pence's legislation to strip the group of federal funds (Muncie Star Press, 1/12).

Media: Introduces bill to block possible implementation of the Fairness Doctrine on talk radio (The Hill, 1/12).

Gun Violence: Denounces calls for gun control measures after Tuscon shootings (TPM, 1/12).

Rick Perry

2012: Begins polling voters outside of Texas (NRO, 1/17).

Immigration: Presses for new laws to curb immigrant rights (NYT, 1/15).

Mitt Romney

Foreign affairs: Meets with Israel's Prime Minister after visiting Afghanistan (Politico, 1/14).

Campaign: Hires new political director and pollster (RealClearPolitics, 1/13).

2012: Signs point to spring announcement as Romney steps down from the board of Marriott International (AP, 1/12).

Rick Santorum

South Carolina: Addressed the Aiken Republican Club 2011 kickoff meeting (The Augusta Chronicle, 1/17).

Religious Right: Keynoted major anti-choice rally in Columbia, South Carolina (The State, 1/16).

New Hampshire: Interviewed by Boston Herald at Granite Oath PAC house party (Boston Herald, 1/14).

John Thune

CPAC: Set to address Conservative Political Action Conference in February despite Religious Right boycott (Argus Leader, 1/13).

GOP: Keynote speaker for Missouri Republican Party's Lincoln Days fundraiser (News Leader, 1/11).

If Elected President, Pawlenty Tells Fischer He'll Reinstate Don't Ask, Don't Tell

There are few Religious Right leaders active today who can compete with the American Family Association's Bryan Fischer in terms of openly hostile bigotry against gays, Muslims, and all those who do not share his radical worldview:

So it is bound to raise a few eyebrows that former Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty went on Fischer's radio program yesterday to promote his new book ... but it won't raise any eyebrows that Fischer used the opportunity to grill Pawlenty on social issues or that Pawlenty largely shared Fischer's right-wing concerns:

Fischer: If you are asked the question "should CPAC provide a place at the table for an organization like GOProud," what will you say?

Pawlenty: You know, I am not familiar with that dispute, I have heard it referenced ... but I'm not just a fiscal conservative, I'm a social conservative so I can't speak for CPAC but I can speak for myself and what I believe and I've been a strong supporter of the family, pro-life positions, traditional marriage positions - so I'm not sure what that dispute all involves. But whatever it is, I don't think we should be afraid of telling what I believe and what we believe to whatever audience. We're trying to make sure we stand what what we believe in and we share it in a way that will hopefully bring more people to our side.

Fischer: Now the Left, and homosexual activists and organizations like GOProud, one of their stated agendas is to overturn the Defense of Marriage Act, the federal law that defines marriage in federal law and for federal purposes as a union of one man and one woman. The Obama administration has made a tepid and pretty ineffective defense of that law - if you become president and that law faces a challenge under your administration, how vigorously will you defend DOMA? What will you do to make sure it's defended?

Pawlenty: I believe strongly in traditional marriage. I was co-author of the law in Minnesota that defined marriage as between a man and a woman. I've been a vocal supporter of an amendment in Minnesota that would put that into our constitution. I hope that the day comes when it is put before the voters of Minnesota. And it's not just a legal issue; it's also an important cornerstone for our society and our culture. I mean, families and traditional marriage is so important to that and I don't believe all other domestic relations should be on the same platform as traditional marriage, I just don't buy and so I've been a strong supporter of traditional marriage. I also think who you appoint to courts in this regard is important and we don't have litmus tests, so to speak, but we want strict constructionists and people who take a conservative view toward the interpretation of our laws.

Fischer: Now Roe v. Wade is obviously the critical court ruling on the abortion issue - that is a ruling that was issued in 1973 so it seems to me that candidates would have the freedom to comment on whether they thought potential nominees to the Supreme Court, would have the freedom to comment on whether they thought Roe v. Wade was properly decided from a constitutional perspective. A number of sitting Supreme Court justices have commented on the fact that they believe it was poorly decided. So that's going to be a critical issue, if you have the opportunity to appoint nominees to the federal bench - will you talk explicitly with a nominee to the federal bench about his or her view about whether they think Roe v Wade was properly decided from a constitutional basis, will that be in the nature of a litmus test for you, that question, will you bring it up, will you look for an answer?

Pawlenty: Well, I've appointed a lot of judges as the Governor of Minnesota, including at our Supreme Court, appellate court and district court level. For the first time, at least in the modern history and maybe in a long time we now have a small majority of people on our Minnesota Supreme Court we are conservative and strict constructionist. I have confidence in them and how they would approach these issues of how you interpret the law. On the specific issue of Roe. v Wade, when you tell people or ask people to be strict constructionist and you look at the Constitution, to have people say "I'm a strict constructionist" would somehow lead to a decision or a conclusion like Roe v. Wade, I think it was wrongly decided. And if you look at the reasoning behind it and the strict interpretation approach to interpreting the Constitution, I think Roe v. Wade was wrongly decided by the Court. But I have been careful that I appoint people, particularly at the appellate level, that share this strict constructionist philosophy - that at least says to me directly - I didn't have litmus test - but I do want to know that they share my view and values about the proper role of the court and the interpretation of the law, so we try to get to the bottom of that.

Fischer: One last question, got about forty five seconds left, put you on the hot seat one more time: we just saw the ban on homosexual service in the military repealed, overturned. Conservatives will be working over the next couple of years to see that that ban is reinstated. If you become president in 2012, will you work to reinstate the prohibition on open homosexual service in the military? Would you sign such a prohibition if it got to your desk?

Pawlenty: Bryan, I have been a public and repeat supporter of maintaining Don't Ask, Don't Tell. There's a lot of reasons for that, but if you look at how the combat commanders and the combat units feel about it, the results of those kinds of surveys were different than the ones that were mostly reported in the newspaper and that is something I think we need to pay attention to. But I have been a public supporter of maintaining Don't Ask, Don't Tell and I would support reinstating it as well.

If Elected President, Pawlenty Tells Fischer He'll Reinstate Don't Ask, Don't Tell

There are few Religious Right leaders active today who can compete with the American Family Association's Bryan Fischer in terms of openly hostile bigotry against gays, Muslims, and all those who do not share his radical worldview:

So it is bound to raise a few eyebrows that former Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty went on Fischer's radio program yesterday to promote his new book ... but it won't raise any eyebrows that Fischer used the opportunity to grill Pawlenty on social issues or that Pawlenty largely shared Fischer's right-wing concerns:

Fischer: If you are asked the question "should CPAC provide a place at the table for an organization like GOProud," what will you say?

Pawlenty: You know, I am not familiar with that dispute, I have heard it referenced ... but I'm not just a fiscal conservative, I'm a social conservative so I can't speak for CPAC but I can speak for myself and what I believe and I've been a strong supporter of the family, pro-life positions, traditional marriage positions - so I'm not sure what that dispute all involves. But whatever it is, I don't think we should be afraid of telling what I believe and what we believe to whatever audience. We're trying to make sure we stand what what we believe in and we share it in a way that will hopefully bring more people to our side.

Fischer: Now the Left, and homosexual activists and organizations like GOProud, one of their stated agendas is to overturn the Defense of Marriage Act, the federal law that defines marriage in federal law and for federal purposes as a union of one man and one woman. The Obama administration has made a tepid and pretty ineffective defense of that law - if you become president and that law faces a challenge under your administration, how vigorously will you defend DOMA? What will you do to make sure it's defended?

Pawlenty: I believe strongly in traditional marriage. I was co-author of the law in Minnesota that defined marriage as between a man and a woman. I've been a vocal supporter of an amendment in Minnesota that would put that into our constitution. I hope that the day comes when it is put before the voters of Minnesota. And it's not just a legal issue; it's also an important cornerstone for our society and our culture. I mean, families and traditional marriage is so important to that and I don't believe all other domestic relations should be on the same platform as traditional marriage, I just don't buy and so I've been a strong supporter of traditional marriage. I also think who you appoint to courts in this regard is important and we don't have litmus tests, so to speak, but we want strict constructionists and people who take a conservative view toward the interpretation of our laws.

Fischer: Now Roe v. Wade is obviously the critical court ruling on the abortion issue - that is a ruling that was issued in 1973 so it seems to me that candidates would have the freedom to comment on whether they thought potential nominees to the Supreme Court, would have the freedom to comment on whether they thought Roe v. Wade was properly decided from a constitutional perspective. A number of sitting Supreme Court justices have commented on the fact that they believe it was poorly decided. So that's going to be a critical issue, if you have the opportunity to appoint nominees to the federal bench - will you talk explicitly with a nominee to the federal bench about his or her view about whether they think Roe v Wade was properly decided from a constitutional basis, will that be in the nature of a litmus test for you, that question, will you bring it up, will you look for an answer?

Pawlenty: Well, I've appointed a lot of judges as the Governor of Minnesota, including at our Supreme Court, appellate court and district court level. For the first time, at least in the modern history and maybe in a long time we now have a small majority of people on our Minnesota Supreme Court we are conservative and strict constructionist. I have confidence in them and how they would approach these issues of how you interpret the law. On the specific issue of Roe. v Wade, when you tell people or ask people to be strict constructionist and you look at the Constitution, to have people say "I'm a strict constructionist" would somehow lead to a decision or a conclusion like Roe v. Wade, I think it was wrongly decided. And if you look at the reasoning behind it and the strict interpretation approach to interpreting the Constitution, I think Roe v. Wade was wrongly decided by the Court. But I have been careful that I appoint people, particularly at the appellate level, that share this strict constructionist philosophy - that at least says to me directly - I didn't have litmus test - but I do want to know that they share my view and values about the proper role of the court and the interpretation of the law, so we try to get to the bottom of that.

Fischer: One last question, got about forty five seconds left, put you on the hot seat one more time: we just saw the ban on homosexual service in the military repealed, overturned. Conservatives will be working over the next couple of years to see that that ban is reinstated. If you become president in 2012, will you work to reinstate the prohibition on open homosexual service in the military? Would you sign such a prohibition if it got to your desk?

Pawlenty: Bryan, I have been a public and repeat supporter of maintaining Don't Ask, Don't Tell. There's a lot of reasons for that, but if you look at how the combat commanders and the combat units feel about it, the results of those kinds of surveys were different than the ones that were mostly reported in the newspaper and that is something I think we need to pay attention to. But I have been a public supporter of maintaining Don't Ask, Don't Tell and I would support reinstating it as well.

2012 Candidates Weekly Update 1/11/10

Michele Bachmann

PAC: Vast majority of MICHELE PAC money went to Iowa politicians or PACs (National Journal, 1/10).

Religious Right: Potential 2012 bid wins plaudits from Religious Right activists (RWW, 1/10).

Iowa: Speaks to Iowans for Tax Relief PAC in Des Moines on 1/21 (Iowans for Tax Relief PAC, 1/7).

Mitch Daniels

Indiana: Makes 7th State of the State address with emphasis on education (South Bend Tribune, 1/11).

CPAC: To address the Conservative Political Action Conference along with other 2012 prospects (Politico, 1/6).

Newt Gingrich

Religious Right: Invited to speak at the Freedom Federation’s Awakening 2011 along with other potential 2012 candidates (RWW, 1/10).

Iowa: Listed to address Iowa Renewable Fuels Association in Des Moines on Janurary 25th (Des Moines Register, 1/10).

Mike Huckabee

Iowa: New poll shows Huckabee on top with 24% support from Republicans (TPM, 1/10).

Poll: Gallup finds in nationwide poll that Huckabee has the highest favorable rating among potential GOP candidates (WSJ, 1/10).

Reproductive Rights: Scheduled to address anti-choice fundraise in Tennessee on February, 14th (Knoxville News Sentinel, 1/9).

Sarah Palin

Extremism: Faces torrent of criticism over "bullseye" map with target on Giffords's congressional district, defends herself to Glenn Beck (The Week & NYDN, 1/10).

Reality TV: Doesn't sign on for a second season of Sarah Palin's Alaska (Forbes, 1/10).

Tim Pawlenty

2012: Tells newspaper he is "seriously considering running for president" (St. Petersburg Times, 1/10).

Book: Memoir focuses on his faith, attacks on Obama (MN Public Radio, 1/8).

Palin: Calls Sarah Palin "a force of nature" (Mediaite, 1/7).

Mike Pence

Reproductive Rights: Introduces legislation to de-fund Planned Parenthood (Human Events, 1/10).

2012: Tells an Indiana Rotary Club that he will decide on future political plans by the end of January (The Republic, 1/10).

South Carolina: Keynote speaker for South Carolina’s America Conference (Politico, 1/4).

Mitt Romney

Foreign affairs: Met with Afghan leader Hamid Karzai as plan of tour of Afghanistan and Middle East (Boston Globe, 1/10).

Poll: Pew poll has Romney as most competitive candidate against Obama in Nevada (UPI, 1/10).

Rick Santorum

Religious Right: Speaks with group founded by right-wing activist Ovide Lamontagne (Granite Oath PAC, 1/10).

New Hampshire: Hires GOP Congressman Frank Guinta’s strategist as state director of his America’s Foundation PAC (Union Leader, 1/5).

GOP: Says Romney’s Massachusetts health care law will make it “very hard for us to nominate” him (National Journal, 1/4).

Potential Bachmann Presidential Bid Makes the Religious Right Giddy, Elicits Reagan Comparisons

After the news broke that Rep. Michele Bachmann was considering a bid for the Presidency, the Minnesota Congresswoman immediately found strong support in the GOP’s far-right base. While much attention has been paid to her leadership role in the Tea Party, as she chairs both the Tea Party and the Constitutional Conservative Caucuses, Bachmann is also one of the Religious Right’s most beloved members of Congress. She built her political career in Minnesota as a fierce opponent of the teaching of evolution, reproductive rights, and LGBT equality. Once elected to the House of Representatives, she became a Religious Right leader on a national level, finding favor with figures like David Barton, Rick Scarborough, Tony Perkins, and Lou Engle, along with a whole litany of far-right organizations and radical religious groups. Stephanie Mencimer of Mother Jones details the Congresswoman’s close ties to the Dominionist movement, which believes that fundamentalist Christians must run the government to hasten the end-times, most notably Coral Ridge Ministries.

Today, Bachmann received a ringing endorsement from Matt Barber, the Liberty Counsel’s Director of Cultural Affairs and a ferociously anti-gay leader, who calls her “Reagan in pumps.” Barber praises Bachmann for being the most conservative member of the House, and believes her mix of Tea Party bravado and Religious Right fundamentalism makes her the perfect presidential contender that would “mop the floor” with Obama:

From the instant his fruitful eight-year reign ended, Republicans have pined for the next Ronald Reagan. To date, no man has succeeded in filling the conservative standard-bearer's legendary boots. Well, maybe it's time to swap boots for pumps. Could he be a she?

Sarah Palin, you say? Perhaps, but there's actually another outspoken, attractive, fearlessly conservative Tea Party favorite firing up the center-right grass roots: Rep. Michele Bachmann, Minnesota Republican.

Forget a Senate run. The buzz inside the Beltway is that Mrs. Bachmann may be looking to add a woman's touch to the Oval Office (beyond just sprucing up its temporary occupant's eyesore decor). Her spokesman, Doug Sachtleben, has confirmed to media that the congresswoman is considering a potential presidential run, saying: "Nothing's off the table."



Mrs. Bachmann has been a stalwart in advocating on behalf of constitutional conservatism. She's chairman of the HouseTea Party Caucus and has put her money where her mouth is, voting consistently in Congress to limit the size and scope of government, fortify national security and protect life, liberty and the natural family. National Journal rated Mrs. Bachmann among the most conservative members of Congress in 2009.

Moreover, as with Reagan, it's principle over popularity with the feminine firebrand. She's evidently indifferent to what the moonbat media and the larger loony left think about her. This is an indispensable quality in a leader "We the People" can get behind. She's a maverick's maverick, not the media's.

Still, Mrs. Bachmann is not afraid to shake things up in her own Republican Party. What she lacks in physical stature, she makes up for in - to borrow one of the mainstream media's favorite terms - gravitas. If it takes a step stool to kick a moderate Republican in name only's tail into line, the counterestablishment lawmaker will climb it and kick it.

True, a House member hasn't been elected president since James Garfield, and a woman never has. But as Barack Obama, our first black president, might tell you: We live in an age of firsts.

And speaking of Mr. Obama: In the unlikely event that you could untether him from his tele-prompter binky long enough to debate Mrs. Bachmann, I'd bet my share of the stimulus money that she'd mop the floor with him.

Will she run? Could she win? It remains to be seen. But one thing's for sure: The fireworks leading up to the 2012 presidential election will be something to behold. Based on her penchant for telling it like it is, her existing widespread Tea Party support and her fast-growing national popularity, if this intelligent, principled, bomb-dropping bombshell were to run, I suspect her campaign might just catch fire.

In addition, Larry Klayman, the former founder of Judicial Watch and Freedom Watch, is also excited about a Bachmann presidential bid. Writing for WorldNetDaily, Klayman believes that Bachmann is the best Republican suited to take on Obama’s “socialist, anti-white and anti-Judeo-Christian policies” and is “the next Ronald Reagan”:

Still smug that it can retain the White House in 2012, even after President Obama has alienated most of the nation with his socialist, anti-white and anti-Judeo-Christian policies, the left has set out to destroy the one truly principled politician who can unite conservatives, libertarians, independents, tea partiers, people of faith and any American who truly believes in constrained government, fiscal and individual responsibility, a strong national defense, life, and yes, freedom under God! Her name is Michele Bachmann, and she is a congresswoman from Minnesota.



Last Thursday, as I was flying to New York City on Virgin America (it would be nice if the nation and the media were still "Virgin America" and not run by whores) to attend a proceeding before the New York Supreme Court in my case against the Ground Zero mosque and its terrorist-connected Imam Rauf, I tuned in Matthews, Obermann, Maddow and O'Donnell on the airline's in-flight television system. Not surprisingly, Matthews, with his characteristic nasty sneer, immediately mocked Michele's having been recently appointed to the House Intelligence Committee, implying that she is stupid and has no "intelligence." Then, as he did in a low-class way on election night 2010, Matthews mocked her again for having previously challenged the media to discuss the anti-American rhetoric that spews from many Democratic members of Congress, not to mention the Mullah in Chief himself, Barack Hussein Obama. To add insult to injury, Matthews then also insinuated that Michele is mentally ill, saying that she always has that weird gaze when she comes on camera. And, if this were not enough, Matthews and his leftist media guests boasted that Michele cannot be trusted and, with the age-old stereotype for "chatty women," would surely reveal national security secrets once on the House Intelligence Committee. They also made fun of her Christian beliefs. All in all, it was a disgusting display.



The lesson is simple. Michele Bachmann, because she is a principled anti-establishment conservative who not only talks the talk but walks the walk, is a real threat to the establishment left in particular. An attractive anti-feminist woman who is a Christian and is not afraid to be part of our revolution to take Washington apart at the seams, she could well be the next president of the United States. And, not only is the left scared, so much so that it will disgrace itself by mocking a highly intelligent, well-educated and experienced straight female who believes in individual freedom and the vision of our Founding Fathers, it is catatonic. This in and of itself tells us who the next Ronald Reagan could well be.

Right Wing Round-Up

Blast From the Past: Remembering The May Day Prayer Rally

Yesterday, Alvin McEwen discovered that Theresa Cao, the Birther arrested for screaming "Help Us Jesus" during the reading of the Constitution in House of Representative, had also participated in the "May Day 2010 - A Cry To God" rally that Janet Porter organized last year (the one that ended up costing her her radio program):

This reminded me that we lost a lot of videos when our YouTube account was shut down last year and that might be a good idea to start reposting some of them - so why not start with videos from this rally like this compilation from the hour spent seeking "Repentance for the Mountain of Arts & Entertainment" during which Ted Baehr repented for the movie "The Runaways" with its sex, and drugs, and rock and roll, while others repented for Los Angeles and its role as the home of the pornography industry and eventually, Janet Porter repented for all the time and money Christians have given to an industry that hates God and prayed that Christians will gain control over the industry and take dominion until Christ return, which was followed by a woman from Minnesota who repented for her state having elected the first Muslim to Congress ... and then eventually God showed up:

And while I am at it, why not repost Peter LaBarbera's prayer of repentance for allowing "homosexual activists ... to fulfill their wicked plan of turning America's schools, public and sometimes private, into homosexuality promotion zones":

More Religious Right Seminars for Elected Leaders

Looks like members of Congress and legislators in Arkansas might not be the only elected officials David Barton will be teaching in the coming weeks, as Andy Birkey of the Minnesota Independent reports that he has also been invited to participate in a joint Minnesota Family Council/Family Research Council summit for Minnesota legislators: 

When state legislators checked their office mailboxes Wednesday, they found an invitation to attend a Minnesota Family and Marriage Summit featuring a group that the Southern Poverty Law Center identifies as a hate group. The summit, to be held next week, is organized by the Minnesota Family Council and the Family Research Council and will teach legislators how to pass a constitutional amendment banning rights for same-sex couples.

The summit includes courses for legislators such as “Bullying bills: The homosexual agenda in your child’s public school” and “Why family matters,” but the bulk of the summit appears to be focused on getting an amendment on the ballot in 2012 banning gay marriage.

Sessions entitled “Effective marriage protection amendment strategies” and “What’s the harm in same-sex marriage?” are aimed at getting the amendment passed, and the latter is taught by a man who once said gays should be “exported” and that homosexuality should be outlawed: Peter Sprigg of the Family Research Council.

...

Invited, but not confirmed, is David Barton of Wallbuilders.

2012 Candidates Weekly Update 1/4/11

Mitch Daniels

Social issues: Candidates for RNC Chair pan Daniels's "truce" proposal (GOP12, 1/3).

2012: Claims that a potential presidential bid scares his family "to death" (The Hill, 1/3).

Newt Gingrich

Religious Right: Bryan Fischer of AFA thinks his history of extramarital affairs will doom him among social conservatives (RWW, 1/3).

Fundraising: Confirmed to address, along with Mike Pence, Illinois GOP fundraiser celebrating Ronald Reagan's birthday (Chicago Tribune, 1/3).

Mike Huckabee

Arkansas: Enthusiasm builds for a second presidential run in his home state of Arkansas (Politics Daily, 1/2).

Poll: Two out of three Republicans said that they were "very or somewhat likely" to back Huckabee, leading the field (CBNNews, 1/2).

Jon Huntsman

2012: Still open to presidential bid despite his appointment as Ambassador to China (Newsweek, 1/1).

Sarah Palin

Social issues: Re-tweets Tammy Bruce, who said that "the more someone complains about the homos the more we should look under their bed" (Gawker, 1/4).

GOP: Conservative writer George Will and blogger Erick Erickson dismiss Palin's chances of winning the Presidency (Salon, 1/3).

Book: Reviewer of America By Heart finds that "there is no identity she embraces with more alacrity than that of victim" (Religion Dispatches, 1/2).

Tim Pawlenty

2012: With Mark Dayton's inauguration as governor, Pawlenty now "full-time candidate" (The Atlantic, 1/3).

Book: Will begin tour for new book, Courage to Stand (Minnesota Public Radio, 1/3).

Mike Pence

Indiana: Fundraising plans point to potential gubernatorial bid (TPM, 1/4).

GOP: Wins the endorsement of RedState's Erick Erickson (RedState, 1/3).

Fundraising: Confirmed to address, along with Newt Gingrich, Illinois GOP fundraiser celebrating Ronald Reagan's birthday (Chicago Tribune, 1/3).

Mitt Romney

Massachusetts: May have a "Willie Horton" situation from his parole board appointments as Massachusetts governor (UPI, 1/3).

South Carolina: Senator Lindsey Graham (R-SC) calls Romney "the most electable conservative" (Greenville Online, 1/3).

Right Wing Round-Up

Minnesota Religious Right Activist Blames LGBT-Rights Advocates for Anti-Gay Bullying

As organizations such as Focus on the Family vigorously work to stop schools from implementing anti-bullying policies that protect gay students, the Minnesota Family Council (MFC) is leading the charge against anti-bullying programs in Minnesota schools. MFC head Tom Prichard previously condemned schools for permitting Gay Straight Alliances, which he says have “kids indoctrinated in homosexuality,” adding that “it’s sad and harmful for kids to celebrate homosexuality when in fact it’s not a healthy lifestyle.” Barb Anderson of the MFC and the Parents Action League recently talked to rabidly anti-gay activist Peter LaBarbera of Americans For Truth About Homosexuality about why she thinks LGBT-rights groups like the Gay, Lesbian, and Straight Education Network (GLSEN) are actually to blame for the bullying of gay students by promoting “homosexual propaganda” and targeting certain students for indoctrination.

Anderson singled out the Anoka-Hennepin School District for her group’s campaign. In July, a student committed suicide after he was relentlessly bullied for being gay, and his family and other advocates have asked the school district to strengthen their anti-bullying policies to protect LGBT students from pervasive bullying. Anderson accused safe-schools groups such as GLSEN of using the student’s suicide “as a Trojan horse” to instill “pro-gay training” in schools.

Andy Birkey of the Minnesota Independent reports:

[Anderson] said that it was LGBT groups that caused the bullying because more students were coming out of the closet.

“That is one of the tactics that they are using now, to say that by not legitimizing and normalizing homosexuality, we are creating an atmosphere in the schools that is hostile to quote-end-quote gay kids,” she said. “What they are doing is just the opposite themselves. They are creating an environment where these children that are sexually confused suddenly become affirmed as a homosexual or that they are born that way, and then these kids are locked into a lifestyle with their choices limited, and many times this can be disastrous to them as they get into the behavior which leads to disease and death in some cases.”

She added, “So, it’s really… They are the ones that are contributing to an atmosphere that can even increase bullying as more kids get into this kind of a lifestyle.”

Specifically, she said that it was the fault of the Gay Lesbian Straight Education Network.

“They are the driving force, really the clearing house for all of the homosexual propaganda that is coming into the schools,” she said. “GLSEN also promotes getting gay themed literature for children to read which in most cases is extremely obscene and pornographic. They are also behind getting the Gay-Straight Alliances into the elementary schools as well.”

She added, “This is a real dangerous organization. They are what I would call a child corruption organization basically.”

She said the group is targeting “creative” and “unique” students in the Anoka-Hennepin School District’s Fred Moore Middle School where a GSA was created this year.

“It’s interesting that they targeted an arts school to begin with because a lot of times your have homosexual teachers in that type of environment working with students,” she said. “So these are students that tend to be sometimes very creative and unique in their personalities so it seems to be an area where they try to get in and get the students involved in gay themed productions as well.”

Anderson said that her group, the Parents Action League, has been pressing the school district to do away with GSAs.

“Because of the Equal Access act they feel that they have to allow this in the schools and they they have not been able to put a stop to it, but there are parents getting organized and trying to plead the case that this really is harmful to students,” she said. “It is not providing them with healthy information. None of this is based on truth or scientific fact, especially if they are telling kids they are born this way.”



She added, “Really homosexual behavior is one of the most hazardous behaviors that kids could get into and start practicing.”



“In the wake of that tragedy,” said Anderson, “we have had more of the pro-gay materials flooding into our school district, because they are using that as a Trojan horse, playing on the emotions of the people involved and, of course, this is just a horrendous tragedy for this family.”

Anderson continued, “But they are playing on the fact that we have got to get more of this in the schools so this doesn’t happen to other kids and so that’s where all this pro-gay training is coming in, and it’s making it harder for parents to stop it. It’s really coming in like a tsunami.”

She then praised the school board, “But we do have an outstanding policy. Our sexual orientation policy, which parents can look at on the Parents Action League website, that was written by our school board members and is in place and is the one piece that is keeping these types of pro-gay materials out of the school day.”

2012 Candidates Weekly Update 12/28/10

Haley Barbour

Mississippi: Uses private jet for political and entertainment outings, state spent over $500,000 for his air travel (Politico, 12/27).

Race: Controversy over Barbour’s Citizens Council “whitewash” continues (Christian Science Monitor, 12/22).

John Bolton

Government: Says government should not cut defense spending to shrink the deficit (TPM, 12/27).

Social issues: Denounces non-binding treaty on the rights of indigenous people (Fox News, 12/25).

Mitch Daniels

Social issues: Stands by his support for a “truce” on social issues (Politico, 12/27).

Education: Details private school voucher plan (Courier Journal, 12/24).

Mike Huckabee

GOP: Think Progress investigation ties Huckabee to “a firm notorious for defrauding families facing foreclosure with false promises and predatory fees” (Think Progress, 12/27).

Health Care: Huckabee and Palin’s own 2009 speech challenge Palin’s criticism of Michelle Obama’s anti-obesity efforts (The Hill, 12/27).

Sarah Palin

Language: Claims “Refudiate” was a typo, but she used the term in an earlier interview on Fox News (NY Daily News, 12/27).

Environment: Says conservationists are hypocrites for using pencils and paper (HuffPo, 12/27).

Foreign policy: Former Bush spokeswoman Dana Perino says Palin’s reality show and policy role give her an “authenticity” problem (The Right Scoop, 12/26).

2012: Peggy Noonan predicts that Palin won’t run for President but will have immense clout in the primary (GOP12, 12/26).

Tim Pawlenty

2012: Upcoming book tour could serve as “a test of his appeal” to Republican voters nationwide (Gannett, 12/24).

Religious Right: Sidesteps judicial nomination process and appoints Religious Right activist and deputy chief of staff’s wife to district court (RWW, 12/23).

Mike Pence

Religious Right: Leaders of Religious Right groups believe Pence can unite social conservatives with fiscal hawks (WSJ, 12/27).

GOP: Columnist believes Pence can successfully run for the nomination by “reuniting the Reagan Coalition” (Forbes, 12/23).

Mitt Romney

Health Care: Struggles to balance his criticism of coverage mandate with his support for a mandate in Massachusetts (HuffPo, 12/27).

2012: Holiday card asks, “Guess which grandchild heard that Papa might run again?” (Politico, 12/22).

John Thune

Government: Flounders in attempt to oppose earmarks while requesting more than $100 million (AP, 12/28).

Minnesota: Headlining MN GOP’s Lincoln/Reagan Dinner (Star Tribune, 12/22).

Pawlenty Appoints Religious Right Advocate, Wife of Staffer to District Court

Since Minnesota Governor Tim Pawlenty is considering a run for the GOP presidential nomination, he ought to be prepared to answer questions about his decisions, such as the one to bypass the state's Commission on Judicial Selection in order to appoint an attorney with ties to the Religious Right to a seat on a district court ... especially since said attorney also happens to be the wife of his Deputy Chief of Staff:

On Tuesday, Gov. Tim Pawlenty appointed Jamie L. Anderson to the 4th Judicial District Court following the retirement of Judges Tanja Manrique. Press reports note that Anderson is the wife of Pawlenty’s deputy chief of staff and that the appointment raised eyebrows because the governor bypassed the standard judicial selection process to tap a friend’s wife who has little major legal experience. But one fact may shed some light on the appointment: Anderson has ample religious right experience.

Pawlenty picked Anderson without going through the Commission on Judicial Selection, which vets applications for judicial positions and makes recommendations to the governor. Pawlenty skipped that process, and while legally he has that right and past governors have also done the same, local media picked up on it because Anderson is a friend of Pawenty’s. As MinnPost notes, she’s married to Paul Anderson, who serves as his deputy chief of staff.

“Anderson was a surprise choice because she works for a small firm, has not been a prominent lawyer and was not screened through the Commission on Judicial Selection,” the Star Tribune wrote on Tuesday.

But she has handled some high-profile cases for the religious right.

Anderson served as counsel for the Minnesota Family Council (MFC) when that group recently petitioned a Hennepin County judge to become defendants in a case seeking to overturn Minnesota’s ban on same-sex marriage. Three couples have filed suit against Hennepin County and the State of Minnesota challenging the state’s Defense of Marriage Act. The case will be heard in the 4th Judicial District Court, the same court where Anderson was appointed.

Jason Shellack, an attorney for the same-sex couples, said that Anderson joined the case this fall. The Family Council had enlisted the help of James Dobson’s Alliance Defense Fund (ADF) in its bid to be named a defendant in the case, but needed a local attorney to back the ADF’s case. When a previous local attorney dropped the case, Shellack said, Anderson joined up to assist MFC and ADF.

A judge rejected MFC’s request to be named as a defendant in the case late last month.

...

In 2009, Anderson represented Child Evangelism Fellowship of Minnesota (CEF) along with Jerry Falwell’s Liberty Counsel, an evangelical legal group, in a suit against the Elk River School District. The district allowed outside groups such as the Boy Scouts to send literature home with students, but when the CEF asked to send literature about Christianity home with students, the district said no.

2012 Candidates Weekly Update 12/21/10

Haley Barbour

Civil Rights: In Weekly Standard profile, Barbour lauds racist, pro-segregation Council of Conservative Citizens, doesn’t remember Jim Crow era as “that bad” (TPM, The Hill; 12/20).

Mississippi: Tries to shape his legacy as governor (Clarion Ledger, 12/19).

CPAC: Set to address Conservative Political Action Committee conference in February (ACU, 12/16).

Mike Huckabee

Fox News: As a guest, Rep. Anthony Weiner asks Huckabee, “How Much Do You Make Over There At Fox?” (Mediaite, 12/18).

Health Care: Backs 9/11 First Responders care bill blocked by GOP (HuffPo, 12/17).

Religious Right: Signs letter defending SPLC-designated anti-gay hate groups (RWW, 12/15).

Sarah Palin

Obama: Palin continues to knock Michelle Obama in her Reality TV show (LA Times, 12/20).

Poll: New ABC-WaPo poll shows that a majority of Americans would refuse to back Palin for President (The Fix, 12/17).

Foreign Policy: Pens National Review column against START Treaty (NRO, 12/17).

Tim Pawlenty

Labor: Claims about public sector workers receives “pants on fire” rating by PolitiFact (PolitiFact, 12/16).

Health Care: Compares health care reform law to “drug dealing” (Minnesota Independent, 12/15).

Religious Right: Signs letter defending SPLC-designated anti-gay hate groups (RWW, 12/15).

Mike Pence

2012: Will decide in January whether to run for President or Governor of Indiana (Politico, 12/20).

Religious Right: Uses unemployment as a reason to cut off funding to Planned Parenthood; signs letter defending SPLC-designated anti-gay hate groups (RWW, 12/20; 12/15).

Mitt Romney

Health Care: Romney “trying to have it both ways” on health insurance mandate (Boston Globe, 12/19).

GOP: Conservatives debate whether Romney has firm ideas or just panders to base (The Atlantic, 12/17).

Rick Santorum

Iowa: Meets with far-right American Principles Project, touts his socially conservative views (Caffeinated Thoughts, 12/18).

Taxes: Opposes tax compromise, says Republicans didn’t “keep their pledge” (CNN, 12/16).

Religious Right: Signs letter defending SPLC-designated anti-gay hate groups (RWW, 12/15).

John Thune

Congress: Accuses Democrats of “flouting” midterm election by passing major bills during lame duck session (AP, 12/20).

New Hampshire: Says he is considering presidential run during interview on NH radio station (WMUR, 12/17).

Taxes: Criticizes Republican opponents of the tax compromise as “politically expedient” (HuffPo, 12/15).

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