Virginia

Ken Cuccinelli Calls In The Religious Right Reinforcements

While Virginia Republican gubernatorial candidate Ken Cuccinelli has been trying to dodge social issues such as abortion rights and marriage equality — likely because his actual views and record are far out of the mainstream — sagging poll numbers and increasing divisions among Republicans have led the candidate to rely on his traditional far-right backers. After campaigning alongside his ultraconservative and homophobic running mate E.W. Jackson, Cuccinelli tonight will attend a fundraiser cosponsored by the Family Research Council’s political arm and the head of a major anti-choice organization.

Tonight’s fundraiser featuring Jeb Bush and a whole host of former GOP politicians-turned-lobbyists is sponsored by FRC Action PAC and Marjorie Dannenfelser, who leads the Susan B. Anthony List.

Cuccinelli has partnered with FRC in the past, addressing at their Values Voter Summit and appearing on the group’s Washington Watch radio program. Dannenfelser’s group, meanwhile, committed at least $1.5 million to boost Cuccinelli.

Dannenfelser and FRC Action hope that Cuccinelli will continue his efforts to close the majority of the state’s abortion clinics. As the Washington Post editorial board noted yesterday, “If Mr. Cuccinelli is elected governor in November, most of the remaining 18 clinics are likely to shut their doors within months.” 

The FRC — whose leaders have referred to gays as pawns of Satan, abnormal and destructive while also calling for their criminalization and exportation — can also take pride in Cuccinelli’s anti-gay rhetoric and activism.

The upcoming fundraiser with two of the country’s foremost social conservative groups shows that as much as Cuccinelli would like Virginia voters to forget about his extreme stances, he is, first and foremost, a Religious Right ideologue.

Cuccinelli: McAuliffe is Waging 'The Real War on Women'…Because He Hasn't Commented on Mayor Three Time Zones Away

Last week, the Republican National Committee and the four national GOP campaign committees sent out a memo claiming that there is in fact a Democratic “war on women” being waged on two fronts: New York mayoral candidate Anthony Weiner’s sexting and San Diego mayor Bob Filner’s sexual harassment.

Claiming that “most Democrats said nothing” about the San Diego mayor’s serial sexual harassment and the former congressman’s serial sexting of strangers, the memo charges, “With their silence, they are sanctioning the actions of Bob Filner and Anthony Weiner and numerous others who have assaulted, harassed, and preyed on women.”

Now, Virginia attorney general and Republican gubernatorial candidate Ken Cuccinelli has picked up on the theme, sending out a fund raising email with a graphic connecting Cuccinelli’s Democratic opponent Terry McAuliffe and President Obama with Weiner and Filner.

“By not condemning Weiner and Filner’s unacceptable behavior towards women, leaders like Obama and McAuliffe are signaling to our young people that it’s okay for powerful American leaders to harass, humiliate and assault women,” the email reads.

As many commentators have noted, the GOP’s new attempt to turn the tables on the War on Women isn’t exactly convincing, especially coming from the party of trans-vaginal ultrasounds and “legitimate rape.”

But the argument is almost comical coming from Cuccinelli, who has one of the most extreme records in the country when it comes to women’s health and women’s rights. This is a candidate who:

Yet, Terry McAuliffe is waging “the real war on women” because of the actions of a man he’s never met who lives on the opposite side of the country.

Target Gives $50K to Group Supporting Anti-Gay VA Candidate Ken Cuccinelli

Update appended.

Back in 2010, Target Corporation was forced to apologize when it came out that it had funded campaign ads on behalf of virulently anti-gay Minnesota gubernatorial candidate Tom Emmer. The controversy hit the Minnesota-based company hard, in part because it vocally supports gay rights and has a reputation as a supportive workplace for LGBT people.

But Target didn’t stop giving to anti-gay candidates. As Abe Sauer reported at the end of 2010, Target gave a total of $31,200 to anti-gay candidates in that election cycle. And now, the company is indirectly funding one of the most extreme anti-gay culture warriors in the country, Virginia Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli.

Target reports that in the first half of this year, it contributed $50,000 to the Republican Governors Association, which so far this year has spent nearly $3 million on behalf of Cuccinelli’s gubernatorial campaign.

Target, like many large corporations, is an equal opportunity influence-buyer – it also gave $50,000 this year to the Democratic Governors Association, which is supporting Democratic candidate Terry McAuliffe. But its indirect funding of Cuccinelli’s campaign raises additional questions. In apologizing to his employees for the company’s contributions to Emmer’s campaign, Target CEO Gregg Steinhafel promised to launch “a strategic review and analysis of our decision-making process for financial contributions in the public policy arena” and to start “a dialogue focused on diversity and inclusion in the workplace, including GLBT issues.”

How did that “dialogue” lead to support for an organization that is dedicating itself to supporting Ken Cuccinelli? After all, Cuccinelli not only opposes advances in gay rights, he actively wants to remove protections for gays and lesbians that have already been won. Cuccinelli wants to reinstate Virginia’s “Crimes Against Nature Law,” which would outlaw oral sex between consenting adults – of any gender. In one of his first acts as attorney general, he ordered  the state’s colleges and universities to rescind non-discrimination policies that covered sexual orientation. He has said that being gay “brings nothing but self-destruction, not only physically but of their souls,” and said that “homosexual acts” are “intrinsically wrong” and don’t comport with natural law.” He even disparaged gay rights activists for trying to overturn sodomy bans and push for HIV/AIDS educations in schools.

Last year, Target launched a line of t-shirts to benefit a gay rights group, declaring itself “100 percent committed to the goal of families being respected in all communities including parents who happen to be LGBT."  Yet, in Cuccinelli, Target is backing a candidate who is promising to roll back the rights of LGBT people and their families in Virginia.

Update: Target spokeswoman Molly Snyder tells us:

Target’s commitment to the LGBT community is long-standing and unwavering.         

We also believe strongly in our civic responsibility to engage in a bipartisan manner at the state and federal level in order to learn about public policy priorities and advocate on issues that affect our business, such as efairness legislation. One of the ways we do this is through membership in both the Democratic and Republican Governors Associations, both of which include several hundred other corporate members.  When paying for our memberships, we explicitly require that our dues not be used for any individual electoral campaigns or other electioneering efforts. It would therefore be wrong and inaccurate to associate our membership dues with any particular political candidate or campaign.

It’s hard to tell how supporting an organization that says its “primary mission is to help elect Republicans to governorships throughout the nation” doesn’t amount to supporting Republican candidates for governorships.

E.W. Jackson: My Anti-Gay Comments Were Taken Out of Context, I'm Just Against the 'Rabid Radical Homosexual Activist Movement'

Virginia Republican lieutenant governor nominee E.W. Jackson told Newsmax TV yesterday that the media has taken all of his anti-gay comments out of context and that his derogatory remarks were only directed at the “rabid radical homosexual activist movement.”

Jackson claimed he has only condemned the “gay rights movement, so-called, the homosexual activists,” which he said has an “absolutely horrendous” record of “desecrating the sacraments” and “engaging in all kinds of demonstrative behavior to try to call attention to what they view as their plight.”

“The rabid radical homosexual activist movement is really trying to fundamentally change our culture and redefine marriage and do a number of things that I just think are not good at all,” Jackson said.

Jackson can scream persecution all he wants, but his past words stand on their own.

Jackson has alleged that homosexuality “poisons culture,” “poisons our children,” “destroys societies” and will bring divine punishment:

He has said that the “homosexual community” is composed of “perverse,” “degenerate” and “very sick people”:

He even suggested that gays and lesbians abuse children in order to make them gay and that an increasing number of black men are “recruited” into homosexuality:

He does realize that these anti-gay remarks are all on tape, right?

Virginia GOP's New Black Outreach Director Blamed Haitian Earthquake on Voodoo

File this under GOP rebranding efforts.

TPM’s Perry Stein today reports that the Virginia GOP, fresh after nominating the ultraconservative ticket of Ken Cuccinelli and E.W. Jackson, has now appointed Rev. Joe Ellison as the party’s Director of African-American Engagement.

Republican Party of Virginia chairman Pat Mullins hailed Ellison for his “knowledge and experience,” and Ellison said that he will help build “the future of our party” by showing black voters that they “share far more values with the Republican Party than they realize.”

As Stein notes, Ellison in 2010 announced that he is “declaring war against Planned Parenthood” and applauded televangelist Pat Robertson’s claim that Haiti was devastated by a deadly earthquake as divine retribution for making a “pact with the Devil” 200 years ago.

From a spiritual standpoint, we think the Dr. Robertson was on target about Haiti, in the past, with voodoo. And we believe in the Bible that the practice of voodoo is a sin, and what caused the nation to suffer. Those who read the Bible and study the history know that what Dr. Robertson said was the truth.

E.W. Jackson: Homosexuality 'Wrong and Unacceptable'

E.W. Jackson, the Virginia GOP nominee for Lt. Governor, defended his frequent claims that gays and lesbians are “very sick people” who are pushing sexual abuse against children and the destruction of society in an interview with anti-gay radio host Janet Mefferd yesterday.

“Homosexuality is a sexual behavior and it is a behavior that the Bible says is wrong and unacceptable,” Jackson said. “To equate that with civil rights for black people or for women is so specious that it just amazes me that people buy into it, but they buy into it because it is emotionally appealing, it has no logic to it whatsoever.”

He also told Mefferd that gays need to “know the love of God in their lives” and that it would “betray God” to reassess his anti-gay remarks, which he said were made “without venom or hatred.”

E.W. Jackson: Obama Condones Anti-Semitism and Terrorist Attacks Against Israel

Virginia Republican Lt. Governor nominee E.W. Jackson has consistently implied that President Obama is a secret Muslim, and in a 2010 American Thinker column went even further by arguing that President Obama condones anti-Semitism and terrorist attacks against Israel by Hamas.

After accusing Obama of remaining “silent” over Hamas rocket attacks against Israel in addition to Helen Thomas’ statement that Jews should “get the hell out of Palestine,” Jackson writes that “given his close association with Islam and with one of Louis Farrakhan's best friends, his silence must be interpreted as consent.”

When people say "I hate to say I told you so," they rarely mean it. What they really mean is, "I was right, and I am glad to tell you so." A year ago, I wrote,

Obama apparently sees the world and Israel from a Muslim perspective. Those who think clearly about these issues must conclude that President Obama is influenced by a quiet strain of anti-Semitism picked up from elements of the black community, leftist colleagues, Muslim associations and Jeremiah Wright. For the first time in her history, Israel may find the President of the United States openly siding with her enemies. Those who believe that Israel must be protected had better be ready for the fight.

I really do hate to say "I told you so." I did not vote for Barack Obama, but I hoped he would surprise me and not be the kind of president that his background portended. Most Americans, even those who didn't vote for him, wanted to believe that he would transcend the negative forces which might have influenced his thinking. Perhaps the anti-Semitism to which he had been exposed had not gotten into his intellectual DNA. He attempted to reassure us.



In his much-hyped speech in Cairo, reaching out to the "Muslim World," Obama drew a moral equivalence between the "suffering" of the Palestinians and the Holocaust against the Jewish people. He said, "Around the world, the Jewish people were persecuted for centuries, and anti-Semitism in Europe culminated in an unprecedented Holocaust." But he went on to say, "On the other hand, it is also undeniable that Palestinians ... have suffered in pursuit of a homeland."

To equate these two vastly different historical realities borders on the delusional. There is no equivalence between a systematic effort to annihilate the entire Jewish people and the problem of "dislocation" -- as Obama refers to it -- of the Palestinians. If there is any similarity at all, it is that many Palestinians, like the Nazis, want to kill all Jews.



Helen Thomas, an Obama devotee, recently said the Jews need to "get the hell out of Palestine." Obama is silent. For years, Jews in Israel could hardly sleep for fear that Hamas rockets would land in their homes. Yet when Israel takes reasonable action to search ships to prevent weapons from entering Gaza, she is condemned. Obama is silent. Reuters doctored the pictures of the recent blockade confrontation -- editing out weapons in the hands of the ship's crew -- so as to perpetuate the narrative of Israeli aggression. Obama is silent. Perhaps if he had not spent twenty years in the church of a rabid anti-Semite, President Obama's muteness would not speak so loudly. However, given his close association with Islam and with one of Louis Farrakhan's best friends, his silence must be interpreted as consent. I wish I were wrong about this president, but facts are stubborn things.

E.W. Jackson: Liberals Treated Juan Williams Like a 'Slave' Because They Blamed America for 9/11

In 2010, NPR fired analyst Juan Williams after he told a Fox News host that he was afraid of flying with people in “Muslim garb.” The episode quickly became a rallying cry for the right, including for E.W. Jackson, now the Virginia GOP’s nominee for lieutenant governor. Shortly after the episode, Jackson wrote a column for American Thinker accusing liberals of treating Williams like a “slave” who “dares to leave the plantation of liberal orthodoxy.”

This “lashing” of Williams, Jackson wrote, happened because “the far left -- which NPR represents -- does not have the same visceral reaction to the suffering inflicted on Americans on 911 because they believe we brought it on ourselves.”  A “normal response” to 9/11, Jackson writes, was displayed by passengers of a plane who were “traumatized” when a number of Muslims on their flight decided to pray before boarding, in what Jackson calls “a bizarre display calculated to disturb those who witnessed it.”

When escaped slaves were caught, they were lashed into submission. This was intended not only as a warning to that particular slave, but to the entire plantation of black servants to stay in their place.  Liberals do the psychological equivalent of this to any black person who dares to leave the plantation of liberal orthodoxy. After working over a decade for liberal National Public Radio, Juan Williams was summarily fired, publically ridiculed and told to see a psychiatrist. Liberals have a proprietary attitude toward blacks and other minorities. When anyone one of us dares contradict leftist thought, they try to punish us severely.

One of my daughters saw a group of Muslims board a plane and sit in different sections. Their behavior caused her such anxiety that she got off the plane and took another flight. My daughter is not a racist or a bigot. We are black and have Muslims in our family. Are we to believe that it is bigotry to admit that the terrorist acts of 911 actually terrorized us? Signals which remind us of that horrific day evoke anxiety, a normal human response to terrible trauma. An entire flight was traumatized when a group of Muslims decided to have open prayers in an airport just before boarding a plane. The passengers became frightened by what seemed a bizarre display calculated to disturb those who witnessed it. Were they also bigots?

Two things are at play here. First, the far left -- which NPR represents -- does not have the same visceral reaction to the suffering inflicted on Americans on 911 because they believe we brought it on ourselves. America, in their view, is imperialist, greedy and militaristic. Therefore, we do not dare ascribe fault to any group but ourselves. It is alright to say "extremists" attacked us on 911 because America has its own extremists. It is not acceptable to identify those extremists as Muslims. Liberals do not view Juan Williams' expressed "feelings" as intellectual honesty, but as proof of his own and America's bigotry. That is the warped thinking of the left.

The way he was fired demonstrates that it had nothing to do with any objective assessment of his professional conduct. A man who worked for them for ten years had become a political enemy and they meant to harm him financially, emotionally and professionally. When a slave escaped from the plantation, it wasn't merely a case of one slave being a problem. That slave became a threat to the institution of slavery and to the master's way of life. The response was brutal or the slave was sold off, i.e., fired. The attempt to break free was a personal affront to the slave master. "After all," he thought, "I've been good to my slaves. Why would they want to be free?"

[Emphases are mine]

E.W. Jackson: Obama 'Sets Himself Up as Some Sort of King or Dictator'

E.W. Jackson argued at a Tea Party rally last year that President Obama is trying to become a “dictator” and intent on leading “the most lawless administration that this nation has ever seen.” The Republican nominee for Lt. Governor of Virginia, who has suggested that Obama is an atheist Muslim Communist, told the Tea Party audience that unlike the founding fathers Obama “doesn’t believe” in the Constitution, freedom or America, maintaining that “for the first time” in US history a president “sets himself up as some sort of king or dictator.”

Watch:

E.W. Jackson Warns Same-Sex Marriage Leads to Bestiality: 'Adam and Steve' Becomes 'Adam and a Bull'

During a sermon last October, Virginia GOP Lt. Governor nominee E.W. Jackson added to his long list of virulently anti-gay remarks by warning that marriage equality for gays and lesbians will result in the legalization of man-animal unions. Jackson warned the crowd that if they don’t stop “Adam and Steve” it is going to “soon be Adam and a bull,” arguing that their family, school and community may be “overwhelmed by the torrent of wickedness” if they don’t stop same-sex marriage.

Watch:

E. W. Jackson: No Federal Role In Disaster Relief Because That Turns Government Into God

E. W. Jackson, the Republican candidate for lieutenant governor of Virginia, said he opposes emergency federal aid in the case of natural disasters during his unsuccessful bid for U.S. Senate last year.

In response to a question regarding the role of government “in helping folks following predictable natural disasters,” Jackson replied: “I don’t think that the federal government has much of a role at all constitutionally, at all.”

“I think as a constitutional matter the federal government doesn’t have a whole lot to do with that,” he continued, lamenting that “we’ve turned the federal government into a kind of God and you turn to the federal government for everything.”

“We don’t need the heavy hand of federal government stepping in every time something goes wrong,” Jackson said. “I don’t think there is any constitutional authority to do it.”

Watch:

Cuccinelli Running Mate’s Epic Watermelon-Smashing Campaign Ad

E.W. Jackson, the Virginia GOP’s newly minted nominee for Lt. Governor, is not a subtle guy. His extreme rhetoric and views, which we’ve been covering for years, will come as a shock to most Virginians. So will his Tea Party antics. In that sense, Ken Cuccinelli couldn’t have found a better running mate.

In this campaign ad from last year — when Jackson lost badly to George Allen in the GOP Senate primary – Jackson is seen wielding an axe to chop melons representing the federal budget, unemployment and Obamacare. Jackson says that Obama wants to use “a scalpel to cut the federal budget” while he believes “we need to use an axe.” Watch:

Ah, yes. “Bold, decisive leadership.” That’s exactly what comes to mind when watching the ad. Incidentally, the axe was a recurring theme, as seen here:

Fans of the 1980s watermelon-smashing comedian Gallagher may rejoice, but Virginians need to understand that Jackson isn’t just a sideshow – he’s a real threat. Ken Cuccinelli and Jackson are favored to win if voters don’t turn out this November like they did in 2012.

E.W. Jackson: A Vote for Me is a Vote for 'Glory of God'

Virginia’s new Republican Lt. Gov nominee E.W. Jackson made an unsuccessful run last year for the GOP nomination to the U.S. Senate. In this “message to the church” from that campaign, Jackson said there was a “calling on his life” to run for the Senate seat. He warned that “our culture is becoming increasingly hostile to Christianity” and he criticized Rep. Bobby Scott, a strong advocate of church-state separation. Jackson urged Christians to “rise up,” go to the polls, and “cast a vote for the glory of God,” i.e., for his Senate candidacy. The section quoted below begins at 2:35.

“This is an emergency, a critical point in American history. Continuing down the path we are on will result in escalating persecution of Christianity, but even worse, risk losing the favor of God on our country, which would be an unimaginable horror. I am asking Christians to unite on the biblical principles which founded our country and help me take those principles to the United States Senate. Those who understand the history of our country know the vital role the church played not only in the establishment of hospitals, colleges, and a host of other charitable organizations, but in the revolution which established this great nation. If Christians do not rise up, the future of our country is bleak. I ask you to go to the polls on June 12 and cast a vote for the glory of God. I’m not a perfect man, but I love the Lord, and I love this country, and I will always be grateful that He has saved me and gave me citizenship to the most free and prosperous nation in history. I will fight to see to it that it stays that way. As a brother in Christ, I ask for your prayers, your support, and for your vote on June 12 in the Republican primary.…"

VA GOP Lt. Governor Nominee E.W. Jackson: Homosexuality Is 'Poison,' Democrats Are Slave Masters & Obama Is a Secret Muslim

With the ultraconservative Ken Cuccinelli as their candidate for governor, it only makes sense that Virginia Republican delegates picked far-right pastor and failed U.S. Senate candidate E. W. Jackson as their nominee for Lt. Governor.

Jackson is running on a “message to inspire and unite Virginia,” which apparently includes uniting Virginians around bigotry towards gays and lesbians, comparing Democrats to slave masters and the Antichrist and warning that President Obama is a secret Muslim.

Jackson on gays and lesbians:

  • Referred to gays and lesbians as “perverted,” “degenerate,” “spiritually darkened” and “frankly very sick people psychologically, mentally and emotionally.”
  • Said regarding homosexuality: “it poisons culture, it destroys families, it destroys societies; it brings the judgment of God unlike very few things that we can think of.”
  • Argued that gays seek to “sexualize [children] at the earliest possible age” and use “totalitarian” tactics.
  • Claimed gays are hurting black women: “I’ve heard a lot of young black ladies that a lot of young black men seem to be gay. I’ve heard them complain about it, they say ‘so many of these guys are homosexuals’ and they are frankly frustrated by it.”
  • Demanded the reinstitution of Don’t Ask Don’t Tell : “The military has been decimated by this lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender policy that has now been implemented. It’s an abomination and it’s only going to weaken us militarily and they need to undo it,” warning that the policy’s repeal is a “disaster of historic proportions.”
  • Contended that homosexuality is “killing black men by the thousands” and said of gay rights advocates: “what they’re promoting is killing people.”
  • Called GLSEN founder and anti-bullying activist Kevin Jennings a “radical homosexual activist” who should have been “imprisoned” in a letter demanding he resign as head of the Office of Safe and Drug Free Schools.
  • Said there is a “direct connection” between gays and pedophilia.

Jackson on Obama and Democrats:

  • Wondered how the Democratic Party “managed to hold on to black Christians in spite of an agenda worthy of the Antichrist.”
  • Proclaimed that “the Democrat Party has shown itself to be anti-Christian, anti-Bible, anti-family, anti-life and anti-God… We're calling people to come out of the Democrat Party and not support candidates who represent its values and the rebellion that it represents against God. That certainly would include President Barack Obama.”
  • Claimed that Democratic Party supporters are “insulting their faith and blaspheming their God” by supporting a “coalition of the godless.”
  • Warned that ministers who support Obama “are going to have to answer to God” if they encourage “their congregations to support this abomination.”
  • Said Democrats believe “that the Bible is a lie and indeed they are saying that God is a liar.”
  • Argued that “liberalism and their ideas have done more to kill black folks whom they claim so much to love than the Ku Klux Klan, lynching and slavery and Jim Crow ever did, now that’s a fact.”
  • Maintained that Obama “seems to have a lot of sympathy for even radical Islam” and “clearly has Muslim sensibilities,” arguing that Obama “certainly does have a lot of affection and favor for Islam, that seems to be his priority…Christianity, I don’t really think about that with him, I really don’t, that’s a joke.”   
  • Compared Democratic leaders to “slave masters” who make sure that black people who disagree with them are “punished.”
  • Insisted that Planned Parenthood “has been far more lethal to Black lives than the KKK ever was.”
  • Predicted that African Americans will “overwhelmingly” vote against Obama as a result of his endorsement of marriage equality and a move of God to “stir the hearts of His people” and push them against the Democrats.
  • Maintained that the President and First Lady are both Communist sympathizers who dislike America.

Updated 5/21.

Susan B. Anthony List Inaugurates Pro-Cuccinelli Campaign With a Blatant Lie

The anti-choice Susan B. Anthony List made headlines in Virginia last week when it released the first paid advertisement in the gubernatorial battle between Democrat Terry McAuliffe and Republican Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli. The problem is that the centerpiece of the ad, the first in what SBA List promises will be a $1.5 million campaign to support Cuccinelli, is a blatant lie.

The SBA List ad discusses new “TRAP” regulations passed by the Virginia Department of Health and aggressively pushed by Cuccinelli, which burden abortion clinics with unneccessary restrictions in order to shut them down. The ad claims that McAuliffe, by opposing the new regulations, “refuses to require women’s health clinics to provide the same sanitary environment we expect of dental offices and hospitals.”

Politifact Virginia discovers that not only is this claim blatantly false, but Susan B. Anthony List doesn’t even try to back it up with evidence:

We asked Mallory Quigley, a spokeswoman for the PAC and the Susan B. Anthony List, for proof of the ad’s claim. She provided no facts. “We — meaning Virginia women — expect a safe, sanitary environment inside abortion clinics, places that should be regulated at least as strict as dental offices and in fact, even stricter — like hospitals — which are mentioned immediately after that,” she wrote in an email.

The ad implies that prior to the new regulations, abortion clinics were allowed to operate at lower sanitary standards than dental offices. There’s no evidence to support that. They were treated pretty much the same.

Not that this is a huge surprise coming from the Susan B. Anthony list, which has never bothered itself too much with the truth. After all, even the organization’s name is based on a gross distortion of American history.

Cuccinelli Removes Web Pages to Hide Record On Immigration

With Republicans in Washington looking to moderate the party’s rhetoric on immigration, Virginia Attorney General – and gubernatorial candidate – Ken Cuccinelli is attempting to airbrush his anti-immigration record by removing material from his website. Unfortunately for Cuccinelli, the Internet just doesn’t work that way.

A cached version of his site from February 25th highlights his right-wing record and views. It boasts of his votes against in-state tuition for undocumented students and his crackdowns on hiring undocumented workers. That page is now gone, as are pages opposing gun control and abortion. It seems Cuccinelli thinks he can sidestep his extreme record by simply removing it from his website, or as the Washington Post put it, "Mr. Cuccinelli hasn’t shifted his position; he’s just removed it from public view."

Of course, even the amazing vanishing web pages didn’t include some of Cuccinelli’s most extreme views on immigration, such as his support for Arizona’s SB 1070 and his comparison of immigration policy to pest control. Cuccinelli can play with his website all he likes, but he can’t hide from his extreme, far-right record.

CPAC Reject McDonnell Welcomed at Religious Right Prayer Breakfast

Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell was not officially welcomed at this year’s Conservative Political Action Conference, but he was invited to speak at Friday morning’s prayer breakfast hosted by Ralph Reed’s Faith & Freedom Coalition, along with a couple Members of Congress.

Not everybody was happy that McDonnell was on the premises: activists from the National Taxpayers Union and the insanely anti-gay Public Advocate USA gave out anti-McDonnell flyers and stickers to people entering the breakfast.  McDonnell’s sin against CPAC orthodoxy was his support for a transportation plan in Virginia that activists say violates a campaign pledge against raising taxes.  Public Advocate also complained that by praising the General Assembly’s approval of a gay district court nominee, McDonnell “BROKE HIS PLEDGE TO SUPPORT TRADITIONAL MARRIAGE.”

Inside the prayer breakfast, McDonnell (like the Coalition’s Executive Director Gary Marx an alum of Pat Robertson’s Regent University) was introduced by Rep. Randy Forbes and warmly received.  McDonnell gave a talk that was light on conservative red meat and focused on themes of faith and service, urging activists to pray for humility and wisdom.  He did say it is the job of public officials to get things done according to “Judeo-Christian principles.”  And he cited George Washington saying that the nation could not expect “the smiles of heaven” if it abandoned “eternal rules of order and right which Heaven itself have ordained.”

Forbes, a leader of the congressional prayer caucus, said our nation’s problem is that God belongs on the throne, we’ve taken Him off, and we need to put Him back up there.  Forbes resorted to a caricature common among Religious Right leaders, complaining about people he said were trying to change the concept of church-state separation to mean that no one in government can speak about their faith and no one in church can talk about the government.

Also speaking was Rep. Tim Huelskamp of Kansas, who invoked a mural of the radical abolitionist John Brown that portrays him with a Bible in one hand, a rifle in the other, and the tornado of the civil war approaching. He called the HHS requirement for insurance coverage of contraception a “tremendous threat” and an attack of religious liberty. “What would John Brown be doing now?” he asked, suggesting that Brown would be on his knees in prayer but also on his feet demanding action from Congress.  Huelskamp complained that his colleagues in Congress are not acting to protect religious liberty, and denounced their “deafening silence” on threats to marriage. Huelskamp has previously complained to Tony Perkins about “the folks on the left that would like to delete, exclude and repeal any religious liberties or any religious values throughout our entire government and our entire society.”

Rachel Campos-Duffy, a conservative activist, author, and Real World: San Francisco alum who is married to Rep. Sean Duffy of Wisconsin, talked about the dangers of churches and families having ceded territory to “an ever-expanding and insatiable government.” For example, Campos said, school breakfast programs for poor students give parents an excuse not to make breakfast for their own kids and just push them out the door rather than talking to them.

Ralph Reed didn’t make the breakfast, but Gary Marx delivered a version of Reed’s post-2012 “it’s not my fault” analysis. Marx ran through statistics on the millions of contacts the Faith & Freedom Coalition made with the 23.3 million evangelical and Catholic voters in its proprietary database, and he said five million more evangelicals voted in 2012 than in 2008, with 78 percent of them voting for Romney. He said the group is actively engaged in this year’s Virginia elections and pledged that 2014 will see the largest mid-term conservative turnout ever.

The breakfast opened with a prayer by Father John De Celles of St. Raymond Penafort Roman Catholic Church in Springfield, Virginia, and closed with a benediction from Rabbi Aryeh Spero of the Caucus for America, who called for a reaffirmation of our “national identity” as a “Judeo-Christian nation” and denounced those who threaten the country from within by trying to "dismantle" that heritage and usurp God’s will.

Footnote: Among the VIP attendees acknowledged from the podium was conservative mega-donor Foster Friess, who backed Rick Santorum’s presidential bid but who has more recently encouraged a more moderate approach to LGBT issues, which he has said is due to his familiarity with gay people, including his brother-in-law and his partner.  There was no mention at the breakfast of news that broke last night about Republican Sen. Rob Portman’s about-face on marriage after his son came out to him. 

Right Wing Round-Up - 1/14/13

Barber & Staver Hail Effort to Shut Down Medieval/Nazi/Torture/Gas Chambers

Last month, the Virginia Board of Health, under pressure from Gov. Bob McDonnell and Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli, passed a series of onerous and medically unnecessary regulations aimed at shutting down many of the abortion clinics operating within the state. And it comes as no surprise that the anti-choice zealots over at Liberty Counsel are positively thrilled with the move, as Matt Barber admits that ultimately he wants to see every clinic in the nation shut down because they "more resemble a medieval torture chamber than they do a medical clinic" while Mat Staver declared that such clinics "are no different than Nazi Germany with regards to the gas chamber and the experiments that were done and the torture that happened to people":

RNC: Two Darlings of the Religious Right Take the Stage Tonight

Along with the parade of Republican officials and Tea Party favorites like Gov. Scott Walker and Ted Cruz, two darlings of the Religious Right will be speaking tonight during the Republican National Convention:

Gov. Bob McDonnell of Virginia chaired the 2012 RNC platform committee, which a committee member described as “the most conservative platform in modern history.” McDonnell, known to many as Governor Ultrasound for his support of the “vaginal probe” law, is the most prominent graduate of Pat Robertson’s foray into higher education – Christian Broadcasting Network University, now called Regent.

As a student there, McDonnell authored a 93-page thesis – “The Republican Party's Vision for the Family” – which served as a blueprint for a Religious Right version of America. In it, he characterized “working women and feminists as 'detrimental' to the family” and argued that the government “should favor married couples over 'cohabitators, homosexuals or fornicators.” McDonnell disavowed his thesis when he ran for governor, but the Washington Post noted that as a legislator he “pursued at least 10 of the policy goals he laid out” in his thesis. Not surprisingly, Pat Robertson donated to McDonnell’s gubernatorial campaign and hosted him on the 700 Club, referring to him as his “dear friend.” 

Rick Santorum, the former senator from Pennsylvania, ran away with the hearts of Religious Right leaders during the GOP presidential primary. They rallied together to propel his campaign and then keep it afloat, and when he finally dropped out, they had one consistent piece of advice for Romney – be more like Santorum. Santorum, although Catholic, resonated with right-wing evangelicals like no other candidate. He spoke consistently and candidly about his faith and his extreme views on social issues, particularly his fervent opposition to reproductive rights and equality for gays and lesbians. However, the comments that won him favor among Religious Right audiences often got him in hot water with the broader electorate.
 
Santorum spoke to the Religious Right’s view that America, and its culture and people, are going down the tubes. He warned of “dire consequences” if the country strays from God’s “principles” and vowed to prosecute obscenity while decrying the Obama administration, which he said favors “pornographers over children and families.” He promised that he would reinstate Don’t Ask Don’t Tell, forcing gays and lesbians in the military back into the shadows, and urged public schools to challenge the theory of evolution. He argued that Americans should not “defy nature” by allowing gays and lesbians to marry and accused Planned Parenthood of targeting African-Americans for abortions as part of a racist, eugenic plot. Instead of Planned Parenthood, he expressed nostalgia for the days of illegal, back alley abortions.
 
The remark that summed up Santorum’s outlook was recorded in 2008 but only surfaced during the primary. Speaking at Ave Maria University in Florida, Santorum said that Satan was systematically destroying the country. He also managed to start an international row during the primary with his claim that 10% of deaths in the Netherlands are from euthanasia (which, he argued, is what Obamacare would lead us to).

 

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