Virginia

Clarence Thomas Talks Constitution, Faith, and Married Life at Ultraconservative Ave Maria University

Thomas Monaghan, the billionaire behind Dominos Pizza and a prolific donor to Religious Right and Republican causes, founded Ave Maria University of Florida to be one of the most conservative Catholic institutions in the country. Not only did Monaghan seek to establish a new Catholic university, but also wanted to build an entire city based around his ultraconservative ideology. Rick Santorum lauded Ave Maria’s students as God’s soldiers training for a spiritual war, and Justice Antonin Scalia even assisted the founding of the Ave Maria School of Law.

Now, another conservative Supreme Court Justice is aiding Ave Maria’s efforts. While speaking to students of Ave Maria University and Ave Maria School of Law, Thomas told students not to shy away from using their religious views in public life, defended “constitutional originalism,” and touted the stability of his marriage (which must be a very sore subject for Thomas). The Ave Herald reports:

"I was minding my own business and President Bush appointed me," he said. Now, 20 years later, he said he was surprised to look around the justices' conference table recently and realize that he was the third most senior jurist on the Supreme Court. His time on the court has given him much greater perspective, he said.

"You get more of a panoramic view."

Nonetheless, he said, "I get called an activist because I believe we should follow the constitution, not the stuff we made up about it."

He urged the students to respect the courts, even if they disagree with their decisions.

"You want to be constructive," he said. "You can feel strongly without acting emotionally and being bitter and angry."

Common themes in both appearances were the importance of faith and being guided by wanting to "just do the right thing."

"I tell my law clerks every year," Justice Thomas said, "that pragmatism is not a principle. It's giving yourself the excuse to go along to get along."

In the end, he said, people need to be able answer the question asked at the end of the movie Saving Private Ryan: Have I been a good man? Have I led a good life?

Catholics, he said, should not be afraid to live their faith openly.

"Many people choose to hide their lights under a bushel basket," he said in reference to a Gospel passage.

"Our deeds are our most effective homilies, our most effective speeches."

He advised students to seek a balance between their careers and family life, saying that his own marriage of 24 years to his wife, Virginia, who was with him at both appearances, "has been a hoot."

Keep sight of what is important, he told the students at AMU.

"Don't lose your faith, don't lose your family, don't lose your friends. Have the confidence that with God and your faith anything is possible."

Right Wing Round-Up

  • PFAW - RWWIF: Deceptive Video ‘Sting’ Attacking Planned Parenthood: Dishonest Hit Job is Part of Religious Right’s Campaign to Deny Women Access to Reproductive Health Care.
     
  • Jason Hancock @ Iowa Independent: Pawlenty will do three events with The Family Leader.
     
  • Matthew Yglesias: Biblical Israel.
     
  • Pam Spaulding: Utah: Bigoted State Representative LaVar Christensen introduces 'Family Policy' bill.
  • Towelroad: Attempt to Ban Gays in Virginia National Guard Dies in Committee.
     
  • Scott Keyes @ Think Progress: Leading Neoconservative Frank Gaffney Argues Muslim Brotherhood Has ‘Infiltrated’ The Federal Government.
     
  • Steve Benen: When the Koch Brothers Get A Little Creepy.
     
  • Virginia Chamlee @ Florida Independent: Huckabee to support group whose leader said Planned Parenthood efforts ‘almost like’ genocide.
     
  • Joe.My.God: Scott Lively: Gays Are Murdering Uganda.

Right Wing Round-Up

  • PFAW - RWWIF: Deceptive Video ‘Sting’ Attacking Planned Parenthood: Dishonest Hit Job is Part of Religious Right’s Campaign to Deny Women Access to Reproductive Health Care.
     
  • Jason Hancock @ Iowa Independent: Pawlenty will do three events with The Family Leader.
     
  • Matthew Yglesias: Biblical Israel.
     
  • Pam Spaulding: Utah: Bigoted State Representative LaVar Christensen introduces 'Family Policy' bill.
  • Towelroad: Attempt to Ban Gays in Virginia National Guard Dies in Committee.
     
  • Scott Keyes @ Think Progress: Leading Neoconservative Frank Gaffney Argues Muslim Brotherhood Has ‘Infiltrated’ The Federal Government.
     
  • Steve Benen: When the Koch Brothers Get A Little Creepy.
     
  • Virginia Chamlee @ Florida Independent: Huckabee to support group whose leader said Planned Parenthood efforts ‘almost like’ genocide.
     
  • Joe.My.God: Scott Lively: Gays Are Murdering Uganda.

Cuccinelli: State Can't Ban Gays From VA National Guard And Still Accept Federal Funding

On the heels of the repeal of Don't Ask, Don't Tell late last year, Virginia Delegate Bob Marshall declared that he was going to introduce legislation that would ban gays and lesbians from serving in the Virginia National Guard.

Now Virginia Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli has weighed in, saying that the state can do so ... provided that it is willing to fund the militia entirely on its own:

Virginia would have to establish and fully fund its own independent militia if it wanted to ban gays from its National Guard force, Attorney General Kenneth Cuccinelli says ...Cuccinelli said he could not give a detailed answer to the question until federal regulations repealing the policy are issued. But regardless of how those regulations are written, he said, Congress pays most the Guard's costs and can yank funding for noncompliance with federal policy.

...

Cuccinelli said in his opinion that the nation's state militias evolved over the years into a "dual enlistment system" in which National Guard members "are both members of the organized militia and a reserve component of the armed forces of the United States."

A key aspect of the system, he said, is that the federal government provides virtually all of the funding. The dual enlistment system and the spending power of Congress "has meant in practice that Congress set the standards and policy for state Guard units," Cuccinelli wrote.

Marshall, for his part, isn't buying Cuccinelli's claim and is accusing him of "making this up for political cover" for Republicans who don't want to be forced to vote on Marshall's anti-gay bill.

Cuccinelli: State Can't Ban Gays From VA National Guard And Still Accept Federal Funding

On the heels of the repeal of Don't Ask, Don't Tell late last year, Virginia Delegate Bob Marshall declared that he was going to introduce legislation that would ban gays and lesbians from serving in the Virginia National Guard.

Now Virginia Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli has weighed in, saying that the state can do so ... provided that it is willing to fund the militia entirely on its own:

Virginia would have to establish and fully fund its own independent militia if it wanted to ban gays from its National Guard force, Attorney General Kenneth Cuccinelli says ...Cuccinelli said he could not give a detailed answer to the question until federal regulations repealing the policy are issued. But regardless of how those regulations are written, he said, Congress pays most the Guard's costs and can yank funding for noncompliance with federal policy.

...

Cuccinelli said in his opinion that the nation's state militias evolved over the years into a "dual enlistment system" in which National Guard members "are both members of the organized militia and a reserve component of the armed forces of the United States."

A key aspect of the system, he said, is that the federal government provides virtually all of the funding. The dual enlistment system and the spending power of Congress "has meant in practice that Congress set the standards and policy for state Guard units," Cuccinelli wrote.

Marshall, for his part, isn't buying Cuccinelli's claim and is accusing him of "making this up for political cover" for Republicans who don't want to be forced to vote on Marshall's anti-gay bill.

Right Wing Round-Up

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Cuccinelli & VA Family Foundation Drop Out of Anti-Choice Rally Targeting Gov. McDonell

Anti-choice activists are hosting a rally outside the Virginia capitol on Thursday at which VA Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli and representatives of the Virginia Family Foundation were scheduled to participate ... that is until they found out the rally was designed to pressure Gov. Bob McDonnell to place tighter restrictions on women's clinics.

Upon learning that, Cuccinelli and the VA Family Foundation dropped out:

Both Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli (R) and the conservative Family Foundation declined to participate in an anti-abortion rally scheduled for Thursday outside the Capitol to avoid "confronting" McDonnell after they found out that organizers designed the event to pressure the governor.

Both Cuccinelli (R) and Family Foundation Chaplain Bishop E.W. Jackson Sr. had been scheduled to attend the rally, which will take place on the second day of the General Assembly's annual session.

"While Attorney General Cuccinelli is a long-time pro-life leader and is very supportive of the people redressing their grievances with their elected officials at a rally like this, he does not support calling on his client -- the governor -- to circumvent the normal public regulatory process, even for the most laudable of goals,'' Cuccinelli spokesman Brian Gottstein said. "While this may be a favored approach to getting a more immediate resolution to the abortion clinic issue, the expanded use of this power -- generally reserved for emergency situations -- would set a bad precedent, allowing future governors to abuse such a power."

Del. Bob Marshall, who is speaking at the rally, describes the Family Foundation's absence as "odd" and "inconsistent" and wonders whether it has to do with the group's president's husband employment with McDonnell. Several conservative activists also e-mailed Family Foundation President Victoria Cobb accusing her of remaining "silent'' because of her desire to not "confront" the governor, according to e-mails provided to The Post.

...

Several organizations, including the American Freedom Project and Hampton Roads for Life, have organized a petition drive to encourage McDonnell to act.

"Governor Bob McDonnell is reluctant to give the directive to the state Board of Health to move forward in promulgating these regulations,'' said Mike Prunty of the American Freedom Project. "This is somewhat puzzling to some because he built his political career as a 'pro-life candidate.' ''

....

The rally at the bell tower begins at 10:30 a.m. Thursday.

Other speakers include Keith Fournier, deacon of the Catholic Diocese of Richmond and founder of the Catholic Way; David Bereit, national director of 40 Days for Life, a Christian pro-life organization; Shawn Carney, co-founder of 40 days for Life; John Seeds, a Richmond doctor; Andrea Pearson of Silent No More; Rita Dunaway, assistant director of the Valley Family Forum; Tom Glessner, founder and president of the National Institute of Family and Life Advocates; and Karen Zbinden of Concerned Women for America.

Alveda King, niece of Martin Luther King, will speak by audio hook-up. Maddy Curtis, a 16-year-old "American Idol" contestant from Virginia, will sing the national anthem.

Awakening 2011: Another Chance for GOP Political Leaders To Bond With Religious Right Activists

Last year, Virginia Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli joined dozens of Religious Right leaders for an event called "Awakening 2010," organized by the Freedom Federation and hosted at Liberty University, where Cindy Jacobs declared that "the Bible is the government of the people, by the people, for the people," while Matt Barber and Andrea Lafferty claimed that passage of the Employment Non-Discrimination Act would allow those working at the Veteran's Administration to freely molest disable veterans.

In April, the Freedom Federation will host its second annual "Awakening" conference entitled "Raising Our Voices: Equipping and Empowering a New Revolution" which organizer hope will feature a mix of right-wing activists like Lou Engle, Tony Perkins, Mat Staver, Frank Gaffney, Wendy Wright, David Barton, and Gary Bauer with Republican leaders like Cuccinelli, Michele Bachmann, Marco Rubio, Alan West, Mike Pence, Newt Gingrich, and Mike Huckabee:

Notice also the proposed inclusion of Ryan Sorba, whose made a name for himself as last year's CPAC by blasting organizers for allowing the participation of GOProud.

Right Wing Round-Up

Tea Party Leaders Preparing for Primary Fights to Bolster GOP's Ideological Purity

Back in January the Christian Science Monitor declared “Scott Brown: the tea party’s first electoral victory,” following his surprise win in the special election to fill the Senate seat of the late Ted Kennedy. But now the Boston Globe reports that conservatives and Tea Party activists are mulling over a primary challenge to the Massachusetts Republican. According to the Globe, Brown’s votes in favor of repealing Don’t Ask Don’t Tell, ratifying the START Treaty, and reforming Wall Street (but only after it was watered down to win his support) made him toxic to many Tea Party members and other movement conservatives. The Family Research Council has pledged to back a primary challenger to any Senator who voted to repeal Don’t Ask Don’t Tell, and the National Republican Trust PAC promised to do the same to any Republican who supported START.

More surprisingly, movement conservatives in Virginia are hoping to block George Allen from running again for the seat he lost to Jim Webb in 2006. Allen, a former Senator and Governor best known for using a racial slur against his opponent’s campaign worker, is already finding himself in trouble with Tea Party groups even though he hasn’t even announced his candidacy yet. The Washington Post reports that Allen’s voting record in the Senate may sink his chances among Virginia Tea Partiers:

For months, it appeared that former U.S. senator George Allen would have a clear path to the Republican nomination if he chose to try to reclaim his old job.

But in the summer, grumbling about his past began, culminating in a Web site outlining the reasons some fellow Republicans oppose him: He's too moderate. He's part of the establishment. He's partly to blame for the record spending and ballooning deficit in Washington.

By this month, no fewer than four Republicans billing themselves as more conservative than Allen were considering challenging him for the right to run against Sen. James Webb, if the Virginia Democrat seeks reelection.

"There are some concerns based on his record and his rhetoric," said Mark Kevin Lloyd, chairman of the Lynchburg Tea Party and vice chairman of the Virginia Tea Party Patriots Federation, a statewide umbrella group. "People are looking at things in a new light," he said.

Allen, who received a 92.3% lifetime rating from the American Conservative Union, was hardly considered a moderate in the Senate. But apparently 92% isn’t enough:

But during his one term in the U.S. Senate, some Republicans complain, he backed President George W. Bush's proposals to increase spending; supported No Child Left Behind, a costly program to create a national education report card; favored a federal program to subsidize the costs of prescription drugs for Medicare beneficiaries; and voted to expand the Hate Crimes Prevention Act to include crimes based on sexual orientation.

Jamie Ratdke, who recently stepped down as chairwoman of the Virginia Tea Party Patriots Federation in order to explore a Senate bid, said she began to consider a run for the Senate after attending a Tea Party convention that featured Rick Santorum, Lou Dobbs, and Virginia Attorney General Ken Cuccinnelli as speakers:

Radtke said that she had considered running for the state Senate next year but that she began thinking about the U.S. Senate instead after Virginia's first tea party convention, which drew an estimated 2,800 people to Richmond in October.

Radtke, who worked for Allen for a year when he was governor and she was right out of college, said it's time for a new candidate. She said that Allen was part of "George Bush's expansion of government" when he was senator and that she was concerned about some of his stances on abortion.

Allen has said that abortions should be legal in cases of rape, incest and when the life of the mother is endangered, and he owned stock in the manufacturer of the morning-after pill.

If George Allen is deemed not conservative enough for the Republican Party, then expect many more extremist candidates like Sharron Angle and Christine O’Donnell to win contested GOP primaries. Allen hurt his chances by supporting healthcare and education initiatives that were backed by President Bush and the Republican leadership, and is also deemed too moderate because he voted to include sexual orientation under hate crimes protections and believes in exceptions under a ban on abortion.

While running for reelection in 2006, Allen received wide praise at FRC’s Values Voter Summit for his staunch conservative beliefs, but now he is under attack from the Right for being “too moderate” even though he hasn’t served in public office since he lost the 2006 race. As Corey Stewart, chairman of the Prince William County board of supervisors and a likely primary opponent, says, Allen’s “base has moved on.”

Media Research Center: Liberal Bias in Obituaries!

Just when you thought that the Media Research Center couldn’t get any lower in its constant digging to find “liberal bias” in journalism, the conservative group is now complaining that the Associated Press was biased in their brief, one-line obituaries of political leaders who passed away in 2010. Bernard McGhee’s “Notable deaths of 2010” featured succinct obituaries of people from author J.D. Salinger to Polish President Lech Kaczynski and businessman George Steinbrenner. But according to Tim Graham, the Media Research Center’s Director of Media Analysis, McGhee reported on the deaths of US political figures using a liberal bias:

AP's Notable Deaths of 2010 List Has Some Liberal Mini-Spins:

When the Associated Press put together a roll call of the notable deaths of 2010, some of them came with a little glitter in their brief descriptions from reporter Bernard McGhee. For example:

"Sen. Robert C. Byrd, 92. Rose from an impoverished childhood in West Virginia's coal country to become the longest-serving senator in U.S. history. June 28."

Or this one:

"U.S. Rep. John Murtha, 77. The tall, gruff-mannered former Marine who became the de facto voice of veterans on Capitol Hill and later an outspoken and influential critic of the Iraq War. Feb. 8. Complications from gallbladder surgery."

Both of these men were renowned as pork-barrel champions. But guess who was tagged with pork in their sentence? The Republican:

"Ted Stevens, 86. The longest serving Republican in the U.S. Senate; funneled billions of dollars to his remote state of Alaska. Aug. 9. Plane crash."

But in fairness to McGhee, Ted Stevens was extremely proud of his use of “pork” to fund projects throughout Alaska. The former Chair of the Appropriations Committee was simply best known in both Alaska and across the country for his ability to steer federal money to help his home state, and he made no apologies for it.

Graham also criticizes the obituaries of a Puerto Rican activist and a Soviet diplomat as too cordial, saying that they should have been portrayed more negatively. His bizarre blog post though didn’t find bias with McGhee’s description of Alexander Haig, the former Republican Secretary of State under Reagan, and White House Chief of Staff under Presidents Nixon and Ford, who McGhee referred to as a “statesmen.”

He goes on to allege that the obituary for Elizabeth Edwards contained liberal bias because they didn’t mention her husband’s affair:

The adulteries of John Edwards were papered over a bit, too:

"Elizabeth Edwards, 61. Closely advised her husband John Edwards in two bids for the presidency and advocated for health care even as her marriage publicly crumbled. Dec. 7. Cancer."

Graham's final bizarre claim of “liberal bias” is his offense at the description of the late actress Rue McClanahan:

PS: On a cultural note, Rue McClanahan was remembered for playing “sexually liberated Southern belle Blanche Devereaux” on “The Golden Girls.” This is nicer than her character being a “slutty senior citizen.”

The Media Research Center has really hit a new low by trying to find bias in a list of extremely brief obituaries, maintaining that any kind words about Democrats show bias and any description of a Republican must therefore be negative.

Will The Right File Suit To Stop DADT Repeal? (UPDATED)

Judging by Monday's "Washington Update" from the Family Research Council, they seemed resigned to the repeal of Don't Ask, Don't Tell

It's been a long, hard fight. And as sobering as the outcome may be, we can all be proud that we stood our ground and did what was right for our soldiers and our country. Now it's time to leave the outcome, however ominous it may be, in the hands of the Lord.

But that apparent resignation did not last long, as the very next day FRC announced that they would be working with Sen. John McCain and other Republicans on ways to limit and ultimately repeal it:

As for FRC, who will take great pleasure in seeing this lame-duck finally limp out of town, we'll be spending the next couple of weeks reassessing the "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" debate. In fact, I've already been in conversations with Hill leaders about holding hearings in the New Year, as well as statutory and legislative oversight steps that can be taken to turn back aspects of the repeal and slow down--if not stop--the rest. Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) and others will be working with FRC to put a strict evaluation process in place. We want to ensure that the Pentagon is monitoring the effect of this radical change on the men and women in harm's way. One way to do that is demanding specific measurables--like tracking the sexual assaults, dips in recruitment and retention, combat distractions, and more. If there's the slightest disruption to the military's mission, you can bet that FRC will be on the Hill, demanding to revisit this repeal.

And it looks like FRC also expects to see suits filed to stop it:

Of course, back when federal District Judge Virginia Phillips struck down DADT in September, FRC blasted her "judicial activism":

This is the very definition of judicial activism -- when you are unable to achieve your desired policy goals through the democratic process, simply go to court and get a judge to decree that it must be so.

But now that Religious Right was to unable to achieve its desired policy goals through the democratic process, they have apparently decided to simply go to court and try to get a judge to decree that it must be so.

UPDATE: FRC's Tom McClusky has informed us that the Fox 5 report misrepresented the point that he was making, which was that he believes that lawsuits will be filed by those who pushed for the DADT repeal, citing it as they seek other changes in policy regarding things like Defense of Marriage Act and various benefits currently available to only married couples. FRC would not file and would not support lawsuits seeking to overturn the repeal of DADT, as the organization believes this is not a matter for the courts to decide because the US Constitution clearly leaves it up to Congress.
 

Marshall: Soldiers Can't Fight If They're "Worried About This Guy Whose Got Eyes" On Them

Yesterday, we noted that Virginia Delegate Bob Marshall intends to introduce legislation banning gays from serving in the Virginia National Guard in response to Congress' vote to repeal Don't Ask, Don't Tell.

Virginia Governor Bob McDonnell has already made clear that he would not support any such effort, but Marshall plans to press ahead:

Conservative delegate Bob Marshall says he will introduce a measure in the Virginia House of Delegates that would ban practicing homosexuals from serving in the state's National Guard.

The Republican delegate says openly gay soldiers would distract straight troops. He said, "It's a distraction when I'm on the battlefield and have to concentrate on the enemy 600 yards away and I'm worried about this guy whose got eyes on me."

Marshall says gays have greater incidences of sexually transmitted diseases and this could create other problems. "If I needed a blood transfusion and the guy next to me had committed sodomy 14 times in the last month I'd be worried," he adds.

Marshall insists that Alexander Hamilton clearly stated in Federalist #29 that those who engage in "sodomy" cannot serve in the military ... but I challenge you to find anything in that paper that supports Marshall's assertion.

Alan Colmes had Marshall on his radio program last night and Marshall again made this claim, to which Colmes correctly pointed out that the definition of "sodomy" includes oral sex, asking if that meant that that any straight soldier who has ever engaged in oral sex ought to be thrown out of the military, to which Marshall responded by insisting that "sodomy" only means anal intercourse and that anyone, gay or straight, who engages in such behavior ought to be banned from serving in the military:

You can listen to Colmes' entire interview with Marshall here:

Staver Lays Out Religious Right's Plans for Fighting DADT Repeal

When the Senate voted to repeal Don't Ask, Don't Tell Mat Staver of the Liberty Counsel promised the "full mobilization" of the Freedom Federation and "faith-based and policy organizations, veterans, and military families in the states of every Senator who voted for repeal of DADT against the advice of our service chiefs and during a time of war. Those Senators – and the Pentagon leaders responsible for this breach of trust – should understand that they will be the object of concerted political action against them."

Of course, that threat was pretty vague, but now Staver has begun to lay out his plans in an interview with Concerned Women for America,  explaining that they intend to push for state-based legislation barring gays from serving in the National Guard and pressuring House members to defund the implementation of the DADT repeal while seeking to elected members of Congress who vote to reinstate the law:

Staver: This is not the end of the line because there's two situations that are happening; first of all on the national guard - in fact, there is already a bill that is being put forward in Virginia by a Delegate in that state to say that the National Guard is under the individual states and the direction of the Governor, not the President of the United States and therefore the National Guard in Virginia will not abide by this repeal and other states, I'm sure, will follow.

Secondly, and more importantly, it's going to take a while for this law to actually be implemented and I believe that Congress can defund any implementation of this law when they take their seat in January.

And I believe that we can move forward to actually reinstate this law - I think we have enough votes in the House; we probably don't have enough votes in the Senate obviously, but we need to move forward in 2011 and 2012 to make sure that we do have enough votes so that we can protect our men and women and our national security, put that at highest regard and not the homosexual agenda as this Congress and this President has done.

Contact you members of the House, particularly the House, and ask them to defund the implementation of this repeal next year. You know, as part of repeal they're going to have to do training, they're going to have to spend money and the House holds the purse strings and the House can certainly withhold those purse strings from any kind of action to implement this repeal.

Right Wing Delegate Seeks to Ban Gays From Virginia National Guard

Do you remember Bob Marshall, the Virginia state lawmaker who earlier this year claimed that women who have abortions subsequently give birth to children with disabilities as punishment from God?

Marshall claimed that he never said any such thing, but then released a video proving that he said exactly that ... and for all of his trouble, he was rewarded with a slot on a Family Research Council anti-healthcare reform webcast alongside Rep. Tom Price, (R-GA), Rep. Mike Pence (R-IN), and Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-MN).

Well, now that the Senate has voted to repeal Don't Ask, Don't Tell, you can just leave it up to someone like Marshall to react by announcing his intention to introduce legislation barring gays and lesbians from serving in the Virginia National Guard:

Responding to the federal repeal of the military policy banning open gays from serving in the armed forces, a state lawmaker in Virginia plans to fight back with legislation that bars "active homosexuals" from serving in the Virginia National Guard.

Delegate Robert G. Marshall said the Constitution reserves states with the authority to do so and that he'll introduce a bill in the state General Assembly next year that ensures the "the effect of the 1994 federal law banning active homosexuals from America's military forces will apply to the Virginia National Guard."

"With the repeal of 'don't ask, don't tell,' President Obama seeks to pay back his homosexual political supporters," the Prince William County Republican said, echoing a sentiment shared by many of the repeal's most ardent opponents. "This policy will weaken military recruitment and retention, and will increase pressure for a military draft."

"The Constitution never would have been ratified if states were not [guaranteed] unqualified control of the militia, now called the National Guard," he said.

FRC To "Endorse and Fund" Primary Challenges to Any Senator That Supports DADT Repeal

The other day we noted that members of the Freedom Federation had sent another letter to members of the Senate urging them to delay any vote on repealing Don't Ask, Don't Tell until next year (when Republicans would have enough votes to kill any such effort).

Today, The Daily Caller printed a memo written by Freedom Federation founder Mat Staver of Liberty Counsel that was distributed to his Religious Right allies laying out the ten senators they intended to target: 

Senators need to know that they will be held accountable for how they vote on this issue.

Within the next 48 hours be sure to communicate with your constituencies that the following ten Senators in the following states must be contacted, urging them to vote against overturning DADT:

Ben Nelson – Nebraska

Jon Tester – Montana

Kent Conrad – North Dakota

Joe Manchin – West Virginia

Jim Webb – Virginia

Claire McCaskill – Missouri

Susan Collins and Olympia Snowe – Maine

Scott Brown – Massachusetts

Lisa Murkowski – Alaska

These ten Senators need to get the clear message that each of them will have to choose which set of supporters they want in 2012 when they run for reelection. We need to make the choice very clear.

Today, the Family Research Council took it a step further and officially announced that they will "endorse and fund conservative primary challengers to any U.S. Senator who votes to overturn 'Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell' during the lame-duck session":

FRC Action PAC President Connie Mackey made the following comments:

“We are pledging today to endorse, and help fund, conservative primary challengers to any U.S. Senator who votes during the lame-duck session to overturn ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell.’ FRC Action PAC will work to remove any U.S. Senator who would place liberal special interests ahead of the priorities of the American people.

“The U.S. Senate has twice rejected the overturn of ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell.’ Despite this, Majority Leader Harry Reid continues with his obsession while failing to address the essential responsibilities of the federal government. As three of the four service chiefs have made clear, the men and women of the Armed Forces who are engaged in fighting two wars should not be distracted by Congress using them to advance a liberal social agenda. Using the Senate’s time in the lame-duck session to pay back his liberal political base is simply absurd and demonstrates once again Senator Reid’s misplaced priorities. Members of the Senate should refuse to become accomplices in helping Harry Reid advance his agenda over the American people’s agenda,” concluded Mackey.

What was that I was just saying yesterday about FRC completely losing it over the prospect of seeing DADT repealed?

Dozens of GOP Leaders Declare Solidarity With Those Who Want To See Homosexuality Outlawed

Last week when Jeremy Hooper discovered that the Family Research Council was planning to roll out a campaign fighting back against the Southern Poverty Law Center's designation of the organization as an anti-gay hate group, we noted that FRC was asking people to sign on to the campaign to "stand in solidarity with Family Research Council, American Family Association, Concerned Women of America, National Organization for Marriage, Liberty Counsel and other pro-family organizations that are working to protect and promote natural marriage and family."

By doing so, we pointed out, any one who added their name was essentially declaring that they stood shoulder-to-shoulder with groups that proclaim:

Today, FRC announced that it was running this open letter [PDF] in both Politico and The Washington Examiner and that the effort had the support of dozens of Republican members of Congress and conservative leaders:

Family Research Council (FRC) announced the placement of a full-page open letter in today's print editions of Politico and the Washington Examiner responding to the Southern Poverty Law Center's (SPLC) recent attacks on FRC and other groups.

SPLC has targeted FRC and other organizations that uphold Judeo-Christian moral views, including marriage as the union of a man and a woman. The open letter, signed by more than 150 organizational leaders, Members of Congress and other elected officials, calls for a "vigorous but responsible exercise of the First Amendment rights of free speech and religious liberty that are the birthright of all Americans."

The open letter was signed by many current and former elected and government officials including Speaker-designate John Boehner, Majority Leader-elect Eric Cantor, U.S. Reps Mike Pence (R-IN), Michele Bachmann (R-MN), John Carter (R-TX), John Fleming (R-LA,) Trent Franks (R-AZ), Louie Gohmert (R-TX,) Gregg Harper (R-MS), Jeb Hensarling (R-TX), Jim Jordan (R-OH), Steve King (R-IA,) Don Manzullo (R-IL), Kevin McCarthy (R-CA), Joe Pitts (R-PA), Peter Roskam (R-LA), Lamar Smith (R-TX,) Steve Scalise (R-LA,) Fred Upton (R-MI), U.S. Senators Jim DeMint (R-SC), Jim Inhofe (R-OK,) David Vitter (R-LA), Roger Wicker (R-MS), Sam Brownback (Gov.-elect, Kansas), Governor Bobby Jindal, former Governor Mike Huckabee, Governor Tim Pawlenty, former Senator Rick Santorum, Edwin Meese III, former Attorney General of the United States, and Virginia Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli.

For the record, here is the complete list of leaders who have publicly declared their solidarity with SPLC-designated anti-gay hate groups who want to see gays barred from serving in public office and homosexuality made illegal: 

Alaska Family Council Jim Minnery - President
American College of Pediatricians Tom Benton, MD - President
American Conservative Union Foundation Cleta Mitchell - Chairman
American Decency Association Bill Johnson - President
American Family Association Tim Wildmon - President
American Family Association of Pennsylvania Diane Gramley - President
American Principles Project Andresen Blom - Executive Director
American Values Gary Bauer - President
Association of Maryland Families Derek McCoy - President
Best-Selling Author and Host of Morning in America Dr. William J. Bennett
Calvary Chapel Jack Hibbs - Senior Pastor
Cardinal Newman Society Patrick Reilly - President
Catholic League for Religious and Civil Rights Bill Donohue - President
CCV of Indiana PAC Joseph Sergio, Ph.D - Chairman
Center for Arizona Policy Cathi Herrod - President
Center for Law and Social Strategy Mark Spengler - Executive Director
Center for Security Policy Frank Gaffney - President and CEO
Center for Urban Renewal and Education Star Parker - President
Christian Civic League of Maine Carroll Conley - Executive Director
Christian Medical Association David Stevens - CEO
CitizenLink Tom Minnery - Senior Vice President, Public Policy
Citizens for Community Values Phil Burress - President
Citizens for Community Values of Indiana Patrick Mangan - Executive Director
CNSNews.com Chris Johnson - News Correspondant
CNSNews.com Eric Scheiner - Senior Video Producer
Coalition for Marriage and FamilyTom Shields - Chairman
Colorado Family Action Jessica Haverkate - Director
Committee for Justice Curt Levey - Executive Director
Concerned Citizens for Family Values of Connecticut Ray Kastner - President
Concerned Women For America Penny Nance - CEO
Concerned Women for American Wendy Wright - President
ConservativeHQ.com Richard Viguerie - Chairman
Coral Ridge Ministries Robert Knight - Senior Writer
Coral Ridge Ministries Hector Padron - Executive Vice President
Cornerstone Action, NH Kevin Smith - Executive Director
Cornerstone Family Council of ID Julie Lynde - Executive Director
Cornwall Alliance for the Stewardship of Creation E. Calvin Beisner, Ph.D. - National Spokesman
Delaware Family Policy Council Nicole Theis - Executive Director
Design4 Marketing Communications Clint Cline - President
Eagle Forum Phyllis Schlafly - President
Ethics and Public Policy Center Rick Santorum - Senior Fellow
Faith Christian Fellowship Church The Rev Dr. R. Edgar Bonniwell - Senior Pastor
Family Action Council of Tennessee David Fowler - President
Family First (Nebraska FPC) Dave Bydalek Bydalek - Executive Director
Family Institute of Connecticut Peter Wolfgang - Executive Director
Florida Family Policy Counci lJohn Stemberger - President and General Counsel
ForAmerica David Bozell - Executive Director
Generals International Cindy Jacobs - President
Illinois Family Institute David Smith - Executive Director
Iowa Family Policy Center Chuck Hurley - President
Jews Offering New Alternatives to Homosexuality Elaine Silodor Berk - Director
Judicial Action Group Phillip Jauregui - President
Kansas Sam Brownback - Governor-elect
Kansas Family Policy Council Donna Lippoldt - Executive Director
Kingdom Warriors Ministry William Boykin - LTG(R) USArmy
Landmark Legal Foundation Mark Levin - President
Leadership Institute Morton Blackwell - President
Let Freedom Ring Colin Hanna - President
Liberty Center for Law and Policy Mandi Campbell - Legal Director
Liberty Counsel Matt Barber - Director of Cultural Affairs
Liberty Counsel Mathew Staver - Founder and Chairman
Liberty Institute Kelly Shackelford
Louisiana Bobby Jindal - Governor
Louisiana Family Forum Action Gene Mills - President
Massachusetts Family Institute Kris Mineau - President
Media Research Center Matthew Balan - news analyst
Media Research CenterL. Brent Bozell - Founder and President
Media Research Center Kyle Drennen - News Analyst
Media Research Center Matthew Hadro
Mike Huckabee - Former Governor, TV/ Radio Commentator
Minnesota Family Council David Eaton - Chairman
Minnesota Family Council John Helmberger - Chief Executive Officer
Mission America Linda Harvey - President
Missouri Family Policy Council Joe Ortwerth - Executive Director
National Organization for Marriage Brian Brown - President
National Organization for Marriage Maggie Gallagher - Chairman
National Organization for Marriage - Rhode Island Christopher Plante - Executive Director
National Review Rich Lowry - Editor
Nationally Syndicated Radio Talkshow Host Janet Parshall
Nevada Concerned Citizens Richard Ziser - Director
New Jersey Family First Len Deo - Founder & President
New Yorker's Family Research Foundation Rev. Tom Stiles
New Yorkers for Constitutional Freedoms Rev. Jason McGuire
North Dakota Family Alliance Tom Freier - Executive Director
Ohio Faith and Freedom Coalition Ken Blackwell - Chairman
Priests For LifeFr. Frank Pavone - National Director
Prison Fellowship and The Colson Center for Christian Worldview Chuck Colson - Founder
Public Service Research Foundation David Denholm - President
Radio America Franklin Raff - Sr. Executive Producer
Rappahannock Ventures WillIam Walton - Chairman
ReAL Action Rick Tyler - Chairman
RedState Erick-Woods Erickson - Editor
Renewing American Leadership Jim Garlow - Chairman
Republican Party of Louisiana Roger Villere, Jr. - Chairman
Restore America David Crowe - President
Retired Rensselaer Broekhuizen - Pastor
RightMarch.com William Greene - President
Shirley & Banister Public Affairs Diana Banister - Vice President
Southern Baptist Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission Dr. Richard Land - President
State of Minnesota Tim Pawlenty - Governor
The American Spectator Alfred Regnery - Publisher
The Coalition of Conscience Michael Brown, Ph.D. - Director
The Diana Davis Spencer Foundation Abby Moffat - Vice President and COO
The Family Foundation of VirginiaVictoria Cobb - President
The Family Policy Council of WVJeremiah Dys, Esq. - President and General Counsel
The National Legal Foundation Steven Fitschen - President
THE New Voice, Inc.Herman Cain - CEO and President
The Oak InititativeRick Joyner - President
The Washington Examiner Mark Tapscott - Editorial Page Editor
TheCall Louis Engle - President
Tradition, Family, Property, Inc.C. Preston Noell III - President
Traditional Values Coalition Jody Hutchens - Regional Director
Traditional Values Coalition Andrea Lafferty - Executive Director
U.S. Congress Senator David Vitter - (R-LA)
U.S. Congress Senator Roger Wicker - (R-MS)
U.S. House of Representatives Congresswoman Michele Bachmann - (R-MN)
U.S. House of Representatives Speaker-designate John Boehner - (R-OH)
U.S. House of Representatives Majority Leader-elect Eric Cantor - (R-VA)
U.S. House of Representatives Congressman John Fleming, M.D. - (R-LA)
U.S. House of Representatives Congressman Trent Franks - (R-AZ)
U.S. House of Representatives Congressman Louie Gohmert - (R-TX)
U.S. House of Representatives Congressman Jeb Henserling - (R-TX)
U.S. House of Representatives Congressman Jim Jordan - (R-OH)
U.S. House of Representatives Congressman Steve King - (R-IA)
U.S. House of Representatives Congressman Donald Manzullo - (R-IL)
U.S. House of Representative sCongressman Kevin McCarthy - (R-CA)
U.S. House of Representatives Congressman-elect Alan Nunnelee - (R-MS)
U.S. House of Representatives Congressman Mike Pence - (R-IN)
U.S. House of Representatives Congressman Joe Pitts - (R-PA)
U.S. House of Representatives Congressman Peter Roskam - (R-IL)
U.S. House of Representatives Congressman Steve Scalise - (R-LA)
U.S. House of Representatives Congressman Lamar Smith - (R-TX)
U.S. House of Representatives Congressman Fred Upton - (R-MI)
United States SenateJim DeMint - Senator
Virginia Ken Cuccinelli - Attorney General
Western Center for Journalism Floyd Brown - President
Wisconsin Family Action Julaine Appling - President
WMtek Corp. Dan Pennell - CEO
WND.com Joseph Farah - Chief Executive Officer

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