Elections

'I Don't Want Everybody to Vote' – The Roots of GOP Voter Suppression

The lower the turnout tomorrow, the better Mitt Romney will do. It’s always been this way for Republicans. Anyone who doubts that needs to watch the video below. 

The media frequently reports on right-wing and GOP voter suppression efforts, but they rarely acknowledge the root cause – Republicans do better when fewer people vote. This is the driving force behind the GOP’s draconian voter ID laws and efforts to limit early voting, voter registration drives, and provisional voting.
 
The right wing and GOP have whipped up hysteria around voter fraud, which is virtually non-existent, in order to justify roadblocks to voting for millions of Americans. I’ll let Paul Weyrich explain why.
 
Weyrich is widely regarded as the “founding father of the conservative movement.” He founded ALEC and co-founded the Heritage Foundation, Moral Majority, Council for National Policy, and Free Congress Foundation, among others.
 
Speaking more than 30 years ago at a right-wing conference in Dallas, Weyrich set out the case for voter suppression. The right-wing and GOP are still acting on it to this day.
 
Watch:
"I don't want everybody to vote. Elections are not won by a majority of people. They never have been from the beginning of our country, and they are not now. As a matter of fact our leverage in the elections quite candidly goes up as the voting populace goes down."

 

US Pastor Council Wants Everyone To Know Houston Mayor Annise Parker Is Gay

Back in 2009, Dave Welch of the US Pastor Council took the lead in opposing the campaign of openly gay Houston mayoral candidate Annise Parker but lost, leading Welch to apologize for letting our "position on the wall be breached by the enemy" while declaring Parker's election to be evidence "of cancer of the soul among the people."

So, in case you weren't aware, Welch is not particularly supportive of Parker's sexuality or her role in public office.  And that is why, as the Texas Freedom Network reports, Welch's organization sent out an email announcing a new video aiming to expose Parker's nefarious agenda - a video that consists mostly of footage of Parker talking about equality and gving her partner a kiss on the cheek:

It is astounding to have to say that most Houston citizens – including most Christians and pastors – are still unaware of the radical nature of Mayor Annise Parker’s commitment to imposing the full “San Francisco Style” Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, Transgendered, etc. agenda. … We have a sin-sick city and we need the power of God through Jesus Christ changing lives and changing City Hall!

Perkins Ignores Palin To Spin The 2008 Election Loss

Several weeks ago, the Family Research Council's Tony Perkins hosted a press briefing at the National Press Club to discuss just what it is that the Religious Right is seeking in a Republican presidential nominee.

During the Q&A, Perkins was asked to discuss the idea that the very positions that make a candidate appealing to the Religious Right are the same positions that make such candidates unappealing to the general voting population.

Not surprisingly, Perkins took issue with that assessment and asserted instead that without the support of the Religious Right, no Republican candidate can hope to win the general elections and pointed to John McCain as proof:

This idea that a candidate that would be supported by social conservatives that would win the Republican nomination would be unacceptable to the general populace is just not true. I think the opposite it true; we saw that in the last election cycle. There was a Republican nomination that was not acceptable to social conservatives. He did not have the enthusiastic support of social conservatives and, as a result, the Republicans lost the general election.

Now, obviously McCain and the Religious Right had a rather contentious history, but to say that the McCain campaign did not receive the "enthusiastic support of social conservatives" requires one to completely ignore the rapturous lovefest that exploded when McCain announced the selection of Sarah Palin as his running mate, which we chronicled at the time:

James Dobson, Focus on the Family: "A lot of people were praying, and I believe Sarah Palin is God's answer.”

Tony Perkins, Family Research Council: “Senator McCain made an outstanding pick.”

Connie Mackey, FRCAction: “I am elated with Senator McCain's choice.”

Mat Staver, Liberty Counsel: "Absolutely brilliant choice.”

Richard Land: “Governor Palin will delight the Republican base.”

Rick Scarborough, Vision America, “I’m elated. I think it’s a superb choice."

Ralph Reed: “They’re beyond ecstatic. This is a home run.”

Gary Bauer, American Values: "[A] grand slam home run."

Phyllis Schlafly, Eagle Forum: “She is the best possible choice.”

Janet Folger, Faith2Action: “[T]he selection of Sarah Palin is more than ‘Brilliant!’ ‘Electrifying!’ and ‘Energizing!’ The selection of Sarah Palin will lead to words like: ‘Rejuvenating!’ ‘Victory!’ and ‘Landslide!’"

Wendy Wright, Concerned Women for America: “Governor Palin will change the dynamics of the entire presidential race.”

Janice Shaw Crouse, CWA's Beverly LaHaye Institute: “She is an outstanding woman who will be an excellent role model for the nation's young people.”

David Barton, Wallbuilders: "The talk won't be about, 'look at Sarah Palin' as much as 'look at what McCain's choice of Palin says about McCain's core beliefs.”

Jonathan Falwell: “John McCain made it very clear that his administration was going to be a pro-life administration, and he proved that’s his belief and his passion today with the choice of Sarah Palin.”

Jerry Falwell, Jr.: “I think it’s a brilliant choice.”

Charmaine Yoest, Americans United for Life: “And then when [Palin] was announced — it was like you couldn’t breathe. [We] were grabbing each other and jumping up and down.”

Gary Marx, Judicial Confirmation Network: "I can tell you that this pick tells millions in the base of the party that they can trust McCain. More specifically that they can trust him with Supreme Court picks and other key appointments’"

David Keene, American Conservative Union: “The selection of Governor Palin is great news for conservatives, for the party and for the country. I predict any conservatives who have been lukewarm thus far in their support of the McCain candidacy will work their hearts out between now and November for the McCain-Palin ticket."

If social conservatives were unenthusiastic about the McCain ticket last time around, some apparently forgot to tell all of these social conservatives who were gushing about just how thrilled they were. 

Priest Says Catholics Must Oppose Politicians Who Don't Oppose "Intrinsically Evil" Homosexuality

The mayor of El Paso, Texas and two city councilmembers are facing recall elections after their support of domestic partner benefits for city employees raised the ire of Religious Right activists. One of the proponents of the recall, Rev. Michael Rodriguez, was reassigned out of the El Paso Roman Catholic diocese after paying for advertisements saying that the choice for Catholic voters in the election was “clear” and they must support the recall.

In an interview last week with Michael J. Matt of The Remnant, Rodriguez said, “Every single Catholic has a moral obligation before God Himself to oppose any government attempt to legalize homosexual unions” and “oppose this homosexual agenda.” Rodriguez told the newspaper that “even a pagan, bereft of the light of faith, can arrive at the conclusion that homosexual acts are intrinsically evil.”

MJM: Up until last year, I believe, things were pretty quiet in your priestly life. What happened to change all that?

FR: The local, and even national, "controversy" that has engulfed me is due to the fact that I have been vocal in promoting what the Roman Catholic Church teaches in regard to the whole issue of homosexuality. It's a disgrace, but the City Council of El Paso has been adamant in trying to legitimize same-sex unions. This goes completely contrary to Catholic Church teaching. I've made it clear to the Catholics of El Paso (and beyond) that every single Catholic has a moral obligation before God Himself to oppose any government attempt to legalize homosexual unions. A Catholic who fails to oppose this homosexual agenda, is committing a grave sin by omission. Furthermore, if a Catholic doesn't assent to the infallible moral teaching of the Church that homosexual acts are mortally sinful, then such a Catholic is placing himself / herself outside of communion with the Church. These are the Catholics who are actually excommunicating themselves, not the Society of St. Pius X!

MJM: I can understand why the civil authorities and media might find this “controversial”; but why would your ecclesial superiors find it so?

FR: The dismal response of both civil and ecclesiastical authorities to the authentic teachings of the Catholic Church in regard to homosexuality demonstrates how extreme the current crisis of faith actually is. It really can't get much worse. There's hardly any faith left to lose! Even a pagan, bereft of the light of faith, can arrive at the conclusion that homosexual acts are intrinsically evil. Reason, natural law, and consideration of the male and female anatomy more than suffice to confirm this moral truth.

Richard Land's Bizarre Anti-Mormon Media Conspiracy Theory

While Robert Jeffress is running around telling anyone who will listen that "the Southern Baptist Convention has labeled Mormonism as a cult" and that Mitt Romney is a member of the cult, the Southern Baptist Convention's Richard Land is trying to do some damage control and suggesting that all Jeffress was really saying is that Mormonism is "a new religion, separate and distinct from the historic Christian faith."

And, according to Land, since conservative Southern Baptists and other Evangelicals have already been inoculated against Mormonism by their own pastors and therefore would have no problem voting for a Mormon for President, the media will have to try to turn off Independents by highlighting the tenets of the Mormon faith in an effort to make voters uncomfortable with Romney so as to help President Obama win re-election:

[T]he vast majority of the 40 percent or so of the American public who identify themselves as “Independents” (and who decide every American presidential election) have only the most cursory understanding of the truth claims or belief system of the Mormon faith. If, and when, Gov. Romney becomes the Republican nominee, the major broadcast networks, all of whom but Fox have abandoned any semblance of objectivity on political matters will be airing specials going into great detail on the beliefs of Mormons. While they will say they are doing this in the public interest, informing voters about Mormonism in light of the nation’s first Mormon nominee for president, their real reason will be much different. Since they are so invested philosophically and emotionally in the re-election of President Obama, they will be hoping that Mormonism’s beliefs will be exotically new and different enough to Independent voters that many of them will conclude that they sufficiently question the judgment of someone who believes such things that they will not entrust that candidate with the presidency.

Klayman Suggests Obama Will Extort Iran For Campaign Money

Judicial Watch founder Larry Klayman yesterday penned a column in Renew America floating the idea that President Obama has so far refused “to take any retaliatory military action” against Iran because he wants the Iranian regime to finance his re-election campaign. Klayman wondered if “the president’s minions,” particularly Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, “are shaking down the radical Islamic leadership in Iran to launder huge campaign contributions into Obama-Democratic Party re-election coffers.” Right-wing activists have previously argued that Obama’s 2008 campaign was financed by Hamas and his reelection bid by China. Klayman writes:

It came as no surprise that this week the Obama Justice Department — obviously to get ahead of the curve since news of an Iranian terrorist plot would have leaked in any event — begrudgingly disclosed that Persian-American "cut outs" of the Iranian Revolutionary Guard, with likely full approval of the supreme leader, had planned to line up Mexican drug cartels to assassinate the ambassador of Saudi Arabia and attack its Embassy and the Embassy of Israel in Washington, D.C. If such a plan had actually materialized, this would have amounted to an act of war on American soil. As it was, this brazen act, coupled with President Barack Hussein Obama's failure to take any retaliatory military action, underscores why Israel must now act on its own to take out Iran's nuclear facilities. American resolve to remove the cancer in Tehran simply does not exist.



But is there a method to Obama's madness? As I have hypothesized in earlier columns, can it be that the president's minions — including the mastermind of the Clinton Chinagate scandal in the late 1990s, Hillary Clinton — are shaking down the radical Islamic leadership in Iran to launder huge campaign contributions into Obama-Democratic Party re-election coffers — just as illegal Chinese money helped the Clintons win re-election in 1996? And, since it is increasingly likely that Ms. Hillary will replace Joe Biden as Obama's vice presidential pick in 2012, she has a real interest in using her criminal expertise in illegally laundering foreign money to win these elections. Is this why the United States has all but ignored the growing Iranian nuclear cancer, while actively supporting the overthrow of other regimes in the Middle East — including the formerly pro-American and pro-Israeli Egyptian regime of former President Hosni Mubarak?

And, let's not forget that our corrupt attorney general, Eric Holder, was a principal "bag man" during the Clinton Chinagate scandal years. He assisted then-Attorney General Janet Reno in deep-sixing any meaningful Justice Department investigation of Chinese money laundering. This is discussed in my book "Whores: Why and How I Came to Fight the Establishment."



The bottom line is this, my friends. It's time to take the mullahs out, whatever the cost. Let's pray that the Israelis will now act, as the cowards in our political leadership will not. Is their inaction the result of Tehran's lining their political pockets with laundered campaign contributions, as occurred with Chinagate? I would not be surprised if this were the case, so corrupt is our government!

Who’s Who at the Values Voter Summit 2011

This weekend, nearly every major GOP presidential candidate, along with the top two Republicans in the House of Representatives, will speak at the Values Voter Summit, an annual gathering of the leaders of the movement to integrate fundamentalist Christianity and American politics.

The candidates – Mitt Romney, Rick Perry, Michele Bachmann, Herman Cain, Rick Santorum and Newt Gingrich – and the congressmen – House Speaker John Boehner and Majority Leader Eric Cantor – will join a who’s who of the far Right at the event. The organizers of the Values Voter Summit and many of its prominent attendees are on the frontlines of removing hard-won rights for gay and lesbian Americans, restricting women’s access to reproductive healthcare, undermining the free exercise rights of non-Christian religions and breaking down the wall of separation between church and state.

In perhaps the starkest illustration of how far even mainstream Republican candidates are willing to go to appease the Religious Right, Mitt Romney is scheduled to speak immediately before the American Family Association’s Bryan Fischer, a man whose record of hate speech should be shocking by any standard. Along with regularly denigrating gays and lesbians, Muslims, and other minority groups, Fischer has no love for Romney’s Mormon faith. In a radio program last week, Fischer insisted that Mormons have no right to religious freedom under the First Amendment and falsely claimed that the LDS Church still sanctions polygamy.

People For the American Way has called on GOP presidential candidates appearing at the conference to denounce Fischer’s bigotry. Last year, PFAW issued a similar call to attendees, which was met with silence.

The following is a guide to some of the individuals with whom the leaders of the GOP will be rubbing shoulders at the Values Voter Summit this year.

Bryan Fischer

Bryan Fischer is the Director of Issues Analysis at the American Family Association, which is a sponsor of the Values Voter Summit. Fischer acts as the chief spokesman for the group and also hosts its flagship radio program, Focal Point, on which he has interviewed a number of prominent figures including Bachmann, Gingrich, Santorum and Mike Huckabee.

On his radio program and in blog posts, Fischer frequently expresses unmitigated bigotry toward a number of minority groups, including gays and lesbians, Muslim Americans, Native Americans, low-income African Americans and Mormons.

Fischer has:

At a speech at last year’s Values Voter Summit, Fischer said that if Christians don’t get involved in politics, they “make a deliberate decision to turn over the running of the United States government to atheists and pagans.” Of the gay rights movement, he warned, “We are going to have to choose, as a nation, between the homosexual agenda and freedom, because the two cannot coexist.”

Tony Perkins

Tony Perkins is president of the Family Research Council, the main organizer of this weekend’s summit. Perkins leads the group’s efforts against gay rights, abortion rights and church/state separation.

The FRC famously expressed its hostility to religious pluralism in a 2000 statement blasting a Hindu priest who was invited to give an opening prayer in Congress: "[W]hile it is true that the United States of America was founded on the sacred principle of religious freedom for all, that liberty was never intended to exalt other religions to the level that Christianity holds in our country's heritage…. Our Founders … would have found utterly incredible the idea that all religions, including paganism, be treated with equal deference."

The FRC has one of the most anti-gay platforms of any major political organization, including expressions of support for the criminalization of homosexuality. Earlier this year, the group called on members to pray for the continuation of Malawi’s law prohibiting homosexuality , under which a gay couple was sentenced to fourteen years in jail. Senior fellow Peter Sprigg said he would “much prefer to export homosexuals from the United States than to import them into the United States because we believe homosexuality is destructive to society.”

Perkins himself frequently reflects the extreme views of his organization. He:

At last year’s Values Voter Summit, Perkins managed to simultaneously insult U.S. servicemembers and several important U.S. allies in Iraq and Afghanistan, saying that armies that allow gays and lesbians to serve openly “ participate in parades, they don’t fight wars to keep the world free .”

Mat Staver

Mat Staver is the head of the Liberty University School of Law and its legal affiliate, Liberty Counsel, both sponsors of the Values Voter Summit. Liberty Counsel vehemently opposes rights for gays and lesbians, and in July filed the lawsuit to overturn New York’s Marriage Equality Act . The group’s Director of Cultural Affairs Matt Barber has called marriage equality “ rebellion against God” and said LGBT youth are more likely to commit suicide because they know “ what they are doing is unnatural, is wrong, [and] is immoral .” Barber has also described liberalism as “hatred for God” and said the president and Democrats “are anti-God.” In fact, Liberty Counsel claimed that Obama is “ pushing America to move under the curse ” of God and “ jeopardizing our nation” for purportedly not supporting Israel.

Through his role at Liberty Counsel and on his radio program Faith & Freedom, Staver has:

Staver aggressively promotes “ex-gay” reparative therapy and warns that gays and lesbians are “ intent on trampling upon the fundamental freedoms ” of others. He is also closely linked to the saga of Lisa Miller, a woman represented by Liberty Counsel who kidnapped her daughter and fled to Central America after a court granted custody to her former partner, a lesbian woman. Although Liberty Counsel denies involvement in the kidnapping, earlier this year Miller was reportedly staying at the house of Staver’s administrative assistant’s father in Nicaragua . Staver has also taught the Miller case in his law classes as an example of an instance where “God’s law” preempts “man’s law.”

Jerry Boykin

Retired Army Lt. Gen. William “Jerry” Boykin sparked a controversy when, as a high-ranking official in the Bush Defense Department, he framed the War on Terror as a holy war against Islam. He has since built a career as a Religious Right speaker, specializing in anti-Muslim rhetoric and anti-Obama conspiracy theories. Boykin rejects religious freedom for American Muslims, claiming that Islam “is not just a religion, it is a totalitarian way of life.” In an interview with Bryan Fischer, he called for “no mosques in America.”

Boykin is a leading member of the dominionist group The Oak Initiative. In a speech at the group’s conference in April, he declared that George Soros and the Council on Foreign Relations conspired to collapse the U.S. economy in order to help President Obama get elected. Last year, he told the group that President Obama was using his health care reform legislation as a cover to establish a private army of Brownshirts loyal just to him .

Star Parker

Parker is a long-time Religious Right activist who is particularly active in anti-gay and anti-abortion rights work. As Washington, DC was poised to legalize marriage equality, Parker warned that it would lead to more HIV infections in the city, which would “ transform officially into Sodom.” In a recent radio interview with Tony Perkins, Parker mused that black family life was “ more healthy” under slavery than it is today and has accused liberals of treating Justice Clarence Thomas and Gov. Sarah Palin like runaway slaves. She has called legal abortion a “genocide” on par with slavery and the Holocaust.

Ed Vitagliano

As the AFA’s research director, Ed Vitagliano helped co-produce the 2000 anti-gay documentary “It’s Not Gay,” which is riddled with misleading statistics about gays and lesbians and promotes “ex-gay” reparative therapy. The “documentary” starred ex-gay leader Michael Johnston, a self-described “former homosexual,” who was later revealed to have been secretly having sex with other men. Vitagliano’s anti-gay work has continued apace — on the AFA’s radio program this year, Vitagliano argued that gay men are “ abusing the nature of the design of the human body” and said homosexuality is not a “ natural and normal and healthy activity.” Vitagliano also scolded congressman and civil rights hero John Lewis for supporting marriage equality , saying that Lewis “thumbed [his] nose” at God and “needs to go back and read his Bible.”

Bishop Harry Jackson

Jackson, who built his career as an avowed opponent of rights for gays and lesbians, is a regular speaker at Religious Right conferences. He has called for a “SWAT Team” of “Holy Ghost terrorists” to work against hate crimes legislation that protects gays and lesbians, and said that black organizations that support gay rights have “ sold out the black community” and have been “ co-opted by the radical gay movement .” Jackson claims that gay marriage is part of “ a Satanic plot to destroy our seed” and that the larger gay rights movement is “ an insidious intrusion of the Devil.”

Along with his fierce opposition to LGBT rights, Jackson has compared legal abortion to “lynching” and urged the Senate to defeat Elena Kagan’s nomination to the Supreme Court because she is not a Protestant (Kagan is Jewish). Jackson has even described his political efforts in apocalyptic terms, telling a Religious Right group before the 2010 elections, “God is saying to us ‘I want to pick a fight in which I can wipe out my enemies and cause them to be silenced once and for all.’ This is where America is; if we do not recognize and repent, we are going to see our way of life destroyed as we now know it.”

Lila Rose

Rose is the anti-choice activist responsible for carrying out a deceptive hit job against Planned Parenthood this year. Members of Rose’s group, Live Action, went to Planned Parenthood clinics around the country posing as clients seeking help with a child sex trafficking ring. Planned Parenthood alerted the FBI about the activity, and the one staffer who handled the supposed traffickers inappropriately was promptly fired. Nevertheless, Rose claimed that her hoax proved “beyond a shadow of a doubt that Planned Parenthood intentionally breaks state and federal laws and covers up the abuse of young girls it claims to serve.”

Rose is no newcomer to the Values Voter Summit: in a speech at 2009’s summit, she called for abortions to be performed “in the public square.”

Glenn Beck

Until Beck’s Fox News program was canceled earlier this year, he was one of the Right’s most visible fear-mongers and conspiracy theorists. When his violent rhetoric inspired some real threats against progressive leaders, he laughed off the critics who urged him to choose his words more responsibly. Beck’s elaborate conspiracy theories include the idea that socialists and Islamists were planning a global caliphate, with the help of American progressives; an obsession with the progressive funder George Soros, at whom he leveled a number of anti-Semitic smears including a personal attack that the Anti-Defamation league called “horrific”; and a distrust of President Obama, who he once said was “racist” with a “ deep-seated hatred for white people or the white culture .”

On air, Beck joked about killing prominent progressives (for instance, poisoning Nancy Pelosi’s wine), but frequently insisted that it is progressives who were urging violence, even predicting his own martyrdom. In one 2010 broadcast, he warned that "anarchists, Marxists, communists, revolutionaries, Maoists" have to "eliminate 10 percent of the U.S. population" in order to "gain control."

After a terrorist in Oslo killed dozens of young members of Norway’s Labor Party at an island summer camp, Beck attacked the victims , comparing the camp to “Hitler Youth” and calling it “disturbing.”

Tea Party Nation: "Liberals Love Dictatorships"

Tea Party Nation’s president Judson Phillips warns in an email to members today that if America doesn’t see the “destruction of big government” then the consequences will be grave. “Let us alter government before it becomes destructive of these ends and requires abolition,” we writes. Citing North Carolina Gov. Bev Perdue’s hyperbolic suggestion that congressional elections should be “suspended” so congressmen aren’t responsive to partisan politics during the budget debate, Phillips said that Democrats – or, as he calls them, “members of the Party of Treason” – are going to impose a dictatorship because “liberals love dictatorships.” Phillips absurdly claimed that Nazi Germany, Maoist China and the Soviet Union were all based on liberalism, arguing that liberals require dictatorships because their “ideas suck”:

The desperation to impose socialism on America against the will of the American people is now being seen from members of the Party of Treason. They speak openly of the problems of liberty.



Liberals love dictatorships. In a dictatorship, they can just push their crackpot ideas and not have to worry about the little people complaining about a few minor details like, the ideas don’t work. The ideas suck.

Their model has worked so well in the past. History has the precedents of their ideas. Just look at the Soviet Union, Nazi Germany, and China under Mao, Eastern Europe under the Warsaw Pact, Vietnam after 1975, Cambodia and Cuba.



What Bev Perdue and the left do not want is the next election that is going sweep them out of power. This is the moment where they will be the most dangerous. Between the unelected czars and the left’s last desperate gasp, as they try to push socialism down our throats one last time, we face not only the time of greatest peril but also the time of greatest opportunity.

We must find new leaders to replace these bad leaders. The people we select must have as an overriding belief in the idea that big government must be dismantled and we must take steps to ensure that never again is a socialist in the White House.

We need to remember the words our founding fathers put in the Declaration of Independence.

“That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government,”

We must make certain we have new leaders in 2012 to replace the bad leadership we have had. We must make certain that our new leaders are committed to liberty and the destruction of big government. Our government needs much altering. Let us alter government before it becomes destructive of these ends and requires abolition.

Rick Perry Finds A Welcoming Audience At Liberty University

Yesterday we took the opportunity of Rick Perry’s recent speech at Liberty University to revisit his appearance on last year on the Trinity Broadcasting Network, in which he went into depth about the “supernatural events” (mainly rain or lack thereof) that have driven his life.

If the governor’s visit to Liberty is any indication, the affinity that he displayed with the Religious Right in his TBN appearance is still going strong. Before Wednesday’s speech, Liberty University Chancellor Jerry Falwell Jr. gave Perry a rousing welcome, defending the governor for his controversial effort to require that girls in Texas recieve HPV vaccinations and calling Perry’s secession talk “gutsy.” Brian Kaylor of EthicsDaily, a publication of the Baptist Center for Ethics, reports that the ties between Perry and Falwell are even closer than what is being reported. Falwell was scheduled to take part in one of televangelist James Robison’s leadership summits, at which Religious Right leaders urged Perry to enter the race. While Falwell “could not make it,” Liberty University’s Vice President Johnnie Moore participated. Kaylor reports that Moore and David Lane, who organizes state-based “restoration” projects, were behind Perry’s appearance at Liberty:

Organized by Texas evangelist James Robison, the June meeting was a follow-up to a September 2010 meeting as Robison and other conservative Christians plotted to bring political revival and change to the 2012 elections.

Liberty's chancellor, Jerry Falwell Jr., son of Liberty's late founder, was scheduled to attend but could not make it.

Robison led a similar effort prior to the 1980 presidential election as he sought to defeat then-President Jimmy Carter. That effort culminated in an August 1980 rally in Dallas with then-Republican presidential nominee Ronald Reagan as the key speaker.

On Wednesday, Falwell introduced Perry at Liberty by talking about how much he "admired" Perry for "having the guts to say things that weren't exactly politically correct, like when Governor Perry hinted that Texas might secede one day from the Union."

Falwell also recounted saying several months ago – before Perry joined the presidential race – that "it was too bad" Perry was not running for president.



Falwell also said that Perry's trip to Liberty was organized and made possible due to the work of religious-political organizer David Lane and Liberty's vice president for executive projects, Johnnie Moore. Both Lane and Moore have been part of Robison's group.

According to Perry, Lane and Robison inspired him to lead "The Response," a prayer rally held last month at Reliant Stadium in Houston. Numerous other individuals in Robison's group were key leaders in planning the event, which thrust Perry into the national headlines just days before he officially announced he was running for president.

Perry's support among conservative evangelicals is one of the key factors to his rapid rise to the front of the Republican presidential primary polls.

His speech at Liberty University on Wednesday, his private meetings with Christian leaders in June and August, and his prayer rally in August demonstrate Perry's efforts to mobilize conservative Christians and receive their support as he seeks to be what Robison and his group say they are hoping for – a new Ronald Reagan.

Right Wing Leftovers

  • Apparently the National Religious Broadcasters is releasing a report about how companies and the internet are censoring Christians.
  • The fact that Mat Staver's lawsuit against healthcare reform was tossed out of court is apparently evidence that healthcare reform's days are numbered.
  • On a related note, Liberty Counsel has produced a new video explaining just how important it is.
  • The Oregon state Republican Party may have removed some anti-gay language, but that  doesn't mean much.
  • Shockingly, FRC's Peter Sprigg opposes gay characters in "Archie" comics.
  • Finally, quote of the day from FRC's latest prayer update: "Father, restrain protesters in each of these cities. May all their plans be exposed and fail! Give those in authority safety and wisdom to do their jobs. Cause the news media accurately to report the events. Please prevent all efforts by anti-American ideologues to influence the 2012 elections as ACORN and others did in 2008. Please advance patriotic, God-fearing candidates for public office and help them to defeat those who foster socialism, anarchy and immorality."

Right Wing Leftovers

  • Tim Pawlenty endorses Mitt Romney while Bobby Jindal is set to endorse Rick Perry.
  • Hey, what do you know?  The Religious Right is mobilizing pastors to get active in the 2012 elections.
  • On a related note, a coalition of anti-choice groups are mobilizing to register voters.
  • James Dobson suffered several broken bones in a horse-riding accident.
  • The man charged with helping Lisa Miller to flee the country wants his statements quashed and his trial moved out of Vermont.

Thomasson: Legal Protections for Children of Gay Parents are "Absolute Insanity"

Last month California Gov. Jerry Brown signed into law a bill that makes sure courts can consider non-biological parents when determining a child’s legal parents, safeguarding the rights of families led by opposite-sex and same-sex couples who adopt children or conceive via a sperm donor or surrogate. Naturally, Randy Thomasson of the militantly anti-gay group Save California is outraged that the state would move to keep families intact. He told the American Family Association’s OneNewsNow that same-sex couples cannot be “natural role models” and that rights for gay and lesbian parents represent “absolute insanity”:

"AB 1349 -- giving non-biological parents, homosexuals, the right in court for kids in their custody -- that is not good, because children do best with a married mother and father and with natural role models ... not unnatural," contends Randy Thomasson, president of SaveCalifornia.com.

Another bill, SB 651, was recently introduced by homosexual Senator Mark Leno of San Francisco. That legislation would remove the requirement that a couple must live together in order to be recognized as domestic partners.

"This is basically exploding the domestic partnership thing to make it a homosexual relationship with a child, to make a homosexual relationship with people who don't even live together equal to marriage," the pro-family leader argues. "It's absolute insanity, and it is erasing all distinctions between natural and unnatural [and] marriage and non-marriage. It's sad, but this is what you get with Democrats," he concludes. "Elections have consequences."

Financial Woes Continue To Plague Focus On The Family

Over the last several years, Focus on the Family has undergone a drastic budget reduction that has forced round after round of lay-offs ... and it looks like things just keep getting worse, as the organization is now desperately trying to raise more than $2 million in the next thirty days:

The email doesn’t have the drama of the late evangelist Oral Roberts’ announcement in 1986 that God would call him home if he didn’t raise $8 million by a certain date. But the message from CitizenLink, the lobbying arm of Focus on the Family, was nevertheless clear: Act now or there could be consequences.

CitizenLink this week sent an email to constituents pleading for $2.3 million in 30 days to avoid a budget shortfall. If the money is not raised, “our ability to act on your behalf will be severely, and perhaps irreparably, hurt,” wrote Tom Minnery, CitizenLink executive director.

“The threat is still very real,” Minnery writes. “If we don’t stay vigilant, last year’s victories can AND WILL be taken from us!”

Like most nonprofits, CitizenLink has experienced a dramatic drop in donations in recent years. In fiscal 2009, donations were $6.5 million, according to CitizenLink financial records. A year later, donations fell to $5 million. In the run-up to the November 2010 midterm elections, the organization received a sharp increase in donations. But since then, Minnery said Wednesday, giving has fallen off to a worrying degree.

CitizenLink’s 2011 fiscal budget is $5.8 million. The $2.3 million shortfall needs to be balanced by Sept. 30.

The article notes that the organization "has spent millions fighting against gay marriage, gay unions and the repeal of Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell" but reports that CitizenLink won't have another round of layoffs if the budget is not met, though it will have to cut back on planned projects.

Gheen Floats Military Coup And Arrest To "Remove" Obama From Office "As Soon As Possible"

Americans for Legal Immigration PAC’s William Gheen is out in force after we at People For the American Way’s Right Wing Watch reported on an interview with Janet Mefferd in which he said that “extra-political activities” that he described as “illegal and violent” might be the only way for people to stop the "Dictator Barack Obama." Gheen told Mefferd that the Obama administration is “putting out videos and propaganda telegraphing what I believe to be a conflict with White America they’re preparing for after they get another 10 or 15 million people in the country to back them up.” He went on to say that his group is now referring to the president as “Dictator Barack Obama” and said, “If you’re looking for a peaceful, political recourse there really isn’t one that we can think of, and I’m really not sure what to tell people out there than I guess they need to make decisions soon to just accept whatever comes next or some type of extra-political activities that I can’t really talk about because they’re all illegal and violent.”

Gheen has since released a “clarification” of his comments. “I have made it very clear that I disavow any form of violence on many occasions,” Gheen said, “I cannot delve into the options Barack Obama is forcing on Americans that are concerned about the illegal alien invasion of America.” He blames Obama for forcing people “into a decision between submission or more revolutionary means” and added that he is considering “ending efforts to influence elections or Congress because I feel that such measures will not be enough to change the course of America.”

Later, Gheen appeared on Alan Colmes’s radio show, and continued to deny that he mentioned “illegal and violent” activities even when Colmes played to him his own words, and tried to explain that he was not endorsing the possible use of “illegal and violent” activities because he is personally non-violent and that is why he couldn't talk about them. He attacked Colmes’s “exploitation” of his remarks and told him that because he advocates non-violence on his website he doesn’t need to do the same on-air, saying, “I should’ve prepared my comments a little bit better so they wouldn’t be exploited by the opposition” (Watch the interview below the fold).

Now that Gheen is furiously backtracking from his comments, we thought it would be a good time to post another segment of his interview with Mefferd, in which he says that options beyond impeaching Obama to “remove him from office” must be on the table, adding that there is talk “about the military coming in or somebody just coming in taking this guy into some form of arrest.” Gheen also warns against marching in Washington D.C. because of the city’s black and Latino population’s support for Obama:

Gheen: Once again this isn’t just Obama, this is a group of people, we’ve been reading about them for five or ten years now about how they plan to integrate the economies of North America and to do so in a way to do so that bypasses the legislatures, that’s been in all the materials that we’ve read and here it is in front of us. They’re integrating the workforce of North America and the populations of North America and they did just bypass the legislatures. The same cabal has such influence with the media and the Associated Press, I’ll give you example and I haven’t totally muttered this on the air before, right after Obama did this I got a call from an Associated Press writer out of Washington, D.C., she’s like ‘what’s your initial reaction’ and I said, ‘this is, Obama has just exceeded his constitutional authority and acted in a dictatorial manner which we believe removes all legitimacy for his presidency and that we’re gonna be calling on the Republican to remove this man from office as soon as possible.’

And I didn’t say just impeachment. I said remove him from office because some people are also leaning to the words ‘treason’ and talking about the military coming in or somebody just coming in taking this guy into some form of arrest if we’re doing this. I mean what do you do here? What does a nation do when this happens? We may have to try to have to gather in the streets and demand that Obama step down. But you know when you talk about doing that, you’re gonna gather in the streets of Washington D.C. which where Obama has a support rate of 88% of the blacks and Hispanics who live there.

Who's Who in Today's DOMA Hearing

Cross-posted on PFAW blog

Senate Republicans have called Tom Minnery of Focus on the Family, David Nimocks of the Alliance Defense Fund and Ed Whelan of the Ethics and Public Policy Center as witnesses in today’s hearing on the “Defense of Marriage Act.” The groups these witnesses represent have a long record of extreme rhetoric opposing gay rights:

CitizenLink, Focus on the Family’s political arm, is a stalwart opponent of gay rights in every arena:

• Focus on the Family has consistently railed against the repeal of Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell, demanding the discriminatory policy’s reinstatement.

• The group claims anti-bullying programs that protect LGBT and LGBT-perceived youth in schools amount to “homosexual indoctrination” and “promote homosexuality in kids.”

• The group insists that House Republicans investigate the Justice Department over its refusal to defend the unconstitutional Section 3 of DOMA.

The Ethics and Public Policy Center is backed by the far-right Sarah Scaife Foundation, the John M. Olin Foundation, the Lynde and Harry Bradley Foundation, and the Koch- backed Castle Rock Foundation, all well-known right-wing funders.

• George Weigel of EPPC wrote in June that “legally enforced segregation involved the same kind of coercive state power that the proponents of gay marriage now wish to deploy on behalf of their cause.”

• Ed Whelan spearheaded the unsuccessful and widely panned effort to throw out Judge Vaughn Walker’s 2010 decision finding California’s Proposition 8 to be unconstitutional on the grounds that Walker was in a committed same-sex relationship at the time of the decision.

The Alliance Defense Fund, which bills itself as a right-wing counter to the American Civil Liberties Union, is dedicated to pushing a far-right legal agenda:

• The ADF has been active on issues including pushing "marriage protection," exposing the "homosexual agenda" and fighting the supposed "war on Christmas."

• The ADF claims 38 “victories” before the Supreme Court, including: Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission, which allows corporations to spend unlimited money on elections in the name of “free speech” and Boy Scouts of America v. Dale (2000), which allowed the Boy Scouts to fire a Scout Leader because he was gay.


Perry Won't Take Responsibility For Radical Attendees At His Prayer Event

Sometimes you have to wonder if Rick Perry had any idea what he was getting into when he decided to organizer a massive public prayer rally with the bigoted American Family Association and then fill it with a bunch of Religious Right activists and self-proclaimed "prophets" and "apostles" who believe that Oprah is a forerunner to the Antichrist and the Statue of Liberty is a "demonic idol."

Because it sure seems like he doesn't have a clue at all:

Texas Gov. Rick Perry said Monday that he doesn't necessarily subscribe to the beliefs of some of the ministers coming to his prayer summit next month.

"I'm sure that through my elections in the past that there have been some groups that have endorsed me publicly, that I appreciate their endorsements, but their endorsements of me doesn't mean I endorse what they believe in or what they say," Perry said.

...

In his first discussion with reporters about some of the ministers associated with his call to pray for the nation, Perry indicated he is willing to associate with all of them even if he disagrees with some of their beliefs. He likened it to political endorsements.

"I appreciate anyone who's going to endorse me, whether it's on The Response, or whether it's on a potential run for the presidency of the United States," he said. "Just because you endorse me doesn't mean I endorse everything that you say or do."

Does he not recall what happened when John McCain accepted the endorsements of John Hagee and Rod Parsely?  He had to publicly reject them because of the radical things they had said and, in doing so, made clear that their views were "crazy and unacceptable" as well as "deeply offensive and indefensible" and stated that "there is no place for that kind of dialogue in America, and I believe that even though he endorsed me, and I didn't endorse him, the fact is that I repudiate such talk, and I reject his endorsement."

Perry, by contrast, is including Hagee in his prayer rally, along with a variety of other fringe figures who have said equally outrageous things. And Perry is more than willing to publicly stand with every one of them while claiming that he is not responsible in any way.

This is not some prayer rally being organized by some other group at which he is simply going to be an attendee; this is Rick Perry's prayer event - he conceived it, he set it in motion, and he is its public face. 

And he is therefore responsible for the types of people he chooses to associate with at his event.

Randall Terry Recruiting Phony Candidates To Run Graphic Anti-Choice Ads

During the 2010 midterm elections, Randall Terry and his crew of anti-choice zealots discovered a way to get graphic anti-abortion ads to air on television by exploiting a loophole that prohibits broadcasters from refusing to run or censor campaign ads.

In the 2010 election, a woman named Missy Smith ran against Washington DC Delegate Eleanor Holmes Norton simply for this purpose and Randall Terry himself is now "running" for president in as a Democrat for the same reason.

But Terry isn't stopping there and is also apparently recruiting more phony "Democratic" candidates to similar run ads around the country:

A Highland, Illinois mother of 13 known for her protests outside a Granite City abortion clinic announces she’s running for Congress as a Democrat on the abortion issue.

Retired obstetrics nurse Angela Michael says she wants to air more than 250 commercials in the St. Louis television market featuring images of aborted fetuses.

“I want America to see the message behind abortions,” Michael said, “I want them to see what happens to babies daily. And I also want to show them healthy babies that we rescue and we save in our ultrasound van" ...

Her decision to run was announced on the steps of the Old Court House in downtown St. Louis, flanked by pro-life presidential candidate Randall Terry, who is running as a Democrat. Terry, who says he is already running ads in Iowa, says he’s trying to create a “crisis of conscience.”

“If I can cause three or four percent of the Evangelicals and Catholics who voted in for Obama in 2008 to not vote for him in 2012, I could perhaps keep him from being elected,” Terry said, “I can’t beat Obama in the primary, obviously, but I can wound him.”

Wildmon: Obama "Doesn't Give A Rip About The Marines Or The Army"

During his show for American Family Radio, the president of the American Family Association Tim Wildmon claimed that President Obama “doesn’t give a rip” about the military because he supported the repeal of Don’t Ask Don’t Tell. “Folks, remember elections have consequences, President Obama wanted to force open homosexuality in the military, and that’s what he’s done, with the help of Congress,” Wildmon said, “So we elected a Commander-in-Chief who doesn’t give a rip about the Marines or the Army, he just wants to force homosexuality into every place that he can.” Along with Tony Perkins, the head of the Family Research Council, and guest Elaine Donnelly, the three discussed the last-ditch strategies to preserve the discriminatory policy by the GOP-controlled House.

Right Wing Round-Up

2012 Candidates Weekly Update 5/10/11

Michele Bachmann

Background: NPR looks into her transition from Jimmy Carter volunteer to right-wing culture warrior (NPR, 5/9).

GOP: Breaks with Speaker John Boehner over debt ceiling (The Hill, 5/9).

Herman Cain

Nevada: Addresses conservative group in the early caucus state (Las Vegas Sun, 5/9).

Debate: Claims his candidacy gained momentum, new supporters after Fox News debate (CBS News, 5/6).

Mitch Daniels

Religious Right: Decision to defund Planned Parenthood will bolster social conservative credentials despite 'truce' talk (TPM, 5/9).

2012: Report claims that Daniels' wife is final hold-out to presidential bid (HuffPo, 5/9).

Newt Gingrich

2012: Expects to make official announcement tomorrow in Atlanta (WaPo, 5/9).

Campaign: Built vast network of political organizations to promote his clout, image (WSJ, 5/9).

Family: Wife Callista to play a pivotal role in campaign (NYT, 5/9).

Mike Huckabee

Background: NPR explores his roots as a pastor and church leader (NPR, 5/8).

Media: Fox News wants answer from Huckabee about 2012 plans (MoJo, 5/5).

Jon Huntsman

Campaign: Launches leadership PAC during swing through South Carolina and New Hampshire (Fox News, 5/9).

Religion: Concerns that Huntsman is distancing himself from his Mormon faith (Salt Lake Tribune, 5/9).

Experience: Defends serving as ambassador to China in Obama administration (Business Week, 5/8).

Sarah Palin

Poll: Most popular among low-income Republicans (CBS News, 5/9).

GOP: Neoconservative Republicans increasingly abandon Palin (TNR, 5/6).

Tim Pawlenty

Environment: Abandons past support for cap and trade policy (Christian Science Monitor, 5/9). 

Foreign Policy: Knocks Obama's handling of Libya crisis (Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, 5/7). 

Government: Backs aspects of Paul Ryan's plan to privatize Medicare (Politico, 5/6). 

Mitt Romney

Religious Right: Plans to address Ralph Reed's Faith and Freedom Conference (CNN, 5/9).

South Carolina: Campaign wary that South Carolina primary victory is out of reach (Politico, 5/8). 

Rick Santorum

South Carolina: After winning state convention straw poll, looks to gain support from state's Religious Right, business communities (Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, 5/8). 

Foreign Policy: Says Obama "doesn't understand what it takes to defend America" (Fox News, 5/5).

Donald Trump

Media: Ratings for reality TV show falling rapidly (Hollywood Reporter, 5/9).

Race: Says he can't be racist because he picked a Black contestant as winner of The Apprentice (Think Progress, 5/9).

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Elections Posts Archive

Josh Glasstetter, Monday 11/05/2012, 12:56pm
The lower the turnout tomorrow, the better Mitt Romney will do. It’s always been this way for Republicans. Anyone who doubts that needs to watch the video below.  The media frequently reports on right-wing and GOP voter suppression efforts, but they rarely acknowledge the root cause – Republicans do better when fewer people vote. This is the driving force behind the GOP’s draconian voter ID laws and efforts to limit early voting, voter registration drives, and provisional voting.   The right wing and GOP have whipped up hysteria around voter fraud, which is... MORE
Kyle Mantyla, Tuesday 10/25/2011, 9:15am
Back in 2009, Dave Welch of the US Pastor Council took the lead in opposing the campaign of openly gay Houston mayoral candidate Annise Parker but lost, leading Welch to apologize for letting our "position on the wall be breached by the enemy" while declaring Parker's election to be evidence "of cancer of the soul among the people." So, in case you weren't aware, Welch is not particularly supportive of Parker's sexuality or her role in public office.  And that is why, as the Texas Freedom Network reports, Welch's organization sent out an email announcing a new... MORE
Kyle Mantyla, Monday 10/24/2011, 4:01pm
Several weeks ago, the Family Research Council's Tony Perkins hosted a press briefing at the National Press Club to discuss just what it is that the Religious Right is seeking in a Republican presidential nominee. During the Q&A, Perkins was asked to discuss the idea that the very positions that make a candidate appealing to the Religious Right are the same positions that make such candidates unappealing to the general voting population. Not surprisingly, Perkins took issue with that assessment and asserted instead that without the support of the Religious Right, no Republican candidate... MORE
Brian Tashman, Tuesday 10/18/2011, 3:30pm
The mayor of El Paso, Texas and two city councilmembers are facing recall elections after their support of domestic partner benefits for city employees raised the ire of Religious Right activists. One of the proponents of the recall, Rev. Michael Rodriguez, was reassigned out of the El Paso Roman Catholic diocese after paying for advertisements saying that the choice for Catholic voters in the election was “clear” and they must support the recall. In an interview last week with Michael J. Matt of The Remnant, Rodriguez said, “Every single Catholic has a moral obligation... MORE
Kyle Mantyla, Tuesday 10/18/2011, 11:08am
While Robert Jeffress is running around telling anyone who will listen that "the Southern Baptist Convention has labeled Mormonism as a cult" and that Mitt Romney is a member of the cult, the Southern Baptist Convention's Richard Land is trying to do some damage control and suggesting that all Jeffress was really saying is that Mormonism is "a new religion, separate and distinct from the historic Christian faith." And, according to Land, since conservative Southern Baptists and other Evangelicals have already been inoculated against Mormonism by their own pastors and... MORE
Brian Tashman, Monday 10/17/2011, 12:25pm
Judicial Watch founder Larry Klayman yesterday penned a column in Renew America floating the idea that President Obama has so far refused “to take any retaliatory military action” against Iran because he wants the Iranian regime to finance his re-election campaign. Klayman wondered if “the president’s minions,” particularly Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, “are shaking down the radical Islamic leadership in Iran to launder huge campaign contributions into Obama-Democratic Party re-election coffers.” Right-wing activists have previously argued that... MORE
Miranda Blue, Wednesday 10/05/2011, 10:20am
This weekend, nearly every major GOP presidential candidate, along with the top two Republicans in the House of Representatives, will speak at the Values Voter Summit, an annual gathering of the leaders of the movement to integrate fundamentalist Christianity and American politics. The candidates – Mitt Romney, Rick Perry, Michele Bachmann, Herman Cain, Rick Santorum and Newt Gingrich – and the congressmen – House Speaker John Boehner and Majority Leader Eric Cantor – will join a who’s who of the far Right at the event. The organizers of... MORE