Iowa

Right Wing Round-Up

2012 Candidates Weekly Update 1/25/11

Michele Bachmann

SOTU: Plans to give her own State of the Union Response to a Tea Party Express rally, even though Wisconsin Rep. Jim Ryan is the official Republican speaker (Star Tribune, 1/24).

History: Maintains that skin color didn’t matter in early America at an Iowans for Tax Reform event (TPM, 1/24).

Religious Right: Addressed the “March for Life” Rose Dinner (Politico, 1/24).

Iowa: “Encouraged” by reception at Iowa events (Des Moines Register, 1/22).

Religious Right: Set to attend a meeting of Iowa’s The Family Leader, led by Bob Vander Plaats (RWW, 1/20).

Newt Gingrich

2012: Considering a presidential bid with a campaign based in Georgia (AJC, 1/21).

Religious Right: Set to attend a meeting of Iowa’s The Family Leader, led by Bob Vander Plaats (RWW, 1/20).

Rudy Giuliani

2012: Floats potential presidential bid despite 2008 defeat (TPM, 1/25).

Palin: Claims that a Palin candidacy would increase his chance of running (WSJ, 1/21).

Mike Huckabee

Debates: Won’t attend early debates in order to preserve his summer deadline (Politico, 1/24).

2012: Must decide whether to give up media “mini-empire” for a presidential run (LA Times, 1/21).

Sarah Palin

Texas: Spoke about how Alaska and Texas are both “good beacons of freedom” at a fundraiser for the Lubbock Christian School (Lubbock Avalanche-Journal, 1/25).

Media: Dana Milbank proposes a month-long media boycott of covering Palin (WaPo, 1/21).

Tim Pawlenty

Book: Releases video advertisement promoting new book, Courage to Stand (TPM, 1/24).

Religious Right: Set to attend a meeting of Iowa’s The Family Leader, led by Bob Vander Plaats (RWW, 1/18).

Mike Pence

Religious Right: Addressed the “March for Life” in Washington, DC (Politico, 1/24).

GOP: May be able to unite economic and social conservatives better than Mike Huckabee (Religion Dispatches, 1/21).

South Carolina: Group of South Carolina state legislators launches a “Draft Pence” effort (RWW, 1/20).

Mitt Romney

Poll: Leads all other rivals in national poll of Republican voters with 24% (Rasmussen Reports, 1/24).

New Hampshire: Wins New Hampshire GOP straw poll (Christian Science Monitor, 1/22).

Health Care: Rove says Romney must respond to criticisms about his health care reform law in Massachusetts (Political Wire, 1/20).

Rick Santorum

Reproductive Rights: Defends criticism of Obama’s views on choice in an Op-Ed for the National Review (NRO, 1/24).

Iowa: Set to attend a meeting of Iowa’s The Family Leader, led by Bob Vander Plaats (RWW, 1/20).

Religious Right: Uses Obama’s race to attack his stance on abortion-rights, slams gay adoption (RWW, 1/19).

John Thune

Tea Party: May have trouble with Tea Party voters over his support for ethanol industry subsidies (The Argus Leader, 1/23).

New Hampshire: Thune fundraisers “making calls in New Hampshire on Thune’s behalf” (The Argus Leader, 1/21).

2012 Candidates Weekly Update 1/25/11

Michele Bachmann

SOTU: Plans to give her own State of the Union Response to a Tea Party Express rally, even though Wisconsin Rep. Jim Ryan is the official Republican speaker (Star Tribune, 1/24).

History: Maintains that skin color didn’t matter in early America at an Iowans for Tax Reform event (TPM, 1/24).

Religious Right: Addressed the “March for Life” Rose Dinner (Politico, 1/24).

Iowa: “Encouraged” by reception at Iowa events (Des Moines Register, 1/22).

Religious Right: Set to attend a meeting of Iowa’s The Family Leader, led by Bob Vander Plaats (RWW, 1/20).

Newt Gingrich

2012: Considering a presidential bid with a campaign based in Georgia (AJC, 1/21).

Religious Right: Set to attend a meeting of Iowa’s The Family Leader, led by Bob Vander Plaats (RWW, 1/20).

Rudy Giuliani

2012: Floats potential presidential bid despite 2008 defeat (TPM, 1/25).

Palin: Claims that a Palin candidacy would increase his chance of running (WSJ, 1/21).

Mike Huckabee

Debates: Won’t attend early debates in order to preserve his summer deadline (Politico, 1/24).

2012: Must decide whether to give up media “mini-empire” for a presidential run (LA Times, 1/21).

Sarah Palin

Texas: Spoke about how Alaska and Texas are both “good beacons of freedom” at a fundraiser for the Lubbock Christian School (Lubbock Avalanche-Journal, 1/25).

Media: Dana Milbank proposes a month-long media boycott of covering Palin (WaPo, 1/21).

Tim Pawlenty

Book: Releases video advertisement promoting new book, Courage to Stand (TPM, 1/24).

Religious Right: Set to attend a meeting of Iowa’s The Family Leader, led by Bob Vander Plaats (RWW, 1/18).

Mike Pence

Religious Right: Addressed the “March for Life” in Washington, DC (Politico, 1/24).

GOP: May be able to unite economic and social conservatives better than Mike Huckabee (Religion Dispatches, 1/21).

South Carolina: Group of South Carolina state legislators launches a “Draft Pence” effort (RWW, 1/20).

Mitt Romney

Poll: Leads all other rivals in national poll of Republican voters with 24% (Rasmussen Reports, 1/24).

New Hampshire: Wins New Hampshire GOP straw poll (Christian Science Monitor, 1/22).

Health Care: Rove says Romney must respond to criticisms about his health care reform law in Massachusetts (Political Wire, 1/20).

Rick Santorum

Reproductive Rights: Defends criticism of Obama’s views on choice in an Op-Ed for the National Review (NRO, 1/24).

Iowa: Set to attend a meeting of Iowa’s The Family Leader, led by Bob Vander Plaats (RWW, 1/20).

Religious Right: Uses Obama’s race to attack his stance on abortion-rights, slams gay adoption (RWW, 1/19).

John Thune

Tea Party: May have trouble with Tea Party voters over his support for ethanol industry subsidies (The Argus Leader, 1/23).

New Hampshire: Thune fundraisers “making calls in New Hampshire on Thune’s behalf” (The Argus Leader, 1/21).

Right Wing Round-Up

Right Wing Round-Up

Barton: “I Guarantee You They Are Getting Homosexual Indoctrination” in Public Schools

The zealous opposition to anti-bullying initiatives in schools from Religious Right groups is based on the premise that such programs are surreptitious ways to “promote homosexuality” or disseminate “homosexual propaganda” in schools. On WallBuildersLive, faux-historian David Barton and co-host Rick Green brought on Brian Camenker of the stringently anti-gay group MassResistance to discuss ways “homosexual activists” are the real bullies and manufactured the whole problem of bullying in the first place. With more scrutiny given to the problem of the pervasive harassment of LGBT students (including the case of one Minnesota teenager who committed suicide last week), right-wing groups and leaders have become even more fanatical in their hostility to anti-bullying programs.

Green and Camenker, who described gay-rights groups as “fascist,” agree that “homosexual activists” invented the problem of bullying and became the bullies themselves:

Camenker: It often takes parents standing up to the homosexual activists and it’s hard to do, but you’re right. This is a very aggressive, fascist type of movement and these guys define the term ‘bullies.’

Green: I think you’re right and the perception I guess and maybe a lot of teachers, principals, superintendents out there have bought into this perception is that they are only the ones being bullied, the homosexual lobby is, so they’re hypersensitive to the other side of it.

Barton later claims that “homosexual indoctrination” is found in the entire public school system and tells parents that they “better get on top of what’s being taught to your kids.”

Barton: There’s a whole lost of this that goes on that parents don’t even hear about but it is going on. All this bullying stuff, as Brian pointed out, it’s not the schools that are doing bullying, it’s the people from outside the schools coming in and saying “oh you got a bullying problem and we need to teach a course for you.” The people living there didn’t see any problem. But it’s these outside agenda-

Green: They’re the very thing they say they’re going in to stop is what they’re doing themselves.

Barton: They generate and start. It goes back to the question Jesus asks, “What’s it profit you to gain the whole world and lose your soul?” The question I gotta ask is, what’s it worth to you to gain everything you want and lose your kids?

Because unless you’re willing to monitor what’s going on in that classroom, I guarantee you they are getting homosexual indoctrination. I don’t care whether you’re in a rural area or not, because this is so much a part of textbooks, so much a part of curricular stuff, so much a part of what goes on with other kids. We see it too often in lawsuits, we hear of accounts like this, and we hear of dozens of other accounts where nothing’s ever done. You better get on top of what’s being taught to your kids.

Barton: “I Guarantee You They Are Getting Homosexual Indoctrination” in Public Schools

The zealous opposition to anti-bullying initiatives in schools from Religious Right groups is based on the premise that such programs are surreptitious ways to “promote homosexuality” or disseminate “homosexual propaganda” in schools. On WallBuildersLive, faux-historian David Barton and co-host Rick Green brought on Brian Camenker of the stringently anti-gay group MassResistance to discuss ways “homosexual activists” are the real bullies and manufactured the whole problem of bullying in the first place. With more scrutiny given to the problem of the pervasive harassment of LGBT students (including the case of one Minnesota teenager who committed suicide last week), right-wing groups and leaders have become even more fanatical in their hostility to anti-bullying programs.

Green and Camenker, who described gay-rights groups as “fascist,” agree that “homosexual activists” invented the problem of bullying and became the bullies themselves:

Camenker: It often takes parents standing up to the homosexual activists and it’s hard to do, but you’re right. This is a very aggressive, fascist type of movement and these guys define the term ‘bullies.’

Green: I think you’re right and the perception I guess and maybe a lot of teachers, principals, superintendents out there have bought into this perception is that they are only the ones being bullied, the homosexual lobby is, so they’re hypersensitive to the other side of it.

Barton later claims that “homosexual indoctrination” is found in the entire public school system and tells parents that they “better get on top of what’s being taught to your kids.”

Barton: There’s a whole lost of this that goes on that parents don’t even hear about but it is going on. All this bullying stuff, as Brian pointed out, it’s not the schools that are doing bullying, it’s the people from outside the schools coming in and saying “oh you got a bullying problem and we need to teach a course for you.” The people living there didn’t see any problem. But it’s these outside agenda-

Green: They’re the very thing they say they’re going in to stop is what they’re doing themselves.

Barton: They generate and start. It goes back to the question Jesus asks, “What’s it profit you to gain the whole world and lose your soul?” The question I gotta ask is, what’s it worth to you to gain everything you want and lose your kids?

Because unless you’re willing to monitor what’s going on in that classroom, I guarantee you they are getting homosexual indoctrination. I don’t care whether you’re in a rural area or not, because this is so much a part of textbooks, so much a part of curricular stuff, so much a part of what goes on with other kids. We see it too often in lawsuits, we hear of accounts like this, and we hear of dozens of other accounts where nothing’s ever done. You better get on top of what’s being taught to your kids.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Iowa GOP Hopes to Ban Gay Marriage and Civil Unions as Vander Plaats Mobilizes Pastors

The battle over marriage equality in Iowa is heating up as Republicans in the State House are moving forward with plans to ban gay marriage and civil unions, an attempt to reverse a unanimous 2009 State Supreme Court decision in favor of marriage equality. To amend the constitution, “an amendment would require approval by state lawmakers during two legislative sessions, and then approval by voters at the ballot box.” Encouraged by major Republican gains in the midterm elections and the removal of three pro-equality Justices through retention votes, Iowa Republicans have emphasized restrictions on gay-rights and reproductive-rights in their legislative agenda, and Religious Right leader Bob Vander Plaats is pressing for the removal of the entire Supreme Court.

Vander Plaats’s new organization, The Family Leader, recently blasted pro-equality faith leaders in an alert message that questions their faith, stating: “167 ‘religious’ leaders signed a letter delivered to the Iowa Legislature saying that people of faith support homosexual ‘marriage.’ Don’t stay silent while others speak for you and misrepresnt [sic] God.” The group calls on pastors to sign an alternative petition which describes “homosexual behavior” as “immoral and sinful” and “harmful both to the individuals who choose to participate in it and the society that chooses to accept it.”

The mobilization of pastors by The Family Leader comes at a time when, according to the Des Moines Register, Republican leaders are trying to prohibit not only gay marriage but also other forms of legal rights for gay couples such as civil unions and domestic partnerships. The Register reports:

House Republicans will introduce legislation this week to begin the process to amend the Iowa Constitution to ban not only same-sex marriage but also civil unions and domestic partnerships.

That prospect raised alarm with civil rights advocates, who said it would legalize discrimination.

Republicans, who took control of the House in the Nov. 2 elections, had pledged to pass a measure this legislative session that would eventually allow Iowans a vote on same-sex marriage. But the resolution they've prepared is more sweeping than that, a move intended to help place finality on the issue of the legality of same-sex unions, said Rep. Dwayne Alons, R-Hull, who is the lead sponsor of House Joint Resolution 6.

"I think the biggest issue is that if that (a same-sex marriage ban) is carried forward, and then Iowa does civil unions and recognizes that as a substitute status, then, from what I've seen in other states," people would come to consider same-sex civil unions as equal to marriage, Alons said.

As of late Wednesday, no Democrats had signed on as co-sponsors of the bill. Fifty-six of the 60 House Republicans are listed as co-sponsors. The measure is expected to easily pass the House, but Senate Majority Leader Mike Gronstal has vowed to block consideration of a same-sex marriage amendment in that chamber.

The resolution says: "Marriage between one man and one woman shall be the only legal union valid or recognized in this state."

Des Moines attorney James Benzoni said such an amendment would run counter to the intent of Iowa laws that prohibit discrimination based on sexual orientation.

"The problem you're going to have is that it allows prejudice," Benzoni said. "It's going to open the door now for discrimination, for bullying, for treating people as second-class citizens."

The wording raised questions about whether private companies and governments in Iowa could still extend benefits to domestic partners. State government, for example, provides domestic partnership benefits to same-sex couples.



Those who agree with the Iowa Supreme Court ruling have noted that same-sex couples have in previous years been shut out from hospital visitation and inheritance rights. The U.S. Government Accountability Office has listed more than 1,100 benefits the government provides to married couples.

The Rev. Keith Ratliff Sr. of Des Moines, president of the NAACP State Conference for Iowa and Nebraska, has helped lead protests against same-sex marriage. He said Wednesday he agrees with the attempt to also keep domestic partnership or civil unions from gaining legal status.

Ratliff said he believes same-sex marriage further erodes the family, similar to the way that two-income families have eroded traditional nuclear families.

"I think there is an immediate consequence to gay marriage because people let their guard down in relation to what the word of God says," Ratliff said.

Iowa GOP Hopes to Ban Gay Marriage and Civil Unions as Vander Plaats Mobilizes Pastors

The battle over marriage equality in Iowa is heating up as Republicans in the State House are moving forward with plans to ban gay marriage and civil unions, an attempt to reverse a unanimous 2009 State Supreme Court decision in favor of marriage equality. To amend the constitution, “an amendment would require approval by state lawmakers during two legislative sessions, and then approval by voters at the ballot box.” Encouraged by major Republican gains in the midterm elections and the removal of three pro-equality Justices through retention votes, Iowa Republicans have emphasized restrictions on gay-rights and reproductive-rights in their legislative agenda, and Religious Right leader Bob Vander Plaats is pressing for the removal of the entire Supreme Court.

Vander Plaats’s new organization, The Family Leader, recently blasted pro-equality faith leaders in an alert message that questions their faith, stating: “167 ‘religious’ leaders signed a letter delivered to the Iowa Legislature saying that people of faith support homosexual ‘marriage.’ Don’t stay silent while others speak for you and misrepresnt [sic] God.” The group calls on pastors to sign an alternative petition which describes “homosexual behavior” as “immoral and sinful” and “harmful both to the individuals who choose to participate in it and the society that chooses to accept it.”

The mobilization of pastors by The Family Leader comes at a time when, according to the Des Moines Register, Republican leaders are trying to prohibit not only gay marriage but also other forms of legal rights for gay couples such as civil unions and domestic partnerships. The Register reports:

House Republicans will introduce legislation this week to begin the process to amend the Iowa Constitution to ban not only same-sex marriage but also civil unions and domestic partnerships.

That prospect raised alarm with civil rights advocates, who said it would legalize discrimination.

Republicans, who took control of the House in the Nov. 2 elections, had pledged to pass a measure this legislative session that would eventually allow Iowans a vote on same-sex marriage. But the resolution they've prepared is more sweeping than that, a move intended to help place finality on the issue of the legality of same-sex unions, said Rep. Dwayne Alons, R-Hull, who is the lead sponsor of House Joint Resolution 6.

"I think the biggest issue is that if that (a same-sex marriage ban) is carried forward, and then Iowa does civil unions and recognizes that as a substitute status, then, from what I've seen in other states," people would come to consider same-sex civil unions as equal to marriage, Alons said.

As of late Wednesday, no Democrats had signed on as co-sponsors of the bill. Fifty-six of the 60 House Republicans are listed as co-sponsors. The measure is expected to easily pass the House, but Senate Majority Leader Mike Gronstal has vowed to block consideration of a same-sex marriage amendment in that chamber.

The resolution says: "Marriage between one man and one woman shall be the only legal union valid or recognized in this state."

Des Moines attorney James Benzoni said such an amendment would run counter to the intent of Iowa laws that prohibit discrimination based on sexual orientation.

"The problem you're going to have is that it allows prejudice," Benzoni said. "It's going to open the door now for discrimination, for bullying, for treating people as second-class citizens."

The wording raised questions about whether private companies and governments in Iowa could still extend benefits to domestic partners. State government, for example, provides domestic partnership benefits to same-sex couples.



Those who agree with the Iowa Supreme Court ruling have noted that same-sex couples have in previous years been shut out from hospital visitation and inheritance rights. The U.S. Government Accountability Office has listed more than 1,100 benefits the government provides to married couples.

The Rev. Keith Ratliff Sr. of Des Moines, president of the NAACP State Conference for Iowa and Nebraska, has helped lead protests against same-sex marriage. He said Wednesday he agrees with the attempt to also keep domestic partnership or civil unions from gaining legal status.

Ratliff said he believes same-sex marriage further erodes the family, similar to the way that two-income families have eroded traditional nuclear families.

"I think there is an immediate consequence to gay marriage because people let their guard down in relation to what the word of God says," Ratliff said.

Right Wing Round-Up

  • PFAW: Health Care Reform Repeal: Bought and Paid for by Citizens United.
     
  • Scott Keyes @ Think Progress: Rep. Louie Gohmert: ‘I’m Going To Be Pushing…To Have Some Hearings’ On The Creeping Threat Of Sharia Law.
     
  • Joe.My.God: Gov. Rick Scott Appoints "Christians Only" Activist To Head State Agency On Adoptions.
     
  • Alan Colmes: Christine O’Donnell Finding A New Way To Pay Rent?
     
  • Jason Hancock @ Iowa Independent: Marriage amendment introduced in Iowa House.
     
  • Media Matters: Limbaugh Mocks Chinese President's Untranslated Speech.
     
  • Rachel Slajda @ TPM: CPAC To Host Panel Called 'Ground Zero Mosque: Second Wave Of The 9/11 Attacks'.

Right Wing Round-Up

  • PFAW: Health Care Reform Repeal: Bought and Paid for by Citizens United.
     
  • Scott Keyes @ Think Progress: Rep. Louie Gohmert: ‘I’m Going To Be Pushing…To Have Some Hearings’ On The Creeping Threat Of Sharia Law.
     
  • Joe.My.God: Gov. Rick Scott Appoints "Christians Only" Activist To Head State Agency On Adoptions.
     
  • Alan Colmes: Christine O’Donnell Finding A New Way To Pay Rent?
     
  • Jason Hancock @ Iowa Independent: Marriage amendment introduced in Iowa House.
     
  • Media Matters: Limbaugh Mocks Chinese President's Untranslated Speech.
     
  • Rachel Slajda @ TPM: CPAC To Host Panel Called 'Ground Zero Mosque: Second Wave Of The 9/11 Attacks'.

Pawlenty to Meet with Anti-Gay Iowa Group

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

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

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

Pawlenty to Meet with Anti-Gay Iowa Group

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

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

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

2012 Candidates Weekly Update 1/18/10

Michele Bachmann

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

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

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

Haley Barbour

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

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

John Bolton

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

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

Mike Huckabee

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

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

Sarah Palin

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

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

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

Tim Pawlenty

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

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

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

Mike Pence

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

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

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

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

Rick Perry

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

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

Mitt Romney

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

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

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

Rick Santorum

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

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

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

John Thune

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

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

2012 Candidates Weekly Update 1/18/10

Michele Bachmann

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

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

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

Haley Barbour

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

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

John Bolton

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

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

Mike Huckabee

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

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

Sarah Palin

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

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

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

Tim Pawlenty

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

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

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

Mike Pence

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

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

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

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

Rick Perry

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

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

Mitt Romney

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

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

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

Rick Santorum

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

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

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

John Thune

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

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

Right Wing Round-Up

  • Think Progress: Jewish Groups: ‘We Are Deeply Disturbed’ By Palin’s Use Of Anti-Semitic Term ‘Blood Libel,’ She Should Apologize.
  • Steve Benen: Those Who Justify Anti-Government Violence…
  • Towleroad: Chick-Fil-A President Dan Cathy Says Providing Food to Anti-Gay Groups is Not an Endorsement.
  • Iowa Independent: GOP Lawmakers Vow to Continue Push for Judicial Impeachment.

Right Wing Round-Up

  • Think Progress: Jewish Groups: ‘We Are Deeply Disturbed’ By Palin’s Use Of Anti-Semitic Term ‘Blood Libel,’ She Should Apologize.
  • Steve Benen: Those Who Justify Anti-Government Violence…
  • Towleroad: Chick-Fil-A President Dan Cathy Says Providing Food to Anti-Gay Groups is Not an Endorsement.
  • Iowa Independent: GOP Lawmakers Vow to Continue Push for Judicial Impeachment.

Gingrich Group Calls For Elimination of Ninth Circuit Over Cross Ruling

Yesterday, it was announced that Jim Garlow, chairman of Newt Gingrich's Renewing American Leadership, would be participating in a protest against the Ninth Circuit's ruling that the Mt. Soledad Cross was unconstitutional:

Said Dr. Jim Garlow, Senior Pastor of Skyline Wesleyan Church in San Diego, and Chairman of Renewing American Leadership located in Washington DC, "These revisionist judges consistently confuse the historic recognition of the role that the Christian faith -- embraced by 90% of our citizens -- and Christian symbols have played and continue to play in our national life with the 'establishment' of religion. Not one truly informed person driving by the Mt. Soledad Veterans Memorial has ever assumed that they are required to embrace Christianity as an 'established,' government sponsored religion."

I am not sure exactly what steps Garlow is going to advocate for remedying this outrage at the protest, but Rick Tyler, his colleague at ReAL, is already claiming the ruling is an attempt to impose a "a secular-socialist agenda on the United States" and therefore the Ninth Circuit Court needs to be, quite literally, eliminated: 

[T]hose whose policies are unable to win at the ballot box are seeking to build a stronghold of government power in the courts, without needing to garner a single vote. Just as it did in 1803, the Executive and Legislative branches could take action today and ”reorganize” the Ninth Circuit Court right out of existence! Not only is there precedent for such an action, we wouldn’t need to be nearly as radical as Jefferson – we wouldn’t have to eliminate half of the federal bench, just the Ninth Circuit! It’s time for this country to ask: “If they’re so out of touch with the First Amendment, why are we continuing to employ them as judges?”

It’s time to think out of the box, and we can succeed. Just this past year, we notched a huge victory in Iowa against the three judges that superseded the will of the people by imposing their own agenda upon the Constitution. Christians have a warrior in Bob Vander Plaats, who led the fight that resulted in sending three judges home after they grossly overreached their constitutional role in redefining marriage. We must show other judges who have forgotten the constitutional constraints that there are consequences for their actions.

Make your voice heard. Watch your email for our ReAL Action Alert. We’re going to tell the Ninth Circuit that their services are no longer required.

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Iowa Posts Archive

Kyle Mantyla, Tuesday 05/17/2011, 5:51pm
Michael B. Keegan @ Huffington Post: The Hypocrisy Hall of Fame: Schwarzenegger and Marriage Equality. Tim Murphy @ Mother Jones: Michele Bachmann’s Head-Banging, Gay-Bashing BFF. Sarah Posner @ American Prospect: Onward Christian Voters. Alan Colmes: Iowa Voter Confronts Gingrich: “You’re An Embarrassment To Our Party.” Joe.My.God: NOM Stole My Hate Rally Video. Joe Sudbay @ Americablog: WI Gov. Scott Walker’s next target: Hospital visitation rights for gay couples. Jon Terbush @ TPM: Jon Stewart Rips O'Reilly, Fox's... MORE
Brian Tashman, Tuesday 05/17/2011, 9:48am
Michele Bachmann 2012: More likely to run for president following Mike Huckabee's decision against running (CBS News, 5/16).  Constitution: High school student challenges her to a debate on the Constitution as a result of her record of making incorrect statements (Minnesota Independent, 5/13).  Herman Cain Georgia: Wins praise for speech at Georgia GOP convention (Southern Political Report, 5/16).  Florida: Tops field in Fort Lauderdale Tea Party straw poll (Sunshine State News, 5/16).  Mitch Daniels Reproductive Rights: Signs law defunding Planned Parenthood that... MORE
Brian Tashman, Monday 05/16/2011, 12:26pm
Republican presidential aspirants continue to flock to Ralph Reed’s Faith and Freedom Coalition. Reed today announced that former Utah governor and Ambassador to China Jon Huntsman will speak to the group’s Conference and Strategy Briefing on June 3rd. Other GOP presidential contenders addressing the gathering include Mitt Romney, Rick Santorum, Michele Bachmann, and Herman Cain, along with Donald Trump, House GOP leaders John Boehner, Kevin McCarthy, and Paul Ryan, and numerous Republican congressmen. The Faith and Freedom Coalition seems to be the restoration of Reed’s... MORE
Brian Tashman, Tuesday 05/10/2011, 1:07pm
Newt Gingrich will announce his decision to run for President tomorrow on Sean Hannity’s Fox News show. After an address to the Georgia GOP, he will embark on a tour of Iowa. Tracking Gingrich’s comeback in Republican and Religious Right circles, Right Wing Watch has compiled a “Top Ten” list of Gingrich’s truculent and divisive rhetoric and consistent disrespect for the rule of law, freedom of religion, and equality: Gingrich With Hagee, Warning US Becoming "Secular Atheist Country Dominated by Radical Islamists" Gingrich Says He Stands... MORE
Brian Tashman, Tuesday 05/10/2011, 9:47am
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... MORE
Brian Tashman, Monday 05/09/2011, 11:00am
The Wall Street Journal today features an extensive profile on Newt Gingrich’s vast network of political organizations, including American Solutions, Renewing American Leadership (ReAL), and Gingrich Productions. The paper reports that Gingrich’s “network has amassed more than 1.7 million voter and donor contacts and raised $32 million between 2009 and 2010—more than all his potential 2012 rivals combined.” Gingrich also helped steer $150,000 to American Family Association Action to help defeat three Iowa State Supreme Court justices that ruled in favor of... MORE
Brian Tashman, Tuesday 04/26/2011, 9:28am
Michele Bachmann Media: Included in the Time 100 (Star Tribune, 4/21). 2012: Claims she will reach a decision on presidential bid by June (LA Times, 4/20).  Haley Barbour 2012: Decides against running for president (Politico, 4/25).  Newt Gingrich Energy: Received $300,000 from ethanol lobbying group (Des Moines Register, 4/25). Immigration: Balances outreach to Hispanic voters with GOP's increasing nativism (Politico, 4/22).  Mike Huckabee South Carolina: Leads other candidates among South Carolina Republicans in new poll (The Ticket, 4/25). Media: War of words with... MORE