Ohio

The DHS Report "Controversy" Is All For Show

I've written a few posts recently about the utterly bogus “controversy” surrounding the recent Department of Homeland Security report “Rightwing Extremism: Current Economic and Political Climate Fueling Resurgence in Radicalization and Recruitment,” pointing out how the Right was intentionally misrepresenting what the report said and repeatedly lying about it in order to generate outrage and raise money.

In one of those posts, I linked to this Hill article about conservative House Republicans who are demanding Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano’s resignation which suggested that House leaders were going to bring up the issue with President Obama:

House Minority Leader John Boehner (R-Ohio) and Minority Whip Eric Cantor (R-Va.) are set to meet with Obama at the White House on Thursday. It is unclear whether they will request Napolitano’s resignation, but several lawmakers said it was under discussion.

“I think leaders are going to bring it up with the president, maybe call for (her) resignation,” one conservative member told The Hill on Wednesday.

Today, The Hill followed up on the meeting, reporting that, despite the calls from a small group of GOP backbenchers, the leadership didn't even bring it up:

The White House and senior lawmakers on both sides of the aisle defended Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano on Thursday as a cadre of Republicans continued to call for her resignation.

But House GOP leaders did not bring the topic up during a meeting with President Obama, according to a source with knowledge of the meeting.

...

House Minority Leader John Boehner (R-Ohio) said Thursday morning that he was certain the topic of Napolitano 's resignation would be raised when he met with Obama later in the day. But according to a source with knowledge of the meeting, he failed to do so.

The article also quotes Ron Paul admitting that the calls for Napolitano’s resignation were attempts at political posturing, saying "this is mostly about politics."

Frankly, we have to disagree with Paul - this isn't "mostly" about politics, it's solely about politics. Fortunately the White House seem to fully recognize that fact and is rightfully dismissive of this entire "controversy":

“While these members of Congress engage in a typical Washington game, they are actually talking about a report that originated in the Bush administration,” said Nick Shapiro, a spokesman for Obama. “She [Napolitano] doesn’t have time for these games, and neither does the president.”

ACLJ Out Front of Another Bogus Controversy

Last week I wrote a few posts about the utterly inane “controversy” over the recent Department of Homeland Security report “Rightwing Extremism: Current Economic and Political Climate Fueling Resurgence in Radicalization and Recruitment” [PDF], pointing out how the Right was intentionally misrepresenting what it said and repeatedly lying about it in order to generate outrage and raise money. Then I went on vacation for a few days, fully expecting that the entire charade would blow over by the time I got back to work … but of course I was wrong:

Conservative House Republicans are calling on their leaders to ask President Obama for Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano’s resignation.

And GOP Conference Secretary John Carter (Texas) became the first member of leadership to call for the secretary's resignation, saying Wednesday that Napolitano should be removed or resign.

“No search or arrest warrant should ever be issued on the pure speculative grounds contained in the DHS report, and this report should never have been issued either. The fact that it was, coupled with Secretary Napolitano’s failure to issue an unqualified retraction and apology, displays a level of contempt for a healthy democracy that demands she be removed from office immediately," the judge of 20 years said.

Conservative House GOPs think Napolitano should resign because of the release of a report that singled out conservatives as “right-wing terrorists,” according to several GOP lawmakers.

House Minority Leader John Boehner (R-Ohio) and Minority Whip Eric Cantor (R-Va.) are set to meet with Obama at the White House on Thursday. It is unclear whether they will request Napolitano’s resignation, but several lawmakers said it was under discussion.

“I think leaders are going to bring it up with the president, maybe call for (her) resignation,” one conservative member told The Hill on Wednesday.

Predictably, the American Center for Law and Justice is once again at the forefront of this “controversy,” just as it was of the “controversy” over the stimulus legislation, with Jay Sekulow showing up on Fox News to voice his manufactured outrage that the DHS report made no mention of the “real terrorists” such as Al Qaeda, a point he also made on the ACLJ’s website:

Nowhere in this report is there any mention of Al Qaida cell groups operating domestically here in the United States.  DHS has taken its focus away from rooting out those people that are bent on causing harm to the United States.  Instead, they are using government resources to monitor pro-life citizens who are exercising their free speech rights by holding up a sign in front of an abortion clinic.  On FOX News today I stated that the government needs to be spending its time rounding up terrorists who are bent on the destruction of our government rather than focusing on grandmothers holding up a pro-life sign outside an abortion clinic.

The scope of this report is also dangerous.  In discussing rightwing terrorists, the report states that there is a phenomenon of violent radicalization in the United States.  Pointing to those who are opposed to abortion and same-sex marriage, the report envisions what it calls the most dangerous domestic terrorism threat in the United States as these pro-life groups, those opposed to immigration, and returning veterans from the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.

This complaint might make sense if the report was about something other than, you know, domestic rightwing terrorist and extremist groups.  And to make matters worse, the ACLJ is claiming that the report declares “pro-lifers [to be the] most dangerous domestic terrorists” when it does nothing of the sort.  In fact, the report never even mentions pro-lifers beyond one footnote explaining that individuals driven by a “single issue, such as opposition to abortion or immigration” may join up with hate-oriented or antigovernment right-wing groups.  

Now the ACLJ is demanding a retraction from DHS Secretary Janet Napolitano and, in an email to activists, bragging that it has taken the lead in fighting this “blatant attack on conservative America” and, of course, seeking donations:

The Confusing FRC

Yesterday, the Family Research Council released a petition aimed at "Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid to urge him to stop lying to himself and the American taxpayer" about his pro-life views, saying "he cannot claim to be pro-life and continue advocate for taxpayer funding of abortion."

FRC's action alert urging people to sign it begins thusly:

Senator Reid used to claim he was pro-life. Since he became Majority Leader in the Senate, however, he is sounding more and more like his pro-abortion colleagues Chuck Schumer and Ted Kennedy. Just recently he told reporters he would be perfectly fine with a health care bill that requires taxpayers to fund abortions.

Is he taking his talking points from the President of Planned Parenthood? Two weeks ago she said that she would pursue making abortion part of President Obama's health care plan.

I have to admit that I had to re-read this several times before I realized that the "she" to which FRC referred  was not a typo referencing Reid but was rather referring to Planned Parenthood President Cecile Richards.

While I am more that willing to chalk my confusion about this up to my own stupidity, I don't know that I can say the same for this recent op-ed FRC Senior Policy Analyst Robert Morrison in the Washington Examiner in which he complains about ... well, I'm not sure entirely:

With the talk of whether President Barack Obama is a Socialist, it’s no wonder the country is confused. Some ofthe confusion began when NBC’s late Tim Russert made the switch on national TV in advance of the 2000 election. Prior to that, Republican states had been shown on network election maps in blue, with Democratic states in red.

In 1980, CBS showed President Ronald Reagan’s states as deep a blue as a California swimming pool. Jimmy Carter’s small haul of states was an embarrassed red. When Massachusetts, Connecticut, and New York went blue, Dan Rather went green. In 1984, the map went almost all blue again, as Reagan romped to a second landslide victory.

Beginning in 2000, the vision of red state Republicans and blue state Democrats was burned into our minds with the 34-day wait for resolution by the Supreme Court in Bush v. Gore.

It’s time to switch colors back. Around the world, conservative parties’ color is blue. And liberals—oh alright—call yourselves progressives if you insist— are red. It’s the color of Labour in Britain, Liberals in Canada, and the SPD in Germany. The Left is red for a very good reason. It represents revolution. Go see Les Mis if you doubt it.

President Obama should be saluted for reaching out to voters in red states and blue states. Not for him the vicious view of a Michael Moore, who wondered why terrorists would want to kill so many blue state voters on 9/11.

Let’s hope both parties will make their best cases to Americans as Americans. E Pluribus Unum should recognize no division. As the victory of Prop. 8 showed in California this time, and the marriage amendment in Ohio proved last time, voters are entirely capable of making differing judgments on men and measures. It’s time they were treated with more respect.

Apparently, Morrison doesn't like the use of red for Republicans and blue for Democrats and seems to believe that this has something to do with why people think President Obama is a socialist and it's all Tim Russert's fault ... plus, some reference to Michael Moore and gay marriage.

Seriously, this is the entire op-ed ... and I literally have no idea what it means.

Norquist Demands Efforts to Recover Bailout Funds From AIG Be Offset By Tax Cuts

As outrage grows over AIG’s decision to give hundreds of millions of dollars in “retention bonuses” to employees (even though some don’t even work there anymore) after receiving more than $170 billion in bailout funds, members of Congress are considering proposals that would levy heavy taxes on the bonuses:

[L]eading Democrats proposed using the tax code to punish executives at the firm, in which the federal government controls an 80 percent stake, unless those payouts are surrendered voluntarily.

Action on the legislation could begin as early as today in the Senate. A proposal from Senate Finance Committee Chairman Max Baucus (D-Mont.) and the panel's ranking Republican, Charles E. Grassley (Iowa), would levy an excise tax on AIG and the executives who received the payments, adding up to more than 90 percent of the total of the bonuses. That tax would also apply to future bonuses awarded, either by AIG or by other firms receiving federal aid … Democratic lawmakers raced to put their proposals on the table. Reps. Steve Israel (N.Y.) and Tim Ryan (Ohio) introduced the Bailout Bonus Tax Bracket Act to create a 100 percent tax on bonuses over $100,000 that are distributed to employees of financial firms receiving federal bailout money. Rep. John D. Dingell (Mich.) offered a version that would tax such bonuses at a 95 percent rate.

Whether or not that is a good idea is debatable, but Grover Norquist and the anti-tax zealots over at Americans for Tax Reform are not interested in participating in that debate, saying that the bailout should never have happened in the first place and that efforts by the government to recover this money constitute a “secret tax increase” that must be offset by other tax cuts :

"Let's be clear---the bailout should have never happened, no matter who is benefiting. No more bailout money should be paid.  Any monies that are set to go out should be immediately-rescinded," said ATR President Grover Norquist.  "But two wrongs don't make a right.  A tax increase does not 'make up for' a bad decision on spending.  If politicians decide that taxes need to be raised on AIG executives, they should at least have the decency to cut taxes somewhere else."

This is taxpayer money that the government is trying to recover, but in Norquist’s myopic worldview, all he can see is a “secret tax increase.”

You have got to hand it to Norquist, as he seems committed to standing by his “no tax increases, ever” principle even when it leads to fundamentally absurd conclusions such as this.

Right Wing Round-Up

Today's best reporting on the Right from around the web:

  • Media Matters and News Hounds take on the Fox News and Neil Cavuto for continuing to spread lies about the stimulus bill.
  • Pam's House Blend discovers that the American Family Association's "Speechless … Silencing the Christians" is set to air on local television in Grand Rapids, MI tonight.
  • The Florida Bar Association has come out in support of the ruling that the state's ban on gay adoption is unconstitutional and the Liberty Counsel's Mat Staver is not happy, Good as You reports.
  • Via Tips-Q, we get this piece on an Americans for Truth led protest in Ohio:

    Our neighborhood in old Worthington is a close-knit, tolerant and faithful community. So it was shocking this morning on the drive home from grade-school wrestling practice, to see a small group of protesters lined up outside of the Holiday Inn on Wilson Bridge Road waving “God Hates Fags” signs ...

    “Is it a homo paper?” asked a scruffy 50+ man who spoke broken English with an Appalachain twang. In one hand he waved a large sign with the anagram “Gross Anus Yearning Sodomists” (whatever in the world that means) and in the other, he had two naked Ken dolls taped together in the position commonly referred to as “doggy style” ...

    None of the protesters were guests at the hotel. None of them live in the Columbus metro area. They were picketing on behalf of the a national right-wing extremist group calling itself "Americans for Truth."

Dirtiest RNC Race Ever and Nothing Will Change

Ralph Z. Hallow reports that, according to insiders involved in the race to become the next chairman of the Republican National Committee, the current campaign, which is to be decided tomorrow, has become the "dirtiest ever":

From anonymous charges of racism, old-fashioned graft and outright incompetence, the six-man race for the chairmanship of the Republican National Committee has devolved into the dirtiest - and most closely watched - in recent history.

The 168 members who Friday will elect the next chairman have been inundated with anonymous e-mails attacking the characters and capabilities of the various candidates and, in at least one case, accusing a candidate of conspiring with political consultants to cash in on the millions of dollars in future advertising by the party.

"This is dirtiest ever - and remember, I was the longest-serving state party chairman in the history of this committee," said RNC member and former Ohio Republican Party Chairman Bob Bennett, a supporter of Mike Duncan, the incumbent national chairman who is seeking a second two-year term.

One candidate, South Carolina Republican Chairman Katon Dawson, is the subject this week of an unsigned e-mail to RNC members that bore a hypothetical USA Today front page with the banner headline, "RNC members choose 'whites only' chairman," as a warning of how a Dawson win would be spun.

...

On Monday, Indiana RNC member James Bopp Jr., who formed a self-described conservative rump group of RNC members to fight the [Michael] Steele candidacy, sent members a signed e-mail basically accusing Mr. Steele of lying about his casual relationship with the RLC.

It quoted Mrs. Whitman as saying that she was proud to join with "Michael Steele in creating a powerful and influential group that can bring our party back to its roots while promoting the common-sense centrist values we all hold so dear." The word "centrist" among members of the dominant strain of the Republican Party is an epithet.

...

Another anonymous e-mail to members noted that Saul Anuzis does not have a formal education beyond high school - he attended college for four years but did not finish his degree - and called the salaried Michigan Republican chairman "a paid political hack whose greed and misconduct lost him his job in government. After fifteen years of trying to make it in business, he came back to what he knew best: politics for pay."

A particularly vicious whack at Ken Blackwell, the former Ohio secretary of state and the other black man chasing the chairman's post, appeared in a Jan. 6 anonymous e-mail claiming he was "dangerously incompetent" as secretary of state and accusing him of using taxpayer money to finance TV ads to "boost his own name recognition" in preparation for his failed run for governor.

As entertaining as it has been to watch them tear each other apart, Hallow reports that the viciousness stems from the fact that, in terms of actual substance, there doesn't appear to be any actual differences among the candidate's stances on the hot-button issues of the day:

However, when The Times submitted three questions on the biggest hot-button issues - gay marriage, immigration and federal bailouts - little substantive difference emerged among the six men.

Mr. Duncan was the lone candidate who did not respond initially to the questions, instead sending a single response attacking President Obama and not even doing so on the issues in question. All six men support a constitutional amendment against same-sex marriage, oppose amnesty for illegal immigrants and doubt the government's competence to bail out industries failing in the marketplace.

So no matter who wins, it looks like we'll have yet another anti-gay, anti-immigrant, obstructionist chairman at the RNC. 

How has that been working out for them lately?  

Does God Protect Christians from Missiles?

As everyone knows by now, “Joe the Plumber” has now become “Joe the War Correspondent” thanks to a gig he landed with Pajamas TV:

"Joe the Plumber," the Ohio man who shot to fame last year after he challenged then presidential candidate Barack Obama over his tax proposals, is morphing into "Joe the War Correspondent" and heading to the Middle East Thursday, he told US television.

Joe, whose real name is Samuel Joseph Wurzelbacher, will travel to Israel to report for US conservative website pjtv.com, giving the perspective of ordinary Israelis on the conflict in Gaza.

"I get to go over there and let their 'Average Joes' share their story, what they think, how they feel, especially with world opinion -- maybe get a real story out there," Wurzelbacher said late Wednesday on Ohio television station, WNWO.

But what you might not know is that he, unlike the Jews and Muslims who currently inhabit the region, he will be protected from potential harm because he is a Christian:

Is he scared that one of the Hamas rockets might have his name on it? Not really. After all, as he explained, he's a Christian so God will keep him safe.

"Being a Christian I'm pretty well protected by God I believe," he said

The Right Places All Its Hopes in Blackwell

For the last several days we've been chronicling how various right-wing leaders have been rallying behind Ken Blackwell in his campaign to become the next head of the Republican National Committee - perhaps nobody more so than Tony Perkins, who has dedicated the lead article in his daily "Washington Update" to proclaiming Blackwell the "right man at the right time"

What the future holds for the Republican Party will be largely decided by the selection of the next Republican National Committee chairman. As you may have noticed, the list of potential suitors includes a familiar face to the FRC family, our own Ken Blackwell. After weighing the decision of whether or not to throw his hat in the ring, Ken ultimately decided that the opportunity to advance a pro-family agenda in the GOP was compelling. Although I have historically declined to endorse candidates in party elections, this is a tremendous opportunity for a proven public servant to re-interject traditional values into a party that has lost its way. For that reason, I support and encourage others to support Ken Blackwell for chairman of the RNC. His record of service to our nation and his commitment to core conservative issues make him the clear choice in this race.

At a debate yesterday hosted by Americans for Tax Reform, Ken called for a renewal of the Republican Party. He understands that any successful movement must embody a strong grassroots effort that empowers state and local communities. The RNC will make a very critical decision when it meets at the end of January to select the party's new chairman. If they choose a moderate, it could mean a continued drift from core conservative principles. On the other hand, the selection of Ken Blackwell would assure conservatives that they finally have a true advocate in a party that has increasingly attempted to marginalize them.

It is clear that Blackwell's supporters see him as their best hope for making their right-wing agenda the centerpiece of the GOP's politics moving forward and are doing everything in their power to ensure his election ... even going so far as to shut down an RNC straw poll that Blackwell appeared poised to lose:

A straw poll that could have influenced the outcome of an upcoming election for Republican National Committee chairman slammed into a wall of unexpected opposition Monday, largely with the help of supporters of former Ohio Secretary of State Ken Blackwell and former Maryland Lt. Gov. Michael S. Steele, several participants in a meeting of a rump group of RNC members said.

The planned poll was supposed to rank how conservative Mr. Blackwell, Mr. Steele and four other Republican national chairman hopefuls are -- at least in the estimation of the rump group.

But some members told The Washington Times that Robert M. "Mike" Duncan, the incumbent chairman seeking re-election, probably would have won a plurality in such a poll, weakening both Mr. Blackwell, who has strong outside backing from prominent conservatives, and Mr. Steele, who some on the national committee regard with suspicion for consorting with the handful of prominent liberals in the Republican Party.

The 28-17 vote to cancel the poll came during an extraordinary meeting -- 37 who showed up in person and others who participated by phone -- of an ad hoc group calling itself the Conservative Steering Committee, an exclusive assemblage of self-identified conservatives who are part of the 168-member RNC and who formed to try to ensure a conservative is elected as the next national party chairman at the end of this month.

Remembering Ken Blackwell

Yesterday we noted that a gaggle of right-wing powerbrokers had lined up behind Ken Blackwell's candidacy for RNC chair and his performance at yesterday's debate seems to have placed him among the front-runners for the position.

And Tony Perkins, who runs the Family Research Council where Blackwell serves as a senior fellow, is doing his part to help him get elected, issuing press releases endorsing him and touting his qualifications to right-wing news outlets:

"The party is at a turning point right now where its first really open election of a party chairman is taking place," notes Perkins. "And Ken Blackwell is probably the most qualified in terms of his background of being elected to statewide office three times in Ohio, having worked with the U.N. [on] the Human Rights Commission."

And while Blackwell has "done a whole lot in his political career," Perkins emphasizes that the former university administrator and educator is also a solid conservative -- "one who understands the importance of faith and family and freedom, [and] lower taxes," he adds.

Since losing his own bid for Governor of Ohio in 2006, Blackwell has kept a rather low profile and more or less refrained from making bold public proclamations decrying gays like he did during his campaign when he was travelling the state with Rod Parsley - so maybe now would be a good time to remind ourselves of some of the remarks Blackwell made before he decided he wanted to be RNC chair:

In a newspaper interview Sunday, the Republican candidate for Ohio's governorship, J. Kenneth Blackwell, compared gay people to arsonists and kleptomaniacs who can be "changed." The religious conservative and current secretary of state made the controversial remarks in a question-and-answer session with The Columbus Dispatch, Ohio's largest paper.

"I think homosexuality is a lifestyle, it's a choice, and that lifestyle can be changed," Blackwell said in response to the question "Is homosexuality a sin, and can gays be cured?" according to published transcripts. "I think it is a transgression against God's law, God's will."

He continued: "The reality is, again...that I think we make choices all the time. And I think you make good choices and bad choices in terms of lifestyle. Our expectation is that one's genetic makeup might make one more inclined to be an arsonist or might make one more inclined to be a kleptomaniac. Do I think that they can be changed? Yes."

And who could ever forget this gem from 2004:

Ohio's Secretary of State is coming out strong in support of Issue One, the measure that would ban same-sex marriage. Kenneth Blackwell spoke to an energized crowd at the Cathedral of Praise Tuesday night.

Blackwell said it's time for people of God to take a stand. He even drew a comparison between same-sex couples and farm animals. "I don't know how many of you have a farming background but I can tell you right now that notion even defies barnyard logic ... the barnyard knows better," said Blackwell referring to the idea of same-sex marriage.

Blackwell was joined by Pastor Rod Parsley, president of The Center for Moral Clarity. The two men are traveling across the state trying to rally support for Issue One. News 11 contacted Secretary Blackwell's office today for further explanation. His press secretary issued the following statement on Blackwell's behalf: "Part of the function of marriage is to reproduce the human race and same-sex marriage cannot carry out that function."

This man now wants to lead the Republican Party and so it comes as no surprise that the professional anti-gay activists like Perkins, Dobson, and their ilk are lining up to ensure that he does.

Handing the RNC Over to Rod Parsley and Friends

As we noted a few weeks ago, former Ohio Secretary of State and current Family Research Council fellow Ken Blackwell is seeking the chairmanship of the Republican National Committee.  In recent days, he's secured several "high-profile endorsements from the Club for Growth, Gun Owners of America and prominent conservatives like Steve Forbes" and now it looks like he is taking the next step in his attempt to consolidate his standing as a front-runner by announcing that he's found a like-minded running mate:

Texas Republican Party Chairman Tina Benkiser has teamed up with Ohio´s Ken Blackwell in the contest to lead the Republican National Committee over the next two years.

The Washington Times has learned Mrs. Benkiser has decided to forgo a run for RNC national chairman and instead to run for co-chairman, a traditionally less powerful position that historically, with one exception, has been held by a woman.

“If I ran for chairman, I decided after looking over the field, it might contribute to dividing the conservative vote and allowing a moderate to win,” she told The Times in a phone interview Tuesday.

In the draft of a letter to be sent to other voting members of the national committee, she writes that she “decided to run for the co-chair position because a chairman candidate has emerged who has everything it takes to help us restore our party and return to our winning ways. Ken Blackwell has the courage and experience to both lead and inspire us to achieve great things as a party.”

Mrs. Benkiser, a practicing attorney in Houston, is an evangelical Christian who, like Mr. Blackwell, opposes same-sex marriage and legalized abortion but, also like him, emphasizes “pro-growth” economic polices of low-taxes, small government and reduced regulations on business where possible.

Like Mr. Blackwell, she maintains the GOP doesn't need to be less conservative to win future elections but needs to have its elected officials at all levels of government adhere to the principles of spending restraint, low taxes and respect for family values and personal honesty for which the GOP claims to stand.

“Our national party grew and was entrusted with leadership when it stayed true to its conservative principles,” she says in her letter to other members. “Focusing on fiscal responsibility, a strong national defense and traditional family values brought unprecedented growth to the party not that long ago. America was and still is a center-right country.”

As we noted before, Blackwell came to national prominence back in 2006 when he hooked up [PDF] with Rod Parsley and his Reformation Ohio movement:

With Blackwell’s gubernatorial campaign in full swing, the “Patriot Pastor” events have featured Johnson and Parsley highlighting Blackwell and extolling the candidate’s virtues. At a rally on the state Capitol steps, Parsley boomed over a Jumbotron screen, “Let the Reformation begin! Shout it like you’re going to carry the blood-stained banner of the cross of Christ the length and breadth of the Buckeye State!” Parsley then introduced Blackwell as “a man of great conviction, consistently standing for family, life, marriage, and faith throughout his public service.” At other events, Johnson followed Blackwell’s speech to pastors by presenting the man he called a “leader of leaders” with a “courageous leadership award” in the form of a large, gilded-eagle trophy—a ritual he repeated a number of times before different audiences of pastors.

Considering that it was just a few months ago that John McCain was forced to publicly repudiate the endorsements he had received from Parlsey and John Hagee, it seems rather odd that the next head of the RNC could be someone like Blackwell, who has had a long and very public alliance with Parsley:

Whereas McCain barely knew the men and courted them purely for political purposes, Blackwell was deeply involved in Parsley's Patriot Pastors movement and regularly participated in their events during his run for Governor in 2006, so much so that the IRS was asked to investigate those churches involved for potential violations

Parsley and Johnson hosted Blackwell as the featured guest speaker at numerous events, in which the candidate was honored with some award or endorsed explicitly from the stage. Parsley even flew Blackwell to one “Patriot Pastor” function on a church-owned plane. This campaign was only part of a broader agenda to promote Blackwell at bigger and bigger rallies featuring famous religious-right leaders, leading up to the primary election and beyond, and indeed including radio spots featuring Blackwell. The radio spots and the rallies with James Dobson never materialized, but far from being a “baseless allegation,” this plan was posted publicly on Johnson’s “Ohio Restoration Project” web site in 2005.

We understand that many in the Republican Party feel that their recent electoral losses stem from a failure to adequately adhere to the Religious Right's agenda.  If turning the RNC into a wholly-owned subsidiary of the Religious Right is what they think is in the best interest of the party, then they couldn't find a better chairman than Ken Blackwell.

The Right’s New Plan to De-Fund Planned Parenthood

The Wall Street Journal reports that right-wing anti-choice advocates are changing the direction of their efforts to de-fund Planned Parenthood away from pressuring state and local governments to gut the organization’s funding because of its mission in favor of pressuring them to stop funding to organization because it is too rich and doesn’t need the money:

Abortion opponents are pressing state and local governments to stop sending taxpayer dollars to Planned Parenthood, arguing that the nonprofit group has plenty of cash and shouldn't be granted scarce public funds at a time of economic crisis … [T]he new lobbying effort, backed by conservative Christian groups such as the Family Research Council, focuses more on economic than moral concerns. The campaign paints Planned Parenthood as a wealthy organization that doesn't need taxpayer help. Planned Parenthood reported record revenue and a $115 million budget surplus last year, and it is building a network of elegant health centers to attract middle-class clients.

The Family Research Council is developing a kit to help grass-roots activists dig through financial reports so they can make detailed presentations to elected officials about the assets and revenue of local Planned Parenthood chapters. The council has sent letters to 1,200 state legislators describing Planned Parenthood's strong financial position and urging "a second look" at public funding.

With a Democratic president soon to take office, "we're very limited as to what we can do" on a federal level, said Thomas McClusky, vice president for government affairs at the Family Research Council. "But on the local level, there are a lot of victories to be had." The group has been courting elected officials who they think would be receptive in states including Indiana, Ohio, Virginia and Kentucky.

Two More Culture Warriors Seek RNC Chair

Over the weekend, Family Research Council fellow Ken Blackwell announced that he was seeking to become the next chairman of the Republican National Committee:

Ken Blackwell, a former U.N. ambassador and former Ohio secretary of state, has become the second black man to plunge into the heated contest for Republican National Committee chairman, The Washington Times has learned.

Mr. Blackwell, 60, joins former Maryland Lt. Gov. Michael S. Steele, the other black Republican seeking to be the next national chairman when the 168-member Republican National Committee meets Jan. 28-31 in Washington.

Mr. Blackwell has worked with economic, national security and religious conservatives in his party.

"I am a full-portfolio conservative," Mr. Blackwell, 60, said in a phone interview Saturday from his home in Cincinnati. He noted that he is a board member of of the National Taxpayers Union, the Club for Growth and the National Rifle Association and holds fellowships at the Family Research Council and the Texas Public Policy Foundation.

In a letter to RNC members announcing his candidacy, Mr. Blackwell notes that he "vocally opposed tax increases offered" by his state's Republican governor and "helped to successfully lead the fight to amend the Ohio Constitution to ban government recognition of same-sex marriages."

Blackwell first made a name for himself back in 2006 when he linked up with the “Patriot Pastors” [PDF] in Ohio run by Rod Parsley and Russell Johnson:  

It was during the Issue 1 campaign that Parsley and Johnson began a fruitful collaboration with the amendment’s chief proponent, Ohio Secretary of State Kenneth Blackwell. Blackwell’s close association with Parsley and Johnson has continued since the passage of the anti-gay constitutional amendment, ranging from public rallies and “Patriot Pastors” policy briefings to flying on a church-owned plane.

With Blackwell’s gubernatorial campaign in full swing, the “Patriot Pastor” events have featured Johnson and Parsley highlighting Blackwell and extolling the candidate’s virtues. At a rally on the state Capitol steps, Parsley boomed over a Jumbotron screen, “Let the Reformation begin! Shout it like you’re going to carry the blood-stained banner of the cross of Christ the length and breadth of the Buckeye State!” Parsley then introduced Blackwell as “a man of great conviction, consistently standing for family, life, marriage, and faith throughout his public service.” At other events, Johnson followed Blackwell’s speech to pastors by presenting the man he called a “leader of leaders” with a “courageous leadership award” in the form of a large, gilded-eagle trophy—a ritual he repeated a number of times before different audiences of pastors.

And today, Mike Huckabee’s campaign manager Chip Saltsman has announced his own bid for the RNC chairmanship and Huckabee is already doing what he can to generate support for his close ally:  

I am proud to endorse Chip Saltsman for RNC Chair.  Chip has proven to be a dynamic leader within the Republican Party over the years.  His youth and experience are combinations that are vital to leading the Party into the 21st Century.  Over the last two years I have seen Chip in action and have observed and admired his talents as a tactician and strategist.  Chip Saltsman's management of my Presidential campaign showed Chip's skills to operate in a very frugal manner, something that will greatly benefit the RNC.

As the Party searches for the leadership skills necessary to lead the Republican Party forward I believe that they will find that Chip Saltsman is the right person for the position of RNC Chair.  Chip's technological skills will be an important part of his accomplishments with the RNC. The national party needs to function so as to empower and assist local and state party organizations and become a more ground-up, grassroots army.  Chip Saltsman will bring energy and a willingness to listen and open doors to new ideas.  I urge you to visit Chip's website at www.chipsaltsman.com and learn more about this uniquely talented man.

The Georgia Renewal Project

I wrote a post last year noting that the Right-Wing had a lot of different groups under which they pressed the agenda.  On top of their own organizations, a lot of right-wing leaders are also involved in umbrella organizations like the Arlington Group and the Council for National Policy.  There are also various state-level organziations like the "Patriot Pastors" movement and the "Restoration Projects" that are active in places like Texas and Ohio. 

And then there are things like the Iowa Renewal Project, where Mike Huckabee hobnobbed with various right-wing leaders as he rallied to win the Iowa primary.   Apparently there is also one in Georiga as well, which is slated to host Gov. Sonny Perdue, Daivd Barton, Mat Staver and other for a luncheon next week:

Georgia Renewal Project

Cordially invites you to participate in its Pastors' Policy Briefing Luncheon

Rediscovering God in America

With Special Guests

The Honorable Sonny Perdue
Governor of Georgia

and

Historian David Barton
WallBuilders

Who will be accompanied by

The Honorable Bob McEwen
Dr. Mat Staver
and other guest speakers

To be held at the Renaissance Waverly Hotel
2450 Galleria Pkwy, Atlanta, GA 30339
on Tuesday, November 25, 2008.

11:30 AM - 2:30 PM
Registration begins at 11:00 AM.

There will be a reception prior to the luncheon beginning at 11:00 AM.

The luncheon is complimentary and will be provided by the Georgia Renewal Project.

CWA's Beverly LaHaye also seems to be involved, as she is issuing her own invitations to the event.

I have to admit that, as someone who follows this stuff for a living, even I am routinely confused by sheer number of different organizations that have different names, yet all seem to contain the same handful of Religious Right leaders. 

Huckabee, Santorum, Corsi Show Up in New Anti-Obama DVD

The Associated Press reports that Rick Santorum, Mike Huckabee, Ken Blackwell, Jerome Corsi, and others all make an appearance in a new anti-Obama DVD produced by Citizens United that is set to be included with newspapers in swing states just before the election:

Readers of Ohio's three largest newspapers, along with papers in Florida and Nevada, are finding an anti-Barack Obama DVD in editions this week.

Citizens United, a conservative advocacy group based in Washington, plans to release a 95-minute film in the five swing-state publications to highlight Obama's record on abortion rights, foreign policy and his past associations, including his relationship with former pastor Rev. Jermiah Wright. The group said it planned to spend more than $1 million to distribute about 1.25 million copies of "Hype: The Obama Effect."

"We think it's a truthful attack. People can take it anyway they want," said David Bossie, Citizens United's president.

Readers of The Columbus Dispatch received their copy Tuesday. The Cincinnati Enquirer, The (Cleveland) Plain Dealer, The Palm Beach (Fla.) Post and the Las Vegas Review-Journal are scheduled to receive them in coming days.

The film raises questions about Obama's political base in Chicago and questions the media's reporting on Obama.

Among those interviewed are conservative columnist Robert Novak, former Clinton strategist-turned-pundit Dick Morris and former Ohio Secretary of State Ken Blackwell. Former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee, former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum and discredited Obama critic Jerome Corsi also give interviews.

Right Beseeches Schieffer to Help McCain

For the last week or so, as the economy continues to dominate the news cycle and presidential election, the Right has been lamenting that their anti-abortion, anti-gay agenda has been relegated to the back burner and wishing that they could choose right-wing moderators to run the debates.  

But since they can’t do that, they’ve decided to do the next best thing and petition Bob Schieffer, the moderator of the final debate, to make sure their issues play prominent in tonight’s debate.  Earlier this week, Ken Blackwell, a senior fellow at the Family Research Council, wrote an "open letter" to Schieffer decrying Tom Brokaw's failure to work their agenda into the last debate:

Mr. Brokaw’s choice of topics for the second debate robbed the American people of what was intended to be a look into the more personal and controversial aspects of the candidates. In that debate focusing on domestic policy, there was not a single question about the Supreme Court, gun control, abortion, gay marriage or immigration. It strains credulity to assert that of the more than 1,000 questions offered to Mr. Brokaw, he could not find any that spoke to these issues.

And now the FRC has followed suit. Declaring that “no issue our nation faces is more important than the protection of innocent unborn life,” the FRC has launched a petition to try and pressure Schieffer into asking questions designed to rally so-called “values voters” behind John McCain:

The American people face many crucial issues in this year's elections, including the state of the economy, immigration, health care, the environment, and foreign policy.  The first two presidential debates this year, however, have failed to include the most pressing social issues on the minds of values voters.  We the undersigned urge you to ask questions along the lines of those listed below, which discuss the future of marriage and the sanctity of human life.  These are questions that matter to all Americans, and you have the last remaining opportunity for the American people to compare the candidates' answers as they appear together for the final presidential debate of 2008.

* Do you believe that the U.S. Constitution contains a right for homosexuals to marry?
* Would you change the traditional definition of marriage contained in the federal Defense of Marriage Act?
* Do you support the Defense of Marriage Act's provision allowing states not to recognize same-sex marriages from other states?
* Have you ever opposed any ballot initiative seeking to define marriage as a relationship between one man and one woman?
* Do you agree or disagree with the Supreme Court's decision allowing the government to ban abortions that kill a partially born baby?
* Have you ever supported or opposed any law designed to protect the lives of babies that have survived an attempted abortion?

Moderating a debate is a great responsibility that rests on your shoulders.  We ask that you exercise that responsibility with great care to ensure that the American people have the chance to know where the candidates stand on every pressing issue. 

And just in case this effort doesn’t work out, FRC Action is doing its own part to support McCain by running anti-Obama ads in several battleground states:

Today, FRC Action PAC announced an initial $100,000 TV and radio ad campaign in key battleground states aimed at educating voters on Senator Barack Obama's promise to make the radical "Freedom of Choice Act" his top priority as President. The "Freedom of Choice Act" will overturn virtually all federal and state limitations on abortion. The ad campaign is a response to the Matthew 25 initiative, which sought to mislead voters and downplay Obama's extreme pro-abortion views. The initial TV and radio ad buy will run this week in Ohio, Pennsylvania, Colorado, and Michigan, with additional television commercials airing in the Washington, D.C. market. The radio ads will target Christian radio stations that earlier this year carried the Matthew 25 campaign.

God Has Chosen Palin to be VP

Several weeks back, we noted that some of Sarah Palin’s more ardent right-wing supporters were comparing her to Queen Esther and declaring that she was “destined to be the matriarch of her people.”

Now, Sarah Posner in her latest FundamentaList points to this post by Stephen Strang in which Strange shares an email from Pastor Mark Arnold in Lebanon, Ohio who explains how God worked miracles so that he could meet Palin personally and “deliver a message confirming to Sarah and Todd to realize they are truly chosen vessels of God”: 

On Sept. 9, the McCain/Palin bus came through a little town called Lebanon, Ohio. The Lord allowed me to go to the rally [to give McCain and Palin] a message that He wanted me to personally deliver.

Sunday Night: A burden hit me that would only shake me to my knees--I prayed and wept for our nation. Never has my heart been so broken before God. I literally interceded for these wonderful people who do not deserve all the hate against them. The God-haters are going to try everything to stop them, but they will not succeed!

God is not pleased with the “bashing” in the news of this “anointed” person [Sarah Palin]. He has called her for this time! I promised God that I would pray and hold them up in prayer. I would “listen” out and be mindful of where they were. The following day is important in this time line ... because I didn't even know until God spoke to me.

Monday and into Monday night: The burden of prayer was so heavy that I was literally shaking and could not stop weeping. I didn't know that they were coming to Ohio. I prayed and walked and wept and walked. I prayed and prayed and wept and prayed.

Tuesday at 2:00 a.m.: God spoke these words to me: “Go turn the radio on!” Immediately the reporter's words were, “McCain & Palin bus to be in Lebanon later this morning for a 10:00 a.m. rally!”

Immediately on hearing that news, I heard God again. God said, “You are to go. You will meet them and give them a message for Me!”

I prayed as an intercessor and went to a place in prayer that I don't think I've ever been … because the Lord had just visited me … and I knew I was on a “mission.” I had now been up since Sunday night … and now it's Tuesday and I've got to go on the “Word of the Lord.” He sure became my strength as this unfolds.

I didn't stop praying until I drove over to the town and parked the car. The news would later report they were expecting 5,000 people, [but] the actual head-count of those who had been scanned was more than 10,000 people.

I simply obeyed … and God actually told me where to stand, who to talk to … and when to be on the move. I had sure learned on the mission field, when God wants to open a door, He will do it at the appropriate time. He always has someone to assist … and even those standing beside you may just be an angel.

When McCain came to hug her … he immediately shook my hand and following his moment with her, I shook his hand as he grabbed my hand, now for the second time, and I said, “God wants you to know that I'm praying for you, Sir!” He thanked me and kept smiling. I repeated that phrase to him five times. He grabbed my hands and looked right into my eyes and said, “I won't make it without prayer. Sir, thank you for praying for me, and don't let one day go by that you don't pray for me. I need all the prayers that I can get. Thank you, thank you, thank you!”

As he moved to my right, Sarah Palin came over to my left side … standing over the crowd and then looking at the little lady who had lost the son. It took a moment for her to shake some hands and people were pushing in all around. Sarah came and got on her hands and knees on that side of the stage and hugged that little mom, telling her, “It was not in vain.” She promised her support.

It was at this moment Sarah Palin reached out for me to help her up, and as I was assisting her to stand, I was now face-to-face with her, and God said, “Open up your mouth and I will fill it.”

Here is what came out:

“God wants you to know that you are a present-day Esther!”

[She immediately began to cry!]

“God wants to tell you that you are chosen for such a time as this!”

“You are called, and chosen to be a leader.”

“Don't lose heart and don't fear man.”

“The news and naysayers and criticizers are going to be very hateful toward you … and in the days ahead they are going to turn up the heat … but do not fear.”

“You are a present-day Esther.” You are an Esther. You are an Esther!

“Keep your eyes on God and know that He has chosen you to reign!”

“Stay strong ... be strong ... don't tire. Don't be weary in well-doing. Be strong.”

Her husband, Todd, came over, and I told him what I told her. He began to cry.

I emphasized the fact that he was to guard her at this time … and know that “she is God-called and God-anointed.”

“This is a God-thing and your wife is a present-day Esther ... she is for God to use at this time ... she is an Esther ... she is an Esther ... she is an Esther.”

“You will be hated … but stand strong … God has called both of you to stand!”

“We are praying and I am praying for you!”

At this moment, McCain came right to where I was finishing talking to Todd, and I told Mr. McCain exactly what I told to Sarah and Todd Palin.

“Mr. McCain … they are called of God and she is an Esther.”

“Don't lose hope and don't lose heart.”

“We are praying for all of you!”

He shook my hand and with a deep look of understanding what I had just said, he said, “Thank you for your prayers and support ... I really do mean that!”

And he turned and shook more hands … and I watched them as they went through the crowd.

When I got to my car I sat there for quite a long time … knowing the God of the universe had just used me to deliver a message confirming to Sarah and Todd to realize they are truly chosen vessels of God.

I wept. I have not stopped praying and crying. My heart is full knowing they had to have all the staging and all the hype and all the crowd … but the God of heaven and earth … wanted to give them a divine God-appointment!


McCain Stuck Playing Second Fiddle to His Own Running Mate

The Dallas Morning News reports that David Barton of Wallbuilders has been out on the road doing what he does every election cycle – working the churches in an effort to get people to vote Republican:

David Barton never specifically mentioned Sarah Palin from the pulpit. But everybody knew what he meant.

"Christians, you've got to register. You've got to vote. You've got to vote your values," the Texan told parishioners who packed Genoa Baptist Church last week.

But this time around, it looks like his job might be a little more challenging because, even though the Religious Right loves Palin, they are still unsure about her running mate:

His warning, designed to push attendees at Tuesday's event to the polls, may be prescient. Ms. Palin's nomination initially energized Christian conservatives, the constituency that has helped Republicans win elections for a generation.

But in this key swing state and elsewhere, there's still a sense of impending political doom.

Ms. Palin is wildly popular with conservative evangelicals, but they're still lukewarm over John McCain, because of past disappointments, Republican miscues, Bush fatigue and especially the roiling economic crisis.

In fact, while right-wing support for the McCain campaign has skyrocketed since he tapped Palin, it looks like McCain himself is barely even figuring into the Right’s get-out-the-vote efforts on behalf of his campaign:   

Phil Burress, who heads the group, spearheaded passage of the Ohio marriage amendment in 2004. In June, he told Mr. McCain at a private meeting in Cincinnati that if he didn't pick an anti-abortion running mate, he would lose evangelical support – and the state of Ohio as a result.

"I know evangelicals, and they were sitting on their hands," he said. "The ship was just sitting there, nobody at the steering wheel and no engine running."

He's confident Ms. Palin changed things, but that might not be enough. Recent polls indicate Mr. Obama's lead is growing in Ohio.

Mr. Burress said he has faith. There's a bumper sticker his wife put on their car that says, "Palin Power."

"It doesn't even say anything about John McCain," he said.

Economic Crisis the Result of “Breakdown in the Family”

There have been several articles recently suggesting that with John McCain’s decision to name Sarah Palin as his running mate, the focus of the election was shifting toward wedge issues like abortion and gay marriage and that the so-called “culture war” was about to be reignited, to the benefit of the Republican Party.

But that was before the economy went into a meltdown and became the primary issue in the campaign.  Of course, just because the focus has shifted away from their issues doesn’t mean that the Religious Right isn’t desperately trying to find ways of exploiting the current economic crisis to further their own agenda:

While the economy clearly is at the forefront of voter priorities, conservative Christians also draw a connection between traditional social issues like abortion and gay marriage and the economy, said Tony Perkins, president of the Washington-based Family Research Council.

"As there's a breakdown in the family and the family weakens, it's only logical it will hit Wall Street," Perkins said. "A nation cannot be strong just because of a financial structure alone. It has to have strong families and values."

Obviously, as soon as women stop having abortions and gays stop trying to get married and adopt children everything on Wall Street will turn right around.  It’s as simple as that.

McCain-Palin No Show, No Problem

As we noted last week, both John McCain and Sarah Palin seemed to be intentionally avoiding being seen in public with the Relgious Right.  And that indeed seems to be the case:

At this year’s conference, Romney will be a headliner tomorrow night, Huckabee appears by video Saturday, and McCain… won’t be there at all. Despite being in Washington D.C. for the day on Saturday with no public appearances, the Arizona senator isn't expected to take up the offer to speak at the summit, organized by the Family Research Council’s legislative arm and co-sponsored by the likes of Focus on the Family and Gary Bauer’s “American Values” group.

According to The Brody File, Palin was actually scheduled to appear but then pulled out at the last minute, just as she did with Phyllis Schlafly's reception at the Republican convention, but offered to send a video message, which organizer's of the Values Voter Summit dismissed as "not enough." 

But just because Palin and McCain don't want to be seen with the Right doesn't mean that the Right is holding it against them.  In fact, the Right seems to fully understand that McCain has already caved to them and thus they are perfectly happy with his efforts to distance himself from them in order to get back to pretending to be a maverick: 

John McCain won't attend a gathering of religious conservatives this weekend -- and the Republican presidential nominee won't have to ask forgiveness.

The Arizona senator's selection of Alaska Governor Sarah Palin as his running mate has appeased the evangelical and social conservatives who form his party's core voters. Now, they are letting him know that he doesn't need to further demonstrate his fealty.

Last year, McCain felt compelled to appear at the Values Voter Summit in Washington to woo the religious conservatives who have long mistrusted him. That's not necessary this time: members of the movement now ``know exactly what's going on,'' said Phil Burress, president of Citizens for Community Values in Ohio and a summit attendee.

``I understand if he thinks he's got us,'' said Burress, who led Ohio's 2004 effort to ban gay marriage. ``The Palin appointment guaranteed his base.''

...

``If he can spend his time somewhere else gathering votes, then that's where he should be,'' Burress said. ``The important thing is winning,'' he said, reflecting a new pragmatism from evangelicals who have been slow to embrace McCain.

...

Richard Land, a leader of the 18 million-member Southern Baptist convention, said conservatives appreciate McCain's efforts and don't expect him to make their agenda a cornerstone of his campaign in the closing two months of the election, at least publicly.

``Actions speak louder than words and Sarah Palin speaks not just volumes, but a whole library,'' Land said.

McCain’s Anti-Choice Choice

In the moments after John McCain revealed his choice of Sarah Palin as his running mate, a group of right-wing luminaries held a conference call to publicly swoon over her selection. “She could not be a better Vice Presidential pick,” gushed Marjorie Dannenfelser of the Susan B. Anthony List, an anti-abortion group. Ken Blackwell, the controversial former Ohio Secretary of State and vice chairman of the GOP platform committee, concurred: “I just think that John McCain couldn’t have made a better choice.”

The reason for their enthusiasm was clear – abortion. Or rather, Palin’s opposition to it, even in cases of rape or incest. Blackwell called the McCain-Palin ticket the “strongest pro-life team with a pro-life platform in the history of the Republican party.” Coming from an anti-abortion zealot like Blackwell, that’s not faint praise.

Not surprisingly, the speakers thought Palin stacked up favorably against Joe Biden. In response to a question posed by Sarah Posner, Father Frank Pavone of Priests for Life said that Palin is a good Catholic and Biden is no Catholic at all: “He's a Catholic who's contradicting one of the key tenants of Catholicism. And claiming that he's practicing is simply not true. You can't practice the faith when you deny it.” (Pavone failed to note that Palin was rebaptized into the Assemblies of God as a girl.)

McCain has worked for years to cultivate his maverick image, including deliberate efforts to obscure his strong anti-choice record and sentiments. But no such ambiguity is possible with Palin on the ticket. “For those who have had ambivalence or who have simply been unsure of how pro-life Senator McCain is – and of course his voting record is very strong on pro-life – now that ambivalence will certainly be counteracted by this VP selection,” said Pavone.

McCain shouldn’t take too much comfort in the heaps of praise from the far right because it cuts both ways. As he removes lingering doubts among Religious Right voters, he is creating new doubts among moderate voters who are increasingly seeing the holes in his maverick schtick. He’s riding a public opinion seesaw, and not even real straight talk will get him off it.

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Ohio Posts Archive

Kyle Mantyla, Thursday 02/24/2011, 6:47pm
FRC is urging activists to contact the Members of Congress and get them to "intervene in the ongoing litigation challenging DOMA." Bryan Fischer says the DOMA decision is "inexcusable and even impeachable" and proof that Obama is "no patriot and is a clear and present danger to his own country." But apparently, the fact that the Obama administration will not defend DOMA is good news for the Religious Right because "DOMA will now get a much better defense." Roy Moore has been traveling to Iowa a lot lately, but... MORE
Kyle Mantyla, Wednesday 02/16/2011, 3:48pm
As we have mentioned several times before, John Stemberger of the Florida Family Policy Council, was an early and central player in the Rifqa Bary saga when she turned up in Florida in 2009.  His actions during that case have now resulted in misconduct complaint being filed against him by the Florida Bar as well as a $10 million defamation lawsuit from the attorney who represented Bary's parents. As such, Stemberger has set up a legal defense fund to cover his mounting legal expenses that has the support of Jerry Bokin, Newt Gingrich, Tony Perkins, Lou Engle and David Barton.  And... MORE
Kyle Mantyla, Wednesday 02/16/2011, 3:48pm
As we have mentioned several times before, John Stemberger of the Florida Family Policy Council, was an early and central player in the Rifqa Bary saga when she turned up in Florida in 2009.  His actions during that case have now resulted in misconduct complaint being filed against him by the Florida Bar as well as a $10 million defamation lawsuit from the attorney who represented Bary's parents. As such, Stemberger has set up a legal defense fund to cover his mounting legal expenses that has the support of Jerry Bokin, Newt Gingrich, Tony Perkins, Lou Engle and David Barton.  And... MORE
Kyle Mantyla, Monday 02/14/2011, 11:11am
As we have noted several times in recent weeks, Faith 2 Action's Janet Porter has recently resurfaced in her native Ohio and is leading the effort to pass anti-choice legislation called "The Heartbeat Bill." As part of this push, Porter has organized effort to send red, heart-shaped balloons to state legislators and today they are going to be delivered: Thousands of shiny red heart-shaped balloons will be delivered to legislators today thanking (nearly half the House members who are co-sponsors) and encouraging the others to "Have a Heart! Support the Heartbeat Bill!"... MORE
Kyle Mantyla, Monday 02/14/2011, 11:11am
As we have noted several times in recent weeks, Faith 2 Action's Janet Porter has recently resurfaced in her native Ohio and is leading the effort to pass anti-choice legislation called "The Heartbeat Bill." As part of this push, Porter has organized effort to send red, heart-shaped balloons to state legislators and today they are going to be delivered: Thousands of shiny red heart-shaped balloons will be delivered to legislators today thanking (nearly half the House members who are co-sponsors) and encouraging the others to "Have a Heart! Support the Heartbeat Bill!"... MORE
Brian Tashman, Wednesday 02/09/2011, 5:57pm
Live Action’s ongoing smear campaign against Planned Parenthood, where actors playing a pimp and a prostitute used hidden cameras to try to dupe clinic staffers into a sex trafficking ring, has ran into numerous hurdles. The radical group’s videos have found to be heavily doctored and actually show clinic workers acting properly and lawfully. In fact, before Live Action even released the edited tapes, Planned Parenthood alerted the FBI about visitors who sought advice for “underage girls who were part of a sex trafficking ring.” Live Action is led by anti-choice... MORE
Brian Tashman, Wednesday 02/09/2011, 5:57pm
Live Action’s ongoing smear campaign against Planned Parenthood, where actors playing a pimp and a prostitute used hidden cameras to try to dupe clinic staffers into a sex trafficking ring, has ran into numerous hurdles. The radical group’s videos have found to be heavily doctored and actually show clinic workers acting properly and lawfully. In fact, before Live Action even released the edited tapes, Planned Parenthood alerted the FBI about visitors who sought advice for “underage girls who were part of a sex trafficking ring.” Live Action is led by anti-choice... MORE