Following Tuesday’s election, RWW will bring you our list of the “The Ten Scariest Republicans Heading to Congress.” Our second candidate profile is on a hero to Idaho’s Religious Right and Tea Party movements, Raul Labrador:
In the Republican primary to see who would face off against Democratic Rep. Walt Minnick, Raul Labrador ran to the right of his very conservative opponent who was endorsed by Sarah Palin and the NRCC. Labrador rallied support from Religious Right and Tea Party groups in order to upset Republican Vaughn Ward, whose campaign imploded, and he went on to defeat Rep. Minnick.
Labrador made his right-wing views clear when he announced his campaign in an email “to a former Idaho blogger known for his extreme conservative views.” He supports withdrawing the US from the United Nations, returning to the Gold Standard, and eliminating the Department of Education. Labrador even wants to repeal the 17th Amendment and end the right of voters to elect their Senators, bizarrely saying that it is “the constitutional position to take” and the only way to make sure “that US Senators are actually beholden to the people.”
In the State House, Labrador said he will work “tirelessly to defund and repeal Obamacare” and spearheaded the passage of a bill which compels the Attorney General to challenge the health care reform law in federal court and bars the government from mandating coverage. When speaking to radio talk show host Laura Ingraham, Labrador maintained that the law was “historic, but remember, Benedict Arnold was also historic, he betrayed our nation. And I think the Democratic Party betrayed our nation yesterday as well.”
An anti-government zealot, he backed bills which seek to reaffirm Idaho’s sovereignty from the federal government, to limit “Congress’ power under the commerce clause,” and to stop the federal government from enforcing gun laws.
He won support from the Religious Right community and the American Family Association’s director of public policy and talk show host Bryan Fischer, who compared gays to terrorists and believes that Muslims should be prohibited from building mosques in the US, called Labrador his “good friend” and the two hosted Tea Party rallies together. Labrador voted to make the federal government “provide for the presence of God in the public domain,” supports the ban on openly gay and lesbian soldiers from serving in the military, and opposes same-sex marriage rights.
The Family Research Council Action PAC ran radio ads endorsing Labrador, who supported him as a result of his 100% anti-choice record: he voted to allow medical professionals to refuse contraceptives, voted in favor of increasing burdens on women seeking to terminate their pregnancy, and lauds his opposition to abortion in all cases. Penny Nance of the far-right Concerned Women for America showered praise on Labrador, the National Right to Life Committee extolled his “exemplary pro-life record,” and he was a principal legislative ally of Idaho Chooses Life.
A proponent of corporate interests, Labrador wants to scrap the progressive income tax in favor of a national sales tax, supports the Supreme Court’s decision in Citizens United, and signed Grover Norquist’s anti-tax pledge. Even though he opposes the Stimulus, as a State Representative he repeatedly voted in favor of spending federal money provided by the Stimulus. On immigration, Arizona’s notorious Sheriff Joe Arpaio endorsed Labrador, who has said that illegal immigrants are “going to have to self-deport.”
Raul Labrador’s fanatical mission to rewrite the Constitution and dismantle the federal government has generated massive support from the Tea Party, and Religious Right figures like Bryan Fischer and Peggy Nance have given Labrador their blessing as a result of his rigid anti-choice and anti-equality views. As a result of the election, Labrador is set to bring his extremist views and rightwing platform from the Idaho State House to the US Congress.