Suppose you are the President of the United States and you are nearing the end of your time in office with dismal approval ratings and a history of seeing a bunch of your controversial judicial nominees run into opposition in the Senate for a variety of reasons, so much so that you had even been forced to withdraw more than one nominee to the Fourth Circuit because of such opposition.
Would you, in an attempt to find nominees that could win widespread support, consider listening to home state Senators when they make bipartisan recommendations for filling vacancies to that circuit?
Senator Jim Webb today responded to the White House nomination of Duncan Getchell for the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals. After an extensive search to find highly qualified Virginians to fill the two vacancies, Senators Warner and Webb sent five recommended candidates to the White House. Duncan Getchell was not on this list.
“In the spirit of bipartisanship, Senator Warner and I submitted a list of five exemplary candidates to the White House whom this body could support. In an effort to fill the Virginia vacancies on the Fourth Circuit as quickly as possible, we undertook an open and extensive search to find five individuals whom we deemed eminently qualified.
“At the end of this process, Senator Warner and I submitted five outstanding candidates to the President. These five candidates possessed exceptional legal qualifications and received the highest ratings from the legal organizations and Bar Associations. Virginia has a long tradition of outstanding federal jurists. The names that Senator Warner and I offered were consistent with that tradition.
“Today, despite our good faith, bipartisan effort to accommodate the President, the recommendations that Senator Warner and I made have been ignored. The White House talks about the spirit of bipartisanship, lamenting congressional obstructionism. The White House cannot expect to complain about the confirmation of federal judges when they proceed to act in this manner.”
MCGUIREWOODS HIRED TO DEFEND GOP PLAN
29 August 2001
The attorney general's office has turned to the Republican- leaning Richmond law firm of McGuireWoods to help it defend a GOP redistricting plan against a Democratic lawsuit.
E. Duncan Getchell Jr. of Richmond has been appointed special counsel to the attorney general's office. The Republican-controlled General Assembly appropriated $500,000 to hire outside counsel if its redistricting plans were challenged in court.
Democrats filed suit in Salem Circuit Court, contending that the House of Delegates and Senate redistricting plans were unconstitutionally gerrymandered to diminish minorities' voting power and reduce representation by female legislators.
In charge of redistricting for the first time, Republicans redrew legislative districts to lump several Democratic incumbents into the same district and thereby create GOP-leaning open seats. The plan resulted in a handful of Democratic retirements in the House of Delegates.
McGuireWoods represented the state in 1981 when a redistricting plan by General Assembly Democrats was challenged. Its partners include former Attorney General Richard Cullen. U.S. Sen. George Allen was a partner in the law firm after leaving the governor's office in 1998.
Taxpayers paid for lawyers to attend PR meeting on redistricting
16 December 2003
RICHMOND, Va. (AP) - Virginia taxpayers picked up a $570 tab for a Richmond law firm's involvement at a public relations strategy meeting among top Republicans in a redistricting case, two Virginia newspapers reported in their Tuesday editions.
Participants in the meeting included Edmund A. Matricardi III, then executive director of the Virginia Republicans. It was held three days after Matricardi covertly monitored a high-level Democratic conference call about redistricting strategy and an hour before he would do it a second time.
McGuireWoods lawyers Frank B. Atkinson and E. Duncan Getchell Jr. submitted the bill to the Virginia attorney general's office, and the firm was paid at the rate of $285 an hour for attending the two-hour meeting in then-House Speaker S. Vance Wilkins Jr.'s office, the Daily Progress of Charlottesville and the Danville Register & Bee quoted officials as saying Monday.
Democrats questioned whether taxpayers should have paid for the McGuireWoods lawyers' participation in the March 25 GOP meeting.
Matricardi, as you may recall, pled guilty to a felony in 2004 after violating wiretapping laws by eavesdropping on Democratic conference calls.
And then, just for good measure, President Bush also nominated another Federalist Society member, Steve A. Matthews to the same circuit. Matthews just so happens to be a board member of the Collegiate Network - the right-wing media training ground that counts as alumni people like Rich Lowry, Dinesh D'Souza, and Ann Coulter - as well as a board member of the Landmark Legal Foundation, which nominated Rush Limbaugh for 2007 Nobel Peace Prize:
Rush Limbaugh is a nationally syndicated radio talk show host in the United States and one of the most popular broadcasters in the world. His daily radio show is heard on more than 600 radio stations in the United States and around the world. For 18 years he has used his show to become the foremost advocate for freedom and democracy in the world today. Everyday he gives voice to the values of democratic governance, individual opportunity and the just, equal application of the rule of law -- and it is fitting the Nobel Committee recognize the power of these ideals to build a truly peaceful world for future generations.
It is obvious that nothing energizes the Right like a fight over judicial nominees, especially fights that can be carried over into upcoming elections, and it seems if President Bush’s strategy for the remainder of his term is to continue his practice of going out of his way to pick such fights.
Ben Stein, the Nixon speechwriter immortalized by his acting role as a boring schoolteacher in the 1986 movie “Ferris Bueller’s Day Off,” is returning to movie academia in a documentary about “Intelligent Design” creationism. “Expelled: No Intelligence Allowed” sets out to expose what Stein calls “widespread suppression and entrenched discrimination that is spreading in our institutions, laboratories and most importantly, in our classrooms” in the form of the general rejection of ID—an outgrowth of creation science based on the premise that life is so complex it must have been created by God directly rather than through an evolutionary process—as a valid scientific theory.
“Expelled” paints ID advocates as the “rebels” of a “new scientific movement” doing battle against atheists and a world without morality. Like an earlier video produced by the late D. James Kennedy, “Expelled” attempts to link Darwin’s theory of evolution with Hitler and Nazi Germany; the film will feature shots of concentration camps to make that point.
While “Expelled” isn’t likely to advance acceptance of “scientific” study of the supernatural or move ID from the scholarly fringe, it will probably find a welcome audience among anti-evolution activists who look to ID as a back-door way to put creationism back in schools. The marketer who helped make “The Passion of the Christ” a blockbuster by promoting directly through churches is hoping to work the same magic on “Expelled,” so the film’s makers can hope for a constituency reenergized to engage the political debate, if not the scientific debate. That, after all, is the point of ID.
As we’ve chronicled several times over the last few weeks, the “Values Voter Presidential Debate” is scheduled for September 17 in Florida. Featuring a variety of right-wing leaders, the event is designed to give Republican presidential candidates an opportunity to directly address the concerns of, and answer questions from, figures like Phyllis Schlafly, Don Wildmon, Paul Weyrich, Roy Moore, Janet Folger, and Rick Scarborough.
Unfortunately for the organizers of the event, not one of the four top GOP candidates is willing to be seen with them:
The festivities, however, look likely to go off without a marquee name. Queried yesterday by The New York Sun, the McCain campaign cited a scheduling conflict. "We are not attending," a spokeswoman for Mr. McCain, Brooke Buchanan, replied by e-mail. "It's the last day of the No Surrender tour — we will be in South Carolina."
Likewise, the Romney campaign's Florida spokeswoman, Gail Gitcho, told the Sun that the former Massachusetts governor had "declined due to a scheduling conflict."
Mr. Thompson's press office also is citing "another event on his calendar that day."
The Giuliani camp didn't even bother with the scheduling-conflict ruse, providing the Sun with the text of a letter the former mayor's campaign manager, Michael DuHaime, sent to the debate's organizers on Friday. "Thank you for your kind invitation for Mayor Giuliani to attend a presidential debate hosted by Values Voters," Mr. DuHaime wrote. "Unfortunately Mayor Giuliani will be unable to accept your invitation."
Undoubtedly, that snub is not sitting well with them – and it is probably only being made worse by this:
Today FRC Action announced that GOP presidential candidate Mitt Romney will speak in a prime-time slot at the Washington Briefing 2007: Values Voter Summit on Friday evening, October 19.
So Romney is willing to show up at a “values voters” event hosted by the Family Research Council, Focus on the Family, American Values and others that features the likes of Tony Perkins, James Dobson, Gary Bauer, Robert Knight, and Richard Land but won’t have anything to do with the other Values Voter folks?
It seems as if Romney is willing to accept an invitation to speak to right-wing leaders and activists but is unwilling to actually take questions from them. While FRC and FOF tend to be considered more “reputable” right-wing groups than the Eagle Forum or Vision America, there is, in actuality, no substantive difference between the views, rhetoric, or mission of these groups. In fact, several of the participants in the Values Voter Debate are also participating in FRC’s Values Voter Summit, including Star Parker, Bobby Schindler, and Phyllis Schlafly.
So why is it that Romney is willing to pander to the Right at the Values Voter Summit, but is unwilling to actually answer questions from them at the Values Voter Debate?
Could it be because, while they want their support, they hope to achieve it in a way that allows them to avoid publicly pandering to them by answering questions such as “Do you believe the Ten Commandments should be posted on public property?" or “Do you believe that homosexuality is a sin?”
The movement to implement anti-immigrant ordinances on a local level—setting steep fines for those who rent housing to undocumented immigrants, for example, or hire them—has spread in recent months to the affluent northern Virginia suburbs of D.C. Herndon, VA has been embroiled in a dispute over a day-laborer center, and last week a county court struck down the town’s anti-solicitation ordinance. This summer, the state’s Prince William County adopted ordinances requiring police to investigate immigration status on all arrests, and to check immigration status on various public services. Loudoun County and other localities followed suit.
Most recently, anti-immigrant activists have converged on Manassas, an independent city situated inside Prince William County, where a group called “Help Save Manassas” has been pushing for ordinances. “I need to get the rest of the council on board, but I think it’s absolutely something we would want to do," said one city council member. "It's becoming apparent that, if anyone's going to save Manassas, it's Manassas.” While it’s not clear what the council member is trying to “save” Manassas from, his comments followed a boycott organized by pro-immigrant activists to protest the Prince William County measures.
Now, a new voice has appeared in the debate: the Ku Klux Klan distributed flyers in Manassas warning, “Mexicans are not her[e] to assimilate, they are here to form their own nation. And unless we get busy right NOW they will succeed!” (Watch the video report from WUSA.)
Greg Letiecq of Help Save Manassas distanced his group from the Klan, but incredibly, compared the infamous white supremacist organization to the pro-immigrant group behind the boycott. In the past, Letiecq has objected when Mexicans Sin Fronteras labeled the anti-immigrant ordinances racist. Now, as he puts it, the Klan is also “beating that racist drum again. It's amazing how much Mexicans Without Borders and the KKK have so much in common,” said Letiecq.
After months of “testing the water,” Fred Thompson finally made it official last night that he is indeed seeking the Republican presidential nomination. Seeking to make a splash in the race, Thompson skipped the scheduled GOP debate in New Hampshire, choosing instead to appear on “The Tonight Show with Jay Leno” to make the announcement - a move that seems to have irked his fellow Republican hopefuls.
While Thompson’s entry into the race and the manner in which he made it were expected, what would have really shaken up the Republican primary was if he could have walked onto the scene with the backing of the extremely influential Arlington Group, which very nearly happened, according to various sources.
On the September 5 edition of “Special Report with Brit Hume,” Fox News Chief Political Correspondent Carl Cameron reported:
[Thompson] has four months now to court conservatives that others have spent the whole year wooing. One example, the highly-influential Arlington Group, which is made up of various conservative and religious organizations and leaders, including Gary Bauer, a former presidential candidate and former head of the Family Research Council.
Sources say the Arlington Group had planned to throw its support behind Thompson tomorrow when he announces. That is now on hold because last week on the "National Review Online," Thompson aides said he would oppose a constitutional amendment that religious conservatives support banning gay marriage.
The National Review’s “The Campaign Spot” reports the same:
A reliable source has told me of huge, potentially bad news for the Thompson campaign — there is a very influential group of social and religious conservatives called the Arlington Group. Thompson addressed them earlier this year and, I was told, wowed them. It looked like he was going to collect a slew of impressive endorsements.
I've just been told that that group may be ready to say that they're not impressed with Thompson in recent months.
The Arlington Group is a coalition of dozens of powerful and influential right-wing organizations, which includes the likes of the Family Research Council, Focus on the Family, the American Family Association, American Values, the Free Congress Foundation, Vision America, and others.
The Boston Globe reported earlier this year that Republican candidates were eagerly courting the Arlington Group precisely because of the tremendous influence its members possess:
Leaders of the group have interviewed Huckabee, Senator Sam Brownback of Kansas, US Representative Duncan Hunter of California, and former House Speaker Newt Gingrich, who hasn't entered the race but may later this year. It's not clear which other candidates have been or will be interviewed. The group has not yet questioned Romney, Senator John McCain of Arizona, or former New York mayor Rudy Giuliani, according to those campaigns.
Because the Arlington Group is made up of many nonprofit organizations and ministries -- which, by law, cannot officially advocate for political candidates -- the coalition is not expected to explicitly endorse anyone. Instead, according to members of the group and two Republicans close to it, the conservative leaders hope to coalesce around one candidate that prominent members such as James Dobson, who heads Colorado-based Focus on the Family, could endorse individually. Dobson, for example, is free to say as a private citizen that he supports a certain candidate, a personal endorsement sure to influence many of his followers.
The group or its leaders might not even reach a consensus -- a similar effort in the 2000 race ended without agreement, and many conservatives have expressed frustration at the lack of a clear choice in the 2008 contest. But if they do, the political potential for that candidate would be significant. The Arlington Group encompasses roughly 70 grass-roots organizations around the country said to reach tens of millions of people collectively.
"It is our desire that all of us, in a united effort, could marshal our resources to the same end," said one member of the group, who spoke on condition of anonymity, because members agreed not to disclose the discussions publicly.
In a Republican primary in which the current candidates are actively courting support from the right-wing political leaders and organizations, receiving the stamp of approval from the Arlington Group would have been a significant development in Thompson’s campaign and delivered a tremendous boost for his chances of winning the nomination.
But it appears as if, at least for the time being, Thompson has lost that opportunity primarily because of his waffling on the question of whether he would “actively push a constitutional amendment banning gay marriage” were he to be elected president.
Pat Robertson, Who Said 'The Lord Told Me' that 'Romney Will Win,' Urges Viewers to Beware False Prophets
5/9/13 @ 1:00pm
Radio Host Frequented By Gun Activists Calls For Shooting of Bush Family & Obama, Sexual Violence Against Hillary Clinton
5/17/13 @ 2:37pm
Bachmann: 9/11 and Benghazi Were God's Judgment
5/10/13 @ 12:16pm
Robertson Tells Woman Whose Husband Cheated to Remember 'He's a Man' and be Grateful She Lives in America
5/15/13 @ 12:30pm
Bryan Fischer Won't Answer a Simple 'Yes' or 'No' Question
5/9/13 @ 11:37am
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