Category Archives: Anti-Gay

Ted Cruz – Climbing the Mountain

We knew it was only a matter of time until they climbed that mountain!

cruz

Ben Carson – The Second Elephant in the Room

trump-carson

Donald Trump has intrigued the world with his bombastic and bigoted approach to American politics. I say “intrigued” because not since George Wallace have the American people heard such hatred and venom spewed from a national presidential candidate. And never before have we witnessed any single candidate control and manipulate the media as adroitly as Donald Trump.

To many, he is an anomaly. To others he is a savior. And to the rest of us he is a buffoon who has bought his way into the political arena, and thinks that he can buy the White House. Is he a flash-in-the-pan? Will he tank in the near future? Quite possibly. If that should happen, what then? Who is next in the line of 17 potential Republican candidates? Interestingly, at this point in time, all signs point to Dr. Ben Carson.

While not the ostentatious windbag that Trump is, Carson should still give the American voter pause for his political and religious views. As a distinguished, retired neurosurgeon with no political experience, and with no party affiliation, Carson became a Republican in 2014, in what he called a “pragmatic move,” because he was considering a run for the presidency.

Carson is a Seventh Day Adventist with very strong religious views and a platform that is built around his beliefs. His popularity with Republican some voters is a reflection of this. When it comes to pressing issues, his stands are ultra-conservative and, in many instances Bible-based.

When it comes to abortion and a woman’s right to choose, Carson is vehemently anti-abortion, believing that life begins at conception. He is firmly against stem-cell research, even though it has recently come to light that he engaged in that same research earlier in his career.

Carson has long been an opponent of same-sex marriage. At one point, he was listed by the Southern Poverty Law Center as one of the extremists to watch. After a lot of pressure, the SPLC removed the label and the article and apologized to Carson. However, in a 2013, interview with FOX News, Carson made the following statement. “Marriage is between a man and a woman. It’s a well-established pillar of society and no group, be they gays, be they NAMBLA [North American Man/Boy Association, a group advocating pedophilia], be they people who believe in bestiality—it doesn’t matter what they are, they don’t get to change the definition.”

He would later go on to make comments indicating that he believed homosexuality is a choice, and that many people go into prison straight and come out gay.

Carson would certainly be supported by the NRA should he be successful in securing the nomination. His stance on gun-ownership, and his repeated statements about martial law, would earn him the NRA’s coveted A rating. Last year on Washington Times Radio, Carson made the following statement: “Citizens should be able to own weapons, they should not have to report what weapons they own so that somebody can come and collect those weapons before, you know, they start their martial law.”

Additionally, Carson believes that we must keep the detention center at Gitmo open to protect the American people; he wants Obamacare repealed and equates it to slavery; he thinks that Russia is a huge threat, and says that “All options should remain on the table when dealing with international bullies such as President Putin;” and he says that the United States should always stand with Israel and her people.

On the issue of immigration, Carson opposes birthright citizenship. In 2014, he wrote, “We must create a system that disincentivizes [sic] illegal immigration and upholds the rule of law while providing us with a steady stream of immigrants from other nations who will strengthen our society. Let’s solve the problem and stop playing political football,”

Perhaps one of the most prominent of his positions is his staunch belief that the United States was founded on Judeo-Christian principles, and that progressive activists are “attempting to drive faith out of our society. He recovers quickly by saying that all faiths should have a right to pray, “in private.”

Donald Trump brags about his enormous wealth, while Carson often speaks of his meager beginnings in rural Georgia. Trump rants and raves and says outrageous things to baits the media with his bodacious sound bites, while Carson is much lower keyed, and garners less attention. However, Carson is being heard by a good sized segment of the right-wing population and he is closing the gap with Trump.

While it is quite early in this election cycle, and it’s still anyone’s game, one thing is becoming abundantly clear – even Republican voters are dissatisfied with establishment politics, and have no stomach for dynasties. To Democrats and liberals, another thing is becoming very evident – and that is unless they want to give up the White House to the likes of a Donald Trump or Ben Carson, it is imperative that they turn out in record numbers to vote.

 

 

2016 Senatorial Elections Are Crucial to Democrats, Liberals, & Progressives

 

All eyes and media focus are currently on the 2016, presidential election. election-2016-buttonPrecious little attention is being given to the crucial senate races that will be waged in the next national election. This is an egregious error considering the current right-wing stranglehold on our government.

Once it became evident to the right that Barack Obama would be a two-term president, the financial guru’s who really run this country began to back congressional and state candidates, and to pave the way for the 2016 elections. Now that they have a majority, they clearly intend to buy the White House. That is why it is imperative that liberals and progressives begin today grooming and promoting viable Senate and House candidates who represent their interests. We do not have the luxury of waiting. Now it begins…

KELLY ANN AYOTE – Republican Senator from New Hampshire

Kelly AyotteAyotte is a first-term Senator whose seat will be up in 2016, for reelection. She is the former State Attorney General. Her name came up as a possible running mate for Mitt Romney in 2012, and the next year Newsmax magazine listed her as number 11 among the 25 most influential women in the Republican Party. They called her “an emerging force in Congress. 1

In a tight race during the 2010, elections, Ayotte drew the endorsements of such party notables as John McCain, Sarah Palin, Mitt Romney, Haley Barbour, Tom Coburn, and Rick Santorum.

In 2012, a scathing article appeared in Addicting Info which claimed:

“As Junior Senator, Ayotte voted against the United States Postal Amendments meant to save the Post Office, and against repealing tax deductions for oil companies. She voted for the Keystone XL Project, to extend the Bush tax cuts, and to reduce the corporate tax rate. She voted to remove all regulations regarding electronic debit card transactions and against emergency disaster relief appropriations, Ayotte is pro-fracking, pro-CISPA, and has an A rating from the NRA for her position on gun control. She is married to Lt. Joe Daley, a reservist fighter pilot, who flew combat missions in Iraq, and the mother of two children. Ms. Ayotte is on the front lines of the battle to treat captured terrorist suspects as prisoners of war rather than criminals. “We don’t want to tell a terrorist you have the right to remain silent, she says, “that’s the issue here.” Sarah Palin calls Kelly Ayotte, “a Granite State Mama grizzly who has broken barriers.”2

Upon careful review, I found those claims to be quite accurate. Ayotte is also pro-life and receives a consistent 100% rating from the National Right To Life Committee.

Her biggest donations came from Elliott Management Corporation which the management affiliate of hedge funds Elliott Associates, L.P. which is run by C.E.O., Paul Singer. In 2014, it was estimated that Singer had a net worth of $1.9 billion.

Interestingly, Singer, whose son is currently in a same-sex marriage, has donated millions of dollars to various organizations supporting LGBT rights, yet Kelly Ayotte is vehemently against gay marriage and gay adoptions.

Senator Kelly Ayotte is the goddess of right-wing conservatives. With close ties to Goldman Sachs, the Koch Brothers and much of corporate America it might be very hard to unseat her. However, if the left chooses to get its act together, it might not be impossible.

ROY DEAN BLUNT – Republican Senator from Missouri

roy bluntBlunt is a former member of the United States House of Representatives (1997-2011) who won a Senate seat in 2010. Back in 2006, at the height of the scandal involving Jack Abramoff, Blunt’s name was thrown into the mix and his involvement with both Abramoff and Tom Delay came into question.3

He has been endorsed in the past by Missouri National Right to Life, the Susan B. Anthony List, Michele Bachmann, Red State, and the National Rifle Association. His political action committee the Rely on Your Beliefs Fund has met with it’s own scandal when Blunt accepted more than $1.1 million from corporations donated by the same companies that were implicated in the indictment of his friend and colleague Tom DeLay.

Blunt is a staunch pro-life, Southern Baptist. In 2012, he proposed the “Blunt Amendment” that was piggy-backed onto a highway appropriations bill. The amendment would have blocked part of the Affordable Care Act that requires all insurance plans to cover the birth control pill. The proposed amendment would have allowed not only religious organizations, but any employer with a “moral objection” to opt out of birth control coverage. The amendment was ultimately defeated.4

Earning a 92% rating from the Christian Coalition, Blunt has voted against same-sex marriage and gay adoptions. He has voted in favor of defining marriage as between one man and one woman.

Additionally, he takes strong stands against the Separation of Church and State and Affirmative Action while advocating for the privatization of Social Security, faith-based initiatives, and an absolute right to gun ownership.

While in past elections he has won easily, there is an undercurrent of dissatisfaction that has been growing within the party regarding Blunt. Many Tea Party members and ultra-right-wingers are questioning his efficacy. That dissention could prove to be a real factor in unseating him. However, it could also mean that he could be replaced with someone even more radically conservative. It should signal Missouri Democrats and Progressives that this is a Republican seat that could be won by the right liberal. The time to start is yesterday.

JOHN NICHOLS BOOZMAN – Republican Senator from Arkansas

John BoozmanBoozman is an Optometrist and former United States Representative (2002-2010). In 2010, Boozman was the first Republican to be elected to the Senate since Reconstruction. So, how is that working out for them?

Being a true Southern Baptist, and a true hard-core conservative, John Boozman takes a very strong stand against abortion, women’s rights, LGBT issues, the separation of church and state, and immigration. He is a staunch gun-rights advocate and favors expanding the military.

His previous endorsements came from the Susan B. Anthony List, the National Rifle Association, Wal-Mart Stores, and Elliott Management. Earlier this year, Boozman was one of the 47 Republican senators to sign the controversial letter to Iranian leaders in an attempt to hinder negotiations with that country.

Last year, Boozman suffered a heart attack and underwent heart surgery, however, it doesn’t appear that he is slowing down, nor has there been any indication that he plans to retire. In August of last year the Arkansas Times published the following statement:

John Boozman meanwhile is one of the lowest profile Senators in the country. A plurality of voters in the state- 38%- have no opinion about him one way or the other. 34% approve of him to 28% who disapprove. Boozman’s big victory in 2010 was really a reflection on voters disliking Blanche Lincoln more than anything else, and it doesn’t appear that Boozman has made much of an impression in his own right.”5

The fact that Governor Beebe could beat Boozman in a “what if” scenario, however, is not indicative of anything on the horizon. The fact that there were 38% of those polled who had no opinion about him, could however, indicate that Arkansas voters are becoming more apathetic, or that they just don’t know what he is all about. At any rate, his seat will be up for grabs. It Democrats and Liberals put their skills to work, they really could pull this off.

RICHARD MAZUE BURR – Republican Senator from North Carolina

Richard BurrA former sales manager for Carswell Distributors, Burr has been in the United States Senate since 2005. Prior to that, he served 10 years in the House of Representatives.

Another hard-core conservative, Burr stands opposed to abortion, women’s rights and LGBT rights. While he opposes same-sex marriage on a personal level, he says that the decision should be up to individual states. He does not support the separation of church and state and believes in public school prayer as well as faith-based initiatives. He is a Second Amendment Advocate and wants to privatize social security.

Last year, as the ranking member on the Senate Committee of Veterans Affairs, Burr penned an angry letter to American veteran organizations for their failure to condemn the Secretary of Veterans Affairs, Erick Shinseki, for his part in the VA scandal, claiming that the leaders of these groups did not care about the health and well-being of their members.6

Burr was also one of the 47 Republicans who signed the controversial, and some say, treasonous, letter to Iranian officials.

In January of this year, Burr took over as the Chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee. Just prior to his becoming Chairman, then Chairwoman, Diane Feinstein had released the executive summary of the CIA’s torture program. The full report was sent to the President. As one of Burr’s first acts, he sent a letter to Obama asking him to return all copies of the report signaling his dedication to maintaining secrecy and curtailing transparency.7

Although there have been rumors that Burr was planning on retiring, he recently quashed our hopes by announcing that he intended to run again in 2016. As far as the polls are concerned, there is almost a dead even split among those counted with a 36% approval rate, 37% who disapprove. Given the controversy surrounding Burr’s recent maneuverings, one can only hope that this long-time politician will be relegated to the farm. But, Democrats had better have someone really strong waiting in the wings.

DANIEL RAY “DAN” COATS – Republican Senator from Indiana (Retiring)

Dan CoatsSo, in Indiana we have a hard-core Republican retiring from the United States Senate. But…don’t get too excited. There are a few others hoping to fill that seat, not the least of which is Coats’ congressional staffer, Eric Holcomb who has already announced.

While this race promises to spawn a lot of candidates, it is important to note that Eric Holcomb is very well known in Indiana as the former chairman of the state Republican Party, and where Mitt Romney carried the day by 10 points in the 2012 elections. He will have the same support and funding that propelled former Governor Mitch Daniels through two elections.

It is pretty safe to assume that Holcomb embraces the same right-wing values as Senator Dan Coats, and will continue down much the same path. There are several other Republicans who are considering, but who also might be apprehensive about challenging such a powerful figure. While no democrats have announced yet, Evan Bayh, former Governor and Senator, is mentioned quite frequently as a potential candidate. This will be a tough race, but Democrats need to get their ducks in a row quickly.

MICHAEL DEAN “MIKE” CRAPO – Republican Senator from Idaho

Mike CrapoCrapo is an attorney and former United States Representative (1993-1999). He has been in United States Senate since 1999.

Crapo is a Mormon, a bishop in the Church of Latter Day Saints, and although he previously publicly stated that he didn’t drink alcohol, he was arrested in 2012, and plead guilty to a DUI.8

In 2011, it was reported that Crapo was one of the members of the “Gang of Six,” a bi-partisan group charged with coming up with solutions to reduce the American deficit.9

He is a strong advocate for firearms ownership and voted against any expansion of background checks, so of course, the National Rifle Association has supported Crapo as well as the National Federation of Independent Business (NFIB), and the United States Chamber of Commerce.

Crapo is a very hard-core conservative and conducts himself as such, standing firm against women’s and LGBT rights, he is supportive of a school-prayer amendment, faith-based initiatives, and the privatization of Social Security. He is also against raising taxes on the wealthy and providing a pathway to citizenship for undocumented individuals.

The only declared candidate in opposition to Crapo at this time is Independent Timothy A. Raty. Crapo’s DUI charge could have hurt him with the voters, but he has a pretty good stronghold on that seat, and some very deep pockets supporting him. However, a Democratic run at this seat should be launched immediately. It’s time to send the right a very big message.

CHARLES ERNEST “CHUCK” GRASSLEY – Republican Senator from Iowa

Chuck GrassleyThis 81 year-old politician is a former United States Representative (1975-1981). He previously served in the Iowa State Legislature (1959-1974). He has been in the United States Senate since 1981. Obviously, he has been very popular in that state.

In the past, a good portion of his funding has come from the oil producing industry, and insurance companies. Contributions from Monsanto have also been noted. He has been endorsed by Americans for Legal Immigration, Campaign for Working Families, Huck PAC, Iowa National Federation of Independent Business, National Federation of Independent Business, National Rifle Association, and National Right to Life Committee. All of these reflect this hard-core conservative’s views.

Chuck Grassley has been representing Iowa in his Senate seat for 34 years, and in D.C. for 40 years. It is inconceivable to me that he would want to shoot for another six, or that the voters would even consider him to still be a viable option. It is equally incomprehensible that the Democratic Party cannot field a candidate who could beat him in 2016. Come on, people! Get it together, and make this right!

JOHN HENRY HOEVEN – Republican Senator from North Dakota

John HoevenHoeven is a former banker and governor of North Dakota. He was elected to the United States Senate in 2010.

Hoeven is somewhat of an enigma in a couple of ways. In 2010, as he was paving the way for his Senate bid, it was reported that in 1996, he had been a Democrat:

“I have always been moderate in my political views, but now that I am considering elective office, I realize I must join a political party and stick to it,” Hoeven wrote in 1996. “I have decided to join the Democratic-NPL Party because I believe that is the best fit for my views.” Also in his 1996 letter, Hoeven strongly rejected the suggestion that he could be a Republican: “What people don’t want is partisan politics as usual. The effort by overly partisan members of the Republican Party to cast me as one of their own is just that, partisan politics as usual.”10

According to his campaign manager, Don Larson, at the time he was going to run for Governor, he realized that his views were more in line with the Republican Party than with the Democratic Party.

While Hoeven is pro-life except in certain situations, and anti-LGBT rights, favoring and Amendment defining marriage as between one man and one woman, he strongly believes in Affirmative Action. He is against school vouchers and proposes an increase in pay for teachers, he doesn’t take a firm stand on the separation of church and state, or prayer in public schools. He does, however, favor faith-based initiatives.

Hoeven is a strong proponent of Second Amendment rights, and doesn’t favor a pathway to citizenship for undocumented individuals.

In his last bid for senate he was endorsed by Business-Industry Political Action Committee, Huck PAC, National Education Association, National Federation of Independent Business, National Rifle Association, and National Right to Life Committee.

While Hoeven seems more moderate than many of the Senators on some issues, it is imperative to remember that he is supported and funded by several unsavory and extremely right-wing people and groups. Unfortunately, given the fact that Hoeven won his seat by a 3 to 1 margin in 2010, and the total lack of apparent candidates from the Democratic Party, I think this one would be very hard, if not impossible to pull off.

JOHN HARDY “JOHNNY” ISAKSON – Republican Senator from Georgia

Johnny IsaksonIsakson is a former president of a large real estate company, and a former United States Representative (1999-2005). He became a United States Senator in 2005.

Interestingly enough – and to demonstrate just how far right the Republican Party has gone – many within the rank and file have designated Isakson as a Republican in Name Only, a RINO. Yet, he consistently receives 100% ratings as well as endorsements from the National Right to Life Committee, Campaign for Working Families, National Federation of Independent Business, United States Chamber of Commerce, Faith and Freedom Coalition, Concerned Women for America, Eagle Forum, Americans for Prosperity. American Conservative Union, Americans for Prosperity, Gun Owners of America, National Rifle Association, Numbers USA, American Family Association, Christian Coalition of America, Family Research Council, and ACT! For America – just to name a few.

Isakson has been backed, endorsed, sponsored, and funded by almost every major right-wing outfit in existence. Johnny Isakson is a hard-nosed, hard-core, right wing conservative who is owned by his handlers and makes all the right moves.

It is highly unlikely that Isakson will be unseated. I say this, not because he is wildly popular, but because he is a Republican in the State of Georgia, and, unfortunately, if the Democratic Party continues to insist that only moderate, middle of the road, Democrats stand a chance, the voters will be presented with little to no choice but to dance with the guy they went with. Pathetic truth.

RONALD HAROLD “RON” JOHNSON – Republican Senator from Wisconsin

Ron JohnsonJohnson is the former CEO of a polyester and plastics manufacturing company. In 2010 he beat out then Senator, Russ Feingold, for the Senate seat. He claims that he “sprung out of the Tea Party.”

Johnson is a Club for Growth tool. Because he had no political history and no voting record, he has been referred to as a “Blank Slate.” In truth, Johnson portrayed himself as a “moderate” during his campaign, and the voters bought it.

In 2011, a controversy arose over what was termed a “deferred compensation agreement” with his former employer. That “agreement” garnered Johnson $10 million – $9 million of that was spent on his campaign. He came under intense scrutiny over whether or not campaign finance rules had been broken. He refused to stipulate the terms of the agreement.

And, more controversy erupted a little over a month ago when it was reported that Johnson’s office sat on complaints about a VA medical center over-prescribing medications.11

Johnson takes the same right-wing, ultra conservative stands as his other Republican cohorts and rubs elbows with all the same money people. Wisconsin is home to a lot of Democrats who, right now, are very dissatisfied with the representation that he is providing. The Washington Post has called Johnson the “most vulnerable candidate on the map.”12

I agree that he is vulnerable. It is widely speculated that Russ Feingold might very well consider running against Johnson again. Whatever happens, this is a Senate seat that the Democrats need to take back.

MARK STEVEN KIRK – Republican Senator from Illinois

Mark KirkKirk is an attorney and former United States Representative (2001-2010). From 1995-1999, he served as counsel to the House International Relations Committee. He was elected to the United States Senate in 2010.

Mark Kirk is among the more moderate Republicans in the senate at this time. He favors a woman’s right to choose, Affirmative Action, and same-sex marriage. He has a very low rating from the National Rifle Association and Gun Owners of America, and favors providing a pathway to citizenship for undocumented individuals.

On the flip-side, he opposes Obamacare and favors the privatizing of Social Security. He also favors prayer in public schools as well as faith-based initiatives.

During his political career he has been endorsed by Business-Industry Political Action Committee, Citizens United Political Fund, Combat Veterans for Congress, ConservAmerica, Illinois National Federation of Independent Business, National Defense PAC, National Federation of Independent Business, National Education Association, Ocean Champions, Republican Main Street Partnership, and the Humane Society Legislative Fund.

In spite of his moderate stands, it should be remembered that Illinois is, generally speaking, more Democrat than Republican. Additionally, he has created his own downfall in many ways. Kirk is a decorated Navy reservist, but back in 2010, Kirk was giving a speech to a gathering of experts on U.S. Chinese relations when he stated, “In my role in the military, I command the war room in the Pentagon.” Completely untrue.13 Also, it was determined that another statement of braggadocio made by Kirk was equally as erroneous. Since 2002, Kirk has been telling audiences that he was the recipient of am “Intelligence Officer of the Year” award. What Kirk had received was actually the Vice Admiral Rufus L. Taylor Award.14

With the unfortunate claims made by Kirk, came the revelation that during a speech he delivered on the floor of the United States House of Representatives in 2003, he claimed, ““The last time I was in Iraq I was in uniform, flying at 20,000 feet, and the Iraqi Air Defense network was shooting at us”. Well, of course that didn’t happen. He would later retract that statement in the Chicago Sun-Times by saying, “I simply misremembered [sic] it wrong.” The fact is, the Pentagon has no record of Kirk’s transport ever being fired upon.

This kind of dishonesty is indicative of Kirk’s character and may very well not be lost on the voters of Illinois. Additionally, Kirk has recently come under fired for comments that can only be construed as racist.

In 2012, Mark Kirk had a stroke. His full recovery was in question for quite a little period of time.

This is definitely a senate seat just waiting for a Democrat to occupy. Democratic Representative Tammy Duckworth has already thrown her hat in the ring. It’s time for liberals to step up in Illinois.

JAMES PAUL LANKFORD – Senator from Oklahoma

James LankfordLankford is a Baptist youth worker and former United States Representative (2011-2015). He won the senate seat last year during a special election after the resignation of Tom Coburn. Lankford qualifies as a ReBiblican, for certain.

Lankford tows the political line of the extremist right, and stands squarely in the realm of theoretical rule, claiming that his “Biblical Worldview” will guide him in his decision making.17

In 2012, Lankford opposed protection of gay employees against discrimination. He argued that homosexuality is a choice that could be changed. When he became highly criticized for that comment, he claimed that he was being singled out because he was a Christian. Lankford has continued to attempt to block any and all legislation protecting LGBT rights, citing the Bible as his reason.18

Lankford recieves superior ratings from all of the usual conservative sources. His funding an support generally comes from American Council of Engineering Companies Oklahoma, Business-Industry Political Action Committee, Family Research Council, House Conservatives Fund, National Rifle Association, Oklahoma Second Amendment Association, National Right to Life, Campaign for Working Families, Eagle Forum, and the Christian Coalition of America.

There is little doubt that Lankford will be re-elected to the Senate. After all, we are talking about Oklahoma, perhaps the reddest state in the nation. It is also unlikely that the Democrats will be able to field a candidate who would provide the voters with much of fa choice. The Oklahoma Democratic party has become nothing more than weak and anemic, hence it’s doubtful that the Sooners will have any relief from the choke-hold that evangelicals and extremists have on them.

 

MICHAEL SHUMWAY “MIKE” LEE – Republican Senator from Utah

Mike LeeLee is an attorney who was elected to the United States Senate in 2010. Prior to that, he served as a law clerk for now Supreme Court Justice, Samuel Alito. In 2005, he began serving as the general counsel for then Utah Governor John Huntsman. He is the son of Rex E. Lee, Reagan administration Solicitor General.

Suffice it to say, Lee is every bit as right-wing as his senatorial colleagues. After all, he is a Tea Party darling who aligned himself with Ted Cruz during the government shut-down. For many in the GOP, Lee is even too far to the right. Even John Huntsman, a hard-core conservative has indicated that he is considering supporting someone less radical.19 In spite of that, he still has a large support base and a lot of money at his disposal.

Lee is endorsed and funded by Club for Growth, Senate Conservatives Fund, Republican Senatorial Committee, Americans for Legal Immigration, Freedom Works, LibertySlate, National Rifle Association, National Right to Life Committee, One Nation PAC, Republican Liberty Caucus, Tea Party Express, and Utah National Federation of Independent Business.

In a speech he gave last week, Lee characterized the three of the GOP candidates, Marco Rubio, Rand Paul, and Ted Cruz as three of his closest allies.20

The State of Utah is probably too Republican for Democrats to expect to mount a real political challenge to Mike Lee. More than likely, the best we can hope for is that he will have opposition in the form of a primary by a candidate less extreme and with less ties to the radical groups engineering the outcomes of our elections.

JOHN SIDNEY MCCAIN, III – Republican Senator from Arizona

John McCainMcCain is a former Navy captain, Viet Nam Prisoner of War, United States Representative (1982-1986), and current United States Senator. Earlier this month, he announced that he would run again for this seat. McCain is currently 78 year-old, and has been a Senator for 29 years. In 2008, he ran for President, with Sarah Palin as his running mate.

McCain has been described as a “libertarian leaning conservative. He is an advocate of overturning Roe v. Wade and only providing abortions under certain circumstances. Yet he believes in Affirmative Action and is comfortable with same-sex marriage. He receives an 83% rating from the Christian Coalition, and favors prayer in schools along with vouchers and faith-based initiatives. He is an opponent of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act.

Mc Cain also favors the privatization of Social Security and an absolute right to gun ownership. He is vehemently against raising taxes on the wealthy, and for expansion of the United States military.

In past elections he has been endorsed and supported by Campaign for Working Families, National Right to Life Committee, Arizona Right to Life Committee, Arizona National Federation of Independent Business, Combat Veterans for Congress, National Federation of Independent Business, and the National Rifle Association, among others.

McCain will be challenged in a primary. While all of the players have yet to be revealed, a couple have emerged so far – Alex Melusky, and current Arizona State Senator, Dr. Kelli Ward. Both are hard-core conservatives. No Democrat has announced as of yet. It is important to remember that a Senate seat hasn’t been won in Arizona since 1988. Given the current mind-set of the Democratic Party, and it’s failure to endorse and support candidates in tough races, this could be a deciding factor. It is also important to note that McCain already has $3.5 million in his war chest.

There are a few names being bandied about in Democratic quarters, but none have taken the bait at this juncture.

JERRY MORAN – Republican Senator from Kansas

Jerry MoranMoran is an attorney and former Kansas State Senator, as well as former United States Representative (1997-2011). After his senatorial win, he served as Chairman of the National Republican Senatorial Committee which, in 2014, produced the first Republican Senate majority since 2006.

In 2014, Moran lost some favor with the GOP when he teamed up with Ted Cruz and other Tea Partiers to try and defeat the omnibus spending bill.21

Additionally, Moran was one of the 47 Republicans who signed and sent the controversial letter to Iranian leaders. He would later explain this action thusly:

“The letter makes clear that any long-standing agreement must be reviewed by the Legislative Branch, and input from the Senate should be seriously considered by the Administration before any agreement with Iran is reached.”22

Moran’s previous endorsements and support has come from, National Right to Life Committee, Kansas National Federation of Independent Business, Kansas Farm Bureau, National Rifle Association, Campaign for Working Families, National Federation of Independent Business, Republican Liberty Caucus, American Security Council Foundation, and Partnership for America.

Given the fact that the last Democrat to be elected to the United States Senate by the voters in the State of Kansas was George McGill in 1932, it’s unlikely that it will happen in 2016. Given that incredible statistic, it is also unlikely that the Democratic Party will put much emphasis on fielding or supporting a challenger.

LISA ANN MURKOWSKI – Republican Senator for Alaska

Lisa MurkowskiMurkowski is an attorney who was first appointed to her senate seat in 2002, by her father, Frank Murkowski, then Governor of Alaska. In 2010, Murkowski lost in a primary. She then entered the race as a write-in candidate winning that election.

Murkowski is somewhat of an anomaly among senate Republicans. She is pro-choice, and a member of the Republican Majority For Choice. However, she voted against the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. She was one of only five Republican senators who voted for the Matthew Shepard and James Byrd, Jr. Hate Crimes Prevention Act, and she voted for the repeal of Don’t Ask Don’t Tell. Yet, in 2004, she voted in favor of a federal constitutional amendment that would have defined marriage as between one man and one woman. In 2013, however she announced that her opinions were ‘evolving,’ and that she would now support same-sex marriage.

In true Republican fashion, however, she is no friend of the environment, supporting oil and gas drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge. She also receives high marks from the Christian Coalition for her stand against the separation of church and state.

Also true to form, Murkowski is against raising taxes on the wealthy, favors the privatization of social security, stands firmly behind Second Amendment rights, and is against a pathway to citizenship for undocumented immigrants.

Murkowski is quite popular in Alaska, and you can bet that after her primary loss in 2010, she has been busy building that popularity and getting ready for 2016. We can only wonder if her old nemesis, Tea Party favorite, Joe Miller, will decide to give it another go. The Democrats do have one hope – Mark Begich, former United States Senator as well as former Mayor of Anchorage.

Rand PaulRANDAL HOWARD “RAND” PAUL – Republican Senator from Kentucky

Paul is an ophthalmologist and son of former United States Representative, Ron Paul. He was elected to the United States Senate in 2010, and is currently running for President of the United States.

Rand Paul is a Tea Party darling who considers himself a “constitutional conservative. He believes that life begins at conception and is against abortion in all circumstances unless the mother’s life is in danger. He has called same-sex marriage a “moral crisis” and says that it “offends myself and a lot of people.”23

In February, Paul took a stand against states requiring children to be vaccinated. He believes that parents have the right to decide that without government mandates.

“I’m not arguing vaccines are a bad idea. I think they are a good thing. But I think the parent should have some input. The state doesn’t own your children. Parents own the children, and it is an issue of freedom.”24

Paul claims that women won the “war on women,” and are “no longer downtrodden,” and that it is illegal to impose racial segregation on the private sector. He stands in opposition to the separation of church and state, and favors faith-based intitiatives.

Rand Paul opposes all restrictions placed on gun ownership and assault rifles. In short, he is the consummate right-wing extremist.

Should Paul get the Republican nomination for President, his senate seat will become vacant. Should he not succeed in his presidency bid, he will be up for reelection. Either way, this a good opportunity to rid our government of a very unstable and unsavory individual. In many ways, his nomination by the Republican Party would be the optimal situation. There is little chance that he could win against a strong Democratic candidate. A senate race, however, that is solely dependent upon the Kentucky voters is a whole other story.

Rob PortmanROB PORTMAN – Republican Senator from Ohio

Portman is an attorney and former United States Representative (1993-2005). He was elected to the United States Senate in 2010.

Portman is a typical right-wing Republican in many aspects. However, his stand on same-sex marriage rapidly changed when his son announced to both Rob and his mother that he was gay. Portman did a complete about face.

While Portman is pro-life, and takes the same stands as most of the GOP on other issues, his flip-flop on same-sex marriage has put him at odds with the fundamentalist Christians and various “family-oriented” organizations. But, someone loves him.

At the close of the first quarter of this year, it was disclosed that Portman now has $8 million in his war chest. In February he published a list of about 500 Republican officials across the State of Ohio who have endorsed him.

This is a golden, and I do mean golden, opportunity for Democrats to wrest a senate seat from that clutches of the GOP. Former Governor Ted Strickland and City Councilman, P.G. Sittenfield are both expected to run against Portman. It would, undoubtedly, be in the best interest of the Democratic Party to encourage Sittenfield to bow out, as Strickland has garnered the support of Bill Clinton and promises to give Portman a run for his money. At any rate, the Democrats can win this election if they play their cards right.

MARCO ANTONIO RUBIO – Republican Senator from Florida

marco-rubioRubio is an attorney and former Speaker of the Florida House of Representatives. He was elected to the United States Senate in 2010, beating out Governor Charlie Christ for the nomination. He is also currently a candidate for President of the United States. He will not seek reelection to the Senate.

Rubio is a hard-core conservative who is far right of center. In 2013, he claimed to believe in protecting life, but was quick to say “I’m not a chauvinist.” He wants to expand birth control exemption for faith-based organizations, and to require ultrasounds before abortions. He supports giving legal protection to unborn children. Consequently, he has a 100% rating and endorsement from both Campaign for American Families and the National Right to Life Association.

He supports an amendment to ban same-sex marriage, but until that time, would leave it up to the states. He supports prayer in public schools, vouchers and charter schools, an absolute right to gun ownership, and the privatization of Social Security.

Rubio initially claimed that his parents had fled Cuba to escape Castro’s regime. This was later proven false when it came to light that they had arrived in the United States years before that time. This embellishment of the facts didn’t sit very well with the large Cuban population residing in Florida.

For a few years, as he was growing up, his family attended the Church of Latter Day Saints. In fact, he was baptized in the Mormon Church. He would later revert back to Catholicism.

Rubio is well known for his distortion and embellishment of facts.25 How well Rubio will do as a Presidential candidate remains to be seen, of course. However, he can be certain that these words will come back to haunt him.

While many believe that he has a lock on the Hispanic vote, it must be noted that non-Cuban Hispanics often hold deep grudges against the preferential treatment that has been given to Cuban immigrants.

As to who will inherit his senate seat, there are a number of Democrats who will certainly vie for that position. We can only hope that the Democratic Party in Florida is strong enough, and wise enough to get out there early and back candidates who will have the best interests of, not only Floridians, but the country at heart.

TIMOTHY EUGENE “TIM” SCOTT – Republican Senator from South Carolina

TimScottScott is a realtor and financial advisor and former United States Representative (2011-2013). He was appointed to his senate seat by Governor Nikki Haley in 2013, upon the resignation of Jim DeMint. He is the first Republican African-American from South Carolina, and one of only two serving in the United States Senate. In 2014, he won a special election to fill out the term of DeMint.

Unfortunately, there is no other way to describe Scott than to call him and evangelical, hard-right, Republican who tows the party line, and brings his Biblical beliefs to the party.

When asked about poverty and welfare, Tim Scott said:

I started my small business, in a small apartment with some friends. I was a poor kid growing up in a single parent household. I was losing myself. I had lost my way. I flunked out of high school as a freshman. I failed World Geography, Civics. Now think about that; a United States Senator who failed Civics. I used to think I was the only one, and when I became a member of the Senate, I realized that there might be a few more who didn’t pass Civics either, and then I failed Spanish and English. Now, when you fail Spanish AND English, they don’t call you bi-lingual. Nope, they call you bi-ignorant, because you can’t speak any language, and that’s where I found myself.

“That why I give so much credit to [my mentor] John Monis, a Chick-Fil-A operator. He came along at the right time. John Monise taught me that you can think your way out of poverty. That Citadel graduate taught me that if you really want to escape poverty, it comes through the power of education.”26

He has been previously endorse by American Conservative Union, American Veterinary Medical Association, Eagle Forum, FreedomWorks, National Rifle Association, South Carolina National Federation of Independent Business, and Sportsmen’s and Animal Owners’ Voting Alliance.

As of yet, he has drawn no opposition from either party, and given South Carolina’s conservative nature, it is doubtful that a Democrat could be successful against the power and the money behind Scott. But, we can be hopeful – right?

RICHARD CRAIG SHELBY – Republican Senator from Alabama

Richard ShelbyShelby is a former attorney and former United States Representative (1979-1987). He has been a United States Senator since 1987. Initially, Shelby was a Democrat and part of a group of Conservative Democrats known as the Boll Weevils. During his second term in office, he switched to the Republican Party. That was, undoubtedly, the best fit for Shelby.

As another hard-core conservative he stands with the party, and the religious right, on all issues. His endorsements and support come from Americans for Legal Immigration, Campaign for Working Families, National Federation of Independent Business, National Rifle Association, National Right to Life Committee, and the Christian Coalition.

We are talking about Alabama here. The likelihood that much is going to change is almost non-existent. Shelby has a pretty good lock on that Senate seat, and thus far, it appears that he will face little to no challenge. One Democratic candidate has filed – Ron Crumpton. I can pretty much guarantee that he will receive zilch in the way of backing. He is not very well known, stands on pretty much one issue – the legalization of marijuana – has no money, and promises to fizzle very quickly.

 

JOHN RANDOLPH THUNE – Republican Senator from South Dakota

John ThuneThune is a former United States Representative (1997-2003) He was elected to the Senate in 2004. His name has consistently been raised for both a Vice Presidential and Presidential candidacy.

Thune is another hard-core conservative, evangelical who votes consistently along those lines. He has raised $800,000 in the first quarter, but that’s not all – that $800,000 brought the amount in his coffers to over $10 million.27

The Democrats have a history of not even trying in South Dakota. It appears that might very well be the case again. Shame on them. So far, Thune hasn’t gained any challengers – wonder what he is going to spend all that money on.

 

PATRICK JOSEPH “PAT” TOOMEY – Republican Senator from Pennsylvania

Pat ToomeyToomey is a businessman and former United States Representative (1999-2005). After that he served as the president of the Club for Growth. He was first elected to the United States Senate in 2010.

According to Politico: “…the Club for Growth is the pre-eminent institution promoting Republican adherence to a free-market, free-trade, anti-rregulation agenda.”28

Toomey is certainly a corporate tool, and a formidable fundraiser. He is endorses and supported by Business-Industry Political Action Committee, Campaign for Working Families, Catholic Families USA, Citizens United Political Victory Fund, Firearms Owners Against Crime, FreedomWorks, National Federation of Independent Business, National Rifle Association, National Right to Life Committee, One Nation PAC, Pennsylvania National Federation of Independent Business, Republican Liberty Caucus, Senate Conservatives Fund, and the Club for Growth.

This is going to be one of the most interesting campaigns of the 2016 elections. Toomey will meet Everett Stern, a Security Intelligence Consultant and whistleblower, in a primary. Ed Pawlowski, former Allentown Mayor and gubernatorial candidate, and Joe Sestak, former Congressman and retired Navy Admiral, both Democrats, have entered the race. Anything is possible, but there will be drama.

 

DAVID BRUCE VITTER – Republican Senator from Louisiana

David VitterVitter is a lawyer and former adjunct professor as well as a former United States Representative (1999-2005) He was elected to the United States Senate in 2005.

In 2007, Vitter found himself in all kinds of hot water when it was revealed that his phone number had shown up on the D.C. Madam’s list. Of course, he would later publicly take responsibility for his “sin” with his wife standing by his side.

His penchant for a little on the side doesn’t temper his politics, however, he is the epitome of conservatism believing he protecting family values with his stands against abortion and same-sex marriage. As part of his penance for his lascivious behaviors, a few months after the scandal Vitter would earmark $100,000 for a the Louisiana Family Forum. The group’s focus was on challenging the teaching of evolution in the public schools. Vitter would explain that it was his way to help promote better science education.29

Vitter has lots of money behind him because he does the bidding of those to whom he is beholden. But, here’s the deal…Bobby Jindal, Governor of Louisiana, has reached his term limit. Vitter has announced his candidacy for that position. In his announcement he made the following statement:

“After much prayer, thought, and discussion with Wendy and our children, I have decided to run for governor of Louisiana in 2015,” Vitter said in his video announcement. “Let me first assure you that this decision will in no way limit the critical work I’m doing today in the U.S. Senate—representing you and your family will continue to be my top priority, but I believe as our next governor I can have a bigger impact addressing the unique challenges and problems we face in Louisiana.”30

The Louisiana Gubernatorial election will take place on October 24, 2015, with four candidates seeking that seat. Should Vitter win, he would then appoint someone to fill out his term.

This one will be a very interesting race. Why would anyone in Louisiana vote for a Republican? Well, why would any woman or minority vote for a Republican? Your guess is as good as mine.

Citations

  1. Meyers, Jim. “Newsmax Exclusive: The 25 Influential Women of the GOP” “http://www.newsmax.com/politics/newsmax-top-25-women/2013/07/31/id/518085/
  2. Middle Aged Woman Talking. Will Romney Choose Another Sarah Palin as an Answer to the War on Women? http://www.addictinginfo.org/2012/05/02/will-romney-choose-another-sarah-palin-as-an-answer-to-the-war-on-women/
  3. USA Today. Blunt, Delay Shared Connections to Lobbyist Abramoff January 11, 2006. http://usatoday30.usatoday.com/news/washington/2006-01-11-blunt-delay_x.htm
  4. Brown, Elizabeth & Knott, Alex. The Indictment of a System. http://www.publicintegrity.org/2005/11/21/5535/indictment-system
  5. Brantley, Max. Arkansas polling: Beebe could beat Boozman; Hillary falls to all Republicans. http://www.arktimes.com/ArkansasBlog/archives/2014/08/06/arkansas-polling-beebe-could-beat-boozman-hillary-falls-to-all-republicans
  6. Stein, Sam. Veterans Groups Rip Into Sen. Richard Burr for Questioning Their Priorities. http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/05/25/richard-burr-veterans_n_5389296.html
  7. Eaton, Joshua. Powerful Senate Republican Tamping Down Torture Disclosures. http://america.aljazeera.com/articles/2015/2/25/key-senate-republican-tamping-down-torture-disclosures.html
  8. Miller, Jake. CBS News. Senator Mike Crapo pleads guilty to DUI charge. http://www.cbsnews.com/news/sen-mike-crapo-pleads-guilty-to-dui-charge/
  9. Meet the Gang of Six. http://www.forbes.com/pictures/ef45ghifi/mike-crapo-republican-2/
  10. Kleefeld, Eric. Flashback: Republican Candidate Hoeven Rejected GOP and Declared Himself a Democrat in 1996. http://talkingpointsmemo.com/dc/flashback-republican-senate-candidate-hoeven-rejected-gop-and-declared-himself-a-democrat-in-1996
  11. Hess, Hannah. Rep. Johnson Denies His Office Sat on Whistleblower Tips. http://blogs.rollcall.com/hill-blotter/ron-johnson-denies-his-office-sat-on-whistleblower-tips/
  12. Chris Cillizza. Aaron Blake, & Sean Sullivan. Why Republicans’ Senate Majority Could be Very Short-Lived. http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/the-fix/wp/2014/11/07/why-republicans-senate-majority-could-be-very-short-lived/
  13. Smith, Ben. Politico. Kirk: ‘I command the war room in the pentagon.’ http://www.politico.com/blogs/bensmith/0510/Kirk_I_command_the_war_room_in_the_Pentagon.html
  14. Bryant, Steve. 5 NBC Chicago. What Would Kirk Be Saying if the Post Hadn’t Mentioned Giannoulias? http://www.nbcchicago.com/blogs/ward-room/What-Would-Kirk-Be-Saying-if-the-Post-Hadnt-Mentioned-Giannoulias-95292714.html
  15. Todd Lightly, John Chase and Rick Pearson. Chicago Tribune. Lirk apologizes for misstatements about military career. http://articles.chicagotribune.com/2010-06-03/news/ct-met-mark-kirk-military-record-060420100603_1_military-gulf-war-democratic-senate
  16. Pallasch, Abdon. Kirk says he ‘misremembered’ military record. http://chicago.suntimes.com/
  17. Dolan, Eric W. Raw Story. Oklahoma’s Senator Elect to use ‘biblical worldview’ to defeat the national debt. http://www.rawstory.com/2014/11/oklahomas-senator-elect-to-use-biblical-worldview-to-defeat-the-national-debt/
  18. Israel, Josh. Think Progress. What the Oklahoma Congressman Who Just Announced A Senate Campaign Thinks About LGBT Americans. http://thinkprogress.org/lgbt/2014/01/21/3184661/anti-lgbt-james-lankford/
  19. Raju, Manu. Politico. Tea partier braces for primary challenge from the establishment. http://www.politico.com/story/2014/12/mike-lee-tea-party-2016-elections-113730.html
  20. Arkin, James. Real Clear Politics. Mike Lee on 3 GOP Candidates’ Strengths, Weaknesses. http://www.realclearpolitics.com/articles/2015/04/10/mike_lee_on_3_gop_candidates_strengths_weaknesses_126222.html
  21. Wise, Lindsay. McClatchy Washington Bureau. Conservatives take notice of Jerry Moran’s vote with Senator Ted Cruz on omnibus spending bill. http://www.kansas.com/news/politics-government/article4732188.html
  22. Hancock, Peter. LJWorld.com. Sens. Roberts and Moran explain signing letter to Iran. http://www2.ljworld.com/news/2015/mar/14/sens-roberts-and-moran-defend-signing-letter-iran/
  23. New York Times. April 7, 2015. Rand Paul on the Issues. http://www.nytimes.com/2015/04/08/us/politics/rand-paul-on-the-issues.html?_r=1
  24. Weinberg, Ali. ABC News. Rand Paul No-Show at Senate Vaccine Hearing in The Wake of Controversial Comments. http://abcnews.go.com/Politics/rand-paul-show-senate-vaccine-hearing-controversial-comments/story?id=28868892
  25. Farley, Robert. FactCheck.org. April 13, 2015. FactChecking Marco Rubio. http://www.factcheck.org/2015/04/factchecking-marco-rubio/
  26. Speech at 2014 CPAC Convention. March 6, 2014. http://www.ontheissues.org/2014_CPAC.htm
  27. Doering, Christopher. Argus Leader. April 20, 2015. Thune raised $800,000 in first quarter. http://www.argusleader.com/story/news/politics/2015/04/20/thune-raises-first-quarter/26095001/
  28. Burns, Alexander & Palmer, Anna. Politico.com. April 7, 2014. Inside the Club for Growth’s art of war. http://www.politico.com/story/2014/04/inside-the-club-for-growths-art-of-war-105415.html
  29. Eggler, Bruce. The Times-Picayune. September 22, 2007. Vitter earmarked federal money for creationist group. http://blog.nola.com/times-picayune/2007/09/vitter_earmarked_federal_money.html
  30. Izadi, Elahe. National Journal. January 21, 2014. Sen. David Vitter Makes His 2015 Run for Governor Official. http://www.nationaljournal.com/congress/sen-david-vitter-makes-his-2015-run-for-governor-official-20140121

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

TEXAS-HERE’S YOUR CHANCE

Well, the Primaries are over in Texas, and it’s time for Texans to roll up their sleeves, put on their walking shoes (or wading boots) and hit the streets because they have a lot of work to do. While there will still be a few run-off elections, we pretty well know what needs to be done. Here is some information that may prove invaluable. November 4, really isn’t that far away.

U.S. SENATE

CornynJohn Cornyn (R) – walked away with the 59.4% of the vote in a field of 8 candidates. Cornyn is the incumbent since 2002, and the current Senate Minority Whip. His beliefs on same-sex marriage were published in the Washington Post via a quote:

“It does not affect your daily life very much if your neighbor marries a box turtle. But that does not mean it is right…Now you must raise your children up in a world where that union of man and box turtle is on the same legal footing as man and wife”.

He is anti-women’s rights; anti-affirmative action; anti-separation of church and state; anti-Obamacare; anti- senior citizen; pro-charter schools; pro-gun rights; anti-higher taxes on the wealthy; anti-immigration; pro-English as the official language; anti-green energy.

His endorsements include: Texas Right-To-Life; former Senator Phil Graham; Dick Armey; Governor Rick Perry; the National Rifle Association; National Right-To-Life PAC; Texas Alliance for Life; U.S. Chamber of Commerce.

He is a graduate of both Trinity University and St. Mary’s School of Law. He is a member of the Church of Christ. REBIBLICAN

Cornyn will face either:

david-alameel_jpg_800x1000_q100David Alameel (D) – dentist and businessman out of Dallas, who won 47.6% of the vote. Alameel is a member of St. Rita Catholic Church. He is the founder and owner of Jefferson Dental Clinics. His platform includes: Raising the minimum wage; forcing big corporations to pay their fair share in taxes; enforcing equal pay laws; a faster track program of lawful work permits for immigrants; a pathway to citizenship; protecting a woman’s right to choose.

David Alameel has been endorsed by (just to name a few): Wendy Davis; The Austin American-Statesman; Fort Worth Star-Telegram; The Houston Chronicle; The Dallas Morning News; The Beaumont Enterprise; The Corpus Christi Caller-Times; Bexar County Tejano Democrats; Hispanic Women for Better Justice; Mexican American Democrats of Texas, San Antonio Chapter; Texas Young Democrats Women’s Caucus; Grace Hernandez, Mexican American Democrats of Texas “ONDA” Chapter; Houston GLBT Political Caucus; Bexar County African-American Political Alliance; Bexar County Northside Coalition of Women; Bexar County Mexican American Democrats; Bexar County Second Chance Democrats; Bexar County Young Tejano Democrats; Rosa Rosales, former national president of LULAC.
Alameel faces:
RogersKesha Rogers (D) – a Lyndon LaRouche devotee. Kesha has called for the impeachment of President Obama. She ran in both 2010 and 2012, for the U.S. House of Representatives.
NOTE: It is unlikely that Rogers will win the run-off against Alameel. A showdown between extremist Cornyn and David Alameel will be the race to watch (and to get involved in if you are a Texan). Cornyn is hugely popular among conservatives and the religious right. With a very large war-chest and a lot of heavy-hitters it will be interesting to watch the drama unfold as he takes on David Alameel and his dedicated, socially responsible cadre.
This is one of several opportunities for Texans to take out the trash and bring in a little sanity to the United States Senate. Will they rise to the occasion?


With Governor Rick Perry taking the high-road after this year, we can only say don’t let the door hit you in the butt on the way out. Believe me when I say that Texas might be a whole lot better off after January of 2015. But the operative word there is “might.” A whole lot depends on November 4, 2014 – and I DO mean a LOT.

Now that the primaries are over we know that Greg Abbot and Wendy Davis will face off at the polls to fill that vacant governor’s seat. Let the games begin – not that they haven’t already been in a dog-fight; not that it hasn’t already gotten bloody; but look for the REAL fireworks to commence, because we ain’t seen nothing yet!

Here’s the skinny:

Greg AbbottGreg Abbott (R) – the 50th Attorney General of Texas, won 95.5% of the vote in the primary. He became the Attorney General in 2002, when his crony John Cornyn won the U.S. Senate seat. He is best known for successfully advocating for the display of the Ten Commandments in front of the Texas State Capitol. Previously, he was appointed by George W. Bush to the Texas Supreme Court. According to Wikipedia, “In the first six months of 2011, he raised more funds for his campaign than any other Texas politician, reaching $1.6 million.”

He is: committed to ending Obamacare; committed to defending the 2nd Amendment and any restritictions placed upon gun ownership; committed to the conservative values of faith, family, and freedom; committed to fight EPA regulations; committed to the enactment of strong Voter ID laws; committed to upholding the 10th Amendment.

Greg Abbott has been endorsed by: Sarah Palin; Texas Right-toLife; National Rifle Association; Mike Hucabee Huck PAC; Ted Nugent; Chuck Norris.

Abbott is a devout Orthodox Roman Catholic. REBIBLICAN

DavisWendy Davis (D) – Davis garnered 79.1% of the vote over challenger Ray Madrigal. She is an attorney out of Fort Worth, Texas where she served on the Fort Worth City Council. She has served in the Texas State Senate since 2008. Her rise to popularity came about when she held an eleven hour-long filibuster in an effort to block Senate Bill 5, which was legislation aimed at more restrictive abortion regulations in the state. She was successful in blocking the Bill for that session, however it passed in the next. She has been called the 4th most liberal Senator in the State.

On the issues, she is: pro-women’s rights; pro-LGBT rights and same-sex marriage; pro-public education; pro-veterans services.

She is endorsed by the Texas State Teachers Association; Human Rights Campaign; Girl Scouts of America; Emily’s List; Progresssives United; Mayor Julian Castro; American Federation of Teachers.

NOTE: The fur has been flying for months now between Abbott and Davis, of that there is little doubt. The campaign will be a very dirty one, for certain. Abbott has the backing, the finances, and a lot of support from the old-guard, the religious right, and Texas Republicans. Davis, on the other hand has been bruised, battered, and bloodied while hanging on as the best hope that Texas Democrats and Progressives have for a saner, kinder and more palatable leadership in the state Capitol.

It is, truly, time for Texans to decide if they want to continue on the path of ignorance and insanity that they have been following, or if they want to participate in making their state one worthy of respect. Electing Abbott not only insures more of the same lunacy demonstrated by Perry, but promises to take that insanity to a much higher level. Texas – now is your chance.

HEADS UP TEXAS! I mean seriously? I know that there are serious issues in your state with poiticians, but this Lieutenant Governor’s race is a ridiculous state of affairs! There will be a runoff election between David Dewhurst (R) (the incumbent) and Dan Patrick.

DewhurstDavid Dewhurst (R) – as the incumbent he only garnered 28.3% of the vote, yet he is in a runoff. He is a businessman and rancher out of Houston, and a former officer in the CIA. It has been reported that he is worth in excess of $200 million. He has been Lieutenant Governor since 2002.

On the issues he is: anti-women’s right to choose; pro-charter schools and vouchers; pro-Voter ID laws; anti-Obamacare; anti-immigration; pro-gun; and anti-LGBT rights and same-sex marriage.

Dewhurst is a member of the Second Baptist Church in Houston. He has been endorsed by: Texas Eagle Forum; Tea Party’s across Texas; Texas Coalition for Parental Choice in Education; Christian Coalition of America; Texas Association of Business; Texas Oil and Gas PAC; Texas Right to Life PAC. REBIBLICAN

pATRICK DANDan Patrick (R) – Talk show host and current state Senator out of Houston. During his first month in office, Patrick introduced a bill that would have made abortions in the State illegal. In 2010, Patrick was listed as one of the top 10 influencers in Texas by PolitiFact.

Dan Patrick fits the bill, not only of ReBiblican, but of Dominionist. While vehemently opposed to abortion, Patrick is no friend of public education. Not only does he support increasing the number of charter schools, he has proposed a 20% cut to public education funding, and is determined to establish the teaching of creationism in the school curriculum.

He is anti-immigration and has advocated the adoption of Arizona’s Immigration Enforcement Law.

When the Texas ban on same-sex marriage was ruled unconstitutional, Patrick quickly assured voters that he intended to fight that decision should he be elected to Lieutenant Governor.

His list of endorsements is a veritable of who’s who on the extreme right of religion and politics in Texas, including: Mike Huckabee; Concerned Women for America; Texas Values; Bum Phillips; NE Tarrent Tea Party; Pastor John Hagee; Conservative Republicans of Texas; Montgomery County Texas Patriots PAC; Dave Ramsey; The Liberty Institute; Family Research Council Action PAC; Ralph Reed; Faith and Freedom Coalition; Texas Conservative Review.

Dan Patrick took 41.5% of the vote in a field of four. He is a dangerous candidate for the second highest office in the State of Texas. Not just a conservative, but a religious-right uber conservative, placing Dan Patrick in a position that powerful could spell the downward spiral of one of the largest states in this country. REBIBLICAN/DOMINIONIST

van de putteLeticia Van de Putte (D) – will be running against either Dan Patrick or David Dewhurst on November 4, 2014. She is a current member of the Texas State Senate. She has also served in the Texas House of Representatives. She is a pharmacist out of San Antonio.

On the issues, Leticia is: pro-women’s rights; pro-public education; pro-equal pay; pro-veterans benefits; pro-immigration.

She has been endorsed by: The Latino Fund; Democracy for America; Emily’s List; Texas Organizing Project; Annie’s List; Democratic National Committee; Texas AFL-CIA COPE.

NOTE: Both the Governor and Lieutenant Governor’s race inTexas are clearly races between common sense and extremism. The rest of the nation has watched as Texans have been noted for their number of executions, their support for secession, and their states-rights mania. We have watched, with bated breath, as their school board and text-book adoption committee made repeated attempts to include creationism in its science curriculum and to bastardize our history books with a white, Christian bias if revisionism.

On November 4, 2014, Texans have the opportunity to set things right. They have the chance to demonstrate to the rest of the nation that common sense does exist in Texas, and that religion belongs in church – not in government. Embrace the Separation of Church and State, Texas. Here’s your chance.

 

The Mountain of Business

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As Dominionists strive to conquer the Seven Mountains of Culture and instill a Biblical worldview in individuals across the world, there have been few stones left unturned. They are making headway in all of those areas at a pretty rapid rate.

Business is one of those mountains to be conquered. We have all heard about the controversies surrounding businesses like Chic-Filet and Hobby Lobby. What most haven’t heard about is how they are moving into businesses, small and large. Most of us don’t know about the indoctrination of many within the workplace – all part of their agenda – all creeping stealthily with certainty into the realm of business.

ICWMPerhaps the most well known Dominionist (and opportunist) who is chipping away at the mountain of business is Os Hillman and his International Coalition of Workplace Ministries. However, as is true with all of those furthering the Dominionist movement, there are many more, less heard of, ministries and groups. Hillman serves as the front man, gathering the focus, while there are other operatives at work behind the scenes.

One of those groups is The Navigators, a para-church outfit out of Colorado Springs (where else?). Their main purpose is training Christians in how to proselytize and share their faith with others, particularly in the workplace. According to Wikipedia, “Currently, more than 4,600 Navigator staff of 69 nationalities minister to college students, military personnel, business and professional people, communities, and churches in 103 countries.”

The Navigators is not a new organization. It has a long standing history in the United States and around the world:

 “The Navigators was founded in 1933 by Dawson Trotman. As a result of mentoring United States Navy sailor Lester Spencer aboard USS West Virginia, 135 additional Sailors on Spencer’s ship became Christians before it was sunk at Pearl Harbor. By the end of World War II, thousands of men on ships and bases around the world were learning the principles of Christian discipleship.

“The collegiate chapter of the Navigators was founded in 1951 at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. The organization was established by a group of students in the Sigma Nu fraternity house who along with Trotman decided to spread the organization onto the college campus. The collegiate organization of the Navigators has since spread to over fifty different campuses in the US and many more worldwide.

“Since WWII, The Navigators has grown into a worldwide organization with representatives in most countries. In 1953, it acquired its current location at Glen Eyrie through Billy Graham‘s sale of the then-vacant property to Trotman’s organization. As a result of a well-organized fund raising effort despite an extremely tight deadline, friends of The Navigators provided the money needed to purchase the site.”

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Navigators_(organization)

They have been named in several lawsuits by the Military Religious Freedom Foundation for their continued proselytizing in the military.

In their endeavors to create a Christian work environment in the United States they operate Metro Missions of the Navigators. They concentrate on building a Christian workforce in several major cities where they sponsor various events and outreach for business leaders and workers. According to the Kansas City website:

 “Our local ministry is a part of The Navigators worldwide organization. The central idea of The Navigators is multiplying laborers for Christ. This includes evangelism, following up new Christians and helping them mature. The Navigators today has 4,605 Staff Members of 71 nationalities ministering to 214 people groups in 107 countries using 161 languages, including 1,267 cross-cultural missionary staff. The aim of The Navigators is to help fulfill Christ’s Great Commission by multiplying laborers in every nation.”

http://kansasnavs.org/

Additionally, their college outreach programs along with what they call the 20’s Generation they have become very successful in attracting future workers and business owners. They claim to have reached 21.6 million college students, and the mission of the 20’s Generation is stated as follows:

 “We want the 20s generation to be fruitful lifetime laborers who love Christ and have the savvy to follow Him in a lost world. The Nav20s are committed to seeing this happen among the 20s of our cities—where they live, work, and play.”

The leadership of the Navigators stays relatively unscathed and out of public scrutiny. They make no waves and seldom make headlines in anything other than the usual Christian publications. They simply, and quietly, continue to claim the mountain of business for Christ.

Called into work Called Into Work is another group who claims to be training up an army of Christian believers to bring Christ to the workplace. In fact, they aren’t shy about stating their purpose:

 “Are you part of that “army” of Christian believers God has strategically deployed throughout the work world? Soldiers sent into a war zone need to be battle-ready. Your work world is a spiritual war zone. As a Christ-follower who spends a major part of your waking hours there, you need to be workplace-ready.”

http://www.calledintowork.com/

 

Believing that they are in a spiritual war zone, and that Christianity is being threatened has become the mantra of the religious right. Their efforts to harvest souls, recruit and convert, and take dominion over the workplace and business in general have become much more aggressive of late. With organizations like Corporate Chaplains of America making their sizable contributions to the Christian Jihad, the Dominionists are doing a lot more than chipping away at that mountain of business.

corporateWhile Corporate Chaplains of America claim to “respect the faith boundaries of employees, they boldly publicize their Statement of Faith  – a true testament to Dominionism:

 “About the Bible: We believe that the Bible as originally written is the inspired, infallible, and inerrant Word of God and the supreme authority in all matters of faith and conduct.

“About God: We believe that there is one and only one living and true God; that He eternally exists as three persons: the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit; that all three are eternally equal in nature, attributes and perfection.

“About Jesus: We believe Jesus was conceived of the Holy Spirit by the virgin Mary, lived a physical life on this earth and, being fully God and fully man, was without sin.

“About Salvation: We believe that all mankind sins and as such, no one has the ability to save themselves by doing good deeds or by being a ‘good person’. It is only through accepting Jesus Christ as personal Savior and Lord that one can receive eternal life in Heaven. Salvation is available to anyone who acknowledges by faith that Jesus Christ died on the cross for their sins, rose bodily from the grave, and asks Him to forgive them of their sins and save their soul.

“About Ministry: We believe that, as Christians, it is a responsibility, a duty and a joy to spread the Word of God to all who will listen.”

http://www.chaplain.org/about-us/beliefs/#sthash.O77t2SWE.dpuf

In short, CCA trains and helps to place Christian Chaplains into the workplaces of business and industry. Their mission?

“At CCA, our mission is to “build caring relationships with the hope of gaining permission to share the life-changing Good News of Jesus Christ in a non-threatening manner.” As global economies rise and fall, one need remains the same – the need of souls to find lasting hope. At CCA, we believe that Jesus Christ is the answer to our greatest need. While we respect the faith boundaries of employees and adhere to the standards and expectations for a permission-based, secular workplace ministry, when directly asked about their theological underpinnings, our chaplains are trained to respond from a Biblical Christian worldview.”

http://www.chaplain.org/about-us/overview/#sthash.hsQDerol.dpuf

CCA is affiliated with the C12 Group. The C12 Group is all about making your company a profitable business by incorporating the Bible into your business scheme. One example of adhering to the C12 plan that resulted in a lawsuit can be found here: http://www.courthousenews.com/2013/01/18/54048.htm

C12In their hype about why business owners should join the C12 Group, they make the following statement:

 “Beyond producing stronger top and bottom-line performance, C12 member companies are increasingly fruitful in sharing Christ’s love in tangible ways with their stakeholders through salvations, discipling, and service to their communities. The typical C12 member company reaches a far larger “flock” than most churches and, given how few Americans regularly attend a Christ-centered church, C12 companies are able to have great ministry impact along the way. C12 Members also report improvements to their marriages, families, and work relationships as a result of C12’s proven life-long learning process, rooted in God’s unchanging truth.”

http://c12okc.com/the-c12-difference/

 

Perhaps the largest outfit in this country is Marketplace Chaplains USA originating out of Dallas, Texas. They currently can be found operating in 44 states and 960 cities, and are employing over 2,800 chaplains. The largest company served by them is Pilgrim’s with close to 4,000 employees.

Not only is that mountain of business in their sights, but they continue to intrude into the lives of unsuspecting individuals who simply want to do their jobs and enjoy their families without outside pressure or interference. Additionally, it is quite a money-maker. After all, God wants his Christians to prosper.

CBAExemplifying the ideal of Dominionist Kingdom Theology is a group calling themselves The Christian Business Association. Part of their schitk is encouraging business owners to develop a “Kingdom Mindset.” An excerpt from their philosophy of such a mindset gives us the flavor of what they are selling:

 “The Bible calls for us to pursue economic growth. Long-term economic growth is a sign of Gods blessing on His people. True, it should not be pursued as such. “But seek first the Kingdom of God, and His righteousness, and all these things will be added to you” (Matthew 6:33). All these things is the promise of economic growth and prosperity in response to covenantal obedience.

Think about this when it comes to long term forecasting: as long as there is growth in population, which is a means of dominion, we will have both growing per capita wealth and rapidly increasing numbers of people. Rapid growth is a blessing of God that points to our final deliverance from the sin of bondage.

The simple truth is economic growth comes to societies that respond to Gods call of repentance. This of course does not mean that every single redeemed man will become rich and all sinners will go broke. What it means is that as a general phenomenon, those living under the rule of God’s law-order will prosper, and those living in societies that are in rebellion to God will not prosper. Long term economic growth is a sign of Gods blessing. Long term economic poverty is a sign of Gods wrath.”

KAAnd others have jumped on the bandwagon. Smelling a profitable enterprise, financial advisors have coat-tailed onto the ever-growing Kingdom Movement, among them Kingdom Advisors. They list their “Core Beliefs:”

“MY PRACTICE

I am called to be a disciple of Christ and a discipler of others in my present vocation. The stewardship of my practice is a holy calling and requires intentionality and will have eternal consequences for me.

“LEADERSHIP

As a disciple of Christ and discipler of others, I am called to leadership. Leadership is a function of character and not position. The skills of leadership can be nurtured and developed.

“DISCIPLESHIP

According to Matthew 28:18, Jesus calls each of us to go and to make disciples of all men. The goal of discipleship is to “Present every man complete in Christ,” Colossians 1:28-29. Discipleship is an intentional lifelong process.

“BIBLICAL WORLDVIEW

My worldview is my ultimate core belief and, as a Christian, I believe in a personal creator who created me to be in relationships with others for all eternity. It is an empowered other-centered life that requires my radical obedience to our Lord and Savior. I know that God always has my best interests at heart and ultimately it is all about God and not me. Everything I do while living on earth has an eternal consequence.”

Then there is the Christian Investment Forum and Sound Mind Investing, along with a host of others championing the same views. Sound Mind Investing offers a very simplistic and succinct mission statement:

“Sound Mind Investing exists to help individuals understand and apply Biblically-based principles for making spending and investing decisions in order that:

  1. their future financial security would be strengthened, and
  1. their giving to worldwide missionary efforts for the cause of Christ would   accelerate.

“In other words, we want to help you have more so you can give more.”

Over the past 10 years, more and more corporate CEO’s have “outed” themselves as Dominionists or right-wing fundamentalists. That, coupled with, the number of evangelicals, and hard-line extremists who have gained seats in our state and national governmental entities has created an environment which is polarizing the country.

With Dominionist organizations such as the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC), and the Heritage Foundation among many others, fostering the growth of the movement, conquering the mountain of business is moving ahead as planned.

This has been but a glimpse into the many, many groups and organizations involved in Christianizing the business world. Interestingly – and alarmingly –  this is happening right under our noses, and few speak of it. As we go about our busy daily lives, most individuals are oblivious to the machinations of the Dominionists, and they like it that way.

Watch as Rich Carey explains the Mountain of Business to his flock.

<p><a href=”http://vimeo.com/4927863″>Kingdom Strategy for The Mountain of Business</a> from <a href=”http://vimeo.com/user1686357″>Richard Carey</a> on <a href=”https://vimeo.com”>Vimeo</a&gt;.</p>

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

KANSAS ZEALOTS BASTARDIZE THE CONSTITUTION JUST LIKE THEY DO THE BIBLE

If you are following nothing other than mainstream media, you might have missed what the right-wing, religious nutso legislators are doing in the State of Kansas. In an effort to, once again, circumvent the United States Constitution, they have decided to resurrect old Jim Crow and this time homosexuals will be the victims.

In a frenzied attempt to further their religious agenda and implement a government by theocracy, the Kansas State House of Representatives passed HB 2453 which, as written, legalizes wholesale discrimination against homosexuals based upon “religious freedom.”

This bill now goes to the Kansas State Senate, where it stands a chance of passing, and it is a sure bet that Governor Sam Brownback will have no problem signing it into law. Of course, it will eventually be overturned, but the very acceptance of such a blatantly despicable and oppressive piece of legislation by a body of individuals who have been placed in positions of power should sound the alarm bells and raise all sorts of red flags for sane and rational people.

Rmuse, a columnist at Politicususa.com, perhaps said it best today when he wrote:

There is a war going on in America where one specific group of Americans is claiming their religious liberty affords them power to abridge other Americans’ rights in spite of state and federal laws or guarantees of freedom in the U.S. Constitution. What the religious right and their Republican enablers are pushing in Congress and GOP-controlled states under the guise of religious liberty is religious tyranny, and now another group of Republican fascists are passing legislation to violate the Constitution and other Americans’ rights. Americans should not be deluded for one second that theocratic-driven laws denying Americans their Constitutional rights will stop until this country’s rule of law comes from the Christian bible and the people are ruled by a theocracy along the lines of the Islamic Republic of Iran and Taliban-controlled Afghanistan.”

While it is incumbent upon us, especially in this political climate, to keep a close vigilance who is inhabiting the halls of our country’s government, it is becoming more and more important to work diligently to rid our state and local governmental entities of religious tyrants and their agendas.

For the good people of Kansas, knowing who these people are during this election cycle is the first hurdle. The next is up to you – get them out of your State House – send them all of them a strong message that their hatred and intolerance is not welcome in the Sunflower State.

Here is a link to a list of Representatives who voted “YES” on HB2453

Please consider adding your name to the growing list of supporters on Facebook here.

 

 

 

Generation Opportunity

Generation Opportunity first came on the scene in June of 2011. Touting itself as “a non-profit, non-partisan 501 c4 organization that seeks to engage everyone from young adults, early career professionals, college students, young mothers and fathers, construction workers, current service men and women, veterans, entrepreneurs and all Americans who find themselves dissatisfied with the status quo and willing to create a better tomorrow.”

They set up a Facebook page under the title “Being American,” and rapidly grew. After all, what red-blooded 20-30 something doesn’t like being American. Clearly, this was an effort at deception. Consequently, lots of people “liked” the page. After a few cleverly crafted manipulations, the Facebook page became “GenOpp,” with the following description:

“Generation Opportunity (GenOpp) is a free thinking, liberty loving organization of young people promoting opportunity, creativity and freedom.”

As of this writing, the group has had 2.6 million Facebook “likes.” Of course, they count these “likes” as supporters. However, after a cursory look through the comments, it becomes abundantly clear that is not the case.

The actual website associated with the organization is almost laughable in its attempt to appear youthful and “hip.” Their “Meet the Staff” page is an absolute riot. Resembling more of a Match.com type profile, each staffer answers questions like “What is your favorite beer? What famous person would you most like to have a beer with? What is your ideal date?”

http://generationopportunity.org

A few months ago, Generation Opportunity created quite a ruckus with their anti-Obamacare television advertising campaign. With over $5 million dollars in an account controlled by none other than the Koch brothers they were telling young people not to become insured, and that the fine would be cheaper. Never mind that those hired by the organization are provided with health-care. One particularly creepy ad brought bellows of protests. Check it out.

The former president of Generation Opportunity is Paul Conway who works with the Heritage Foundation an the Leadership Institute. He was replaced by the current president, Evan Feinberg.

Feinberg worked as an aid for both Senator Rand Paul (R-KY) and Senator Tom Coburn (R-OK). According to Feinberg’s biography:

“After college, Evan accepted a job at the Heritage Foundation, researching and writing extensively on federal education policy and social and cultural issues such as the importance of stable traditional families.  Evan’s main role at the Heritage Foundation was acting as a “one-stop-shop” for the school choice movement – managing a school choice website, coordinating events, and publishing research on the success of school choice policies.

“Evan then moved on to Capitol Hill to serve as Senator Tom Coburn’s (R-OK) Legislative Assistant for Health Policy.  During his three years working for Dr. Coburn, Evan helped lead the charge against Obamacare.  In this role, Evan promoted substantive alternatives to a government takeover of healthcare.

“After the 2010 change election, Evan was offered a position with Senator Rand Paul (R-KY) to serve as his top policy aide on healthcare, education, labor and entitlement reform. Senator Paul depended on Evan to implement his policy goals  in those four areas. While working in this capacity, Evan crafted several proposals to fundamentally reform our nation’s unsustainable entitlement programs.”

Matthew Faraci is the Senior Vice President for Communications. He is an anti-abortion activist who in 2010, was also named Senior Vice President for Communications and Marketing for Americans United for Life (AUL).

Generation Opportunity is nothing more than, as blogger Kevin Bondelli wrote, “a conservative Astroturf frontgroup.” It is yet another example of re-branding and re-packaging by the Religious Right and their fundamentalist cohorts, in an effort to recruit and to legitimize themselves in the eyes of a not-too-discerning public.