Category Archives: Pro-Life

Ted Cruz – Climbing the Mountain

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

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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.

 

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.

 

The Madison Project

The ultra-conservative Madison Project has taken an aggressive role in the decimation of the Republican Party of late. Declaring those Republicans who they believe to be lacking conservative values, such as Mitch McConnell, who they think is not conservative enough, “loser Candidates,” they seek to replace them with those who adhere to a more extreme political agenda. Their actions along with those of similar groups are sending shockwaves through the national capitol.

The Project claims to raise money for uber-conserative candidates through small “grassroots” donations which they then disburse as larger contributions. According to their website:

“Our values are Pro-Life, Pro-Family, Limited Government, Defenders of Religious Freedom. We only endorse candidates who clearly demonstrate their conservatism. We evaluate every Congressional and Senatorial race in America, and our endorsements are only extended to key competitive races which have a strong conservative candidate with the ability to win.”

Jim Ryun

Jim Ryun

The head hancho for this outfit is none other than former Congressman, Jim Ryun. Jim had the distinction of being crowned “the most conservative member in the House of Representatives” in 2006.

Ryan, himself an Evangelical, sits on the advisory board of the Dominionist Leadership Institute, and brings those values to the Madison Project, and to the group’s endorsement of political candidates.

His son, Drew Ryun is also listed as one of the leaders of the Project. Drew also served in the House of Representatives for 10 years. Before joining his father, Drew was the Director of Government Affairs for the AmericanCenter for Law and Justice, an organization started by Pat Robertson which is now a powerful right-wing organization led by Jay Allen Sekulow which works to advance religious liberty, the right-to-life, and “the two-parent, marriage bound family.”

Drew’s twin brother, Ned, is equally involved in the quest for a more Christian oriented government through his endeavors in the group which he heads up, American Majority.

 

 

LARRY PRATT – THE SLEAZE OF CHRISTIAN NATIONALISM

LARRY PRATT – THE SLEAZE OF CHRISTIAN NATIONALISM

 

God and guns
Keep us strong
That’s what this country
Was founded on
Well we might as well give up and run
If we let them take our God and guns

(Lynyrd Skynyrd)

 

“Sleaze” is a very derogatory term, I know, and when used as a noun, it cuts right to the quick. That’s what I intended because the man of which I speak, in my opinion, is a despicable human being without an ounce of moral fiber, and zero redeeming qualities. He is nothing more than a racist, homophobic, bigoted extremist who poses great danger to the American way of life.

Larry PrattLarry Pratt is the 71 year-old executive director of Gun Owners of America (GOA). He is also president of English First, an organization which lobbies for English to be the only and official language of the United States; U.S. Border Control, an anti-immigration group; and Committee to Protect the Family. He has served on the board of the American Legislative Exchange Council and is a member of the Council For National Policy – both founded by Dominionist Paul Weyrich.

Gun Owners of America currently boasts of over 300,000 members and claims to be “the only no compromise gun-lobby in Washington.” The organization has been characterized as “eight lanes to the right of the NRA,” and I do believe that is an accurate description.

It is widely believed that Larry Pratt is the individual who brought the concept of citizen militias to the radical right. According to the Southern Poverty Law Center:

Armed In 1990, Pratt wrote a book, Armed People Victorious, based on his study of “citizen defense patrols” used in Guatemala and the Philippines against Communist rebels — patrols that came to be known as death squads for their murderous brutality.

“Picturing these groups in rosy terms, Pratt advocated similar militias in the United States — an idea that finally caught on when he was invited for a meeting of 160 extremists, including many famous white supremacists, in 1992.

It was at that meeting, hosted in Colorado by white supremacist minister Pete Peters, that the contours of the militia movement were laid out.”

Peter J. PetersFor those unfamiliar with Pastor Pete Peters, he was a Christian Identity minister who ran the LaPorte Church of Christ in LaPorte, Colorado. In his convoluted Biblical interpretations he taught that the ten lost tribes of Israel were really Europeans and that contemporary Jews are Satanic imposters. According to Peters, Jews are spiritually degraded and pose a grave threat to civilization, and that blacks and other people of color are inferior to whites, that homosexuals should be executed and that northern European whites and their American descendants are the “chosen people” of scriptural prophecy.

The outreach arm of Peters’ “church” is known as Scriptures For America Worldwide, where they feature the Pistol and Rifle Prayers:

PISTOL PRAYER

Lord Jesus we pray, With Thy Authority we say,

DC Sorcery cease, Satanic strongholds release,

Baals be broken and bound, With all idols be cast down,

Stop the spells, Send the spell-casters into Hell,

Jesus cause it to be, And thank You for the victory!

 

RIFLE PRAYER

“A Mighty Weapon”

Lord Jesus in Thy name we pray,

With authority granted us this day.

All Baals of Babylon be torn down

We raze their temples to the ground.

Lay low their sacred groves, tear down all their strongholds

Let Satan’s Asherah cease. We dethrone, behead, defeat.

All ungodly powers, crushed beneath our feet

Their source of power, their symbols fall

At His words we speak by the King of all.

Their sorcery at our command will cease

Our Lord Jesus Christ has such decreed.

Victory in Jesus’ name, the power of DC has waned

Satanic strongholds release, the Remnant we set you free

The servants of God we set you free.

Idols, sorcery, spells they cast, We break your hold,

we break your back Your symbols in the streets you’ve laid

Will be your tomb for thus we pray.

In Jesus’ name we come, the Remnant shouts as one

Hear us our God we cry, let evil fail and die.

Let evil fail, let evil die.

Let no evil spell nor serpents bite,

Even touch Your remnant as we fight.

Cast down to Sheol, cast down to hell

All those that would charm and cast evil spells

Jerusalem be restored, we’ll walk on streets of gold

We bow on bended knee, before our Lord the King

Bow before Jesus Christ The King of Kings,

Bow before Jesus Christ The King of Kings.

He reigns, the King of Kings!

 

The theology of the Christian Identity Movement is explained thusly by the Anti-Defamation League:

The most extreme expression of Identity anti-Semitism is the so-called “two-seed” (or “seedliner”) theory, developed by Swift, his associates and his disciples in the 1960s. According to the two-seed theory, the seduction of Eve by the Serpent in Eden was sexual, Cain was the product of their liaison and Cain, in turn, was the father of the Jewish people; all Jews, therefore, are children of the devil, literally demonic. The other seedline in the two-seed scheme traces from Adam and Eve’s other son, Abel, through the lost tribes to today’s white European-derived believers. 

“One-seed” Identity adherents do not believe that Jews are physically descended from Satan, though in other respects they are no less anti-Semitic than the two-seedliners.

Many adherents, especially seedliners, also believe in pre-Adamic races. That is, they contend that Adam and Eve were not the first people created by God, but were the first created in God’s image. Other previous creations, not endowed with the divine likeness, were the forerunners of all the nonwhite peoples of the Earth, the “mud peoples,” who had no soul. Adam and Eve, and their Israelite descendants, were the first whites, a fact “proven” by the suggestion that the very name “Adam” means “to show blood,” or blush, which they claim is only possible for whites.

Pete Peters died a couple of years ago. After the arrests and convictions of many of their leaders as well as those of the neo-Nazi Movement, Christian Identity has been in decline with only a smattering of adherents left around the country. Those who were left, generally, either joined a militia, or the Tea Party. Several jumped into the political arena either by running for office or supporting various candidates on both the state and national level.

Larry Pratt first flew into my radar when I was researching the Christian Identity Movement back in 1999, when I first learned of his association with Pete Peters and the White Supremacist Movement. In that same year, the tragedy at Columbine High School took place, and Frank Brunni of the New York Times published a small article about Pratt who believes in absolutely no regulations on firearms – no waiting period, no background checks, and no trigger locks. According to Pratt, automatic weapons should be available for hunting, and he claimed that if those restrictions had not been in existence, many of the deaths might have been prevented.

Given the nature of Pratt’s politics and religion, I remember thinking that he and others like him were the last people I wanted to see turned loose with a firearm.

Over the course of the last decade, Gun Owners of America has more than doubled its membership. That alone should give cause for alarm. And, while he has always resided on the radical Christian right, Pratt has become much more strident in his message, and much more conspiratorial inclined.

In 2009, Pratt is credited with starting the rumor that Obamacare would create a data base of gun owners for future confiscation. After the claim was soundly debunked by numerous sources, Pratt continues to perpetuate the lie. Even more egregious is that others, such as Senator Rand Paul have chosen to further the theory.

Riding high on his notoriety, Pratt went even further last February when he appeared on the Talk to Solomon Show. Likening the discussion to “a dramatic reading of the Turner Diaries,” Huffington Post columnist Ian Reifowitz gives us this account:

“Pratt argued that President Obama is building his own private army and will send his agents “door to door” to “confiscate guns” — all to provoke a “violent confrontation” with gun owners.

“When the other right-wingers on the show went even further, stating that Obama’s goal was specifically to provoke a race war, Pratt agreed that Obama “would definitely be capable of something as evil as you were suggesting.”

Pratt envisions Obama as Nat Turner, Django Unchained, and a Black Panther all rolled into one.”

 

Indeed, he does. Additionally, he has now adopted the manipulative art of attempting to deflect his own racist views by projecting them upon others – something that all white nationalists engage in. Of course, we all know that white people and Christians face enormous oppression in this country, and this is all a master plan of the government. <sigh>

According to Pratt, who spoke on American Family Radio a couple of days ago, “… the attorney general, as well as the president, are racist, and they look at the world through the prism of race. The president, the first lady and Hillary Rodham Clinton are in fact trying to exploit the issue of race to “divide people” and cause “turmoil” in order to ultimately “bring collapse to the existing order” and “build their own communist society.” http://rightwingwatch.org

Pratt also postulates that Eric Holder is considering bringing civil rights charges against George Zimmerman in an effort to “intimidate the rest of the country so that we don’t think about defending ourselves against attacks by black mobs on white individuals.”

poker faceOn July 4, 2013, Larry Pratt was the headliner at Freedompalooza, an affair hosted by the band “Poker Face,” an anti-immigrant, anti-government, “Patriot” rock group led by extremist Paul Topete. Topete is a rabid anti-Semite and Holocaust denier. From the American Defamation League, we get a glimpse into who Paul Topete really is:

Under the moniker Pokerkid (aka pk), Paul Topete has posted several anti-Semitic comments to the Poker Face Online forum, some of which are included below [spelling and emphasis in original]:

  • Will somebody please stop this zionazi f–k from continuing to buy up all the media into the one global corp media monster. Its time to break up and sell his organization into a million pieces. And that it never is allowed to come back in any form again.
  • Very interesting where facts about the White Brotherhood pop up. The elite of the elite satanists are the white brotherhood. Made up of Sabbatean Jews at the top and Rosicrucian goys at the bottom. Anywhere from a 60/40 split to a more realistic 80/20 split with the Sabbateans in the drivers seat.
  • I am always amazaed at how many roads lead back to one of the largest if not THEE largest scam ever played on humanity… Yes that right… the HOLOHAUX aka holocaust. 1985 and 1988 Ernst Zundel [Holocaust denier] DESTROYED the Myth known as the cult of holohauzianity. In a canadien court of law, Ernst zundel took on the biggest frauds in the SHOAH Industry, and showed them to be the frauds that they were. Names like Raoul Hilberg and Vrba. And several other parasites known to infest this worldly sham. Wake up people, You are being played for fools for you LACK KNOWLEDGE.

An example of what their “music” is all about can be summed up in the song “Losing My Mind:”

It’s  time to hunt bankers, judges, lawyers and officials

Now you know we’ve got our eyes on you, so you better do things right;

or we’ll hang you from the highest trees, while we party thru the night.

Now it’s time to repatriate all the slave wagers invading our homeland

Then let’s  execute traitors who’ve been setting up the Global plan;

now they’re trying to take our guns away, so we have no means to fight….”

hal turner2The band is extremely popular with white supremacists and militia groups around the country. Early on they were featured on the Hal Turner talk show. Hal Turner was a white nationalist who hosted a radio talk show for years and was a featured speaker at neo-Nazi rallies across the country. He was a close ally of both Sean Hannity and Jared Taylor. Eventually, he was arrested for threatening three federal judges and sentenced to prison.

Gin Owners of America has become very active in political elections, pumping a lot of money and promotion into far-right-wing candidates. Much like the National Rifle Association, they rate current Congressional candidates. Their Political Victory Fund has successfully supported many of those ReBiblicans who currently hold office.

Larry Pratt embodies all of the negative qualities of those we find on the extremist right. He is a Dominionist. He is a racist and a bigot. He seeks power and fame. He is continuously given a platform from which to spew his toxic messages. He wields a lot of power in both the political and religious communities. He is an opportunist who exploits others and their acts of violence.

All of these things combine renders him a very dangerous person to our American society, and our very way of life. Consequently, it behooves all of us to keep our eyes upon Larry Pratt, and Gun Owners of America. A stamp of approval from either should be a red-flag on any candidate supported by them. As Hillary Clinton recently said, “Anyone who says that racial discrimination is no longer a problem in American elections must not be paying attention.” It’s rampant – from voting rights legislation, to the far right agenda, to the actual candidates. Everyone must start paying attention.

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