Category Archives: Right Wing Think Tanks

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

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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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.

 

discovery

Founded in 1990, the Discovery Institute is billed as a non-profit “educational foundation and think-tank. The Institute has long been a tool of the Christian ultra-right-wingers. It was initially established as a branch of the Hudson Institute by Bruce Kerry Chapman and his pal George Gilder.

Bruce Chapman

Bruce Chapman

Chapman is a WashingtonState politician who served as Director of the Census Bureau at the pleasure of Ronald Regan, as well as an Ambassador to the United Nations Organizations in Vienna. He is a major proponent of Intelligent Design and that is truly what the Institute is all about.

George Gilder

George Gilder

Gilder, on the other hand, is more than a one-trick pony. A major contributor to Forbes, Wired, the National Review, and the Wall Street Journal, Gilder is a critic of feminism and governmental welfare policies claiming that they “eroded the “sexual constitution” that socialized men as fathers and providers.”If that isn’t enough, Gilder’s racist and discriminatory opinions against people of other cultures speak volumes about the Institute’s true leanings. He describes both African and Native American cultures as “destructive cultures”, “tragic failures” and “virtual social suicide”, and upholding Native American or African cultures is a “terrible perversion.”

In his own words:

Indian culture didn’t fail because it was virtuous. It failed because it was a corrupt and unsuccessful culture. These tribal cultures they [multiculturalists] are trying to import from Africa are tragic failures, too. To uphold these destructive cultures that have been virtual social suicide for the people who live in them is a terrible perversion.”

Additionally, Gilder is a major opponent of secular public education.

“Religion is primary. Unless a culture is aspiring toward the good, the true, and the beautiful, and wants the good and the true, really worships God, it readily worships Satan. If we turn away from God, our culture becomes dominated by “Real Crime Stories” and rap music and other spew… When the culture becomes corrupt, then the businesses that serve the culture also become corrupt… Secular culture is in general corrupt, and degraded, and depraved. Because I don’t believe in secular culture, I think parochial schools are the only real schools”

And…if one were to buy into Gilder’s warped and demented thought process we would believe that poor people are spoiled and suffering from moral decay:

What the poor really need is morals…The official poor in America have higher incomes and purchasing power than the middle class in the United States in 1955 or the middle class in Japan today. The so-called “poor” are ruined by the overflow of American prosperity. What they need is Christian teaching from the churches…The poverty line in a rich country like the United States is a meaningless standard. We have no poverty problem strictly speaking, we have a desperate problem of family breakdown and moral decay.”

While the Discovery Institute claims to be a “secular organization,” it is clear that their claim is patently untrue. It is equally as clear that the Institute has a decidedly Christian agenda, is funded largely by the Christian far-right, and that it fosters nothing less than a Christian worldview. Through its’ public statements, publications and presentations it is obvious that the purpose of the group is to promote a Christian ideology. Americans United for Separation of Church and State seems to agree:

AU“Though the Discovery Institute describes itself as a think tank ‘specializing in national and international affairs,’ the group’s real purpose is to undercut church-state separation and turn public schools into religious indoctrination centers.”

For the past two decades the Institute has been surrounded in controversy. According to a Wikipedia article, one such controversy involved the schism within the Episcopalian church over the ordination of homosexuals:

One controversy erupted when it was made public in the online journal Salon that, in the summer of 2000, Discovery Institute President Chapman advised a breakaway faction of Episcopalians opposed to the ordination of gays on how to fund their desired schism from the mainline denomination, and suggested that funds from multi-millionaire and institute board member Howard Ahmanson, who was also a fellow Episcopalian, might be available for this task. In a memo Chapman sent to fellow dissident Episcopalians, he stated that for their campaign to succeed fund-raising was critical, but “is going to be affected greatly by whether we have a clear, compelling forward strategy” and “the Ahmansons are only going to be available to us if we have such a strategy and I think it would be wise to involve them directly in settling on it….”

Well connected and well funded, the Discovery Institute is but one of many think-tanks who are stealthily pushing forward with an agenda of right-wing dogma and dominionism. They are powerful forces in the halls of government and in winning the minds of unsuspecting and gullible Americans. It is imperative that we know who these people are, what their goals are, and how to combat their message.

For a list of the most prominent of these members – click here.

 

The Family Research Council – Hate & Bigotry Wrapped Up In Religious Zealotry

The Family Research Council

Hate & Bigotry Wrapped Up In Religious Zealotry

By Nicole Nichols

logoThere is little wonder that the Family Research Council was designated as a hate group by the Southern Poverty Law Center three years ago. The real puzzlement lies in the fact that even after such a designation the center has done nothing to ameliorate those charges and everything to live up to that characterization.

During the recent flap over the Boy Scouts of America’s consideration to allow homosexual youth and scout masters into their rank and file, something that shouldn’t even be a question mark, the Family Research Council and its members were sent into paroxysms of rage. The anti-gay, anti-abortion, anti-non-Christian group wasted no time in pooling the resources of dozens of other similar groups together to publish this full-page advertisement in USA Today reaching readers throughout the country:

bsa ad

Once the decision had been tabled until May, the Council celebrated and thanked all of those who supported them as President Tony Perkins issued the following statement:

tony 2“However, it is not enough that they postpone a decision. Instead, the BSA board should publicly re-affirm their current standards, as they did just last July. We look forward to continuing to work with scouting parents, leaders of the faith-based organizations that charter over two-thirds of the packs and the troops. We will also continue to communicate with the Scout leadership about the grave consequences that would result if they were to compromise their moral standards in the face of threats from corporate elites and homosexual activists.”

Perkins has a long standing history of hatred and bigotry toward all things non-Christian and non-heterosexual. He received a Bachelor of Science Degree from Liberty University, an Evangelical Christian school in Virginia, that steeps its students in creationism and dominionist dogma.

Perkins went on to become a police officer, a television reporter, and a two-term legislator in the Louisiana House of Representatives. While in office, Perkins pushed for prayer in public schools and to prevent what he called “Censorship of America’s Christian Heritage.” He authored the nation’s first covenant marriage law which would permit divorce only in cases of physical abuse, abandonment, imprisonment, or after two years of separation.

Believing that judicial nominees were being blocked by U.S. Senate Democrats, who were waging a war against orthodox religious views, and that the nominees were being persecuted for their Christian beliefs, Perkins organized Justice Sunday, an attempt to mobilize the Evangelical Christian base into support of Christian judicial nominees.

Klansman David Duke

Klansman David Duke

Tony Perkins is no saint. In 1996, he was campaign manager for Woody Jenkins who was running against Mary Landrieu. He paid a whopping $82,500 to Ku Klux Klansman David Duke for Duke’s mailing list, a stunt that ended up in the campaign being fined for false disclosure after his attempt to hide the payment to the nefarious racist.

But, his elbow-rubbing with white supremacists didn’t end there as he continued his bigotry with the Council of Conservative Citizens, a group which has also been named a hate group by the SPLC and which outwardly considers black people as a “retrograde species of humanity.”

Perkins has been the head honcho at the Family Research Council since 2003. The Council is an offshoot of James Dobson’s Focus on the Family. Because of the political nature of the Council, the founders believed it might threaten the tax-exempt status of Focus on the Family, hence the separation of the two entities.

The first president of the FRC was Gary Bauer, an evangelical Christian, politician and Ronald Reagan acolyte of equal intolerance to Perkins.

The FRC is extremely active in the political arena and in policy making decisions. With a membership of approximately a half-million, and a cadre of heavy-hitting, well-heeled board members and staff, they enter the halls of government on local, state, and federal levels with a fair amount of clout.

Focusing on all things Christian, the FRC is virulently anti-abortion, anti-separation of church and state, anti-homosexual, anti-immigrant, and anti-pornography. They are one of the leading organizations in funding the conservative movement. Every Fall, the FRC Action group holds the Values Voters Summit, comprised of Christian activists and voters in Washington, DC. where conservative  presidential and congressional hopefuls can be heard and evaluated. In 2012, those who participated included: Rep. Michelle Bachmann; Gary Bauer; Glenn Beck; Gen. William Boykin; Governor Jan Brewer; Rep. Eric Cantor; Sen. Ted Cruz; Sen. Jim DeMint; Rep. Jeff Fortenberry; Governor Mike Huckabee; Rep. Tim Huelskamp; Rep. Jim Jordan; Rep. Steve King; Rep. James Lankford; Governor Bob McDonnell; Lt. Col. Oliver North; Sen. Rand Paul; Governor Mitt Romney; Rep. Paul Ryan; and Sen. Rick Santorum.

This is but a sampling of those who the FRC has great influence over. The Complete roster can be seen here: http://www.valuesvotersummit.org/speakers.

During the 2012, summit, a group Dream Act activists and GetEQUAL activists staged a protest during Mitt Romney’s speech. Apparently, the good Christians present weren’t called upon to feel very Christ-like on that evening and began throwing punches and shoving the young protestors.  Brent Bozell was introducing a speaker and from the podium he told the protestors to leave and told the audience “if you see any protestors, beat ‘em up.” Felipe Matos, one of the protestors,  gave this account:

“As soon as we started our action and pulled out a giant rainbow flag in full sight, conference participants morphed into an angry mob. Some screamed, “Our values are not killing you! It’s AIDS, and you’re spreading it!” Others told us, “Get out of my country!” even though Sean Watkins, one of our activists from Ohio, served in the military during the Iraq War. It was horrifying to see participants and security guards attacking one of our lead organizers in D.C., Charles Butler, pushing and choking him so much that he was out of breath and fell to the floor a few times.”

Jerry Boykin

Jerry Boykin

Recently, General Jerry Boykin was chosen to fill the seat of Executive Vice President for the Family Research Council. Boykin brings a whole new dimension the Council as he is well known for his noxious Islamophobic views. As a 36-year veteran of the military, and a former U.S. deputy undersecretary of defense under Donald Rumsfeld, Boykin likened the War on Terror to a battle against Satan, claimed that George W. Bush was put into office by God, and was censured by the Army for giving speeches at various Christian events while in full-dress uniform.

During his tenure, he ranted that Muslims hate America, and stated that the military is recruiting a spiritual army that will draw strength from a greater power to destroy their enemies. According to Boykin, Islam is not a religion and does not deserve First Amendment protection.

In Jerry Boykin’s world,  mosques should be banned in the United States.  After all,  “we are at war” against the threat of Islam and the Muslim Brotherhood, which he says is trying to implement Sharia law in the U.S.  Of course, his history of incendiary remarks drew a lot of heat recently and he was forced to withdraw from delivering a speech at the 2012 National Prayer Breakfast, held at West Point in February, thanks to a lot of pressure from the good folks at the Military Religious Freedom Foundation.  A few months after that, in July, the FRC hired Boykin as executive vice president. We can only imagine what he will bring to their already hate-filled feast.

Along with the big push against the Boy Scouts of America, the FRC has recently taken up the fight against the Violence Against Women Act. Calling  upon their membership, the FRC sent out an email alert and quoted Phyllis Schlafly who wrote:

schlafly-460x307“[VAWA] has done little or no good for real victims of domestic violence, while its funds have been used to fill feminist coffers and to lobby for feminist objectives and laws. Although every spending bill should be subject to rigorous auditing procedures in order to curb waste and fraud, VAWA has somehow ducked accountability for the [$660 million] a year it doles out to radical feminist organizations.”

The email went on to say:

“Among the bill’s most egregious parts is a provision that would ban funds to grantees who may have religious objections to homosexuality–even if no documented case of refused services has been found. It also includes special assistance for homosexual victims.”

The FRC is a dangerous organization posing a real threat to the very fabric of a multicultural society such as ours. Their every move and motivation is based a dark undercurrent of hatred, ignorance, and fear, and they have become very adept at spreading their pernicious message to millions of vulnerable individuals. Additionally, they have been successful in promoting and electing lawmakers into positions of power who will succumb to the pressure and the purse of those who seek to force us into the abyss of a societal demise.

Who's Who In The FRC

Who’s Who In The FRC

 

The Heritage Foundation – The Old Guard and a New Beginning

The Heritage Foundation

The Old Guard and A New Beginning

By Nicole Nichols

Two and a quarter centuries ago, a group of very brave and daring men came together as masters of nation building. They crafted a miraculously progressive document laying out the blueprint for what would become the most powerful and revered nation on the face of this earth – the United States of America.

Two and a quarter centuries later we, the American people, watch and wonder, argue and debate, agree and disagree on what their true intent was, and how to continue to apply that document to the complexities of the 21st Century. As brilliant and as forward thinking as our Founding Fathers were, it is a sure bet that the current batardization of the intent behind their vision and the co-opting of that document to further the insanity of the right-wing power brokers in this country is causing them a great deal of discomfort as they turn in their graves.

Two hundred years later the document itself still inspires awe and is defended in its wisdom and its utility. It is guarded against any alteration or modification and revered as the defining authority of a free people. Yet, there are those nefarious individuals who, while wrapping themselves in the American flag and carrying their crosses, insist upon cherry-picking from that document – much as they do with the Bible – and using it to twist and bend the truths to help further an agenda that can only be described as malevolently malignant.

Unfortunately, the American public is largely unaware of the shameful desecration that is taking place as well as the nature of the beast behind the odious transgressions of these individuals. While most of the intelligent world is thankful to be rid of the Reagan and Bush eras in this country, we only thought that we got rid of them. Few understand that those two individuals live on in the policy making institutes that really run this country.

In actuality, few are familiar with fact that the wheelers and dealers who came out of those administrations still occupy seats of power, and that there are “training” facilities all across the county where the right-wing dogma is being pummeled into the minds of up and coming politicians and leaders. There is little attention given to such endeavors, yet the ultra-conservative zealots have made huge inroads into the political landscape and into our everyday lives.

One of those institutes is the Heritage Foundation. Long considered one of the most influential research and policy setting bodies in the country. The Heritage Foundation took a leading role during the Reagan Administration and has been furthering the conservative agenda ever since. The stated mission of the Foundation is to “formulate and promote conservative public policies based on the principles of free enterprise, limited government, individual freedom, traditional American values, and a strong national defense”.

Insinuating themselves into every facet of American life, the Foundation is active in the halls of Congress at both the federal and state levels writing and presenting policies and laws that favor the end roads that they seek. They have the ears of our elected officials and the clout to cause those servants of the people to stand up and listen.

Throughout the last four years the Foundation has left its finger prints all over some of the most distasteful, intrusive, and prejudicial legislation to ever be suggested to the American people. Opposition to the removal of Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell, Personhood Acts, the Defense of Marriage Act, Voter ID laws, School Vouchers, Deregulation of EPA mandates, Climate change denial, Global warming denial, privatization of Social Security and education, continuing the War on Terror, expanding the military, tax breaks for the wealthy, etc. all bear the mark of the Heritage Foundation along with other powerful entities.

It is important to note that the Heritage Foundation was started by three individuals in 1973, thus it is not a newly organized group. Paul Weyrich, Edwin Feulner, and Joseph Coors all deserve to be mentioned here, as they have been a huge driving force behind, not only the right, but the religious right, as well.

Paul Weyrich

Paul Weyrich

Weyrich, who is now deceased, also founded the Committee For the Survival of a Free Congress which was among the first organization to be able to utilize evangelical Christian churches for the purpose of recruiting and cultivating future activists to further and support conservative social causes. He later co-founded the Christian Voice, and in 1979, he and Jerry Falwell founded the Moral Majority.

But, Weyrich didn’t stop there with his attempts to Christianize the country. He went on to found the extremely powerful American Legislative Exchange Council, the most persuasive legislation writing group in this country today, and the Free Congress Foundation. Both Weyrich and the Free Congress Foundation have long been considered examples of dominionism in action. As the author The Integration of Theory and Practice: A Program for the New Traditionalist Movement, Weyrich came under fire for what Katherine Yurika said was a “call for the use of deception, misinformation, and divisiveness to allow conservative evangelical Christian Republicans to gain and keep control of seats of power in the government of the United States.”

As if all of that were not enough, Weyrich also co-founded the Council for National Policy with another dominionist, Tim LaHaye. The CNP is a highly secretive conclave of some of the most powerful social conservatives in the country.

Edwin Feulner

Edwin Feulner

Edwin Feulner, another Foundation co-founder, has served as the Director of the Council for National Policy and in other capacities, as well. Feulner has been an extremely active force in furthering the ultra-conservative movement serving in a variety of positions with councils, centers, foundations, PAC’s, institutes and political campaigns. He has become a major figurehead to the right. He currently serves as the President of the Heritage Foundation until April when he will be replaced by former Senator Jim DeMint.

Joseph Coors, Sr.

Joseph Coors, Sr.

Joseph Coors, late President of Coors Brewing Company, was also instrumental in the founding of the Council for National Policy and the Free Congress Foundation. Some of his fortune was invested in the career of President Ronald Reagan and he served on Reagan’s Kitchen Cabinet. Coors also donated $65,000 dollars to purchase a light cargo plane for the contras in the Nicaraguan affair funneling the money through the National Security Council adviser Oliver North.

Among the Heritage Foundation’s staff members and advisers are David Addington, former chief aide to Vice President Dick Cheney; Ed Meese, Reagan’s Attorney General; Richard Scaife, mega-right-wing funder; and Midge Decter, the wife of neoconservative icon Norman Podhoretz.

Right Web tells us that In addition, “Heritage maintains a plank of some 60 in-house experts who are in turn supported by nearly 200 staff and management personnel. It also supports some 30 additional websites and affiliated projects, including the Margaret Thatcher Center for Freedom, the Heritage Congressional Fellowship, NationalSecurity.org, and ReagansHeritage.org.”

The Heritage Foundation is divided into many different factions that allows it to run pretty stealth where it wants to. The Senior Management Staff and the Board of Trustees are a bevy of heavy-hitters from every possible spectrum covering the bases of business, energy, economics, environment, foreign affairs, military, religion, law, culture, education, media, etc.

There are several “policy centers” within their structure that run the gamut: Asian Studies; Principles and Politics; Data Analysis; Health Policy Studies; International Trade & Economics; Legal and Judicial Studies; Media and Public Policy; Religion and Civil Society; The Margaret Thatcher Center for Freedom; Economic Policy Studies; Foreign Policy Studies; and International Studies.

Perhaps one of the most substantially ominous quotes from the Heritage Foundation, and the one that speaks volumes about the influence they wield is:

“Heritage analysts help members of Congress and their staff prepare for congressional hearings by providing valuable insight on foreign or domestic policy issues. Congressional staffers come to Heritage regularly to receive custom-tailored briefings on the latest Heritage research related to their committee assignment or legislative priority.”

Currently, the Foundation is offering 507 very sophisticated charts to members of Congress to use on the floor. These charts include union membership, welfare spending, public education staffing, health care costs, the federal budget, entitlements, etc. all of which are presented with the conservative bias that would, of course, be expected.

Every day, the national press is provided with a list of Heritage Foundation experts who are available for interviews on the pressing issues of the day. Their voluminous website makes policy papers available with the click of a mouse and houses articles and ruminations from some of the most prolific conservatives who seek to inundate the public with their religiously driven, prejudicial, narrow-minded, perspective that would insure a conservative Christian American government.

They encourage enrollment in their “Young Leaders Program.” Targeting college-age students, the Foundation offers internships to qualified students where they will be able to engage in research, writing, administrative, and computer projects, and work with many of the Foundation’s experts.

The Heritage Foundation boasts that it currently has over 700,000 supporters. It is largely funded through private individuals and charitable foundations such as the Olin, Scaife, DeVos, and Bradley Foundations. However, its corporate donors cannot be ignored. Among those donors have been General Motors, Ford Motors, Proctor & Gamble, Chase Manhattan Bank, Dow Chemical, Mobil Oil, and Smith Kline Corporation. It should also be noted that the Heritage Foundation is a part of the Koch Foundation Associate Program. Hence, with an operating revenue budget of over seventy-five million dollars, it is unlikely that this outfit is going to go away anytime soon.

At this juncture, there is no denying how powerfully influential the Heritage Foundation is within the political landscape, or how successful they have been in managing to foist their right-wing agenda on the American people. However, as puissant as they have been, they are entering a new era, one that promises to take their right-wing zealotry to, perhaps, even higher levels of radical regression and political extremism.

Jim DeMint

Jim DeMint

As Jim DeMint assumes the Presidency of the Foundation, it is quite possible that acquiring such a seat will give him an even greater voice in conservative circles and for conservative causes than he had in the Senate. That possibility alone is daunting.

As, perhaps, the most conservative member of the Senate, DeMint was a very powerful force. He has been consistent in advocating prayer in public schools and allowing banners and posters revering God flying in the face of the concept of separation of church and state. A staunch Pro-Lifer, he took a stand against abortion even in the case of rape or incest. DeMint garnered a 100% approval rating among anti-immigration groups for his stand on illegal immigration, opposition to the Dream Act, and favoring legislation that would declare English as the official language of the United States. Vehemently opposing same-gender marriage, he told a rally of his supporters that openly homosexual and unmarried sexually active people should not be teachers. He also favors banning gays in the military and prohibiting adoptions by same-sex couples.

DeMint claims that American exceptionalism requires understanding from a Biblical viewpoint and that we all benefit from government founded on Christian values. He wholeheartedly supports faith-based initiatives. In response to questions on poverty and welfare, Jim DeMint offered this statement:

“Every member of the House has to stand in the House chamber, raise his right hand, and recite the oath of office at the beginning of each new Congress:

“I, Jim DeMint, do solemnly swear that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign or domestic; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same; that I take this obligation freely, without any mental reservation or purpose of evasion; and that I will faithfully discharge the duties of the office on which I am about to enter. So help me God.”

“There is nothing in this oath about representing my district and state or helping the poor and downtrodden. There was nothing about responding to the woes of the American people. There was no list of duties because everything we were supposed to do in Congress was written in the Constitution. All federal officers & members of the armed services all take an oath to protect and defend the Constitution. It must have been really important at one time.”

Jim DeMint is the epitome of the Christian right hard-liner. Revered by the Tea Party, he embodies all of the characteristics of the dogmatic, radical fanatic who lusts for power. Putting and keeping the populace in its place of being subservient to the elite and the ‘chosen’ is paramount to achieving authority over the masses.

“Only accountability to God, economic necessity, and the rule of law can redirect the inherent negative tendencies of mankind toward morality, virtue, hard work, self-control, and personal responsibility.

These are the character traits that make people governable with only limited government and external control.” (Jim DeMint)

Additionally, Jim DeMint is a member and housemate of “The Family,” better known as the “C-Street Group.” For those unfamiliar, C-Street is located in Washington and the establishment in question is listed as a church. Several members of Congress inhabit the house and others similar to it where spirituality sessions and Bible studies are conducted. The group has come under a lot of scrutiny after a couple of sex scandals brought them to the forefront. Interestingly, the congressmen who are part of this group all believe that they were chosen by Jesus Christ to be leaders.

One can only speculate where his leadership will take the already fundamentally avaricious Heritage Foundation, but it is probably safe to assume that it will be down a path that generates policies and legislation that are essentially untenable to anyone who refuses to live under theocratic rule.

We, as a nation, value our right to vote and cherish the “idea” that our government is truly “of the people, by the people, and for the people.” But, is it really? That begs the question – “Which people?” Clearly, we have been misinformed for it is not us that make the decisions. “The people” are those who sit in high places, draw down nice fat salaries, and seek ways to make the rest of us manageable – controllable – governable. They are the ones who grease the right palms, kiss the right asses, and wrap themselves in the American flag while calling themselves virtuous patriots.

Fear is a powerful motivator, and the fear of these “people” is palpable. They shiver in their shoes at the thought of becoming powerless. They are terrified of losing control, of not being in authority, of being stripped of their titles, of ever having to become just one of us. Consequently, there is no limit to what they will attempt to maintain their superiority. Their conscience is non-existent as they try to impose laws and regulations that are wholly deleterious to the very fabric of American society. Their use of the Bible and their so-called Christianity is simply their way of trying to subjugate us into a submissive posture to assure that their place at the table isn’t threatened.

The Heritage Foundation is but one of many all seeking the same end. However, they are all connected through their membership and through their collaboration with each other. These organizations are well connected, well heeled, and well on their way to achieving their goals of total dominion. That is why it is incumbent upon every American that we understand the agenda and make the determination to, once again, be “The People” or become the servants.

***

For an overview of the Heritage Foundation see the chart below

The "Leaders"

The “Leaders”

For a birds-eye-view of the structure of the Heritage Foundation see the chart below:

The Line-Up

The Line-Up

The Dominionist Connection

The Menage a trois between Big Business, Government, and Religion – A birds-eye view

By Nicole Nichols

Climbing mountains is never easy, however, if you are climbing those mountains in the metaphorical sense, it behooves you to have beaucoup bucks behind you and a lot of powerful people to push you all the way to the top. If you are a Dominionist hell-bent on taking over the world, you really don’t much care who you climb in bed with or who scratches your back. Hence, we are now witnessing the co-mingling and fraternization of religious extremists, politicians, think-tanks, Super PACs, and big business as the Dominionists seek to reach the pinnacle of that mountain of government.

What we are truly watching is a union, a marriage, if you will, of the church and the state. One of the most coveted tenets of the Founding Fathers of this country was the separation of these two entities, yet those who bellow the loudest about preserving the Constitution and the ideals of those Fathers, are fighting within the framework to circumvent the very doctrine which has served us so well.

For an eye-opening experience, we now take a look at just one of the many groups who are in the midst of that battle and how they have managed to wrangle their way into the inner circle of power brokers.

The passage of Citizens United by the Supreme Court of the United States sent shockwaves throughout the nation. Affording corporations the same rights as people and allowing an unprecedented wave of money to be sent into campaign coffers allows the mega-wealthy to purchase elections of officials who will be even more beholden to their benefactors than they are to their constituents. Petition drives are being held all over our country and congressmen and women are being lobbied to put an end to that ruling as the general populace understands the ramifications of such an enactment. Yet, do they really?

The Citizens United Foundation was begun in 1988, as the brainchild of Floyd G. Brown. It is a nonprofit corporation with a 501(c)(4) Tax exempt status affiliated with the Presidential Coalition and the Conservative Victory Committee and located on Pennsylvania Avenue in the Capitol Hill District of Washington, D.C. The Foundation has been instrumental in creating many controversies and in successfully helping to elect many extreme-right candidates.  Besides Floyd G. Brown, Founder and Chairman of the Board, its officers include: David Bossie, Chairman; Michael Boos, President and General Counsel; Brian J. Berry, Director; Douglas L. Ramsey, Secretary-Treasurer; Ron Robinson, Director; and Bob Barr, Congressman and Honorary Chairman.

The stated mission of the organization is:

“CUF is dedicated to informing the American people about public policy issues which relate to traditional American values, including: the Constitution as the supreme limit on federal power, a strong national defense as the primary role of the federal government; free enterprise as the economic system that has enabled the American people to attain and maintain an historically high standard of living; belief in God and Judeo/Christian values as the fundamental attribute of our way of life; and the recognition of the family as the basic social unit of our society.”

There are a daunting number of groups engaged in running an extreme right-wing agenda on the American people, and following the money and power trails of any of those groups will lead to the same results. However, because of the numerous congressional candidates endorsed by Citizens United and its various entities, it became the obvious place to begin this trek into the dark realm of the blending of religion and politics and the impending marriage of church and state.

For a visual explaining the immediate reach of Citizens United, as a whole, click the chart below – and remember this is just a drop in the bucket when it comes to the influence and power that this one group has.

A look at what each CUF member brings to the table.

A look at what each CUF member brings to the table.

DAVID BOSSIE

Back in the year 2000, colleagues David Bossie and Floyd G. Brown collaborated on a book entitled, “Prince Albert: The Life and Lies of Al Gore.” There’s little surprise there given the fact that both men are devout climate change deniers and evolution myth theorists.

David Bossie, an acolyte of Ronald Reagan, went to work for Floyd Brown at the Presidential Victory Committee back in 1992. He had already come into prominence, and perhaps flown into Brown’s radar, when he and another colleague attempted to show that Susann Coleman had become impregnated by, and committed suicide, after an affair with her law professor, Bill Clinton.  Interestingly, Bossie was hired by Fred Thompson’s U.S. Senate Investigation of the Whitewater Scandal as a lead investigator, to look into Clinton’s financial abuses.

During the investigation it came to light that Bossie, et. al. had published tapes that had been redacted. Bossie was summarily fired.

Once sitting pretty in Brown’s Citizens United Foundation, and feeling right at home with those of the same mind-set, Bossie began to focus his attention on the Citizens United Productions division. Creating such films as: Border War: The Battle Over Illegal Immigration; Celsius 41.11; Rediscovering God in America, hosted by Newt and Callista Gingrich; Hillary: The Movie; and Occupy Unmasked, Bossie and friends were riding high in their saddle as a major righ-ring propaganda mill.

It was, of course, Hillary: The Movie that brought them into the hallowed halls of the Supreme Court of the United States. When they were sued before the film was scheduled to be released in early 2008, the suit also brought with it an injunction. Unfortunately, for Bossie and friends, the appeals court did not hear the case until 2010, and the movie was then untimely. However, the Supreme Court ruling referred to by us today simply as Citizens United, sent an outcry throughout the country which is still reverberating today.

In addition to his office at Citizens United, Bossie is a member of the National Conservative Campaign Fund, and has served as Director of Programs at the prestigious right-wing Leadership Institute which is home to many of the Christian right politicians.  Additionally, he is listed as the President and Manager of the Presidential Coalition, a Republican front group that is closely affiliated with Citizens United and instrumental in funding state and local candidates – so close, in fact that they share the same address at 1006 Pennsylvania Avenue. It’s a cozy relationship.  But, that’s not the only coziness that Bossie enjoys. Sleaze or not, his gallery of running buddies is vast as you can see on the chart below:

The Stealth Marriage Between Church and State

The Stealth Marriage Between Church and State

FLOYD G. BROWN

As the Founder and Chairman of the Board of Citizens United, Brown can only be categorized as an “ultra-conservative, dominionist” with a radical agenda for the United States of America. Along with Citizens United he has served as the Executive Director of Young America’s Foundation, an outreach program whose goal is indoctrination of our youth into the culture of extreme politics. Active on college campuses, the YAF engages such speakers as John Stossel, Ann Coulter, and David Horowitz. The YAF also promotes Horowitz’s Intellectual Diversity Movement which believes that the curriculum being taught is based in liberalism and that the conservative ideology is not being presented.

The YAF operates the Reagan Ranch, also known as Rancho Del Cielo where it conducts conferences, seminars, internships, and disseminates “educational” materials throughout the nation.

Brown’s ultra-conservatism doesn’t stop there, however. He is also President of Excellentia, Inc. which he founded in 2007. Excellentia, Inc. bills itself as a Conservative and Christian Marketplace. They provide fundraising; campaign and strategy development; direct mail; copy writing and production; radio and TV production and scripts; and ad placement and analysis services. According to their website:

“Climb your mountain of success with our help. We have a passion for serving in the marketplace of ideas. We have been in the business of promoting conservative and Christian ideas for over 30 years. Our professionals have developed some of the most memorable marketing campaigns in recent history. We will help you reach your community of interest with unparalleled success. Successful clients have included non profit organizations, political campaigns and publishing organizations.”

A frequent guest on network and cable TV shows, and a contributor to several publications, Brown became obsessed with the Clinton’s. He published a slim paperback entitled “Slick Willie: Why America Cannot Trust Bill Clinton,” in which he went on the standard diatribe about Clinton being a friend of labor unions and a “draft dodger” he also asserted: “Bill Clinton’s America sees no difference between families of ‘homosexual lovers’ and the traditional, monogamous, faithful family…In addition, Mr. Clinton has surrendered completely to the pro-abortion feminists who dominate the Democratic Party.”

In 2007, Brown co-founded the National Campaign Fund along with Bruce E. Haekins, James V. Lacey, Tim Kelley and Michael Reagan. The purpose was to fund the presidential campaigns of  John McCain and Rudy Giuliani as they were concerned about the popularity of Hillary Clinton.

In 1992, during an interview with the Washington Times, Brown stated:

“I have a sense of what connects with people like me. We’re not culturally Republicans. We’re not libertarians. We’re not neo-conservatives or former liberals. We’re just old-fashioned, blue collar social conservatives. These are people who couldn’t care less about politics, want to be left alone by government, but if their country calls for them to fight abroad, will. You win elections by cultivating people like me.”

Nothing could have been further from the truth. The barely thirty-one year old Brown had waded into the dark side of the political arena several years earlier when he started Citizens United and began to organize political campaigns along with an effort to secure Supreme Court Justice, Clarence Thomas an appointment, and the campaigns against Michael Dukakis and Bill Clinton. Brown came to notoriety, however, during the Dukakis campaign when he produced the infamous “Willie Horton ads.” Later, he played a prominent role in the Whitewater Scandal.

Brown and his National Campaign Fund created an anti-Obama website which they update regularly at ExposeObama.com. Filled with anti-Obama hatred and venom accusing him of being soft on crime and islamo-fascism, the website has been criticized nationally for the misinformation that it distributes.

Brown sits on the Council for National Policy, a powerful and highly secretive group of largely Dominionist political figures who hold clandestine meetings and initiate policies to further an extreme agenda of theocracy and ultra-conservatism.

While Brown is considered odious in many circles, he carries a big stick and hob-nobs with others even more tainted than he. His expertise in the area of swift-boat advertising is much sought after by the right and the desperate. This does not, however, diminish the effectiveness of Brown’s campaign acuity. His associates are every bit as ruthless as Brown, and every bit as determined to succeed.

To realize just how connected Floyd Brown is, check out the chart below which depicts those with whom he hob-nobs, infuences, and supports as well as some of their affiliations.

Floyd Brown

MICHAEL BOOS

Michael Boos is the Vice President and General Council for Citizens United. He is also the Director of the American Sovereignty Action Project of Manassas, Virginia which is yet another fundraising arm of Citizens United. In addition, he is in charge of the Presidential Coalition and in 2007, he registered another 527 Committee, the 2007 Conservative Victory Committee. Of course, all of this is nothing less than circumventing campaign finance laws and finding creative ways to channel and funnel large sums of money into the election process. We get that.

That being said, it also muddies the waters and helps to make things much more difficult for the unwashed peasants, which are the American people to these folks, to understand and realize just what the hell is going on and how they are being hoodwinked by a bunch of greedy bastards who want nothing less than to rule the world.

In addition to his other various and sundry duties, Michael Boos acts as the Program Director for the Young America’s Foundation. In short, the organization, another offshoot of Citizens United, is engaged in the promotion of conservative ideas on college campuses throughout the United States. However, the group has come under a lot of fire as one of their unstated objectives is to “keep track of what the left-wing opposition is up to,” according to Fredric L. Rice from SkepticFiles.org. in 1988.

Rice accused Boos of “keeping files, making lists, taking photographs all to keep an eye on students and professors he says ‘need watching.’ Boos didn’t deny that he does just that. In fact, he justified his actions by claiming that two top-level Reagan Administration officials, Ken Cribb, Assistant to the President for Domestic Affairs, and Frank Donatelli, the President’s chief political advisor support his work. Of course, both of those men serve on the YAF’s Board of Directors, and it isn’t the first time that Donatelli has been linked to Citizens United.

Prior to joining the YAF staff, Boos was the Campaign Director for the National Conservative Political Action Committee. He also served as the Executive Director for the Legal Affairs Council where he gallantly represented conservatives and their values in the nations court system.

Boos is closely tied to the Conservative Victory Committee and the Presidential Coalition. Along with his other endeavors, he can only be considered as a mover and shaker in our national elections, and a front man for some very powerful people.  Given the fact that the American Sovereignty Action Project is listed as a member of the Free Congress Foundation, it must be noted that Michael’s arms reach far and wide.  See the chart below.

Boos2

Brian J. Berry

Brian J. Berry serves as the Director of Citizens United. Berry has been around the horn a time or two and has lots of experience in directing political campaigns. In 1993, Brian directed the successful campaign of Kay Bailey Hutchison, the big-oil candidate from Texas,  as well as the primary campaign for George W, Bush’s first run for Governor in 1994.

He is now the head honcho at Strategy Group for Media, a production and promotion media firm that creates campaign ads for right-ring conservatives who they deem “good people.” In 2012, they worked closely with “Restoring America” and the “Freedom Club,” to produce ad campaigns for state, local, and national campaigns.

On Berry’s Board of Directors is none other than Rex Elsass, who presides over the group and lends his advice to several notable candidates, Ron Paul, Newt Gingrich, Michele Bachmann, and Todd Akin, to name a few. As a born-again Christian, he has been labeled as the ring leader of a GOP dirty-tricks group called “The Nasty Boys.” This relationship shouldn’t come as any major surprise as many of the Citizens United group are known to be nothing less than smear-merchants who will stop at nothing when it comes to besmirching the wicked liberals who threaten to gain any seat of power.

In the November, 2012, elections the Strategy Group engaged in more than 300 campaigns across the country and now boast an 80% win rate. They elected seven of 35 freshman members of Congress, (Scott Perry (PA); Keith Rothfus (PA); Thomas Massie (KY); Andy Barr (KY); Steve Daines (MT); Markwayne Mullin (OK) and Ann Wagner (MO). They re-elected more than 25 incumbent members of Congress, defeated two of five incumbent Democrats, and elected one of the four GOP gubernatorial winners.

Their biggest victories, however, were at the state level where they managed to retain majorities in the Ohio State House and Senate, the Wisconsin Assembly, and the Pennsylvania Senate. They flipped the Wisconsin State Senate back to the GOP and made significant gains for Republicans in the Kentucky State House. Additionally, they take the credit for the election of the infamous Supreme Court Justice in Alabama – Justice Roy Moore.

Consequently, Brian J. Berry and his twisted group of slanderous manipulators fit quite well into the deviant and unscrupulous realm of Citizens United.

berry

Douglas L. Ramsey

Douglas L. Ramsey is somewhat of an enigma within Citizens United. Serving as the Secretary – Treasurer of Citizens United, he is also the Director of Strategic Alliances at Victory Studios, a full-service media company out of Seattle, Washington.

Ramsey is described as a “Career media veteran with extensive management and business development experience in all media forms. He held senior management positions with the Seattle Seahawks as Senior Director of Business Development and the Seattle SuperSonics as Director of Corporate Sponsorship and Broadcast Development.

Undoubtedly, he brings management, marketing, and business acumen to Citizens United.

Ron Robinson

Like so many of his cohorts, Ron Robinson is a Reaganite. He served as an advisor to the United States Department of Education during the Reagan Administration and holds Reagan in the highest regard. Currently, he serves as Director for Citizens United, and has been the President of the Young Americans Foundation for over thirty years.

Time Magazine referred to Robinson as “one of the seasoned generals of the right,” who is leading the “diverse and well-funded” generation of conservatives who are “winning battles on campus.”

He is the co-author of  “Funding Fathers: The Unsung Heroes of the Conservative Movement, Published, of course, by the right-wing Regnery Publishing Company.

Not surprisingly, Robinson served as a Trustee at the Philadelphia Society, a membership only organization that has had considerable influence over the Conservative Movement in this country. He currently serves as a Trustee for the Phillips Foundation, a group that advances Constitutional principles and American Values. The Phillips Foundation awards the annual Reagan Scholarship. Additionally, he is the Vice President of the Free Speech Defense and Education Fund. The FSDEF is noted for its assistance to the Christian Action Network.

Robinson is married to Michelle Easton who is the founder and president of the Clare Booth Luce Policy Institute, a right-wing think tank that seeks to advance women through conservative ideas.

Robinson has all of the credentials and contacts that make him a valuable asset to Citizens United.

Robinson

Former Representative  Bob Barr

What we know about the former Representative from Georgia’s 7th District is that he is the exact kind of sleazebag that we would expect to be affiliated with Citizens United.  He is a former federal prosecutor and one of the leaders of the impeachment of President Bill Clinton.

He served for a short time as the President of the Southeastern Legal Foundation, an Atlanta based law firm and policy center that largely litigates in support of limited government, economic freedom and the free enterprise system.

Columnist Bill Schipp, at one point, called Barr, “the idol of the gun-toting, abortion-fighting, IRS-hating hard right-wing of American politics.” We can take that even further. Barr is a member of the racist, radical group “Sons of Confederate Veterans,” who favor secession and an all-white homeland. He is also the darling of the Council of Conservative Citizens. Both of these groups have been designated as hate groups by the Southern Poverty Law Center.

Barr authored the Defense of Marriage Act, yet he currently claims that it should be repealed. One can only wonder how that plays out with his far-right, Christian-minded buddies. Of course, he then advocated for the practice of Wicca to be banned in the military.

Bob Barr is a contributing editor to the conservative monthly magazine The American Spectator, published by Alfred Regnery and Regnery Publishing, and is on the Board of Advisors for the Texas Review of Law & Politics.

He serves as the 21st Century Liberties Chair for Freedom and Privacy at the American Conservative Union and is on the Board of the Constitution Project as well as the Patrick Henry Center.

As an Honorary Chairman for Citizens United, Bob Barr should feel right at home with the nefarious miscreants who make up that organization.

Barr2

Foster Freiss

Every organization needs an infusion of cash and Christian charity now and then, right? Enter Foster Freiss right smack-dab into the midst of chicanery, mud-baths, and the wheeling and dealing that surrounds Citizens United.

Freiss is a businessman and generous supporter of Conservative Christian causes. In 2012, he kept the campaign of Presidential hopeful, Rick Santorum, afloat by financing a super PAC, the Red, White and Blue Fund which ran television advertisements on behalf of the candidate.

In addition, Freiss donated at least $100,000 to Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker to help fight against the recall campaign that was being waged against him; $3 million dollars to Tucker Carlson’s The Daily Caller website, and a cool million to the Koch Brothers political activities.

Along with his benevolence, Foster Freiss in a member of America’s Foundation, Campaign America, Inc., and the Center For Security Policy.

He has served in several capacities, including president, on the Council For National Policy, an extreme right, Christian outfit that wields a ton of power in the halls of Congress. He also sits alongside a bevy of hard-right individuals in the Foundation for Defense of Democracies, a pro-Israeli, pro war outfit.

Among his other beneficiaries are the Good Government For America Committee, Grow PAC, Restore Our Future PAC, the Prosperity PAC, and the John Templeton Foundation. The latter claims to give away about $70 million dollars a year in research grants and programs.

Spreading the wealth around, is what Freiss does best, and his friends at Citizens United can smell money from hundreds of miles away. Deep pockets, a little charisma, and a whole lot of clout makes Foster the golden boy of a lot of very devious and money-grubbing organizations and individuals. Money might not buy everything, but it sure speaks with a very loud voice.

Freiss

Again, Citizens United is a small group in comparison with others – but their power reaches far beyond their inner circle. All throughout our halls of government and our policy making institutions, the inner-workings of groups just like this are furthering the dissolution of the coveted separation of church and state and attempting to create a merger of business, government, and theocracy. It is in their hands that our fate lies.

DeMint’s Career Move Strategic & Calculated

Leah Burton is, certainly, the go-to person when it comes to Dominionism in politics, and her spot on critique doesn’t pull any punches in this, her latest article.

DeMint-WolfI know that many are doing a little dance singing “Ding-Dong the Tea Party is Dead”…but don’t get too cocky. The announcement in the Wall Street Journal that South Carolina U.S. Senator Jim DeMint is resigning his position before the end of his term is not an indicator of his abdicating power. Quite the contrary. He is moving into a very powerful and influential position as the new president of the Heritage Foundation, one of many that are funded by the Koch Brothers & Co.

These folks are truly experts at re-branding and after the ass-kicking they received in the presidential primaries and general election of 2012 they are re-grouping with a vengeance. They know that they were humiliated and mocked – even within their own conservative ranks and they are not about to repeat 2012. Here is a clip from Right Wing Watch of Glenn Beck and DeMint sharing a kumbaya moment on Beck’s radio today…

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