New Spanish-Language Radio Ad in Colorado Calls Out Gardner on His Extreme Views

Radio listeners in Colorado will be hearing a new Spanish-language radio ad today highlighting the stark differences between the Senate candidates’ stances on environmental issues.

The ad, aired by NextGen Climate and supported by People For the American Way, sheds light on GOP candidate Rep. Cory Gardner’s ties to wealthy special interests who pollute the environment as well as Democratic candidate Sen. Mark Udall’s commitment to protecting clear air and water for Colorado families. The ad closes with a call to action for voters: “Let’s remember: our vote is our strength.”

On Monday, PFAW and NextGen Climate began airing a TV ad that also calls Gardner out on his record of standing on the side of polluters and wealthy donors. This work is part of a multi-year, nationwide campaign to engage Latino voters in key states that PFAW has been leading since 2011.

You can read a transcript of the ad, as well as an English translation, below.

El republicano Cory Gardner nos quiere engañar.

Dice que valora a nuestra comunidad, pero su campaña acepta dinero de contaminadores multimillonarios que envenenan el aire y agua. Y nosotros estamos expuestos a la contaminación ambiental hasta 4 veces más que a otros residentes de Colorado.

Por esto ¿A quien apoyaremos este Noviembre? ¡Al demócrata Mark Udall!

El lucha para que tengamos agua limpia y aire sano en nuestros hogares y vecindarios.¡Y el protege la salud de nuestras familias y de nuestros hijos por que valora a nuestra comunidad! Por eso, en estas elecciones tenemos la responsabilidad hacia nuestro pueblo de votar por Mark Udall.

Recordemos: nuestro voto es nuestra fuerza.

VO Disclaimer:
Pagado por NextGenClimate Action Committee, nextgenclimate.org. No está autorizado por ningun candidato o comité del candidato. NextGen Climate Action Committee es responsable por el contenido de este anuncio. Apoyado por People For the American Way.

English translation:

Republican Cory Gardner wants to deceive us.

He says he values our community, but he takes money for his campaign from billionaire polluters who poison the air and water. And we are exposed to pollution by as much as 4 times greater than other Colorado residents.

Because of this, who will we be supporting this November? Democrat Mark Udall!

He fights so that we have clean air and water in our neighborhoods and homes. And he protects the health of our families and children because he values our community! That’s why we have the responsibility to our community to vote for Mark Udall in this election.

Let’s remember: our vote is our strength.

VO Disclaimer:
Paid for by NextGen Climate Action Committee, nextgenclimate.org.  Not authorized by any candidate or candidate’s committee.  NextGen Climate Action Committee is responsible for the content of this advertising. Supported by PFAW.


Anti-Gay Activists: We Need Our Rosa Parks!

Peter LaBarbera, president of Americans For Truth About Homosexuality, visited Janet Mefferd’s radio program yesterday to discuss his call for “civil disobedience on a massive scale” to protest marriage equality and “the gay thought police.” The two agreed that the anti-gay movement is ready for its own Rosa Parks to spark a national outcry with an act of civil disobedience…against marriage equality.

“One of the watershed moments, if not the watershed moment, of the civil rights movement was when Rosa Parks just said, ‘I’m not giving up my seat on the bus, I’m not doing it,’” Mefferd said. “And this sweet woman ended up becoming this massive hero and she didn’t have any other idea behind it other than she didn’t think it was right and she was correct in that. Seems to me we need a Rosa Parks moment and I know we’ve had some of those already where they’ve gone to court over it, but just say, ‘Do your worst, I’m not doing this, I’m not going to do this because this is against my conscience.’”

LaBarbera insisted that governors should flout court rulings striking down same-sex marriage bans and urged anti-gay activists to emulate anti-abortion “sidewalk counselors,” who protest abortion by approaching women entering clinics.

We’re not sure what exactly LaBarbera proposes doing. Maybe he envisions approaching same-sex couples as they walk to their weddings?

LaBarbera also complained that gay rights groups such as GLAAD and HRC are “censoring” him by quoting his extreme rhetoric verbatim and took issue with people who compare anti-gay activists to racists.

If anything, LaBarbera explained, gay people and racists have more in common: “I wouldn’t mind debating David Duke on racism. He’s a racist, I’m not. I think that would be a fun debate. Racism is a sin, just like homosexual practice is a sin.”

LaBarbera added that “the most discriminated against group are the ex-gays, the people who left homosexuality, who are routinely the victims of dehumanization and demonization.”

Robertson: Houston Case Worst In History, Mayor's Lesbian 'Predilections' To Blame

Over the summer, anti-gay activists attempted to repeal the Houston Equal Rights Ordinance through a public referendum, but failed to gather the needed number of valid signatures to put the non-discrimination ordinance up to a vote. The activists sued the city to force them to in the discovery phase of the case accept the petitions, and in response attorneys working with the city subpoenaed several pastors involved in the anti-gay coalition for communications, including sermons, related to petition-gathering.

This complicated case has sparked an outpouring of outrage from Religious Right activists, even though Houston’s mayor, Annise Parker, has since agreed that the subpoenas were too broad and clarified that they weren’t issued by city attorneys.

Pat Robertson, for his part, is so angry about the subpoenas that on “The 700 Club” today he declared the incident to be one of the worst events in all of American history, one that exposes the “predilections” of the openly gay Parker.

“This lady ran as a moderate or whatever and she was a lesbian but she’s stayed quiet, under wraps so to speak, and now suddenly her predilections are coming forward, and this is one of the most outrageous demands that I have ever heard in any city in the United States in our history,” he said. “They’ve got to stop this thing and this woman has just exceeded any authority of any city official that I have ever heard about in the entire history of the United States of America.”

Robertson qualified that “somebody will say ‘you don’t remember what happened in Plymouth in 1700,’ but right now as far as I’m concerned, modern times, this is the worst I’ve ever heard.”

Brian Brown Gets Defensive About His Russia Activism: 'Absolute Lies And Slurs'

Joe Jervis points us to a debate on C-SPAN this weekend between the National Organization for Marriage’s Brian Brown and Freedom to Marry’s Evan Wolfson, where things got a little contentious when Wolfson confronted Brown about his anti-gay activism in Russia.

Brown has never explicitly advocated for repressive Russian anti-gay policies, including the infamous “gay propaganda” ban, but he has acted as an outside validator for Russian politicians imposing the harsh new policies.

Last year, for instance, he spoke to a Russian parliament committee about the supposed dangers of gay adoption just a few days before the legislature voted to tighten its prohibition on the adoption of Russian orphans by same-sex couples or by couples in countries where same-sex marriage is legal.

And this year, Brown was a member of the planning committee for a World Congress of Families event in Moscow that was to take place at the Kremlin and was financed by members of Russian President Vladimir Putin’s inner circle. Although the World Congress of Families dropped its official sponsorship of the event under pressure from some of its member groups, the event went ahead as planned, with Brown as a featured speaker. That conference ended with delegates issuing a resolution calling for more countries around the world to pass “gay propaganda” bans like Russia’s.

When confronted with all of this from Wolfson, Brown simply denied that any of it had taken place, calling Wolfson’s accusations “absolute lies and slurs.”

Brown can hardly be blamed for Russia’s anti-gay crackdown, which was going on far before he set foot in the country. And we would welcome a clarification from him on whether he knew anything about the closing resolution of the conference he attended this month. But he can’t avoid scrutiny for his work in Russia and elsewhere, in which he has lent credibility to politicians and activists whose goals are far more severe than stopping marriage equality…and it certainly won’t work for him to deny that any of this is taking place.

Pat Robertson: You Can Get AIDS From A Towel

Today on “The 700 Club,” an anonymous viewer asked televangelist Pat Robertson if he should reconsider his plans to go on a mission in Kenya due to the Ebola outbreak. While Kenya is in East Africa, the Ebola outbreak has been concentrated in in West Africa.

Robertson, who once raised the specter of gay people attacking heterosexuals with secret AIDS rings, incorrectly warned the aspiring missionary that he could put himself at risk of contracting AIDS…from a towel.

“Not in Kenya. You might get AIDS in Kenya, the people have AIDS, you got to be careful, the towels can have AIDS,” he said.

Louie Gohmert: US Troops Fighting Ebola Were Put 'Out There Like Sacrificial Lambs'

Rep. Louie Gohmert appeared on the Family Research Council’s “Washington Watch” program yesterday to complain that the Obama administration is doing too little to contain the Ebola outbreak, which then led him to attack the Obama administration for sending military service members to West Africa to help contain the Ebola outbreak.

Gohmert told the FRC’s Tony Perkins that military efforts to build treatment centers and train Liberian soldiers and aid workers will leave troops “defenseless” and at vulnerable to both the virus and terrorist attacks: “We’ve taken them away from their military function and put them out there like sacrificial lambs in infected countries.”

“Your heart goes out for those members of the 101st Airborne and others that are going to be sent into Ebola-infected epidemic countries,” he said. “Man oh man, there are terrorists in Africa that would love to wipe out a bunch of our military.”

The Texas Republican added that the deployments will leave service members “defenseless” despite military leaders claiming there will be “very low to no risk” to troops.

A Nature Documentary Taught Phyllis Schlafly That Feminists Are The Real Bullies

Phyllis Schlafly, who his promoting her new book, “Who Killed the American Family?” stopped by VCY America’s “Crosstalk” program yesterday to discuss whom she sees as the culprits in the family’s demise.

Chief among these, of course, are the feminists. “They don’t like men, they don’t like the family, and if you read their stuff and what they’re telling young women is ‘we are victims of the patriarchy’ and ‘we have to get rid of the patriarchy,’” Schlafly told host Vic Eliason. “Well, you know, you can hardly believe what nonsense it is. But a lot of us think it’s just great to have men around to provide and protect us.”

Schlafly lamented that “feminism isn’t going to go away” because feminists run the Obama administration and the media and “the men are afraid to attack the women, they don’t know how to do it.”

She illustrated this point with an anecdote from a nature documentary she had recently watched in which two “real bears — these weren’t any actors” faced off against each other, and eventually the male bear backed away from the female.

“It just isn’t natural for men to fight women,” Schlafly concluded, “and that’s one of our problems, women take advantage of that.”



Erik Rush: 'Diabolical' Obama May 'Want Ebola To Spread In The United States'

In yet another column suggesting that President Obama wants to infect people with Ebola, Erik Rush writes today in WorldNetDaily that the Ebola virus may be part of “various escalating crises in America being orchestrated by the White House in order to ultimately ‘legitimize’ a declaration of martial law in America.”

Rush argues that “given how manifestly diabolical I know this president and his administration to be,” there is a strong chance that administration officials actually “want Ebola to spread in the United States.”

To date, over 8,300 suspected cases and over 4,050 deaths from Ebola have been reported worldwide from this outbreak alone, with the WHO saying that these numbers may be vastly underestimated. The WHO also stated this week that that there could be up to 10,000 new cases a week within two months.

My question then became: Why were only 1,528 people killed by Ebola during the 36 year period between 1976 and 2012, yet over 4,000 have died from Ebola in the last 11 months alone?

At this point, I can only speculate as far as the answer to this question, but I believe it is one every American should be asking, because it suggests that something besides the disease itself is driving this epidemic.

Common sense dictates that since scientists and regulators working for the federal government quite literally wrote the book on Level 4 biocontainment protocols, they know how dangerous Ebola truly is. Thus, their refusal to prudently address the threat leads to one of two conclusions:

1. They have determined that political expedience trumps public health concerns, or

2. They want Ebola to spread in the United States.

Given how manifestly diabolical I know this president and his administration to be, I don’t doubt that the latter is a possibility. It certainly would fall within the scope of concerns some analysts have expressed pertaining to various escalating crises in America being orchestrated by the White House in order to ultimately “legitimize” a declaration of martial law in America.

It would also be child’s play for a determined group of individuals, terrorists – or even a government – to “help along” an epidemic of such a virulent disease.

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PFAW Activity by State

  • Colorado: TV ads
    WATCH: "Engaño" ("Deceit")
  • Georgia: TV and radio ads
    WATCH: "Un Futuro Mejor" ("A Better Future")
    WATCH: "Values"
  • Kentucky: Field organizer on the ground
  • New Hampshire: Field organizer on the ground
  • North Carolina: TV and radio ads
    WATCH: "Respect"
  • Pennsylvania: Field organizer on the ground
  • Virginia: Online ads
  • Wisconsin: Field organizer on the ground

PFAW Activists Host “Ditch Mitch” Debate Watching Party

On Monday night, Sen. Mitch McConnell and Democratic challenger Alison Lundergan Grimes went face-to-face in debate for the first and only time in their race, and PFAW activists were paying attention.


More than 50 people turned out to a debate watch party that People For the American Way co-hosted in Louisville – one of the largest in Kentucky.

Candidates sparred over raising the minimum wage and on whether to repeal the Affordable Care Act. McConnell tried repeatedly to tie Grimes to Obama and to portray her as anti-coal. Grimes fired back by blaming the gridlock and dysfunction in DC on McConnell. She also highlighted who McConnell really works for: “I'm not bought and paid for by the Koch brothers or any special interest.”

Sen. McConnell reminded Kentuckians that if he is re-elected and becomes Senate majority leader, he will help set the nation’s political agenda next year. That’s a pretty scary thought. And that’s why PFAW is working hard on the ground in Kentucky to save the Senate and keep millionaires and billionaires from deciding the future of our nation.


Schlafly: Immigration Reform Would 'Damage Our Country Immensely' And 'Kill The Republican Party'

In an interview with WorldNetDaily published yesterday, Eagle Forum founder Phyllis Schlafly repeated her admonition that passing comprehensive immigration reform would be “suicide for the Republican Party,” claiming that immigrants “want to take jobs from our native Americans” and are “bringing in disease.”

“It’s really suicide for the Republican Party if we don’t close down our borders and stop any talk of amnesty because amnesty would I think not only kill the Republican Party, it would simply damage our country immensely,” she said. “It would bring in all these people who want to take jobs from our native Americans. And now, of course, we know it’s bringing in disease too.”

Michael Savage Imagines 'People's Tribunal' To Try Government Officials And Journalists

Conservative talk show host Michael Savage said yesterday that he wishes that one day there would be some sort of a “people’s tribunal for crimes against America.”

He said that Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel, his predecessor Leon Panetta, Education Secretary Arne Duncan, former Federal Reserve chairman Alan Greenspan, NBC reporter Andrea Mitchell and MSNBC president Phil Griffin should all be called before the tribunal since they are all “people who damaged this country most severely.”

Savage gave an idea of how the imaginary tribunal would work: “Department of Education, Arne Duncan, for lowering educational standards in America and brainwashing our children. Arne Duncan, people’s tribunal. ‘Mr. Duncan, step before the people, what actually did you achieve while you were here as secretary of education, Mr. Duncan?’ ‘Well I taught the children how to put a condom on a cucumber.’ ‘OK, next case, 25 years in Siberia.’”

David Horowitz: 'There Is No Community More Racist In America Than The Black Community'

Discussing the protests in Ferguson, Missouri, on Phyllis Schlafly’s “Eagle Forum Live” radio program this week, conservative commentator David Horowitz argued that liberals are overly eager to brand conservatives as racist and, in doing so, have wrongfully maligned the police officer accused of shooting unarmed black teenager Michael Brown.

“[Protesters] destroyed a city to get a cop who was defending himself. Look at the picture of him in the hospital with his eye socket practically blown out,” he said of Officer Darren Wilson, in reference to a bogus photograph that is confirmed to be of a completely unrelated person. 

Insisting that Brown was “just a thug” who suffered the consequences of his actions, Horowitz complained that white people have been vilified in matters of law enforcement and criminal justice. “They’re not interested in waiting for a trial and its result. If you’re white, you’re guilty; that’s the attitude,” he said of the Ferguson protesters. “They’re racist, for crying out tears. There’s no community that’s more racist in America than the black community. And everybody knows it, but nobody will say it.”   

PFAW Announces 2014 Endorsements for Federal Office

PFAW is proud to announce 13 new endorsements. These candidates and officials, representing a diverse and broad swath of constituencies, are some of the best and brightest progressive champions in the country.

  • Pete Aguilar (CA-31)
  • Staci Appel (IA-3)
  • Alan Grayson (FL-9)
  • Mike Honda (CA-17)
  • Ted Lieu (CA-33)
  • Gwen Moore (WI-4)
  • Pat Murphy (IA-01)
  • Mark Pocan (WI-2)
  • Chellie Pingree (ME-1)
  • Martha Robertson (NY-23)
  • Jeanne Shaheen (NH-SEN)
  • Mark Takano (CA-41)
  • Rob Zerban (WI-1)

These candidates have fought against big money in politics, promoted economic fairness and equality for all, and called for increasing educational opportunities for workers and students. They promote civil rights and voting rights, support marriage equality and employment protections for LGBTQ Americans, and believe women should maintain choice over their own health decisions. Many are endorsed by multiple leading progressive, labor, civil rights, women’s rights, and equality organizations.

PFAW encourages all members to consider supporting these terrific candidates’ campaigns.

Visit our 2014 Federal Candidate Endorsements page for more information.

UPDATE: PFAW Endorses Five New Candidates for Federal Office


Michele Bachmann Leaves Congress, But Her Ideology Is Here To Stay

At the Heritage Foundation this morning, Rep. Michele Bachmann gave what may have been her last major speech as a member of Congress. But although Bachmann may be leaving Congress, she made it very clear that her ideology is staying behind in the form of a Republican Party that has moved far to the right to make way for the Tea Party’s “freedom-loving reinforcements.”

Linking the Tea Party’s ideology to those who fought in the American revolution, Bachmann said the Tea Party was about “republishing the American values of American greatness.”

And it doesn’t matter whether politicians affiliated with the Tea Party win or lose in elections, she said. They’ve already won, in the form of an establishment Republican Party that has “moved toward embracing the Tea Party’s messaging":

These aren’t new ideas. They are the same values that have been espoused since the time of the American Revolution. But what is different is that it was time for us, we were in desperate need for a reawakening. And that’s what the Tea Party was all about: republishing the American values of American greatness.

All the media wanted to talk about was whether the Tea Party was up or down, whether it was dead or alive. But that missed the point entirely. Because the Tea Party never was, never has been, never will be a political party. Because, you see, it’s a movement about returning us, returning our nation to our founding principles, front and center by contending for them in our public discourse.

Well, the grassroots energy sent a wave of freedom-loving reinforcements to Washington, D.C., in 2010, including the likes of Senators Mike Lee and Rand Paul, and it took the gavel away from Nancy Pelosi in the House of Representatives. And with the largest number of seat pick-ups since 1948, I wonder what this election this year will yield. Even the establishment moved toward embracing the Tea Party’s messaging about constitutional principles like national debt and balanced budgets.

Facebook Alternative 'ReaganBook' Is Back, Now Rebranded As 'FreedomBook'

Over the summer, Religious Right activist Janet Porter launched her very own competitor to Facebook, which she called “ReaganBook,” but quickly pulled the site after “those intent on the destruction of life, liberty, and the family” joined the outlet, which she bizarrely claimed was a threat to her freedom of speech.

Porter, the founder of Faith 2 Action, described ReaganBook as a “Facebook for patriots,” warning that Facebook has a pro-gay bias. She eventually took ReaganBook offline, telling members that “we’re under attack” from people who joined the right-wing social media website only to mock it.

Now, Porter has rebranded ReaganBook as FreedomBook and is only allowing people with invitations to join.

So far, FreedomBook only lists four members, including Porter.

Right Quietly Pours Money Into Montana, Hoping To 'Flip' Pivotal State Supreme Court

Conservative legal advocates from throughout the country have been quietly pouring money into a Montana state supreme court race, hoping to topple a court majority that has bucked the U.S. Supreme Court on campaign finance issues and could soon have a voice in cases with national implications involving abortion rights and LGBT equality.

The Right’s chosen candidate is Lawrence VanDyke, a former state solicitor general with a perfect pedigree for pro-corporate and Religious Right donors. Not only has VanDyke indicated his support for the U.S. Supreme Court’s dismantling of campaign finance laws and lamented that the current Montana high court is insufficiently “pro-business,” but, in his position as solicitor general, steered the state government toward taking positions against abortion rights, marriage equality and gun restrictions in other states.

What's more, in his writings as a law student, VanDyke was unguarded in his social conservative views, fretting about same-sex marriage, endorsing discredited “ex-gay” therapy and defending the teaching of anti-scientific “Intelligent Design” in public schools.

The Right Sees An Opportunity In Montana

At last month’s Values Voter Summit in Washington, the Family Research Council’s political action committee hosted a private $100-a-head reception featuring conservative luminaries including Rick Santorum, Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal, GOP congressmen Steve King, Vicky Hartzler and Mark Meadows, and congressional candidate Dave Brat of Virginia, who unseated former House Majority Leader Eric Cantor in an upset primary election this year.

A flyer for the event announced that along with those national Republican politicians, FRC would be “showcasing a very important State Supreme Court candidate, Lawrence VanDyke of Montana, who we hope can flip the court in that state.”

VanDyke’s presence on the fundraiser’s roster was telling. As FRC’s flyer made clear, a VanDyke victory would change the ideological balance on a court that has been a thorn in the side of opponents of campaign finance reform and could soon be facing nationally watched cases on abortion rights and marriage equality.

VanDyke has not yet submitted a campaign finance report showing how much money, if any, FRC was able to bundle for him at the fundraiser, and his campaign did not respond to our inquiry about whether he was personally present at the Values Voter event. But a review of VanDyke’s campaign finance reports shows that his candidacy has attracted keen interest from out-of-state donors, including some of the country’s leading conservative legal activists.

[UPDATE: VanDyke's Oct. 20 fundraising report revealed some of the contributions from FRC and its allies.]

Since filing for the race to unseat sitting Supreme Court Justice Mike Wheat in March, VanDyke has raised about $78,000, more than one-third of which — roughly $29,000 — has come from 114 individual out-of-state donors. By contrast, Wheat has raised just under $85,000 for his reelection bid, only $1,100 of which came from just five out-of-state donors.

Among those who have contributed to VanDyke’s campaign are recognizable names in conservative legal circles. Kelly Shackelford, president of the right-wing legal group Liberty Institute (a major sponsor of the Values Voter Summit) contributed $100, while another top Liberty Institute official, Hiram Sasser, gave $320, the maximum gift allowable as of VanDyke's last fundraising report. Carrie Severino, chief counsel of the Judicial Crisis Network and a Harvard Law School classmate of VanDyke’s, and her husband Roger also each maxed out with $320 contributions. Thomas Spence, an official at the conservative Regnery publishing house also sent the maximum contribution to VanDyke’s campaign. Two employees of the Arizona-based Alliance Defending Freedom have together contributed $370. Christopher Murray, a lawyer who served on Mitt Romney’s presidential campaign, also contributed $320.

Nearly $7,000 of VanDyke’s contributions have come from employees of the law firm Gibson Dunn, where Vandyke worked before entering public service. That includes $320 each from Theodore Olson, the conservative attorney argued the Citizens United case (but who has become better known as a marriage equality advocate), and controversial Bush appeals court nominee Miguel Estrada. VanDyke’s campaign also received $320 each from Eugene Scalia — the son of Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia and a Wall Street reform-buster in his own right — and his wife.

Montana’s Cowgirl Blog notes that prominent Montana social conservatives Greg and Susan Gianforte — who fund creationist efforts and support anti-gay policies — have also each contributed the maximum amount to VanDyke’s campaign. He has also received the maximum contribution from the Montana Gas & Oil PAC and — in the form of an in-kind gift of catering — from the PAC’s treasurer, Dave Galt.

Cowgirl Blog also notes that VanDyke got a major assist last month from a newly created group called Montanans for a Fair Judiciary, which sent a statewide mailer in favor of his candidacy. The group, which was registered last month, is staffed by a former Montana GOP official and a corporate lobbyist for oil and gas clients, among others.

And just last week, a Washington, D.C.-based group called the Republican State Leadership Committee Judicial Fairness Montana PAC — an offshoot a national group funded by big business interests including the Reynolds tobacco company and Koch Industries — bought $110,000 worth of television ads supporting VanDyke and slamming Wheat as soft on crime. The group has also been mailing out leaflets accusing Wheat of siding with “environmental extremists.”

All of this attention from national activists and corporate backers has caught the attention of a group of six retired Montana Supreme Court justices, who signed a letter last week calling VanDyke an “unqualified corporate lawyer,” adding, "Given [his] background, Mr. VanDyke is an excellent corporate pick although that is obviously not good news for Montanans.”

MTN News reported:

The letter from the judges notes that VanDyke has received the maximum allowable campaign contributions from numerous out-of-state lawyers who represent major corporations, including more than 20 at the Gibson firm - including at least one who represented Citizens United.

"Corporations are buying judicial races because they want judges who will not hold them accountable," the draft letter from the retired justices says. "If the disinformation they are spreading successfully manipulates Montanans into electing an unqualified corporate lawyer, we will lose our fair and impartial court."

‘Changing The Face of the Montana Supreme Court’

While VanDyke’s personal connections seem to behind quite a bit of his financial support from out-of-state conservative leaders, his featured spot at the Values Voter Summit hints that the conservative legal movement and the Religious Right see an opportunity in his candidacy.

Montana conservatives have made no secret of their desire to pack the state Supreme Court with justices in their ideological mold. Last year, the Great Falls Tribune published leaked emails between conservative Republicans in the state senate discussing a “long term strategy” for displacing more moderate Republicans in the state legislature and “changing the face of the Montana Supreme Court.”

One lawmaker wrote of the need to “purge” the party of moderates, after which “a new phoenix will rise from the ashes.”

In 2012, Montana conservatives were able to elect the likeminded Laurie McKinnon to the state Supreme Court thanks in part to a dark money group called the “Montana Growth Network” run by a Republican state senator that spent at least $42,000 on her campaign — more than the candidate spent herself. The “Montanans for a Fair Judiciary” group that has been campaigning for VanDyke is linked to the firm that was employed by the “Montana Growth Network” to boost McKinnon.

National conservative groups have good reason to take an interest in the race as well.

Montana’s Supreme Court gained national attention in 2011 when it bucked the U.S. Supreme Court on the issue of campaign finance regulation, ruling that the Supreme Court’s 2010 decision in Citizens United did not invalidate Montana’s century-old ban on corporate spending in elections. The 5-2 decision, in which Justice Wheat joined the majority, openly defied the Supreme Court’s controversial ruling. One of the two dissenting justices wrote that the state court must follow the high court’s precedent but used the opportunity to excoriate the Supreme Court for its Citizens United logic. On appeal, the Supreme Court summarily reversed Montana’s opinion, ending the state’s corporate spending ban.

Montana’s Supreme Court may soon also be in the center of the legal debates on same-sex marriage and abortion rights. State anti-choice groups have indicated that they might challenge Montana’s abortion clinic buffer-zone bill in the wake of the Supreme Court’s striking down of a similar bill in Massachusetts. In addition, marriage equality cases are working their way through both state and federal courts in Montana.

A Movement Candidate

Although Montana’s judicial elections are ostensibly nonpartisan, VanDyke’s resume makes him seemingly a perfect candidate for conservative activists hoping to drag the state's high court to the right. At Harvard Law School, VanDyke was active in the conservative Federalist Society and wrote an article for the school’s law review favorably reviewing a book arguing for allowing public schools to teach anti-scientific Intelligent Design.

In an article for another school publication, VanDyke lamented that courts in Canada had been “forcing same-sex marriage on the populace” and warned of a “trend of intolerance towards religion as homosexual ‘rights’ become legally entrenched.” In the same article, he cited a study supporting debunked “ex-gay” therapy to support the “view that homosexuals can leave the homosexual lifestyle.” (The author of that study has since recanted.)

After graduating from law school, VanDyke clerked for D.C. Circuit Judge Janice Rogers Brown, perhaps the most stridently conservative of that court’s activist pro-corporate wing, known for her extreme opposition to government regulation and her writing of a prequel to the Supreme Court’s Hobby Lobby decision. After a stint at Gibson Dunn, VanDyke became an assistant solicitor general in Texas and was named solicitor general of Montana early last year.

In public statements, VanDyke has indicated that he would have sided with the U.S. Supreme Court on Citizens United, defending the decision in a debate last month. And although his race is officially nonpartisan, VanDyke has made it very clear which side of the aisle he falls on, accusing his opponent of judging “like a liberal Democrat” and being “results-oriented” in his rulings — a loaded accusation favored by conservative activists.

VanDyke has also hinted that he would be more favorable to business interests on the court, touting an endorsement from the Montana Chamber of Commerce and saying, “I don’t think anybody who follows our court thinks it’s a pro-business court.” On his website, he backs efforts to “produce and preserve” natural resources, which he contrasts with his opponent's siding with preservationists in a dispute over drilling gas wells. In September, he spoke at a “Coal Appreciation Day” sponsored by a coal industry group.

VanDyke’s website also touts his support for the death penalty and an expansive interpretation of the Second Amendment, noting his work as state solicitor general defending a bill that would have invalidated federal firearms regulations on weapons manufactured and kept in Montana. (The law was ultimately struck down in federal court). In that position, VanDyke also pushed for Montana signing on to Alabama briefs in favor of overturning semiautomatic weapon bans in New York and Connecticut. At the time, he bantered over email with Alabama’s solicitor general, Andrew Brasher, about shooting elk with semi-automatic firearms, attaching a picture of himself hunting with “the same gun used by the Navy Seals.”

Ultimately, Montana signed on to both briefs, and VanDyke evidently made a useful connection as well: This year, Brasher contributed the maximum amount to his Supreme Court campaign.

VanDyke recently announced that he had been endorsed by the National Rifle Association.

In his role as solicitor general, VanDyke also worked on efforts to oppose same-sex marriage and abortion rights, including signing on to amicus briefs filed in other states.

VanDyke, meanwhile, is running on the message that he will follow “the law, not politics” and accusing Justice Wheat of being overly partisan. In the same interview in which he lamented that the current state supreme court was unfavorable to business interests, he said, “I have not promised anybody that I’m going to be a pro-business judge or that I’m going to be a conservative judge...I’m going to be a fair and balanced judge.”

Judicial Elections Draw More And More Big Money

Last year, Justice at Stake reported on the fast increase of spending in judicial elections, leading to judicial races seeming “alarmingly indistinguishable from ordinary political campaigns” and blurring “the boundaries that keep money and political pressure from interfering with the rule of law.”

Part of this increase was attributable to the 2010 Citizens United decision, which allowed outside groups to spend unlimited amounts supporting and opposing candidates. In the case of judicial elections, those candidates could be the ones deciding on the future of that very campaign spending.

It’s no wonder that the corporate right and the Religious Right have joined forces to back VanDyke’s candidacy. A little-noticed nonpartisan race in Montana could prove to be an effective long-term investment for a movement that’s trying to solidify a pro-corporate grip on the courts and win back lost legal ground abortion rights and LGBT equality.

This post has been updated to clarify the status of marriage equality cases in Montana.

Schlafly: Gay Marriage Will Ruin Western Civilization

Eagle Forum founder Phyllis Schlafly warns in her daily radio commentary today that “judicial supremacists” have wrecked the country with their decisions striking down state bans on sodomy and same-sex marriage, warning that these judges are “abusing their power” and have “ignored centuries of practice.”

Schlafly fears that marriage equality may spark efforts “to get rid of marriage all together” and upend “mainstream society.”

“Same-sex marriage isn’t about granting equality of human rights,” Schlafly insists. “Gays are not denied any human rights. Same-sex marriage is about getting rid of the traditional values and institutions that have guided the Western world, including America.”

Only eleven years have passed since Massachusetts became the first state to legalize same-sex marriage. In the hundreds of years of American history, and in hundreds of years of Western civilization before that, there had been no question in mainstream society about the fact that marriage is for one man and one woman. Now we are told that to oppose same-sex marriage is to be on the wrong side of history. My new book, Who Killed the American Family?, explains who is responsible for this dramatic change.

First, we should remember that same-sex marriage didn’t come from a change in public opinion, but from the rulings of supremacist judges abusing their power. Massachusetts adopted gay marriage only because a majority of one on the state Supreme Court mandated it. Those judicial supremacists were inspired by Justice Anthony Kennedy of the U.S. Supreme Court, who, in a previous case, drew on European rather than U.S. law and overturned precedent to throw out the Texas anti-sodomy law. Kennedy struck again last year with his decision tossing out the federal Defense of Marriage Act. Kennedy and the Massachusetts supremacist judges made the ridiculous assertion that there is no rational basis for marriage to be limited to a man and a woman. They ignored centuries of practice and the results of numerous studies that show how important traditional marriage is for the well-being of children.

Knowing how at odds same-sex marriage is with our legal and cultural traditions, we should not be surprised that some homosexual activists are trying to get rid of marriage all together. Same-sex marriage isn’t about granting equality of human rights. Gays are not denied any human rights. Same-sex marriage is about getting rid of the traditional values and institutions that have guided the Western world, including America.

AFA: 'Mandatory Gay Brain-Washing' Will Destroy America

An action alert from American Family Association President Tim Wildmon today warns of a plague of “mandatory gay brain-washing” sweeping the nation. Such brainwashing, he reports, is being done by people like a gay public official in Kentucky whose Twitter account is “flaming with pro-gay hype” — such as news of his engagement. The only thing to do, Wildmon says, is to watch AFA’s new movie about anti-Christian persecution and "pray for America" because “I am convinced that the survival of America as the greatest nation in history rests on whether the nation turns away from its slide into secularism and once again seeks the true God.”

Two more Christian business owners face fines, mandatory gay brain-washing

Tuesday, October 13, 2014


Lexington, KY
Christian-owned Hands on Originals was asked to print the shirts for the Lexington Pride Festival but politely declined because of the owner’s sincerely held religious beliefs. Instead, he found a printer willing to do the job and for the same price. (See full story at OneNewsNow )

Lexington Human Rights Commission Executive Director Raymond Sexton told FoxNews’ Todd Starnes that Christian business owners should leave their faith at home and is recommending that the HRC fine the owner and force him to attend mandatory “diversity training” conducted by the commission.

Ironically, the commission’s vice-chairman is a rabid homosexual activist, whose Twitter account is flaming with pro-gay hype, including his own “gay” engagement announcement.

New York
Liberty Ridge Farms, located in New York, was recently fined $10,000 and ordered to pay two lesbians $1,500 each. That's because the Gifford family, which owns the farm, refused to rent its facilities for a lesbian wedding because of their religious beliefs.

The New York Division of Human Rights found the owners guilty of violating New York's human rights law, in particular public accommodations and sexual orientation. You can read the full story at OneNewsNow .


These are not made-up stories. They are real…and becoming more and more frequent.

Homosexual activists are now intentionally seeking out Christian business owners for the sole purpose of attacking and destroying religious liberties.

Concerning A Time To Speak, I am praying that you will undertake these five actions:

1) Watch the film . Right now, you can watch a free stream at www.ATimeToSpeak.com .

2) Pass it on or show it to as many friends and family as you can. DVDs can be ordered from the website.

3) Visit ATimeToSpeak.com for a wealth of information about how you can help preserve America’s religious freedoms, including a comprehensive online voter guide on where candidates stand on issues that matter most.

4) Vote your biblical values on Tuesday, November 4. The upcoming midterm elections are critical. Imagine the impact Americans of faith can have on the future of our nation, the character of its leadership, and the health of its families if we all applied biblical principles to every aspect of our lives – including committing to vote and to vote wisely.

5) Pray for America. If you watch the news you know that America is facing threats from without and within the nation. I am convinced that the survival of America as the greatest nation in history rests on whether the nation turns away from its slide into secularism and once again seeks the true God.

Nothing To See Here: The Alternate Reality Of Voter-Suppression Advocates

It’s been a rough few days for voter-ID proponents. On Thursday, the nonpartisan Government Accountability Office came out with a report showing that restrictive photo-ID measures had depressed turnout in Tennessee and Kansas, especially among young people and African Americans. The same day, the Supreme Court blocked the implementation of a photo-ID law in Wisconsin that voting rights advocates said there was not enough time to implement before the election and a federal judge in Texas struck down that state’s restrictive law, citing its impact on minority voters and calling it an “unconstitutional poll tax.”

Then, the next day, renowned conservative 7th Circuit judge Richard Posner requested a full-court rehearing of the challenge to Wisconsin’s law, in the process offering a blistering takedown of the voter-ID crowd’s arguments. "There is only one motivation for imposing burdens on voting that are ostensibly designed to discourage voter-impersonation fraud, and that is to discourage voting by persons likely to vote against the party responsible for imposing the burdens,” he wrote. He added a special dig at the advocacy group True the Vote, calling some of their supposed evidence of voter-impersonation fraud “goofy” and “paranoid.”

Then, just today, University of Delaware researchers came out with a study showing that support for voter ID laws among whites jumps when they are shown a picture of a black person voting.

All of which made a Heritage Foundation panel today called “Keeping Elections Honest” seem like it was taking place in an alternate reality, one in which the extremely rare voter-impersonation fraud is in fact rampant and in which laws making it more difficult to vote do not have negative effects.

The Heritage discussion featured some of the nation’s top proponents of voter suppression measures, including Heritage’s Hans von Spakovsky, Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach (the brains behind anti-immigrant and voter suppression measures around the country), Kobach’s Colorado counterpart Scott Gessler and True the Vote’s Catherine Engelbrecht.

Kobach spent part of his presentation attempting to refute the GAO study, but the court rulings went mostly unmentioned.

This alternate reality was perhaps most stark when, during a question-and-answer session, a reporter asked Kobach about the two-tiered voting system he’s instituted in Kansas for the coming election. Kobach and Arizona Secretary of State Ken Bennett are in the process of suing the Election Assistance Commission to include a more restrictive “proof of citizenship” requirement on the federal voter registration forms it uses in those two states. In the meantime, Kansas and Arizona are allowing people who register using the federal form without providing additional documentation to vote…but only in federal elections. (Votes those people cast in state-level elections won’t be counted.)

About 1,500 Arizonans and 200 Kansans were put in this special federal-only voting tier in the primary.

Kobach, far from seeming concerned about this state of affairs, proudly reported that of the 200 Kansans to whom he gave special limited voting rights, only one bothered to show up at the polls.

In the primary on August 5, we had fewer than 200 total voters in the state who had registered using the federal form and had not provided photo ID. Using that number, we then created a sort of federal-elections-only voter roll, if you will, so a roll in addition to the main voter roll. And it didn’t include all of the 105 counties, it included a minority of the counties. And then those people, when they showed up, they were to be given a provisional ballot and told that they would be — actually it would occur on the back end, even if the poll worker didn’t know that that’s why they were being given a provisional ballot, the county canvas would count only the federal elections on the ballot.

So anyway, to answer your question, we are going to be doing a count, a final count – our registration actually closes today, this is the final day to register in Kansas – as soon as it closes, we’ll have a final count. My guess is it probably will be in the range of maybe 300-400, we’ll know soon what that number is, for the whole state. And by the way, of those fewer than 200 people— if memory serves, it was like 186 or something like that — only one actually showed up to vote out of that entire number. So, we’ll see what the number is. So the numbers are actually pretty small and pretty manageable right now and we’re hopeful that we’ll get a decision that will be a favorable one and then we won’t have to maintain a separate, federal-elections-only list.

At no point in the discussion did anyone mention the thousands of Kansans who currently have no right to vote in any kind of election because they haven’t been able to produce one of the few kinds of citizenship documentation required by the new state voter registration form.

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