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Cuccinelli Backers: We Were Betrayed; Expel Bolling

With Ken Cuccinelli’s conservative backers already crying foul about their failed candidate’s supposed mistreatment, the GOP’s Civil War continues.

Matt Barber of Liberty Counsel is fantasizing about voter fraud despite offering absolutely no proof, and Tea Party Nation head Judson Phillips wants Virginia’s Republican Lt. Gov. Bill Bolling — who refused to endorse Cuccinelli — expelled from the GOP:

The Republican Party of Virginia has bylaws that call for the automatic expulsion of members who support Democrats in contested elections. Bill Bolling’s support of Terry McAuliffe has been well documents [sic].



Had the Republican establishment not worked against Cuccinelli, he would be governor today. Conservatives need to make an example of Bolling. He should be persona non grata at any Republican function in Virginia. His name should be synonymous with being a sell out [sic].

And if the Republican Party of Virginia does not publicly expel Bolling, then conservatives need to find a new political party in Virginia.

Just to add some perspective, Phillips hailed Cuccinelli’s running mate E.W. Jackson as the “future of the conservative movement.” Jackson was soundly defeated 55-44%.

John Nolte of Breitbart News attacked Chris Christie for not helping Cuccinelli in Virginia and said that Cuccinelli’s defeat actually helped the Tea Party:

Tuesday night and again Wednesday morning, NBC's Chuck Todd reported that New Jersey Republican Governor Chris Christie refused to campaign for Ken Cuccinelli, the Virginia Republican who narrowly lost his own governor's race to Democrat Terry McAuliffe. "They begged Christie, and you can make an argument," Todd said on Morning Joe. "That to bring a Chris Christie to Northern Virginia might have helped. But Chris Christie is worried about his own brand."

Part of Christie's brand problem, though, is his behavior during the closing days of last year's presidential campaign. After running one of the most divisive administrations and re-election campaigns in recent memory; in the wake of Hurricane Sandy, Barack Obama went to New Jersey seeking bipartisan credibility. And in the eyes of many, Christie went above and beyond to give it to him.



Had Christie taken just a half-day to stump for Cuccinelli, not only would that have helped wash the Sandy stain away, it might have actually made him a hero to the base for both defying the Morning Joe crowd and helping to drag Cuccinelli over the finish line.



If Christie wins the 2016 Republican nomination but loses Virginia, and with it the general election, last night should be remembered as the most short-sighted and spiteful cutting off of the nose to spite the Tea Party in years.

The GOP Establishment and Morning Joe crowd keep lecturing the Tea Party about how it is all about winning elections. In Virginia last night that talking point was laid bare as nothing more than a lie.

Longtime conservative activist Richard Viguerie maintained that Cuccinelli’s loss has nothing to do with his radical views. Viguerie even compared Cuccinelli to Goldwater, who lost the 1964 presidential election in a landslide:

What is clear is that Cuccinelli’s ideas weren’t rejected so much as he was drowned in the sea of money that flowed in to Terry McAuliffe’s campaign to keep Virginia government growing, taxes rising, to roll back the progress social conservatives have made in the state, and most importantly, to keep cronyism as the governing principle at the Virginia state Capitol building.



The betrayal of Ken Cuccinelli by Bolling and other nominal Republicans, such as political consultant Boyd Marcus, mirrors the betrayal of Barry Goldwater by the Republican establishment and their nominal allies in the business community.



George Will once wrote that Barry Goldwater didn't lose in 1964, it just took 16 years, until the election of Ronald Reagan in 1980, to count the votes. We expect that the same will be said of Ken Cuccinelli and we believe he will be vindicated in the future.

Ken Cuccinelli did not lose last night because he is a principled limited government constitutional conservative. Cuccinelli lost because he was drowned in a sea of money and undercut by a Republican establishment that would rather see a Democrat in the Governor’s mansion than end the good ole boy politics in Richmond and allow a real conservative anywhere near the levers of power that he might use to make good on Republican promises to govern as limited government constitutional conservatives.

Anti-choice activist Marjorie Dannenfelser said that Cuccinelli was hamstrung by the Star Scientific scandal and “misleading attack ads,” but insisted that the “Republican establishment” is to blame “for abandoning this race.”

Somehow, Dannenfelser thinks that Cuccinelli’s loss shows the need for candidates to emphasize their opposition to abortion rights, even though 61% of Virginia voters [PDF] said they are pro-choice.

In response to Ken Cuccinelli’s close defeat in the Virginia gubernatorial election tonight, Marjorie Dannenfelser, president of the national pro-life group Susan B. Anthony List (SBA List), told LifeNews that the race shows the pro-life movement needs to spend more time exposing how extreme candidates like McAuliffe are on abortion.

“Despite being woefully outspent and compromised both by the government shutdown and the ethics scandal faced by Governor Bob McDonnell, Cuccinelli came within inches of victory. The political prognosticators that can often drive election results by their predictions ought not to have given up on him. The results make clear that more support from outside groups in the final weeks could have changed the outcome. Shame on the Republican establishment for abandoning this race and failing to push Ken over the finish line.

“Terry McAuliffe spent well over $5 million on misleading attack ads about Ken Cuccinelli and the fictitious ‘war on women,’ including running more than 5,600 spots on the abortion issue alone. Attacks on Cuccinelli were left unanswered, or answered too late, and the negative message stuck.

“This election shows that it is imperative for pro-lifers to be on offense in 2014 against the distortions and extremism of the Left. The Democrat strategy for 2014 is set: demonize pro-life candidates and spend big on ‘war on women’ advertising. The party, candidates, and movement must aggressively expose the other side’s extremism and penchant for putting women and children at risk through their abortion policies.”

Women Speak Out – Virginia, the state PAC of the SBA List, raised and spent $870,000 in support of Ken Cuccinelli’s candidacy, working to turn out the pro-life base. The organization canvassed the homes of 69,700 voters, engaged in volunteer calls reaching 255,000 identified pro-life inconsistent voters, and had get out the vote calls reaching as many as 1 million homes.

UPDATE: Brian Brown of the National Organization for Marriage accused the Republican Party of abandoning Cuccinelli over his opposition to same-sex marriage:

"Too many leaders of the Republican Party have drunk the Kool-Aid of the consulting class that they should abandon conservatives like Ken Cuccinelli because they have taken principled stances on social issues such as preserving marriage and protecting life," said Brown. "How many elections do they need to lose before they realize they are implementing a disastrous election strategy and ruining their chances of success?"

Brown noted that when the marriage issue has been on the ballot, it has outpolled the Republican ticket by a significant margin. Support for traditional marriage polled an average of seven points higher than Mitt Romney did in the four states it was on the ballot in 2012.

"The GOP elite wants candidates to be silent about their views on marriage and other social issues, but election results show that is exactly the wrong thing to do," Brown said. "Election after election has shown that voters across America, including in deep blue states, support traditional marriage by a significantly higher margin than they support the GOP. For the second election in a row, Republican leaders and consultants have pursued a flawed strategy of urging silence on social issues that has cost their candidates. If they don’t wake up, they could face disaster next year."

The Religious Right Faces String Of Election And Gay Rights Defeats, Blown Narrative

After the 2012 election, right-wing activists immediately declared that Mitt Romney lost because he was not conservative enough and that Republican candidates must run to the right if they want to succeed in general elections.

Last night in the swing state of Virginia, however, two extremely conservative candidates both lost in their statewide bids, the first time since 1977 that a candidate from the party that lost the presidential election failed to win the Virginia gubernatorial race.

Not only did the Religious Right dream team in Virginia lose both races, but so did an Alabama Republican who ran even farther to the right than his conservative opponent. These defeats come at a time that the Senate is set to pass the Employment Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA) with bipartisan support and two states—Illinois and Hawaii—are poised to legalize same-sex marriage.

Cuccinelli & Jackson Flop In Virginia

Virginia Republicans Ken Cuccinelli and E.W. Jackson, two Religious Right favorites, lose their races for governor and lieutenant governor, respectively. Cuccinelli’s deeply anti-choice and anti-gay record hurt him according to exit polls [PDF]: 50% of voters claimed Cuccinelli was “too conservative” and 61% of voters said they supported abortion rights. During the campaign, Cuccinelli advocated for strict restrictions on abortion clinics and the restoration of unconstitutional sodomy laws, even though some conservative activists complained that he shied away from social issues or wasn’t conservative enough.

Jackson’s attempt to downplay his extremist and bigoted rhetoric and policy positions was even more pathetic to watch, as he insisted that criticisms of his candidacy and quoting him verbatim were unconstitutional and even resorted to lying to deny making remarks that are recorded on tape. Yet, he predicted that “disenfranchised” Christians would lead him to “a stunning victory.”

Don’t expect their defeats to change the Religious Right’s skewed mindset about what it takes to win. Cuccinelli surrogate Jim Bob Duggar, who campaigned throughout the state on a Family Research Council-paid tour, claimed that the “vast majority of people in America are pro-life” and conservative voters represent a “sleeping giant.” Despite having Cuccinelli and Jackson leading the ticket, white evangelical turnout dropped seven points, from 34% to 27% of the electorate, compared to the 2009 gubernatorial race.

The Cuccinelli complain will likely complain that he was abandoned by national Republicans (even though the Republican Governor Association donated $8 million to Cuccinelli) and could have won if the “establishment” offered him more support.

Dean Young Defeated

Dean Young, an ultraconservative birther with strong support from local Tea Party groups, lost to former state lawmaker Bradley Byrne, hardly a moderate himself, in the GOP primary for a special congressional election in Alabama. Young made opposition to gay rights a central part of his campaign: he urged his GOP rivals sign a pledge to oppose gay rights and to attend a church that opposes gay marriage, compared homosexuality to murder and demanded gay Alabamians leave the state.

He is also a senior aide for Roy Moore, the Alabama supreme court justice who refused to obey a court order to remove a Ten Commandments monument that he had installed in the court rotunda and warned that gay rights will destroy America. Moore backed Young’s candidacy, as did Mark Levin, Phyllis Schlafly and Bryan Fischer, who fawned over him in an interview the day before the election, where Young continued to criticize “homosexuals pretending to be married” and warned that gay rights will lead to God’s judgment on America.

Young reportedly refused to call Byrne to concede defeat and announced that he may establish a national organization.

Marriage Equality Poised To Pass In Illinois, Hawaii

Anti-gay groups have consistently cited Illinois as an example that Religious Right has become more successful in fighting marriage equality. But the state legislature approved a marriage equality bill yesterday and the governor is a vocal supporter of legalizing same-sex marriage, which means that Americans For Truth About Homosexuality president Peter LaBarbera will soon live in a state with marriage equality.

With Hawaii also expected to pass a marriage equality bill this week, the success of the two gay rights measures represent big setbacks for Religious Right groups such as the Illinois Family Institute and Hawaii Family Advocates, which both employed ugly smear campaigns against the marriage bills.

Scenes from the floor on the second day of ENDA debate

Today's speeches have already begun, and amendment votes are also in progress. Please keep calling the Senate. There are more instructions here and here, and you can always reach both of your senators by dialing 202-224-3121. Don’t forget to sign our petition. The time is now – say yes to common sense and no to anti-gay extremists – pass ENDA!
PFAW

WND: 'Obama Should Not Merely Be Impeached: He Should Be Imprisoned'

Even though WorldNetDaily’s Lord Monckton wants Canadian-born Ted Cruz to be the next president, he still believes that President Obama is ineligible because he was secretly born outside of the US. The irony seems to be lost on Monckton.

In his latest column, Monckton demands that Obama be both impeached and put in jail for the supposed birther scandal:

I call Hawaiigate the central ground of impeachment for two reasons. First, the dishonesty is shameless and in your face. Mr Obama’s advisers, once they realized the “birth certificate” was as bogus as a $3 bill, knew that if they simply went on pretending that $3 bills are legal tender the hard-left-dominated news media would carefully and continuously look the other way, pausing occasionally to sneer at anyone who pointed out that, in this constitutionally crucial respect, the “president” has no clothes.

Secondly, not one of the numerous agencies of state, as well as federal government, whose duty was and is to investigate the Mickey-Mouse “birth certificate” has bothered even to respond to the thousands of requests for investigation put forward by U.S. citizens.

In Hawaii last year, I watched as a senior former state senator called the police and, when they came, handed over to them compelling evidence that the “birth certificate” had been forged. The police, correctly, passed the file to the state’s attorney general, a “Democrat,” who did nothing about it.

In Washington, D.C., I watched as a concerned citizen from Texas telephoned the FBI and reported the “birth certificate” as being a forgery. They said they would send two agents to see him within the hour. No one came.



In every instance, the “president” and his fawning courtiers have gone well beyond the level of habitual mendacity that is characteristic of the lesser sort of politician. It is no longer possible for anyone to believe a word they say.

Contrast this shoddy, lying administration with that of the first man to grace the office that Mr. Obama now occupies. George Washington “could not tell a lie.” Barry Soetero, or whatever his real name is, cannot tell the truth. That observation is a measure of how far America under the “Democrats” has fallen from the high ideals and the noble example of the founding president of the United States.

On any objective test, Mr. Obama should not merely be impeached: he should be imprisoned. But no one will do anything to bring him to book. Corruption by inaction is the most corrosive corruption of all.

Our Country Deserves Better than ‘Stand Your Ground’ Laws

The following is a guest post from Elder Jabari Paul, a member of People For the American Way’s African American Ministers in Action, following last week’s Senate Judiciary Subcommittee hearing on Stand Your Ground laws.

My perspective on Stand Your Ground laws (SYG) is shaped by my experience and calling as a young African American clergyman and as a native of Florida, the first state to pass this type of legislation. I believe that these laws raise important questions about the moral values of our country.

The debate around SYG comes during challenging times in America – times when the political landscape is starkly divided and mass slayings in public settings are much too frequent.  These laws have been divisive policies since the first one passed in October 2005 in Florida. Public contentiousness surrounding SYG can be traced back to the choices of many politicians to ignore the will of the majority on SYG laws and to push the agendas of powerful and moneyed interest groups, like the National Rifle Association. SYG has been a wedge issue because politicians, particularly conservatives, have supported such laws to placate their base in spite of a lack of need for these laws.

Stand Your Ground has been championed by its supporters as a type of law that is necessary to prevent crime in urban areas and to protect citizens from the violence of “thugs.” These arguments have clear racial undertones. Words like “urban” and “thug” have been used since America’s post-Reconstruction days to speak in coded language about African Americans and other minorities. SYG tramples upon the civil rights of those perceived to be a threat. The tragedy of these laws is compounded when the person attacked is killed and only their attacker has an opportunity to tell what happened.

As a Christian, minister and an African American male under 35, my views on SYG are shaped by my culture and my religious beliefs. I believe that SYG perpetuates violence in a society that already knows violence too well. Jesus Christ taught the opposite of violence – love. In His renowned “Sermon on the Mount,” Jesus said, “Ye have heard that it hath been said, an eye for an eye, and a tooth for a tooth: But I say unto you, that ye resist not evil: but whosoever shall smite thee on thy right cheek, turn to him the other also.” In these verses, Jesus is stressing that violence should be the last form of recourse in any situation. SYG, on the other hand, justifies and can even facilitate violence.

Our country deserves better than this. The United States of America is called, and no doubt is, the greatest nation in world. It’s time for our elected officials to drastically amend or repeal Stand Your Ground laws.

PFAW

Poll: Democrats Crush Republicans Among Latino and Asian American Voters in Virginia

By Gary Segura, Latino Decisions

With polls closed across the Commonwealth of Virginia, Latino Decisions can release the results of our 2013 Virginia Election Eve Survey of Latino and Asian American voters, commissioned by America’s Voice and the People for the American Way.  The poll finds a staggering margin of victory for Democrats within these two rapidly growing segments of the American electorate.

Complete topline results and full cross tabs.

Gubernatorial Race

Democrat Terry McAuliffe out paced his GOP opponent, Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli, by a staggering 37-point margin.  Latino Decisions estimates McAuliffe received 66% of the Latino vote, compared with 29% for Ken Cuccinelli. Among Asian Americans, McAuliffe’s margin was 29 percentage points.

 

We estimate that Asian American voters gave the Democrat 63% of their vote, compared with 34% for the GOP nominee.McAuliffe’s performance among Latinos was even better than President Obama’s vote share (as estimated by exit polls) in 2008 (65%) and 2012 (64%).  By contrast, Ken Cuccinelli underperformed both John McCain (34%) and Mitt Romney (33%) in the state.

Attorney General’s Race

In the race to succeed Cuccinelli as Attorney General, the Democratic margin was even greater.  Latino Decisions estimates that Mark Herring, the Democratic nominee, out polled Mark Obenshain among Latinos by an even more impressive 40-point margin.  We estimate Herring with 69% of the Latino vote, compared with Obenshain’s 29%.

Among Asian Americans, the margin was 24 percentage points.  Latino Decisions estimates that Mark Herring received 61% of the Asian American vote while Obenshain received 37%. The importance of the minority vote is even greater in this race, widely seen as more hotly contested than that for Governor.

House of Delegates

And how about in the races for the Virginia House?  Latino Decisions estimates that Democrats out-polled Republicans among Latinos 65% to 32%, a 33-point margin, while among Asian Americans, Democrats led 58% to 42% for the GOP.

The Importance of Immigration

Voters from both immigrant-rich ethnic communities indicated the importance of immigration to their vote choices.  A majority of Latino voters—53%--indicated that immigration was one of the, if not the, most important issue in determining their vote.  Perhaps more surprising, among Asian American voters, 46% identified immigration as one of the issues most driving their voting decisions.  Only 18% of Latinos and 24% of Asian Americans said immigration did not affect their vote.

A Note about Asian American Voters

In 1992, when McAuliffe’s mentor Bill Clinton was elected to the presidency, he received only 31% of the Asian American vote nationally.  Last year, Barack Obama received 73% of the Asian vote nationally and 66% in Virginia.  This shift of Asian American voters from super-majority Republican to super-majority Democratic, in just one generation, is reflected again in tonight’s vote.

Complete topline results and full cross tabs.

About the Poll/Methodology

Latino Decisions interviewed 400 Latino voters and 400 Asian American voters participating in the Virginia 2013 general election. Voters were contacted by landline and cell phone between November 1- November 4. Latino respondents had the option to take the survey in English or Spanish and Asian American respondents had the option to take the survey in English, Korean, Mandarin, Tagalog, or Vietnamese, at their choosing. Initial sampling was based on Latinos and Asian Americans who had voted in the 2009 election, or newer registrants who voted in both the 2010 and 2012 general elections. To take the survey, respondents were asked if they had already voted early or by absentee ballot, or if not, if they were certain to vote in the Nov 5 election. Each ethnic group sample carries a margin of error of +/- 4.9%.

Cross-posted from Latino Decisions.

Illinois to Become 15th Marriage Equality State

It’s been an exciting few days for supporters of LGBT equality. Following last night’s Senate cloture vote on the Employment Non-Discrimination Act, today the Illinois House passed a bill allowing same-sex couples to marry, setting the stage for Illinois to become the 15th state in the nation with full marriage equality. One version of the bill has already been passed by the Illinois Senate, and Governor Pat Quinn has promised to sign it. When he does, thirty percent of our nation’s states will have marriage equality.

PFAW has been on the ground in Illinois, supporting the push for marriage equality in any way we can. In addition to providing lobbying training materials so Illinois voters could bring their support for equality directly to their elected officials through calls, emails, and in-person visits, PFAW members joined thousands of friends in the March on Springfield for Marriage Equality last month.

In what the CEO of Equality Illinois has called the “national march toward full recognition of the dignity of all gay and lesbian couples,” Illinois has brought us one state closer to full marriage equality nationwide.  And while 15 states represents real momentum, we won’t stop until every committed couple in the country has access to the legal protections they need to take care of each other and their families.
 

PFAW

Ken Cuccinelli's Nativist Rhetoric Backfires Badly In General Election

Virginia GOP gubernatorial candidate Ken Cuccinelli appears to be paying the price for his anti-immigrant record.
PFAW

Ken Cuccinelli's Nativist Rhetoric Backfires Badly In General Election

Virginia GOP gubernatorial candidate Ken Cuccinelli appears to be paying the price for his anti-immigrant record. Cuccinelli backed Arizona’s draconian SB 1070 as the state attorney general and as a state senator he proposed several bills targeting immigrants and non-English speakers, and even equated US immigration policy to pest control. Cuccinelli’s harsh comparison was captured in this Spanish-language ad sponsored by People For the American Way:

While Cuccinelli’s nativism may have appealed to the Tea Party fringe, it has upset Latino voters — already alienated by the GOP’s extremist stance on immigration — and the majority of voters who back immigration reform.

But judging by interviews with Latino voters on Tuesday, the ad — which aired heavily on Spanish-language television in the weeks leading up to the election — resonated.

“He talks about our community with no respect,” said Umberto Adrian, a Manassas resident who was born in Bolivia and has lived in Virginia for 30 of his 60 years. “I can’t understand why a professional like him would refer to immigrants as if they are not human.”

Some Latino voters who said they were spurred to action by the commercial appeared to have their own interpretations of what Cuccinelli actually said.

“Cuccinelli called Hispanic people rats,” said Mary Alba, 74, a retired bakery worker. “I want people in office who know we need immigrant people. In this country we need people like immigrants, who work hard.”

Pedro Delcid, 40, perceived the remark in a slightly different, but equally derogatory, way. “This man was talking bad about our people. He said we reproduce like rats,” said Delcid, who lives in Manassas. “This is the one issue that brought me here today. I have an issue with the way he talks about immigrants.”

It’s not just anecdotal evidence either, as new polling from Latino Decisions sponsored by PFAW and America’s Voice reveals the extent of the damage from the GOP’s anti-immigrant rhetoric and policy positions:

Immigration weighs heavily in Latino and Asians’ voting decisions. Over half (53%) of Latinos rank immigration as the most important issue facing the Latino community that politicians should address. While the Asian community put other issues first, their voting choices are influenced by a candidate’s position on immigration reform. When asked about the role of immigration in their voting decisions, 53% of Latinos and 46% of Asians said it was either “the most important issue” or “one of the most important issues” in their “decision to vote, and who to vote for.”



Cuccinelli’s hardline immigration hurt not only him, but the Republican Party overall. After hearing a statement from Cuccinelli comparing immigrant families to rat families, 70% of Latinos and 59% of Asians said it made them look less favorably on the Republican Party as a whole. The comments were most salient to foreign-born Latinos and US-born Asians, who said it made them view the GOP more negatively at a rate of 75% and 74% respectively. After learning that Cuccinelli sponsored a bill as state Senator that would allow employers to fire any workers who did not speak English, 75% of Latinos and 67% of Asians said this made them less favorable to the Republican Party as a whole.



Added Gary Segura, Professor of American Politics and Chair of Chicano/a Studies, Stanford University and Co-Founder of Latino Decisions, "Hostility to immigrants--once a political wedge that worked for Republicans--has clearly now become an Achilles' heel for the Party. Latinos and Asians, climbing towards 10% of the electorate in Virginia, are clearly and profoundly put off by GOP rhetoric on this litmus-test issue for these immigrant-heavy communities. Continued antagonism toward immigration reform has the potential to erode or erase GOP competitiveness in this important and growing purple state."

Gaffney: Registering More People To Vote Will Mean 'The End America As We Have Known It'

With Republicans openly cheering for a low voter turnout and passing laws restricting the right to vote, it is no surprise that they are extremely upset that the Affordable Care Act website asks if the person applying for an insurance plan would like to registered to vote.

The voter registration question is actually mandated by federal law. “The National Voter Registration Act of 1993, also known as ‘Motor Voter,’ requires public agencies that provide public assistance to offer voter registration opportunities,” Scott Keyes points out. “Nowhere are citizens told who to vote for, which party to register for, or even that they have to register at all.” 

But Frank Gaffney of the Center for Security Policy said that registering more people to vote is “promoting creeping socialism” and voter fraud. By registering more “low-income voters,” Gaffney warns, “expect a permanent majority demanding government hand-outs—and the end of America as we have known it.”

That’s right, Gaffney thinks it is anti-American and wrong that low-income people might exercise their right to vote.

For some time, it’s been apparent that the Obama presidency is promoting creeping socialism. Obamacare’s intervention in, and substantial takeover of, one-sixth of our economy is a particularly ominous manifestation of the administration’s agenda – and evidence of its progress.

Not content with creeping, though, Team Obama’s socialists have broken into a full gallop. That’s the practical implication of a newly revealed facet of Obamacare: Whatever its other shortcomings and outright failings, the health care registration process is being used effectively to compel Americans to register to vote.

The process lends itself to abuse and fraud. And allies of the President say the goal is to register sixty-eight million, most low-income voters. If successful, expect a permanent majority demanding government hand-outs – and the end of America as we have known it.

Scenes from the floor on the first day of ENDA debate

From letters to alerts and more, the entire PFAW family has been working on ENDA. We still need your help. Please keep calling the Senate as this week's debate continues. There are more instructions here and here, and you can always reach both of your senators by dialing 202-224-3121. Don’t forget to sign our petition. The time is now – say yes to common sense and no to anti-gay extremists – pass ENDA!
PFAW

Virginia Latinos and Asian Americans to GOP: Politics of Exclusion Will Cost You Elections

**** Latino and Asian Election Eve Poll in Virginia****
***TODAY Poll Release in Two Parts***

**WED 11/6 Webinar at 12pm ET**

Virginia Latinos and Asians to GOP: Politics of Exclusion Will Cost You Elections
First Installment of New Poll Shows Virginia is a Test Case for the National GOP

Washington, DC – With Election Day in Virginia today and the gubernatorial candidates’ positioning on immigration reform on stark display, a new election-eve poll reveals how Virginia’s changing demographics are also changing the state’s politics. The polling data also present a sign of things to come for the national GOP in 2014 and beyond.

The first installment of the election-eve poll of extremely likely voters , conducted by Latino Decisions and sponsored by America’s Voice and People For the American Way (PFAW), shows that immigration policy and rhetoric are important factors in the voting decisions of Latino and Asian Americans.

A second installment of the election-eve poll, which includes candidate selection, will be released when the polls close in Virginia tonight at 7pm eastern. If you would like to receive an advanced copy of the embargoed results, please email Katy@newpartners.com. The entire poll will be discussed on Wednesday, November 6th, at a noon press call/webinar with Latino Decisions, People For the American Way, and America’s Voice.

Highlights of this first installment reveal the following (crosstabs also available here ):

Immigration weighs heavily in Latino and Asian Americans’ voting decisions. Over half (53%) of Latinos rank immigration as the most important issue facing the Latino community that politicians should address. While the Asian community put other issues first, their voting choices are influenced by a candidate’s position on immigration reform. 

When asked about the role of immigration in their voting decisions, 53% of Latinos and 46% of Asian Americans said it was either “the most important issue” or “one of the most important issues” in their “decision to vote, and who to vote for.”

Candidates’ positive and negative immigration positions move voters. After hearing Terry McAuliffe’s position on immigration, including his support for a pathway to citizenship for the 11 million undocumented immigrants in the United States and for the Virginia state DREAM Act, 56% of Latinos and 40% of Asian Americans said that they were more enthusiastic about McAuliffe. After hearing that Ken Cuccinelli proposed a law to take away citizenship from children whose parents are undocumented and wanted to authorize local police to check the papers of anyone they think might be undocumented, 64% of Latinos and 50% of Asian Americans said this made them less enthusiastic about Cuccinelli.

As Michael Keegan, President of People For the American Way, put it: “Ken Cuccinelli is leaning heavily on the politics of exclusion, especially when it comes to Latinos and immigrants. This election will prove that if the Republican Party moves further in the exclusionary direction of the Tea Party, it will do so at its own peril.”

Cuccinelli’s hardline immigration hurt not only him, but the Republican Party overall. After hearing a statement from Cuccinelli comparing immigrant families to rat families, 70% of Latinos and 59% of Asian Americans said it made them look less favorably on the Republican Party as a whole.

The comments were most salient to foreign-born Latinos and US-born Asian Americans, who said it made them view the GOP more negatively at a rate of 75% and 74% respectively. After learning that Cuccinelli sponsored a bill as state Senator that would allow employers to fire any workers who did not speak English, 75% of Latinos and 67% of Asians said this made them less favorable to the Republican Party as a whole.

The good news for the GOP is that they can stop the bleeding, but they need to act. This evening, we will release candidate choice numbers for key VA races, but it’s safe to say that they will be less than stellar for the GOP candidates. In fact, a majority of Latino (58%) and Asian (68%) voters have voted for a Republican candidate at some point in their lives.

This is, in essence, the swing vote within the two electorates that could move toward the GOP if the Party stops immigrant bashing and starts passing immigration solutions. Also in the poll, 69% of Latinos and 47% of Asian Americans said they would be less favorable to the GOP if the House continues its current stance on immigration reform. If the House takes action, pluralities of Latinos (41%) and Asian Americans (43%) would have a better view of the Republican Party even if some of its members still oppose reform.

“The polls show that championing anti-immigrant positions and siding with extremists not only does serious damage to individual candidates, but the party as a whole. House Majority Leader Eric Cantor, Judiciary Committee Chairman Bob Goodlatte, and Speaker John Boehner should be watching the results of the Virginia election closely. They can stop the bleeding, but they have to change course on immigration reform,” said Frank Sharry, Executive Director of America’s Voice.

“Bring citizenship up for a vote on the House floor. We know we have the votes to pass it. The right policy for the country is actually the right political move for the GOP. As David Gergen put it just a year ago, immigration reform will happen because Democrats want it but Republicans need it,” Sharry concluded.

Added Gary Segura, Professor of American Politics and Chair of Chicano/a Studies, Stanford University and Co-Founder of Latino Decisions, "Hostility to immigrants--once a political wedge that worked for Republicans--has clearly now become an Achilles' heel for the Party. Latinos and Asians, climbing towards 10% of the electorate in Virginia, are clearly and profoundly put off by GOP rhetoric on this litmus-test issue for these immigrant-heavy communities. Continued antagonism toward immigration reform has the potential to erode or erase GOP competitiveness in this important and growing purple state."

The second installment of the poll of 400 Asian and 400 Latino “extremely likely” voters in Virginia, including candidate choice, is also now available to reporters (embargoed until 7pm). To request the full poll under embargo, email katy@newpartners.com.

All data will be public as the polls close in Virginia tonight, and can be found on the Latino Decisions website. Tomorrow, Wednesday, November 6th at 12pm ET, pollsters, civic engagement leaders and immigration experts will then analyze the full results on a press call/webinar. To participate in the noon Eastern press call/webinar on 11/6 call 1-866-952-7534; Passcode: VIRGINIA and follow the presentation here: https://www.livemeeting.com/cc/connexevent/join?id=VIRGINIA&role=attend&... (meeting ID: VIRGINIA, entry code: ATTEND).

Press call speakers include Gary Segura, Professor of American Politics and Chair of Chicano/a Studies, Stanford University; Principal, Latino Decisions; Xavier Medina Vidal, Assistant Professor of Political Science at Virginia Tech; Dolores Huerta, Co-Founder of the United Farm Workers Union and longtime civil rights and labor activist; Michael Keegan , President, People For the American Way; and Frank Sharry, Executive Director, America’s Voice.

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Rafael Cruz: Gays Stole The Word 'Gay,' Are 'Potential Sexual Predators'

In yet another anti-gay rant posted on YouTube last year, Ted Cruz’s father and chief surrogate Rafael argued that it is inaccurate to call gay people “gay.” After arguing that abortion rights supporters should not be called “pro-choice” but rather “pro-death” and “pro-murder,” Cruz explained that “it’s just like calling homosexuals ‘gays.’ ‘Gay’ means happy, they try to dilute it so that it becomes socially acceptable.”

Cruz told a gathering of the Tea Party-aligned group Grassroots America We The People that gay rights advocates want conservatives to “prostitute our principles on behalf of tolerance” and vowed to never support marriage equality. “Start being biblically correct instead of politically correct,” he said.

In a speech at a Baptist church in Irving, Texas in June, Cruz went into detail about his claims that gay people are a threat to children and suggested that gays will join the Boy Scouts of America to sexually assault children.

“I was a Boy Scout, most of the times when you went out camping the tents were tents for two kids, I certainly don’t want my child with a potential sexual predator sleeping next to him,” he said.

He said Christians should have been more “militant” in order to prevent the Boy Scouts from including openly gay scouts and criticized the Southern Baptists for not breaking off ties with the BSA completely.

Self-Aware Matt Barber Declares 'Hyperbole Is Responsible For All The World's Problems'

Liberty Counsel’s Matt Barber isn’t exactly known for moderation or mild rhetoric, especially when it comes to gay rights. He warns of “religious freedom being crushed by the homosexualist juggernaut,” says that gay people live a “lust-filled, sex-centric, perversion-centric lifestyle,” believes LGBT families are in “rebellion against God,” claims that the Boy Scouts “committed gay activist suicide” when they allowed openly gay scouts, and insists that the Employment Nondiscrimination Act (ENDA) would protect pedophiles.

But according to Barber, the real perpetrator of “propagandist hyperbole” when it comes to gay rights is President Obama. In an interview yesterday, Barber and radio host Janet Mefferd snickered at the president’s assertion that without ENDA, “millions of LGBT Americans go to work every day fearing that, without any warning, they could lose their jobs.”

“I often say that hyperbole is responsible for all of the world’s problems,” Barber said. “And here we have the president dealing in this propagandist hyperbole.”

Barber claimed that “in the rare instance that an employer finds out that someone is engaging in an aberrant sexual lifestyle, a homosexual lifestyle, or if somebody goes home one day dressed as a man and comes back dressed as a woman the next” they would be defended by the news media, and that in fact “it’s the people who have a biblical worldview who are afraid to go to work every day.”

Phyllis Schlafly Cites Hoax Case To Claim Christian Students Face Persecution

Conservative activists regularly claim that they are the real victims of bigotry and compare themselves to persecuted people throughout history, frequently citing bogus cases to show proof of their pain. As Kyle noted earlier today, “One thing that you can count on from the Religious Right is that once a talking point has been established, it will be repeated endlessly even after it has been proven to be demonstrably false.”

Take today’s Phyllis Schlafly column for example, where she warns that the First Amendment is under attack in public schools:

Some public-school busybody bureaucrats are trying to suppress any and all religious mention on school property. Their orders are far more extreme than anything courts have ever held to be violations of the First Amendment.

Sports are a favorite target of the anti-religious crowd. A high-school football coach, Marcus Borden, was forbidden even to bow his head or “take a knee” during voluntary student-led prayers before the games.

In Texas, a boy’s track relay team ran its fastest race of the year and defeated its closest rival by seven yards, which should have enabled it to advance toward the state championship. The team’s anchor runner pointed to the sky to give glory to God as he crossed the finish line, but someone didn’t like the gesture, so the authorities disqualified this winning team because of it.

The first case she mentioned is authentic, as indeed the coach was told to stop praying before games because the school and the courts found that his actions amounted to religious pressure and was unconstitutional. We wonder how Schlafly would react if a Wiccan public school coach tried to lead their team in prayer….

The second case she mentions of the Texas track athlete, however, is a well-known hoax that was debunked many months ago.

The athlete who said he was penalized for saluting God admitted that he fabricated the story and that he was actually disqualified for taunting: “My actions upon winning the 4x100 relay were strictly the thrill of victory. With this being said, I do not feel my religious rights or freedoms were violated.”

However, Republican politicians, Religious Right activists and conservative journalists continue to spread the myth, even well after it has been thoroughly discredited.

Rafael Cruz Tries To Disprove Evolution, Suggests Obama Thinks He Is God

Yesterday, we posted clips of Sen. Ted Cruz’s father Rafael Cruz attacking evolution and warning of Satanic control of America. Now, a reader has alerted us to a speech the elder Cruz gave to a Republican gathering in Texas in March, in which he claimed that he could disprove evolution to the “brainwashed” students in attendance.

After making his usual claim that evolution and gay rights are communist plots, Cruz warned, “We are being brainwashed by the school system and you’re called a ‘retrograde,’ you’re called an ‘idiot’ if you fight evolution. Evolution is not a fact, there is nothing factual about evolution.”

Let me just say something for you kids, evolution is based on jumping from one species to another through mutations. How many of you had biology in high school? Mutations normally go in reverse order, they go backwards, when something mutates it mutates into something worse than it was before. So if evolution moves from species to species by mutation, you’re going backwards, not forwards, it doesn’t make sense. It takes more faith to believe in evolution than to believe in the first two chapters of Genesis. Understand, it is a tool to destroy loyalty to God.

Later in the address, Cruz alleged that President Obama wants people to worship him. “Obama needs for you to see him as God,” Cruz said. “The concept is make government your god. It’s done by evolution, it’s done by destroying the concept of religion and God, and secondly by destroying the family.”

“That’s what this whole thing about homosexual marriage is about,” he added. “It has nothing to do with ‘homosexual rights,’ It has to do with the destruction of the traditional family so that there is no loyalty to the family, loyalty is to the government and government is your god.”

Pat Buchanan Invokes George Wallace to Bash 'First Hustler' Obama

Conservative columnist and cable-news racist Pat Buchanan is out with a new column calling President Obama the “first hustler” because insurers have dropped some health plans that did not comply with the new health care reform law, meaning that some people have had to change their health insurance plans.

In defending his case, Buchanan invokes none other than George Wallace, the segregationist Alabama governor perhaps most famous for physically blocking two black students from entering the University of Alabama. Wallace had his own reasons for disliking the federal government, which he said (while running for president) was composed of “pointy-headed bureaucrats who can’t park a bicycle straight” – a sentiment that Buchanan gleefully repeats.

Buchanan then goes on to declare that the Affordable Care Act will finish the work done by such travesties as “free schooling [and] Social Security” to bring capitalism to “the end of the line.”


"Nothing is lost save honor."

So said Jim Fisk after he and Jay Gould survived yet another scrape in their corrupt and storied careers in the Gilded Age.

Fisk's dismissal of honor came to mind while watching Barack Obama in Boston smugly explain how his vow — "If you like your health care plan, you can keep it!" — was now inoperative.

All along, it had been a bait-and-switch by the first hustler.

Here was the president's signature program — what Social Security was to FDR, Medicare to LBJ — and one month into launch, it is grist for the mills of Saturday Night Live and Comedy Central.

Observing the rollout, one begins to appreciate what George Wallace meant when he talked of Washington being a city of "pointy-headed bureaucrats who can't park a bicycle straight."

And though the Obamacare website will one day be repaired, and people may begin to sign up, the land mines in Obamacare are by no means all exploded. We will be walking right through them.

The welfare state that began with Bismarck is reaching the end of the line, just as the private sector that generates the wealth to sustain that state is now, almost everywhere, buckling under its weight. The deficits stretch to the horizon. The debts rise inexorably.

Across the West, neo-socialism is out, the new austerity in.

And of all the great advances proclaimed by progressives over a century and a half, from free schooling to Social Security, Obamacare looks like it will eventually be ranked among the last — and the least.

PFAW Applauds Senate Cloture Vote on ENDA

WASHINGTON – People For the American Way today applauded the Senate’s vote to end a Republican filibuster on proceeding to consider the Employment Non-Discrimination Act, which would make it illegal to fire, refuse to hire, or refuse to promote employees because of their sexual orientation or gender identity. People For the American Way President Michael Keegan released the following statement:

“Today’s Senate vote is a huge victory in the ongoing fight to end discrimination in all its forms. Passing ENDA is simply common sense – no one should be fired because of who they are or who they love. These basic workplace protections are so in line with American values that most of the country believes that these protections are already the law of the land.

“Sadly, anti-gay extremists on the right have resorted to dangerous fear mongering and flat-out lies in their push against this important legislation. From American Family Association spokesperson Bryan Fischer’s declaration that ENDA would ‘represent the return of Jim Crow laws’ to Liberty Counsel chairman Mat Staver’s warning that ENDA would result in the ‘death of some individuals,’ their outrageous claims make clear just how far away their views are from those of everyday Americans.

“I trust that the Senate will soon pass ENDA. The question then becomes whether House Republican leadership will stand on the side of anti-gay extremists or on the side of common sense and decency by allowing the bill to be taken up and passed.” 

For more information on the far right and ENDA, see People For the American Way’s Right Wing Watch round-up of the top ten Religious Right claims about the legislation: http://www.rightwingwatch.org/content/enda-near-top-ten-religious-right-claims-about-employment-non-discrimination-act-updated

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Discrimination Has No Place In Our Hearts or Our Workplaces

The following is a guest post by Rev. Dorothy Chaney, a licensed Baptist minister in Miami and a member of People For the American Way’s African American Ministers in Action.

I have lived in Florida all my life, but here’s something I didn’t always know: in my state, you can be fired for being gay.

It’s true – although most of us don’t realize it. Here in Florida, we lack both a state and federal law protecting gay, lesbian, bisexual, or transgender (LGBT) employees from workplace discrimination. That means that even if you are the most dedicated employee – always on time, always going that extra mile – you can still be fired because of who you are or who you love.

That’s not right.

Why? First of all, because ensuring that all of us have the opportunity to provide for our families is a core American value. Passing a bill in Congress called the Employment Non-Discrimination Act would help make sure that LGBT workers across the country are protected from workplace mistreatment. It’s simple – if you work hard, you shouldn’t be fired because of attributes that have nothing to do with your work performance.

Second, my religious beliefs mean I am dedicated to supporting those in need. As Bishop Gene Robinson pointed out in 2011, “The scriptures of the Old and New Testaments are filled with admonitions that we will be judged by the way we treat our most vulnerable members.” He wrote that we are “morally bound” to take care of those who are marginalized, such as LGBT Americans.

He’s right. As a Christian minister, I have worked for many years to lift up those most vulnerable in our communities, from counseling women facing unplanned pregnancies to speaking out in support of those needing access to health care. I have come to see that in order to continue my work for justice, I also need to speak out in support of employment protections for LGBT members of my community. Though faith traditions and leaders may have differing beliefs about sexuality, surely we can agree that every person should be treated with dignity in their place of work. Every person should be able to be open about who they are without fearing for their job.

Finally, not only is passing ENDA the moral thing to do, it’s also the popular thing to do.  That’s true here in Florida and also across the country. New polling estimates that more than 60% of Floridians support ENDA.

Unfortunately, those who don’t support these protections are using dishonest arguments to try to mislead the public about the legislation. Tony Perkins of the Family Research Council, for example, has claimed that if ENDA is passed, “Our freedom of religion will be destroyed.”  This is certainly not true. The ENDA bill even carves out a specific exemption so it will not apply to religious corporations, societies, associations, and schools.  The fact is, it goes the extra mile to protect religious liberty, and it is supported by a broad array of religious groups. The bottom line is that ENDA is in no way an attack on religious liberty any more than existing anti-discrimination laws are.

Others are using repugnant arguments in an attempt not just to defeat the bill, but to attack and malign LGBT members of my community. Last year, Andrea Lafferty of the Traditional Values Coalition went as far as using the Newtown tragedy in a misguided attempt to turn public opinion against ENDA. Referencing a school district anti-discrimination policy in nearby Orange County, Florida, Lafferty argued that while parents are concerned about “protecting our children” in the wake of the Newtown shooting, they should be worried about ENDA’s “devastating effects” as “people with some real issues [play] out their personal problems in the classroom.” These kinds of lies about our LGBT neighbors underscore why the discrimination protections are needed in the first place.

It is my hope that all of our elected officials will choose to stand on the side of pro-equality majorities rather than with those pushing hurtful lies about LGBT Americans. I was heartened to see that Sen. Nelson has signed on as a cosponsor. Now it’s time for Sen. Rubio to step up to the plate, as well.

Because at the end of the day, discrimination is discrimination.  It has no place in our hearts and no place in our workplaces.
 

PFAW

Youth Leaders and Faith Leaders Urge Support for ENDA

UPDATE: Following the Senate's successful 64-32 vote to pass ENDA on 11/07/2013, PFAW and AAMIA sent their support letters to the House. YEO Action, now with 34 members, and YP4 action, now with 51 members and allies, did the same.
PFAW
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