C4

The American People Reject Citizens United. Whose Representatives are Listening?

To: Interested Parties

From: Marge Baker, Executive Vice President, People For the American Way

Date: April 18, 2012

Re: The American People Reject Citizens United. Whose Representatives are Listening?

91 million Americans are represented by one of the 89 members of Congress supporting a constitutional amendment to overturn Citizens United v. FEC, according to a new analysis by People For the American Way. To date, a total of 24 U.S. Senators and 65 U.S. Representatives have sponsored or co-sponsored an amendment to the constitution seeking to undo the damage caused by the flawed decision that paved the way for unprecedented levels of corporate and special interest influence in our elections, as tracked by United For the People.

Over 75 million people live in the states represented by pro-amendment senators, according to 2010 census data. In states still awaiting senatorial support, an additional 16 million people live in congressional districts represented by a member of the House who has signed on to a proposed amendment, bringing the total to 91 million. Considered separately, the 65 supporting members of the House represent 42 million Americans.

The Citizens United decision is immensely unpopular among voters, and a majority of Americans support amending the Constitution to overturn Citizens United. In fact, a 2010 PFAW poll showed that 85% of voters say corporations have too much influence over the political system, while 93% said that average citizens have too little. More recent polling commissioned by Public Campaign shows that these concerns translate to a full 62 percent across all political parties that oppose Citizens United, with nearly half strongly in opposition. The survey also found that more than three-quarters of voters say that it is important for candidates to make campaign finance reform a key election issue, and two-thirds of voters consider reducing the influence of lobbyists and money in politics to be an important factor in their vote.

The 89 members of Congress who have endorsed one of the 13 federal resolutions to overturn Citizens United introduced thus far during the 112th Congress are acting on this sentiment. These proposed amendments are diverse, reflective of the robust and serious debate Americans are having across the country on what constitutional approach would best solve the problem. In addition, as significant is the groundswell of support at the local and state level that far transcends this total. To name just a few, the City Councils of New York City, NY, Oakland, CA, Los Angeles, CA, Albany, NY, Missoula, MT, and Boulder, CO have all adopted their own resolutions, as have the legislatures of states like Hawaii and New Mexico, and when given the chance to vote directly, the citizens of 64 towns across the state of Vermont have passed ballot measures supporting a constitutional amendment.

The groundswell of support for a constitutional amendment among the American people represents a “movement moment,” and members of Congress who are taking action – on behalf of 91 million constituents so far – are on the right track. A constitutional amendment is a profound but necessary measure to restore the balance of influence in our elections to the American people. The issue of undue corporate and special interests in our democracy is a big problem that requires a big solution. Measures that require more disclosure of the sources of the big money in politics, call for public financing of elections or require greater corporate accountability to shareholders for corporate political spending would all mitigate the problems caused by the Court’s radical decision in Citizens United. But because the Court rested its decision in that case on flawed constitutional grounds, the only way to fully remedy the decision is by amending the Constitution to ensure that Americans’ voices are not overwhelmed by massive corporate and special interest spending in elections.

A broad and diverse group of organizations, under the banner of United For the People, are pressing creative ways for activists and public officials to engage on this issue. Activists are encouraging local, state and federal public officials, even those who haven’t yet decided on specific amendment language, to support these efforts by joining the simple call for constitutional remedies to overturn Citizens United and related cases. Officials can sign the simple declaration of support here. Activists across the country are encouraged to take the declaration to the public officials that represent them and encourage them to sign.

###

Religious Right Groups Reaffirm Opposition to Decriminalizing Homosexuality

Earlier today we posted video from Truth in Action Ministries of Religious Right leaders condemning the Obama administration’s push to curb anti-LGBT violence and persecution and the criminalization of LGBT status. now the group’s president Dan Scalf is comparing Secretary of State Hillary Clinton to the Pharisees in John 8:1-11, who wanted to stone a woman for adultery, for her attempt to “promote homosexuality globally”:

How should Christians react to our tax dollars being used to promote homosexuality globally?

I am reminded of the situation religious leaders created in an attempt to trap Christ. They brought a woman to him they had caught in act of adultery and asked, “Now Moses, in the law, commanded us that such should be stoned. But what do you say?”

Hillary Clinton did something similar to that in her speech. She reminded the international leaders and representatives in her audience that the United Nations had adapted the Universal Declaration of Human Rights in 1948. Then, she went on to state that homosexual, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender people deserve the same protections as people persecuted because of their religion, ethnicity, age, or gender.

Christians are often trapped by that type of intellectual posturing. We allow those who call good evil and evil good to frame the argument without challenging their agenda or assumptions. We cannot come to a good solution when beginning with a flawed presupposition.



Hillary Clinton, and all those who promote homosexual, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender rights have an agenda. It is not “equal” rights. They want nothing less than complete cultural acceptance for a practice that God’s holy and infallible Word calls sinful.

Concerned Women for America is also voicing their opposition to efforts to decriminalize homosexuality. CWA’s Mario Diaz called the administration’s policy against anti-LGBT discrimination “embarrassing,” claimed that a “majority of Americans” do not believe that gays and lesbians should have equal rights, and even heralded a statement from the Foreign Minister of Russia, which has a dreadful record on safeguarding LGBT rights and protecting LGBT community from violence:

U.S. Secretary of State Hilary Clinton has made clear that the President has put an emphasis on all foreign assistance from the U.S. to advance lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) "rights."

"Gay rights are human rights, and human rights are gay rights," Clinton said in a speech at the end of last year that sparked strong criticism from many nations who do not adhere to the same belief.



Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov said:

We have repeatedly said that the Russian Federation condemns any forms and manifestations of discrimination on any grounds…

In this connection we cannot agree with attempts to artificially single out this category of people as an independent group claiming that its rights and interests should be specially protected.


Embarrassing.

This is yet another reason why the next election is so crucial for our nation. Will we continue to export homosexuality as a human "right," despite the fact that the majority of Americans do not agree with that?

There is little doubt as to where President Obama stands in this question. His emphasis on the promotion of homosexuality as a human right internationally and his all-out effort against the traditional definition of marriage have been swift and decisive.

While many "conservatives" plead with us to stop talking about "social" issues and focus on the economy, the President has been steadfast in undermining marriage and the family. Under his leadership, the future looks bleak in this regard.

 

The Right's 2012 Solution: "Just Close Your Eyes"

This post originally appeared in the Huffington Post.

Last month, Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Corbett offered a solution for women who were going to be forced by the government to undergo a completely unnecessary ultrasound against their wills: "You can't make anybody watch, okay? Because you just have to close your eyes." The governor's suggestion would be almost comical, if it weren't for the tragic fact that forcing women to watch was the whole point of the legislation Corbett supported.

But it seems that Corbett's suggestion doesn't just apply to women seeking abortions in the Keystone state. It is, in essence, what the GOP is telling to every woman turned off by the party's attacks on reproductive rights, equal pay and domestic violence protections: "You just have to close your eyes."

Mitt Romney's campaign is banking on the fact that voters of both genders are concerned about the economy in these uncertain times. Polls show that they're right. But just because you're concerned with the economy doesn't mean you ignore it when a group of people are systematically taking away your rights for their own short-term political gain.

Sadly, this is the new normal. The Tea Party's success has been based on this "just close your eyes" formula. Swept into power on a wave of economic dissatisfaction, Tea Party legislators in Washington and the states asked the country to "close its eyes" as it did everything but fix the economy. "Pay no attention while we roll back decades of progress everything else you care about. Just close your eyes while we bash immigrants, cut essential services, make it very hard to vote, and take away collective bargaining rights". Many minorities have been affected, particularly in the last two years, but arguably and amazingly, no group has been under attack more than the American majority--women.

A new report from People For the American Way investigates the new landscape that the Tea Party is creating for American women. Mississippi is set to become the only state in the country without a legal abortion clinic. Texas is on the path to denying reproductive health care to 130,000 low-income women. Wisconsin repealed its enforcement mechanism for equal pay lawsuits. Senate Republicans are fighting to stop the reauthorization of the Violence Against Women Act. Following an all-male panel speaking on women's health, a woman who dares speak in front of Congress about the importance of affordable contraception is called a "slut."

Even with closed eyes, these things are very hard to miss. The Romney campaign has attempted to distract voters from this train wreck of anti-woman policies by claiming that a second Obama administration will hurt women economically. Last week, they hammered hard on the claim that women have accounted for 92 percent of job losses under President Obama- a mangled statistic that ignores, among other factors, that many of those losses were the result of Republican-led layoffs of teachers and other government employees. Then they decided to accuse Democrats of waging a "War on Moms" - forgetting, perhaps, the candidate's history of aggressively pushing low-income women to work outside of the home when their children are very young.

Women haven't bought it. In polls, Romney still trails Obama among women voters by double digits. And in an under-reported fact, among women ages 18 to 29, he's losing by an astounding 45 points. You don't need a political science degree that know that that spells disaster.

Mitt Romney and congressional Republicans seem to think they can get away with almost anything because, in the end, their Election Day hopes will be saved by a bad economy. The problem is, the people they attack on a regular basis - women, gays, Latinos, Muslims, you name it -know the Tea Party's record on the economy and its history of cynical, culture-war attacks that deeply affect the lives of real people. We have our eyes wide open.

PFAW

Ken Hutcherson: Anti-Gay Activists Must 'Take Back the Rainbow'

Jennifer Roback Morse of the National Organization for Marriage isn’t the only anti-gay activist seeking to take the symbol of the rainbow back from the “gay lobby,” as Washington state pastor and NOM-ally Kenneth Hutcherson, who is working to overturn the state’s marriage equality law, writes today in WorldNetDaily that it is time to “take back the rainbow for God” and let “the homosexual community find a different religious symbol to commandeer.”

How did we get here? Just when was this symbol liquidated of its meaning? When was the sign pointing to God’s promise intentionally co-opted to point to a certain lifestyle choice? Let’s just say that the homosexual movement has been busy over the last couple of decades and that many of these changes have taken place without so much as a peep from the larger Christian community. Rome’s burning; Nero’s fiddling; and Christians are taking a well-deserved nap.



Yes, let’s take back the rainbow for God. Let the homosexual community find a different religious symbol to commandeer. If they were feeling congenial, perhaps the Muslims would let them borrow their crescent moon. In these desperate economic times, maybe the Wiccans would rent the pentagram to them. I don’t really care. What I want is for the Christian community to wake up, wipe the sleep from their eyes, and realize that they are in a spiritual battle that isn’t going away and has no demilitarized zones. The rainbow is a symbol, but it’s meaning points to the very character of God. So Christians …use this God-given symbol for His glory. Using it won’t make you a homosexual. It won’t make you a New Ager. It won’t make leprechauns real. But it might allow you to get into conversations with people who need to meet the very One Who gave us His promise in the first place.

Mitt Romney Won’t Disavow Supporter Ted Nugent’s Violent Rhetoric

Contrary to some media reports, Mitt Romney has failed to disavow the inflammatory and violent remarks made by Ted Nugent on Saturday at the NRA national convention. Nugent, a longtime NRA board member, made his remarks one day after Romney addressed the convention.

Romney spokeswoman Andrea Saul said yesterday that “divisive language is offensive no matter what side of the political aisle it comes from.” “Mitt Romney believes everyone needs to be civil,” she continued. Remarkably, some in the media have characterized this weak and vague statement as Romney disavowing, even condemning, Nugent.

“Mitt Romney is apparently unable, or unwilling, to confront Nugent’s violent rhetoric directly,” said Michael Keegan, president of People For the American Way. “This isn’t just a case of incivility or divisiveness. We’re talking about a prominent supporter of Mitt Romney making threats to shoot and chop the heads off of his political opponents.”

Nugent endorsed Romney after the two had a long conversation about gun laws, and Nugent made Romney pledge to oppose any new restrictions. The Romney campaign touted the endorsement, and Romney himself said he had a good time getting to know Nugent.

“Presidential candidates can’t be expected to answer for everything their supporters say, but it’s different when a candidate seeks an endorsement, makes promises to win it and then touts it to the public,” said Keegan. “Romney’s vague, pox on both their houses, approach shows that his campaign is more concerned about courting extremists like Nugent than doing the right thing for America.”

# # #

People For the American Way’s Right Wing Watch blog discovered Nugent’s remarks and posted them online:

 

Religious Right Defends Criminalization of Homosexuality with Warnings of God's Judgment for 'Sexual Paganization'

Last week, Truth in Action Ministries released a film marking the 100th anniversary of the sinking of the Titanic by arguing that the “radical homosexual agenda” is the “iceberg” that will destroy America, and today the group unveiled a new video, Is Our Government Promoting Immorality? Hosts Jennifer Kennedy Cassidy and Jerry Newcombe called for gays and lesbians to be delivered from “this deadly lifestyle” and introduced a segment featuring the Family Research Council’s Peter Sprigg, Southern Baptist Convention’s Richard Land and right-wing author Michael Brown where the Religious Right activists defended the criminalization of homosexuality and attacked Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s speech against anti-LGBT violence and persecution.

Sprigg, who has advocated for the criminalization of homosexuality in the past, condemned attempts by the State Department’s push for “decriminalizing homosexual acts” and Brown attacked the “outrageous” dissemination of “our gay activist standard.” “Whenever you go against God’s law, when you challenge God’s law and you have the effrontery and the hubris of trying to redefine one of God’s institutions like marriage you are putting yourself in the place of judgment,” Land concluded, “there is no question in my mind, God is already judging America and will judge her more harshly as we continue to move down this path towards sexual paganization.”

Watch highlights from the film here:

Tony Perkins says Repeal of Don't Ask Don't Tell led to Cascade of 'Deviance' in Condemnation of Military Academy Club

After linking the Secret Service prostitution scandal to the end of the military’s Don’t Ask Don’t Tell policy, Family Research Council president Tony Perkins is doubling down on his anti-gay attacks by now launching a tirade against a student club at Norwich University in Vermont for organizing a Pride Week. A group of LGBT students and straight allies is planning to host “seminars on bullying, safe sex and HIV testing and discussions with veterans” along with a queer prom that will include speeches from Gov. Peter Shumlin and US Army Chief Warrant Officer Charlie Morgan. Student organizer Joshua Fontanez said that the week is meant to help create “a community here who will embrace you and love you and support you” in an interview with WCAX, whose news van was tagged with the word “Fags” while parked on campus.

Perkins, however, claimed in a radio message today that the Pride Week was all about the desire to throw a “party” for “a community that thinks promiscuity is something to celebrate.” Perkins also said that the Obama administration is “banning Christian speakers at military academies,” presumably referring to Jerry Boykin who decided to withdraw from a speaking engagement at West Point after his extremist anti-Muslim statements came to light.

Perkins: When students at Norwich University crowed their prom queen, something was missing. That something was a girl. Hello, I'm Tony Perkins of the Family Research Council in Washington, D.C. America's oldest private military academy says it prides itself on being unconventional--and last month's "gay prom" proved it. School officials said they wanted to have an "open dialogue" on homosexuality--but what they really had was a party. Unfortunately, this is America's new military. When the President wanted to overturn "Don't Ask, Don't Tell," he didn't talk about flying rainbow flags at Afghan bases or asking chaplains to perform gay "weddings." He didn't mention banning Christian speakers at military academies, tearing down crosses at Camp Pendleton, or pulling Scripture out of Army curriculum. What he said was it's time to let homosexuals be true to who they are. And who they are is a community that thinks promiscuity is something to celebrate. Norwich's "free love dance" and "condom Olympics" aren't tolerance. They're deviance. And a school of young, strong cadets deserve better.

Borking America

Many Presidents leave their most enduring legacy to the nation in the Justices that they name to the Supreme Court and the federal judges that they put on the bench. So what inspired former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney to name former judge Robert Bork to co-chair his presidential campaign advisory committee on law, the Constitution and the judiciary?

PFAW Vows Continued Vigilance as ALEC Attempts to Whitewash its Extreme Agenda

In response to public outrage, the American Legislative Exchange Council has announced that it is disbanding the “Public Safety and Elections Task Force,” the working group responsible for advancing model legislation like the controversial Voter ID and “Shoot First” gun laws that have proliferated around the country.

“ALEC’s latest move is a transparent effort to stem the recent hemorrhaging they’re facing after the outpouring of grassroots anger over their role pushing extreme legislation that endangers the safety and lives of Americans.” said People For the American Way president Michael Keegan. “They’re right to be worried about public outrage of their support of laws that promote vigilantism, suppress citizens’ right to vote and criminalize immigrants, but this is an empty gesture unless ALEC and its members work to overturn the draconian measures that have caused so much harm to the American people. Their claim that in the future they will only focus on legislation that will ‘put the economy back to work,’ begs the question of how they can use a ‘jobs agenda’ to justify laws that undermine workers’ rights, privatize public education, and make it harder to hold corporations accountable for poisoning our air and water or selling us dangerous and defective products. We will continue to work with our friends to shine a light on ALEC’s agenda and hold members accountable for supporting that agenda.”

Eleven companies, including  McDonalds, Coca-Cola and Kraft Foods severed ties with ALEC under increasing public scrutiny from a number of organizations including People For the American Way, Color of Change, Center for Media and Democracy, Common Cause, and Progress Now. Just this afternoon, Color of Change announced that Blue Cross Blue Shield had also severed its ties with ALEC.

###

Truth in Action Ministries links Day of Silence to Adolf Hitler, Says Children face 'Indoctrination into a Deadly Lifestyle'

After comparing the “radical homosexual agenda” to the iceberg that sank the Titanic, Truth in Action Ministries yesterday discussed how homosexuality results from a “deep pathology” and deficient “biblical” parenting and today went into how gays and lesbians are stealthily using anti-bullying programs to turn kids gay. The claim is common in Religious Right circles, and Jerry Newcombe told host Carmen Pate on Truth that Transforms today that gay rights supporters want to “indoctrinate children” into “a deadly lifestyle” through anti-bullying programs.

Pate: As we talk about the radical homosexual agenda and their attempts to take their agenda into the public school, we see evidence day in and day out in the news, in activities that are coming up in public schools, activities that are put together by an organization called Gay, Lesbian and Straight Education Network. They seem to be set on taking their agenda and teaching our children that their lifestyle is actually an inherent identity. How do you see this infiltrating our children’s school systems?

Newcombe: It’s something where they are basically taking a legitimate concern, which is that of bullying, and they are using that serious problem that does happen as an opportunity by which they will then promote and essentially indoctrinate children and expose children to the acceptability of the homosexual lifestyle. Now bullying is wrong but so also is indoctrination into a deadly lifestyle and frankly homosexuality is a deadly lifestyle and that fact is withheld from the children.

Later in the program, Newcombe suggested that it may not be a coincidence and is “ironic” that the anti-bullying Day of Silence takes place on April 20th, Adolf Hitler’s birthday. While the Day of Silence last year took place on April 15th, as the date has changed over the years, Newcombe sees something more sinister:

Newcombe: It’s sad to see groups like GLSEN be accepted by the teacher's establishment and then allow the platform to go into the public schools and try and indoctrinate children. For example, they have something called the Day of Silence. Now they chose April 20 of all days to be the Day of Silence, I looked that up, I was like, ‘isn’t that Adolf Hitler’s birthday,’ I looked it up and sure enough it is Adolf Hitler’s birthday. I don’t think there’s a link there but how ironic. But they are using this day as a means by which to promote their lifestyle as if it is a positive thing.

 

Bishop Compares Obama to Hitler and Stalin

Bishop Daniel R. Jenky of the Catholic diocese of Peoria, Illinois, likened President Obama to Adolf Hilter and Joseph Stalin, along with past French Prime Minister Georges Clemenceau and German chancellor Otto von Bismarck, on Sunday while condemning Obama’s “radical, pro-abortion and extreme secularist agenda.” He said that Catholics in America are in a “war” as a result of the administration’s mandate for religiously-based institutions to cover contraceptives, and compared politicians who back the mandate to Judas Iscariot.

Listen:

For 2,000 years the enemies of Christ have certainly tried their best. But think about it. The Church survived and even flourished during centuries of terrible persecution, during the days of the Roman Empire.

The Church survived barbarian invasions. The Church survived wave after wave of Jihads. The Church survived the age of revolution. The Church survived Nazism and Communism. And in the power of the resurrection, the Church will survive the hatred of Hollywood, the malice of the media, and the mendacious wickedness of the abortion industry.

The Church will survive the entrenched corruption and sheer incompetence of our Illinois state government, and even the calculated disdain of the President of the United States, his appointed bureaucrats in HHS, and of the current majority of the federal Senate.

May God have mercy especially on the souls of those politicians who pretend to be Catholic in church, but in their public lives, rather like Judas Iscariot, betray Jesus Christ by how they vote and how they willingly cooperate with intrinsic evil.

As Christians we must love our enemies and pray for those who persecute us, but as Christians we must also stand up for what we believe and be ready to fight to defend our faith. The days in which we live now require heroic Catholicism, not casual Catholicism. We can no longer be Catholics by accident, but instead be Catholics by conviction.

In our own families, in our parishes, where we live and where we work – like that very first apostolic generation – we must be bold witnesses to the Lordship of Jesus Christ. We must be a fearless army of Catholic men, ready to give everything we have for the Lord, who gave everything for our salvation.

Remember that in past history other governments have tried to force Christians to huddle and hide only within the confines of their churches like those first disciples before the Resurrection locked together in the Upper Room.

In the late 19th century, Bismark waged his “Kulturkamf,” a culture war against the Roman Catholic Church, closing down every Catholic school and hospital, convent and monastery in Imperial Germany. Clemenceau, nicknamed “the priest eater,” tried the same thing in France in the first decade of the 20th Century.

Hitler and Stalin, at their better moments, would just barely tolerate some churches remaining open, but would not tolerate any competition with the state in education, social services, and health care.

In clear violation of our First Amendment rights, President Obama – with his radical, pro-abortion and extreme secularist agenda, now seems intent on following a similar path.

Now things have come to such a pass in our beloved country that this is a battle that we could lose, but before the awesome judgement seat of Almighty God this is not a war where any believing Catholic may remain neutral.

Romney Actively Sought Nugent Endorsement and Agreed to His Demands to Win It

Mitt Romney actively sought, and won, Ted Nugent’s endorsement in early March. According to a report in the Texas Tribune and Nugent himself, the two had a lengthy conversation about gun laws and the endorsement on March 2nd.
 
Nugent made Romney pledge not to put any new restrictions on guns. Romney obliged:
It was on a phone call with the candidate earlier today that Nugent gave his blessing. He talked to Romney by phone while he was at a sporting goods store in Michigan "celebrating the orgy of guns and ammos and bows and arrows and camouflage clothing and hunting and fishing and outdoor family supplies."
 
Before endorsing him, Nugent demanded that Romney pledge there would be no new gun laws or restrictions on Second Amendment rights in his administration. Romney obliged. Nugent also warned Romney about the "out of control" U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service.
 
"These are not Ted Nugent demands," he said. "They're logic demands. They're 'we the people' demands. They're right over wrong, good over bad."
Nugent later tweeted:
 
 
As Tommy Christopher over at Mediaite points out, presidential candidates can’t be expected to answer for everything their supporters say. However, it’s a different story when the candidate personally seeks an endorsement: “Mitt Romney shouldn’t have to answer for every idiotic thing ever said by a conservative, if only due to time constraints. However, it is fair to ask him if he agrees with those whose endorsements he has actively sought.”
 
It's time for Romney to address Nugent's extreme and violent rhetoric on his behalf at last weekend's NRA national convention. While rallying support for Romney, Nugent compared President Obama and Democrats to a coyote that needs to be shot, called President Obama's administration "vile, evil America-hating," and ended with a call to chop off Democrats' heads: "We need to ride into that battlefield and chop their heads off in November."
 
 

Richard Land's Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day

Richard Land, head of the Southern Baptist Convention’s Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission, yesterday took up a defiant tone against charges that he used racially-insensitive language during his radio show in his attack on President Obama and civil rights activists over the Trayvon Martin case, saying that he is being “mugged” by the media for simply “criticizing this rush to judgment.” Land on his show had said that “it was Mr. Obama” who turned the Trayvon Martin shooting into a national issue” by pouring “gasoline on the racialist fires” in order to help “gin up the black vote” for his re-election with the aid of “race hustlers.”

But black SBC pastors, including the incoming-president of the convention, criticized Land’s comments and one threatened to introduce a resolution condemning Land at an upcoming meeting, and other Baptists commented that it was reminiscent of Southern Baptists’ past work against the civil rights movement and helped feed “the deep-seated resentment toward people of color held by some white Southern Baptists.”

Land’s problems didn’t end there.

Baptist author and blogger Aaron Weaver found that Land not only plagiarized his controversial rant from a Washington Times column by Jeffrey Kuhner, but also that Land has repeatedly plagiarized editorials verbatim from other right-wing publications like the Washington Examiner and Investor’s Business Daily.

Not a good move for the SBC’s “chief ethicist,” who used his title as ethicist while defending his comments about the Trayvon Martin case: “defending people who are being lynched in the court of public opinion is part of my job as an ethicist.”

Rather than apologize for the two incidents, Land instead said he is simply sorry that others have “misunderstood” his comments on Martin or his blatant plagiarism.

First, Land admitted to failing “to provide appropriate verbal attributions” during his show but not to plagiarism, saying he regrets “if anyone feels they were deceived or misled”:

On occasion I have failed to provide appropriate verbal attributions on my radio broadcast, Richard Land Live!, and for that I sincerely apologize. I regret if anyone feels they were deceived or misled.



While I do not use a script, listeners familiar with the program know that both the audio of the program and material I reference during the program are posted on the program’s Web site during or immediately following the broadcast.

However, Weaver notes that Land unmistakably tried “to pass off Kuhner’s words as his own” and even “attempted to make Kuhner’s words his own by adding extra comments and using different adjectives,” pointing out that while Land includes a link to Kuhner’s article on his website no author can “write a 500-word essay, pull 250-300 words verbatim or nearly verbatim from someone else and simply include a short footnote at the bottom.”

Land kept up with his “sorry if you misunderstood” mantra in a letter to SBC president Bryant Wright posted late on yesterday where he again offered a non-apology about the “misunderstanding” regarding his comments, complaining that he “overestimated the progress” the country has made on issues involving race:

I am writing to express my deep regret for any hurt or misunderstanding my comments about the Trayvon Martin case have generated. It grieves me to hear that any comments of mine have to any degree set back the cause of racial reconciliation in Southern Baptist or American life. I have been committed to the cause of racial reconciliation my entire ministry. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., a Baptist minister has been a personal hero of mine since I surrendered to the ministry in 1962.



Clearly, I overestimated the progress that has been made in slaying the ugly racist ghosts of the past in our history. I also clearly underestimated the extent to which we must go out of our way not to be misunderstood when we speak to issues where race is a factor.

Please know that I apologize to any and all who were hurt or offended by my comments. I will certainly recommit myself to seeking to address controversial issues with even more sensitivity in the future.

Tony Perkins blames Secret Service Prostitution Scandal on the Repeal of Don't Ask Don't Tell

Yesterday Janet Mefferd hosted Family Research Council president Tony Perkins where they spent most of the time lamenting the inevitable nomination of Mitt Romney, as Mefferd was troubled by Romney’s past (but since renounced) support of gay rights. But the two agreed that Obama’s advocacy for equal rights for gays and lesbians is far more disconcerting and Perkins even tied last year’s repeal of Don’t Ask Don’t Tell to the scandal involving Secret Service agents who solicited prostitutes in Colombia. While prostitution is legal in the country, their use of prostitutes had the potential to compromise the President’s security. Perkins claimed that since the President has been “enforcing open homosexuality in our military” then he should not have been “upset” about the prostitution scandal, maintaining that Don’t Ask Don’t Tell’s repeal led to “a total breakdown” in “moral order”:

Mefferd: You know one issue that I think has not gotten as much attention as it deserves to get is the homosexuality issue. A lot of people have talked about Mitt Romney and what he did with the gay marriage issue and so forth in Massachusetts, but even Politico and the New York Times have talked a lot about the increasing number of top Republicans who are donating to pro-gay causes, the extent to which the GOP doesn’t want to fight on this issue anymore. But we as Christians can’t stand stop fighting on this issue, Tony, so what do we do when we’re faced with a race where maybe we feel like the candidates are way too similar on this and both of them are wrong?

Perkins: Yeah, you know that’s a great point. Just for a moment step back and look at the implications of this, over the weekend we saw the news of the President’s Secret Service detail in Colombia and the issue of them hiring prostitutes and now the White House is outraged about that. Actually in a meeting this morning my staff asked, ‘why should the President be upset’? It was actually legal; it was legal there to do that, so why should we be upset? Well, the fact is we intuitively know it’s wrong, there’s a moral law against that.

The same is true for what the President has done to the military enforcing open homosexuality in our military. You can change the law but you can’t change the moral law that’s behind it. You can change the positive law, the law that is created by man, but you can’t change the moral law, it’s wrong. So what you have is you have a total breakdown and you can’t pick and choose. Morality is not a smorgasbord; you can’t pick what you want. I think you’re absolutely right, this is a fundamental issue going forward because if we say ‘let them do what we want,’ what’s next? You cannot maintain moral order if you are willing to allow a few things to slide.

Nugent Compared Obama and Democrats to a Coyote that Needs to Be Shot

We reported yesterday on inflammatory remarks made by longtime NRA board member Ted Nugent at the group’s national convention on Saturday. Nugent was trying to rally attendees for Romney, who addressed the convention a day earlier, but he shot himself in the foot instead with extreme and violent rhetoric. 

In addition to the remarks we reported yesterday, Nugent compared President Obama and the Democrats to a coyote that needs to be shot. He then told the crowd that “we’re Americans because we defied the king,” and we must be like Braveheart and “ride into that battlefield and chop [Democrats’] heads off in November.”
 
Our President and Attorney General, Vice President, Hillary Clinton, they’re criminals, they’re criminals. […]
 
It isn’t the enemy that ruined America. It’s good people who bent over and let the enemy in.
 
If the coyote’s in your living room pissing on your couch, it’s not the coyote’s fault. It’s your fault for not shooting him. […]
 
We’re Americans because we defied the king. We didn’t negotiate or compromise with the king. We defied the emperors. We are patriots. We are Braveheart.
 
We need to ride into that battlefield and chop their heads off in November. Any questions?
People For the American Way today called on Mitt Romney to reject Nugent's endorsement and rebuke his remarks.

Florida Family Association Gears up for Battle against 'Gay Days at Disney'

As is tradition, the Florida Family Association is raising money to hire a plane to fly over Orlando with a banner “to warn families” about “same-sex revelry” at Disney World. The FFA claims that Gay Days at Disney in June, which last year brought approximately 150,000 people to the theme park even though it is not an official Disney event, led to steep declines in attendance as families fear witnessing “thousands of same-sex couples holding hands, hugging, kissing and wearing tee-shirts that promoted their lifestyle.” “Just like activists’ attempts to gain access to youthful minds through LGBT characters in video games,” referring to the group’s fervent protests of Star Wars: The Old Republic for allowing users to enter same-sex relationships, “they also want to impact a captured audience of tens of thousands of children during the first Saturday of Summer Break”:

How would you feel if you entered the Magic Kingdom anticipating a normal day of fun with your family only to witness thousands of same-sex couples holding hands, hugging, kissing and wearing tee-shirts that promoted their lifestyle?

LGBT (lesbian, gay, bi-sexual, transgender) activists converge on the Magic Kingdom the first Saturday of every June for an event called Gay Day at Disney.



Just like activists’ attempts to gain access to youthful minds through LGBT characters in video games they also want to impact a captured audience of tens of thousands of children during the first Saturday of Summer Break.

Last year Florida Family Association hired an aircraft company to pull a banner for ten hours the day before and ten hours the day of to warn families about this offensive event before they arrived at the park on Saturday.

The airplane banner influenced mainstream family attendance at Disney during Gay Day to DROP between 50% to 60%. We believe this aircraft banner warning to families SPARED TENS OF THOUSANDS of children from the unexpected exposure to this coming out party. This airplane banner is the most cost effective manner to warn families before they:

• Expose their children to same-sex revelry.

• Spend hundreds of dollars on tickets.

• Pay for parking.

• Commit a day for fun now ruined.

• Purchase food and novelties.

 

PFAW: Romney Should Rebuke NRA Board Member Ted Nugent for Extreme and Violent Rhetoric

People For the American Way today urged presidential candidate Mitt Romney to rebuke longtime NRA board member Ted Nugent for remarks he made at the NRA annual convention on Saturday. Nugent, who endorsed Romney in early March, called on NRA members to vote for Romney and denounced the “vile, evil, America-hating” Obama administration. He finished his remarks with a call to cut off the heads of Democrats this fall: “We need to ride into that battlefield and chop their heads off in November.”

Nugent’s comments, which were first reported by People For the American Way’s Right Wing Watch, came one day after Romney himself addressed the convention. Nugent’s endorsement was touted by Tagg Romney in early March.

“We don’t expect moderation from Ted Nugent,” said Michael Keegan, President of People For the American Way. “But we do expect a major presidential candidate like Mitt Romney to rebuke a prominent supporter for spewing hate-filled and violent rhetoric against the President of the United States.”

“This is far from the first time that Nugent has advocated violence against his political adversaries. Mitt Romney should clearly and loudly reject Nugent’s endorsement and rebuke his inflammatory comments.”

###
 

Media Advisory: Capitol Hill Summit on Overturning Citizens United

FOR PLANNING PURPOSES                                  

House and Senate Members to Host Activists and Advocacy Groups for Congressional Summit on Amending the Constitution

Washington, DC – On Wednesday, April 18, a number of United States Senate and House members will host People For the American Way (PFAW) and other advocacy organizations alongside local and state government representatives and citizen activists for a summit to explore the need for constitutional remedies to overturn Citizens United. As sponsors of proposed constitutional amendments, the Senators and Representatives are highlighting the growing grassroots movement to restore our democracy and amend the Constitution to overturn Citizens United and restore government by the people.

Senators Bernie Sanders (I-VT), Charles E. Schumer (D-NY) and Tom Udall (D-NM) will join Representatives Ted Deutch (D-FL), Donna F. Edwards (D-MD), Keith Ellison (D-MN), and Jim McGovern (D-MA) for the discussion. Other speakers include People For the American Way’s Executive Vice President Marge Baker and Maryland State Senator Jamie Raskin.

 

WHAT : Congressional Summit to Overturn Citizens United

 

WHO:

Senator Bernie Sanders                                       People For the American Way

Senator Charles E. Schumer                                 Public Citizen

Senator Tom Udall                                              Center for Media and Democracy

Representative Ted Deutch                                  Common Cause

Representative Keith Ellison                                  Communication Workers of America

Representative Donna F. Edwards                          Move to Amend

Representative Jim McGovern                                American Sustainable Business Council

                                                                       Free Speech for People    

 

WHEN :          Wednesday, April 18, 2012

                      11:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.

 

WHERE :        Capitol Visitors Center, HVC 215

  

RSVP :           Please click here to RSVP.

 

 ###

 

 

 

 

List of Companies Dropping ALEC hits 10

In the week since the call went out for the corporations on ALEC’s Private Enterprise Board to disassociate from the organization, a whopping TEN companies have publicly announced that they will no longer bankroll the American Legislative Exchange Council’s extreme agenda.

These entities have bid ALEC adieu, and more are sure to follow:

  • Coca-Cola
  • PepsiCo
  • Kraft
  • Intuit
  • Wendy’s
  • Mars, Inc.
  • Arizona Public Service
  • Reed Elsevier
  • American Traffic Solutions
  • McDonald’s

PFAW and other advocacy organizations have launched a petition calling for the remaining companies to leave ALEC, putting increasing pressure on companies like State Farm and Johnson & Johnson to stop funding the organization responsible for so many attacks against workers, public education, the right to vote and so many other fundamental issues.

However, the member-corporations are only one part of the ALEC equation. Slowly but surely, ALEC-member state legislators are beginning to understand that ALEC’s toxic policies are not in the best interests of their constituents, and are backing out of the organization as well:

Missouri State Rep. Mike Colona:

The American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) is not the innocuous, bipartisan organization it purports to be. Their agenda is radical and wrong for Missouri. I was a member and saw firsthand the sort of extreme legislation they push on state legislators around the country. I disagree with ALEC's extremist agenda and encourage my colleagues in the Missouri General Assembly to end their affiliations with the group. If ALEC is too extreme for Coke, Pepsi, McDonald's, Kraft, Wendy's, Intuit and the Gates Foundation, it's too extreme for me and the people of Missouri.

Texas State Rep Alma Allen:

As a legislator, I value the input that non-partisan organizations contribute to various issues. However, I do not believe that the American Legislative Exchange Council is a non-partisan organization. Due to the legislation that ALEC has been involved in forming and promoting, I will not be renewing my membership. I value and listen to all opinions, but ALEC's agenda has become harmful to my constituents, and the people of the State of Texas.

There’s much more work to be done, but the ALEC house of cards is beginning to crumble.

PFAW

Barely Treading Water on Judicial Nominations

The confirmation rate is too low to put a serious dent in the vacancy crisis.
PFAW
Share this page: Facebook Twitter Digg SU Digg Delicious