The Religious Right took a drubbing at the polls yesterday as voters rejected not only Mitt Romney but also some of the most extreme Republican candidates, even those in races that should have been easy Republican victories. Like other conservatives, many Religious Right activists predicted a big victory for Romney and Republicans in the U.S. Senate based on five myths they hold about the electorate:
Myth #1: Americans want a ‘True Conservative’
The Christian Broadcasting Network’s David Brody called the results a “nightmare for the GOP” and a “colossal disaster.” Of course, right-wing activists will be quick to declare that Mitt Romney, like John McCain, wasn’t conservative enough for voters, and that the self-described “severely conservative” Romney couldn’t effectively articulate or sell conservative principles. Their solution is that the next nominee must be a pure right-wing ideologue who emphasizes social issues, like Mike Huckabee or Rick Santorum. Of course, if voters were seeking to support ultraconservative politicians, then Todd Akin and Richard Mourdock wouldn’t have lost their Senate races in the red states of Missouri and Indiana, Tea Party hero Allen West wouldn’t have lost re-election and Michele Bachmann wouldn’t have merely eked out a tiny win in her heavily Republican district.
Myth #2: Blacks will Defect from Obama over Gay Rights
Black conservative activists such as Harry Jackson, E.W. Jackson, William Owens, Patrick Wooden and Star Parker continue to tell the largely white Religious Right leadership that African Americans are defecting en masse from the purportedly demonic, Baal worshiping, anti-Christian and anti-God Democratic Party and will turn against Obama over the issue of marriage equality. Pat Robertson even said that Democratic support for marriage equality is a “death wish” and Mike Huckabee said the move “may end up sinking the ship.” According to exit polls, however, Obama won African Americans 93-6 percent. African Americans also turned out in strong numbers and didn’t stay home, with the same high turnout rate (13 percent of all voters) as 2008. In addition, marriage equality had victories in the four states it was on the ballot.
Myth #3: Hispanics are ‘Natural Allies’ of the Religious Right
Conservatives claimed that Hispanic voters, especially those who identify as evangelical and Pentecostal, are ripe for supporting Republicans. Samuel Rodriguez of the conservative National Hispanic Christian Leadership Conference and others continue to argue that Hispanics are strongly opposed to abortion rights (not true) and gay rights (also not true), and therefore “natural allies” of the Religious Right. Romney actually fared worse (27%) than McCain (31%) among Hispanics.
Myth #4: Catholics Abandoning Obama for ‘Declaring War’ on the Church
Heavy politicking from the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops and growing outreach to Catholics by traditionally evangelical Religious Right groups didn’t stop Obama from once again carrying the Catholic vote. Republicans consistently claimed that Obama declared “war on religion” and specifically “attacking the Catholic Church,” and hoped Paul Ryan’s use of Catholicism to justify his draconian budget plan would bring Catholics into the GOP fold. Obama led 50-48 percent in exit polls, down slightly from his 54 percent total in 2008.
Myth #5: Evangelical Wave Waiting in the Wings
New groups such as the Faith and Freedom Coalition and United in Purpose/Champion the Vote boasted of grand plans to turn out a wave of evangelical Christians upset about health care reform and marriage equality. But according to exits, Protestant (not all of whom identify as evangelical) turnout remained about the same this year (53 percent) as the last president election (54 percent). Christianity Today notes that in swing states, self-described evangelical turnout was approximately identical or merely slightly larger as it was in 2008, and Romney’s support among evangelicals compared to McCain’s decreased in states like Ohio and Nevada.
Robert Jeffress has warned that a vote for President Obama is a vote for the “future reign of the Antichrist,” and told Janet Mefferd yesterday that if Obama secures re-election and marriage equality wins at the ballot box (it did), then America “is going to bring about God’s judgment upon our country” by backing “evil” and “reject[ing] God and His law.” He added later that he expects Obama to impose hate speech laws that could be used to imprison pastors and will try to give the government the right to select a church’s pastors and priests.
Mefferd: A lot of people look at this and think: what happened to my country?
Jeffress: And what’s happened to the Christian community? Take the same-sex marriage issue, for the first time ever the majority of young adult evangelical Christians support same-sex marriage or civil unions. I think it’s this false idea we have that somehow we don’t have any right to impose our values on society as a whole. But the fact is all values are based on somebody’s morality, and for the first two hundred years of our country it was based on Christian values and now it’s being based on pagan values. I remind people all the time that Jesus Christ is not just Lord over the church, he is Lord over all creation, he is not just interested in religious people and religious institutions, He is interested in all institutions, including government. Listen, God is no respecter of people or nations, God doesn’t get a lump in his throat when he hears the Star - Spangled Banner, He doesn’t hold America to a different standard than any other nation. Any nation that reverences God is going to be blessed by God, but any nation that rejects God and His law is going to be rejected by God. We as Christians have a responsibility to say without stuttering or stammering: this is wrong, this is sin, this is evil and this is going to bring about God’s judgment upon our country.
Jeffress: I do think as Americans we’re going to continue to see this attempt to restrict our religious liberty and our freedom of speech. I think all you have to do is to look at the past four years to see what the next four years under Obama will be like. I think we will live to see very quickly the enactment of hate speech legislation that will try to prevent Christians and especially churches from speaking out on issues like homosexuality or the exclusivity of the Christian faith. We just saw a year ago the Obama administration attempting to say that the ministerial exemption regarding federal hiring standards should be rescinded, that will ultimately give the government the right to say who churches could hire as their pastors or their priests. I think this is where we’re going under another four years of the Obama administration.
People For the American Way, which yesterday concluded a $1.5 million campaign to reach Latino voters in key swing states, today applauded the decisive support the Latino community gave President Obama.
“Last night proved in politics what most of us already know: we live in a new, more diverse country where no candidate can afford to demonize Latinos in order to win Republican primaries,” said Michael Keegan, President of People For the American Way. “The GOP’s decision to once again attack and marginalize Latinos and immigrants might have helped to whip its base into a fury, but in a national election it was a profoundly misguided strategy.”
As part of its campaign, People For the American Way used direct mail and television, radio and internet ads to reach voters in Nevada, Colorado, Virginia, Wisconsin, Ohio and North Carolina with Mitt Romney’s own statements about Latinos, immigrants and the 47%.
“It’s clear that the Latino vote made the difference last night,” said Keegan. “According to exit polling, not only did Latinos’ share of the electorate increase, Latinos significantly shifted their support towards Obama. Whereas President Obama won Latinos by 36% in 2008, he won their votes by 44% last night. I’m proud of the role that PFAW played in calling the GOP on its divisive positions and rhetoric . Moving forward, the Republican party has a clear choice: to radically rethink its anti-Latino, anti-immigrant agenda, or to move one step closer to electoral oblivion. For the sake of the country, I encourage them to choose wisely.”
You can see samples of PFAW’s work below.
Washington, DC -- Michael Keegan, President of People For the American Way, released the following statement in response to victories of marriage equality ballot measures in Maine and Maryland, the lead for a marriage equality measure in Washington, and the defeat of a discriminatory marriage amendment in Minnesota:
"Yesterday was a great day for progressive values, and none more than the American value of equality under the law. For the first time in our history, voters accepted marriage equality at the polls, with marriage equality measures passing in two states and poised to pass in another. In a landmark victory, voters also rejected a discriminatory marriage amendment. And, for the first time in our history an openly gay American won a seat in the U.S. Senate. This is not a fluke, it is a watershed.
"Eight years ago, George W. Bush and Karl Rove hitched their reelection effort to anti-gay animus, pushing discriminatory ballot measures in 11 states in an effort to boost their own campaign. Yesterday, Americans decisively reelected the first president to publicly support marriage equality and turned out to the polls to support their LGBT neighbors.
"These votes are victories for families in Maine, Maryland and Washington who will now have access to many of the protections of marriage. But they are also victories for all Americans, who step by step are building a country where all our neighbors are treated with decency and respect. We have a lot of work left to do, but this much is clear: the politics of exclusion and discrimination is no longer a winning formula."
Kirk Cameron told his fellow anti-Obama activists Tony Perkins of the Family Research Council and Tim Wildmon of the American Family Association that Christians must use the election to “hold back the flood of moral and spiritual evil that has been pouring into the country and give moms and dads and grandparents the opportunity to begin rebuilding morality and spirituality.” Wildmon added that Obama must be defeated for “freedom to reign.”
Perkins, who once claimed Obama voters must “repent,” described a conversation he had with prominent conservative pastor Jim Garlow about how God will grant America a “reprieve” and delay judgment if Obama is ousted. “I see what could happen here today if we are successful in removing someone from office who has basically set themselves in defiance to everything that is biblically oriented in terms of the history of our country and the word of God,” Perkins said, “that it’s a reprieve, it’s not a solution.”
He claimed that voters in 2008 “chose the economy over the moral foundation of the country when we selected Barack Obama as president,” arguing that an Obama defeat now could allow the church to “begin focusing on the moral and spiritual condition of our nation.”
WorldNetDaily columnist Mychal Massie today asserts that President Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama are not Christians but are in fact pawns of Satan.
“If the Obamas were Christians, we would see the witness of the Spirit of God in the way he and his wife comport themselves,” Massie writes, “It’s not that we don’t know them by their fruit, because we do – their fruit is the fruit of Satan.”
Massie claims that two signs proving that Obama is not a Christian are that he didn’t respond to Donald Trump’s bogus “charity” offer and that he is “forcing homosexuality on the populace.” He similarly chided black pastors who criticized Franklin Graham’s anti-Obama political work as “godless servants of the devil.”
There are a uniformity of resentment and a consolidation of bitterness/anger that embody blacks and commit them to an alchemy of contempt for even the institutions the unlearned claim blacks most earnestly embrace.
There has not been more undeniable proof than the NAACP of North Carolina’s recent attack on Rev. Billy Graham and his son Rev. Franklin Graham because they dared encourage people to live godly lives and elect those committed to same.
The so-called leaders of the North Carolina chapter of the NAACP held a press conference Oct. 29 to denounce the Grahams. The angst of their complaint was Billy Graham’s advertisement calling for people to vote for “candidates who support the biblical definition of marriage as between a man and woman, protect the sanctity of life, and defend our religious freedoms.”
The godless servants of the devil said Rev. Graham’s advertisement included “transparent insinuations” and was “a clear endorsement of [Obama's] opponent because he was more of a Christian than [Obama].”
Obama had the opportunity to have $5 million donated to the charity of his choice, but rather than share his college transcripts in compliance with Donald Trump’s offer, he selfishly refused. Heck, he could have countered the offer by telling Trump to make it $15 million. But I digress.
If those NAACP leaders who also claim to be ministers actually spent time reading and studying the Bible, they would know that a socialistic view of appropriation (read: extortion by guilt and racial intimidation) exampled by Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton has no biblical basis. They would also know that at the top of God’s agenda is salvation through Jesus Christ and the Great Commission to go forth preaching and teaching and leading people to be disciples of Christ.
William J. Barber, president of the state NAACP, who claims to be a minister, accused Franklin Graham of “cherry-picking easy parts of Christianity.”
First of all, Mitt Romney is not a Christian; he’s a Mormon – and yes, there is a difference. Secondly, if the Obamas were Christians, we would see the witness of the Spirit of God in the way he and his wife comport themselves. It’s not that we don’t know them by their fruit, because we do – their fruit is the fruit of Satan.
If Obama were truly a born-again believer, he wouldn’t use his daughters as examples of why he wants to keep abortion on-demand. If he were truly a born-again believer, not only would he not be forcing homosexuality on the populace conjunctive with homosexual marriage but neither would he be determined to force Catholic medical facilities to abandon their fundamental beliefs pursuant to performing abortion.
Frank Gaffney of the Center for Security Policy in the Washington Times today predicts (without any evidence, of course) that President Obama will impose constraints on the freedom of speech if he is re-elected. His column promotes a new movie called “Silent Conquest” and borrows liberally from the film’s promotional materials. The film claims Obama and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton have accepted “submission to the stealthy Islamist effort to enforce in this country the supremacist doctrine known as shariah and its prohibition of any expression that ‘offends’ Islam or its god, prophet or followers,” and features Gaffney along with other anti-Muslim conspiracy theorists like Rep. Allen West (R-FL), Brigitte Gabriel, Geert Wilders, Mark Steyn, Daniel Pipes and Nonie Darwish.
Gaffney centers his argument on a resolution pushed by the Organization of Islamic Cooperation that targets blasphemy. However, the resolution failed and the Obama administration opposed it. But Gaffney maintains that Obama “has been enabling in this country an insidious effort by Islamic supremacists” and has put “persons with extensive ties to the Muslim Brotherhood” in places of power. He warns Obama and his allies may “redouble their efforts to restrict your freedom of expression” and accelerate “efforts to appease Islamists [that] are imperiling our country and freedoms” if he wins re-election.
As Americans go to the polls, many factors may influence how they vote for president. Among those — if not pre-eminent among them — should be the kind of country they want to bequeath to their children. It is unlikely that most voters would knowingly and deliberately opt for a candidate who appears determined to make the United States a nation that does not respect and safeguard our most foundational constitutional right: freedom of expression.
It may seem unbelievable that anyone running for the presidency would even consider such a betrayal of the oath of office governing that position, let alone work toward that end. Yet, as a new film, “Silent Conquest,” makes clear, President Obama, from his first months in office, has been enabling in this country an insidious effort by Islamic supremacists to keep us from engaging in speech, videos, training or other forms of expression that offend Muslims, their god, prophet and faith.
The documentary opens with Mr. Obama’s astounding pronouncement at the U.N. General Assembly on Sept. 25: “The future must not belong to those who slander the prophet of Islam.” This sentiment could have been expressed as easily by the Muslim Brotherhood, the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC), the Taliban or al Qaeda. Unfortunately, it is but one of many manifestations of an Obama policy approach that has brought U.S. diplomacy and government practice into closer and closer alignment with the demands of Islamists that such “slanders” be prohibited and criminalized.
The question is this: If given a second term, will President Obama and those he is entrusting with policymaking and advisory roles — including persons with extensive ties to the Muslim Brotherhood — redouble their efforts to restrict your freedom of expression? Or will they recognize, in this regard at least, that their efforts to appease Islamists are imperiling our country and freedoms?
Unfortunately, there seems to be little reason to expect such a fundamental and much-needed course correction should Mr. Obama be re-elected and obtain, in his words, “more flexibility.” That is especially true in light of the decline of respect for the right of free expression in other quarters that this president seems to hold in higher esteem than our own nation and its Constitution. As “Silent Conquest” powerfully documents, this trend to submit to Shariah blasphemy codes is even further advanced in Europe and the United Nations.
Before you cast your vote Tuesday, reflect on this: Are you willing to bet your country and your personal freedoms on the proposition that four more years of Mr. Obama’s efforts to emulate the euro-U.N. types in accommodating the Islamists won’t wind up “fundamentally transforming” the America we pass on to our children, to their great detriment — and ours?
Televangelist James Robison writes on his blog that America needs to begin fighting gay rights with the same passion and resolve as those aiding the recovery of people impacted by Hurricane Sandy. He claims that shows like “The New Normal” and “Modern Family,” which prominently feature gay couples, are attempts to “redefine basic morality or totally ignore it” and have “literally destroyed the essence of family and the foundation necessary to sustain everything of value.” “This programming promotes that which destroys real relationships,” he writes, leading people to begin “accepting and approving damaging practices such as compulsive, addictive, unrestrained behavior.” He concludes that efforts to fight gay rights will require the same “time-consuming and demanding, requiring total commitment and cooperation of the American people” exhibited in the process to assist victims of Hurricane Sandy.
Beware of those who ignore moral principles and substitute the natural for that which is unnatural, against nature along with proven historic practices such as marriage between one man and one woman. When you begin to redefine basic morality or totally ignore it, you have literally destroyed the essence of family and the foundation necessary to sustain everything of value. You see this redefining of the natural even in the propaganda of television, like the sitcoms “The New Normal” and “Modern Family,” to say nothing of the soap operas and movies that promote promiscuity and unnatural attraction as the norm. This programming promotes that which destroys real relationships.
Not for a moment am I implying that you should mock, ridicule, or make fun of people who may differ in their practices and beliefs. We must refuse, however, to redefine absolutes. Redefinition will lead to accepting and approving damaging practices such as compulsive, addictive, unrestrained behavior, totally self-serving tendencies of greed and manipulation and out-of-control debt because sound management principles and practices have been cast aside (see Romans 1).
When we address these serious issues in order to be effective in correcting our course, we’re going to have to come together and work toward the best possible solutions. And, yes, everyone is going to have to be willing to sacrifice and do whatever is necessary to rebuild from the foundation up. We cannot discard or diminish the importance of a solid foundation. That’s where we start. We restore the principled foundation and then we begin to build. The national restoration process, just as with Sandy, will be time-consuming and demanding, requiring total commitment and cooperation on the part of the American people.
Of all the people in America, the people of faith should lead the way as the example. Those of us who claim to know God in a personal way and love Him with all our heart must demonstrate the fact that we love our neighbor as ourselves. We’re not only going to help rebuild from the storm, we’re going to help rebuild our nation in the aftermath of decades of unhealthy, unprincipled decisions, policies and practices. We can do it! Just as the rebuilding is underway on the east coast, may next week – whatever the outcome of the election – find the American people more determined than ever to restore and rebuild this great nation “under God, indivisible.”
Leading Southern Baptist pastor Robert Jeffress quickly moved from Romney critic to Romney booster after the former Massachusetts governor won the Republican nomination, dropping his earlier claims that electing a Mormon president will lead to God’s judgment. In a pre-election sermon, Jeffress claimed that President Obama is “paving the way for the future reign of the Antichrist” and must be defeated. He attacked President Obama’s views on abortion rights and gay equality, which he says will restrict religious freedom and as a result make it “relatively easy for the Antichrist to take over without any opposition whatsoever.”
I want you to hear me tonight, I am not saying that President Obama is the Antichrist, I am not saying that at all. One reason I know he’s not the Antichrist is the Antichrist is going to have much higher poll numbers when he comes, President Obama is not the Antichrist. Nor am I saying that President Obama is not a Christian, I would never make that claim, I could not look into his heart as he cannot look into my heart. Nor am I saying the President doesn’t have some good ideas, nor am I saying that he doesn’t deserve our respect and our prayers. But what I am saying is this: the course he is choosing to lead our nation is paving the way for the future reign of the Antichrist.
You see when Antichrist comes, he is not going to be able to suddenly seize power and suddenly make these radical changes, he’s not going to be able to suddenly restrict speech and religious worship and commerce, why to do that suddenly would cause a revolution that would topple his reign on the earth. Yet Revelations 6 says when Antichrist comes he will take over power automatically, he’ll ride a horse that has a bow with no arrow on it, his overtaking the world will be effortlessly, it will be without any effort at all. How does that happen? The only way that’s going to happen is if there is a gradual erosion of God’s laws and our personal freedoms over a long period of time, and it will be that gradual erosion of our sense of morality, our adherence to God’s laws, that gradual erosion of our personal freedoms that will make it relatively easy for Antichrist to take over without any opposition whatsoever.
That’s why ladies and gentlemen I believe it is time for Christians to stand up and to push back against this evil that is overtaking our nation. To stand up and push back against these actions that are paving the way for the final world dictator. The best way to push back against unrighteousness is at the ballot box. This coming Tuesday we have a decision, the decision is not between Republicans and Democrats, the choice before us is the choice of righteousness or unrighteousness.
Leading up to what promises to be a very close presidential election, the Right has been working hard to lay the groundwork for blaming an Obama victory on “voter fraud.” The same strategy worked wonders last time around, when, one year after President Obama’s decisive victory a full half of Republicans believed that the community organizing group ACORN had stolen the election. In-person voter fraud, as John McCain strategist Steve Schmidt admitted today, is a convenient part of “the mythology now in the Republican Party,” one that as Josh noted earlier has helped to fuel decades of voter suppression measures.
At an Eagle Forum conference in September – attended by Todd Akin, among others – two speakers addressed the issue of voter fraud: Catherine Engelbrecht, whose group True the Vote has been challenging registered voters across the country, and John Fund, a conservative columnist and author of a recent book on the issue.
Fund claimed that President Obama wants the election to go to the Supreme Court, and that in a close election, the president would use the now-defunct ACORN to change the outcome: “The election is close, and he puts his thumb on the scale of democracy, and he sends his old ACORN friends the signal, you know what’s going to happen.”
After Engelbrecht’s speech, Schlafly joined her on stage to share news she had heard from “somebody” that in Pennsylvania, “at two o’clock in the afternoon they have no Republican observer, the Democrats just vote [for] the rest of the people who haven’t voted.”
“I think it goes on,” Engelbrecht agreed.
This week the Equal Justice Task Force of People For the American Way’s African American Ministers In Action released a statement in support of the marriage equality ballot measures in Maryland, Maine, and Washington and opposing a discriminatory marriage amendment in Minnesota.
“At this moment in history, it is important that we stand on the side of faith, compassion, and equality instead of on the side of discrimination and oppression,” said Minister Leslie Watson Malachi, Director of African American Religious Affairs at People For the American Way. “We’ve seen again and again that when laws prevent gay and lesbian couples from getting the protections that only marriage can provide, all families are harmed and all communities suffer. As an African American and a woman I am frightened when one group attempts to limit or restrict the rights of others. We urge voters in Maryland, Maine, Minnesota and Washington to reject discrimination and vote to strengthen and affirm all families.”
The lower the turnout tomorrow, the better Mitt Romney will do. It’s always been this way for Republicans. Anyone who doubts that needs to watch the video below.
"I don't want everybody to vote. Elections are not won by a majority of people. They never have been from the beginning of our country, and they are not now. As a matter of fact our leverage in the elections quite candidly goes up as the voting populace goes down."
Reisman: Sex-Ed Turns Children into Prostitutes and ‘Little Sexual Deviants’ Liberty Counsel’s Matt Barber has been promoting new claims by Judith Reisman, a fellow professor at Liberty University, that the Department of Health and Human Services may be breaking the law by actively “grooming” children for sex. Wonkette published quite the takedown of Barber’s column, noting that he and Reisman both glaringly distort Alfred Kinsey’s research. Reisman spoke to Janet Mefferd about the column, where she said that the HHS along with groups like Planned Parenthood and the Gay, Lesbian and Straight Education Network, a group she compares to the Hitler Youth and says is part of the “pedophile movement,” are “grooming children” to embrace sexual activities that “either could kill them or maim them.” She warns that comprehensive sexual education will lead to “drug abuse, alcohol abuse and everything else,” including higher rates of venereal diseases and AIDS, by “teaching [children] sexual perversions in order to turn them into little sexual deviants.”
Mefferd: When you’re talking about these sexual educators, are you talking about people like Planned Parenthood, GLSEN, some of these groups?
Reisman: Sure, it’s all criminal activity and it’s all been to violate every rule and common sense and our prior common law, but all of this was essentially activity that involved grooming children to become either pedophiles, pederasts or to enter into other kinds of sexual activities that either could kill them or maim them or to normalize prostitution of children and by children, and all the dysfunctions that go with that which include drug abuse, alcohol abuse and everything else.
Reisman: We’re hit with all these VDs and AIDS and now we’re going to come into your classroom, says the sex educators, now we’re going to come into your classroom and we’re going to teach you more criminal stuff about AIDS under that rubric and now they’re in there trying to talk about bullying as the reason and so forth. But the major thing we’re talking about across-the-board is lowering children’s inhibitions, lowering their resistance to sex and teaching them sexual perversions in order to turn them into little sexual deviants, and that is exactly what is taking place.
Seeing that Reisman has zero credentials in the field of sexuality (she has her degrees in Communications) no one takes her seriously, save for those who agree with her calls to ban pornography and fight the scourge of “erototoxins,” it was no surprise that she lashed out at the American Psychiatric Association, the American Psychological Association and the American Sociological Association during the interview.
According to Reisman, these groups all reject her claims and back comprehensive sex-ed because…you guessed it; they are run by pedophiles themselves! She alleges that these professional organizations are led by pedophiles who have “their eyes on children for sexual purposes” and as a result endorse such health programs.
Not only have pedophiles taken over the fields of psychology, psychiatry and sociology, but she also warns that gay judges have been unfairly finding in favor of sex-ed programs, and conservative lawyers (like those trained at Liberty University) need to fight the “sexual perversion” backed by LGBT legal groups and challenge their supposed legal dominance. “We’ve got to sue the pants off these guys and get them put away in jail, just like [Jerry] Sandusky and the rest of them,” Reisman said. “It’s time to bring these people down.”
It isn’t just Sandusky, it wasn’t just Kinsey; it’s all over. We’re talking about pedophiles in power and pederasts in power and they have been in power for many, many years. They’ve been in power in the American Psychiatric Association, American Psychological Association, Sociological Association, and so on, and these have always been people who have had their eyes on children for sexual purposes.
We have to get our conservative lawyers to be as nasty as some of the gay, lesbian, bisexual transgender and undecided, Lambda Defense and all those folks are. We have to go into courtrooms ready with our information at the fingertips and swinging. No judge who is homosexual or who has any other sexual perversion, that’s what it used to always be called for various good and logical reasons that only have to do with health and welfare, should ever be permitted to rule on a sexual issue because their special interests are such that they cannot be objective about the information. We’ve got to sue the pants off these guys and get them put away in jail, just like Sandusky and the rest of them. It’s time to bring these people down.
People For's Young Elected Progressives program seeks out and supports young leaders - 35 and younger - running for office at the state and local level. These young leaders will be the backbone of the progressive movement for years to come. Among them are tomorrow's strong progressive candidates for U.S. House, Senate and maybe even the White House.
Below find a list of all the young candidates for state and local office we are supporting this year and click the links to their web sites to find out more and to support them.
Here are 19 candidates we've designated as "On the Way" -- they are in races we've identified as particularly important and could use your support. Click their image or find them under their state in the longer list below to find out more.
Stefanie Mach, AZ House
Steve Hansen, Sacramento, CA City Council
Brittany Petterson, CO House
Matthew Lesser, CT House
Bryan Townsend, DE Senate
John Alvarez, FL House
Dar'shun Kendrick, GA House
Angie Buhl, SD Senate
Matt Moonen, ME House
Andrew McLean, ME House
Henry Beck, ME House
Jacob Candelaria, NM Senate
Jeremy VanMeter, OH House
Shemia Fagan, OR House
Will Sylianteng, PA House
Kelly Devine, PA House
Cyrus Habib, WA House
Noel Christina Frama, WA House
Ed Ableser, running for state Senate in Arizona’s 23rd District – Ableser is currently serving as the 17th district’s representative, and is running in the newly formed 23rd Senate district this year. In addition, Ableser works as a mental health counselor for the public school system in Tempe and is the Democratic Party committeeperson. As a representative, he has fought hard against public education cuts and hopes to build an equitable public education program. http://www.edableser.com/about-ed/
Stefanie Mach, running for state House in Arizona’s 10th District – After earning her master’s degree in public policy from Brown University, she started her own business consulting with non-profit organizations. Mach will fight to improve the education system in Arizona, as well as help create a path to boost the economy and create more jobs. She has been endorsed by multiple other organizations, including Arizona’s List, a network supporting pro-choice women. http://www.stefaniemach.com/
Emily Verdugo, running for state House in Arizona’s 8th District – Verdugo previously served on the Coolidge City Council and volunteers for a variety of community service organizations, including Latino Family Initiative, the American Red Cross, and the Arizona Rural Human Services Network. Verdugo has vowed to fight for affordable and accessible healthcare and education. http://www.emilyverdugo.com/
Juan Mendez, running for election to state House in Arizona’s 26th District – Mendez serves on the City of Phoenix Human Services Advisory Committee and manages the nonprofit Community Voice Mail, an organization that provides communication tools (e.g., a local phone number and voicemail) to the poor. Mendez supports full equality for LGBT persons and will be an able progressive advocate once elected. http://www.mendezforaz.com/
Todd Gloria, incumbent San Diego City Councilman for California’s 3rd District -- He was first elected to the council in 2008 and is a third generation resident to the San Diego district. Gloria is the chair of the Budget and Finance Committee and serves on several other committees. As a representative of the LGBT community in San Diego, he received an endorsement from the Gay & Lesbian Victory Fund and works hard to ensure the rights of all people.
Ben Allen, running for reelection for president of the Santa Monica, CA School Board – Allen is an adjunct professor at UCLA. He was unanimously voted in as president by his fellow school board members. He is fighting to receive more government funding from the state and working to improve race relations between the students within the Santa Monica and Malibu-area schools. http://benallen.nationbuilder.com/about_ben
Steve Hansen, running for Sacramento, CA City Council -- Hansen previously worked with the Downtown Sacramento Partnership, a non-profit focused on improving the community. With the Partnership, he spearheaded an initiative to create the Downtown Sacramento Foundation, supporting arts and cultural activities and working to reduce homelessness. More info on Hansen can be found here.
Evan Low, running for California State Assembly -- In his current role on the Campbell City Council, Low has worked to balance the budget without cutting vital services. He has extensive experience serving the community which has given him a good understanding of the issues facing local residents and small business owners. He made history by becoming Campbell’s youngest ever, first Asian American, and first openly gay councilmember. For more information on Low, click here.
Kalen Gallagher, running for a seat on the Campbell Union High School District Board -- Kalen taught 7th and 8th grade Social Studies in East San Jose, where he encouraged students to develop the skills they need to succeed and helped them achieve excellent standardized test scores. Last fall he joined an education startup that develops free technology for teachers. He is co-director of New Leaders Council, which trains civic-minded young professionals to make positive changes in their communities. Learn more about Gallagher here.
Chris Clark, running for a seat on Mountain View’s City Council – Previously serving on Mountain View’s Environmental Planning Commission and Community Healthy Awareness Council, at age 25 Clark will be one of the youngest politicians in the country if elected. Clark hopes to represent the 18-36 year old demographic group, a constituency in Mountain View that has lacked representation. http://www.electchrisclark.org/
Matt Haney, running for a seat on San Francisco’s Board of Education – Haney has a J.D. from Stanford Law School with an emphasis on education law, was a member of State Senator Joe Simitian’s education policy team, and currently serves as the Executive Director of the University of California Student Association. Haney also serves on the SFUSD Public Education Enrichment Fund Advisory Committee, where he advises the district on where to spend funds on a variety of educational needs. http://www.haneyforschoolboard.com/
Wendy Ho, running to become an Evergreen Community College District Trustee – A San Jose native, Ho was a legislative fellow for Congressman Mike Honda and currently serves as the Advocacy & Public Policy Manager at United Silicon Valley and is on the San Jose Human Rights Commission. Ho has been dedicated to public service for over ten years. http://www.facebook.com/wendyhofortrustee
Lawrence Robinson, running for election to Roosevelt, California’s School Board – An attorney for the Democratic Caucus in Arizona’s House of Representatives, Robinson formerly worked for the Brooklyn Family Defense Project (BFDP), an organization dedicated to providing quality legal representation to low-income families. Robinson has vowed to strengthen anti-bullying measures and promote afterschool programs. http://www.robinsonforroosevelt.com/
Brittany Pettersen, running for state House in Colorado’s 28th District – Petterson has served as the Denver Organizing Director for New Era, a non-profit dedicated to engaging youth in government and politics. She is a strong supporter of LGBT rights as well as a woman’s right to choose. Pettersen also believes in fighting voter suppression to protect the right of every citizen to have their voice heard at the ballot box. http://brittanypettersen.com/
LeRoy Garcia, running for state House in Colorado’s 46th District – Garcia currently serves on the Pueblo City Council, representing the 3rd District. Garcia is a Marine Corps veteran and teaches at Pueblo Community College. Garcia will fight for the expansion of public education funding for both K-12 and higher education, as well as protecting the rights of every individual. http://leroygarcia.wordpress.com/
Jessica Garrow, running for a seat on the University of Colorado Board of Regents -- Currently, Garrow serves as the Long Range Planner for the city of Aspen. Garrow graduated from the University of Colorado-Boulder and believes in higher education’s power to positively affect communities and wants to help facilitate that process as a member of the Board of Regents. http://jessicagarrow.com/
Crisanta Duran, running for reelection to the state House in Colorado’s 5th District -- Duran has been a member of the Judiciary, Finance, State Veterans & Military Affairs and Joint Council committees while serving in the state legislature. Additionally she was recognized in a Denver Post article entitled “Women Who Broke Political Barriers.” She has proven herself to be a progressive champion and fights hard for the rights of all Coloradans. http://www.duranforcolorado.com/index.html
Dominick Moreno, running for state House in Colorado’s 32nd District – Raised in a working class family, Moreno worked hard and earned a scholarship to Georgetown University. During college Moreno worked to help others in his community, including tutoring children in low-income schools during college. He was elected the youngest city councilmember ever in Commerce City. There he earned the respect of his colleagues and was promoted to Mayor Pro Tem. Read more about Moreno here.
Jessie Ulibarri, running for state Senate in Colorado’s 21st District – Coming from a working class background, Ulibarri worked three jobs while attending college and ultimately became the first member of his family to receive a bachelor’s degree. Ulibarri has since been a grassroots activist for over a decade, advocating initiatives that help Latinos, working people, and young people. Ulibarri previously served as the ACLU of Colorado’s Public Policy Director. http://jessieforcolorado.com/
Matthew Lesser, running for reelection to the state House in Connecticut’s 100th District – First elected in 2010, over the past two years Lesser has passed legislation to help the middle class. Lesser believes in the value of a strong public education and has fought hard for it in Connecticut. He also believes that every person is entitled to the same rights and freedoms and hopes to make this a reality in the lives of all people in Connecticut. http://www.mattlesser.com/index.php
James Albis, running for reelection to Connecticut’s state House in the 99th District – Albis serves on the Judiciary, Banks, and Finance, Revenue & Bonding Committees. He has been a strong voice for seniors in the community and has fought to improve lives of the middle class through his work as a Community Development Coordinator and legislator. https://twitter.com/RepAlbis
Bryan Townsend, running for state Senate in Delaware’s 11th District – Townsend has been a volunteer with Special Olympics Delaware for the past thirteen years and is a “big brother” with Big Brothers Big Sisters of Delaware. He hopes to greatly improve the public education system in the Newark/Bear community as well as to create jobs through construction projects. Townsend strives to fight for the voices of those in the community that are not often heard. http://bryan2012.com/
Nicole Goines, running for Advisory Neighborhood Commissioner in Washington, D.C. – At 18 years old, Goines is an extremely passionate and driven individual with a promising political career. Goines will ably serve the 5C-05 district upon being elected and supports a variety of progressive causes, including LGBT equality, comprehensive immigration reform, and restricting how much corporate money can be spent in elections. http://www.facebook.com/pages/Nicole-Goines/190470871073002
Dwight Bullard, running for state Senate in Florida’s 39th District -- Bullard is the democratic ranking member in the education committee and the preK-12 education policy committee. Bullard has received numerous awards for his work – most recently, the Young Elected Officials Network’s Barbara Jordan Leadership Award. Bullard also sponsored the Florida DREAM Act, which creates a pathway for young immigrants to access education. http://www.dwightbullard.com/
Leo Cruz, running for reelection to the state Senate in Florida’s 10th District – Cruz is a progressive community organizer and an Iraqi War veteran. He is running against incumbent Sen. David Simmons, who helped write the “Stand Your Ground” law in the district where Trayvon Martin was killed. Cruz plans on working to revitalize public education in the area as well as fight for the civil rights of all Floridians. http://www.facebook.com/voteleocruz
Ricardo Rangel, running for state House in Florida’s 43rd District – Rangel is a retired Army veteran and has been active in politics for several years after he finished active duty. In 2003 he was selected as the “Florida Young Democrat of the Year” and was awarded the “Emerging Leaders Award” by the Central Brevard NAACP. www.ricardorangel.us
Andrew Gillum, running for reelection to the Tallahassee City Commission – Gillum – who is the National Director of affiliate People For the American Way Foundation’s Young Elected Officials Network – was first elected to the Tallahassee City Commission in 2003. Andrew has been a leading progressive voice, fighting for working families and small businesses, forming community partnerships, and improving youth academic, personal, and professional development. For more information on Gillum, click here and here.
John Alvarez, running for state House in Florida’s 53rd District – Alvarez is an advocate for healthcare, the environment, job creation, education, and equal rights – a platform he summarizes as “putting people first.” Alvarez is also an outspoken opponent of the Supreme Court’s Citizens United ruling and supporter of abolishing corporate personhood. Learn more here, and be sure to support Alvarez.
Joe Saunders, running for state House in Florida’s 49th District – A native Floridian, Saunders has extensive experience serving his community. He has worked for Equality Florida, a statewide group dedicated to advocating for LGBT rights, with Planned Parenthood of Greater Orlando, and has served on the Orange County Democratic Party Executive Committee. If elected Saunders promises to continue his fight to end discrimination across Florida. http://www.votejoesaunders.com/
Dar’shun Kendrick, running for reelection to state House in Georgia’s 93rd District -- First elected in 2010, Representative Kendrick is the only freshman to co-chair a committee, which she does for the Economic Security and Development Committee. Additionally, she serves on the Children and Youth, Interstate Cooperation and Special Rules Committees. She has recently received endorsements from Planned Parenthood and Georgia’s WIN List. http://kendrickforgeorgia.smartintuitionsmp.com/
J. Craig Gordon, running for reelection to state House in Georgia’s 162nd District – This past legislative session, Gordon served on the Economic Development and Tourism, Health and Human Services, Retirement, and Special Rules Committees. He strongly believes in re-evaluating the education system, revitalizing public education in Georgia, and fighting to ensure the rights of every Georgian. http://www.votejcraig.com/
Yasmin Neal, running for reelection to state House in Georgia’s 75th District – Elected at age 25, Neal is the youngest member of the Georgia House of Representatives. Neal is currently a police officer at the Clayton County Police Department and was a detective in the major felony unit. She is a member of affiliate PFAW Foundation’s Young Elected Officials Network (YEO). She also has received endorsements from Georgia’s WIN List, Planned Parenthood, and more. http://yasminneal.com/
Nate Murphy, running for state House in Idaho’s 29A District – Elected to the 25th District’s school board at age 21, Murphy believes in the importance of education as both an institution and as an economic issue and hopes to improve the public education system. He also will fight for civil rights and for the creation of jobs in Idaho. http://www.natemurphy.org/
Sean Gatewood, running for reelection to state House in Kansas’ 50th District – Gatewood is currently the ranking member of the Children and Families Committee, while also serving on both the Taxation and Federal & State Affairs Committees. He is committed to helping improve the job market and the economy through increasing funding for public education and for clean environment jobs. http://seangatewood.com/issues.html
Sean Garballey, running for reelection to state House in Massachusetts’ 23rd District – Garballey has been a member of the Massachusetts House of Representatives since 2008, having previously served on the Arlington School Committee from 2005 to 2008. He is currently the Vice Chair of the Joint Committee on Election Laws as well as a member of the Special Joint Committee on Redistricting and the Joint Committee on Municipalities and Regional Government. http://garballey.com/
Carl Sciortino, running for reelection to state House in Massachusetts’ 34th District – A founding member of affiliate PFAW Foundation’s Young Elected Officials Network for which he served as State Director for two terms, Sciortino has also been named “Best of the New” by Boston Globe Magazine and “Legislator of the Year” by the National Association of Social Workers. He is one of the few LGBT members in the Massachusetts state legislature and has proved to be a strong defender of social and economic justice. http://www.electcarl.org/
Henry Beck, running for reelection to state House in Maine’s 76th District – Beck just finished his first term in the Maine House of Representatives after serving on the Waterville City Council from 2006-2009. Beck is one of the strongest advocates for health insurance reform in Maine and has served on the Insurance and Financial Services Committee. Beck has also fought to improve the public education system in Maine and to prevent the layoffs of teachers. http://www.henrybeck.com/
Adam Goode, running for reelection to the state House in Maine’s 15th District – Goode currently serves on the Joint Standing Committee on Insurance and Financial Services and is a member of the Worker Rights Board of Eastern Maine. He has proven to be a leader in engaging Mainers in the public decision-making process as well as in fighting for health care reform. http://penobscotdems.com/?p=316
Matt Moonen, running for state House in Maine’s 118th District – Moonen was the Political Director for Equality Maine and played a vital role in the successful passage of the 2009 marriage equality bill. Prior to working with Equality Maine, he worked for MassEquality and on the Fair Wisconsin campaign to defeat a discriminatory marriage amendment. He has also worked with Maine Citizens for Clean Elections to try and reduce the influence of big money in government. http://www.mattmoonen.com/
Andrew McLean, running for state House in Maine’s 129th District – McLean has worked as a Resident Director at the University of Southern Maine in Gorham. McLean is a progressive champion and has been endorsed by The Gay & Lesbian Victory Fund. McLean will be a leader on education and economic opportunity for Gorham and for Maine as a whole. http://www.facebook.com/McLeanforGorham
Diane Russell, running for reelection to the state House in Maine’s 120th District – Russell serves on the Veterans and Legal Affairs Committee and is a proven progressive champion advocating for working families and the immigrant community of Maine. She is a founding board member of the Opportunity Maine Campaign which fights to make college more affordable. http://www.dianemrussell.com/
Justin Chenette, running for state House in Maine’s 134th District – Chenette, who works as a producer at Fox 23’s “Good Day Maine” program, will be the youngest member of the state legislature if elected. Chenette served as an ambassador and public relations director for Hugh O’Brian Youth Leadership from 2007-2011, earning a Presidential Service Award from President Obama in 2008 in recognition of his work. http://www.justinforsaco.com/
Rashida Tlaib, running for reelection to state House in Michigan’s 12th District – In her first term she was appointed to the House Appropriations Committee and was also named the Minority Vice Chair of Judiciary and Department of Community Health Subcommittees. She also made history by being named the first female Muslim elected to the Michigan legislature and the second ever in the country. http://rashida4rep.com/
Adam Lawrence, running for state House in Michigan’s 99th District – Lawrence serves as a community organizer and recently received his master’s degree from Central Michigan University. He hopes to greatly improve public education funding and help veterans and seniors receive benefits to which they are entitled. https://foursquare.com/votelawrence99
Brian McGrain, running for reelection to the Ingham County Board of Commissioners – Originally elected in 2008 and reelected in 2010, McGrain serves as the associate director of Community Economic Development Association of Michigan (CEDAM), a nonprofit organization committed to rebuilding neighborhoods. He serves on the Board’s Human Services and Finance Committees as well as on the City of Lansing’s Board of Zoning Appeals. http://brianmcgrain.com/index.html
Zachary Dorholt, running for state House in Minnesota’s 14B District – Dorholt is currently the Treasurer for the Central Minnesota Sustainability Project – a non-profit organization that promotes local sustainable food production and community building. A native Minnesotan, Dorholt was formerly the chairperson of State Representative Larry Haws’ Campaign Committee. Dorholt has been a consistent advocate for progressive ideals and will continue to advocate for them upon being elected. http://www.zacharydorholt.com/index.php?cID=1
Bryce Bennett, running for reelection to the state House in Montana’s 92nd District – Originally elected in 2010, Bennett currently works for Forward Montana, a non-profit organization that engages young Montanans in the political process. Bennett was appointed to the Education and State Administration Committees and is also the first openly gay man to serve in the Montana legislature. http://www.bennettforhouse.com/
Lucy Flores, running for reelection to the state House in Nevada’s 28th District – Flores was appointed to the Nevada Commission on Minority Affairs in 2008, serving her community ably in this position. Flores subsequently ran for state house in Nevada’s 28th District in 2010, joining a group of leaders who became the first ever Hispanic women to join the Nevada Assembly. Flores currently serves as Vice Chair of the Legislative Operations and Elections Committee and as a member of the Education, Government Affairs, Health and Human Services, and Taxation Committee. http://www.lucyflores.com/
Teresa Benitez-Thompson, running for reelection to state House in Nevada’s 27th District – First elected in 2010, Benitez-Thompson formerly worked as both an adoption and hospice social worker. During the 2011-2012 legislative session, Benitez-Thompson served on the Health and Human Services and Government Affairs committees. Benitez-Thompson is dedicated to protecting the rights of the most vulnerable, including seniors, children, the poor, and persons with disabilities. http://www.electteresa.com/
Tim Keller, running for reelection to the state Senate in New Mexico’s 17th District – Before his election to the State Senate, he co-founded Data Digital Divide, an organization which helps land mine victims and other disadvantaged persons in Cambodia. Keller has also served on the boards of the Open Hands Foundation, Albuquerque Southeast Team for Entrepreneur Development, and several others. He has also received the New Mexico “Bipartisan Rising Star,” “40 under 40,” and “Defender of Justice” awards, among others. http://timkellerfornewmexico.com/
Jacob Candelaria, running for state Senate in New Mexico’s 26th District – Candelaria is currently the director of Equality New Mexico – a statewide advocacy organization that promotes the civil liberties of LGBT persons – and is running for a seat in New Mexico’s 46th District. A former leadership analyst for Speaker of the New Mexico House Ben Lujan and program evaluator for the New Mexico Legislative Finance Committee, Candelaria will be the first openly gay member of the New Mexico state legislature. Candelaria has vowed to promote LGBT rights, adequately fund education, and work toward equitable access to healthcare for all persons. http://jacobcandelaria.com/
Micah Z. Kellner, running for reelection to the state House in New York’s 76th District – Kellner was first elected to the Assembly in 2007 in a special election to replace Alexander Grannis in the 65th District. Kellner is a progressive champion who has spearheaded efforts for marriage equality and worked to support the rights of persons with disabilities, reproductive rights, and fairer government funding for New York City’s public schools. http://www.micahkellner.net/
Andrew Gounardes, running for state Senate in New York’s 22nd District – Gounardes currently serves as an attorney for the Citizens Committee for New York City, a non-profit that gives grants to community groups improving their neighborhood, and as a member of Community Board 10. Gounardes hopes to help reform public education in order to provide students with access to the best education possible. He will strive to “finally reform campaign finance” and protect the integrity of our democracy. http://www.andrewgounardes.com/
Danielle Adams, running for reelection as the Soil and Water Conservation District Supervisor in Durham – Adams previously won 46% of the vote in a three-way race. Adams is extremely passionate about her position and hopes to move environmental and agricultural issues to the forefront of people’s minds. http://c3.thevoterguide.org/v/nccve12/race-detail.do?id=10925825
Corey Mock, running for reelection to state House in North Dakota’s 42nd District – In addition to serving in the state House, Mock serves as the executive director of Third Street Clinic, a non-profit organization that provides access to healthcare for low-income residents of Grand Forks and Polk counties. Mock served on the Education and Political Subdivisions committees in the 2011-2012 legislative session. http://coreymock.com/
Jeremy VanMeter, running for state House in Ohio’s 78th District – VanMeter has served on the board of the Berne Union Local School District and on the Fairfield County Education Service Center governing board, where he was recently named Board President. VanMeter hopes to establish public education reform and to provide the public school systems in Ohio with more funding and “elimination of wasteful spending on the for-profit charter schools.” http://jeremyvanmeter.com/
Michael Stinziano, running for reelection to the state House in Ohio’s 18th District – Stinziano is a board member for several organizations, including the Boys and Girls Clubs of Columbus, and serves as chairperson of the Columbus Bar Association’s Government Agencies Committee. He also is a member of the Insurance, Judiciary and Ethics, Public Utilities, and State Government and Elections Committees in the legislature. http://michaelstinziano.com
Nicholas Celebrezze, running for state House in Ohio’s 15th District – Celebrezze has served on the Parma City Council for the past six years and was selected to replace State Rep. Timothy DeGeeter in January. While in Columbus, he has served on the Local Government and Transportation, Public Safety and Homeland Security Committees. http://www.facebook.com/pages/Nicholas-J-Celebrezze-for-State-Representative/221279484599536
Ryan Jolley, running for state House in Ohio’s 19th District – Jolley was first elected to the Gahanna-Jefferson Board of Education at age 18 and is currently a member of the city council as well as a member of the council’s finance committee. As a member of the House, Jolley will fight for “freedom, opportunity, and security for all Ohioans.” http://www.ryanpjolley.com/about-ryan.html
Steve Newsome, running for state House in Ohio’s 30th District – Newsome endorses an impressive array of progressive policies that will move the nation forward. Newsome has stated that if elected, he will work to close tax loopholes that corporations exploit to avoid paying their fair share and invest significantly in alternate forms of energy that will both secure energy independence for the nation and produce manufacturing jobs for Ohio. Newsome also advocates for investing in jobs training programs for Ohioans. http://www.stevenewsome.com/home.html
Shemia Fagan, running for reelection to the state House in Oregon’s 51st District – Fagan serves her community by working as a volunteer on a local school board and by regularly doing pro bono legal work for struggling Oregonians. Fagan has vowed to preserve K-12 funding and jobs training programs for veterans and unemployed persons. She also seeks to hold corporations accountable by protecting consumers’ rights. Fagan will continue to be a staunch advocate for progressive ideals if reelected. http://shemiafagan.com/
Will Sylianteng, running for state House in Pennsylvania’s 151st District – Sylianteng currently practices law in Blue Bell, PA and has vice-chaired the Montgomery County Bar Association’s Civil Practice Committee and served on its Diversity Committee. Sylianteng has also been named a “SuperLawyer Rising Star” and “Pennsylvania Diversity Attorney of the Year.” He advocates for improving public education and investing in infrastructure to help create jobs and improve the community. http://vote-will.com/home
Bret Binder, running for state House in Pennsylvania’s 156th District – Binder serves as a small business owner of a gourmet rice pudding emporium. Binder will fight against House Bill 934, a bill that disenfranchises up to 700,000 Pennsylvanians based on lack of identification, as well as advocating to increase the importance of public education in the eyes of the Pennsylvania legislature. http://bretbinderforpa.com/index.htm
Erin Molchany, running for state House in Pennsylvania’s 22nd District – Molchany began serving her community in the Emergency Services Department of the Red Cross. She parlayed this experience into a position at the Coro Center for Public Leadership, where she led the Emerging Leaders in Public Affairs and Women in Leadership programs. More recently, Molchany was elected vice president of the board of directors for the Mount Washington Community Development Corporation, where she served her community by promoting economic development and public safety. http://erinmolchany.com/
Sarah Speed, running for state House in Pennsylvania’s 47th District – A licensed attorney, Speed is currently the Animal Law Legislative Chair of the Pennsylvania Bar Association and is the secretary of the Pennsylvania State Animal Response Team. Speed is also a volunteer firefighter for York County. Upon election, she plans to promote the ability of women and children to access healthcare services. http://speed4pahouse.com/
Kelly Devine, running for state House in Pennsylvania’s 150th District – Devine is a former journalist who served as president of the Montgomery County Young Democrats for the past two years and currently serves on their Executive Committee. Devine has vowed to ramp up investment in infrastructure, protect the environment, and help keep college affordable. http://www.votedevine.com/
Henri Thompson, running for state Senate in South Carolina’s 12th District – Born and raised in South Carolina, Thompson was a community organizer in Baltimore and served as the associate director of community affairs at Johns Hopkins Hospital. Thompson also has experience within the political system, having served as a staff member in U.S. Representative James Clyburn’s Washington office, the only Democrat in the South Carolina Congressional delegation. http://www.henrithompson.com/
Angie Buhl, running for reelection to the state Senate in South Dakota’s 15th District -- First elected in 2010 at the age of 25, Buhl is the youngest woman ever to serve in South Dakota’s senate. Buhl has already risen to the position of chair of the Senate Democratic Caucus. She is a leader on women’s rights in South Dakota. Buhl has also served on the board of Equality South Dakota and worked with South Dakotans Against Discrimination and The National Gay and Lesbian Task Force. http://angiebuhl.com/
Kevin Killer, running for reelection to the state House in South Dakota’s 27th District – Killer was first elected in 2010 and has been a leader for equal rights, especially for Native Americans, while in office. This past legislative session, Killer served on both the Education and Judiciary Committees. He sponsored a bill that would allow tribal IDs to be recognized as equivalent to certain state-issued IDs. http://legis.state.sd.us/sessions/2012/MemberDetail.aspx?Member=138
Mary E. Gonzalez, running for state House in Texas’ 75th District – Gonzalez will run unopposed in the general election in November. She will become the second ever LGBT member of the Texas State House, bringing the number of state legislatures without an LGBT member down to sixteen. http://www.votemarygonzalez.com/
Luz Robles, running for reelection to the state Senate in Utah’s 1st District – Robles currently serves on the Senate Ethics Committee, the Health and Human Services Committee, and several others. While in office, Robles has fought for the rights of all people. During the 2011 session, she sponsored a bill that would give illegal immigrants an “accountability card,” giving them the right to work without changing their legal status. http://www.facebook.com/luz.robles.948
Kesha Ram, running for reelection to the state House in Vermont’s 3-4 District – First elected in 2008 at age 25, Ram is the youngest legislator serving in Vermont. Ram spent her first three years serving as the clerk of the General, Housing, and Military Affairs Committee, and this year was appointed to the Ways and Means Committee. Additionally, she serves on the Joint Legislative Technology Committee. She is the Legal Director for the organization Women Helping Battered Women. http://www.kesharam.org/
Justin Wilson, running for a seat on the Alexandria City Council – Wilson, who previously served one term on the city council, strongly supports marriage equality, supports Gay/Straight Alliance clubs in local schools, and has been a member of LGBT Democrats of America since 2003. He is a member of Alexandria’s NAACP chapter and when on the city council served on the Youth Policy Commission and Alexandria Library. http://www.justin.net/
Joel McDonald, running for Virginia Beach School Board – McDonald has dedicated himself to the field of education, having worked as a data support specialist with the Virginia Beach City Public Schools for the last six years. McDonald is currently a member of the Virginia Beach Education Association and is a pro-equality Democrat with an endorsement from the LGBT Democrats of Virginia PAC. http://votemcdonald.org/
Joe Fitzgibbon, running for reelection to the Washington House of Representatives in the 34th District – First elected in 2010 to represent Olympia, Fitzgibbon has served as vice chair of the Local Government Committee and as a member of the Transportation, Environment, and General Government Appropriations and Oversight Committee. He has taken the lead on numerous issues including “expanding access to the polls for young voters and other disenfranchised communities.” http://joefitzgibbon.com/
Cyrus Habib, running for state House in Washington’s 48th District – Habib is a disability advocate, having lost his eyesight at age 8 due to a rare form of child cancer. He serves as the Human Services Commissioner for the city of Bellevue, Washington, and formerly served on the city’s Civil Rights Commission. If elected, Habib will be the first Iranian-American member of any state legislature in the country. http://electcyrus.com/
Noel Christina Frame, running for state House in Washington’s 36b District – Frame serves as the state director for Progressive Majority in Washington, facilitating the recruitment of state and local progressives to promote a variety of worthwhile causes. She worked as the deputy campaign manager for Approve Referendum 71, a successful ballot measure that ensured the legality of LGBT domestic partnerships. She will continue to fight for equality, working families, and the environment in the state House. http://noelframe.com/
Marko Liias, running for reelection to the Washington House of Representatives in the 21st District – The son of Finnish immigrants, Liias was first elected to his current position in 2008. Liias is a member of the Education and Transportation Committees and has vowed to continue his efforts to prioritize funding for education and for transportation measures that will generate jobs. http://markoliias.com/
Mandela Barnes, running for state House in Wisconsin’s 11th District – Born and raised in Milwaukee, Barnes serves as a community organizer in his hometown and formerly served in the mayor’s office. Barnes has vowed to properly fund education, modernize transportation infrastructure, and invest in the local economy to create jobs. http://www.mandelaforwisconsin.com/index.html
Joseph Barbuto, running for reelection to the Wyoming House of Representatives in the 48th District – Born in Rock Springs, Wyoming, Barbuto worked for Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign in 2008. He was appointed to his current position when its incumbent stepped down. Once in office, Barbuto served on the House Minority Caucus; he is currently assigned to the Labor, Health, and Social Services Committee as well as the Select Committee on School Facilities. Barbuto has been a strong force for progressive change in Wyoming. http://www.facebook.com/pages/Representative-Joseph-M-Barbuto/353062025614
In late September, a month after his remarks about “legitimate rape” sent shock waves through the country, Missouri Senate candidate Todd Akin addressed a St. Louis conference convened by Eagle Forum founder Phyllis Schlafly, one of Akin’s most ardent defenders. In his speech, Akin wasn’t at all apologetic about his claim that women are unable to become pregnant in cases of “legitimate rape.” Instead, he argued that “political correctness” had caused him to face greater backlash than Bill Clinton, “who was accused of doing something wrong, as opposed to saying something wrong.”
“It surprised me that the saying it wrong almost seems like it’s worse than the doing it wrong,” he said. Clinton, of course, was impeached. And Akin’s comments on abortion and rape are indeed reflected in his actions, such as his attempt to redefine rape and participation in militant anti-abortion rights activism.
He went on to compare criticism of his remarks to decapitation by Islamic extremists: “We see that all the time with [what] the Islamists pull out on us: we’re offended so we’re going to cut your head off.”
Later in his speech he said that the U.S. is facing conditions similar to those in 1930s Germany that aided Adolf Hitler’s rise to power: “We can’t underestimate what could happen when you continue to print money recklessly, inflate the currency and spend money we don’t have at a trillion-plus a year. The potential is pretty serious.”
Todd Akin complained in the New York Times this week that Claire McCaskill’s campaign is “trying to make me look like some kind of a weirdo or something.” But as a former Democratic senator from Missouri might have said, McCaskill is just telling the truth about Akin, and he thinks it’s weird.
COLLISON: Gambling opponent and state legislator Todd Akin has his response already prepared.
AKIN: I would hope that we would send a very bad message to any industry that wants to come in and use big dollars to rape our Constitution. If we want to change it, there's a process to do that, and that of course is coming up in November.
Pastor Kevin Swanson of Generations with Vision Ministry dedicated his radio show yesterday to blaming gays and lesbians for not only Hurricane Sandy but also Hurricane Katrina. Swanson, who earlier urged Chick-fil-A to produce “Miss Piggy on a bun” to mock gay rights groups and beseeched America to return to the biblical law of Pilgrim society when homosexuality was punishable by death, warned that hurricanes struck New York and New Orleans because they are among the “most pro-homosexual, pro-liberal cities in America.” He added that San Francisco should soon expect an earthquake for similar reasons. Later, Swanson claimed that abortion rights and the growth of LGBT youth clubs in schools are provoking God’s wrath and intensifying the strength of hurricanes.
Swanson: The two worst storms, material-wise, in the history of America has happened in just the last five years and here’s the interesting thing about this storm, it hit New York City and if you’re trying to think of the most pro-homosexual, liberal cities in America, you would probably say, give me the top three most pro-homosexual, pro-liberal cities in America, it would probably be?
Buehner: New York, San Francisco, New Orleans.
Swanson: Yes, exactly. Now we have two out of three. The good news is San Francisco is in a safe location; well it’s on the ocean.
Buehner: God would have to move heaven and earth, well just really earth.
Swanson: Earth. San Francisco is still okay though, everybody understand, San Francisco is still okay, hasn’t had the big earthquake yet… yet.
Swanson: The hurricanes of the last ten years are four times worse than the hurricanes of the 1990s and twelve times worse of the hurricanes of the 70s and 80s, now this is interesting because I would say that the United States has not been honoring God very much, am I out on a limb here? The United States of America is more pro-abortion than ever before, certainly is funding more abortions than ever before; the United States is far more homosexual than it was in the 1990s, I mean there are hundreds of times more high school homosexual clubs and programs, and you’ve got California bringing all their pro-homosexual indoctrination into public schools. This stuff was not happening in the 1980s and 1990s, it’s happening now, it’s been happening for the last twelve years. America is not doing well in the macro-culture, okay? There is a God in the heavens and in the past, sins like homosexuality and the shedding of innocent blood have really irritated Him.
Swanson and Buehner also explained that people shouldn’t have pity on those who lost their homes but don’t have flood insurance, advising donors to be wary of contributing to Sandy relief efforts since “a lot of times charity winds up subsidizing sin,” like the possible use of relief funds to rebuild a Planned Parenthood clinic.
Buehner: If you build a house and it’s a block in from the ocean near a place called Atlantic City, you need flood insurance, it’s called Atlantic City, you’re inviting the ocean into your door step. You get insurance for that, if you don’t have insurance for that we don’t say ‘oh I guess we’re going to have pity on you because you don’t have insurance, I’ll just rebuild your house.’ No, let us buy you food, let me buy you a meal but I’m not going to buy you a house. No, mercy is the next virtue here and Christians are to have mercy, especially on other Christians, and not on those who can work and refuse to but on those who aren’t able to provide for themselves.
Swanson: That’s why accountability here is important because a lot of times charity winds up subsidizing sin; you got to be so careful with that. It turns out your charitable contributions to some big organization winds up rebuilding casinos in Jersey City or wherever.
Buehner: Or Planned Parenthood. What if you thought you were giving money to flood relief victims and it went to go rebuild the Planned Parenthood facility?
Swanson: Exactly, we don’t want to rebuild that.