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Thomas More Law Center Names Michele Bachmann to Advisory Board

After adding Rep. Allen West to its advisory board, the Thomas More Law Center has found another rabidly anti-Muslim member of Congress to join its group: Michele Bachmann. The group, best known for its unsuccessful lawsuit against Planned Parenthood and the Shepard-Byrd hate crimes law as well as its botched defense of a Pennsylvania’s school’s Intelligent Design curriculum, as of late has tried to appeal to anti-Muslim sentiments. The group believes that Islam is trying to “destroy America,” demanded a state investigation into the sale of a school to a Muslim group, and thinks that a school teaching Arabic will train kids to become terrorists. When not attacking the rights of Muslim-Americans, the group warns that Christians will soon be imprisoned due to hate crimes laws and that the “homosexual agenda” will cause America to “disintegrate.”

Seeing that Michele Bachmann has built her career on anti-gay advocacy and is currently smearing Muslim-Americans in the Obama administration by calling for McCarthy-like investigations, it is no surprised that she has decided to work with the group in their fight against “the internal threat to America posed by radical Islam.”

In accepting service on the Advisory Board, Congresswoman Bachmann stated, "I am pleased to join forces with the Thomas More Law Center. They are in the courts aggressively fighting the internal threat to America posed by radical Islam."

Congresswoman Bachmann is a member of the Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence. As a member of that Committee, she has steadfastly advocated for peace through strength to ensure America's national security.

Richard Thompson, President and Chief Counsel of the Thomas More Law Center, commented, "We are honored to have the counsel of a tough, tested, true American patriot; a person who puts her country above politics, party and political correctness. She understands and shares our concerns about the internal threat to our nation posed by Stealth Jihad as well as maintaining the Judeo-Christian values that made this nation 'the shining city on the hill.'"

Michele Bachmann is the mother of five and the foster mother of 23. As a believer in the traditional values upon which this country was founded, she consistently defends traditional marriage, the importance of the family as the first unit of government, and the right to life for all Americans, including the unborn.

Bachmann expressed her strong commitment to America's Judeo-Christian heritage and values: "I am honored to stand with the Thomas More Law Center as they engage in the legal battles to uphold the Judeo-Christian values upon which our country was founded."

House Democrats Endorse the DARE Initiative

Yesterday, House Democrats held a press conference highlighting the need to clean up the election system through what they are calling the DARE initiative. (To note, this is the same initiative Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi presented and spoke about in length at PFAW’s 30th Anniversary celebration this past June.) The acronym stands for the following:

D – Disclose

A – Amend

R – Reform

E – Elect

In just a short period of time, the impact of the Supreme Court’s egregious ruling in Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission, which opened the floodgates to corporate and special interest spending in our elections, has been felt nationwide. In response, a growing chorus of activists and organizations are mobilizing to overturn the decision by amending (the A in DARE) the Constitution. As evidenced by the press conference, public officials are responding to this movement. Nearly 2,000 are already on record in support of amending the Constitution to overturn Citizens United, including 92 Representatives in the House.

In attendance of the press conference were Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, House Democratic Caucus chairman Rep John B. Larson (D-CT.), U.S. Rep. Chris Van Hollen (D-MD), U.S. Rep. John Sarbanes (D-MD.), U.S. Rep. Adam Schiff (D-CA.), U.S. Rep. David Cicilline (D-RI), U.S. Rep. James Clyburn (),U.S. Rep Dennis Kucinich (D-OH), as well as Nick Nyhart, President and CEO of Public Campaign.

Nyhart outlined three critical steps needed to remedy this: full disclosure, small donor and citizen-led funding of elections, and the ability to limit donations from large corporate entities.

 

 

Recently Republicans and Democrats clashed on the Disclose Act, which would have required the disclosure of all major donors in the election process. Leader Pelosi expressed her concern that dark money is “suffocating the airwaves and suppressing the vote.”

 

 

Not so long ago, disclosure was a bi-partisan issue. Congressman Van Hollen made this clear, quoting Senate Minority Leader McConnell’s (R-KT) statement from 2000 endorsing such reforms: “Why would a little disclosure be better than a lot of disclosure?”

Expressing his passion about the issue, Congressman Dennis Kucinich, motioning toward the Capitol building, told reporters, “in post-production you might want to include a ‘For Sale’ sign in front of that.” Kucinich stated, “Let’s be candid, the system is for sale.” The outgoing congressman urged immediate action on removing the corrupting influence of dark money, lest we lose our republic to the influence of special interests. This government must remain in the hands of the people - or as Mr. Nyhart put it, remain “Of, by, and for the many… not the money.”

 

[Dylan Hewitt, Amelia Coffey, and Michael Jameson contributed to this post]

PFAW

Prop 8 Backers Urge Supreme Court to Review

The ballot initiative that revoked marriage equality in California has taken a big step towards having its constitutionality determined by America’s highest court.  In a long-awaited move, proponents of Prop 8 have petitioned the Supreme Court to review the Ninth Circuit’s ruling in Hollingsworth .v Perry that the ballot initiative violated the federal Equal Protection Clause.  A nearly 500 page document, which can found here, lays out their rationale for urging the court to review the case.

Prop 8 Trial Tracker broke down the core of their argument:

The question presented in the case is: “Whether the Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment prohibits the State of California from defining marriage as the union of a man and a woman.” The proponents tell the Court that they should answer the “profoundly important question whether the ancient and vital institution of marriage should be fundamentally redefined to include same-sex couples.” They write that leaving the Ninth Circuit’s decision intact would have “widespread and immediate negative consequences” and would leave the impression that any “experiment” with marriage would be “irrevocable”.

The Ninth Circuit issued a very narrow ruling, avoiding the question of whether gay and lesbian couples in general have a constitutional right to marry.  Instead, it based its ruling on narrow grounds unique to California, where same-sex couples were left with all the state rights of marriage but not the name. It found that taking their designation of “marriage” while leaving their rights unchanged did not serve any of the purposes put forth by its defenders. Instead, its only purpose and effect was to lessen a targeted group’s status and dignity by reclassifying their relationship and families as inferior. While the Supreme Court will be presented with the narrower question as framed by the Ninth Circuit, it is impossible to tell, if it agrees to hear the case at all, whether they will rule on this principle or more broadly on the ability of states to deny lesbians and gays the right to marry.

The Supreme Court will likely decide in early October whether or not to hear the case.  Back in February, PFAW applauded the decision of the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals in upholding the decision of the district court striking down Prop 8.

Marriage equality is just one of the many critical issues that will come before the Supreme Court when they reconvene next session.  The elevation of Prop 8 to the highest level of the judicial system underscores the increasing importance of the Supreme Court and the Presidential election.

It is a difficult to imagine a more conservative Court than the one we have now, but Mitt Romney has pledged to appoint justices even further to the right then John Roberts and Samuel Alito.  Romney has also enlisted far-right judge Robert Bork to advise him on judicial matters.

Visit RomneyCourt.com  for more on Mitt Romney’s extreme vision for the Supreme Court.

PFAW

Buster Wilson Might Launch American Family Association's Own 'Hate Watch Ministry'

American Family Association’s Buster Wilson went on yet another tirade about Obama creating his own version of the Brownshirts based on debunked conspiracies that have been not only discredited by the Annenberg Public Policy Center’s FactCheck.org but even Fox News. He was so upset about Right Wing Watch’s reporting that he facetiously asked the Southern Poverty Law Center to “certify” us as “official Bible, Christ, Hetero, Traditionalist haters.” Yesterday, the SPLC criticized Wilson’s conspiracy-laden rants, and so Wilson today decided that the AFA—the home of Bryan Fischer—should consider starting their own “hate watch ministry” to report on…SPLC, Right Wing Watch and the rest of the “progressive-homo-left-Christian-Bible- conservative-traditional value-hating crowd.” We here at Right Wing Watch can only hope that Wilson follows through.

Wilson: The progressive-homo-left-Christian-Bible-conservative-traditional value-hating crowd believes that we should not be allowed to ask the questions, we should simply bow at the feet of their anointed chosen ones. Of course that’s something they never did with any Republican, conservative or tea party member. I think we need to start our own hate watch ministry here at AFR [American Family Radio] and keep you the listener about the folks and organizations who are intolerant and hateful toward the traditional Christian values that we all believe in because RWW and SPLC sure ain’t gonna do it for us.

Mefferd: ESPN and Sports Reporters Push Liberal Ideology

On yesterday’s edition of The Janet Mefferd Show, the host and her guest, Matt Philbin of the Media Research Center, took aim at an unlikely vector of liberal ideals: the world of sports. Reflecting on an MRC report, Mefferd said that ESPN and other sports broadcasters are “using their sports platforms really to push this liberal economic and social ideology.” Philbin asserted ESPN hires people with a “liberal pedigree” and its website includes content that is in “support of the gay agenda.”

Philbin held up liberal commentator Keith Olbermann, who previously worked at ESPN, as proof of the network’s liberal bias. He conveniently ignored the fact that Texas Republican senate candidate Craig James is also a former ESPN broadcaster and ESPN’s chairman and vice president are both Romney donors.

Mefferd: If you are a big sports nut you’re noticing also that from time to time you’ll see a little bit of political material creep in on the sidelines and that’s really the intent of a lot of people on the left, they want to politicize the games, but it’s true of sports in general, and if you follow sports TV at all, ESPN, some of those other sports shows, you’ll see this, and in fact, the Culture and Media Institute of the Media Research Center has put together a report all about this documenting the trend of commentators and sportscasters using their sports platforms to really push this liberal, economic, and social ideology. Matt Philbin is with us, managing editor of the Media Research Center. So Matt, let’s talk about sports in general and what you guys noted looking at channels like ESPN or some of these other sports shows, where do you see this liberal ideology kind of creeping in?

Philbin: Well, you can see it all over the place, and uh, I would just, uh, just a reminder, that, uh, Keith Olbermann came from ESPN. Before he went to MSNBC, he came from SportsCenter which he actually helped create, I believe, uh, so, ESPN has a long liberal ESPN and you can see that in a lot of its programming. And you can see that on its website as well. Its website has always, for years now, has featured commentary in support of the gay agenda.

Philbin later maintained that sports journalists, like other journalists, have “an antipathy toward conservatives and toward traditional Americans.” The two also took umbrage in particular to the sports network’s supposedly cozy relationship with President Obama: Mefferd was dismayed that ESPN is helping the President “show his softer side” by broadcasting his NCAA bracket selection.

Of course, President Bush, a former baseball franchise owner, previously appeared on ESPN to talk fishing and baseball.

Philbin: They’re just pulling from the same sort of pool of people as the mainstream media is, sort of, uh, habitually liberal journalists who really have an antipathy towards conservative and toward traditional Americans.

Mefferd: What about ESPN and its relationship with President Obama, because they’ve sort of fawned over him as well, haven’t they?

Philbin: Oh, They think he’s terrific.

Mefferd: Sports picks and everything.

Philbin: Yes, you know, oh, They’ve had him on to pick his, uh, brackets in the NCAA tournament. They’ve had him speak about reforming college football’s BCS system. Things that really, a President doesn’t have much interest, or shouldn’t have much interest in talking about.

Mefferd: Well, he wants to be a man of the people I guess. Show his softer side, I guess. “They’re calling me a socialist too much, quick, ESPN, let me do my March Madness picks!

Philbin: That’s right, I’m, just like them.

Mefferd: Just like them. 

FRC’s Sprigg: Gay Rights Movement Winning Through ‘Intimidation’ and ‘Emotional Blackmail’

On the Janet Mefferd Show yesterday, the Family Research Council’s Peter Sprigg shared his theory of how gay rights activists are winning the battle for public opinion: through “intimidation” and “emotional blackmail”:


Sprigg: There are people with big bucks who are trying to move the Republican Party in a more liberal direction on this issue. And while, you know, I think it will be a long time before – I don’t think it’ll ever happen that the Republican Party will endorse same-sex marriage – but what I fear more than that is some candidates in office and officeholders simply going silent on the issue.

Mefferd: Oh, that’s happening.

Sprigg: That is definitely happening and that’s where the big concern is, because if we are not willing to fight to defend marriage, then that increases the chances we will lose it.

Mefferd: Well, and that’s what’s so frustrating, especially for us as Christians, when we look at so many people who don’t have the spine to talk about it. ‘Well, let’s just work the issue back around to the economy, everybody wants to talk about the economy, I don’t want to talk about something controversial.’ Part of it, I think, is because they don’t want to be vilified, they don’t want to be called names, because that’s what the activist crowd does, they call you names, they insult you, they make your life pretty miserable. Look what they’re doing to Dan Cathy! Who does want to put up with that?

Sprigg: Right. That’s exactly right. It’s a form of intimidation that they’re using, a sort of emotional blackmail almost. And with some people it’s effective. They don’t want to pay that price.

Pat Robertson Sticks up for Chick-fil-A, Says Gays Make People 'Feel like they are Unwelcome'

To mark “Chick-fil-A Appreciation Day,” Pat Robertson chided gay rights advocates on the 700 Club today for protesting the restaurant chain’s anti-gay activism. He said that he predicted that a group, in this case the gay community, will move from the “fringes” to the mainstream of society but ultimately “turn on the mainstream,” making those “who are traditionalists feel like they are unwelcome, and that’s exactly what’s happening.” Co-host Kristi Watts in her reaction to the controversy said “the Bible talks about in the later days the truth becomes a lie and the lie becomes the truth, and that really is the essence of what we’re dealing with right now.” Robertson warned that “the gays have just gotten the media megaphone and they’re shouting” at Chick-fil-A’s CEO for his anti-gay statements, “is it going to get worse? I hope not.”

Watch:

Fischer: African Americans Need Welfare like 'Drug-Addled Addicts,' Practicing 'Idolatry'

Yesterday on Focal Point, American Family Association spokesman Bryan Fischer said he has no idea why African Americans support President Obama and other Democratic candidates in such high numbers. His only explanation was that the “Democrat Party” got African Americans “hooked” on government welfare like “drug-addled addicts” who “hook up with their supplier once a month” and “get their fix.” He claimed Democrats “want slaves” just like in “pre-Civil War days” and have been able to accomplish their goal by turning government into “one big giant methadone clinic.”

Black voters, Fischer said, are practicing “a form of idolatry” and therefore violating the Ten Commandments by supporting Democratic candidates and staying “on the Democratic plantation.” While the Democratic Party ushered in civil rights legislation – as southern “Dixiecrats” broke with the Democrats and left for the Republican Party, which welcomed them with open arms – Fischer once again distorted the historical record and said Democrats were hostile to the civil rights movement.

Watch:

The Democrats as a party, I believe, they want slaves, they want Americans to be as slavishly dependent upon the central government as slaves were upon their masters in pre-Civil War days, that’s what they want. That’s why they’re trying to hand out goodies and dish out goodies to get them completely dependent because then they’ll know that they can count on them and count on their votes, they’re going to vote for whatever party is promising them the most goodies. We were talking this morning about how in the world is it that African Americans still support the Democratic Party? How can you explain that, when the Democratic Party is the party of slavery, the KKK, Jim Crow laws, lynch mobs, the party that filibustered the Civil Rights Act, how can you explain this?



The only reason we can see why the Democrat Party still has support in the African American community is because the Democrat Party promises them more goodies, the Democrat Party is handing out stuff, basically getting them addicted. It’s like the government is one big giant methadone clinic and they’re just handing out these injections to people in the form of welfare benefits to get them hooked, so they got to hook up with their supplier once a month, they got to get their fix, they got to hook up with their dealer on a street corner once a month and get their fix from the federal government. They’re like drug-addled addicts and the Democrat Party has gotten them addicted to welfare benefits. That apparently is the only reason they continue to support this party.



I think what keeps the African American community in the Democratic and on the Democratic plantation is the promise of goodies, it’s the promise of welfare, it’s the promise of benefits. That’s what keeps them on the Democratic platform as much as anything. So that’s just a form of idolatry, they put money ahead of principle. If they’re going to give me stuff, that’s materialism, that’s greed, that’s a violation of the Ten Commandments, they’re going to stick that in front of me I’m going to vote for them no matter what.

Richard Land Announces Retirement under Cloud of Controversy and Scandal

In the wake of a plagiarism scandal, controversy over racially inflammatory remarks, and an internal investigation, Richard Land announced Tuesday that he would step down next year as president of the Southern Baptist Convention’s Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission. Land will formally retire in October, 2013 – 25 years to the day he assumed the presidency. 

In his letter to the chairman of the SBC, Land wrote that God had led him to a place “where He is releasing me to other places of service in His Kingdom.” Despite Land’s best efforts to spin his retirement, he’s not going out on top. After two decades of pushing divisive, hard-right politics and making inflammatory remarks, he finally went too far.
 
At best, he was offered a relatively graceful exit after four tumultuous months. At worst, he was forced out by critics who demanded an expiration date to the shame he brought the SBC. Either way, he clearly angered influential segments of the SBC and came to be seen as more liability than asset.
 
 
 
Land’s recent troubles begin on March 31st when, in the wake of the Trayvon Martin shooting, he said on his radio show that black “race hustlers” were trying to use the death of the unarmed African-American teen to “gin up the black vote” for Obama, who “poured gasoline on the racialist fires.” When his comments were met with understandable outrage by black leaders and others, he refused to “bow to the false god of political correctness” and said he’d be “mugged” by the media.
 
Criticism continued to mount, including from within the SBC, and Land then issued a non-apology apology, saying that he had “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.” This only inflamed his critics, including Dwight McKissic, a prominent African-American pastor in the SBC, who said that “Land’s racial remarks against the backdrop of the Trayvon Martin tragedy are the most damaging, alienating, and offensive words about race that I’ve read or heard, rendered by a SBC personality.” McKissic also said he would introduce a resolution at the upcoming convention asking the SBC to repudiate Land.
 
Land’s troubles ballooned when a Baptist blogger revealed that Land had plagiarized part of his remarks on Martin from a Washington Times column and had previously plagiarized columns from other conservative publications. Land responded by downplaying his plagiarism, saying that “on occasion I have failed to provide appropriate verbal attributions on my radio broadcast.” He also added, “I regret if anyone feels they were deceived or misled.”
 
Between his plagiarism and racism, Land managed to anger and embarrass powerful forces within the SBC, which had recently elected an African-American pastor to its number two spot and was poised to elect Rev. Fred Luter as its first black president. Luter, who spoke dismissively of Land’s conduct, was elected in June.
 
Just over two weeks after Land’s radio commentary on Martin, the ERLC’s executive committee issued a statement saying that Land had “angered many and opened wounds from the past” and that a committee had been designated to “investigate the allegations of plagiarism and recommend appropriate action.” The statement also said the committee was “very saddened that this controversy has erupted, and is very concerned about how these events may damage the work of the ERLC.” Land, seeing the writing on the wall, met with a number of prominent black SBC leaders and issued a “genuine and heartfelt apology.”
 
On June 1st, the executive committee announced two reprimands of Land for “his hurtful, irresponsible, insensitive, and racially charged words on March 31, 2012 regarding the Trayvon Martin tragedy” and “for quoting material without giving attribution.” The committee also determined that the “content and purpose” of Land’s radio show were “not congruent with the mission of the ERLC,” and that the “controversy that erupted as a result…requires the termination of that program.” Additionally, the committee members expressed their “sorrow, regret, and apologies” for Land's remarks and acknowledged that “instances of plagiarism occurred because of his carelessness and poor judgment.”
 
You can reach your own conclusions about whether Land was shown the door or found his own way there, but there’s no question that he’s exiting under a cloud of scandal. We also haven’t heard the last of him. He vowed in his letter to keep fighting in the culture war, which he described as a “titanic struggle for our nation's soul.” But without the ERLC, Land will be a significantly diminished presence on the Religious Right, and that’s something we can all be thankful for.

 

 

Mike Huckabee and Conservative Activists Attack Democratic Party's Marriage Equality Stance

Joining televangelist Pat Robertson who earlier today said that same-sex marriage will be the “death knell” of the Democratic Party, Mike Huckabee and other leading conservatives have denounced the party’s decision to include marriage equality in its platform. Huckabee told Tim Wildmon of the American Family Association that the move is the “best thing that’s ever happened to the Republican Party” and “may end up sinking the ship.” He said that while people tolerate people who “choose to live in lifestyles that they don’t necessarily agree with or approve of,” they are “no longer going to support” President Obama or the Democrats for having “openly declared war on biblical marriage.” “It’s to me a very tragic day,” Huckabee maintained, “when we’re so interested in getting votes form a certain community and the contributions that they’re willing to forego their own principles and just throw them overboard.”

Watch:

William Owens of the right-wing Coalition of African-American Pastors and a liaison for the National Organization for Marriage at the National Press Conference today claimed that Obama has gone down “a disgraceful road” and compared homosexuality to pedophilia:

“The time has come for a broad-based assault against the powers that be that want to change our culture to one of men marrying men and women marrying women,” said Owens, in an interview Tuesday after the launch event at the National Press Club. “I am ashamed that the first black president chose this road, a disgraceful road.”



“If you watch the men who have been caught having sex with little boys, you will note that all of them will say that they were molested as a child…” Owens said. “For the president to condone this type of thing is irresponsible.”



At the Tuesday press conference, Owens questioned Obama’s commitment to black Americans, stating that the president is just “half-black, half-white” and has long “ignored the black press.”

He is “ignoring the people that put him in the White House,” Owens said.

Peter Sprigg of the Family Research Council urged Romney not to “shy away from making a clear distinction with President Obama and the Democrats on this issue.”

Thirty-two out of thirty-two states where voters have weighed in on the issue have upheld marriage as the union of one man and one woman. If President Obama were to lose those 32 states, he would face an electoral debacle. In addition, while opposition to same-sex 'marriage' may have become politically incorrect in the Democratic Party at the national level, there are many Democratic members of Congress, and office-holders further down the ticket, who live in states and districts where it will be a serious disadvantage to be identified with 'the gay marriage party.'

Gov. Romney, who has signed a pledge to support a marriage protection amendment to the U.S. Constitution, should not shy away from making a clear distinction with President Obama and the Democrats on this issue.

As always, the American Family Association’s Bryan Fischer didn’t hold back in his column, warning that through its decision to “embrace moral perversion” it has “sealed its own doom and relegated itself to the ash heap of history” as its founder Thomas Jefferson “must be rolling over in his personal parchment copy of the Declaration of Independence.”

Rarely can you identify a moment in time at which a major political party sealed its own doom and relegated itself to the ash heap of history. Today is that day for the Democratic Party. The party of Thomas Jefferson, who once wrote a law calling for the castration of those who committed the infamous crime against nature, has now enshrined sodomy-based marriage in its party platform.

Jefferson must be rolling over in his personal parchment copy of the Declaration of Independence, which celebrates the unalienable, God-given right to liberty, not licentiousness.

We know from data collected by the Centers for Disease Control that homosexual conduct is as dangerous to human health as intravenous drug abuse. Of all the men ever diagnosed with HIV/AIDS since the “epidemic” began, 90% contracted it either through having sex with other men (60%), injection drug use (22%) or both (8%). Thus the Democratic Party has made a noble virtue out of behavior that is immoral, unnatural, and unhealthy, and will destroy the lives of those who engage in it.

For the Democratic Party to enshrine the infamous crime against nature in its party platform is the final nail in the coffin of a party that in its history has defended slavery and racism (the KKK was a Democratic institution) and filibustered Civil Rights legislation in the 1960s. This move signals its permanent slide into political oblivion.



Every Democratic candidate for the House and the Senate needs to be pinned down by both the media and Republican opponents. The GOP needs to hang gay marriage like an anvil around the neck of every Democratic candidate for higher office. Any Democrat who tries to swim with that tied around his neck will find his candidacy seeking to the bottom of the sea. Republicans, force them to declare themselves, and either embrace moral perversion or reject their own party.

David Limbaugh: If Obama is Re-Elected 'We are Committing National Suicide'

David Limbaugh appeared on Eagle Forum Live with Phyllis Schlafly to promote his new book, The Great Destroyer: Barack Obama’s War on the Republic. He told Schlafly that Obama is promoting “dependency and sloth” and is using “class warfare and race warfare and gender warfare and sexual orientation warfare and religion warfare” to get his way:

Limbaugh: This is so destructive of the social fabric the way he initiates and engages in class warfare and race warfare and gender warfare and sexual orientation warfare and religion warfare.

Schlafly: I was gonna say that class war is a major Communist tactic and he certainly does that.

Limbaugh: Yes he does. Class warfare and he distorts and uses propaganda to press his position. This is what I meant a minute ago when I was talking about the dependency class, he wants to discourage people from working and he wants to promote dependency and sloth and people not contributing to society.

He also maintained that Obama is “acting like a flaming leftist, radical, socialist, even Marxist” president and that “we are committing national suicide” if he is re-elected:

Limbaugh: If we re-elect him we are committing national suicide, I fully believe that. It might be cliché to say this is the most important election we’ve ever had but I don’t think it’s a cliché, I think most elections have incrementally been more important than previous elections because liberalism has been on a steady incremental march during my entire life, we pushed it back during Reagan and some other areas, but they always seem to move the ball towards statism overall and they are continuing to do it, every election is more important than the last, but this one is different in kind rather than degree. Obama is already acting like a flaming leftist, radical, socialist, even Marxist when he faces re-election, and lawlessly, can you imagine what he’ll act like if he is re-elected and perceives himself to have a mandate to take this country completely over the cliff.

...

I think he's committed lawless acts, I think he is exceeded his constitutional authority but the Democratic party is institutionally corrupt and they circled the wagons around Bill Clinton when he was a known felonious perjurer. They are surely not going to do anything with an African American president who they would make a martyr, the Republicans would make a martyr. If the Republicans proceed on any kind of impeachment, Obama will become a martyr and you will increase the chances of his re-election; if he is re-elected, we are doomed.

Predatory Privatization: Exploiting Financial Hardship, Enriching the 1%, Undermining Democracy

The combination of state and local budget crises and the 2010 election of anti-government ideologues in many states has left taxpayers and communities increasingly vulnerable to predatory “privatization” of government services and public infrastructure.

PFAW Report: Predatory Privatization Puts Citizens and Communities at Risk

 Washington, DC -- State and local budget crises and the election of anti-government ideologues have left taxpayers and communities increasingly vulnerable to predatory “privatization” of government services and public infrastructure. “Desperate government is our best customer,” says one finance company executive specializing in the privatization of public infrastructure. A new report from People For the American Way documents that the push to privatize public services and assets often reduces the quality of services, burdens taxpayers and threatens democratic government.

A copy of the full report, Predatory Privatization: Exploiting Financial Hardship, Enriching the One Percent, Undermining Democracy [pdf] is available here: http://site.pfaw.org/pdf/Predatory-Privatization.pdf

“The combination of budget deficits, anti-tax ideology, and financial predators can be deadly to the interests of citizens and communities,” said People For the American Way President Michael Keegan. “Right-wing anti-government and anti-union ideologues are exploiting tough economic times and taking advantage of desperate public officials. The public picks up the tab but gives up control and accountability. The public good should never be on the auction block. If citizens are not vigilant, they will end up paying a terrible long-term price for deals to plug short-term budget holes. ”

Among the examples examined in Predatory Privatization:

  • In 2009, the city of Chicago sold revenues from the city’s parking meters to a group of companies led by Wall Street giant Morgan Stanley. Investors got the right to control parking meter revenues for 75 years. Not only did the city give up revenue, but it actually has to pay the private company whenever a street is closed for repairs or for a street fair; the company claims city taxpayers already owe it almost $50 million.
  • Republican officials are pushing to privatize more prison operations, even though private prisons often end up costing taxpayers more. The multi-billion-dollar private prison industry has an incentive to increase the numbers of prisoners incarcerated and to keep people locked up as long as possible – and spends millions to lobby state legislators.
  • Investors are lining up – and lobbying legislators – to get their hands on the billions of dollars spent on public education. Many schools are being privatized despite very mixed results. Many investors rake in millions even though many students in these private schools do much worse than their traditional counterparts.
  • Indiana turned over its toll road to foreign firms for 75 years. Fine print in the contract has required taxpayers to reimburse investors when Indiana waived tolls for safety reasons during a flood. The contract allows the company to raise tolls every year; they doubled during the first five years of the 75-year contract.


The report also gives individuals advice on how to protect the public interest by responding strategically to privatization schemes, including a set of crucial questions that public officials should be forced to answer before voting on any proposal.

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The Influx of Dark Money Could (Technically) Stop Tomorrow

Two weeks ago, Senate Democrats filed cloture on the Republican-led filibuster of the DISCLOSE Act, and failed to achieve the necessary 60 votes to bring the bill to the floor. Thus the DISCLOSE Act died once again, as it did in 2010, at the hands of Republican Senators who prefer obstruction and dark money over functionality and transparency. And unless there is an abrupt, unexpected reversal of the tide in the Senate, those who wish to bring a higher level of accountability to our democracy will, in the short term, have to explore alternative routes to bring about such reforms.

Those alternative routes exist in the federal agencies that interpret laws passed by Congress, but that so far have done a poor job in doing so correctly.

For confirmation of this, one need only look at the significant dilution of the McCain-Feingold Act of 2002, which had strict provisions requiring outside groups – including 501(c)(6)’s & 501(c)(4)’s – who participate in electioneering communications (any communication about a clearly identified candidate on satellite, T.V., or radio within 30 days of a primary or 60 days of a general election to a relevant targeted audience) to disclose their donors. The Supreme Court’s Citizens United ruling upheld this part of the law, with eight of the nine justices in agreement.

However, transparency would take a back seat with the Federal Elections Commission’s interpretation of the law, in which a loophole to disclosure was written into their regulations. That FEC regulation only requires disclosure of donors for 501(c)(4)’s and 501(c)(6)’s if those donors specifically earmark their donations for the purpose of electioneering communications. Thus as long as a donor does not require specifics for an organization on how to use their donation, disclosure of the donor’s identity is not legally required. Yet the disclosure provisions of McCain Feingold were not written – and were never meant to be interpreted – this way.

On April 2, 2012 Congressman Chris Van Hollen of Maryland’s 8th District won a lawsuit he filed against the FEC challenging the agency’s interpretation of the law. D.C. District Court Judge Amy Jackson found that the FEC had severely watered down existing legal requirements to disclose donors in campaign-related ads, stating “…Congress did not delegate authority to the FEC to narrow the disclosure requirement through agency rulemaking.” While Judge Jackson’s ruling is supposed to restore the statutory requirement that requires greater disclosure of the donors who provide funding for electioneering communications, it remains unclear that it will be implemented. Paul Ryan, FEC program director and associate legal counsel at the nonpartisan Campaign Legal Center has assessed, “Unfortunately, it’s highly unlikely that this dysfunctional commission will heed the court’s order anytime soon.” Implementation will also be delayed further due to appeals from conservative groups.

Had Congress’ law had been implemented accurately, full disclosure would have been the reality of the 2010 congressional races, which instead were marred by over $135 million in undisclosed spending; and which continues to mar the current election cycle.

Another party at fault is the IRS, which has sat idly by as a number of overtly politically-based 501(c)(4)’s have engaged in an overabundance of election activity when they are supposed to be first and foremost social welfare organizations. It seems obvious to all that the primary activity of organizations like Crossroads GPS and American Action Network is to engage in political advocacy and spend hundreds of millions of dollars influencing elections. Due to IRS inaction on the issue, the donors of these organizations need not be publicly disclosed.

In June the IRS finally initiated steps to to investigate some of these organizations taking advantage of tax exempt status while at the same time being overly engaged in election processes, in particular Crossroads GPS. However it is unlikely that any actions or penalties will be taken or applied in the near future leaving these huge, undisclosed, tax-exempt pools of money to flood our electoral process for the foreseeable future.

Moreover, and perhaps more importantly, IRS regulations that implement Internal Revenue Code distort the intent of the law. As noted by Democracy 21 and the Campaign Legal Center in a letter to IRS commissioners:

The Internal Revenue Code provides that section 501(c)(4) groups must engage "exclusively" in social welfare activities. … The regulations implementing this provision state, however, that "social welfare" organizations must be "primarily engaged" in social welfare activities.

If, as Congress intended, 501(c)(4) groups could achieve their tax-exempt status only by “exclusively” engaging in social welfare activities, the Crossroad GPS’s of the world would instantly have their (c)(4) statuses revoked. Instead, as we’ve witnessed with the tax-exempt status of the American Legislative Exchange Council, the big money players are able to indirectly charge the American taxpayer for their lobbying and political activity by not paying their fair share, benefitting their entrenched interests and not the country as a whole.

We must not give up on transparency in our democracy, especially if our electoral process is to remain awash in unlimited spending under the Citizens United ruling. In the not so distant past this was the dream of Republicans and Democrats alike. In his 2002 memoir “Worth Fighting For,” John McCain, a former champion of transparency, wrote “By the time I became a leading advocate of campaign finance reform, I had come to appreciate that the public's suspicions were not always mistaken. Money does buy access in Washington, and access increases influence that often results in benefiting the few at the expense of the many.” We await a return to this sober analysis by the GOP, and by the agencies who implement the laws Congress passes; the foundations of our republic are dependent on it.

PFAW

Parshall and Gainor Seem to Believe Conservatives Don't Like Boycotts

Yesterday during In The Market, Dan Gainor of the right-wing Media Research Center and host Janet Parshall are the latest conservative activists to deny their movement’s history of supporting boycotts in order to attack gay rights groups protesting Chick-fil-A, agreeing that “conservatives generally are against boycotts” while freedom-hating liberals just can’t help themselves:

Gainor: This is a line in the sand for everybody listening, for every American right now: what country do we want to have, do we want to have people just say ‘well I don’t like what you believe so we’re going to destroy your business’?

Parshall: Exactly. Dan let me pick up on that point because I think it’s a great one. Paradoxically, in the midst of this brouhaha with Chick-fil-A comes the announcement that Amazon.com CEO and his wife give $2.5 million to Washington state for the same-sex marriage battle going on there. I tell you what, I get an awful lot of press releases all day long and I’m still waiting, I have yet to hear a Christian group that’s saying we’re going to boycott Amazon.com because their founder and CEO has decided to make a multimillion dollar contribution to battle against something that I happen to hold dear and believe in. So this tactic, unfortunately, seems to be one sided, one the one hand I guess I can understand it, and on the other hand, it’s just not the way Christians behave in the marketplace.

Gainor: Conservatives generally are against boycotts. We’ll boycott occasionally for something that’s really extreme. But we accept that people have different values and different opinions, that’s called democracy, we tend to like that and like our Constitution and like our freedom of speech.

Parshall: I couldn’t agree more.

Huh, that’s odd since the National Organization for Marriage is boycotting Starbucks and General Mills, and the American Family Association and the Catholic League are boycotting countless companies. In fact, the AFA’s One Million Moms has said “so long Amazon.”

Concerned Women for America, Parshall’s former employer which recently urged shoppers to stop shopping at Macy’s and once endorsed a boycott of Disney, just today sent an email to members warning them about shopping at…Amazon.com! While they claimed that the group “does not participate in boycotts,” they suggested members shop at their website instead of Amazon.com due to their CEO’s pro-gay rights contribution:

Now Amazon.com Founder and President Jeff Bezos is wading into the moral morass by offering 2.5 million investor dollars (unlike Amazon.com, Chick-fil-A is privately owned) to same-sex "marriage" advocates in Washington state in retaliation for the Cathy's religious stance. (We're also taking it personally, as Maureen Richardson, State Director for CWA of Washington, has fought like a lioness against the efforts of liberal legislators to redefine marriage.)

Concerned Women for America (CWA) is supporting the Chick-fil-A Day of Appreciation on August 1, 2012, in defense of a Christian family that is being absolutely excoriated by the mainstream media, public officials, private companies, and irate liberals for honoring their faith.

While CWA does not participate in boycotts, we understand that the brazen, politically correct move of Amazon.com's founder and president may trouble some of our members and supporters. If you feel uneasy shopping at Amazon.com, we would like to take this opportunity to remind you that our own store, www.shopcwfa.org, carries over 170,000 Christian titles, and part of every purchase goes back to CWA so we can continue to be your voice on Capitol Hill and in the culture.

Gainor’s MRC promoted boycotts against McDonalds and Ford that were organized by anti-gay groups, denouncing journalists for not giving them enough attention, and MRC head Brent Bozell lauded the Southern Baptists Convention’s boycott against Disney as the “correct” decision:

The Mouse answered with a spit in the face. The Disney-owned production company Touchstone, along with Disney-owned ABC television, brought America the most hyped, high-profile homosexual happening in entertainment history: "Ellen." To no one's surprise, on June 18 the 1997 SBC overwhelmingly voted to undertake an all-out boycott of Disney and its subsidiaries.

Bozell also said that boycotts are an important tool for pressure groups and commended groups like CWA for joining the cause:

It certainly grew on August 27 when Dr. James Dobson announced that his organization, Focus on the Family, would join the SBC, the Catholic League, Concerned Women for America (CWA), the American Family Association (AFA), and several smaller groups. The SBC claims 16 million members; Focus on the Family four million; the Catholic League, the AFA, and CWA several hundred thousand each. Add those numbers up and you've got an awful lot of parents whose entertainment dollars have bought a lot of Disney products for their children.



A Disney executive has said his company thinks of the boycott as analogous to "a gnat on an elephant." But remember this: gnats are persistent, and if you've ever been plagued by a cloud of them, you know you'll do almost anything to make them leave you alone. If the boycott reaches gnat-cloud proportions - which it probably will given the tenacity of the boycott's leaders - Michael Eisner, et al, will want to shoo it away, and fast. The good news is that Disney can do so simply by returning to the family-friendly product that won it a special place in American cultural history.

But forget all that, conservatives don’t boycott!

Liberty Counsel links Reproductive Rights to Colorado Massacre

Liberty Counsel’s Mat Staver and Matt Barber yesterday on Faith & Freedom said that legal abortion had a role in the Colorado movie theatre massacre. Staver maintained that America has been consumed by a “culture of death” that has led to recent shootings while Barber claimed that the “sacred cow of the left--abortion--they worship at the altar of euphemistic, so-called choice,” is partly to blame. Because of legal abortion, Barber said, “we have to expect these kinds of consequences.”

Watch:

Pat Robertson: Same-Sex Marriage is the 'Death Knell' of the Democratic Party

Today, the Pew Forum on Religion and Public Life released a poll finding that more Americans favor than oppose legalizing same-sex marriage, confirming other polls which show rising support for marriage equality, and the Democratic Party is likely to endorse marriage equality in its party platform. But Pat Robertson today on the 700 Club derided the Democratic Party for having a “death wish” if they decide to back same-sex marriage since they will be “further alienating themselves from the mainstream of America.”

Watch:

Robertson: About 2% of the population are homosexual, 1% of the population is lesbian. That’s a tiny group and every time this initiative has been brought to the ballot where the people have a chance to vote they vote overwhelmingly in favor of traditional marriage. For the Democrats to go out on that limb, it just seems like to me that they are further alienating themselves from the mainstream of America. If that’s what they want to do, fine, but it will mean the death knell of their party, it seems like to me, and of course that’s what they’re doing but maybe they have a death wish.

Liberty Counsel Jumps on the Boycott Hypocrisy Bandwagon

The anti-gay group Liberty Counsel has a history of supporting boycotts and organizing similar pressure campaigns, targeting companies like McDonalds, Pay Pal, Starbucks, Lowe’s and any retailer that doesn’t say the word “Christmas” enough. But much like their allies at the National Organization for Marriage and the American Family Association, LC now believes that boycotts and pressure campaigns are only acceptable if they are the ones organizing them. Objecting to protests against Chick-fil-A for its record of anti-gay advocacy and financing of anti-gay groups, LC now is running a petition denouncing potential boycotters.

LC’s Matt Barber, who led a news conference outside of McDonalds’ corporate headquarters protesting the company’s support for the National Gay and Lesbian Chamber of Commerce and declared that “anyone who supports traditional marriage should boycott McDonalds,” today attacked boycotters of Chick-fil-A while wondering if the Muppets are gay, linking homosexuality to pedophilia, and comparing same-sex couples to Christmas lights:

Forget about Bert and Ernie. I always thought Kermit the Frog was a little “light in the flippers,” if you know what I mean. Miss Piggy? Probably just cover (wink wink, nudge nudge, say no more). And, how about that perennial bachelor, Fozzie Bear? Wocka Wocka, indeed.

Or not.

I don’t know.

Still, a recent move by The Jim Henson Company makes you wonder. In a distinctly knee-jerk, anti-family development, the Muppet mogul has severed promotional ties with Chick-fil-A – the booming fast-food chain and American Cinderella story. The multi-billion dollar company has stirred the ire of left-wing extremists in recent days.



Cathy’s statement was all it took. The “progressive” establishment had a mouth-frothing, water-meets-Wicked-Witch-of-the-West meltdown. They’ve charged the battlefield with that characteristic slash-and-burn, seek-and-destroy style and grace we’ve come to expect.

“Boycott Chick-fil-A!” shrieked the ever-tolerant, oh-so-enlightened sexual-anarchist troglodytes. “Bigots! Haters! Homophobes!” (You know; same pointless pap, different day.)



That’s the thing about liberalism – about political correctness. It exists in the realm of fantasy. It’s a barrier to truth. “Progressivism” comprises a farcical assortment of pseudo-utopian ideals that reflect how postmodern leftists want things to be, rather than how things actually are.

They float the propagandist idiom “marriage equality” – choosing all the while to ignore objective “marriage reality.”

So-called “same-sex marriage”? A counterfeit. It’s like taking a rotten apple, spray-painting it orange, and then calling it an orange. “Gay marriage” is no more real marriage then a rotten apple is an orange.

It’s unavoidable. Marriage is, by definition, the joining of two complementary opposites – two “others.” Consider Christmas lights. When you string them together you necessarily “marry” the male end with the female end. It defies logic and physics to try and force a male-male or female-female connection. There can be no real connection. Sure, you can employ some artificial mechanism – say, superglue or duct tape – to create a mock connection, but the lights don’t work, and the duct tape eventually gives out. Not to mention that it’s aesthetically off-putting.

“Gay marriage” is mock marriage. It’s fantasy – a dead end. Even a child knows this intuitively and, in their heart-of-hearts, lefties and “gay” activists know it, too. That’s why they respond so violently when people snicker at it or, as in the case of Dan Cathy, even respectfully acknowledge that it’s not grounded in reality.



In the wake of the Penn State scandal surrounding Jerry Sandusky’s homosexual assault on dozens of young boys, the Boy Scouts of America moved to protect children by re-affirming its prohibition against scoutmasters who live a homosexual lifestyle. Although they didn’t expressly indicate that Penn State influenced their decision, there can be little doubt it did.

As with the Chick-fil-A debacle, libs lost their collective noodle. Apparently, the only thing they hate more than Chick-fil-A is a “morally straight” 12-year-old who strives for integrity and merit.

So here’s my proposal: Don’t let a bunch of uber-obnoxious, loud-mouthed liberal pansies intimidate you. They’re nothing but a wet paper tiger. On Wednesday, Aug. 1, have your kids wear their Boy Scout uniforms to Chick-fil-A. Scoutmasters, bring ‘em all.

Senate Republicans Block Appeals Court Nominee They Support, Setting Obstruction Record

Washington, DC – The Senate GOP set an obstruction record today, for the first time in history successfully filibustering a federal appeals court nominee who had come out of the Judiciary Committee with bipartisan support. In a 56 to 34 vote, a partisan minority prevented the Senate majority from ending the filibuster of the nomination of Oklahoma’s Robert Bacharach to become a judge on the Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals. No senator has actually spoken against Bacharach’s nomination, and he has received the strong support of both his home-state senators, Republicans Tom Coburn and James Inhofe. In an interview in June, Coburn called plans to block Bacharach’s nomination “stupid.” But even Coburn and Inhofe’s support evaporated when McConnell gave the command to filibuster: both Oklahoma senators voted "present," which in the case of a filibuster is the same as a "no" vote.

“If you need any further proof of the Senate GOP’s blind dedication to obstruction, this is it,” said Paul Gordon of People For the American Way. “Robert Bacharach should have been a shoe-in for a federal judgeship. His superior qualifications aren’t in dispute. His home-state senators, both conservative Republicans, fully support his nomination. Republicans aren’t even bothering to pretend he is controversial. For the first time in American history, we see a successful filibuster of a circuit court nominee who was approved by committee with bipartisan support – all because Sen. McConnell and his party are more interested in playing politics than in doing their jobs. So Americans in six states remain stuck with a circuit court without enough judges to deliver justice efficiently.

“With nearly 80 current vacancies in the federal courts, the Senate GOP should be doing everything in its power to help clear the nominations backlog, rather than making flimsy excuses for further obstruction. This absurd gamesmanship is not what Americans are paying our Senate to do.”

###

Last week, People For the American Way circulated this fact sheet on Bacharach’s nomination:

There has never been a successful filibuster of a circuit court nominee who was approved in committee with bipartisan support. A failed cloture vote on Tenth Circuit nominee Robert Bacharach would represent a massive escalation in obstruction.

Robert Bacharach should be a shoe-in

  • The ABA panel that evaluates judicial nominees unanimously found Bacharach well qualified, its highest possible evaluation. He has been a magistrate judge in the Western District of Oklahoma for over a decade.
  • He was approved by the Judiciary Committee with near-unanimous bipartisan support (the one “no” vote was from Sen. Mike Lee, who is voting against all President Obama’s judicial nominees to protest an unrelated issue).
  • He has the support of President Obama and both of Oklahoma’s Republican senators.
  • As Sen. Inhofe said, “it is kind of rare that the Obama White House and I agree on anything.”
  • Sen. Coburn said in June that it would be “stupid” for his party to block a vote on Bacharach.

The “Thurmond Rule” is no excuse for blocking Bacharach

  •  In the past 5 presidential election years, Senate Democrats have never denied an up-or-down vote to any circuit court nominee of a Republican president who received bipartisan support in the Judiciary Committee.
  • In the past 5 presidential election years, only 4 circuit nominees reported with bipartisan support have been denied an up-or-down vote on the Senate Floor, and all 4 were nominated by President Clinton.

This is part of the GOP’s ongoing campaign of obstruction against consensus nominees

  •  Of the 5 circuit court nominees that have been confirmed this year, the Majority Leader had to file cloture on 3 of those nominees in order to secure an up-or-down vote.
  • All 3 circuit court nominees for whom the Majority Leader had to file cloture were nominated to fill judicial emergency vacancies and were rated unanimously “well qualified” by the nonpartisan ABA Standing Committee on the Federal Judiciary, the highest possible rating. Two of the circuit court nominees who required cloture – Adalberto Jordan of Florida and Andrew Hurwitz of Arizona both had the support of their Republican home state senators (and the third was from California, which has two Democratic senators).

Vacancies are taking a toll on the Tenth Circuit (Oklahoma, Kansas, Utah, Wyoming, New Mexico, Colorado)

  • Of the 12 active judgeships on this circuit, 2 are vacant.
  • This seat has been vacant for more than two years, when the previous judge retired (as opposed to taking senior status).
  • The slack is being picked up by several senior judges, including an 89 year-old LBJ nominee and a 96 year-old Nixon nominee.

###

Senate Hearing Examines Need For Constitutional Remedies to Overturn Citizens United

Last week, the Constitution Subcommittee of the Judiciary Committee of the U.S. Senate held hearings entitled, “Taking Back Our Democracy: Responding to Citizens United and the Rise of Super PACs,” which examined the devastating Citizens United decision, and the need to amend the Constitution to overturn it. As acknowledged by the hearings’ participants – and as evidenced by the overflow crowd who came to see the hearing in person, as well as the 1.9 million petition signatures calling for an amendment that were delivered to the committee and on display in the room – these hearings were held in response to the growing grassroots movement across the country in support of constitutional remedies, and demonstrated a form of bottom-up democratic participation seldom witnessed in Washington.

As noted by the Executive Vice President of PFAW, Marge Baker, “… by holding these hearings, our elected representatives are honoring the millions of Americans who are calling for a Constitution that ensures that “We the People” means all the people, not just the privileged few.”

The first panel of the hearings featured testimony from Senator Max Baucus, Senator Tom Udall, Senator Bernie Sanders, and Representative Donna Edwards, all of whom have introduced amendment resolutions in the 112th Congress. Although their approaches differ, one theme remained consistent throughout their testimonies: since legislative remedies alone cannot undo the damage wrought by Citizens United, the amendment strategy must be employed to take back our democracy.

In his opening remarks, Senator Durbin, who chairs the Constitution Subcommittee, echoed the thoughts of many of his colleagues – currently 28 U.S. Senators are in support of an amendment, as are 92 U.S. Representatives – by stating, “After much deliberation, with some hesitation, I have reached the conclusion that a constitutional amendment is necessary to clean up our campaign finance system once and for all.”

Indeed, although we strongly advocate for an amendment that would restore the American people’s ability to regulate election spending, People For The American Way agrees that the amendment process should not be taken lightly. As we noted in the written testimony we submitted for the hearings:

Amending the United States Constitution is not something we recommend lightly, but the danger caused by the Roberts Court’s distortion of the First Amendment requires us to take corrective action. Some who are genuinely concerned about the threat to our democracy might nevertheless be reluctant to tamper with perhaps the greatest legal document in world history. As an organization that deeply respects the Constitution, we understand that reluctance, and we address this section of our comments to those of that view.

The American people, as shown by polling PFAW conducted on the issue, understand better than their elected representatives the need to support constitutional remedies to overturn Citizens United. The second panel of the hearings reflected this sentiment. It featured testimony from former Louisiana Governor and 2012 GOP presidential candidate Charles ‘Buddy’ Roemer and the celebrated legal scholar Professor Lawrence Lessig. As Professor Lessig stated in his testimony, “simply, the people have lost faith in their government,” and therefore deep reform is now necessary. Testifying at the request of the ranking Republican member of the subcommittee, Senator Lindsey Graham, was senior fellow of the Cato Institute, Ilya Shapiro. He opposed not only the amendment proposals in the hearings, but also the DISCLOSE Act, which Republicans recently blocked from coming to a vote in a highly partisan filibuster.

In a piece published last week, Senior Fellow of People For the American Way Professor Jamie Raskin stated, “The American people have been forced several times to amend the Constitution to reverse the damage caused by the Supreme Court when it acts in collusion with the enemies of social justice and popular democracy.” Professor Raskin then cited the Dred Scott decision, Minor v. Hapersett, and Breedlove v. Suttles all as cases that solidified unjust and undemocratic judicial systems; and all of which were later overturned by constitutional amendment.

It is up to the American people to ensure that Congress continues to examine the amendment strategy, and that Citizens United is added to that list. Video highlights of the hearings are featured below, while individual testimonies can be found on PFAW’s YouTube Page.

PFAW
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