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Former Komen Executive: Planned Parenthood Launched ‘Mafia-Style Attack,’ ‘Wanted to Destroy’ Komen

The former Susan G. Komen for the Cure executive who orchestrated the organization’s controversial and short-lived break from Planned Parenthood earlier this year, is out with a new book claiming that the funding dispute was all Planned Parenthood’s fault. In “Planned Bullyhood,” Karen Handel claims that Planned Parenthood turned its back on a “gentlewomen’s agreement” to not discuss the fact that Komen was withdrawing $680,000 a year in grants for breast cancer screenings through the organization’s clinics and then turned on Komen in a PR blitz.

Handel, an anti-choice activist and former GOP candidate who reportedly pushed the move within Komen, resigned shortly after the news of the break caused a national firestorm.

In interviews with right-wing radio hosts Janet Mefferd and Janet Parshall last week, Handel portrays herself as the victim of bullying by the “vicious” Planned Parenthood. She tells Mefferd that Planned Parenthood launched “a mafia-style attack” and that “Komen was held hostage for a mere $680,000.” She sees a double standard in the fact that President Obama didn’t call her after she was criticized, “like he did Sandra Fluke”:


Handel:
The left and Planned Parenthood, they were threatening Komen’s corporate sponsors: “See what we’re doing to Komen? If you don’t stop supporting them, we’re gonna do the same to you.” They were just filling up the Facebooks, Twitter, Komen’s website crashed, there were bomb threats, corporate sponsors were threatened. It really was almost a mafia-style attack, if you will, and Komen was held hostage for a mere $680,000. And Planned Parenthood and the left, they wanted this to be about politics. I believe they used Komen purposefully as a pawn, if you will, in this ridiculous so-called “War on Women” and these cries of “women’s health.” And Janet, my question for you, and I just find this all so insulting, how in the world did the issue of women’s health get reduced to being about abortion and contraception?

Meffered: Right. I’m with you.

Handel: I just reject that. I reject that notion, and I think that most women do too.

Mefferd: Oh, completely. And what I found very interesting, Karen, doing the show that I do, and being pro-life and knowning a lot of pro-lifers, when Susan G. Komen made that decision and all the pro-lifers were going “Yes, finally, great!,” the next thing people were saying was, “Now watch what Planned Parenthood will do to them.” You know, we knew. We knew exactly how Planned Parenthood would react, though admittedly it was more over the top than I think a lot of us believed it would be. It was shameful what they did.

Handel: You know, it really was. And you know, they had such an amicable partner in all of it, which was the liberal mainstream press, which really served almost as an extension of all of it and really targeted the politics, my personal politics, Ambassador Brinker’s personal politics. And I’d like to point out, you did not see Susan G. Komen for the Cure endorsing presidential candidates the way Planned Parenthood has, you don’t see Komen investing, what’s Planned Parenthood gonna spend, almost $10 million in campaign ads to support Barack Obama. Nobody, the president didn’t call me and let me know he was sorry about the attacks that I faced, like he did Sandra Fluke.

Handel told Parshall that Planned Parenthood’s “agenda” is “not about women’s health” or “they would not have wanted to try to destroy” Komen.

Parshall: Planned Parenthood’s assault, to use your word, and by the way you started using that word back in February of this year, way before it became the title of your book, if they’re bullying people because they might have a pro-life position, it really calls into account whether they are pro-women or whether they are politically aligned rather than rising to a higher cause.

Handel: I think that’s right, I think you’ve really hit on it, Janet. And for Komen, that’s exactly what Komen was trying to do. Komen wanted to be in a place where everyone, regardless of whether they were pro-life or on the other side of the issue, would be able to embrace the organization and embrace the mission. We wanted to be neutral and we wanted to be good stewards of dollars. Don’t get me wrong, it was both. Planned Parenthood, on the other hand, they were willing to sacrifice Komen for the sake of their agenda, which is not about women’s health. If it was about women’s health, they would not have wanted to try to destroy an organization that was doing such good work in the area of breast cancer.

D'Souza: Obama is 'Actively Supporting' Attacks by 'Radical Muslims' Against America

Pseudo-intellectual Dinesh D’Souza joined Janet Mefferd last week to promote his much derided anti-Obama movie 2016, where he once again made the erroneous and unfounded argument that Obama refuses to pursue “Muslim jihadists” because he “views those guys like freedom fighters,” deliberately ignoring the long list of senior terrorists killed under Obama’s leadership. According to D’Souza, Obama only approved the killing of Osama bin Laden because the Al Qaeda leader “came to our country to knock down a bunch buildings” and is “just a gangster, he’s like an international serial killer.” The President continues to sympathize with other terrorists in Afghanistan and Pakistan, D’Souza states, even though Obama increased the US troop presence in Afghanistan along with the number of attacks on militants in Pakistan.

D’Souza: You know, Obama's been boasting, certainly he deserves credit for the bin Laden operation, remember the bin Laden operation is different from than these Muslim jihadists in Iraq or Afghanistan or even the Palestinians in Israel, I think Obama views those guys like freedom fighters, fighting to liberate their country from US occupation. But bin Laden is not defending his own country, he came to our country to knock down a bunch buildings and so from Obama's point of view he's just a gangster, he's like an international serial killer. So there's no inconsistency with calling Obama an anti-colonialist on the one hand and yet saying he approved the bin Laden killing on the other.

The filmmaker also told Meferd that Obama is “actively supporting” a “bid by the radical Muslims” to create an Islamic caliphate. D’Souza also said that Obama has sidelined Egypt’s military in favor of the Muslim Brotherhood aligned president, not mentioning that his administration just offered $1.5 billion to Egypt’s military for defense cooperation. D’Souza even claimed that Obama considers the US to be an “evil” world power: “So for [Obama], it’s not Iran that’s a bad guy, it’s not North Korea, we’re the bad guy, and he sees his job amazingly as one of containing the United States. I think he believes in American exceptionalism, he just thinks that we’re exceptionally evil, we’re the guys that need to be controlled.”

D’Souza: I think what we're seeing is very troubling, we're seeing a real bid by the radical Muslims to do something that they haven't done in 400 years which is to attempt to restore Islam as a global power and they see an opportunity to do this thanks to the Obama administration's complete abdication of responsibility, one by one our allies are falling in the region, one by one our adversaries are coming to power, and Obama doesn't just seem unbothered by this he seems to be actively supporting it.

Mefferd: He does. I compared his statement in both written and on TV with what Mitt Romney did today. What a difference, Romney expressed we are Americans, we stand for freedom of speech, we will not tolerate that sort of thing; we didn't hear that language from Obama, which really dovetails with what you said in 2016, he's not that mad about it perhaps.

D’Souza: No, there are some people, and some conservatives too, who think Obama's an amateur, he's a blunderer, he doesn't know what he's doing, and you can say all right a year and a half ago when he supported the democracy movement in Egypt he thought it might result in a pro-American government in Egypt, but now he can see very clearly that no, the Muslim Brotherhood candidate won the presidential election, they won the parliamentary election, the bottom line of it is that Egypt is moving into the hands of the Muslim Brotherhood. What does Obama do? So right now there's a power struggle going on between the military and the Brotherhood, and Obama is clearly on the side of the Brotherhood, he's telling the military, 'hey guys, you better turn over power or the US is going to cut off aid.' So Obama is actively accelerating the transition of power in Egypt into the hands of the largest organization of radical Islam in the world.

Mefferd: A lot of listeners will hear you say that Dinesh and ask, why would Obama want an Islamic caliphate to come to power?

D’Souza: Well I think for Obama there is a simple goal: reduce the global power of the United States, in other words, reduce America's footprint in the world. Why? Not because Obama is a traitor or a secret Muslim or something, rather he wants to reduce America's footprint in the world because he feels that we've been stepping on the world. So for him, it's not Iran that's a bad guy, it's not North Korea, we're the bad guy, and he sees his job amazingly as one of containing the United States. I think he believes in American exceptionalism, he just thinks that we're exceptionally evil, we're the guys that need to be controlled.

Rachel Maddow Slams Paul Ryan for Appearing at Conference with Extremists

Last night on MSNBC, Rachel Maddow called out Paul Ryan for speaking at the Values Voter Summit and lending credibility to the bigotry and pure crazy on display at the conference. Her report provided crucial context on the extremists who are appearing at the conference – something that has been sorely lacking in most media coverage so far.

Maddow paid particular attention to three anti-Muslim activists that we regularly cover – Jerry Boykin, Kamal Saleem and Frank Gaffney. As I said yesterday, the Values Voter Summit is making a mockery of diplomacy and the threat of terrorism by featuring Saleem, who has made a career for himself as a fake former terrorist, and Boykin and Gaffney, who are leading forces behind the Huma Abedin smear and helped spark anti-American protests in Egypt.
 
Watch:

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Kamal Saleem tells Values Voter Summit that Clinton plans to 'Shut Down' Churches, College Professors work with Terrorists

We have been covering the absurd, bizarre and paranoid rantings of phony ex-terrorist Kamal Saleem as he emerged on the Religious Right scene, and today he had his biggest platform yet at the Values Voter Summit, where he was preceded by Ohio congressman Jim Jordan and a video message by Mitt Romney. Saleem told conference goers his made-up story about his time as a terrorist working for Lebanon, Syria, the PLO, Libya, Iraq, Saudi Arabia and even Osama bin Laden in Afghanistan, until he moved to the U.S. to wage "cultural jihad." He claimed he and his fellow terrorists "met the professors" at American universities and colleges, which "were our playgrounds," in order to help "the professors to establish new curriculum purposefully" to brainwash students to change "your children to hit your nation with everything they've got."

Later, Saleem said Secretary of State Hillary Clinton is working with Islamic countries to eviscerate the Constitution and "subjugate American people to be arrested and put to jail and their churches and synagogues shut down," which he says will happen early next year!

Sen. Confirmed 10 Judges One Day After Committee Vote in Sept 2008

In the last presidential election year, the Senate confirmed 10 judges in September, just a day after committee approval. Why not this year?
PFAW

D'Souza: Obama 'Has No Interest in So-Called Civil Rights or Black Issues' Since 'He Hasn't Had the African American Experience'

While speaking to Phyllis Schlafly on Eagle Forum Live, Dinesh D’Souza continued to lay out his wild and dishonest conspiracies about President Obama and even argued that President Obama doesn’t have any “interest in so-called civil rights or black issues.” That’s because, D’Souza explains, Obama had a Kenyan father and a white American mother and therefore “hasn’t had the African American experience.” In fact, “his policies have actually been very harmful, economically harmful to be sure, for Black America.”

Caller: I got a question. Isn’t Obama’s thinking a product of civil rights…anti-white, anti-Western pro-equality? Isn’t Obama’s thinking actually civil rights philosophy?

D’Souza: That’s a good question, and I used to think so but I think the answer I have to give you now is no. Remember that Obama, I mean Obama yes he’s the first black, African American president, but he hasn’t had the African American experience. And by that I mean he’s never sat at a segregated lunch counter. He’s not even descended from anyone who has. He’s not descended from slaves. His father was, well I’m tempted to say an immigrant, but he wasn’t even an immigrant, I’m an immigrant, you know immigrants come to this country to stay. Barack Obama, Sr. came to America to study and go back home and he did. So, his father’s a Kenyan, his mom is a white girl from Kansas, you know, where’s the African American part?



D’Souza: So what’s kind of strange is that a lot of African Americans say well I’m for Obama because he’s like me and so on, not realizing that first of all, Obama you know has had no interest in so-called civil rights or black issues, and second of his policies have actually been very harmful, economically harmful to be sure, for Black America.

D’Souza goes on to claim that Obama was mentored by anti-American communists and terrorists, but no one in the U.S. knows about it because the media is intentionally trying to “suppress information that’s harmful to Obama because they want him to win again.” Seemingly fixated on finding out the names of Obama’s ex-girlfriends, D’Souza claims that the public hasn’t learned the identities of the President’s ex-girlfriends because they likely came from the same group of “radical, revolutionary and truly dangerous characters” that he had “been hanging out with.”

D’Souza: Conservatives are energized, they feel they have new information when they see this film. But I think even independents are writing up and saying that they’re shaken by the film. They just didn’t know and they become a little furious that all these facts about Obama that are laid out in the film have somehow not been presented to them for the past four years. So vital information that would enable them to attack Obama is not being given. And I think it’s because there are a lot of people in the mainstream press, you know the New York Times, Chris Matthews at MSNBC—a lot of these guys they become, they stop become being journalists, they basically become, in a way, a publicist for Obama because they also think it’s morally vital for the United States for Obama to get a second term. So they’ll suppress information that’s harmful to Obama because they want him to win again.

Schafly: Well, we’ve never had a president that so, so little is known. I mean, all kinds of things we don’t know, such as his grades in school and how he got into Columbia and what he did and why we don’t hear from his classmates…nobody seems to remember him in these schools.

D’Souza: That’s all true Phyllis you’re absolutely right, and to me the more important and damaging information that we don’t know are the people who have influenced him, you know who have basically been shaping his mind over the past 20-30 years. In my book I have a chapter called Obama’s Founding Father, and we find out in that the five people who influenced him. Well one was a former Communist, Frank Marshall Davis in Hawaii, one was a member of Palestine National Council, a guy Edward Said, that Commentary Magazine has called a professor of terror. Another was a Brazilian socialist at Harvard Law School. This is a guy who has called for India, Russia, and China to quote gang up on the United States. Then we have a domestic terrorist Bill Ayres. And finally the incendiary preacher Jeremiah Wright. So what a group, I mean we’ve never had a president before who has been you know tutored or mentored by a card-carrying member of the Communist Party, by a guy who tried to blow up the Pentagon. So why isn’t this information the lead story on CBS Evening News. And the answer is those guys just don’t want the American people to know about it.



D’Souza: David Meredith in his biography of Obama, talked to a girl who was supposed to be Obama’s girlfriend. But of course her story about Obama doesn’t match the one that Obama writes about in his own book, Dreams from My Father. So Meredith goes to Obama and says well is this the girl? And Obama goes no, no, no, I had many girlfriends, and I made a composite of them. And I’m thinking wait a minute, where are those girlfriends? How come they haven’t come forward? How come no journalist has ever interviewed them? So with Obama, you know you have all these black holes surrounding this guy. It’s very shady, and Obama himself isn’t telling and I think the reason he isn’t telling is that he’s been hanging out with the radical, revolutionary and truly dangerous characters.

Romney Adviser Says Obama 'Quit' War on Terror, Wants Investigation into Supposed Muslim Brotherhood Infiltration

Walid Phares, a controversial (to say the least) member of Mitt Romney’s Foreign Policy and National Security Advisory Team, is accusing President Obama of trying to “quit the ideological confrontation” with radical Islamic groups while speaking with Frank Gaffney this week.

Phares: Since 9/11 our military, our security agencies have been very successful, every battle we fought against the jihadists in Afghanistan and elsewhere, the elimination of their leaders, our military, our intelligence, was successful. Where we were not successful was ideologically, the political response, specifically of this administration. The last two years, probably (inaudible), but this administration has decided to quit the ideological confrontation and that's why we're not ending this war.

Phares also said that the Muslim Brotherhood has succeeded in penetrating “the national security apparatus” and political institutions, and that many Muslim-American organizations are actually fronts for the Brotherhood. He even alleged that the Obama administration is now doing the work of the Brotherhood and deliberately undermined “our capacity as a nation and as a government to understand where the threat is coming from,” demanding Congress investigate the supposed infiltration.

Gaffney: Walid, I'd like you to drill down for a minute on as you say sort of the Stalinist version of this Sharia, jihadist enterprise. Civilization jihad, to what extent are you concerned about the role being played by Muslim Brotherhood affiliated entities inside the United States as they seek to perhaps keep us witless about the threat that they represent and maybe even encourage this focus on this shiny, dangling object of al-Qaeda, recognizing that it will not be the thing that it is decisive in this war if we even succeed in defeating al-Qaeda.

Phares: Absolutely, Frank, actually in my book, the first post-9/11 book published "Future Jihad: Terrorist Stratgies Against America," I probably was the first one to expose the network of Muslim Brotherhood fronts, on a strategic level of course, at which basically the main role is to penetrate the national security apparatus, to penetrate the political institutions of the United States would it be political parties, administrations, as much placement of advisers to a point whereby our policy with regard to the Middle East and our policy with regard to jihadism in the United States is now being advised and suggested to by Muslim Brotherhood either fronts or advisers or sympathizers, and that's a real threat and a real problem to our national security. If our government, bureaucracy, policy makers, media and others to understand and analyze the threat they rely on advisers and experts who basically are sympathizers with the Muslim Brotherhood, or at least present them differently than what they are, we are in big strategic trouble.

Gaffney: And is there any question that this is going on at the moment, Walid Phares? You know a lot about these various front organizations. The Islamic Society of North American, for example, whose president Mohamad Magid is a routine guest in all of the cabinet offices involved in the security portfolio and the White House as well. I believe the President sat next to him at the recent Iftar Dinner, actually flanked by him on the one side, Mohamed Morsi, and by Huma Abedin on the other. To what extent are such organizations the catalysts for the civilization jihad you're warning about?

Phares: There's public relations side of it, strategic communications side, that the MB front or ally or sympathizers are performing inside government, and there is something more serious to me which is the actual texts, they are producing actual memorandums that become policy. You and I are aware of that one memo that was issued by so-called Muslim-American organizations, if you check on them they are mostly Muslim Brotherhood organizations and not the moderate ones, that memo was the basis for another U.S. government memo that banned the use of words, the words of references to jihadism and caliphate over the past four years. That basically was a major strike against our analysts, against our capacity as a nation and as a government to understand where the threat is coming from. That is an issue that should be raised in Congress and in the presidential debates, I hope.

Rep. Dana Rohrabacher: Obama is 'Pandering to Radical Islamic Forces' and to Blame for Ambassador's Death

Rep. Dana Rohrabacher (R-CA) is joining Mitt Romney in accusing President Obama of “sympathizing” with radical Islamists, telling Frank Gaffney in an interview yesterday that the attack on the embassies in Libya and Egypt are a result “of years of pandering to radical Islamic forces which has been conducted by the President of the United States himself.” According to Rohrabacher, Obama has only tried to “apologize” and “is incapable of being aggressive” when it comes to fighting radical Islamists.

Later, Rohrabacher even falsely claimed that Obama refuses to “even condemn them for their murderous activities” and blamed the President for the death of the U.S. Ambassador to Libya: “now even our ambassadors are being assassinated and this is a result of that attitude being presented on our behalf by this administration.”

Listen:

We are reaping the rewards of years of pandering to radical Islamic forces which has been conducted by the President of the United States himself. His first act of president was to go over in the Middle East and basically apologize to all of these different countries and various groups of Islamic leaders throughout the Middle East and basically leaving the impression that he believed that the bad blood between us is caused because the United States being insensitive to Islam. Well, that was interpreted as weakness, the fact that since then we haven't been able to back up the Iranians who are struggling against their mullah dictatorship, how many times have we criticized and actually come down aggressively against those people in the Islamic world who are killing Christians? We can't even do that. So we have a President of the United States who is incapable of being aggressive and an out loud and angry voice putting radical Islam where it belongs.

...

Mitt Romney by stepping up and pointing out that you do not apologize for standing up for freedom of speech or freedom of religion, you don't apologize to a radical Islamic group that murders other human beings because they disagree on their religious values or want to express that they think Islam may be incorrect here and there or even basically someone who wants to have a very heavy attack on the basic fundamentals of Islam in terms of intellectual discourse. Instead what we've got is we have to walk on eggs, we have to be so sensitive that we can't condemn those people when they're out in the name of retaliating against us for disagreeing with Islam. We can't even condemn them for their murderous activities, and now even our ambassadors are being assassinated and this is a result of that attitude being presented on our behalf by this administration.

Paul Ryan at Summit that Makes Mockery of Diplomacy and Terrorism

Michelle Bachmann, speaking at the Values Voter Summit this morning, quickly one-upped Mitt Romney in pinning blame on President Obama for the violent protests in Libya and Egypt and deaths of four Americans in Libya. She accused Obama of appeasing the Muslim Brotherhood and opening our borders to terrorists. Not long after, Paul Ryan also attacked Obama over foreign policy: 

Amid all these threats and dangers, what we do not see is steady, consistent American leadership. In the days ahead, and in the years ahead, American foreign policy needs moral clarity and firmness of purpose. Only by the confident exercise of American influence are evil and violence overcome.
But here’s the thing. Ryan and Bachmann are speaking at a Religious Right conference that is making a mockery of diplomacy and even the threat of terrorism. Consider the following:
  • the video that sparked the unrest in Egypt and Libya was created and promoted by anti-Muslim activists who have worked with backers of Bachmann’s effort to purge the U.S. government of Muslim Americans and key players in the effort to block the so-called Ground Zero mosque (e.g. ACT! for America and the Christian Anti-Defamation Commission)
  • in July, misinformation promoted by Bachmann and two upcoming speakers at the Values Voter Summit, Frank Gaffney and Jerry Boykin, sparked aggressive protests against American diplomats in Egypt, including Secretary Clinton, whose motorcade was pelted by protestors – Boykin and Gaffney have been the leading forces behind Bachmann’s witch hunt against Muslim Americans in the U.S. government
Taken together, this suggests more than a lack of seriousness. It suggests that many Religious Right activists are far more interested in fighting a holy war than they are with diplomacy, peace or religious freedom. Unfortunately for the rest of us, we have the live in the same world as them.
 
The fake terrorist I referred to above is identified on the schedule as Kamal Saleem, but his real name is Khodor Shami. He claims that he was a Muslim Brotherhood operative who “came to the United States of America…to destroy this country” and crossed the Canadian border and “brought weapon caches right through cities.” He also claims to have “completed his first bloody terror mission into Israel for the Palestinian Liberation Organization (PLO) at the age of seven.”
 
Saleem is widely known to be a fraud. Yet he’s being presented by the Family Research Council as the real deal and appears next to Ryan on the featured speakers page, with “former terrorist” under his name. Here’s one of his promotional videos:
 

Birthers at Kansas State Board Could Keep Obama Off the Ballot

Top Republican officials in Kansas are considering removing President Obama from the ballot at the request of “birther” activists who believe that the president wasn’t born in the United States. Kansas’ Board of Objections, which includes Secretary of State Kris Kobach, Attorney General Derek Schmidt andLt. Gov. Jeff Colyer, haven’t made any decisions yet but they say they’re taking the challenge seriously.

This isn’t Kobach’s first brush with birtherism. It’s also not his first brush with extremism that targets people of color. Kobach, who once worked for the nativist anti-immigrant group FAIR, has been a leader in pushing extreme anti-immigrant laws throughout the country, including draconian measures in Arizona and Alabama.

Kobach is also an informal advisor to Mitt Romney.

TPM reports:

Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach, an informal advisor to Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney, said on Thursday he and his fellow members of a state board were considering removing President Barack Obama from the Kansas ballot this November.

Kobach is part of the State Objections Board along with Attorney General Derek Schmidt and Lt. Gov. Jeff Colyer, all Republicans. The Topeka Capital-Journal reported that on Thursday the board agreed consider whether to take Obama off the ballot because they said they lacked sufficient evidence about his birth certificate.

“I don’t think it’s a frivolous objection,” Kobach said, according to the Capital-Journal. “I do think the factual record could be supplemented.”

The board is looking at a complaint filed by Joe Montgomery, of Manhattan, Kan., who claimed the Obama is not a natural born U.S. citizen and so is ineligible to be president. The man appears to be part of a group of conspiracy theorists known as “birthers,” who deny Obama’s birth certificate is real.

PFAW

YEP Primary Winners

People for the American Way is proud to announce a cluster of new Young Elected Progressives endorsee primary victories this week:

On 11 September,  Bryan Townsend won the Democratic primary for the state senate seat in Delaware's 11th District; he defeated incumbent Anthony Deluca and will run against Republican Evan Queitsch on 6 November.

Meanwhile, in New York's 13 September primaries, Micah Zellner won the Democratic primary for the state assembly's 76th District and Andrew Gounardes won the Democratic primary for the state assembly's 26th District; both ran unopposed and will face Republican opponents on 6 November.

Once again, PFAW congratulates these young progressive leaders on their important success this week!

PFAW

Speaking at Values Voter Summit, Paul Ryan Gives Stamp of Approval to Bigotry

Washington, DC – People For the American Way today challenged the Romney campaign for its decision to send vice presidential candidate Paul Ryan to speak today at the Values Voter Summit, an event organized by groups that regularly push false and demeaning smears about gays and lesbians, Muslim-Americans and others. These groups also push extreme anti-woman policies, including defending Rep. Todd Akin after his "legitimate rape" comments.

Earlier this week, a coalition of human rights groups, including People For the American Way Foundation, urged Ryan and other elected officials not to lend legitimacy to these groups, including the Family Research Council and the American Family Association, by speaking at the Summit.

More information on the FRC, AFA and other groups participating in the Summit can be found at RightWingWatch.org.

“By speaking at the Values Voter Summit, Paul Ryan sends a clear message: a Romney-Ryan administration has decided to embrace the entrenched bigotry advocated by the farthest of the far right,” said Michael Keegan, President of People For the American Way.

“The Family Research Council and the American Family Association are not mainstream groups,” continued Keegan. “The FRC frequently and falsely links homosexuality to pedophilia. The AFA has claimed that gay men were responsible for the Holocaust. Both have defended laws at home and abroad that criminalize homosexuality. These are not innocent differences of opinion; they are full-scale efforts to smear and denigrate LGBT Americans.

“What’s more, these groups back extreme anti-woman policies, and were among the first to jump to the defense of Rep. Todd Akin’s outrageous 'legitimate rape' comments. They also promote hostility toward Muslim-Americans, Mormons and other religious minorities. They advocate for an America that discriminates and excludes, and are trying their best to stop the tolerance and open-mindedness that Americans of both parties support. That’s a troubling message for a presidential campaign to embrace.”

###

Highlighting YEP Endorsees

The YEP Endorsee Highlights series is dedicated to informing readers about the wide variety of progressive candidates on the YEP endorsee list. This entry in the series contains a new batch of young progressives from across the country, including a Florida state senate candidate responsible for sponsoring the DREAM ACT and a former mental health counselor in Arizona’s public school system running for a senate seat in that state.
 
Colorado native Dominick Moreno is running to represent his home district in the state House of Representatives. Raised in a working class family, he 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 continued to serve others when he became 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 Dominick here.
 
Dwight Bullard is running for State Senate this year after having served in Florida’s House of Representatives since 2008. He is a high school teacher by trade and has shown great leadership in his field as well as constantly fighting for education reform in the state legislature. He is the Democratic ranking member in the education committee and the preK-12 education policy committee. Bullard has been recognized often for his work receiving numerous awards; most recently, he won the Barbara Jordan Leadership Award. Bullard also sponsored the Florida DREAM Act, a bill which creates a pathway for undocumented immigrants to get in-state tuition.
 
Ed Ableser is running for election to the Arizona State Senate. He is currently serving as the 17th district’s Representative, but is running in the newly formed 23rd Senate district this year.  He also works as a mental-health counselor for the public school system in Tempe and is the Democratic Party committeeperson. As a Representative, Ableser has fought hard against public education cuts and hopes to build a more equitable public education program.
 
Erin Molchany is running to represent the 22nd District in Pennsylvania’s state House. Molchany began serving her community at the Emergency Services Department of the Red Cross, parlaying this experience into 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 Mt. Washington Community Development Corporation, where she served her community by promoting economic development and public safety. Read more about Erin at http://erinmolchany.com/.
PFAW

Who's Who at the Values Voter Summit 2012

This weekend Republican and conservative leaders, including GOP vice presidential nominee Paul Ryan, are set to address the Religious Right's Values Voter Summit in Washington, D.C.

Jews Must Be Converted: FRC Vice President

Bad news for Eric Cantor. He’s speaking tomorrow at the Values Voter Summit, but he’s apparently still going to hell. Let me explain.

Jerry Boykin is the Executive Vice President of the Family Research Council and Tony Perkins’ right-hand man. FRC is hosting the far right conference that the House Majority Leader, who is Jewish, plans to address tomorrow.

Boykin, much like Bryan Fischer, has a penchant for saying exactly what’s on his mind – things which others know not to say, even when they’re thinking the same thing. While you may know Boykin from his prolific Muslim-bashing, he also has some interesting things to say about Jews.

In a 2009 speech on “Why We Must Stand with Israel,” Boykin spoke out against pastors who say that “the Jews don’t have to come to know Jesus,” complaining that those pastors were “destroying the efforts” to lead Jews to Christ:

Last year, Boykin said that “one of the most disgusting things I hear is for people to call Hitler the extreme Right” because he was “an extraordinarily off the scale leftist.” He then lamented that “many Jews in America, for example, can't identify with the Republican Party because they're called the party of the Right, when in fact nothing could be further from the truth."

Boykin also said that President Obama is creating a Hitler-sytle Brownshirt army to force Marxism on America. And in 2003, then-Lt. Gen. Boykin said that the U.S. was fighting a war “in the name of Jesus,” prompting a rebuke from the ADL and President Bush.

To be sure, the Religious Right hasn’t always had the best relations with American Jews. Jerry Falwell sparked a controversy in 1980 when he said that God “does not hear the prayers of unredeemed Gentiles or Jews.” He was speaking at a press conference in defense of the president of the Southern Baptist Convention, who had proclaimed that “God Almighty does not hear the prayer of a Jew.”

More recently, however, Religious Right leaders have been careful to stress Judeo-Christian values and avoid explicit attacks. Boykin, however, doesn’t have any use for such niceties.

Yet Boykin was able to meet recently with Mitt Romney, and he has three speaking slots during the conference. He’s even leading a panel on Israel with his good friend Kamal Saleem. Saleem, who is considered to be a fraud, describes himself as a former terrorist who “completed his first bloody terror mission into Israel for the Palestinian Liberation Organization (PLO) at the age of seven.”

All of this makes me wonder if Cantor’s folks did their homework before agreeing to speak tomorrow. Perhaps something will come up, and he’ll have to decline FRC’s invitation, much like Ann Romney and Cardinal Dolan have done. We’ll find out tomorrow.

 

Ann Romney Joins Cardinal Dolan In Declining Values Voter Summit Invitation

After we reported yesterday evening that Ann Romney was being touted on the Values Voter Summit lineup alongside Paul Ryan, the Romney campaign moved quickly to distance her from the event. They first disputed our report, which was entirely accurate and based on the Values Voter Summit website, and then denied that Ann Romney was ever planning to speak there in the first place. 

It certainly seemed to strike a nerve. Apparently a gay-bashing conference is just fine for Paul Ryan but off-limits for Ann Romney.
 
That begs the question of why Ann Romney was listed in the first place. As I wrote yesterday, Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan were listed for weeks on the speakers page, as were many others. When Cardinal Dolan made it clear that he would not be attending, his photo was removed. Ann Romney, however, was never listed on that page.
 
With the conference less than a week out, the Family Research Council posted the schedule and pushed highlights to daybooks for press planning purposes. And suddenly there was Ann Romney closing out the kickoff session with Paul Ryan.
 
An FRC spokesman told Buzzfeed that Ann Romney had been invited but was not confirmed. I, for one, find it hard to believe that FRC pushed out Ann Romney’s name to the media without, at the very least, an understanding with the campaign, but we can’t know for sure.
 
What we do know is that Ann Romney declined the invitation, perhaps as recently as last night, and the Romney campaign went into overdrive to distance her from the event. Late last night, her name was removed from the conference website.
 
Meanwhile Paul Ryan and Eric Cantor are still speaking on Friday.

 

American Who Sparked Libya, Egypt Unrest Hates Obama, Hearts the GOP

Morris Sadek, an Egyptian-American anti-Muslim activist, managed in one week’s time to take an overlooked YouTube video featuring a lame attack on Islam and turn it into a flashpoint with violent extremists, with deadly consequences. As the New York Times reported last night, Sadek drew attention to the obscure video clip “in an Arabic-language blog post and an e-mail newsletter in English publicizing the latest publicity stunt of the Florida pastor Terry Jones, reviled in the Muslim world for burning copies of the Koran.” Within days the clip was making the rounds in Egypt, prompting denunciations from politicians and generating press coverage, and culminating in protests and a deadly attack in Libya.

Sadek, who has worked with Jones in the past, says he is fighting for the rights of his fellow Coptic Christians in Egypt. Unfortunately he seems much more focused on attacking Muslims than helping the Copts. Sadek pulled his Facebook profile around 1 pm today, but we were able to take a look beforehand. Here’s what we found.
 
Sadek is a supporter of ACT! for America, which believes that President Obama has embraced the Muslim Brotherhood. The group rallied its supporters last month behind Michelle Bachmann’s anti-Muslim witch hunt against Huma Abedin and others. Here’s Sadek with ACT! For America president Brigitte Gabriel at one of the group’s 2010 events.
 
Sadek is a man of many interests. He’s a member of these groups, among many others: Islam is of the Devil, Warriors of Christ, and OBAMA IS THE WORST PRESIDENT EVER! Agree?. Sadek is also a fan of the Republican Party, George Bush, Allen West (for president no less!), and number of other Islamophobic, conservative and/or Republican institutions and leaders. Ironically enough, he’s also a fan of the American embassy in Cairo, which was overrun by the protests that he sparked:
Now to be clear, Sadek has every right to carry out his work, and the violent extremists behind yesterday’s attack bear full responsibility for their actions. But we can and should hold Sadek to account for his own bigoted views and actions, which have poured gasoline on the fire and made it that much more difficult for the United States to achieve its strategic and diplomatic goals. It’s also made life worse for the very people in Egypt that Sadek claims to be fighting for.
 
This is not the first time that the actions of extremist Christian activists in America have boiled over in the Middle East. As the New York Times reported in July, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s motorcade “was pelted with shoes and tomatoes by Egyptian protesters” motivated by conspiracy theories that “originated with American conservatives” – two of whom, Jerry Boykin and Frank Gaffney, will be speaking at the upcoming Values Voter Summit.
 

PFAW Commends Senate Hearing on Citizens United and Voting Rights

Washington, DC – People For the American Way today commended the Senate Judiciary Committee for holding an important hearing on the tremendous impact the Supreme Court will have on whether the American people will be allowed to retain control of our own democracy. Today’s hearing will focus on the Court’s decision in Citizens United v. FEC and the role of the courts in preserving individual citizens’ voting rights.

Citizens United has profoundly reshaped our elections, opening them up to limitless corporate cash, secret money, and risk of corruption,” said Marge Baker, Executive Vice President of People For the American Way. “Citizens United has given corporations and the very wealthy unprecedented control over the public debate preceding our elections. At the same time, new threats are arising to the right to even cast a ballot, as individual citizens are seeing their voting rights taken away by suppressive laws targeted at traditionally disenfranchised communities – especially those who corporate interests fear will vote ‘the wrong way’.

“Our federal courts have an important role in ensuring that the rights of Americans to control our own democracy are preserved. It’s encouraging that the Judiciary Committee is giving these issues the attention they deserve.”

Earlier this year, People For the American Way and allied groups delivered 1.9 million petitions to congressional leaders urging them to move forward on amending the constitution to overturn Citizens United.


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Ann Romney Booked for Gay-Bashing Conference?

[Update 9-12-12: Ann Romney Joins Cardinal Dolan In Declining Values Voter Summit Invitation]

Ann Romney, the person tasked with humanizing her husband Mitt, is apparently scheduled to address a conference that dehumanizes others. I’m talking about the Values Voter Summit, which is hosted and sponsored by two Southern Poverty Law Center-designated hate groups – the Family Research Council and American Family Association.

The National Journal Daybook and Values Voter Summit website both list Ann Romney on the schedule:
 
 
 
Notably absent from the list is Cardinal Timothy Dolan, whose spokesperson pointedly declined FRC’s invitation. Yet there Ann Romney is.
 
It’s an odd move by the Romney campaign. They’ve previously deployed her to show the softer side of Mitt. Now they’re sending her to stand on stage with a man who paid $83,000 to use David Duke’s mailing list and addressed a white supremacist group while in public office. The same person – Tony Perkins – also praised a law in Uganda to execute gays and warned senators they would have “the blood of innocent soldiers on their hands” if they repealed Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell.
 
The Romney campaign must have its reasons, but it sure seems like an odd way to deploy Ann Romney. They already have Paul Ryan scheduled to address the conference. Do they really need two headliners reaching out to the Bachmann-Akin wing of the party? Besides, just last week Ann Romney refused to answer questions about same-sex marriage and contraception, dismissing them as distractions "from what the real voting issue is going to be."
 
For weeks, the Values Voter Summit website listed Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan as invited speakers. When Ryan was added to the ticket in August, the Family Research Council blasted out an email confirming Ryan’s appearance. No one really expected Mitt Romney to show for the event – too radical, too close to the election. That’s why, when the conference schedule was recently posted, it was a shock to see not only “Romney” on the lineup, but Ann Romney.
 
Ryan and Ann Romney, if she appears, will be speaking on stage with Perkins in a lineup that includes Kirk Cameron and Michele Bachmann. They’ll be kicking off a conference that features a who’s who of Todd Akin backers (e.g. Mike Huckabee and Rep. Steve King) and anti-Muslim McCarthyites (e.g. Frank Gaffney and Jerry Boykin). And, of course, there will be gay-bashers – featured speakers like Perkins and Liberty Counsel’s Mat Staver, who recently defended Malawi’s law criminalizing homosexuality. They would push for the same thing here in America if they thought they could pull it off. In fact, FRC’s Peter Sprigg and the American Family Association’s Bryan Fischer have already done so.
 
These aren’t conservative people pushing conservative values and policies – this is the radical right. America, and the Romney campaign in all likelihood, would be better served if Romney and Ryan followed Dolan’s example and skipped the conference. Or they can go cast their lot with the extremists with the national media looking on. We’ll see what their priorities are this Friday morning.

 

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