Lee Bright

GOP Senate Candidate Offers Chance To Win A Handgun AND Meet Extremist Gun Activist Larry Pratt

South Carolina State Sen. Lee Bright, who’s vying to defeat U.S. Sen. Lindsey Graham in next month’s Republican primary was a pioneer in this year’s trend of conservative candidates giving away guns as campaign gimmicks. Back in January, Bright’s campaign raffled off an AR-15. And today, Bright’s supporters will get the opportunity to win a handgun…with the extra bonus of hearing a speech from Gun Owners of America director and Bright endorser Larry Pratt.

In case you need a refresher on Pratt.

South Carolina Lawmaker Accuses State University Of 'Recruiting' Lesbians

Last month, the South Carolina House voted to cut $70,000 from the budgets of two state universities to punish them for assigning books about LGBT people to students. Now, a state senator is accusing one of the schools of gay “recruitment” for hosting a one-woman comedy show called “How To Be A Lesbian In 10 Days Or Less," and has caused the show to be canceled.

“That’s not an explanation of ‘I was born this way,’” Sen. Mike Fair told Greenville’s WYFF of the planned show at University of South Carolina-Upstate. “That’s recruiting.”

Fair added that the assigned reading at USC-Upstate and the College of Charleston was “just not normal” and amounted to the “glorification of same-sex culture.”

In response, USC-Upstate noted that the show and its title are meant to be “satirical in nature,” but canceled the performance, saying that it had “become a distraction.”

Fair was one of a handful of state legislators who voted against every incumbent USC trustee last week in protest. Joining him was Sen. Lee Bright, who is running in the GOP primary for U.S. Senate, who lamented, “USC-Upstate has become a place of indoctrination not free inquiry.”

Lee Bright Promises To Fight Obama Like Bashar al-Assad, Rails Against 'Homosexual Indoctrination'

South Carolina state senator and US Senate candidate Lee Bright said yesterday that Republicans should learn from Syrian dictator Bashar al-Assad in their fight against President Obama and promised to oppose the “indoctrination” of the “homosexual agenda.”

Speaking on Washington Watch with Josh Duggar, the TLC reality TV star who also serves as executive director of the Family Research Council’s campaign arm, Bright said GOP leaders like Speaker John Boehner should have the “courage” of al-Assad and Russian president Vladimir Putin.

He also promised to fight to “take back” the “educational establishment” from the “homosexual agenda” before it “indoctrinates” the “next generation.”

Republicans need to learn to start playing offense and quit playing so much defense. You look at, of course I hate to use examples, you look at Assad and you look at Putin, when people stand up to Obama, you see that he backs up and his lines in the sand become erased.

If [Speaker] Boehner had the courage that Putin and Assad had, we’d be living in a different America, but we don’t have the leadership and we’ve got to continue to try to get folks to Washington that are going to take the fight to the liberal agenda.

One thing I didn’t mention earlier, you were talking about things going around the state, we’ve got the homosexual agenda on the full march in our institutions of higher ed and we’ve gone from education to indoctrination, so we are in a fight — they have seized the educational establishment and we’ve got to take that back and we’ve got to get folks involved in that or otherwise that’s our next generation.

South Carolina's Tea Party Senate Debate: Climate Change 'Gobbledygook,' Impeaching Obama, And Revising MLK

We’ve written quite a bit about South Carolina state senator Lee Bright, who is challenging Sen. Lindsey Graham in the state’s Republican primary this year. But Bright is hardly alone in the race to topple Graham. Over Martin Luther King, Jr. Day weekend, the South Carolina Tea Party Coalition held a convention that included a lively debate between Bright and his three fellow Tea Party candidates vying for the chance to face Graham in a runoff.

Perhaps the most memorable candidate at the debate was Bill Connor, an Army veteran and former lieutenant governor candidate, who spent the whole debate waving a pocket copy of the Constitution.

We put together a highlight reel of Connor’s commentary during the debate, including his assertions that the Europeans he fought alongside in Afghanistan were less hard-working and ingenious than American soldiers because “Europe had gone socialist” and “post-Christian”; that Congress should impeach President Obama over his executive order implementing part of the DREAM Act; that the separation of church and state has led “atheism to be our national religion”; and that Congress should disband federal appeals courts that enforce church-state separation because “if you’re being biblical, you’re doing your job as a judge.”

Another memorable moment was when the moderator asked all four candidates to react to Sen. Graham’s former support for legislation to combat climate change.

The first candidate, businesswoman Nancy Mace, claimed that a recent freeze disproved the fact that climate change exists. Bright contended that climate change was a “scam” concocted by people out to make money. Another candidate, Richard  Cash – who owns a “fleet of neighborhood ice cream trucks” --was “open to the idea that there’s possibly global warming,” but claimed that there’s not “enough evidence” yet to create policy. Connor, for his part, called climate change “gobbledygook,” a point he illustrated by asking everybody in the audience to take a deep breath and breathe it out, then telling them, “you’re putting carbon deposits in the air and you’re causing global warming.”

And a roundup of the debate would not be complete without Cash’s opening statement, in which he edited Martin Luther King, Jr.’s “I Have a Dream” speech to be about banning abortion.

 

Right Wing Leftovers - 1/24/14

  • South Carolina Senate candidate Lee Bright is raffling off a semi-automatic military-style rifle in celebration of the fact that "in the wake of the horrific tragedy in Newtown, Connecticut, gun-grabbers were sure they had the votes to RAM gun control into law," but they failed.
  • Liberty Counsel vows to help defend Florida's anti-gay marriage amendment, which makes sense considering that the organization helped write it.
  • Sandy Rios does not support efforts by the military to accommodate religious practices of non-Christians: "There's been a real effort to go out of the way to accommodate Muslims in government and in military life, and then to hurt Christians in military life. So until we see more specification on this – knowing their habits and their practice in the past few years – I'm not at peace with this yet."
  • Mike Huckabee is predictably attacking the media for mocking the comments he made yesterday.
  • Finally, "Coach" Dave Daubenmire wants to ban Hollywood.

Paranoia-Rama: Obama's 'Brown Shirts,' Homophobia In Russia & The Threat Of Demon Pot

RWW’s Paranoia-Rama takes a look at five of the week’s most absurd conspiracy theories from the Right.

Old conspiracy theories about gays and lesbians preying on children and President Obama confiscating guns and targeting white people live on in right-wing circles. The same goes with fears about marijuana, as exorcist/GOP politician Gordon Klingenschmitt has his own feelings about “Reefer Madness.”

5. ‘The Brown Shirts Are Next’

Latching onto the right-wing conspiracy that President Obama is using health care reform to create his own army modeled after Adolf Hitler’s Brown Shirts, South Carolina US Senate candidate Lee Bright alleged that Obama is turning the IRS into a paramilitary force to implement Obamacare.

The Republican state senator seems to be unaware that the IRS practices of training certain agents in law enforcement operations didn’t start under Obama but in the 1920s. File this under Obama Derangement Syndrome.

4. Obamacare Is Coming For Your Guns

In a totally not-crazy email entitled “All Hell is Breaking Loose!,” Gun Owners of America warned members that “Obama’s war on individual privacy” is lurching into doctors’ offices through Obamacare.

“[T]he ObamaCare program sets the stage for compiling a national health database which could be trolled by the FBI and could strip tens of millions of Americans of their Second Amendment rights,” the message reads, adding that an extension of emergency unemployment insurance should be tied to the gun lobby’s agenda: “Contact your Senators. Ask them to continue objecting to any Unanimous Consent request which would allow Obama's unemployment bill (S. 1845) to be passed, unless Senators are granted the right to vote on the anti-gun ObamaCare mandate.”

As we have noted earlier, the Affordable Care Act has a provision barring the creation of a possible gun owner database and prohibiting discrimination against gun owners, and the president’s executive actions similarly do not compel doctors to ask about gun ownership.

The gun lobby is now all but admitting that it uses conspiracy theories to encourage “fear buying” during election season.

3. ‘Disgusting Racist’ Obama ‘Despises’ White People

Former congressman Allen West is furious that the Obama administration is cautioning schools against using a “zero tolerance” disciplinary policy, a failing program that contributes to the school-to-prison pipeline. But according to West, this is all part of the Obama administration’s supposed “insanity” and anti-white racism.

“This is my clear and succinct message to white Americans. How long will it be before ‘you people’ realize you have elevated someone to the office of president who abjectly despises you — not to mention his henchman Holder,” West writes. “Combined they are the most vile and disgusting racists — not you.”

2. Anti-Gay Rhetoric Sweeps Russian Media

As the Religious Right’s love affair with Russia continues, it is no surprise to see Russian media using similar anti-gay rhetoric as US-based activists. The BBC reports today that Russia’s new laws targeting the gay community has “led to an upsurge in homophobia,” much of it encouraged by the pro-government media.

“Almost all [news reports on homosexuality] displayed an attitude that was either outright hostile or else noticeably negative towards homosexuals,” including claims linking homosexuality to child abuse and terrorism, or “gay jihad.” One prominent talk show host even warned that “Russia was in danger of being engulfed by a ‘homosexual sodomite tsunami’” while a Russian actor said he hopes to “shove all gays live into an oven.”

Russian President Vladimir Putin just today suggested that gay people are likely to prey on young people, telling gays and lesbians that they should visit Sochi for the Olympics but “just leave the kids alone, please.”

1. Demons Are In Your Pot

Religious Right activist Gordon Klingenschmitt recently launched his bid for the Colorado State House, and is already angry about the state’s legalization of marijuana following a successful 2012 voter referendum.

“There is a demonic spirit of drunkenness and it’s not just alcohol,” Klingenschmitt says, arguing that smoking pot “invites” demonic spirits into you. “Why do you think you have hallucinations? These spiritual visions that you have are not just biological; they’re actually demonic.”

Lee Bright Warns of Immigrants From 'Terrorist Nations,' Southern Border 'Invasion'

Yesterday, we wrote about a speech that South Carolina U.S. Senate candidate Lee Bright gave to a Tea Party group in August, in which he warned that the Obama administration is training IRS “Brown Shirts” to enforce the Affordable Care Act.

Elsewhere in the speech, Bright shared his views on immigration, and Muslim immigrants in particular, who he warned might be coming from “terrorist nations.”

“We got to be careful about who we let in this country. A lot of these folks from terrorist nations are coming in on student visas, and we shouldn’t allow it,” he said.

Later, in response to an audience member who questioned the wisdom of building a “wall around our nation,” Bright agreed, warning, “those same troops that keep other people out could keep us in.”

But, he added, illegal immigration across the Southern border is “an invasion” and “we don’t know who these people are. This could be Muslim Brotherhood.”

A later questioner was less sympathetic toward immigrants, warning of a growing number of mosques in South Carolina and alluding to seeing Muslim immigrants at the DMV. “I am curious to know, where are these people coming from and have we checked their backgrounds,” Bright responded. “Because we’ve gone out of our way to bring folks in from countries that hate us.”

SC Senate Candidate Lee Bright Warned of IRS-Obamacare 'Brown Shirts'; Called FEMA A 'Scam'

At a speech in August, South Carolina state senator Lee Bright, who is challenging Sen. Lindsey Graham for the Republican nomination, warned that IRS “Brown Shirts” might start enforcing Obamacare with semiautomatic rifles.

Bright cited a conspiracy theory promoted by Rep. Jeff Duncan (R-SC), who started spreading the alarm in June when he witnessed “IRS agents are training with a semi-automatic rifle AR-15.” In real life, this is because the IRS has a criminal investigations unit that has since the 1920s pursued drug traffickers and other criminal organizations, and which during the Bush administration started providing extra support for anti-terrorism efforts – activities which require special agents to be “equipped similarly to other federal, state and local law enforcement organizations.”

But according to Bright, “If that’s true, and they’re going to assault weapons training, the Brown Shirts are next. Because that’s the enforcement group for Obamacare is the IRS. And if you don’t have an IRS, you don’t have Obamacare.”

We stumbled across Bright’s speech thanks to the Charleston City Paper , which had sent a reporter to the event.

After Bright presented his theory about the IRS-Obamacare Brown Shirts, an audience member asked him what he thought of various anti-government conspiracy theories, including that “FEMA is training a militia.”

“Most of the federal government is a scam,” Bright said, adding that “FEMA is the biggest scam in the world.”

To make his point, Bright told a story of the mayor of Charleston, South Carolina asking for private donations to help with the relief from an earthquake and getting so many that he had to stop accepting aid – all without the help of FEMA. We would really like to know what earthquake he is talking about that was small enough that FEMA wouldn’t intervene but large enough that it required a large-scale private donations effort.

In fact, FEMA has aided in a number of recent South Carolina disasters, including providing more than $8.3 million in aid to Hurricane Katrina evacuees.

Later in the speech, Bright claimed that federal earthquake and tornado relief, along with food assistance, were not the role of the federal government and were just being used to “get votes.” We've previously reported on Bright's mocking of food stamp recipients.

South Carolina Senate Candidate: Impeach Pro-Equality Judges, Give Teachers Machine Guns

South Carolina state senator Lee Bright, who is challenging Sen. Lindsey Graham in this year’s Republican primary, suggested to a Tea Party group today that Congress should impeach federal judges who rule in favor of marriage equality in order to intimidate other judges into doing “the right thing.”

Discussing the recent federal ruling legalizing marriage equality in Utah, Bright told Tea Party Express, “Congress ought to stand up and do its job and impeach one of these federal judges. And I think when you do that, being a federal judge is a pretty good gig, and I think if you’ll impeach just one, the rest of them will do the right thing. And they’ll do it out of necessity, because self-preservation is an instinct that so many folks have.”

The Constitution grants lifetime appointments to federal judges “during good behavior.” In the nation’s history, only eight federal judges have been impeached and removed from office by Congress –most for committing crimes or severely neglecting their duties.

Later in the interview, Bright launched into a discourse on the balance between liberty and security, including a rant that we don’t quite understand about how “there are institutions that can put you in a room that you can’t harm yourself but you’re not free, and I would rather take the risk and be free.”

This led him to the topic of gun laws, on which he said the U.S. should follow Israel’s example, including putting “teachers with machine guns on playgrounds.”

"You look over at Israel, and that’s an armed group of folks over there,” he said. “I mean, they are teachers with machine guns on playgrounds, because you got terrorists over there that would choose to harm children and whose teachers are there to protect them. When you’ve got folks that are armed and able to defend themselves, the threat of terrorism goes down drastically.”

In fact, Israel has much stricter gun control laws than the U.S. does and in 1995 mandated guards at the entrances to schools to protect against terrorism. As an Israeli Foreign Ministry spokesman put it, “We're fighting terrorism, which comes under very specific geopolitical and military circumstances. This is not something that compares with the situation in the U.S.” Also, we weren’t able to find anything about Israeli teachers walking around playgrounds with machine guns.

We’ve previously reported on Bright’s attacks on the social safety net and violent anti-government rhetoric.

Pastor Who Claims He's Behind New South Carolina Abortion Bill Admits Goal Is To 'Get The Costs To Go Up,' Close Clinics

This week, South Carolina state senator Larry Grooms introduced a bill similar to the one recently passed in Texas that would require any doctor performing an abortion in the state to have “admitting privileges at a local hospital.”

Five states have recently passed similar bills. Publicly, advocates claim that the purpose of such bills is to protect women’s health; in unguarded moments, some activists have admitted that these provisions are actually meant to force abortion clinics to close by pressuring hospitals to deny the required privileges to abortion doctors.

According to one pastor who claims to have had a hand in the drafting of Grooms’ bill, that is the goal of the proposed provision in South Carolina. At an event in September at his church – which it appears that Sen. Grooms was attending -- pastor Bobby Eubanks explained that he planned to “help” the senator write a bill imposing a number of abortion restrictions so that he could “introduce it under his name.”

“My plan is to regulate the industry not to end it,” he said, explaining that regulations such as waiting periods and mandatory sonograms raise costs and therefore make abortions less affordable for the “girls” who are seeking them. “How you get the costs to go up is you regulate it,” he said, telling the story of a woman he met who said she was barely able to scrape up $500 for an abortion.

He also touted the admitting privileges provision, claiming that abortion clinics won’t help women who experience complications: “The girl, if she’s down there and she starts bleeding when she comes out, she’s on her own.”

But he also made clear the real reason he was pushing the provision, saying, “not a hospital in South Carolina” would actually grant the required privileges.

Eubanks then announced that he would track down any legislator who opposed his bill and “stand in front of their church and say, ‘You have a member of your church who promotes killing babies.’”

We left a message with Sen. Grooms’ office asking if Eubanks did in fact have a hand in writing the bill, and will update this post if we hear back from them.

It appears that the two are at least occasional collaborators. On the day that Grooms filed his bill, he joined Eubanks and his fellow state senator Lee Bright – currently the top-polling primary challenger to Sen. Lindsey Graham – at a protest in front of a Charleston hospital that provides reproductive medicine training to its residents.

Eubanks has some other notable views about abortion and other issues. At an event in July also attended by U.S. Sen. Tim Scott and Sen. Bright, Eubanks declared that he would “be in jail” if Hillary Clinton became president, suggested that Clinton had Ambassador Chris Stevens killed in Benghazi “because he knew stuff he was trying to move up the ladder,” claimed that “abortion continues to be because people don’t want biracial children,” warned that marriage equality would lead to “Braveheart”-style government destruction of marriage, and explained that slavery was “not about racism” but instead was “an accepted way of economics throughout the world.” In fact, when it comes to slavery, he said, “the real fault lies with Africa for selling their people to slave traders.”

South Carolina Senate Candidate Itching To Refight The Civil War

Yesterday, we took a look at South Carolina Sen. Lindsey Graham’s top-polling Tea Party primary challenger, state Sen. Lee Bright, who thinks the income tax is something out of Nazi Germany and is concerned about women with nice nails and pocketbooks getting food assistance.

It turns out that Bright doesn’t just want to eliminate a host of core federal programs…he’s also itching to refight the Civil War.

In a series of speeches to Republican and Tea Party gatherings this year, Bright has riled up crowds with the states-rights rallying cry, “If the Tenth Amendment won’t protect the Second, we might have to use the Second to protect the Tenth.”

Bright is a proponent of nullification, the unconstitutional idea that states can “nullify” federal laws that they don’t like. This year, he sponsored a bill in the state senate to nullify the Affordable Care Act.

At a gun-rights rally in front of the South Carolina statehouse in January, Bright stood before two confederate flags to offer his view that while he finds slavery “morally reprehensible,” President Lincoln’s Revenue Act of 1862 – which introduced a progressive income tax in order to fund the Union Army – “was when government started becoming God and taking over this country.”

Later in the speech, Bright declared he was ready to “lay down my life” fighting the federal government: “We don’t want to have to use the Second Amendment, we’re a peaceful people. But we will not be the generation that lost our liberty. People ask me all the time, ‘I don’t know what I’ll tell my children, I don’t know what I’ll tell my grandchildren.’ Well, I’m not going to have that problem, because I’m not going to be here. I want to lay down my life for my liberty just like my forefathers did.”

At a February “Day of Resistance Rally” in Greenville, Bright warned that Justices Kagan and Sotomayor might even want to dissolve the states, and expanded on his view of 19th century American history…adding that it is Americans today who are in fact under “the chains of slavery.”

“I went to public school,” he said, “and I was taught about the Civil War, and then I learned it was the War Between the States, and then I learned it was the War of Nullification, and then finally I learned out it was Lincoln’s War.”

He then accused President Obama of wanting to be a “king.” “I’ll say what my forefathers said,” he added. “No king but Jesus.”

“We have got to be organized, we have got to participate in these elections,” he said. “Because I’ve got to tell you, if we don’t, we might have to use the Second Amendment to defend the Tenth. And let me tell you, I want peace. Listen, peace is sweet, but it’s not so sweet for the chains of slavery.”
 

In another speech in February, Bright went after President Obama, claiming, “The man has never had a challenge, everything has been handed to him. We don’t know how his education was paid for, but it looks like it was handed to him, and we can’t even find out.”

He then offered his standard threat of violent revolution, speculating that in the hypothetical conflict President Obama wouldn’t send troops to South Carolina because armed forces from the state would turn against him.

“We want to use the Tenth Amendment to protect the Bill of Rights, but if we have to, we will use the Second Amendment to protect them. We want to be a peaceful people, but we can’t sacrifice liberty for peace,” he said.

“I’ve talked to plenty of soldiers, and these soldiers don’t much like what’s going on with Obama. I mean, these are our troops, these are our family members, and I just don’t think he’ll have federal troops coming down here. to South Carolina.”

One audience remember responded to the criticism of Obama by shouting “Vote him out!” Another can be heard responding, “Vote with guns!”
 

 

Graham's Tea Party Challenger: Able-Bodied Food Stamp Recipients 'Shouldn't Eat,' Social Safety Net 'Role Of The Church'

South Carolina state Sen. Lee Bright is currently leading the field of Tea Party primary challengers to Republican U.S. Sen. Lindsey Graham, all of whom think the very conservative senator is not conservative enough.

To give you an idea of what someone running to the right of Lindsey Graham looks like, Bright wants anyone enforcing health care reform in South Carolina to go to jail, wants the state to have its own currency and has even joked about secession.

At a fundraising event in Tulsa, Oklahoma, on Tuesday, Bright elaborated even further on his far-right beliefs, calling for immigrants to “self-deport,” saying that all social services should be provided by the Church and that able-bodied people relying on food stamps “shouldn’t eat,” and comparing the IRS’s income-tax collection to Nazi Germany.

Bright bashed Graham for participating in the crafting of the Senate’s bipartisan immigration law, saying that he only did so in order to bring more Democratic voters into South Carolina so he could switch parties. “Lindsey Graham would like to be a Democrat, but the numbers aren’t there,” he alleged. “But if you bring all the illegals in and they vote Democrat, then a Democrat can win in South Carolina and just about anywhere in the country.”

Bright added that his immigration solution was “self-deportation,” the draconian idea that if the government makes life miserable enough for undocumented immigrants, they’ll flee of their own will.

Later in the talk, Bright alleged that immigration reform is just a “band-aid” because “a lot” of Americans “won’t work.”

“It’s not politically correct to say this, but we’ve got a lot of people who won’t work,” he said. “And they won’t work because we’ll provide their food, and we’ll provide their housing, and we’ll provide some spending money. We’ve all seen it, the folks in line who are using [food stamps], yet they’ve got the nicest nails and the nicest pocketbook and they get the nicest car.”

Bright acknowledged that there are some Americans who are physically unable to work, but said they should be the responsibility of the Church: “There’s people that are mentally ill, there are people that are disabled. I understand that, though I still think that’s the role of the Church to take care of those folks.

“But able-bodied people, if they don’t work, they shouldn’t eat,” he said.

In fact, three-quarters of households receiving SNAP benefits include a child, an elderly person or a disabled person and a third of recipients do work, but don’t earn living incomes.

Finally, Bright voiced his support for the Tea Party dream of abolishing the IRS and income taxes, saying that “there is no other institution in our government that people are more fearful of,” he said. Getting a letter from the IRS, he added, is something out of “Nazi Germany.”

 

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