Matt Bevin

Right Wing Round-Up - 9/15/16

Matt Bevin's Bogus 'Bloodshed' Defense

Kentucky Gov. Matt Bevin started taking some heat after Right Wing Watch called attention to his Values Voter Summit speech, in which he suggested that the election of Hillary Clinton might require conservatives to shed some blood in order to preserve American freedom, referencing the well-known Thomas Jefferson statement, “The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots and tyrants.”

Bevin responded to the criticism by suggesting that his remarks were being misrepresented: “Any intelligent person can understand the message I delivered,” he said in a statement. Bevin told a reporter at the Lexington Herald-Leader that his comments were about "military sacrifice" and the need for Americans to back the “thousands of men and women in uniform fighting for us overseas.” But, as journalist Matthew Yglesias wrote, Bevin’s actual speech “is completely at odds” with that claim, which The Atlantic’s David Graham called “pure spin.” Bevin, noted Yglesias, was “clearly talking about patriots winning back liberty from the tyranny of Democratic Party governance.”

Bevin has urged his Twitter followers to listen to his entire 15-minute speech. Fair enough. We took another listen, and it doesn’t support Bevin’s after-the-fact explanation. Bevin’s focus was on pushing on culture wars in the U.S., about which he promoted the Religious Right’s narrative that liberals are enemies of freedom who are out to silence Christians:

You wonder, how does this happen? You look at the opportunities for us to be silent. You look at the degradation of things that are happening in our society. You look at the atrocity of abortion. So many have remained silent. It’s a slippery slope. First we’re killing children, then it’s Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell. Now it’s this gender-bending kind of don’t ask, don’t be a, don’t be a, you know, a bigot, don’t be unreasonable, don’t be unenlightened, heaven forbid. Just keep your mouth shut. I encourage you young people, step up and be bold, don’t keep your mouth shut.

Bevin emphasized the urgent need for social conservatives to be passionate and active in this year’s election:

I asked you at the beginning, why are you here? I’m guessing in some measure because you’re worried. You are concerned for the direction of this nation. Perhaps you want a better America, I’m guessing you do. How badly do you want it? Do you want it as badly as the people who came over here on rickety boats, risking their lives for the very freedoms we so apathetically disregard and take for granted? Do you want it that badly? Do you want it as badly as the men who, if they were lucky enough in the winter of 1776 to even own shoes, ate their shoes to keep from starving to death? Do you want it that badly? Do you want it as badly as… young men who stepped off transport carriers on Omaha Beach, knowing that they wouldn’t be likely to get more than ten yards up that beach, seeing their buddies…Do we want it that badly? I tell you if we don’t want it that badly, we don’t deserve it.

Who are we to think that somehow our generation is going to be the first generation to benefit from all the sacrifices that others have made without giving some modern-day equivalent of our own lives, fortunes and sacred honor? Step up! Be bold. This is not a time to have a spirit of timidity, but of power, of love and of what? Discipline. Discipline requires an intentional amount of proactivity on our part, to take in but to give back, to make calls like you’ve never made calls, to knock doors like you’ve never knocked doors, to alert people, to sound the alarm, to be the watchmen on the wall because it doesn’t do us any good if we see and we do, because we sit on the wall, what is happening in America and we keep our mouths shut. Sound the alarm! Sound the trumpet! Wake up! Wake others up!

Now, there’s no problem with Bevin exhorting people to take an active role in the political process. The problem, as we reported previously, is that Bevin said that if conservatives aren’t successful fighting for America ideologically, and Hillary Clinton gets elected, conservative activists and their children and grandchildren might have to make it a physical fight:

Somebody asked me yesterday, I did an interview and they said, “Do you think it’s possible, if Hillary Clinton were to win the election, do you think it’s possible that we’ll be able to survive? That we would ever be able to recover as a nation? And while there are people who have stood on this stage and said we would not, I would beg to differ.

But I will tell you this: I do think it would be possible, but at what price? At what price? The roots of the tree of liberty are watered by what? The blood, of who? The tyrants to be sure, but who else? The patriots. Whose blood will be shed? It may be that of those in this room. It might be that of our children and grandchildren. I have nine children. It breaks my heart to think that it might be their blood that is needed to redeem something, to reclaim something, that we through our apathy and our indifference have given away.

Bevin made comments similar to those in his Values Voter speech in an interview with LifeZette this week in which he warned Never Trump conservatives, “Falling on one’s sword in principle and dying in a remote corner of the battlefield as the war rages on serves no purpose whatsoever.” In the interview it is also clear that Bevin is talking about the potential for violence if conservative culture warriors aren’t successful politically:

"We’re at a crossroads in America, is what we hear, Bevin said. "But I truly believe that it’s a fork in the road, that it’s not really a crossroad — we don’t have multiple choices — we’re going to go one way or we’re going to go the other way," he said.

 "The values, the Judeo-Christian principles upon which this nation was built upon which Kentucky itself and its constitution was founded are under assault intentionally and unintentionally," he continued.

…"We’re at a fork in the road and we going to go towards a more godless, more corrupt bureaucratic, more authoritarian approach or we have the opportunity to do something different," he said.

"Our founding fathers knew and said that the roots of liberty are watered by the blood of tyrants and the blood of patriots," Bevin said. "If we don’t step up when we have a chance to engage ideologically, philosophically, politically — then we will ultimately find ourselves forced to the point that as a people we will be forced to shed the blood of both tyrant and patriots."

"Could we recover, conceivably so, but it will come at a price that none of us would want to bear nor would we want our children or grandchildren to bear that and that is why this election matters so so much," said Bevin.

Bevin’s comments, of course, are not made in a vacuum. They come after years in which Tea Party activists portrayed President Obama as an America-hater who wants to bring down the U.S. And they come in the context of Religious Right leaders arguing that equality for LGBT people is an attack on faith and freedom.

Anti-government activists have used Jefferson’s “tree of liberty” phrase as warning to the federal government on issues ranging from health care reform to gun control to public land use. In fact, Timothy McVeigh was wearing a T-shirt with that quote on it when he was arrested 90 minutes after bombing the federal building in Oklahoma City.

Atlanta Journal-Constitution columnist Jay Bookman said Bevin’s comments contained “layers of dangerous nonsense.” Wrote Bookman:

In the past few weeks we’ve seen people go all but apoplectic because a black football player simply declined to stand for the national anthem. We’ve seen demands that Colin Kaepernick be fired from his job; Donald Trump even suggested that Kaepernick leave the country.

Yet here we have an elected leader, raised to one of the highest positions of authority in the land, publicly advocating armed insurrection as a valid and even necessary response to political defeat. This isn’t some powerless, frustrated 20-year-old spouting off, this is a 49-year-old governor who has raised his right hand and solemnly sworn to “support the Constitution of the United States” suggesting that violence may be the only recourse of patriots should someone other than his choice be elected president under the terms and processes laid out in that same Constitution…

This is dangerous, volatile and profoundly irresponsible. It is the paranoiac gutter talk of the worst recesses of the Internet given voice by a person in power to an apparently receptive audience in our nation’s capital, and down that path lies disaster.

KY Gov. Matt Bevin: Election Of Hillary Clinton May Call For Shedding Blood Of 'Tyrants' And 'Patriots'

Numerous speakers at last weekend’s Values Voter Summit suggested that the American republic might not survive a Hillary Clinton presidency. During the Obama administration it has become almost routine to hear far-right leaders talk about the possibility of armed revolution against the federal government. But it was still jarring to hear a sitting governor suggest that America might only survive the election of Hillary Clinton through bloodshed.

Matt Bevin, who was elected governor of Kentucky last year after expressing “absolute” support for marriage-refusing county clerk Kim Davis, received the Distinguished Christian Statesman award from the D. James Kennedy Center for Christian Statesmanship on Friday night. Speaking on Saturday, he told VVS attendees that the country is facing a fork in the road: “We don’t have multiple options; we’re going one way or we’re going the other way, politically, spiritually, morally, economically, from a liberty standpoint. We’re going one way or we’re going the other way.”

Bevin recounted a story from his college days about how he confronted a professor who he said mocked Christianity, the way liberals always do: “They try to silence us. They try to get us to shut our mouths. They try to embarrass us. Don’t be embarrassed. We were not redeemed to have a spirit of timidity.” He urged young people, “Be bold. There’s enough Neville Chamberlains in the world. Be a Winston Churchill…There are quite enough sheep already. Be a shepherd.”

American freedom, Bevin said, was “purchased at an extraordinary price,” saying that one and a half million Americans have given their lives in uniform. “America is worth fighting for. America is worth fighting for, ideologically.”

“I want us to be able to fight ideologically, mentally, spiritually, economically, so that we don’t have to do it physically,” said Bevin. “But that may in fact be the case.” He explained that it might take the shedding of the blood of tyrants and patriots for America to survive a Hillary Clinton presidency:

Somebody asked me yesterday, I did an interview and they said, “Do you think it’s possible, if Hillary Clinton were to win the election, do you think it’s possible that we’ll be able to survive? That we would ever be able to recover as a nation? And while there are people who have stood on this stage and said we would not, I would beg to differ. But I will tell you this: I do think it would be possible, but at what price? At what price? The roots of the tree of liberty are watered by what? The blood, of who? The tyrants to be sure, but who else? The patriots. Whose blood will be shed? It may be that of those in this room. It might be that of our children and grandchildren. I have nine children. It breaks my heart to think that it might be their blood that is needed to redeem something, to reclaim something, that we through our apathy and our indifference have given away.


Merry Christmas, Kentucky: Gov. Bevin Strips Voting Rights of 140,000 and Lowers Minimum Wage

Just in time for the holidays!

Kentucky’s brand new Tea Party governor just broke a campaign promise and REVERSED a positive move by his Democratic predecessor that had restored voting rights to some 140,000 Kentuckians.

Once again, Kentucky will be one of the very few states where people with felony convictions remain disenfranchised after completing their sentences. As ThinkProgress points out, this means that one in five African Americans in the state will be disenfranchised. Studies show that ex-felon disenfranchisement leads to higher rates of recidivism.  

Oh, and Bevin also lowered the minimum wage.

ThinkProgress has more:

In another executive order this week, Bevin reversed former Gov. Beshear’s move to raise the state’s minimum wage for government workers and contractors to $10.10 an hour, bringing it back down to $7.25 an hour. About 800 state workers who have already gotten raises will be able to keep them, but new hires will now have to start at the lower pay rate. In the order, Bevin hinted that he would prefer the state have no minimum wage at all: “Wage rates ideally would be established by the demands of the labor market instead of being set by the government,” he said.


Campaign Urges KY Gov. Matt Bevin To 'Nullify' The Supreme Court's Gay Marriage Decision

Today, Gary Cass of the Christian Anti-Defamation Commission sent out an email to activists announcing a new campaign aimed at urging state legislatures to "nullify" the Supreme Court's gay marriage decision, beginning with "a national radio spot targeting the newly-elected Governor of Kentucky, Matt Bevin." 

"Nullification" is the fringe idea that states have the right to annul federal directives that they believe are unconstitutional and/or unbiblical and the radio ad compares resisting the gay marriage ruling to fighting the 1798 Alien and Sedition Acts, calling on Kentucky to take the lead in nullifying "the rogue Supreme Court opinion": 

Congratulations Matt Bevin on being elected governor of Kentucky and for standing up for marriage. Over 74% of Kentucky voters affirmed that marriage is the union of one man and one woman, but the U.S. Supreme Court created legal chaos by issuing an unconstitutional opinion. We need principled leadership now.

It was the brave Kentucky legislature that acted first when Congress passed the notorious Alien and Sedition Acts, depriving Americans for their First Amendment right to criticize their government. The famous Kentucky Resolutions declared the unconstitutional acts void and of no force. Other states followed suit, but Kentucky will forever have the honor of being the first state to legally check an abuse of power by the federal government.

Governor Bevin, we need Kentucky to once again lead the nation. Contact Governor Bevin and urge him to protect marriage and nullify the rogue Supreme Court opinion. Visit or call (502) 564-2611.

Liberty Counsel Brags That Kim Davis Is Attending Matt Bevin's Inauguration

Liberty Counsel is crowing that its client, Rowan County, Kentucky, clerk Kim Davis, was “invited to attend the festivities” surrounding today’s inauguration of Kentucky Gov. Matt Bevin.

Bevin was an outspoken defender of Davis’s refusal to follow a federal court order that her office grant marriage licenses to same-sex couples after the U.S. Supreme Court’s marriage equality ruling. Liberty Counsel’s Mat Staver has no doubts that Bevin’s “absolute” backing of Davis helped put him over the top in the election.

“There is no question that the case of Kim Davis and the issue of religious freedom played a role in the Governor’s lopsided win,” said Mat Staver, Founder and Chairman of Liberty Counsel. “Kentuckians favor traditional values, and they are tired of the political elites represented by former Governor Beshear and Attorney General Jack Conway. The voters sided with religious liberty,” said Staver. 

“On the night he won the election, Gov. Bevin tweeted that he would bring ‘Christian principles to Frankfort.’ During his campaign and following his election, Gov. Bevin promised he would issue an executive order respecting the religious liberty of Kim Davis and other Kentucky clerks. We look forward to a new day in Kentucky,” concluded Staver. 

Liberty Counsel reports that Davis will “attend the inaugural events, including the worship service, a parade, and the public swearing-in ceremony on the Capitol steps.”

It’s hard to know whether Davis’ invitation and attendance are really a further public embrace by Bevin or more like the “invitation” Liberty Counsel arranged for Davis during Pope Francis’s visit to DC, when she was smuggled into the Vatican embassy for what Liberty Counsel called a private meeting with, and endorsement from, the pontiff — and which Vatican officials characterized as more of a receiving line meet-and-greet.

Liberty Counsel’s efforts to get Davis chosen as TIME magazine’s person of the year were less successful.

Right Wing Round-Up - 11/4/15

Far-Right Tea Party Candidate Poised To Win GOP Gubernatorial Nomination In Kentucky

Matt Bevin, the Tea Party favorite who unsuccessfully challenged Kentucky Sen. Mitch McConnell in the 2014 Republican primary, is now leading in a tight race for the Republican nomination for governor. An early count has Bevin ahead by 83 votes after Tuesday's primary election, making it possible that he will become the newest GOP standard-bearer in the state.

While this is great news for the Tea Party, whom Bevin calls the new abolitionists and civil rights leaders, and for Glenn Beck, who thinks Bevin is a “founder quality” candidate, who has been “ called by God” for public office, it’s less good news for everyone else. One McConnell aide said that if Bevin, a political novice, were to become governor, “his only agenda would be the commissioning of his portrait.” But his record shows that he might have quite a bit more on his plate:

Far-Right Allegiances Bevin likes to boast that in 2004 he was so “fed up” with the Republican Party that he backed the presidential candidacy of Michael Peroutka, who was running on the Constitution Party ticket. Peroutka is a Christian Reconstructionist and southern secessionist who later served on the board of the racist League of the South. While campaigning for president in 2004, Peroutka said that he was “still angry” that his home state of Maryland didn’t join the Confederacy.

Gay Marriage Panic While campaigning against McConnell in 2014, Bevin warned that legalizing marriage for gay couples could lead to parent-child marriage, comments his campaign tried, somewhat unconvincingly, to walk back.

Anti-Contraception Stance Bevin won the endorsement of the extreme anti-choice group Northern Kentucky Right to Life last year after he said in a questionnaire that he would support a “personhood” amendment to the Constitution — which would ban all abortion and even some common forms of birth control — and work to prohibit Medicaid funding for birth control pills.

Health Care Extremism Bevin is such an opponent of the Affordable Care Act that he has vowed to reverse Kentucky’s expansion of Medicaid under the law, a move that would take away the health insurance of 400,000 people. Kentucky has been one of the greatest success stories of Obamacare, experiencing what NPR calls “second-steepest drop in uninsured of any state.”

Cockfighting Bevin got plenty of negative publicity in his last campaign when it came to light that he had once spoken at a rally organized in support of legalizing cockfighting. Bevin later explained that while he opposes “animal cruelty” he supports “states’ rights” more. A Republican strategist told the New York Times that he expects the cockfighting issue to come up a lot in the general election should Bevin secure the nomination.

Right Wing Leftovers - 5/20/14

  • Pennsylvania's anti-gay marriage amendment has been struck down, which must be exceptionally painful for Rick Santorum.
  • Mat Staver says "America needs to invite God back into public schools."
  • "We are going to make history": Matt Bevin assures Glenn Beck that he will win his race against Sen. Mitch McConnell tonight.
  • We can now add Steve Deace to the right-wing Christian radio hosts who are mad at Russell Moore for not being impressed by right-wing Christian radio hosts.
  • Finally, Liberty University vice president Johnnie Moore says that "many conservative evangelical leaders who are closer to [Glenn] Beck than me have told me that they believe Beck has had a born again experience recently."

Matt Bevin Hails Tea Party Activists As New Abolitionists, Suffragists And Civil Rights Leaders

In an interview with the Christian Science Monitor on Saturday, Mitch McConnell’s GOP primary challenger Matt Bevin said that the Tea Party movement “has always existed” in America but has simply taken different forms, pointing to movements such as the abolition of slavery, women’s suffrage and the Civil Rights movement as predecessors to today’s right-wing Tea Party.

His views on the future of the tea party movement: “The tea party has always existed. It’s nothing more than people who value the things that this nation was founded on…. And they come out of the woodwork when they feel that their nation is doing them wrong. And maybe it has to do with abolition of slavery…. [Abolitionists] fought for change, and change happened. The same thing happened with women’s suffrage, with the ability of women to vote. They were mocked and ridiculed for having that opinion…. But they didn’t give up because they were right. And the same thing happened when it came to Jim Crow laws…. People rose up then, too…. Throughout history, these are people who are the fabric of America. And they rise up, they serve the purpose that is needed … and then they fade back into the woodwork. They’ve always been there, they’ll always be there. They’re not looking for power, they’re not looking for a party, they’re not looking for fiefdoms. They’re looking to resolve issues…. Today it is the debt of the nation that is causing people to come forward. And then when it’s been addressed to the degree that it can be, they’ll fade right back into the fabric of society whence they came, and where they will always be.”

Bevin also took the opportunity to deny reports that he has ever supported cockfighting. Bevin was caught on tape telling a pro-cockfighting rally that he opposes “criminalizing behavior [that] is part of the heritage of this state” when asked by a cockfighting activist if he will “vote to support the effort to legalize gamecock fighting in the state of Kentucky.”

On speaking at a rally for cockfighting, which is illegal: “I’ve never been to a cock fight. I don’t support cockfighting. It’s illegal … for a reason, because society does not condone this…. At the same time, there are people who apparently would like to see it legalized, just as there are people who want to legalize the use of various drugs…. It’s their first amendment right to gather and talk about it.”

Right Wing Leftovers - 5/7/14

  • Glenn Beck says that he has never been as infatuated by a candidate as he is by Matt Bevin because "he is a remarkable, remarkable man."
  • Speaking of Beck, he thinks that House Speaker John Boehner selected Rep. Trey Gowdy to lead the Benghazi committee so that he can thrown him under the bus when the whole thing backfires.
  • The hatemongering, anti-gay Westboro Baptist Church continues to lose members.
  • John Freshwater, the right-wing public school science teacher who lost his job for teaching creationism, is taking his case to the Supreme Court.
  • Finally, Jim Garrow is fed up with "the divine right of black folks with big government checks."

Right Wing Round-Up - 4/25/14

Anti-Choice Infighting Escalates In Kentucky Senate Race

Last month, we reported that the infighting in the anti-choice movement has gone public in Kentucky, where the National Right to Life Committee and its Kentucky affiliate are endorsing incumbent Mitch McConnell, and a small fringe group called Northern Kentucky Right to Life is endorsing his Tea Party challenger, Matt Bevin.

Like in the similarbattle playing out in Georgia, the issue is whether anti-choice politicians should vote for abortion restrictions that include exemptions for pregnancies that result from rape or incest. National Right to Life and its allies, while they oppose rape and incest exemptions, are willing to support bills that contain them if that’s the only way the bills can pass. The more hardline groups, like Northern Kentucky Right to Life and the national Personhood USA, oppose any bill that contains such exemptions.

McConnell has called for the Senate to pass a ban on abortions after 20 weeks of pregnancy, already passed by the House, that contains a rape exemption. Bevin, meanwhile, filled out a questionnaire from the Northern Kentucky group agreeing to its hardline anti-choice, anti-contraception demands.

This has caused some confusion in Kentucky, as Bevin has touted the endorsement of Northern Kentucky Right to Life, and National Right to Life and Kentucky Right to Life have scrambled to clarify that they are not affiliated with the Northern Kentucky group and in fact support McConnell.

Now, according to National Right to Life, Bevin is sending around a mailer that “questions the pro-life convictions” of McConnell, citing Bevin’s endorsement by the Northern Kentucky group. NRLC is furious, and is blaming Bevin for playing into the hands of pro-choice groups:

Today, leaders of National Right to Life and Kentucky Right to Life sharply criticized a mailer sent to Kentucky voters by Matt Bevin’s campaign, which questioned Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell’s strong commitment to the pro-life cause.

Both National Right to Life and Kentucky Right to Life reaffirmed their unwavering support of Sen. McConnell for re-election in a joint statement last month.

“Matt Bevin is trying to mislead pro-life voters,” said Carol Tobias, president of National Right to Life. “No U.S. senator has done more for unborn children than Mitch McConnell.”

Both Tobias and Montgomery reiterated that endorsements made by the organization Northern Kentucky Right to Life (which Bevin cites in the mailer) do not represent National Right to Life or Kentucky Right to Life. Northern Kentucky Right to Life is not affiliated with either National Right to Life, the oldest and largest national pro-life organization in the country, or Kentucky Right to Life, the state affiliate of National Right to Life and the oldest and largest statewide pro-life organization in the Bluegrass State.

Beck: Matt Bevin Is A 'Founder Quality' Candidate Who Has 'Been Called By God'

On his radio broadcast today, Glenn Beck warned that if Sen. Mitch McConnell is re-elected, organizations such as his The Blaze or will not be allowed to operate as independent media outlets and Tea Party groups will find themselves being targeted by the IRS in retribution.

Beck asserted that Comcast is refusing to carry his The Blaze network because of political pressure from people like McConnell before warning that if he gets re-elected, he will use to IRS to decimate all those Tea Party groups and media outlets who supported his opponent Matt Bevin, whom Beck declared to be a "Founder quality" man who has "been called by God."

Bevin, Beck said, is "a guy I really, truly believe has been called by God. I really do. I met that guy and I was talking to him and I was like 'oh my gosh.' I mean, the Spirit jumps off of that guy. He's Founder quality and I'm talking to him and he left the room and I looked at Pat and I said 'do you feel that?' and he said 'oh yeah.' I said 'that guy's called from God.' This is a guy we prayed for":

Right Wing Round-Up - 4/4/14

Tea Party Senate Candidates Court Favor Of Extreme Anti-Immigrant Group ALIPAC

Americans for Legal Immigration PAC (ALIPAC) may be the fringe operation of a lone anti-immigrant extremist, but hasn’t stopped two Tea Party-backed US Senate candidates from filling out the group’s unhinged candidate survey and seeking its endorsement.

ALIPAC’s president (and sole employee) William Gheen announced today that his group is endorsing Matt Bevin in his bid to unseat Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell in Kentucky and Rob Maness, one of several Republicans running to take on Democratic Sen. Mary Landrieu in Louisiana.

Both candidates won the “honor” by filling out Gheen’s one-question candidate survey, which asks candidates to choose between “Support[ing] Americans and legal immigrants by support the adequate enforcement of America's existing border and immigration laws as the US Constitution requires” and “Supporting illegal aliens and their supporters by supporting changing existing laws to accommodate millions of illegal immigrants through 'immigration reform' amnesty.”

Current members of Congress who have sought ALIPAC’s endorsement in previous years by filling out Gheen’s survey include Mo Brooks, Dennis Ross, Austin Scott, Walter Jones, Patrick McHenry, Tom Marino, Lou Barletta, Joe Wilson, Diane Black, Marsha Blackburn, Kenny Marchant and Morgan Griffith.

The attention GOP candidates are giving ALIPAC is especially alarming considering that the group is basically the work of one anti-immigrant extremist that always seems one small donation short of total collapse.

Every three months, like clockwork, Gheen sends out a series of increasingly desperate emails begging his supporters for cash, berating them for insufficient commitment to the cause, and threatening to shut down his operation if he doesn’t get a certain amount of money by a certain time.

And then, every quarter, he manages to raise just enough to keep on going, appearing in conservative media to push his unabashedly racist anti-immigrant message, warning that an immigrant “invasion” will undermine the ability of “ traditional Americans” to rule the country, something that he thinks may need to be stopped by “ illegal and violent” means and an anti-Obama coup.

But despite Gheen’s boast that his group “put the brakes on Boehner’s immigration reform push” and his assumption that members of Congress cower in fear of losing his endorsement and being put on his “traitors” list, his organization appears to be running on fumes.

ALIPAC is organized as a political action committee, but according to records on, the group hasn’t contributed to a federal candidate or made an independent expenditure since 2010, when it contributed $2,000 to former congressman J.D. Hayworth’s primary challenge to Sen. John McCain in Arizona, spent another $3,248 in independent expenditures in the race. That year, Gheen’s group also gave small contributions to Tea Party candidates including Sharron Angle in Nevada and Joe Walsh in Illinois. ALIPAC’s spending on behalf of Hayworth’s losing campaign was its most serious election effort since Gheen founded the group in 2004.

In the 2012 election cycle and so far in the current election cycle,most of the organization’s funds have gone toward Gheen’s salary; the rest have been administrative and fundraising expenses, with a few thousand dollars spent on “web ads.”

Gheen’s reports to the FEC give us an idea of who is base is: Among ALIPAC’s largest donors is Elizabeth Van Staaveren, cofounder of Oregonians for Immigration Reform, which the Southern Poverty Law Center has designated as a “ nativist extremist group”; and a handful of anti-immigrant activists who lurk in onlinecomment sections.

Gheen regularly exaggerates ALIPAC’s reach and impact. For instance, despite claiming that his Facebook page reaches 195,000 people and that his “effort to circulate social media pictures of Boehner and Obama together” made all the difference in the immigration debate, the picture in question was shared a whopping 14 times on Facebook.

This is all on top of the fact that Gheen doesn’t exactly come across as a serious policy thinker. He keeps a Pinterest page where he postsracist, homophobic and just plain bizarre images and he started a Facebook page called “Mark zuckerberg sucks.” Gheen’s most recent project was the launch of a weird anti-immigrant “encyclopedia.”

Despite the fact that his organization struggles every quarter to stay open, as well as the fact that he hasn’t been active in a federal election for four years, Gheen is still taken seriously in conservative media, congressional candidates court his endorsement, and his talking points sometimes appear in the mouths of politicians (here’s a video of Gheen and Rep. Steve King agreeing about the supposed threat of violence from undocumented immigrants).

It says a lot that Gheen, who inhabits the fringe of a fringe movement, still manages to garner frequent media appearances and even has congressional candidates seeking his endorsement.

Matt Bevin Takes Radical Anti-Contraception Stance To Win Endorsement From Fringe Anti-Choice Group

Yesterday, we noted that a long-simmering feud in the anti-choice movement – between extremists who will accept no legislation short of banning all abortions and anti-choice pragmatists who advocate a more incremental approach to toward the same goal – has bubbled to the surface in GOP Senate primaries in Colorado and Georgia.

Today we learn that a similar public feud is taking place in Kentucky, where National Right to Life and its state affiliate Kentucky Right to Life have endorsed Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, while a smaller, more extreme group – with a deceptively similar name – is backing McConnell’s Tea Party primary challenger Matt Bevin, who has promised the group that he would take radical anti-choice and anti-contraception positions.

National Right to Life and Kentucky Right to Life sent out a press release yesterday to “reaffirm” their endorsement of McConnell and to make clear that Northern Kentucky Right to Life, the group that endorsed Bevin, “is not affiliated” with either group. “Pro-life voters need to come together to re-elect pro-life Sen. Mitch McConnell and defeat pro-abortion Alison Lundergan Grimes,” pleaded Kentucky Right to Life director Margie Montgomery.

But Bevin’s campaign has been pushing the Northern Kentucky group’s endorsement hard.

Bevin landed the endorsement last week after he gave “100 percent pro-life answers” to the group’s candidate questionnaire. Although we couldn’t find a copy of Bevin’s answers, a version of the questionnaire posted by another candidate shows that in order to earn a 100 percent rating, Bevin would have agreed to support a radical “personhood” amendment to the US Constitution (which could ban some common types of birth control), support legislation making it “a criminal offence to perform, to assist with, or to pay for an abortion on another” with the only exception being to save the life of the pregnant woman, to impose an anti-choice litmus test on judicial nominees, and even to work to prohibit Medicaid funding for standard birth control pills.

When the Louisville Courier-Journal asked Bevin’s campaign about the anti-contraception position, they dodged, answering: "Matt stands in lock step with conservatives who oppose all use of taxpayer money for abortion."

Northern Kentucky Right to Life takes a strong stance against contraception access: one recent newsletter from the group features an article called “The Pill Kills," and another calls abortion and contraception part of a “massive Ponzi scheme” to undermine the economy.

Bevin welcomed and touted the Northern Kentucky group’s endorsement, saying “It is such an honor to receive the endorsement of the Northern Kentucky Right to Life. This stalwart group has a long history of fighting tirelessly for life in Kentucky, and I’m grateful to have their support. It is encouraging to see our campaign’s pro-life, pro-family, and limited government message grow across the state.”

But Bevin’s extremism doesn’t mean that McConnell is a moderate on reproductive rights. Instead, McConnell’s a great ally of the larger national groups that are taking a more incremental approach to gradually erode the right to choose. So, while Bevin’s promised to support a Personhood amendment – which is radical but has very little chance of going anywhere – McConnell led his party to support a measure that would have allowed any employer to deny their employees birth control coverage in their health care plans.

Not to mention the fact that Northern Kentucky Right to Life already has a senator in its court. In 2010, Sen. Rand Paul also answered “yes” to every question on the group’s questionnaire, and earlier this month he introduced a “fetal personhood” bill to outlaw all abortions.

Paranoia-Rama: Parent-Child Marriages Coming Soon, The Devil's United Nations & Michael Sam Is Aiding The Antichrist

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

This week, we learn that NFL prospect Michael Sam helped usher in the reign of the Antichrist by coming out of the closet, although apparently the Devil already controls the United Nations.

5. Satan Behind United Nations

The United Nations released a report this month that is heavily critical of the Roman Catholic Church’s handling of sex abuse cases. Church spokesmen were outraged by the scope of the study. “The range of the report appeared to infuriate the Vatican,” the Washington Post reported. “In blunt language, the committee took particular aim at church stances on sexual orientation, reproductive health and gender equality.”

Austin Ruse of the Catholic Family & Human Rights Institute (C-FAM) blamed Satan for the investigation. “Only the Devil could tell children they have a right to sex and abortion,” Ruse said in a message to C-FAM members.

“This committee has basically said that children have a right under this treaty to have sex, to use condoms and to get abortions. And that Church opposition to this is a violation of human rights,” Ruse said. “This Committee actually told the Church that its teaching on homosexuality has caused violence against the same-sex attracted.”

“What these radicals need a good shaking.”

4. Immigrants Will Turn Us Into Slaves

Phyllis Schlafly has been making the rounds on right-wing media to push her claim that Latino immigrants don’t share American values because they are less likely to vote Republican and back a right-wing political agenda. InfoWars host Alex Jones strongly agreed with Schlafly, and warned that immigrants will team up with George Soros to “support literally making those of us that produce their slaves.”

“This takes us back to a democracy where two wolves can vote to eat the sheep for dinner,” Jones said.

3. Michael Sam Helping The Gay Antichrist

Southern Baptist preacher Dwight McKissic is joining other anti-gay activists in criticizing Michael Sam, the University of Missouri defensive end who recently came out of the closet.

McKissic is especially concerned that the likely NFL draft pick will “become the face of the ‘gay rights’ movement that takes us down the road to Sodom and Gomorrah at a record setting pace.” America’s transformation into Sodom, McKissic warns, will bring about the coming of the Antichrist, who he thinks will probably be gay.

2. Google, Gawker Are Persecuting WorldNetDaily

WorldNetDaily insists that Google is unjustly threatening it for violating the company’s ad policy regarding the use of “derogatory racial or ethnic slurs to refer to an individual or group.” Adam Weinstein at Gawker noted that the right-wing website has published 670 stories on “black mob” violence, while WND editor Joseph Farah offered a less-than-convincing defense of WND’s handling of race issues.

Now Farah is striking back, arguing that Gawker has pretty much ruined the Internet with its “venomous, personal, ad hominem, groundless attack” against him.

“It’s mean-spirited. It’s irresponsible. It’s childish and immature,” Farah writes in an editorial today. “You can see it for yourself, but I would caution you the coarse, vulgar language and name-calling is pretty rough. Don’t blame me. I’m just the target. Visitor beware.” Thanks to Gawker, this “early Internet entrepreneur and pioneer” is “starting to hate the Internet.”

Farah added: “I wonder if people like this Gawker guy would allow his children to read his posts – if he has children or knows any. I guess it would be even more disturbing if he would or does. What are their standards? Do they have any? Is it supposed to be funny?”

1. Gay Marriage Leads To Parent-Child Marriage

Mitch McConnell’s GOP primary challenger Matt Bevin is doing the best he can to link the incumbent senator to a recent federal court ruling that struck down part of Kentucky’s ban on same-sex marriage. The Tea Party-backed candidate told a Religious Right talk show host this week that if same-sex marriage becomes legal, soon parents will be able to marry their children.

Bevin’s campaign spokesman defended his remarks and accused Right Wing Watch of “gross misrepresentation” of the candidate’s comments…which we merely quoted verbatim.

Bevin: Same-Sex Marriage Will Lead To Parent-Child Marriage

After a federal judge struck down part of Kentucky’s ban on same-sex marriage, Sen. Mitch McConnell’s Tea Party-aligned primary challenger Matt Bevin jumped on the ruling and criticized McConnell over his ties to the judge:

I'm deeply disappointed in Judge Heyburn's decision to overturn Kentucky's right to determine the definition of marriage within its own borders. This type of judicial activism hurts America's democratic process.

It is no surprise that Judge Heyburn was Mitch McConnell's general counsel and McConnell recommended him for the federal bench. Kentucky deserves better.

Yesterday on The Janet Mefferd Show, Bevin continued to rail against “judicial activism” and told the anti-gay talk show host that he would be a strong opponent of marriage equality in the Senate.

“Where do you draw the line?” Bevin asked. “If it’s all right to have same-sex marriages, why not define a marriage — because at the end of the day a lot of this ends up being taxes and who can visit who in the hospital and there’s other repressions and things that come with it — so a person may want to define themselves as being married to one of their children so that they can then in fact pass on certain things to that child financially and otherwise. Where do you draw the line?”

“And if in fact a person can arbitrarily draw it here, why not could someone else draw it arbitrarily somewhere else? There needs to be rule of law. Marriage has for millennia been defined as that between a man and a woman universally.”

Revisiting McConnell’s Obstruction and the 2014 Kentucky Senate Race

The 2014 elections are quickly heating up in Kentucky. Two weeks ago, Tea Party candidate Matt Bevin announced his plans to challenge Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell in the Republican primary, setting off a round of vicious attack ads from McConnell’s campaign almost instantly.  Even more troublesome for McConnell though than Bevin’s primary challenge is the prospect of a general election fight with Secretary of State Alison Lundergan Grimes, who announced her candidacy in early July and who is expected to coast through the Democratic primary.  According to a poll released on July 31st, Grimes is leading McConnell by 2% in a potential head to head race, and is polling 15% higher amongst those who have heard of both candidates – McConnell, a longstanding incumbent, currently enjoys substantially higher name recognition.

Although Grimes and Bevin are polar opposites on the political spectrum, they both are in agreement on one thing: Senator Mitch McConnell is vulnerable.  Polling data released in April revealed that a full 54% of Kentuckians disapprove of McConnell’s job performance in the Senate, while only 36% approve.

Such numbers should not come as a surprise to any casual observer of the Senate.  McConnell is the king of gridlock, and has become the personification of DC dysfunction.  Kentuckians, like the rest of the country, have grown understandably fed up with his tactics.

Earlier this year, Public Campaign Action Fund explored McConnell’s obstruction in a report entitled, “Cashing in on Obstruction: How Mitch McConnell’s Abuse of the Filibuster and Other Senate Rules Benefits His Big Money Donors.” Among other findings, the report revealed that McConnell’s repeated and unprecedented use of the filibuster has benefitted the interests of his campaign backers.  The report’s case studies were particularly instructive.

In March of 2012, on the very day debate began on a bill that would have repealed Big Oil subsidies, McConnell received an astonishing $131,500 in campaign contributions from Texan oil donors.  Three days later, the bill was blocked by a filibuster.

In April of 2009, the House passed the “Helping Families Save Their Homes Act,” a bill that included a provision that would have granted bankruptcy judges more flexibility to modify mortgages for homeowners facing foreclosure, and that would have cost the country’s biggest banks billions of dollars in profits.  That provision failed to receive the necessary 60 votes to overcome a filibuster and didn’t make it into the Senate version of the bill.  Over the course of his career, McConnell has received $8.7 million in campaign contributions from Wall Street interests.

In 2010 and 2012, despite overwhelming public support for providing transparency in election spending, McConnell led the charge against the DISCLOSE acts, bills that would have closed current loopholes in federal election law and brought Citizens United-empowered “dark money” groups to light.  Those groups – 501c4 non-profits and 501c6 trade associations – spent at a 5:1 ratio in favor of Republicans like Senator McConnell over Democrats in the 2012 election cycle.

In March of 2010, John J. “Jack” McConnell (no relation) was nominated to the District Court of Rhode Island, after successfully litigating against asbestos, tobacco, and lead paint interests on behalf of consumers.  Jack McConnell faced substantial opposition from trade associations that represent those interests, like the Chamber of Commerce, and from Senator McConnell, who, after filibustering the nomination and delaying the vote so that it took a full 420 days to be confirmed, stated for the record he resented Jack McConnell’s “persistent hostility to American job creators.” Senator McConnell has received, it should be noted, $1.7 million in campaign contributions from the insurance industry alone.

McConnell’s career campaign contributions by sector
Source: Public Campaign Action Fund

Yet beyond obstructing the governing process to the benefit of his campaign backers, Senator McConnell has also pursued obstruction for the sake of gridlock itself.  As People For the American Way continues to report , McConnell’s treatment of judicial nominees has been particularly abominable.  The obstruction of Jack McConnell, a district court nominee, was not an aberration; it was part of a strategy of judicial obstruction that, under McConnell’s continued abuse of Senate rules, has become standard practice.  During the eight years that President George W. Bush was in office, only one federal district court nomination was filibustered, requiring the majority to file a cloture petition; so far under President Obama, Republicans have forced Democrats into 20 such filings for district court nominees. 

There’s a price to pay for unremittingly representing corporate interests, and for being the leader of an assault on the Senate’s functionality.  And the American public, and the state of Kentucky, are well of aware of who’s to blame.

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