Matt Bevin

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 Breitbart.com 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 OpenSecrets.org, 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.

PFAW
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