Colorado

Klingenschmitt: Gay Activists 'Want Your Soul'

On his "Pray In Jesus Name" program today, Colorado pastor and GOP state house candidate Gordon Klingenschmitt railed against a situation in Kentucky in which a t-shirt printing business was found to have violated the city's nondiscrimination ordinance when it refused to print up shirts for a local gay organization, which he cited to declare that it is the goal of gay activists to force Christians to violate God's law and end up in Hell.

Insisting that measures which bar discrimination against gay customers are a violation of the First Amendment, Klingenschmitt proclaimed that gay rights activists are driven by a demonic spirit that seeks to force Christians to "disobey God" so that they will wind up in Hell.

"They want your soul," Klingenschmitt said. "They won't be satisfied with your money. They don't really want the t-shirts. They want your soul. They want you to disobey God so that you go to Hell with them. It's not enough that they go to Hell for disobeying God, they want you to disobey God so that we all go to Hell. That's the Devil's goal in the end":

New Spanish-Language Radio Ad in Colorado Calls Out Gardner on His Extreme Views

Radio listeners in Colorado will be hearing a new Spanish-language radio ad today highlighting the stark differences between the Senate candidates’ stances on environmental issues.

The ad, aired by NextGen Climate and supported by People For the American Way, sheds light on GOP candidate Rep. Cory Gardner’s ties to wealthy special interests who pollute the environment as well as Democratic candidate Sen. Mark Udall’s commitment to protecting clear air and water for Colorado families. The ad closes with a call to action for voters: “Let’s remember: our vote is our strength.”

On Monday, PFAW and NextGen Climate began airing a TV ad that also calls Gardner out on his record of standing on the side of polluters and wealthy donors. This work is part of a multi-year, nationwide campaign to engage Latino voters in key states that PFAW has been leading since 2011.

You can read a transcript of the ad, as well as an English translation, below.


El republicano Cory Gardner nos quiere engañar.

Dice que valora a nuestra comunidad, pero su campaña acepta dinero de contaminadores multimillonarios que envenenan el aire y agua. Y nosotros estamos expuestos a la contaminación ambiental hasta 4 veces más que a otros residentes de Colorado.

Por esto ¿A quien apoyaremos este Noviembre? ¡Al demócrata Mark Udall!

El lucha para que tengamos agua limpia y aire sano en nuestros hogares y vecindarios.¡Y el protege la salud de nuestras familias y de nuestros hijos por que valora a nuestra comunidad! Por eso, en estas elecciones tenemos la responsabilidad hacia nuestro pueblo de votar por Mark Udall.

Recordemos: nuestro voto es nuestra fuerza.

VO Disclaimer:
Pagado por NextGenClimate Action Committee, nextgenclimate.org. No está autorizado por ningun candidato o comité del candidato. NextGen Climate Action Committee es responsable por el contenido de este anuncio. Apoyado por People For the American Way.

English translation:

Republican Cory Gardner wants to deceive us.

He says he values our community, but he takes money for his campaign from billionaire polluters who poison the air and water. And we are exposed to pollution by as much as 4 times greater than other Colorado residents.

Because of this, who will we be supporting this November? Democrat Mark Udall!

He fights so that we have clean air and water in our neighborhoods and homes. And he protects the health of our families and children because he values our community! That’s why we have the responsibility to our community to vote for Mark Udall in this election.

Let’s remember: our vote is our strength.

VO Disclaimer:
Paid for by NextGen Climate Action Committee, nextgenclimate.org.  Not authorized by any candidate or candidate’s committee.  NextGen Climate Action Committee is responsible for the content of this advertising. Supported by PFAW.

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PFAW Activity by State

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    WATCH: "Engaño" ("Deceit")
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Nothing To See Here: The Alternate Reality Of Voter-Suppression Advocates

It’s been a rough few days for voter-ID proponents. On Thursday, the nonpartisan Government Accountability Office came out with a report showing that restrictive photo-ID measures had depressed turnout in Tennessee and Kansas, especially among young people and African Americans. The same day, the Supreme Court blocked the implementation of a photo-ID law in Wisconsin that voting rights advocates said there was not enough time to implement before the election and a federal judge in Texas struck down that state’s restrictive law, citing its impact on minority voters and calling it an “unconstitutional poll tax.”

Then, the next day, renowned conservative 7th Circuit judge Richard Posner requested a full-court rehearing of the challenge to Wisconsin’s law, in the process offering a blistering takedown of the voter-ID crowd’s arguments. "There is only one motivation for imposing burdens on voting that are ostensibly designed to discourage voter-impersonation fraud, and that is to discourage voting by persons likely to vote against the party responsible for imposing the burdens,” he wrote. He added a special dig at the advocacy group True the Vote, calling some of their supposed evidence of voter-impersonation fraud “goofy” and “paranoid.”

Then, just today, University of Delaware researchers came out with a study showing that support for voter ID laws among whites jumps when they are shown a picture of a black person voting.

All of which made a Heritage Foundation panel today called “Keeping Elections Honest” seem like it was taking place in an alternate reality, one in which the extremely rare voter-impersonation fraud is in fact rampant and in which laws making it more difficult to vote do not have negative effects.

The Heritage discussion featured some of the nation’s top proponents of voter suppression measures, including Heritage’s Hans von Spakovsky, Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach (the brains behind anti-immigrant and voter suppression measures around the country), Kobach’s Colorado counterpart Scott Gessler and True the Vote’s Catherine Engelbrecht.

Kobach spent part of his presentation attempting to refute the GAO study, but the court rulings went mostly unmentioned.

This alternate reality was perhaps most stark when, during a question-and-answer session, a reporter asked Kobach about the two-tiered voting system he’s instituted in Kansas for the coming election. Kobach and Arizona Secretary of State Ken Bennett are in the process of suing the Election Assistance Commission to include a more restrictive “proof of citizenship” requirement on the federal voter registration forms it uses in those two states. In the meantime, Kansas and Arizona are allowing people who register using the federal form without providing additional documentation to vote…but only in federal elections. (Votes those people cast in state-level elections won’t be counted.)

About 1,500 Arizonans and 200 Kansans were put in this special federal-only voting tier in the primary.

Kobach, far from seeming concerned about this state of affairs, proudly reported that of the 200 Kansans to whom he gave special limited voting rights, only one bothered to show up at the polls.

In the primary on August 5, we had fewer than 200 total voters in the state who had registered using the federal form and had not provided photo ID. Using that number, we then created a sort of federal-elections-only voter roll, if you will, so a roll in addition to the main voter roll. And it didn’t include all of the 105 counties, it included a minority of the counties. And then those people, when they showed up, they were to be given a provisional ballot and told that they would be — actually it would occur on the back end, even if the poll worker didn’t know that that’s why they were being given a provisional ballot, the county canvas would count only the federal elections on the ballot.

So anyway, to answer your question, we are going to be doing a count, a final count – our registration actually closes today, this is the final day to register in Kansas – as soon as it closes, we’ll have a final count. My guess is it probably will be in the range of maybe 300-400, we’ll know soon what that number is, for the whole state. And by the way, of those fewer than 200 people— if memory serves, it was like 186 or something like that — only one actually showed up to vote out of that entire number. So, we’ll see what the number is. So the numbers are actually pretty small and pretty manageable right now and we’re hopeful that we’ll get a decision that will be a favorable one and then we won’t have to maintain a separate, federal-elections-only list.

At no point in the discussion did anyone mention the thousands of Kansans who currently have no right to vote in any kind of election because they haven’t been able to produce one of the few kinds of citizenship documentation required by the new state voter registration form.

New PFAW and NextGen Climate Spanish-Language Ad Challenges Gardner in Colorado

People For the American Way and NextGen Climate today released a new Spanish-language TV ad challenging Colorado Senate candidate Cory Gardner on his record of standing on the side of polluters and wealthy donors. The ad will air in Denver and Colorado Springs.

“Cory Gardner has made clear who he’s fighting for, and it sure isn’t Colorado families,” said Randy Borntrager, Political Director of People For the American Way. “From supporting those who want to pollute the environment to prioritizing the agendas of wealthy donors, Gardner has an alarming track record. Latino voters deserve to know what’s at stake here.”

“Congressman Gardner denies the basic science of climate change and would allow corporate polluters to continue putting Colorado’s families and communities at risk,” said Abby Leeper, NextGen Climate Colorado spokesperson. “His views run counter to the views of a majority of Coloradans, including those in our Latino communities. We need a leader who will act on climate change now—not deny the facts."

This ad push is the latest step in People For the American Way’s multi-year, nationwide campaign to engage Latino voters in key states by shedding light on the agendas of GOP candidates on issues ranging from immigration to education to the environment. NextGen Climate Colorado is working on the ground in Colorado’s communities to expose Gardner’s extreme positions on critical issues like climate change, and empower voters to hold him accountable at the ballot box.

The script of the TV ad reads:

El republicano Cory Gardner nos quiere engañar.

Dice que valora a nuestra comunidad, pero apoya a contaminadores que envenenan nuestro aire y el agua, contaminan nuestros vecindarios, y ponen en peligro la salud de nuestros hijos.

¿Valores? Por favor. La campaña de Gardner aceptó miles de dolares de republicanos ricos y solo hace lo mejor para ellos.

Pero, no nos engaña. ¡Por eso votaremos contra Cory Gardner!

VO DISCLAIMER:

People For the American Way y NextGen Climate Action Comite son responsables por el contenido de este anuncio.

English translation:

Republican Cory Gardner wants to deceive us.  

He says he values our community, but he supports polluters who poison our air and water, pollute our neighborhoods, and put our children’s health in danger.

Values? Please. Gardner's campaign accepted thousands of dollars from rich Republicans and he does what's best for them.

But, we aren’t fooled. That’s why we’re voting against Cory Gardner.

VO: People For the American Way and NextGen Climate Action Committee are responsible for the content of this advertising.

PFAW Political Director Randy Borntrager and PFAW Coordinator of Political Campaigns Carlos Sanchez are available for interviews with the press. To arrange an interview, please contact Layne Amerikaner at media@pfaw.org / 202-467-4999.

###

Gordon Klingenschmitt's Embarrassing Campaign Rolls On

Ever since he won the Republican primary and became the official GOP nominee for an open seat in the Colorado state legislature, Gordon Klingenschmitt has proven himself to be a complete embarrassment to his party as party officials and fellow Republicans have repeatedly denounced him.

The state GOP has quickly learned that having a radical Religious Right activist and anti-gay exorcist as its candidate is creating nothing but headaches since Klingenschmitt seems to have no idea what he is doing, as he demonstrated once again when he recently told local residents who asked to meet with him to discuss his rabidly anti-gay views that he would not do so until after the election and even then, he'd only be willing to meet after screening them because he fears for this safety:

Gordon Klingenschmitt, a Colorado Springs state House candidate who has gotten attention from making controversial statements, told three members of the Colorado Springs lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community he would only meet with them after the election and only if his "security staff" screened the attendees first to determine whether it would be a "safe meeting."

"Sadly, I've received threats from people who hate religious freedom, and I wonder if the following video is representative of the behavior of some people with whom you are inviting me to meet?" Klingenschmitt wrote in an email.

The video attached is of Anita Bryant - the singer who vocally opposed LGBT rights in the '70s - getting a pie thrown in her face during a live television interview nearly four decades ago.

...

Steve Durham, a Republican activist and lobbyist, said the El Paso County Republican Executive Director Daniel Cole was included in the exchange and sent a response to Klingenschmitt rebuking him.

"The response from the party was that Mr. Klingenschmitt's email was inappropriate and uncalled for and that he should chose his words more carefully," Durham said. "There was a note of pretty strong disapproval."

Yet despite his radical record, it looks like the state Republican party can expect to have him around for the foreseeable future.

As Klingenschmitt barrels along with a huge fundraising advantage, he is insisting that his opponent is the real extremist:

As of Sept. 29, Klingenschmitt has spent more than $42,079, compared with Fornander's $827, according to the secretary of state.

Secretary of state voter registration statistics as of Oct. 1 
show 18,296 registered Republicans, 7,791 registered Democrats and 14,061 unaffiliated voters in the district.

Klingenschmitt, an Air Force Academy graduate, believes his views represent the district, which includes eastern Colorado Springs and Peterson Air Force Base.

He believes local control in education, lower taxes and less regulation for businesses and a protection of constitutional rights are the biggest issues in the upcoming 
election.

"My opponent is far more extreme on the left than I am in the center right," Klingenschmitt said.

Paul Cameron Warns That 'A Gay' May Be Coming For Your Son

Today's "Pray In Jesus Name" program featured the first segment in a multi-part, in-person interview that host Gordon Klingenschmitt conducted with notorious anti-gay "researcher" Paul Cameron of the Family Research Institute and it turned out to be every bit as crazy as one would expect an interview between an anti-gay exorcist and an advocate for executing gays to be.

Klingenschmitt, who is currently the Republican nominee for a seat in the Colorado state legislature, asked Cameron if gay people "use molestation as a recruiting tool," and Cameron assured him that they most certainly do.

"Homosexuals, from the get-go, as long as we have recorded history, have used the molestation of boys as a way to recruit to homosexuality," Cameron declared, claiming that his "studies" have found that sixty percent of boys who reported that their first sexual experience was a same-sex experience grow up to be gay.

"So this is a tremendous recruitment tool," he said. "If a gay can get to your son first, the chances are about 50-50, as near as we can tell, that your son is going to be a practicing homosexual to some degree."

"It's very important to keep your sons from having a homosexual experience," he emphasized:

Klingenschmitt and Cameron then discussed Cameron's work making it illegal for gays to donate blood, which Cameron said is a prohibition that must remain in place today because gays travel the world where they have reckless sex and pick up all sorts of exotic diseases that endanger the rest of society.

"What gays do is so dangerous, I mean, rectal sex. I mean, think of all of the stuff that they do," Cameron said. "You don't know what else is out there. We still don't know all the components in human blood. They've got other stuff, if there's something over in another country in the world, given that gays travel more, given that gays have sex wherever they travel, uh oh, they bring back whatever is out there and there's always something new out there."

"So there still needs to be a ban," concluded Kingenschmitt:

'Klingenschmitt Has No Business In Public Office'

Yesterday the Colorado Springs Independent ran an article noting that electing Gordon Klingenschmitt to a seat in the state House of Representatives is probably not going to help the area's image, given Klingenschmitt's long history of insane statements.

So radical is Klingenschmitt that even Republican leaders in the state are working to distance themselves from him and to distance him from the party, largely in response to his recent statement that gay Democratic congressman Jared Polis would soon join ISIS and begin beheading Christians here in America:

The incident has prompted some party leaders to try to put him at arm's length. "Gordon does not speak on behalf of the Republican Party, and his comments in no way reflect the views of the Party," state GOP spokesman Owen Loftus said in a statement.

Although El Paso County GOP Chairman Jeff Hays told KOAA that Klingenschmitt is "part of our team," party executive Daniel Cole says via email that "In parts of the KOAA interview that did not air, Chairman Hays indicated, and now wants to emphasize, that he does not condone Gordon Klingenschmitt's comments. Klingenschmitt does not speak for the party or for other candidates, and the party does not speak for him."

...

Klingenschmitt declined to be interviewed for this story. In a February interview, he told the Independent he keeps his politics and religion separate. Fornander disputes that, citing his repeated references to religion during his campaign, including a comment that only people who are going to heaven are entitled to equal treatment under the law.

That kind of thing is beyond the pale for retired state Sen. Andy McElhany. "In my opinion, Klingenschmitt has no business in public office," the Republican says, "because he's more than extreme." McElhany added that electing someone like Klingenschmitt doesn't help the region's image.

Which brings us back to [El Paso County Democratic Party executive Christy] Le Lait. "At some point, the people in this county are going to have to ask themselves, 'What do we want?'" she says. "Are we serious about bringing jobs and economic development, or are we OK with being called the capital of crazy?"

The idea that Klingenschmitt will keep his religion and politics separate is laughable considering that we have multiple examples of Klingenschmitt saying exactly the opposite. As a matter of fact, just yesterday he said that America's foreign policy needs to be based on his interpretation of the Bible.

On top of that, he has defended the Second Amendment on the grounds that the Bible says Christians need to own weapons in order to protect themselves from "left wing crazies."

He has said that gay marriage can never be legalized because it violates God's law and defended anti-gay laws on the grounds that recruiting children into homosexuality is "totally illegal in the economy and law of God."

He has declared that those who cannot enter church are not entitled to use public facilities, said that those who will not enter Heaven are not entitled to equal protection under the law, and asserted that gay people should face discrimination as a matter of public policy.

Nothing better demonstrates the absurdity of Klingenschmitt's claim that he will separate his religion from his politics than this clip of him openly declaring that "American law needs to reflect God's law":

Despite the copious evidence that, as Colorado's former Republican Senate Minority Leader Andy McElhany put it, "Klingenschmitt has no business in public office," Klingenschmitt has managed to outraise his Democratic opponent nearly 15-1 in the race for the seat representing a heavily Republican district:

Gordon Klingenschmitt, the Republican aiming to win House District 15 on the eastern edge of Colorado Springs, has raised $44,914 to date, while Democratic candidate Lois Fornander has raised $3,312.

Klingenschmitt Denounced By Colorado Republican Leader Whose Seat He Hopes To Fill

The other day we noted that Gordon Klingenschmitt had been forced to issue a half-hearted apology after sending out an email asserting that gay Democratic congressman Jared Polis would soon be aligning himself with ISIS and begin beheading Christians in America.

Klingenschmitt, who is currently the GOP nominee for a seat in the Colorado legislature, was immediately denounced by both Democratic and Republican leaders in the state and now he has been specifically denounced by former House Minority Leader, Mark Waller, who held the very seat for which Klingenschmitt is now running:

Former House Minority Leader Mark Waller on Aug. 27 blasted the fellow Republican who is seeking to succeed him over his recent "horribly inappropriate" anti-gay comments.

Waller, who is not seeking re-election for his Colorado Springs-based House District 15 seat, also told Colorado Community Media that Gordon Klingenschmitt's candidacy "certainly does have an impact" on other races on the fall ballot.

...

Waller said his "11-year-old son can identify that as a hateful speech."

"I think it was horribly inappropriate to say," Waller said. "It doesn't matter if he's a person running for state representative or a person on the street. I think it's terrible to say.

"Obviously, he does not speak for me or the Republican Party."

Waller hasn't endorsed Klingenschmitt, but he wouldn't go as far as saying that he should drop out of the race - as Klingenschmitt's opponent, Democrat Lois Fornander has.

"If you're not voting for him, you're voting for the Democrat and quite honestly legislative majorities matter," Waller said. "But that puts (House District 15 voters) in a rock and a hard place in terms of who to vote for."

House District 15 is heavily Republican and Klingenschmitt is still favored to win, in spite of his recent comments.

For his part, Klingenschmitt says that he is sorry for his comments but blames it on the fact that he wrote the email late at night.

"I'm a first-time candidate," Klingenschmitt said, "and I am new at this":

Klingenschmitt apologized earlier in the week and did so again during a phone interview. He said he was trying to point out the "bad policies of Jared Polis," but that he realizes his comments were offensive.

Klingenschmitt has taken issue with Polis' backing of the Employment Non-Discrimination Act. He said the legislation should have religious exceptions.

"I apologize for the hyperbole and I wrote that statement when I was tired between 1 and 2 in the morning, but I do not apologize for defending Christians for persecution."

When asked if it dawned on him that he was using language that has historically been used to persecute gays while trying to defend Christians from "persecution," Klingenschmitt said, "I don't accept the premise of the question."

Klingenschmitt said he hopes voters will see past his comments.

"I'm a first-time candidate and I am new at this," he said. "I made a mistake and I won't always say the right thing, but I do have a backbone and I will always stand on conviction."

Klingenschmitt 'Apologizes' For Accusing Rep. Jared Polis Of Wanting To Join ISIS & Behead Christians

Over the weekend, Gordon Klingenschmitt, the demon-obsessed anti-gay exorcist who is the GOP nominee for a seat in the Colorado legislature, sent out an email from his Pray In Jesus Name organization in which he declared that gay Democratic congressman Jared Polis would soon be aligning himself with ISIS and begin beheading Christians here in America:

“The openly homosexual Congressman Jared Polis (D-CO) introduced a revised bill to force Christian employers and business owners to hire and promote homosexuals with ZERO RELIGIOUS EXEMPTIONS for Christians who want to opt out.

“Polis ‘wants sexual orientation and gender identity treated the same way as race, religion, sex, and national origin, when it comes to employment protections,’ claims the Advocate, under the headline “Polis trims ENDA’s religious exemption.

“Dr. Chaps’ comment: The open persecution of Christians is underway. Democrats like Polis want to bankrupt Christians who refuse to worship and endorse his sodomy. Next he’ll join ISIS in beheading Christians, but not just in Syria, right here in America.”

Needless to say, that comment did not sit well with Democratic or Republican leaders in Colorado who quickly denounced Klingenschmitt:

The accusation prompted Mark Ferrandino, Speaker of the Colorado House, to condemn the remarks and demand that Colorado Republicans do the same.

“I call on Ryan Call and other Republicans to denounce Mr. Klingenschmitt and his homophobic, extreme, and slanderous attacks against Congressman Polis,” said Ferrandino in a statement.

GOP officials in Colorado have disowned Klingenschmitt before and this time was no different.

“As Chairman Call has said in the past, Gordon does not speak on behalf of the Republican Party, and his comments in no way reflect the views of the Party. Gordon needs to give a sincere apology,” said Owen Loftus, a Colorado GOP spokesman, in a statement.

In response, Klingenschmitt filmed a video in which he half-heartedly apologized, saying that he was merely using hyperbole and "some Democrats do not have a sense of humor," before dumping a bucket of water on his head as he challenged Polis, as well as Ferrandino and Call, to take the ALS #IceBucketChallenge:

CO State Senator Explains That Fracking Poses No Danger Because Having High Amounts Of Methane In The Water Is Totally Natural

A few weeks ago, Gordon Klingenschmitt attended the The Western Conservative Summit in Denver where he managed to score interviews with a variety of elected Republicans and conservative activists, which he has been featuring on his daily "Pray In Jesus Name" program.

On today's show, Klingenschmitt interviewed Colorado state Senator Randy Baumgardner, who defended the practice of fracking by declaring that having high amounts of methane in the water is totally natural.

"They talk about methane in the water and this, that, and the other," Baumgardner told Klingenschmitt, "but if you go back in history and look at how the Indians traveled, they traveled to the burning waters. And that was methane in the waters and that was for warmth in the wintertime. So a lot of people, if they just trace back the history, they'll know how a lot of this is propaganda":

Yes, Latino Vote Can Have Big Impact This Election

The Latino population is growing, and with it a bloc of eligible Latino voters. From 2000 to 2010, the Latino population grew by 43% according to the Census bureau. That population has continued to grow from 2010 until today, making up over 16% of the total population, which means more Latinos than ever are becoming eligible to vote each year. Despite this growth, Nate Cohn argued in his New York Times column last week that this voting bloc won’t make a difference in the November elections:

“Yet the vote is unlikely to deal a severe blow to the [Republican] party’s chances in November’s midterm elections. Hispanic voters may be flexing their growing political muscles in presidential elections, but they have far less sway over the composition of the House or the Senate, particularly in 2014.”

While it is true that many of this year’s most critical Senate races aren’t in the states with the largest Latino populations, there are races in states where the growing Latino population can exercise major muscle and make a critical difference. Cohn’s argument fails to consider how this growing population coupled with the anti-immigrant rhetoric fueled by the Republican party can drive up Latino voter turnout this year. This can make a big difference in states with tight races.

In Colorado, for example, where the number of Latinos has grown significantly — by 41% between 2000 and 2010, now making up over 20% of the population —  this voting bloc can play a big role in a close race. Similarly, in states with tight races like Georgia and North Carolina, even though Latinos make up around 9% of the population, that population grew by 96% and 111% respectively since 2000. This dramatic growth makes this a voting bloc that can have a major impact in what are expected to be two very close elections.
 

PFAW

The Right Wing's Inflammatory Reaction to the Border Crisis

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As we’re dealing with the refugee crisis on the southern border, right-wing elected officials have amped up their inappropriate, inflammatory rhetoric to dehumanize immigrants and attack immigration reform:

  • Sen. Ted Cruz announced last week that his new “top priority”  in Washington is to end President Obama’s deferred action program for DREAMers and deport undocumented immigrants who came to the U.S. as children. While trying to soften his appearance by bringing teddy bears and soccer balls to children at the southern border, he proclaimed that “as long as that promise of amnesty is there, more and more children will come... We need to eliminate the promise of amnesty.”
  • Rep. Louie Gohmert claims children being held are a problem because “we don’t even know what all diseases they have” and added that our healthcare system “can’t withstand the influx,” which, he believes was orchestrated by President Obama to recruit millions of people to cast fraudulent ballots for Democrats.
  • Sen. David Vitter has “had it with undocumented immigrants,” and tweeted on Friday that “enough is enough.” To deal with the crisis, he introduced a bill that would “require mandatory detention for anyone” that is in the U.S. illegally, in order to get “illegal aliens on the next plane home.” (Mother Jones calculated that this effort would require more than 64,000 planes to actually work.)
  • Rep. Tom Tancredo shared a similar plan when he said that President Obama should “sign an executive order saying all these people ought to be returned. Put them on buses or planes, send them back to the countries from which they came and have the governments there take care of it.”
  • Sheriff Joe Arpaio of Maricopa County, Arizona, claimed that these unaccompanied minors from Central America are probably “gangbangers” and questioned why they are being sent to this county in the first place.

Of course, elected extremists aren’t the only ones making outrageous statements:

  • The Minuteman Project’s Jim Gilchrist said this crisis is “part of a concerted effort to transfer populations of Central America and Mexico into the United States using minor children, illegal immigrants under the age of 18, as human shields… to detour our ability to enforce our immigration laws.”
  • The American Family Association’s Sandy Rios suggested the child refugees should be quarantined like lepers used to be, harking back to “biblical times” when the “lepers were separated” because it was “understood that leprosy was so contagious.” Rios' fretted that these children are transported in the “same planes that you and I fly in… How do we know about lice and disease before they get on public transportation?”
  • Jody Hice, running to replace Georgia Rep. Paul Broun in the U.S. House, suggested that people take up arms in response to “a government that refuses to secure our borders” because “that is the reason we have a Second Amendment.”

The Right Wing's inflammatory rhetoric distorts the reality of the crisis, causing more conflict and damage.

PFAW

Gordon Klingenschmitt Says Those Who Can't Enter Church Shouldn't Be Able To Use Public Restrooms

On his "Pray In Jesus Name" program yesterday, Gordon Klingenschmitt discussed a lawsuit filed against Hobby Lobby by a transgender female employee who claims that she was denied access to the women's restroom facilities.

Klingenschmitt, of course, was not at all sympathetic, citing Deuteronomy 23 to argue that since transgender people are not allowed in church, they should not be allowed to use gender-appropriate bathrooms.

"The Scriptures say in Deuteronomy 23," Klingenschmitt said, "that he that is wounded in the stones, or hath his privy member cut off, shall not enter into the congregation of the Lord. And if they can't enter the congregation of the Lord, they certainly shouldn't be allowed to enter the ladies bathroom":

Klingenschmitt: 'Penalty' For Homosexuality Is ‘Spiritual Death’

Gordon Klingenschmitt, who is the GOP nominee for a state legislative seat in Colorado, is obviously not pleased with the Colorado county clerks who have started issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples.

On his “Pray In Jesus Name” program yesterday, Klingenschmitt reminded the clerks that “homosexuality is not only an abomination, not only worthy of death,” but comes with a “penalty” that amounts to “spiritual death.”

“They say, ‘Oh, it’s all about love.’ No, it’s about lust, it’s about selfishness,” he said. “They don’t care about the other person, they want self-gratification for themselves, contrary to their own nature, contrary to what God designed for them. And they receive in themselves the penalty for that error.”

“The penalty for that sin is not just STDS or some biological curse, not just AIDS, but they receive into themselves the demonic spirit that rules their hearts, and with that comes ultimately the consequence of spiritual death.”

Klingenschmitt adds that he is just the “messenger” when he tells gay people that “you’re going to hell.”

PFAW Action Fund Announces Young Elected Progressive Endorsements

People For the American Way Action Fund announced today the endorsements of a slate of dynamic young progressive candidates running for public office across the United States. The endorsees are a diverse mix of candidates 35 and under who are marking a new generation of progressive leadership for the future. These candidates and officials represent a vision that will benefit communities all over the country, as they fight for social, economic, and environmental justice, and equality for all.

The endorsements are part of People For the American Way Action Fund’s Young Elected Progressives (YEP) program. YEP evaluates and endorses young progressive candidates ages 35 and under in their bids for elected office around the U.S. at all levels.

People For the American Way Action Fund is proud to endorse these YEP candidates for 2014:

James Albis – CT House District 99
James Albis is running for reelection to the Connecticut House of Representatives 99th District, representing East Haven. Albis has advocated consistently on behalf of the families of East Haven for better jobs, better schools, and better opportunities. In his second term as Representative, Albis worked to protect the environment, serving on the Speaker’s Task Force on Shoreline Preservation. Dedicated to supporting children and families, Albis has sponsored and voted for numerous laws that would expand family and medical leave, as well as healthcare, and to protect East Haven’s share of state education funding. Visit James Albis’s campaign website for more details.

John Paul Alvarez – FL House District 100
John Paul Alvarez is running for Florida House of Representatives District 100, representing Broward and Miami-Dade counties. Alvarez, a true Floridian born and raised in South Florida, knows first-hand about the issues facing his community and is dedicated to making Florida prosper. As a teacher, mentor, and community leader, Alvarez is a fierce advocate for public education. By fighting for the issues that matter most to students, working families, retired citizens, taxpayers, and South Florida’s most vulnerable citizens, Alvarez is determined to improve his community by creating more jobs, lowering the cost of living, and promoting equality for all. Visit John Paul Alvarez’s campaign website for more details.

Nelson Araujo – NV Assembly District 3
Nelson Araujo is a candidate for Nevada’s Assembly District 3, representing Clark County and Las Vegas. He is a native Nevadan that was born to struggling immigrant parents. Araujo, a determined leader, fought to help his family out of poverty and became the first in his family to graduate high school. As a community leader and elected official, Araujo is dedicated to stimulating job growth, providing greater healthcare access, and making higher education more accessible to everyone. We believe that with his leadership, Nevada will thrive. Visit Nelson Araujo’s campaign website for more details.

Mandela Barnes – WI Assembly District 11
Mandela Barnes is running for reelection in Wisconsin’s State Assembly District 11, representing central Milwaukee. Born and raised in Milwaukee, Barnes has done important work for Milwaukee as a community organizer and youth and development specialist. His dedication to creating jobs, reforming public education, and modernizing public transportation will serve the people of Milwaukee and strengthen the community. Visit Mandela Barnes’s campaign website for more details.

Jonathan Brostoff – WI Assembly District 19
Jonathan Brostoff, lifelong resident of Milwaukee’s East Side, is running for Wisconsin State Assembly’s 19th District representing central Milwaukee. Brostroff’s dedication to Milwaukee and experience as a legislative aide will help him lead Wisconsin toward a brighter future. Brostoff is determined to promote equal rights for all, to reinvest in public education, and to improve public transit in Wisconsin. Brostoff is a capable leader, devoted to making Wisconsin thrive for generations to come, whose real-world solutions will create progress in the state. Visit Jonathan Brostoff’s campaign website for more details.

Marina Dimitrijevic – WI Assembly District 19
Marina Dimitrijevic is running for the Wisconsin State Assembly District 19. Born and raised in Milwaukee, Dimitrijevic made history in 2004, when she became the youngest woman to be elected to the Milwaukee County Board. During her 10 year tenure, she has championed legislative victories on equal rights for the LGBT community, environmental sustainability, public transit, and workers’ rights. Dimitrijevic’s experience, leadership, and commitment to winning on progressive issues are exactly what the community of Milwaukee needs.  Visit Marina Dimitrijevic’s campaign website for more details.

Justin Chenette – ME House District 134
Justin Chenette is running for reelection to the Maine House of Representatives’ 134th District , representing Saco. Before being elected as state Representative, Chenette served on the Maine State Board of Education, and has carried his passion for education into the state legislature. Chenette sponsored several education-related bills including legislation to promote community service in school and require internship experiences for high school students. Chenette, who was 22 years old upon his election to the House, has already proven himself to be a tireless and dedicated advocate and an important member in the next generation of leaders. Visit Justin Chenette’s campaign website for more details.

Luke Diaz –WI Verona Alder District 3
Luke Diaz is seeking reelection to the Verona City Council’s 3rd District, representing central Verona. Diaz has made it his mission to celebrate the city’s culture by cultivating a thriving downtown in Verona, working to expand jobs, improve transit, and provide important services to the community. An experienced city councilman, Diaz is an accessible leader that is dedicated to listening to the needs of his community. Visit Luke Diaz’s campaign page on Facebook for more details.

Zachary Dorholt – MN House District 14B
Zach Dorholt is running for reelection the Minnesota House of Representatives’ District 14B, representing St. Cloud City, and Haven and Minden Townships. Previously elected in 2011, Dorholt has been a champion for progressive values during his time in the House. He is an advocate for women’s rights and has sponsored bills to equalize pay in Minnesota and lengthen paid maternity leave. Dorholt has also fought for public education funding and is dedicated to creating a pathway to higher education for young Minnesotans. A proven leader, Dorholt will continue to make Minnesota a better and more prosperous place for the entire community. Visit Zach Dorholt’s campaign website for more details.

Crisanta Duran – CO House District 5

Crisanta Duran is running for reelection in the Colorado House of Representatives’ 5th District, representing Denver. As chairwoman of the joint budget committee, Crisanta guided the passage of a state budget that helped protect the environment, boost investments in education and job training, provide better women’s health services, help survivors of abuse, and create a better state economy for all Coloradoans. In her position as an elected official, she will continue to build a strong progressive foundation for the state’s future. Visit Crisanta Duran’s campaign website for more details.

Daneya Esgar – CO House District 46
Daneya Esgar is a candidate for Colorado State House of Representatives’ District 46, representing Pueblo. A dedicated public servant and product of Pueblo’s public education system, Esgar has dedicated her career as a television news producer and a community organizer to improving this community. Esgar has a clear vision for the future of Pueblo, and will continue to work toward job growth and improved public education as an elected official. Visit Daneya Esgar’s campaign website for more details.

Ryan Fecteau – ME House District 11
Ryan Fecteau is a Biddeford native running for Maine House of Representatives’ District 11, representing his hometown. Fecteau has a fresh and progressive perspective on the issues affecting Maine today. As representative, Fecteau will bring strong support of public education, women’s rights, and equal opportunity for all Americans by championing for middle-class workers, seniors, and college graduates of his district. Visit Ryan Fecteau’s campaign website for more details.

Joe Fitzgibbon – WA House District 34
Joe Fitzgibbon is running for reelection to the Washington House of Representatives’ District 34, representing Burien, West Seattle, White Center, and Vashon and Maury Islands. Fitzgibbon has been a fierce advocate for undocumented students, voting for both the DREAM Act and for in-state tuition for undocumented students. A champion for equality in Washington, Fitzgibbon has le d efforts to legalize gay marriage and expand healthcare and Medicaid to help ensure safe abortion procedures. Fitzgibbon is a true progressive and will continue to work toward equality for all Washingtonians. Visit Joe Fitzgibbon’s campaign website for more details.

Chris Larson – WI Senate District 7
Chris Larson is running for reelection to the Wisconsin State Senate’s 7th District, representing Milwaukee County. In Larson’s first term as senator, he served as the Minority Leader and worked tirelessly to end marriage discrimination in Wisconsin, to promote public education, and to protect the environment. Larson has worked to stimulate job growth and to increase access to health care, proving that he is truly in-tune with the needs of his community. “Larson is a true progressive leader,” PFAW’s Political Director Randy Borntrager said. “He is clearly dedicated to his community and determined to help each person and his community as a whole.” Visit Chris Larson’s campaign website for more details.

Eric Luedtke – MD House District 14
Eric Luedtke is running for reelection to the Maryland House of Delegates’ District 14, representing Montgomery County. Luedtke, who was first elected in 2010, has already made his mark as a progressive representative for Maryland. Luedtke, a teacher by profession, has advocated for public education reform, especially advocating for equality for students with special needs. Committed to families and children, Luedtke has worked on a variety of issues, from promoting easier access to healthcare to sponsoring bills that provide greater aid and support for survivors of sexual assault. Visit Eric Luedtke’s campaign website for more details.

Stefanie Mach – AZ House District 10
Stefanie Mach is running for reelection to the Arizona House of Representatives’ 10th Distric , representing Tucson. Since she was elected in 2012, Mach has proven herself to be a fighter, both professionally and personally. In her time as representative, Mach has worked to improve public education, to make higher education more affordable, to encourage job growth and the expansion of local businesses. An advocate for women and minorities, Mach has demonstrated she is dedicated to making Arizona a prosperous community for everyone. Visit Stefanie Mach’s campaign website for more details.

Marcus Madison – OH Senate District 13
Marcus Madison is a candidate for the Ohio State Senate’s 13th District, representing Huron and Lorain counties. Madison, currently serving as a city councilman in Elyria, has already proven that he is a dedicated public servant. He is the former student body president of Lorain County Community College, and previously served as deputy field officer for Obama for America, as well as Communications Director for Big Brothers Big Sisters of Lorain County. A determined advocate, Madison is committed to improving public education, protecting workers, and providing sustainable jobs that will strengthen the middle class. Visit Marcus Madison’s campaign website for more details.

Aaron Marquez – AZ Senate District 27
Aaron Marquez is running for Arizona State Senate District 27, representing Maricopa County. Marquez, a captain with the U.S. Army Reserve, has been a courageous public servant both overseas and at home. Marquez is a fearless advocate for women’s rights, strong supporter of veterans, and a fighter for public education. A dedicated leader, Marquez will be a force for good in the Arizona legislature. Visit Aaron Marquez’s campaign website for more details.

Andrew McLean – ME House District 129
Andrew McLean is running for reelection to the 129th District in the Maine House of Representatives, representing North Gorham, White Rock, Little Falls, the Village and South Gorham. McLean was previously elected in 2012 and has worked tirelessly to support legislation that would protect the environment, expand healthcare, and reform gun laws in Maine. A resilient advocate, as representative McLean will continue to work on behalf of children and families in his next term and for years to come. Visit Andrew McLean’s campaign page on Facebook for more details.

Matt Moonen – ME House District 118
Matt Moonen is running for reelection in the 118th District in the Maine House of Representatives, representing part of Portland. Moonen has been dedicated to improving healthcare in Maine by sponsoring bills that would prohibit smoking in public places and that would expand Medicaid coverage and eligibility. Additionally, Moonen has been a fierce advocate for raising the minimum wage, passing comprehensive immigration reform, and reforming campaign finance. A true progressive candidate, Moonen will continue to make Maine an accepting and thriving place for all. Visit Matt Moonen’s campaign page on Facebook for more details.

Joe Neguse – CO Secretary of State
Joe Neguse, who is running for Colorado Secretary of State is the right choice for Colorado. Neguse brings with him knowledge and experience as a business attorney, member of the University Of Colorado Board Of Regents, and as a public servant. As secretary of state, Neguse will perform his duties with integrity and transparency, and will work to ensure that all eligible voters have the opportunity to vote in Colorado. Neguse will advocate for everyone, regardless of wealth, age, or social standing. Visit Joe Neguse’s campaign website for more details.

Kesha Ram – VT House District 6-4
Kesha Ram is running for reelection to the Vermont House of Representatives’ District 6-4, representing Chittenden. Ram has worked to promote green job creation, affordable housing, and expanded access to healthcare. Both personally and in her capacity as a representative, Ram has worked to support survivors of domestic violence and is an active advocate for women’s rights. Ram is forward-thinking and dedicated, and her service will help Vermont flourish. Visit Kesha Ram’s campaign website for more details.

Laurie Anne Sayles – MD House District 17
Laurie Anne Sayles is running for Maryland’s House of Delegates District 17, representing Montgomery County. Sayles is a committed parent who has overcome obstacles to become a dedicated public servant in Maryland. A smart and capable leader, Sayles is a determined advocate for affordable healthcare, stronger public education, and accessible public transportation. As an elected official, Sayles will be a truly progressive leader for years to come. Visit Laurie Anne Sayles’s campaign website for more details.

Katrina Shankland – WI Assembly District 71
Katrina Shankland is running for reelection to the Wisconsin State Assembly, representing Stevens Point and its neighboring counties. In her one term as representative, Shankland has become a dedicated advocate for women’s rights and workers’ rights in Wisconsin. Shankland has worked to improve public education opportunities, and has been a fighter for environmental preservation and clean and sustainable energy practices. Visit Katrina Shankland’s campaign website for more details.

Alonzo Washington – MD House District 22
Alonzo Washington is running for reelection to the Maryland House of Delegates’ District 22, representing Prince George’s County. Washington, who has served in the House since 2012, already made a name for himself as a fighter for progressive values. He has sponsored and voted for bills that will increase the minimum wage, expand access to higher education, and strengthen public schools. As an important leader for Maryland’s future, Washington has and will continue to support progress in Maryland. Visit Alonzo Washington’s campaign website for more details.

Faith Winter – CO House District 35
Faith Winter, running for the Colorado House of Representatives’ 35th District to represent Westminster, is the right choice for Colorado. Winter has dedicated her life to public service, previously serving as a city councilwoman, mayor pro tem, and as the Emerge Colorado’s Executive Director, supporting women running for public office. In these capacities, Winter worked to create long-term jobs, expand affordable housing, and increase usage of sustainable energy in Colorado. Visit Faith Winter’s campaign website for more details.

PFAW

Tom Tancredo: Border Crisis 'Absolutely Part Of' Obama's Plan To 'Transform America'

Former Colorado Republican Rep. Tom Tancredo, said Wednesday that the crisis of Central American refugees at the southern border is “all part of a plan” by President Obama to “fundamentally transform America.”

Speaking with Newsmax host Steve Malzberg, Tancredo said that the president should simply ignore the Bush-era child-trafficking law that is complicating attempts to deal with child refugees.

But, citing a quote from the president that is frequently distorted and taken out of context by the Right, Tancredo said that Obama will keep all of the immigrants in the country as part of his plan to “fundamentally transform America.”

“This is all part of a plan,” he said. “And you know how this sounds, I know how people immediately go, ‘Oh, there’s a conspiracy theorist out there.’ Now, look. It’s not a conspiracy if he tells the world what he wants. If Obama says on numerous occasions, ‘I intend to fundamentally transform’ and then he begins doing it, it’s not a conspiracy. This is absolutely part of that."

Judge Strikes Colorado Marriage Ban

If you’re having trouble keeping track of the rapidly falling state marriage bans, you’re likely not the only one. In the latest of a dizzying streak of pro-equality decisions, a judge in Colorado struck down the state’s same-sex marriage ban yesterday.

District Court Judge C. Scott Crabtree stayed the ruling, which means that same-sex couples in Colorado cannot yet begin to marry.

In his decision, Judge Crabtree plainly noted that the ban “bears no rational relationship to any conceivable government interest.” He also underscored the discrimination faced by same-sex couples in the absence of marriage equality:

‘The Court holds that the Marriage Bans violate plaintiffs' due process and equal protection guarantees under the Fourteenth Amendments to the U.S. Constitution,’ Crabtree said in his ruling.

‘The existence of civil unions is further evidence of discrimination against same-sex couples and does not ameliorate the discriminatory effect of the Marriage Bans.’

PFAW Foundation

Klingenschmitt: Atheists Should Undergo An Exorcism To Rid Them Of The Devil So They'll Feel Comfortable In Church

Back in 2012, the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals ruled against a Wisconsin school district that had been holding its graduation ceremonies in a local church, declaring that doing so "conveys an impermissible message of endorsement." The school district appealed the decision to the Supreme Court which, last month, declined to hear the case.

Gordon Klingenschmitt, who is currently the Republican candidate for a state house seat in Colorado, weighed in on the Supreme Court's refusal to hear this case on his "Pray In Jesus Name" program where he offered a novel solution: atheists who don't want to attend their public school graduation in a church should just undergo an exorcism to rid them of the Devil so that they'll be comfortable attending church and "free to enjoy the worship of Jesus Christ."

"If the atheist complainer is so uncomfortable when they walk into a church that there's something inside of them squirming and making them feel these feelings of hatred toward the cross of Jesus Christ," Klingenschmitt said, "don't you think it's something inside of the atheist complainer that's wrong?"

"I have a solution," he continued. "Let's do an exorcism and cast the Devil out of them and then they'll feel comfortable when they walk into church":

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