Heavenly angels were singing when two Democratic state senators in Colorado were defeated in a low-turnout recall election that focused on the lawmakers’ support for tougher gun laws, at least according to “Dr. Chaps” Gordon Klingenschmitt. The exorcist and former navy chaplain actively campaigned for the Republican challengers, the Colorado Independent reports:
“I was praying tonight that God would inspire His people,” Gordon Klingenschmitt, assured Linda Herpin, wife of the GOP recall challenger, minutes before El Paso County Republicans announced that her husband had unseated Morse, a Democrat.
“I wanted to help recall John Morse specifically because of 2nd Amendment issues,” he said. “As a Christian, as a person who follows Jesus, I believe in the 2nd Amendment. I believe that when Jesus said, for example, ‘sell your cloak and buy a sword,’ that he endorsed the idea of self-defense, that defending yourself is not a crime. In fact, it’s a moral obligation to defend your wife, to defend your family, and John Morse stands against families who want to do that —stands against people who want to exercise their 2nd Amendment rights.”
In an email to members of his Pray In Jesus Name Project, Klingenschmitt writes that Jesus was the real winner in Colorado:
Victory! Jesus and 2nd Amendment win Colorado Senate races
Not only do I live in southern Colorado, where conservatives just successfully recalled two gun-grabbing liberal Senators who voted to restrict our 2nd Amendment rights, but I got personally involved in the local politics (block walking, petition gathering, donating, making phone calls, and praying) that helped elect a new Republican State Senator Bernie Herpin and throw out the Democrat Senate President John Morse. This internationally-watched race confronted President Obama himself, who sent VP Joe Biden to lobby the Colorado Senate to punish gun-owners, but those efforts backfired.
That said, I still believe religious freedom is the First right, because even if you have the right to bear arms, assemble, speak, and petition, but you don't have the right to worship Almighty God or pray in Jesus' name, then the government still owns your soul. Let's tell them "not my soul" today.
In July, we reported on Christian-nation extremist David Lane’s closed-door pastors briefing in Iowa, and the presidential hopefuls and other politicians who have flocked to Lane’s gatherings over the years.
This week the Des Moines Register’s Jennifer Jacobs reported that Lane’s American Renewal Project is holding church-based voter registration drives on three Sundays this month: Sept. 15, Sept. 22 and Sept. 29. Steve Michael, a spokesperson for the project, told the Register that after the American Renewal Project’s $1.2 million voter registration campaign in Missouri during the last election cycle, the state saw a 3 percent increase in evangelical voters. He said it will organize in Iowa “steadily until the 2014 election.”
The "Stand-up Sundays" model goes like this: Pastors ask their congregation members to stand up if they're already registered. Volunteers will then hand out voter registration paperwork to the adults still seated. But each Iowa pastor will decide how to do it, Lane told the Register.
Iowa is among 11 states the American Renewal Project is targeting in the 2014 cycle, Michael said. The others are Alaska, Arkansas, Colorado, Louisiana, Montana, Nevada, North Carolina, South Carolina, South Dakota and West Virginia.
Organizers will do “Pastors and Pews” events followed by voter registration drives in each state. Next up is Louisiana on Sept. 26-27….
Lane said Iowa may be one of the most registered states in the nation, thanks to the attention from the presidential campaigns, so he expects Louisiana, Arkansas and North Carolina to be more "target rich areas."
It’s worth noting that Louisiana, Arkansas, and North Carolina are also among the top Senate races for 2014, as are other states on Lane’s target list.
One of the complaints that we hear occasionally from our readers or followers on Twitter is "why are you writing about Person X? Stop giving them publicity." And generally our response is that we pay attention to these people because others within the Religious Right movement and Republicans in Congress pay attention to them and so it is important to understand their views and agenda.
Take "Dr. Chaps" Gordon Klingenschmitt, for instance. He is a disgraced former Navy Chaplain who brags of having successfully performed an exorcism on a lesbian soldier and who has stated again and again that demonic spirits are behind everything from abortion to gay marriage to ENDA to President Obama to Madonna. He openly states that gay should be discriminated against and warns that President Obama is trying to create an atheist army to attack Christians, urging Christians to sell their clothes if they have to in order to purchase weapons with which to defend themselves.
And today, on his "Pray In Jesus Name" program he interviewed, in person, Colorado Republican Congressman Doug Lamborn where the two prayed together for the State of Israel:
The interview itself was rather unremarkable, but the fact that a member of Congress would agree to appear on a program hosted by a demon-obsessed anti-gay exorcist is anything but.
As you may have heard, 2010 Tea Party candidate Ken Buck has decided to throw his hat into the ring for the 2014 Senate race in Colorado. Unfortunately for him, no one has forgotten the extreme record that led voters to reject him last time around.
Former Congressman and current candidate for governor in Colorado, Tom Tancredo, was the guest on Rick Wiles' End Times radio broadcast yesterday where the two men engaged in a long and convoluted discussion about everything that was wrong with the nation and the world, including immigration reform, terrorism, and even the rise of gay rights.
In the end, both Wiles and Tancredo agreed that the only real solution is for this nation to turn back to God in order to free us from the trap created by Satan:
Tancredo: If this nation returned to God, if some crisis did occur that caused people to turn to God and not to government, we've got a chance under that scenario.
Wiles: That's really where it's coming down to, isn't it?
Tancredo: Yes it is. Yes it is.
Wiles: We're going into a situation that the people are going to have to chose who is their god.
Tancredo: Yes, God or Government. Boy, no kidding!
Wiles: That's really what it's coming down to.
Tancredo: Yeah, what's the big "G" in your life?
Wiles: Whatever you want to call this group of this secret government, whoever is running, with the power, what they've said to the American people ... It's really, at the core of it, it's Satan. I mean, He's working through his people on earth just as God works through people.
But literally what has been said to the American people is we will allow you to enjoy your sins - in fact, we will legalize your sins, we'll protect your sins, we'll encourage you to sin. In return, you give us your freedom.
Wiles: And now, the American people are caught in a trap.
Last week, People For the American Way Foundation joined a campaign to fight book censorship in a Colorado school district. The censorship battle began when a group of parents launched a petition to keep Toni Morrison’s The Bluest Eye out of the Legacy High School curriculum. Legacy High student Bailey Cross started a counter-petition emphasizing the dangerous precedent that this censorship would set and encouraging the school district to keep the book on the approved reading list.
PFAW Foundation sent a letter to the Adams 12 Five Star School District Board of Education showing support for the student’s campaign and urging the district to reject the attempts at censorship.
The efforts of the Foundation were highlighted by the Denver Post yesterday. Staff writer Yesenia Robles wrote that the parents involved claim the book is “developmentally inappropriate” and should be kept out of the classroom.
People For the American Way Foundation disagrees. Robles reports,
"We do understand this book has themes and content that are really challenging, but that's why it should be taught," foundation spokesman Drew Courtney said. "An important role of classrooms is to help students and young adults deal with that, to have those conversations in an intelligent way in the classrooms. Offering an alternative assignment is appropriate, but banning a prize-winning novel isn't prudence. It's censorship."
See the full Denver Post article here.
“If one book is banned from being taught in a classroom setting, then it opens the door for all books – and ideas – to be banned as well.”
These are the closing words to a petition launched by high school student Bailey Cross in response to an attempt to eliminate Toni Morrison’s The Bluest Eye from the high school curriculum in her Colorado school district. The school board will have to decide the fate of the book in the district’s classrooms, which a local news source has reported could happen as early as August.
In their petition, the students point out that parents or students who object to the reading assignment are already offered an alternative novel. In addition, teachers are not forced to teach the book. The outright elimination of this important piece of literature from the classroom would set a troubling precedent.
Today People For the American Way Foundation sent a letter on behalf of our 718,000 members to the Adams 12 Five Star School District Board of Education urging them to reject the attempts at censorship. The letter notes,
“Since it was first published in 1970, The Bluest Eye has been the target of censorship attempts because of its frank portrayal of racism and sexual assault. But shielding high school students from these subjects and from Morrison’s discussion of them does nothing to eliminate them from the world. Instead, Morrison’s nuanced discussions of difficult issues serve to help readers understand, discuss, and confront those issues…
“Our nation’s schools are meant to be places that encourage the free exchange of ideas.”
Let’s make sure we keep them that way.
After blaming the recent Colorado wildfires on women wearing hats and pants and gay people kissing, Colorado pastors and Generations Radio hosts Kevin Swanson and Dave Buehner warned yesterday that things in Colorado are getting even worse.
Swanson said that Colorado is “more tyrannical than communist China and maybe even North Korea” as a result of new pro-choice and gay rights laws, and is even on its way to becoming “the worst possible hellhole on planet earth.” “Their vision for Colorado is a drugged-out, marijuana’d-out, homosexual culture where children are abused as much as possible,” Swanson claimed, “this is the vision of the Democrats.”
If it was evil, they loved it; if it was against God’s laws, they said go for it. Our legislature in Colorado stuck a finger in God’s eye every opportunity that they had in this last legislative season, it was amazing, they obliterated family freedoms at every step, they trashed gun rights, they embraced every moral abomination they could find, they undermined liberty at every single point.
Their vision for Colorado is a drugged-out, marijuana’d-out homosexual culture where children are abused as much as possible, because children in non-nuclear families are twenty times more likely to be abused than children in nuclear families, so children abused as much as possible.
This is the vision of the Democrats, get children abused, kill them in the womb as much as possible, be sure there are as many dysfunctional families as possible, as many homosexual families as possible and children abused as much as possible, so government can grow their child welfare services even more, so that they can kill more kids, so that more adults can commit adultery, so that more kids would be murdered, so that more kids would be abused, so more government would tax and regulate and tax and regulate to produce the worst possible hellhole on planet earth.
Swanson and Buehner later claimed that Karl Marx “was a Satanist” who has won adherents among “most of the world” and “most of the universities.”
“It’s interesting how the most evil people in the world who bring about the Marxist, Communist, pro-abortion, pro-homosexual agendas typically revert back to the worship of Satan,” Swanson said.
Buehner agreed that progressives are “turning towards Satan” and resisting God: “their vision is orgies in the street; their vision is where every man is his own god. They hear the words of the serpent, ‘you’ll be as gods knowing good and evil for yourselves,’ and they say, ‘yeah, bring it on, that’s what I’m all about baby, keep that guy off the throne so that we could be there.”
Last week on Generations Radio, Colorado pastors Kevin Swanson and Dave Buehner addressed the forest fires hitting their state. They wondered why God was punishing Colorado with the fires, and specifically targeting the heavily conservative city of Colorado Springs.
The two ultimately determined that the forest fires were linked to the state’s liberal abortion laws and the recent success of civil union legislation. Swanson added that a Denver Post photograph of State House Majority Leader Mark Ferrandino kissing his partner also played a role in inviting God’s wrath.
Buehner: Why Colorado Springs? Understand that Colorado itself is a state that has been begging for God’s judgment. How did we do that? Well, we were the first state to make abortion legal; you could murder your baby as long as it’s in your womb.
Buehner: Gov. Love, a Republican.
Swanson: Two ironies there, not just one, the man’s name was Gov. Love and he’s responsible for killing more babies than probably anybody in the history of this country because he’s the guy who started it.
Buehner: Our legislative session opened up this year and their very first order of business, their most pressing order of business—
Swanson: They could hardly wait, they could hardly wait.
Buehner: Like the very first day, was to pass a civil union bill, which is an uncivil bill.
Swanson: When you have a state where the House leadership is performing a homosexual act on the front page of the Denver Post two months ago? Does God read the Denver Post? Do you think He picks up a copy of the Denver Post? He gets it. God gets the Denver Post.
Buehner concluded that Coloradans should be glad God “hasn’t destroyed the whole state yet” as “an act of grace.” But why were the fires concentrated in Colorado Springs, Buehner asked, “Why not wipe out Boulder or Denver” where all the Democrats live? He answered his own question: “Judgment begins in the House of God.”
Later, Swanson elaborated on the point, saying that Christians have not done a good of a job resisting cultural trends pushed by television shows and fashion. He described a particularly disturbing plane ride he took back from Australia, in which he was forced to look at other people’s airplane TV sets. “I’ve never seen so many breasts in all of my life,” he reported. “Every form of aberrant sexuality and women’s breasts are shown in front of me almost nonstop for fourteen hours.”
After saying that he was a victim of “oppressive” breast exposure, he criticized young men for “doing the metrosexual thing with the skinny pants and the little fairy shoes” and not growing out their facial hair as God commands. But feminism is also to blame, he said, as too many Christian women have embraced feminist fashions like hats and pantsuits.
Buehner: Colorado is asking for judgment and God is delivering it in little pieces. He is very gracious that He hasn’t destroyed the whole state yet; I think that’s an act of grace. But then the question is: of all of Colorado, why Colorado Springs? I mean, Colorado Springs is the Christian mecca. Why not wipe out Boulder or Denver? I mean those people are in more radical rebellion.
Swanson: Oh yeah, they’re Democrats up there.
Buehner: And the answer is: judgment begins in the House of God.
Swanson: Coming back from Australia, I’m stuck in fourteen hours of these visual presentations, sitcoms and stuff, on seventeen screens in front of me and I’ve never seen so many breasts in all of my life. The immodesty going on in our society is far worse than it was back when Cheers, Family Ties and The Cosby Show was playing. I mean every form of aberrant sexuality and women’s breasts are shown in front of me almost nonstop for fourteen hours. It’s just such an oppressive, horrible, horrible world and so many of our young girls in our Christian churches are running down to Wal-Mart and buying the same clothes. These are the sorts of things that I’m bringing out in front of God’s people, I’m saying: how are we going to repent of the sexual sin that is paraded in front of us in the wider culture? Why do we have to submit to theses sexual sins again and again?
I brought up androgyny and how many young boys are running out and doing the metrosexual thing with the skinny pants and the little fairy shoes. They’re working on the gender blender for themselves and they don’t want to look like a man and God is just so upset, He hates it when man are not manly in their approach. 1 Corinthians 6 speaks about homosexuality and feminine behavior and feminine dress for men. God does not want men to be androgynous and feminine like in their approach; He gave them facial hair for a reason.
These are the sorts of things that I preached yesterday because I said, you could just say, ‘well all of the unisex, homosexual, metrosexual stuff that’s out in the world is so bad but we’re not going to repent of anything, we’re not going to look any different, we’re not going to bear any fruits of repentance in the way that we dress and the way that we interact.’ Then I brought out the whole thing on feminism and how feminism has corrupted our women today. I brought out this quote from Forbes magazine, July 27, 2012:
It’s hard to deny the key role that fashion has played in the women’s movement…Ms. Magazine points to New York City women garment workers in the early 20th century who wore hats to signify that they were earning their own money, and thus financially independent. Women in the 1980s adopted a male style of dress—ties, tailored skirt suits, shoulder pads—in order to gain a foothold in the male dominated world of business. And Carol Moseley Braun, the first African American woman elected to the U.S. Senate, wore a pantsuit on the Senate floor in 1993, ending the Senate’s ban on women wearing slacks there.
My question was: Do you resist feminist trends? Do you argue with it? Do you find ways to oppose it? Or do you just succumb to it and just kowtow to feminism? Dave, I’m afraid this stuff is all over the place in our nice little evangelical, reformed, conservative, fundamentalist churches.
Buehner: Kevin my main text this last Lord’s Day: God is a consuming fire.
Pastors Kevin Swanson and Dave Buehner are no strangers to making extreme and disturbing anti-gay statements on their show Generations Radio, so it comes as no surprise that they did not exactly react well to Colorado’s passage of a civil unions bill and a Denver Post photograph of State House Majority Leader Mark Ferrandino kissing his partner.
Swanson compared Ferrandino and his partner to Ahab, the Baal worshiping king in the Bible who was married to Jezebel, and Nero, the Roman emperor who persecuted Christians, and maintained they are “showing the big middle finger to God above.”
Indeed, he said that the “Colorado government is the worst in the world” and “probably even worse than the North Korean government.”
Buehner agreed and argued that the photograph should be labeled “Capital Crime,” implying that the kiss is a crime punishable by death.
Swanson: Colorado’s become probably the worst state in the union right now and I happen to be broadcasting from the state of Colorado. The front page of the Denver Post yesterday morning gave us a picture of our leaders that is the House Majority Leader in Colorado who is celebrating and dancing on the gravestone of the old Christian order of the last 2,000 years because they have won and God is dead as far as they are concerned. We have the House Majority Leader, and by the way 10 percent of the House and Senate in Colorado are homosexuals, and Dave they are performing a homosexual act on the front page of the Denver Post, meaning that the Denver government as far as I’m concerned is probably the most immoral government, flagrantly thwarting the government of God in Heaven, and they are doing it far worse than anybody in Communist China government has ever done, probably worse than the North Korean government as well.
I would say at this point in the history of America, Colorado government is the worst in the world as far as flagrantly thwarting God’s law on the front page of the Denver Post. Dave, a homosexual act being performed in this picture on the front page of the Denver Post, just shocking, I saw you turn your head, you took one look and turned your head, you didn’t want to look at it, I’m going to turn it over.
Buehner: The headline should read ‘Capital Crime.’ A little pun intended there because it is a capital crime.
Swanson: These are our leaders. This is Ahab. This is Nero. Well, Nero did effectively the same thing, he was doing the same thing and of course he persecuted Christians, which is what happens, so not completely unusual in the history of the world. But Dave we’re talking about the apostate Christian West and showing the big middle finger to God above and thwarting his law. This is about as blatant as I’ve ever seen in my life; this is the most blatant thing I’ve seen in my life.
Buehner: This is brazen, what San Francisco has done on the city level, Colorado is now doing on the state level.
Buehner said that the story points to the “demise of Western civilization” and should have “never be brought to public life,” and Swanson said that gays and lesbians are embarking on a “mass propaganda campaign and they’re going to put Christians in prison.” Buehner added that “these people are intent on defying; giving the middle finger to the God who is…this is the anti-God religion.”
Swanson was later adamant that conservatives need to “bring down the socialist schools” and “dismantle the public schools” in order to stop the left and the gay rights movement before they “destroy our freedoms.”
The pastors later defended the Mennonite pastor Kenneth Miller, who was recently convicted for aiding Lisa Miller (no relation) in kidnapping her daughter Isabella to avoid a court order that gave Miller’s former partner Janet Jenkins custody over Isabella. Buehner even compared the kidnapping case to helping someone leave a concentration camp.
Swanson: Now Dave I just wrote a letter to this guy in care of the Amish Mennonite church in Stuarts Draft, Virginia. I have no idea who this guy is, I understand he is being persecuted for his faith and he took a righteous position. He tried to as a leader in his church develop a righteous position, what position should he take, on this particular case and it did not happen to coalesce with the United States government’s position that would render as many possible liberties and freedoms to those that violate God’s law as possible. So this man I believe took a righteous position and it was a difficult position, probably a very difficult position, it would have taken a lot of wisdom and a lot of thought — should he do this, should he do that — and he wound up taking I think a righteous position on this issue and he is being persecuted for his pains, serving three years in a jail in Virginia. At least two pastors right now in America are being persecuted, nothing in comparison to what’s happening in places like Iran, however.
Buehner: I would like to say that this Mennonite pastor did pretty much follow the path set out by Rutherford: you want to fight the case as much as you can in court and when you lose there then you flee. And they fled and he helped them to flee. If somebody wanted to leave the public schools I would help them leave the public schools; if somebody wanted to leave a concentration camp and I was in Nazi Germany I would try and help them to leave the concentration camp. I believe, and I believe this pastor also believes, that this mother and child were in deep, grave moral danger and perhaps even physical danger and their opportunity to practice the Christian faith was compromised in America so I stand with him.
Kevin Swanson of Generations Radio has a dark view of what will come if Colorado passes a bill allowing civil unions for same-sex couples. As soon as 2022, Swanson warns, the government will snatch kids from homeschooling families and deliver them to members of the North American Man/Boy Love Association, a tiny fringe group that looms large in the nightmares of the anti-gay movement. He cites the discredited Regnerus study, which drew conclusions about LGBT parenting without actually studying LGBT parents.
Swanson: You need to understand the agenda here. What’s happening is they want homosexuals to be able to be involved in adoption and foster care as much anybody else. So picture a nice little homeschool family, just trying to do the right thing. An anonymous tip comes in, social services swoops in, they grab the kids in the year 2022 and the kids get remanded into a home with homosexuals and these particular homosexuals happen to be tied into NAMBLA and other things. You know what’s going to happen. There will be proper indoctrination into a certain kind of worldview, shall we say.
Buehner: One that the Bible calls for capital punishment. That kind of worldview. It’ll be a tragedy in that house.
Swanson: Yeah. It’s a tragedy. It’s a tragedy. And I think there are a lot of concerned parents. There are concerned Catholic parents. There are concerned homeschool parents. And especially when you get a Regnerus study that comes out and says they’re ten times more likely to be touched sexually by a parent in a homosexual home than, you know, the normal American secular home. Wow. That’s frightening.
But it won’t end there. Swanson walks us through his version of gay history, from “weird” and “decadent” marriages during the reign of Nero to the early 20th century when there were only “three homosexuals in the world” to the present day when “we have a problem that’s probably about 10,000 times if not 100,000 times worse than it was 100 years ago.” We’re coming full circle, Swanson argues, and soon gay-friendly churches “will do their best to burn Christians at the stake or do what Nero did… because that’s sort of the history of homosexuals.”
Ladies and gentlemen, this is not the first time society’s had to deal with this kind of issue, but man, it is out of the closet, it is probably more significant, it is probably more widespread than it has ever been in the history of the world. Just remember about 100 years ago, you had three homosexuals in the world as far as anybody really knew. There was a Canadian named Robert Ross, an Englishman named Oscar Wilde, an American named Walt Whitman. They led the charge in the early 1900’s and wound up in and out of the prison system and in court and so forth for a period of time. And again, there was only about three that anybody knew of and it was hardly anything that was mentioned among the established world at that time, that is in Europe, Canada and America. But you did have those three men, as far as history bears out, Robert Ross, Oscar Wilde and Walt Whitman were well-known for some level of homosexual activity, although they could not call themselves homosexuals at that time.
Well now, of course, it’s the most out of the closet and the encouragement to the homosexual lifestyle is everywhere and we have a problem that’s probably about 10,000 times if not 100,000 times worse than it was 100 years ago. I don’t know how far this one’s gonna go my friends. I’m not sure the world has ever gone to homosexual marriage. I think Nero tried it, it was very, very odd, very weird, very, very decadent for the Roman Empire. It’s about the worst the Roman Empire ever, ever got, under Nero. And of course the persecutions that came with Nero were intense for the Church of Christ in Rome at that time. Today, it might be a little different because you have a lot of quote-unquote apostate Christian churches that have adopted homosexuality and they will do their best to burn Christians at the stake or do what Nero did, I’m sure, in the years to come, because that’s sort of the history of homosexuals and what they have done ever since they were banging on the doors outside of Lot’s house.
Out of State Money Floods Contests in 2012
Washington, DC – Today People For the American Way Foundation unveiled new state-by-state fact sheets detailing outside spending in U.S. Senate and House races in 21 states. Each report analyzes the outside spending totals from Super PACs, dark money groups, and out-of-state spenders in the down ballot federal races from the 2012 election cycle. The fact sheets reveal that, on average, a majority of outside election money in these states came from Super PACs. And in every case, a vast majority came from organizations registered outside of the state.
The release of the “Outside Spending, Outsized Influence” reports coincide with the weekend marking Martin Luther King, Jr. Day and the third anniversary of Citizens United v. FEC to draw attention to the dual threats of voter suppression and unlimited corporate and special interest money in politics. The reports – a partnership between PFAWF and U.S. PIRG – are part of the Money Out/Voters In campaign. As part of that campaign, People For the American Way Foundation, its affiliate People For the American Way, and other organizers across the country are hosting “Day of Action” events in more than 76 cities in 33 states this weekend. Members of People For the American Way Foundation’s African American Ministers Leadership Council will be leading Money Out/Voters In events in Georgia, Louisiana, Massachusetts, Michigan, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, and Virginia.
“Last year’s elections were far and away the most expensive in history,” said People For the American Way Foundation Executive Vice President Marge Baker. “A major reason was the influx of outside, special interest spending in the wake of the Supreme Court’s Citizens United v. FEC decision. When big money floods our elections, it dwarfs the ability of individual Americans to have their voices heard. Just as important, when politicians push laws to suppress the vote, we turn back the clock on decades on progress to expand and improve our democracy. We need to pursue the full range of remedies to address the problem of too much money in politics, including amending the Constitution to overturn Citizens United, and we need to stand up against the growing threat of voter suppression. This weekend we are joining with allies across the country to call for a democracy that gets Money Out and Voters In.”
The states featured in the reports are California, Colorado, Connecticut, Georgia, Iowa, Illinois, Indiana, Massachusetts, Maine, Maryland, Michigan, North Carolina, New Jersey, Nevada, New York, Ohio, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Texas, Utah, and Wisconsin.
For links to each report, please visit: http://www.pfaw.org/issues/outside-spending-outsized-influence-big-and-s...
For more information about the Money Out/Voters In campaign or the Days of Action, please visit: http://www.moneyout-votersin.org
Earlier this year, we reported that Colorado pastor Dave Buehner of Generations Radio said that homosexuality will “destroy society… destroy everything,” a statement he made after likening gays to cannibals and child molesters. Today, Joe Jervis alerted us to an interview Buehner gave to Colorado Springs NBC affiliate KOAA, which reported that Buehner’s comments are “causing a national stir.”
Buehner repeated his claims about homosexuality and claimed that homosexuals should be treated like rapists and murderers. He also urged Colorado legislators to “remove homosexuals from society, saying they’ll also pay the price at the golden gates if they don't fall in line.”
Buehner maintained: “God’s law to the civil magistrate in terms of homosexuality says you should remove the abomination from the land, so that's God’s instruction to the people who work up in the capitol who make our laws. That’s what they’re going to be held accountable for.”
President Obama will end his second term with more vacancies on the federal courts than there were when he started. Today there are 99 vacancies on the federal circuit and district courts, 33 of which are for courts that are so busy that they’ve been officially designated “judicial emergencies.” This glut of vacancies is in large part due to Senate Republicans’ persistent obstruction of the president’s nominees – even the ones from their own states who they purportedly support. During President Obama’s first term, judicial nominees have had to wait on average three times as long after committee approval for a vote from the full Senate as did nominees in President George W. Bush’s first term.
But some vacancies are due to a less well-known but all too common delay at the very start of the nominations process.
Before he makes a nomination to the federal judiciary, President Obama asks senators from the state where the vacancy has occurred to present him with recommendations. It’s a way to identify nominees from any given state and to ensure home-state, often bipartisan, support for nominees. The problem is, senators from both parties have too often dragged their feet in recommending acceptable nominees, leading to often years-long vacancies in the federal courts.
These vacancies exist despite the fact that most federal judges give months, sometimes even a full year of notice before retiring or taking senior status (semi-retirement) so that a replacement can be found.
This week, senators from Colorado and New Mexico showed how the process is meant to work – and how it would work, if all senators followed their lead.
In Colorado, district court judge Wiley Daniel announced last winter that he would be leaving his seat in January 2013. Colorado senators Mark Udall and Michael Bennet set up a bipartisan commission to find qualified nominees for the seat in a timely manner. They then recommended a set of finalists to the White House, which in turn nominated Raymond P. Moore on Tuesday, before the seat he would fill becomes vacant. Of the 18 future vacancies currently listed by the Administrative Office of U.S. Courts, Colorado is one of only two states with a nominee.
In New Mexico, Judge Bruce Black announced in June that he would be leaving the court in October, just a few short months. So New Mexico’s senators, Tom Udall and Jeff Bingaman, announced their bipartisan commission that very day, leading to the president’s nomination yesterday of Kenneth John Gonzales to fill the vacancy.
There is no excuse for seats on the federal courts to be left open for years, as caseloads multiply and litigants face delays. The senators from Colorado and New Mexico showed how the front end of the judicial nominations process can be efficient and fair.
Washington, DC – At a time when there is a record vacancy crisis in the federal courts, Colorado senators Mark Udall and Michael Bennet have done something unusual: they have expedited the judicial nomination process so that a seat on the U.S. District Court for the District of Colorado will transfer hands without a long period of vacancy. If the Senate confirms him promptly, Raymond P. Moore will take the place of Judge Wiley Daniel soon after his seat becomes vacant in January.
People For the American Way praised Sens. Udall and Bennet for their attention to helping the president nominate a qualified jurist for the federal district court in Colorado. “Federal courts across the country are struggling to meet the needs of the American people. In many cases, it is because Senate Republicans are obstructing President Obama’s nominees. But too often, it is simply because senators are dragging their feet in recommending nominees to the president,” said Marge Baker, Executive Vice President of People For the American Way. “Senators Udall and Bennet have shown how the process can be swift and efficient.”
Federal judges often announce planned departures from the bench many months in advance so that the process for nominating and confirming a replacement can begin early, thus minimizing the amount of time that a seat is vacant. Then, for district courts in particular, the White House seeks recommendations of potential nominees from the state’s senators. In too many states, delay on the part of senators means a significantly delayed nomination, leaving courtroom vacancies unfilled. As a result, most future vacancies become current vacancies with no replacement nominated.
That is not what happened in Colorado. Last winter, district court Judge Wiley Daniel announced that he would be taking senior status beginning in January 2013. Sens. Udall and Bennet promptly put together an 11-member bipartisan advisory commission to help identify highly qualified candidates for the vacancy, which accepted applications during the spring and submitted its recommendations to the senators. The senators then forwarded the finalists to the White House, which conducted its own review, leading to the president’s nomination yesterday of Raymond P. Moore, a longtime federal public defender.
Yesterday, the wheels have been set in motion for the Senate to begin its consideration of the nomination, before the vacancy even opens up.
“The process that Senators Udall and Bennet set in motion to nominate Moore should not be unusual,” added Baker. “Instead, it should be a model for senators across the country. It is a testament to the commitment of Sens. Bennet and Udall to making sure that no Coloradan is denied their day in court, one that I hope many of their colleagues will emulate.”
Washington, DC – The movement to overturn Citizens United v. FEC scored major victories in state and local elections across the country Tuesday as citizens voted to support a constitutional amendment returning democracy to voters. Statewide ballot initiatives calling for a constitutional amendment passed by wide margins in Colorado and Montana, as did initiatives in over half the cities and towns of Massachusetts. Initiatives in San Francisco, Chicago, and three cities in Oregon also passed by wide margins.
“Americans across the country are fed up with the enormous influence of big money in elections,” said Marge Baker, Executive Vice President of People For the American Way. “Yesterday, over seven million Americans in six states spoke out with their votes and overwhelmingly rejected corporate money in politics. What’s more, Americans reelected a president who supports a constitutional amendment to overturn Citizens United over a man who thinks “corporations are people.” This is a huge step for the ever-growing movement to return elections to the voters.”
More details about the successful ballot measures can be found here.