Michigan

Ted Cruz And Mike Huckabee Follow David Lane's Christian-Nation Road Show To Michigan

Christian-nation activist David Lane is engaged in a multi-year, multi-state project to get conservative evangelical pastors more involved in electing right-wing candidates, and he is intent on making sure that the GOP nominates a 2016 presidential candidate to the Religious Right’s liking.

In spite of his extremism, Lane regularly gets Republican presidential candidates to attend his American Renewal Project events. On Monday night, Ted Cruz and Mike Huckabee spoke at a Michigan Renewal Project “Pastors Policy Briefing.”

Lane generally tries to stay out of the media spotlight, unless it’s for a friendly face like the Christian Broadcasting Network’s David Brody. Even the media-hungry Cruz and Huckabee slipped quietly into Lansing for the event, which the Detroit News picked up on a few days later.

Also speaking at the event was Chad Connelly, the former head of the South Carolina GOP who was hired by the Republican National Committee last year to strengthen the party’s relationship with conservative evangelicals. According to news reports at the time, the Southern Baptist Connelly was brought on to energize evangelicals, some of whom were feeling disillusioned by recent national GOP candidates and by what they saw as the party’s “softening” on marriage equality.

Among the other speakers listed in a promotion for Monday’s event in the August newsletter of the American Decency Association:  right-wing radio host Dennis Prager, “historians” David Barton and Bill Federer, the American Family Association’s Don Wildmon, Liberty Counsel’s Mat Staver, former Congressman Bob McEwen, and Pastor Laurence White of the Texas Restoration Project.

It seems as if Cruz is equally at home in front of the camera and behind closed doors. The Detroit News reports that he “made a quiet visit to Michigan Sunday and Monday, meeting with Republican Party activists in events that were kept hush-hush until photos of the tea party stalwart and potential 2016 presidential candidate surfaced on social media.”

In addition to Lane’s event, the paper reports, “Cruz appeared at four events over the two-day period organized by Ron Weiser, the Ann Arbor developer and national Republican fundraiser with connections throughout the country.” The paper says Weisner is seeking the GOP nomination for a seat on the University of Michigan board of regents.  Among other attendees at Cruz events were Lt. Gov. Brian Calley and Tea Party activist Wendy Day, who recently lost a GOP primary bid for seat in the state House.

Young Progressive Leaders Win Primary Races in Michigan, Show Payoff of Investing in Youth

A successful movement begins with a plan for change. People For the American Way’s plan is simple: identify people with an interest and a passion for service who represent the diversity of their communities, equip them with the knowledge, skills and tools necessary for success, and offer long-term support and access to a network of like-minded leaders.

This summer’s primary elections prove this plan is not just theoretical. It stands up to the test. Its success can be seen last week in the state of Michigan — a prime battleground for state and national issues ranging from marriage equality to workers’ rights to women’s rights — where a group of young, progressive leaders won their primary elections.

One candidate for a Michigan House of Representatives seat is Jon Hoadley. He’s an openly-gay man, 30 years old, who is running for office for the first time. He’s also an alumnus of affiliate PFAW Foundation’s Youth Leadership Programs – Young People For and the Front Line Leaders Academy. Last week Hoadley won his primary race for the District 60 seat in the Michigan State House of Representatives and, if he wins the general election in November, will become a member of the Young Elected Officials (YEO) Network.

And Hoadley is in good company. Last month PFAW Action Fund endorsed a slate of young progressive candidates through the Young Elected Progressives endorsement program. Together they represent a progressive direction for the state. PFAW is proud to support these leaders as they move towards the general election in November or toward future efforts to advance progressive values in Michigan.
                               
If the 2014 primary elections and the slate of candidates, including Hoadley, running for office this year are an indication of the payoff of PFAW’s investment in young leaders, then we are off to a great start. It shows that what we have works. We’ve made real change. But it also proves the necessity of continued investment in progressive infrastructure to make a difference on these critical issues, now and in the long term.

We’re at a time when the influence of money in politics goes unchecked, access to the ballot box is challenged, and the far Right is becoming increasingly extreme, intolerant, and out of touch. The individuals endorsed in PFAW’s Young Elected Progressives campaign are standing up to defend and lead with the values of freedom, fairness, and equality for all.

PFAW

Anti-Gay Activist Gary Glenn Wins GOP Primary In Michigan

American Family Association of Michigan president Gary Glenn won a Republican primary for a seat in the Michigan state House yesterday, making him potentially the second most virulently anti-gay GOP candidate in the country, behind Colorado demon-hunter Gordon Klingenschmitt.

Glenn was a prominent supporter of Michigan’s 2004 constitutional amendment banning marriage equality and was a big backer of his “very special friend” Mike Huckabee’s 2008 presidential bid. As the head of the American Family Association’s Michigan affiliate, Glenn has pushed any number of extreme anti-gay positions:

This, of course, is all run of the mill for someone associated with the American Family Association.

PFAW and Allies Host Young Political Leaders Event at Netroots Nation in Detroit

As Netroots Nation wrapped up its visit to the Motor City on Saturday, PFAW partnered with LaunchProgress and the Michigan Democratic Party’s Youth Caucus to celebrate a strong slate of young progressive candidates running for office in the state.

The Young Political Leaders Happy Hour featured many of Michigan’s young progressive candidates and staff, who came together to network and talk politics following the closing session at Netroots Nation. In June PFAW announced its Michgan slate of Young Elected Progressives (YEP) program endorsees, some of whom were able to join the party at the end of a long day of knocking on doors in their districts.  

Thanks to all who joined us in Detroit!

PFAW

PFAW Action Fund Endorses Young Progressive Candidates in Michigan

People For the American Way Action Fund today endorsed a slate of young progressive candidates running for the Michigan State Legislature. The endorsements are part of PFAW Action Fund’s Young Elected Progressives (YEP) program that supports progressive candidates age 35 and younger. The Michigan candidates endorsed today are a diverse mix of progressive leaders who are positioned to make Michigan’s legislature be more inclusive and accountable.

“These candidates are the best and brightest young progressive candidates running for the legislature in Michigan,” said PFAW Political Director Randy Borntrager. “They are people-oriented folks from all walks of life who will fight for social, economic, and environmental justice, and promote equality for all. Their leadership in their communities demonstrates a progressive vision that will benefit all Michiganders.”

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

•         Stephanie Chang – MI House District 6
•         Jon Hoadley – MI House District 60
•         David Knezek – MI Senate District 5
•         Kristy Pagan – MI House District 21
•         Rebecca Thompson – MI District 1
•         Robert Wittenberg – MI House District 27

###

People For the American Way Action Fund Endorses Young Progressive Candidates in Michigan

People For the American Way Action Fund today announced its endorsements of a slate of young progressive candidates running for the Michigan State Legislature. The endorsees include a diverse mix of 35-and-younger candidates running for the Michigan state House of Representatives and state Senate, representing a new generation of progressive leaders who will put Michigan’s legislature back-on-track towards a common sense, inclusive, accountable public policy agenda for the state’s future. Their leadership represents a progressive vision that will benefit all Michiganders as they fight for social, economic, 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 age 35-and-younger 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 Michigan YEP candidates for 2014:

Stephanie Chang – MI House District 6

Running for Michigan’s House of Representatives District 6, Stephanie Chang is a Michigander whose dedication to the community has benefited many. Chang has worked around the state advocating for Affirmative Action, serving as a mentor for Detroit Asian Youth Project, and promoting a fair justice system. Chang’s knowledge and breadth of experience in Michigan make her an important leader for the state as she fights for social, economic, and environmental justice. Visit Stephanie’s page for more details.

Jon Hoadley – MI House District 60

Jon Hoadley is the clear choice to represent Michigan’s 60th District in the state House of Representatives. Hoadley, a small business owner and member of several advocacy organizations in Kalamazoo, is deeply ingrained and in tune with the needs of his community, which makes him the ideal representative. He has already worked to better Kalamazoo advocating for full LGBTQ equality, creating strong and sustainable public schools, and protecting the environment. Visit Jon’s page for more details.

David Knezek – MI Senate District 5

David Knezek is running for Michigan state Senate’s 5th District and has proven that he is the ideal candidate for the position. Knezek is a true leader, having been promoted to the rank of Sergeant during his time in the U.S. Marine Corps. At the University of Michigan-Dearborn, he was elected Student Government President, and in his senior year of college he was elected to be a Michigan state representative. Knezek has proven that he will advocate for his community and improve education, public safety, and job opportunities for Michigan citizens. Visit David’s page for more details.

Kristy Pagan – MI House District 21

Born and bred in Michigan, Kristy Pagan is the ideal candidate for the 21st District of Michigan’s state House of Representatives. She has worked in Washington, D.C. as a legislative aide and a national grassroots organizer. Her determination to serve coupled with her knowledge of and dedication to Michigan will serve the state well. Pagan is a true progressive, and has both the resolve and the passion to reform Michigan’s educational system, advocate for women and children, and improve job growth. Visit Kristy's page for more details.

Rebecca Thompson – MI District 1

Rebecca Thompson is running for election to the 1st District of the Michigan state House of Representatives. Thompson was born and raised in Detroit, and overcame experiences with poverty and homelessness to become a leader in the community. She has worked tirelessly to better Detroit for everyone, using her own experiences to positively impact those around her. Thompson is passionate about affordable education, improving safety, protecting women’s rights, and advocating for her community. Visit Rebecca's page for more details.

Robert Wittenberg – MI House District 27
                                                                                                                     
Robert Wittenberg is running to represent District 27 in the Michigan state House of Representatives. After being inspired by his parents’ and brothers’ work, he is determined to follow in their footsteps and serve his community. As a public servant, he advocates for full equality for the LGBTQ community, increased public transportation, and access to healthcare for all. Visit Robert's page for more details.

PFAW

Michigan Pastor Claims 'Enemies Of God' Are Behind Marriage Equality

Stacy Swimp, the Michigan pastor who has berated homosexuality as “genocidal” and “destructive,” told Janet Mefferd last Friday that marriage equality is a project of the “enemies of God.”

“The press, throughout the annals of modern history, has been used by the enemies of God to change culture and by using cultural change or influencing cultural change, the enemies of God have been able to create a moral collapse in our society and in our political realm,” Swimp said, before railing against “ravaged activist judges.”

Swimp has recently protested a Michigan court ruling in favor of marriage equality and a recent push to include sexual orientation protections in anti-discrimination laws.

GOP Congressman Set To Appear With Activist Who Wants Obama Killed For Treason

Republican congressman Kerry Bentivolio is set to appear at a right-wing conference taking place May 16-18 with an activist who believes President Obama should be killed. “The Freedom Summit: Prepare to Govern!,” organized by the Michigan Conservative Political Action Conference, is hosting the Michigan congressman along with Jim Garrow, a conservative conspiracy theorist who claims he used to be a US intelligence agent.

Other scheduled speakers include Paul Vallely, the former general who floated the idea of leading an anti-Obama “revolution”; RNC Committeeman Dave Agema, notorious for his anti-gay remarks; anti-Obama conspiracy theorist Trevor Loudon; conservative activist Cleta Mitchell and far-right professor and Michele Bachmann’s mentor John Eidsmoe.

Garrow has appeared on several fringe media outlets to promote his claim that Obama plotted to kill 300 million people through a nuclear EMP attack on America, which he said was attempted at the behest of George Soros.

He even alleged that the Obama administration is preparing to launch a new anti-American plot with the help of aliens and Canadian troops, warning that Obama seeks “to wipe us out.”

Garrow has claimed that President Obama and administration officials are “guilty of treason” and therefore “you’re supposed to hang them.” “Obama himself has been a traitor and been involved in treason against the Republic, for which you know the penalty is death,” he said.

He believes Obama “needs to be in fact tried for treason and of course the finality of that is a man gets either put up against a wall and shot or hung.”

Garrow also said Obama is like a “rabid dog” who needs to be “put down for the protection of the innocent and to prevent the spread of disease,” and in an interview with Erik Rush wondered why White House officials are “not going to be stoned to death or hung from gallows.”

Unsurprinsingly, he has repeatedly called for a military coup and a “guerrilla war” against Obama, or as he calls him “Bathhouse Barry.”

“Why is he still sitting in the Oval Office and not in chains and under arrest,” Garrow asked in one Facebook post.

When not calling for Obama’s death, Garrow concocts conspiracy theories about how Obama blew up the missing Malaysia Airlines plane, plans to impose Sharia law and guillotine executions and will declare himself to be the Twelfth Imam.

While it seems that Rep. Bentivolio, who has said he “dreams” of impeaching Obama, is set to share a stage with a conspiracy theorist who has made repeated statements demanding Obama’s execution, he wouldn’t be the first GOP congressman to link up with such an activist, as it was only last year that Rep. Steve Stockman invited Ted Nugent to the State of the Union Address after the musician called for Obama to “suck on my machine gun.”

Sotomayor's Schuette Dissent

Justice Sotomayor analyzes a state constitutional ban on affirmative action through the lens of history and the reality of race in America.
PFAW Foundation

Herman Cain's Website Upset That 'Vagina Woman' Running For Michigan Lt. Gov

Dan Calabrese, the editor-in-chief of Herman Cain’s Best of Cain website, is appalled that Michigan Democratic gubernatorial frontrunner Mark Schauer has picked “Vagina Woman” Lisa Brown to be his running mate.

In 2012, Republicans in the Michigan House barred Brown, then a state representative, from speaking on the House floor after she used the word “vagina” in a speech against an anti-choice bill.

In a column titled “Democrats pick The Vagina Woman for Michigan's Lt. Governor” (url: “democrats-nominate-the-vagina”), Calabrese writes that Brown and Texas state Sen. Wendy Davis are “highly un-accomplished” and that their “main claim to fame is having talked publicly about their own sexual organs.”

“[I]t's worth taking a look when a candidate chooses a running mate with nothing much to recommend her except the fact that she once angrily mentioned one of her own body parts during a legislative session,” Calabrese adds, also objecting to the fact that Brown, who is now a county clerk, issued marriage licenses to same-sex couples this month in the days before a marriage equality ruling was stayed.

It is not normally worth much news coverage when a candidate picks a running mate, although it usually gets a fair amount because political junkies tend to be obsessed with such minutia. But it's worth taking a look when a candidate chooses a running mate with nothing much to recommend her except the fact that she once angrily mentioned one of her own body parts during a legislative session, and that brings us to Mark Schauer, Michigan's presumptive Democrat nominee for governor, and his new running mate, Lisa Brown[.]

...

But it's the same thing they did in Texas, where the highly un-accomplished Wendy Davis is being touted for governor because she got a lot of media attention for staging a talk-a-thon in protest of restrictions on abortion. That's not working out too well, as Davis is way behind in the polls and her campaign has been beset by revelations about her supposedly inspirational life story. But that's what you get when you choose a candidate based on personal media narrative - especially one as flimsly as this - rather than actual qualifications.

Mark Schauer is no great prize either. He served one term in Congress before being turned out in the 2010 Red Wave election, but he was there long enough to vote for Obama's massive "stimulus" boondoggle and, of course, ObamaCare. He now spends his time engaging in every conventional Democrat pander of the moment, including demands that the minimum wage be raised and lots of blather about the "middle class" and so forth. And now he's proving that he knows the current Democrat playbooks very well, which is why he has selected the latest so-called victim of the "war on women" on the apparent belief that voters want to put the fortunes of their states in the hands of people whose main claim to fame is having talked publicly about their own sexual organs.

Fair Housing for LGBT People Rejected in Louisiana

Under current law, Louisiana protects the ability "to compete for available housing on an open, fair, and equitable basis, regardless of race, color, religion, [and] sex." House Bill 804, introduced by Representative Jared Brossett of New Orleans, would have added to the list protections for sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression, and marital status.
PFAW

Judge Strikes Michigan’s Ban on Marriage for Same-Sex Couples

A federal judge ruled today that Michigan’s ban on marriage for same-sex couples is unconstitutional, the latest in a string of state marriage equality victories.

The Associated Press reports:

U.S. District Judge Bernard Friedman announced his ruling after a rare two-week trial that mostly focused on the impact of same-sex parenting on children.

There was no indication that the judge was suspending his decision. Attorney General Bill Schuette said he was immediately filing a request with a federal appeals court to suspend Friedman's decision and prevent same-sex couples from immediately marrying. The decision was released shortly after 5 p.m., when most county clerk offices in Michigan were closed.


PFAW Foundation

Young People Are Leading the Way on Marriage and Family Equality

18- to 29-year-olds are leading the way overall (69 percent) and among Democrats (77 percent) and Republicans (61 percent). It's in the Republican Party where the generation gap is widest, with 30- to 49-year-olds 18 points behind at 43 percent, 50- to 64-year-olds 31 points behind at 30 percent, and those 65 and older 39 points behind at 22 percent.
PFAW

Bill Johnson: Marriage Equality Leads To 'Chaos And Dysfunction'

Reacting to the legal challenge of Michigan's marriage equality ban, American Decency Association head Bill Johnson last week told the ABC affiliate WZZM that there will be divine repercussions for legalizing same-sex marriage and blamed the "mainstream media" for its "relentless" promotion of "this alternative lifestyle."

He added: "I believe that as we turn our back upon God and upon his standard, it opens this culture, it opens our families, it opens each of us as individuals to increasing lawlessness, chaos and dysfunction."

The ADA also said that gay "special rights" will lead to "despotism" and the end of freedom:

How things have changed since President Reagan so eloquently spoke of that first constitutionally guaranteed right – our religious liberty. What do we now see from our current president, his administration, and imperious judges? A commanded worship at the altar of political correctness. A mandated belief in special “rights” for homosexuals that supersedes religious liberty. A stripping away of freedom “to speak and act” on our beliefs and “apply moral teaching to public questions.”

...

Like dominoes falling, each day we see another example of lawlessness and despotism kicking at the legs of liberty.

AFA Michigan Warns LGBT Nondiscrimination Ordinance 'Threatens' Women

Residents of Bay County, Michigan, are receiving robocalls from the state chapter of the American Family Association urging them to reject a proposed nondiscrimination ordinance that the group claims “threatens religious freedom and women’s privacy rights by giving special protections to individuals involved in homosexual behavior or cross-dressing.”

The Bay City Times has posted a recording of the robocall, in which AFA Michigan president Gary Glenn calls the LGBT-inclusive nondiscrimination ordinance a “discriminatory law.”

The ordinance would prohibit [pdf] the county government from discriminating on the basis of “race, color, religion, national origin, sex, age, height, weight, marital status, physical or mental limitation, familial status, sexual orientation, or gender identity/expression.” It would not apply to private businesses, although Glenn has nevertheless fretted that it would require a Christian bookstore to “hire a man who comes to work wearing a dress.”

A public hearing on the ordinance is being held this afternoon. If it passes, Bay County will become the first in Michigan to adopt such an ordinance.

While the GOP Fiddles, Judicial Emergencies Mount

A second emergency has been declared in Michigan, where four qualified nominees should have been confirmed last year.
PFAW

Dave Agema Is Fighting Gay Rights To Save America From Destruction

In an appearance last month on a conservative talk radio show, embattled RNC Committeeman Dave Agema defended the anti-gay comments that caused prominent Republicans to call for his resignation.

Agema insisted that his anti-gay stance has nothing to do with animus towards gay people, he just believes that gay rights will doom America.

The former Michigan state legislator said on The Renegade River Show that gay rights weaken the family “and when you start destroying the family unit in a nation, the nation starts to crumble from within.”

“Look at the Greek empire, look at the Roman empire,” Agema continued. “Basically, I am trying to protect America.”

He also maintained that schools are “teaching the homosexual lifestyle, how to be a homosexual in some sort of class that they’re teaching that we’re paying for,” and argued that gay marriage had major repercussions in Denmark, Netherlands and Switzerland (a country that has not legalized gay marriage).

Fischer: Dave Agema Is Being Attacked For Telling The Truth ... Just Like Jesus

Pressure is growing on Republican National Committee member Dave Agema to resign because of his long history of making outrageous anti-gay and anti-Muslim statements, with both RNC Chairman Reince Priebus and Michigan GOP Chairman Bobby Schostak calling for him to step down.

But Agema does have one stalwart defender: Bryan Fischer, which is no surprise since Fischer likewise has a long history of making outrageously bigoted anti-gay and anti-Muslim statements. Today, Fischer dedicated a segment of his radio program to declaring that Agema is one of his heroes who, just like Jesus, is being targeted simply for telling the truth.

"There is only one test now to determine whether someone is a genuine conservative or not," Fischer said, "and that test is whether they support, embrace the homosexual agenda or whether they will criticize the normalization of homosexuality":

Share this page: Facebook Twitter Digg SU Digg Delicious