Wisconsin

GOP Rep: Marriage Equality Decision 'Offensive' To Civil War Dead Because They Were 'Fighting To Further A Christian Lifestyle'

Rep. Glenn Grothman, Republican of Wisconsin, joined Milwaukee-area radio host Vicki McKenna on Friday to discuss the Supreme Court’s ruling striking down state bans on same-sex marriage. Grothman told McKenna that the Supreme Court’s reasoning, which was based on the 14th Amendment’s Equal Protection Clause, was an affront to the Americans who died in the Civil War because it was “a strong religious war to further a Christian lifestyle by getting rid of slavery.”

“Our president during the Civil War was, of course, Abraham Lincoln, who was known as the most biblical of presidents, somebody who quoted the Bible a lot,” he said. "In the Civil War, some 600,000 people died in a country that was much less populated than that today. And it was a much more religious country and I think a lot of people who died fighting in that war felt they died fighting for a religious cause, you know, ‘Battle Hymn of the Republic’ and all that.

“I think it would shock those people who died in that war to find out the constitutional amendment which was ratified kind of as a culmination of their great efforts and their great deaths would be 150 years later, a little less than 150 years later, used by these five robed, arrogant, robed people to take this constitutional amendment and say that that constitutional amendment that was drafted after the Civil War was in fact an amendment designed to say that same-sex marriage had to be legal.”

He added that the decision is “particularly offensive” given that the 14th Amendment was “drafted by a people who felt they had just engaged in a strong religious war to further a Christian lifestyle by getting rid of slavery.”

 

Walker Signs New Gun Laws In Office Of Extremist Sheriff Who Wanted To Add Semi-Automatic Rifle To Great Seal

Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker further paved the way for his GOP presidential bid today, signing two bills weakening his state’s gun laws, just one week after a gun massacre left nine people dead at a church in South Carolina. Walker said that he went ahead with the planned signing despite the recent attack because if he had postponed it, “it would have given people the erroneous opinion that what we signed into law today had anything to do with what happened in Charleston.”

Walker gave another signal to the far-right base that he is apparently hoping to attract in his choice of location for the bill-signing: the office of Milwaukee County Sheriff David Clarke.

We last wrote about Clarke when he addressed the National Rifle Association’s convention and called for a semi-automatic rifle to be added to the Great Seal of the United States:

Clarke first emerged as a Tea Party hero in 2013, when he recorded a radio ad urging his constituents to arm themselves because “calling 911 and waiting is no longer your best option.” This earned him the “Constitutional Sheriff of the Year” award from the Constitutional Sheriffs and Peace Officer’s Association, a far-right group that holds that county sheriffs have the power to defy federal laws that they believe are unconstitutional and arrest federal agents enforcing them. Accepting the award, Clarke called the group a “friend for life.”

Last year, Clarke joined conspiracy theorist Alex Jones’ radio program to warn that a renewal of the federal assault weapons ban would lead to weapons confiscation and would spark “the second coming of the American Revolution, the likes of which would make the first revolution pale by comparison”:

This year, Clarke has burnished his Tea Party credentials by appearing repeatedly on Fox News to assure its viewers that racial disparities in the justice system are a myth and to attack President Obama for saying otherwise.

While the choice of Clarke’s office for the bill-signing may have seemed mundane to many observers, Walker was sending a clear signal to some of the most extreme elements of his party’s base.

Scott Walker: Clinton Using Equal Pay To 'Pit One Group Of Americans Versus Another'

In an interview with Boston Herald Radio last week, Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker attacked Hillary Clinton for her advocacy for equal pay legislation, saying that she was just following in the footsteps of President Obama in trying to “pit one group of Americans versus another.”

When the program’s host, Adriana Cohen, asked Walker about misleading statistics from the conservative website Washington Free Beacon purporting to show a gender pay gap in Clinton’s Senate office, Walker agreed that it was “part of that amazing double standard.”

“But I think even a bigger issue than that,” he said, “and this is sadly something that would make her consistent with the president, and that is I believe that the president and now Hillary Clinton tend to think that politically they do better if they pit one group of Americans versus another.”

He said that, in contrast, “Americans are hungry” for leaders who will “make every American’s life better” rather than those who want to “pit one group against another group out there.”

He added that equal pay legislation is part of the liberal plot to get Americans “dependent on the government”: “For them, their measure of success in government is how many people are dependent on the government, how many people are dependent, on whether its Medicaid or food stamps or health care or other things out there.”

Walker has previously called equal pay “a bogus issue.”

Does Scott Walker Even Know What's In His Mandatory Ultrasound Law?

Scott Walker has been receiving plenty of blowback for his recent comments about a bill he signed mandating medically unnecessary ultrasounds for Wisconsin women seeking abortions, most recently a scathing column by Gail Collins in the New York Times.

Walker told conservative radio host Dana Loesch that forced ultrasounds aren’t a “crazy idea” because when members of his family obtained ultrasounds, he thought they were “a lovely thing” and “just a cool thing out there.” Since then, Walker has been accusing the “gotcha” media of twisting his words all while doubling down on the substance of his argument, asking, “Who’s opposed to an ultrasound?”

But, aside from being clueless about why his “cool” comment was offensive, does Walker even know what was in the law he signed?

At a campaign event in Concord, New Hampshire on Saturday, an audience member asked Walker about his ultrasound comments, and he struggled to explain what was in the bill, falsely claiming that the law allows a woman to choose whether to undergo the procedure.

The Concord Monitor reports that a Walker spokesman “later clarified that he was referring to transvaginal ultrasounds when he was indicating that the procedure was optional.”

We obtained audio of the exchange, which you can listen to here:

Walker disputed the audience member’s claim that Wisconsin’s law requires a transvaginal ultrasound for women seeking abortions. While is true that the law allows women to choose between a transvaginal and abdominal ultrasound, experts point out that in the early weeks of a pregnancy — when most abortions take place — a transvaginal ultrasound is the only one that will produce the images that the law requires a doctor to describe to the pregnant woman.

Walker also stated that the law says an ultrasound “has to be offered, it doesn’t have to be done,” and that a woman “can choose whether they want to see [the ultrasound] or not, or have it done or not.”

This is not true. With a few narrow exceptions, the law requires a woman to undergo an ultrasound and for the doctor to describe it to her. The only choice the woman has is to decline to view the ultrasound images.

Scott then repeated the very same story he told to Loesch of viewing his children’s ultrasounds, saying, “I think for most people that ultrasound picture that many of us have, that many of us have seen from our children and grandchildren now, is a wonderful thing and a wonderful opportunity.”

Walker Claims ‘Cool’ Ultrasound Comment Was Twisted By ‘Lazy’ Media

Earlier this week, we reported on Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker’s comment on Dana Loesch’s radio program that a bill he signed requiring that women seeking abortions first undergo a medically unnecessary ultrasound was no big deal because ultrasounds are “lovely” and “just a cool thing.”

The comment was subsequently picked up by a number of media outlets, eventually leading to a backlash from the right-wing media, who claimed that the whole thing was taken out of context.

Yesterday, Walker returned to Loesch’s show to slam the media for being “biased” and “lazy” for reporting on his comments, encouraged by pro-choice advocates who “can’t win” on the issues.

But then he repeated the very same sentiment he expressed in the original interview, saying that mandatory ultrasounds are no big deal: “Who’s opposed to an ultrasound?’”

Here, as in our original post, is the full audio of Walker’s comments. Judge for yourself:

From Wisconsin to Washington, Anti-Choice Legislators Push Unconstitutional 20-Week Abortion Bans

In Congress and state legislatures across the country, right-wing politicians are pushing hard to construct new barriers to women exercising the constitutional right to have an abortion.

Earlier this month the U.S. House passed a bill banning abortions after 20 weeks of pregnancy, and GOP legislators in Wisconsin are staging a parallel attack. They introduced a similar 20-week ban, which Gov. Scott Walker has indicated he would sign, and have scheduled a hearing on the bill for next week. PFAW supporters in Wisconsin will be out in force to demonstrate their commitment to protecting this core right.

A couple of important points about 20-week bans: first, they are plainly unconstitutional. One of the main holdings of the 1973 Roe v. Wade decision was a woman’s right to an abortion before the fetus becomes viable – that is, the point when a fetus could survive outside the uterus. As Imani Gandy writes at RH Reality Check:

In the past 40 years, the Court has never wavered from the fetal viability benchmark…Courts have consistently smacked down legislative attempts to ban abortions at 20 weeks. But states are undeterred by such pedestrian concerns as constitutionality.

Pushing these bans are a deliberate effort to prompt a challenge to the Roe decision, which anti-choice groups believe they can win.

Second, the overwhelming majority of abortions (close to 99 percent) happen before 21 weeks. Those that happen after that are often because of a complicated situation – such as the discovery of a severe fetal abnormality – and the path forward should be determined by a woman and her doctor, not by politicians looking to score points with their base.

Finally, and perhaps most importantly, these bans are part of an anti-choice agenda with a much broader goal: banning abortions across the board. From mandatory waiting period laws to “personhood” efforts which would give embryos full legal rights from the moment of conception, the anti-choice movement is playing the long game and slowly “chipping away at choice.”

When legislators try to insert themselves into decisions that should be made by women and their health care providers, it’s more than a political ploy. It’s a real threat to every woman’s health and autonomy.

PFAW

Wisconsin 'Pro-Life' Group Wants To Remove 'Medical Emergency' Exception From Abortion Ban

Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker has indicated that he will sign a 20-week abortion ban that provides an exception only for pregant women who are suffering a “medical emergency” — and even in those cases, the doctor would likely be required to perform a C-section. This exception is even more restrictive than that provided in a similar federal bill that just passed in the U.S. House, which — after months of wrangling — provided a narrow exception for rape survivors.

But the “medical emergency” exception isn’t enough for Wisconsin’s “personhood” group, Pro-Life Wisconsin, which as the Daily Beast points out is asking legislators to withhold support from the bill until its authors remove “an exception for babies whose mother’s lives may be endangered, as if those babies don’t feel pain”:

"Pro-Life Wisconsin supports banning abortion based on the preborn child's ability to feel pain, but it is utter hypocrisy for proponents of the bill to decry the horror of dismembering a child through a dilation and evacuation abortion and then carve out an exception for babies whose mother's lives may be endangered, as if those babies somehow don't feel pain," said Matt Sande, Pro-Life Wisconsin Legislative Director. "We urge legislators to refrain from co-sponsoring this bill until the medical emergency exception is fully removed."

The personhood movement’s no-exceptions approach to abortion policy makes it a thorn in the side of the anti-choice movement , but not because the movement’s “mainstream” disagrees with personhood advocates on principle. As the Susan B. Anthony List’s Marjorie Dannenfelser acknowledged recently, exceptions are “political” tools to win support for abortion bans, which she finds “regrettable.” And, in practice, 20-week bans are meant to advance the goals of the “personhood” movement by providing a strategic challenge to the framework of Roe v. Wade.

On the 7th Circuit, It's Time for Ron Johnson to Get Out of the Way

It is long past time to fill the nation's oldest appellate court vacancy, which has been open more than five years.
PFAW

Scott Walker: Ultrasounds Should Be Mandatory Since They're 'A Cool Thing'

In an interview with conservative talk radio host Dana Loesch on Friday, Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker defended his anti-choice record, saying that a bill he signed requiring that women seeking an abortion first obtain a medically unnecessary ultrasound merely provided them with access to “a lovely thing” and a “cool thing out there.”

Walker, a potential GOP presidential candidate, signed the ultrasound provision along with a hospital “admitting privileges” law that threatened to force clinics around the state to close.

Walker told Loesch that criticism he received about the ultrasound bill was merely an attack from the “gotcha” media, and that he was in fact just trying to provide women with “a cool thing.”

“The thing about that, the media tried to make that sound like that was a crazy idea,” he said. “Most people I talked to, whether they’re pro-life or not, I find people all the time that pull out their iPhone and show me a picture of their grandkids’ ultrasound and how excited they are, so that’s a lovely thing. I think about my sons are 19 and 20, we still have their first ultrasounds. It’s just a cool thing out there.”

“We just knew if we signed that law, if we provided the information that more people if they saw that unborn child would make a decision to protect and keep the life of that unborn child,” he said.

Walker, who recently explained to Religious Right leaders that he was being purposefully evasive about his anti-choice goals by using pro-choice rhetoric to back his cause, said that while social issues “shouldn’t be defining” for Republicans, “we shouldn’t be afraid to talk about it.”

Scott Walker To Anti-Choice Leaders: I Didn't Mean What I Said About Abortion Being Between 'A Woman And Her Doctor'

Last night, Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker met with a few dozen social conservative leaders in Washington, including representatives of the Family Research Council, Concerned Women for America and the National Organization for Marriage, attempting to win them to his side if he decides to run for president.

According to people who attended the meeting, one subject that came up was a TV ad Walker ran last year in which he promoted his efforts to chip away at abortion access in his state, which, he said, would still leave “the final decision to a woman and her doctor.”

Marjorie Dannenfelser, head of the Susan B. Anthony List, told the Weekly Standard that Walker explained to her that in the ad he was “using the language of the other side to support our own position” and that people who said he was trying to paint himself as more pro-choice than he was were quoting him “out of context”:

Walker's pro-life credentials have been questioned by one Republican rival because of a 2014 Walker TV ad in which the governor defended laws regulating abortion as “legislation to increase safety and to provide more information for a woman considering her options. The bill leaves the final decision to a woman and her doctor.”

According to Dannenfelser, Walker brought up the ad during Tuesday's meeting and "explained his perspective on that — that using the language of the other side to support our own position is a good thing, but you can only do it if people aren't trying to call you out and quoting you out of context. And I actually liked the way he formulated this in general."

In an interview with the Daily Beast, Dannenfelser said that it’s just this sort of evasiveness on abortion rights that she’d like to see from other anti-choice GOP candidates:

Dannenfelser said Walker brought up his 2014 abortion ad before being asked.

“He felt very quoted out of context, very misunderstood,” she said. “He said there was a snippet of the ad used that did not convey the full meaning, and his communication was using the other side’s language but with the idea of forging common ground on ultrasound, because he’s a true believer on that.”

Walker signed legislation in 2013 requiring both that women seeking abortions get ultrasounds first and that the doctors who perform abortions have admitting privileges at nearby hospitals. Dannenfelser said he defended his use of the phrase “leaves the final decision to a woman and her doctor” as a way of co-opting pro-choice rhetoric for the pro-life cause.

“To the extent that we use the other side’s rhetoric to undermine their positions, we’re better off,” Dannenfelser added.

She said she was impressed with Walker’s way of talking about abortion.

“It’s the whole style of communication and content of communication that you want to see moving into a presidential cycle that will make it different from 2012,” she said.

Here's Walker's "Decision" ad:

Walker Repeats Support For Federal Marriage Amendment, Dodges Personhood Question

In an interview with the Iowa conservative blog Caffeinated Thoughts on Saturday, Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker repeated his call for a constitutional amendment to preserve state-level bans on same-sex marriage if the Supreme Court strikes them down, immediately before dodging a question on an anti-choice “personhood” amendment by saying that if he were president he wouldn’t “handle any constitutional amendments.”

Walker told Caffeinated Thoughts’ Shane Vander Hart that he is “still hoping” the Supreme Court will preserve state-level marriage bans. “If they don’t,” he added, “the only other viable option out there is to support a constitutional amendment, again, believing, I believe in not just in marriage being defined as one man and one woman, but I also believe in states’ rights. I think that’s an issue that appropriately belongs in the states.”

When Vander Hart asked Walker “what kind of pro-life legislation would a President Walker sign,” and if that would include a “personhood law,” Walker responded. “Well, the personhood would require an amendment and the president, no matter who it is, doesn’t handle any constitutional amendments, so that would be something that people who are passionate about that in the Senate need to have leaders there.”

He went on to say that he would support a 20-week abortion ban and the continuation of the Hyde Amendment.

NRA Speaker Proposes Adding Semi-Automatic Rifle To US Seal

Milwaukee County Sheriff David Clarke, an emerging conservative folk hero, got a speaking slot at today’s NRA convention, which he used to rile up the crowd by suggesting that the arrows in the talons of the eagle on the Great Seal of the United States be replaced with a semi-automatic rifle.

Referring to President Obama’s 2008 campaign remark about voters who “cling to guns or religion or antipathy to people who aren’t like them,” Clarke said, “Now let me say this about being one of those ‘bitter clingers.’ There is nothing else I would rather hold in my hand when fighting government tyranny than a Bible in my left hand that I use to swear to uphold the Constitution, and in my right hand a Winchester rifle, a symbol of freedom and liberty in the United States of America."

"In fact," he continued, "I propose that we change the Great Seal of the United States, you know the one with the American bald eagle holding an olive branch in one claw and arrows in the other. We should take those arrows out of the eagle’s claws and replace them with a semi-automatic rifle, preferably one that shoots M-855 ammunition.”

The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms dropped a proposed ban on M-855 armor-piercing ammunition last month after an outcry from gun advocates.

Supreme Court’s Denial of Wisconsin Voting Rights a Motivator for Millennials

The following is a guest post by Zachary Koop, a 2014 Young People For Fellow.

This past Monday, the US Supreme Court made a troubling decision: it rejected an appeal to overturn Wisconsin’s voter ID law, considered one of the strictest in the nation. In so doing, the justices paved the way for other states to prohibit eligible voters from casting ballots.

As a young, progressive Wisconsin student, my peers and I share the sentiment that our voices are being attacked by Wisconsin’s recent voter ID law. Indeed, this policy disproportionately impacts young voters, especially youth of color. Among voters between the ages of 18-29, 17.3 percent of black youth and 8.1 percent of Latino youth were unable to vote because of inadequate identification, compared to 4.7 percent of white youth. 

Governor Walker claims that subjugation of Wisconsinites is not the intent, but it is unquestionably the impact. This policy threatened to prevent 300,000 Wisconsinites from voting. Inclusion should be an American ideal, but that is clearly not the case today.

This attack on the voting rights is just one example of how the Right is further disenfranchising historically marginalized communities across this country. But despite their intent, these moves are also mobilizing millennials to demand that our democracy include us. While complex legal and legislative processes often make us feel frustrated and powerless, we understand we need to claim our place at the voting booth. As the largest, most diverse and most progressive demographic in history, we have the power to alter the policy and political landscapes in substantial ways – and we’re already doing it.

Millennials are advancing change across the country. I found my own place in the progressive movement thanks to programs like People For the American Way Foundation’s Young People For (YP4) Fellowship. Through YP4’s Vote and Courts Matter programs, I learned how to organize my peers, mobilize voters, and came to understand just how important the courts are to advancing (or dismantling) progressive policies.

Because of YP4’s support, this past fall at UW-La Crosse I passed policies through my campus’ student government that enfranchised students during the 2014 midterm elections. By requiring the administration to issue free student IDs compliant with the voter ID law to all students who requested one, running voter registration drives, and more, we helped ensure that 10,000 students could cast ballots during the election cycle. We are now creating a campus voter registration system that is easily accessible to all students and plan to share our tactics with surrounding state universities to make voting more inclusive and widespread amongst students.

Nothing is more voice-squelching than voter ID laws, an economically inefficient policy that marginalizes youth and other minorities. The Supreme Court’s decision is a call to action for Wisconsin millennials to realize that justice does not advocate for itself and that we must incorporate courts activism in our fight for civil rights.

PFAW Foundation

People For the American Way & Allies: Vote “No” on Question 1 to Keep WI Supreme Court Non-Partisan

MADISON - Today, People For the American Way joined with Democracy 2020 coalition organizations to call for a defeat of Question 1, a constitutional amendment from right-wing extremists in the Wisconsin Legislature to make the Chief Justice of the State Supreme Court a partisan position.

“Question 1 is a naked power grab by one branch of our state government trying to politicize another,” said Scott Foval, PFAW Regional Political Coordinator. “Defending fair and non-partisan courts is a line that must be held in the Badger state. We cannot allow politicians who think no one is paying attention to rewrite the rulebook.”

Foval was one of many activists at today’s press conference calling for a “No” vote on Question 1 in the upcoming Spring Elections on Tuesday, April 7, 2015. The conference was held at noon at the Wisconsin State Capitol, and other speakers included Mike Wilder from the Democracy 2020 Coalition / Wisconsin Voices, Bert Brandenburg, Executive Director of Justice At Stake, former Wisconsin Attorney General Peg Lautenschlager, and Legislative Policy Director Analiese Eicher from One Wisconsin Institute.

###

Following the Money in Wisconsin and Beyond

On Monday, Wisconsin became the 25th so-called “right to work” state when Gov. Scott Walker signed a bill into law that undermines workers’ rights and is likely to reduce wages in the state.

This divisive bill, which would have more accurately been called a “right to work for less” bill, was fast-tracked by Republican leaders despite being met with intense resistance and had the support of major right-wing funders. Two outside groups in favor of “right to work” legislation, Wisconsin Manufacturers & Commerce and the Koch-backed Americans for Prosperity, spent over $5.5 million in support of Scott Walker’s reelection bid. Analysis by the Wisconsin Democracy Campaign found that since 2013, Republican legislators in the state have accepted “$26 in contributions from business interests for every $1 in labor contributions.” And the right-wing Bradley Foundation has given millions to groups promoting “right to work” bills, including to a number of groups in Wisconsin.

In Wisconsin and across the country, when people can “follow the money” and see who is bankrolling elected officials and what their agenda is, it changes how they evaluate the bills being considered. But today it’s not always possible to follow the money. Major corporations can funnel an unlimited amount of money through “dark money” groups to influence the political process, and they can do so secretly.

President Obama can, and should, take a big step to shine a light on dark money by issuing an executive order requiring companies that contract with the federal government, companies like Verizon and Lockheed Martin and Exxon Mobil, to disclose their political spending. No matter the issue, voters deserve to know who is trying to buy influence in their state or national government.

PFAW

Scott Walker Pushes Birther Talking Point About Obama's 'Sealed' College Records

In the past few weeks, there has been renewed media attention on Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker’s decision to drop out of Marquette University before completing his college degree, as various reporters try to unravel the story of the potential presidential candidate’s final college years.

Although this sort of attention to an unusual detail in the life of a potential presidential candidate is nothing new, birthers like Donald Trump have been accusing the media of a “double standard” for covering Walker’s college years while supposedly neglecting Obama’s — a reference to the birther myth that the president has “sealed” his college transcripts in order to hide something about his identity.

But it turns out that it’s not just people like Trump who are using this talking point. In an interview with radio host Dana Loesch at CPAC last week, Walker gave a nod to those who are skeptical of President Obama’s history.

Referring to the stories about the Wisconsin governor’s college days, Loesch told Walker, “You’ve already been more vetted than the commander-in-chief.”

“Yeah,” Walker responded. “And more written about my college days than the president. I unsealed my records!”

It’s not even clear what Walker is referring to. Like many presidential candidates, Obama hasn’t released his college transcripts … but neither, as far as we can tell, has Walker.

More Governors Planning 'Response' Rallies To Stop God From Destroying America, Says Tamara Scott

Tamara Scott, an Iowa Religious Right organizer and RNC committeewoman who was involved in organizing Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal’s “The Response” prayer rally, said last week that a number of other Republican governors have committed to or are seriously considering holding similar rallies, which she hoped would save America from God’s destruction.

In an interview with “The View From a Pew” program, an Iowa-based webcast, Scott said that in addition to Jindal and former Texas Gov. Rick Perry, who hosted a “The Response” event in 2011, South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley “has agreed” to host a rally and organizers are trying to convince Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker to do the same.

On her own program, “Tamara Scott Live,” earlier in the week, Scott said that Gov. Rick Scott of Florida had sent a staff member to the Jindal event to investigate the possibility of holding a “The Response” rally himself and that Jindal had approached Iowa Gov. Terry Branstad to ask him to consider holding one as well. Scott also expressed her hope that Gov. Sam Brownback of Kansas would consider hosting a rally.

Scott told the “View from a Pew” hosts that such events are needed to save American from destruction, paraphrasing the biblical book of Jeremiah: “If I build up your nation and you fall away, I’ll destroy you…If I’m going to destroy you and you repent, I will heal your land and rebuild you.”

“If our federal government is not smart enough to stick to the foundational principles of those who set this country on the great start that it had by calling on the name of Jesus — George Washington to all the men on Mount Rushmore — if they were not smart enough to understand, then our states can do it individually,” she said on the earlier program.

The Jindal rally’s organizers have hinted that other governors may be planning similar events, writing in a recent email, “There is a sense that God may be orchestrating similar days of prayer and fasting called by Governors around the nation over this next year.” Although the event’s main organizer, David Lane, has allied with a number of top Republican figures, he has yet to name names of governors he hopes to convince to host “The Response” replicas.

Jindal was forced multiple times to back away from the extremism of the organizers of his “The Response” rally, David Lane and the American Family Association. A prayer guide posted on the event’s website was removed after we reported that it blamed marriage equality and legal abortion for natural disasters like Hurricane Katrina. Then the organizers tried to scrub the website of evidence of the participation of self-proclaimed prophet Cindy Jacobs after Rachel Maddow ran a segment highlighting her extremism. And a few days after the rally, AFA stripped its main spokesman, Bryan Fischer, of his title under apparent pressure from the Republican National Committee, which was about to send 60 of its members on a trip to Israel funded by the AFA and organized by Lane.

Right's Favorite Sheriff: Michael Brown 'Chose Thug Life,' Was 'A Co-Conspirator In His Own Demise'

Milwaukee County Sheriff David Clarke has become something of a folk hero on the Right since he ran radio ads urging county residents to not rely on calling 911 in an emergency and to arm themselves instead and told Alex Jones that he foresees a “second coming of an American Revolution” to fight gun control. The sheriff’s popularity has only increased in the past month as he has taken to Fox News to denounce the protests in Ferguson, Missouri, and around the country and accuse President Obama of encouraging rioting and building a “racial divide” in America.

Clarke, who is African American, continued his commentary on the Ferguson protests in an interview this week on “The Palin Update,” where he declared that Michael Brown, the unarmed black teenager shot by a Ferguson police officer, “was on a path that was leading him to a very dark place” and “couldn’t deal with authority.”

“What we’re talking about in the case of Michael Brown is a lifestyle choice,” Clark added. “He chose thug life. And that’s unfortunate, but that’s what happened. Like I said, he didn’t deserve to die, but he was a co-conspirator in his own demise.”

GOP Congressman-Elect Grothman: Low-Income Programs A 'Bribe' To 'Not Work That Hard'

In an interview this weekend with Milwaukee’s WISN, Republican congressman-elect Glenn Grothman of Wisconsin said that one of his priorities in the U.S. House will be to cut aid to low-income families, which he called “a bribe not to work that hard or a bribe not to marry someone with a full-time job” and “a strong incentive not to raise children in wedlock.”

“A single parent with a couple of kids can easily get $35,000 a year in total benefits between the health care and the earned income credit and the food share and the low-income housing and what have you,” he said.

“When you look at that amount of money, which is in essence a bribe not to work that hard or a bribe not to marry someone with a full-time job, people immediately realize you have a problem.”

Grothman told host Mike Gousha that he has hopes to “make a big change” on the issue under a “better president” than Obama.

Before his run for Congress, Grothman gained national attention for introducing a bill in the state legislature to list single parenthood as “a contributing factor for child abuse and neglect.”

h/t The Capital Times

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