#WI04 GOP Congressional Candidate: Supreme Court Is Conspiring To Prevent Scott Walker From Becoming President
MILWAUKEE, WISCONSIN—Republican Dan Sebring, who is running to represent Wisconsin’s 4th District in the House of Representatives, told ThinkProgress he suspects a political motive behind the Supreme Court’s recent ruling putting the state’s voter ID law on hold.
“The United States Supreme Court said we can’t implement it for this election,” he said at a Milwaukee County Republicans party this week. “My personal feeling is that this is a play to steer the outcome of the gubernatorial election so that Scott Walker wouldn’t have a chance of getting on the ticket in 2016 for the White House. I think that’s what they’re trying to do.”
Last week, the Supreme Court halted the state’s voter ID law without providing a clear explanation for its decision. However, a short dissenting opinion by Justice Samuel Alito suggested that the majority was relying on a 2006 decision which found that altering election law close to an election could “result in voter confusion and consequent incentive to remain away from the polls.” Federal trial judge Lynn Adelman struck down Wisconsin’s voter ID law in April before a federal appeals court reinstated the measure in September.
But many at the event expressed concern that Republicans would lose without a voter ID law. Conservative talk radio host Vicki McKenna, who served as the evening’s emcee, even connected voter fraud to President Obama’s upcoming trip to Milwaukee.
“Mary Burke can turn out the base Democrats in a state that has same-day voter registration and does not protect the integrity of the election with voter ID,” she warned. “When Barack Obama comes to the state of Wisconsin, 20,000 people will cast their vote absentee at the rally. That’s why she’s bringing Barack Obama to Wisconsin.” In Wisconsin, however, “voters do not need a reason or excuse, such as being out of town on Election Day, to vote absentee” and filling out ballots at a rally would not be in violation of any law.
Milwaukee County Elections Commissioner Rick Baas added that the event’s attendees should all remain on the lookout for what he called a “really weird” phenomenon. “If people start to get mail at their homes around election time addressed to people who don’t live in that house, what you need to do is collect that mail and get it to me, so I can see if that person is registered to vote at your address,” he said. “Then we’ve got a case, a case Democrats say we don’t have.”
Research has shown that voter fraud is rare. A study of votes cast in Wisconsin during the 2004 election found just seven cases of fraud, none of which could have been prevented by a voter ID law. Such a measure could however disproportionately disenfranchise African Americans, low income citizens and other groups who tend to vote for Democrats. In his opinion striking down the law, Judge Lynn Adelman noted that the state failed to identify a single instance of known voter impersonation in Wisconsin’s recent past. Nine percent of registered voters, about 300,000 people, also lack the ID required under the law.
Fox News contributor Ben Carson now claims that he will likely run for president in 2016, capping off a more than year-long campaign by the network to promote his political ambitions. Carson’s potential run continues the seemingly never-ending series of Republicans who have used Fox as a jumping off point for runs for office.
During a September 22 appearance on Hugh Hewitt’s radio show, Carson told Hewitt that the “likelihood is strong” he will throw his hat in the ring for the Republican nomination in 2016, “unless the American people indicate in November that they like big government intervention in every part of their lives.”
While Carson has repeatedly discussed the idea of running in recent months — often in response to questions about the multi-million dollar “Draft Ben Carson” movement — his comments to Hewitt seem like the strongest indication that he will seek the nomination. (Hewitt concluded based on the interview that it was “Pretty clear he will be running for president.”)
Carson’s assertion that he will likely run once again raises questions about Fox News’ ongoing unethical arrangement with contributors that are planning bids for office. The network has repeatedly given its contributors a megaphone (and a paycheck) while they openly discuss future political plans, only severing their contracts once the employee-candidates file official paperwork.
It’s created a situation where it encourages the network’s stable of future candidates to delay a formal announcement while continuing to benefit from Fox News’ prominent platform, which can amount to millions of dollars of what is essentially free advertising. This ethically shady setup has previously been criticized by current Fox News media reporter Howard Kurtz, who wrote for the Daily Beast in 2011, “The longer candidates stay in the Fox camp, the longer they can utilize the platform of the country’s top-rated cable news channel—and pad their bank accounts to boot.”
And while Carson considers a run, Fox News is happy to help stoke the speculation. Fox News and other conservative media are responsible in large part for helping catapult Carson from a career as a renowned neurosurgeon into his current incarnation as a political bombthrower — with a penchant for spouting nonsense — following a 2013 speech he gave attacking President Obama at the National Prayer Breakfast.
Shortly after that speech, he quickly became a media star, with Fox News figures quickly latching onto the idea he should run for president. The day after he delivered his speech, Sean Hannity hosted Carson on his Fox News show, asked him if he would ever run for president, then announced, “I would vote for you in a heartbeat.” The Wall Street Journal published an op-ed titled “Ben Carson for President.” A week later, one of Fox’s news programs dedicated a segment to one of the day’s “top stories,” which was the “buzz” that Carson should run for office.
Following several more months of network personalities fawning over Carson, Fox News inevitably announced that it had hired him in October 2013. Since then, Fox News and Carson have continued to work together to build his political brand and promote the idea that he is a viable presidential contender.
During a characteristic May 19, 2014, appearance on Hannity, sitting in front of a banner asking “Will He Run?” Carson bragged about how he’s been greeted with “record crowds” everywhere he goes, as well as people constantly asking him if he would consider running for president. Carson also delivered what sounded a lot like stump speech material, saying, “I think what people really are looking for is common sense and courage and somebody who understands the constitution and the principles of freedom, innovation, social responsibility. And if somebody can come along with those things and really gain a lot of traction, I would be delighted. And if they don’t I would certainly give it serious consideration.”
Bill O’Reilly’s lead story on August 26, 2014, was about the “rumors swirling that Dr. Ben Carson may run for president,” with O’Reilly touting Carson winning a presidential straw poll in Iowa. O’Reilly explained to Carson that if he plans to run for president, “you’re gonna have to start now raising money,” because he has to build a campaign infrastructure. Asked by O’Reilly if he had started doing so, Carson responded, “yes, we’ve started the USA First PAC to do exactly that, but also to raise funds to help other candidates.”
Online, it’s been more of the same. A FoxNews.com article from August 2 pointed to Carson’s formation of a political action committee as evidence he was “taking a couple of major steps toward a 2016 presidential bid.” Fox Nation has also posted numerous articles promoting Carson 2016 talk, featuring headlines like “Dr. Ben Carson: The Cure for 2016?” and “Conservative Push For Ben Carson 2016 Run Gains Momentum.”
Now that Carson has repeatedly indicated he will “likely” run and has started building campaign infrastructure to do so, Fox News is once again giving a likely political candidate free advertising by not suspending or severing his contract until he makes a formal decision. If the past is any indication, however, this farce will continue for many months, even if it’s an open secret Carson will run. See previously: Scott Brown, Newt Gingrich, Rick Santorum, John Kasich, Pete Snyder, and numerous contributors like Sarah Palin who decided against runs but who spent months openly speculating about doing so on network airwaves.
And this being Fox News, Ben Carson of course has 2016 company. Mike Huckabee, a Fox News host who had a network platform while pondering a 2012 presidential run, has also been making the rounds lately pushing the idea that he is considering a 2016 run (Huckabee unsuccessfully ran for president in 2008). Huckabee’s political action committee has sent out at least two emails this month promoting a CNN poll that found Huckabee as a top 2016 candidate among Iowa voters. Like with Carson, Fox News has also dutifully promoted the Huckabee 2016 speculation.
Fellow Fox News contributor John Bolton is also reportedly considering a 2016 run.
H/T: Ben Dimiero at MMFA
In an interview on Ohio Christian University’s “Faith & Liberty” radio show posted last week, potential GOP presidential candidate Ben Carson said that President Obama doesn’t “have the same worldview” as the typical American. Carson, who has previously implied that Obama is a Nazi and a communist, said that the president is bent on introducing “government control of everything” by “getting rid of God” in order to bring about communism.You look through history, you look at Cuba, you look at Russia, you look at a lot of places that have a socialist/communist base, but previously they didn’t have that and they were a free society. What happened that’s common in every one of those societies? Two basic things. You get rid of God — and you see the attack on God in our country that is going on right now — that’s number one because you have to replace God with your dogma, you have to become the primary authority of everything. And the second thing you have to do is you have to gain control of your people, and the best way to do that is you take over health care. Everybody needs health care, you get control of that. Get rid of God, get control of health care and you’re well on your way to fundamentally changing society.
He also lashed out at the media for its supposed liberal bias, warning that the left-wing bias has become so egregious that it is “destroying” America…except for Fox News, of course, which he said has saved America from Obama’s socialist schemes.
Carson hailed Fox News, where he works as a contributor, for stopping Obama from turning America into Cuba: “If there were no Fox News and if there was no conservative radio, we would already be Cuba. I know [Obama] realizes that they’re impeding his agenda of fundamentally transforming this nation into something else, the sad thing is that a lot of the people that agree with him and support him have no idea what they’re wishing for.”
He went on to say that liberals in the media seek to “demonize” and “destroy” their opponents, something Fox News would never do.
While he praised Fox News and conservative talk radio, Carson said the media “failed our society” by “taking sides” in political debates.
He recounted a story where he apparently out-argued and shamed “two senior editors of a major national newspaper” until they admitted that they were biased in favor of Obama and enabling him to “ignore laws” and “ignore the Constitution” and therefore “contributing to the destruction of our society.”
Ben Carson must be lying out of his ass if he believes that “Fox News doesn’t demonize the other side.”
h/t: Brian Tashman at RWW
Dallas Morning News ' Wayne Slater Tells National Media "Perry Has Bigger Problems Than ... Conventional Wisdom Suggests"
Maddow Urges Viewers To Read Texas Press About The Case.
From the 08.21.2014 edition of MSNBC’s The Rachel Maddow Show:
Texas Gov. Rick Perry has been indicted by an Austin Grand Jury over his veto of funding for the Texas Public Integrity Unit.A grand jury was called to determine whether or not Perry broke the law when he threatened to veto the funding. As a result they issued indictments on two felony charges: abuse of official capacity and coercion of public servant. If found guilty on the charges, Perry could be sentenced to a maximum 109 years in prison.Perry promised the veto unless District Attorney Rosemary Lehmberg resigned, citing her conviction for drunk driving. Others saw the veto as an attempt to gut the Public Integrity Unit, an agency responsible for violations of environmental law and the agency that began the prosecution of powerful former Rep. Tom DeLay.
An indictment indicates the grand jury believes the state has a strong enough case to send to trial and is not a finding of guilt.[T]he Public Integrity Unit was in the process of conducting an investigation of the Cancer Prevention and Research Institute of Texas. CPRIT received a ton of money from the Legislature to award grants to high-level medical research projects. The problem: a lot of that money was going to people who shouldn’t have gotten it. And some of those folks had close ties to Perry. Just a few months ago, Lehmberg’s office indicted CPRIT’s former director over his allegedly improper disbursement of an $11 million grant. But when Lehmberg got pulled over with the potato juice in her car last spring, the investigation was just underway.
When Lehmberg’s DWI went public, Republicans saw a way to get rid of a pesky, entrenched foe. […]
H/T: Hunter at Daily Kos
Claiming the “benefit to risk ratio” was surely enough to disincentivize the return of the two Americans with Ebola from Liberia, presidential wannabe and virulent anti-welfare advocate, Dr. Ben Carson, derides the thought of the two Ebola-ridden Americans entering this country under any precautions. Since an Ebola fatality occurred in Nigeria, it is a fait accompli that bringing these two Americans home to treat them in a thoroughly quarantined facility potentially exposes the whole nation. Carson claims Dr. Brantly and Nancy Writebol could very well have been treated outside the United States. The neurosurgeon and hater of all things Obamacare blames who else: President Obama.
Mike Huckabee told a gathering of anti-gay activists that the United States is becoming like communist China and defended his recent claim that President Obama deserves to be impeached.
Huckabee was speaking at the third annual Family Leadership Summit, hosted by The Family Leader and sponsored by anti-gay groups like the National Organization for Marriage and FRC Action. The event was held in Ames, Iowa, and was attended by potential 2016 Republican candidates including Huckabee, Sen. Ted Cruz, Gov. Rick Perry, and Gov. Bobby Jindal.
Speaking on August 9 about his recent China trip, Huckabee noted the country’s policies regarding trade, human rights, one child and forced abortions, and observed: "After we came back, I assessed that what was most disturbing was that China was becoming a lot more like the United States used to be, and America was becoming a whole lot more like China used to be." Huckabee added that America, like China whitewashing the Tiananmen Square massacre, has “completely rewritten our history” to remove God from textbooks. The Fox News host has made similar pronouncements on his show and elsewhere in the right-wing media.
During a media availability, Huckabee defended his recent declaration that President Obama has committed impeachable offenses. Huckabee began by claiming “I don’t think we’re going to have an impeachment, don’t think we even should because there’s no point and it’s not gonna go through.” However, Huckabee still argued President Obama is worthy of impeachment because of his alleged abuse of “the basic constitutional powers,” citing Obamacare and the DREAM Act.
The Family Leader is an anti-gay group headed by the virulently homophobic activist Bob Vander Plaats. The Iowa group gained notoriety during the 2012 presidential election when it asked candidates to sign a homophobic “marriage vow.” The pledge attacked same-sex relationships as a choice and threat to “individual and public health.” The vow also suggested African-American children were better when they were slaves (the group later retracted that language).
Vander Plaats has said gays are a “public health risk” similar to smoking, and claimed of marriage quality: “[W]hat we know is it goes against the law of nature, and the law of nature’s God, which means, again, it’s against the Constitution.” He warned against attending an anti-bullying conference, claiming that doing so “is exchanging truth for acceptance and tolerance of harmful behavior.”
Huckabee is a longtime ally of Vander Plaats, who served as Iowa chair for the former Arkansas governor’s presidential campaign in 2008. He endorsed and fundraised for Vander Plaats’ unsuccessful 2010 gubernatorial campaign.
Huckabee regularly speaks at gatherings of anti-gay groups. The pairing is natural, as Huckabee has said he opposes marriage equality because of “the ick factor,” labeled same-sex relationships an “aberration” and once called for AIDS patients to be quarantined.
BE WARNED: Michele Bachmann Will Most Likely Run For President Again: Gays Pursuing 'Tyranny,' 'Deviancy,' Polygamy, and Child Rape [TW: Extreme Anti-LGBT Bigotry, Extreme Homophobia, Extreme Biphobia, Extreme Transphobia] *PART I OF SEVERAL POSTS THROUGHOUT TODAY
Gearing up for 2016 presidential race, Michele Bachmann returns to her extremist anti-gay roots.
Many may have forgotten, but Tea Party Congresswoman Michele Bachmann got her start in politics by being one of Minnesota’s most anti-gay activists. Like many, the school board was her stomping ground, and Bachmann quickly gained a strong base among the radical religious right.
Bachmann claimed “the gay and lesbian lifestyle, it’s bondage. It is personal bondage, personal despair and personal enslavement.” She insisted it is “child abuse” to even discuss homosexuality with children. And she’s called being gay “the very real issue of sexual dysfunction.”
After Rep. Bachmann’s disastrous 2012 presidential campaign, for which she, her husband, and her campaign have been the target of several ethics investigations by several entities, including the Office of Congressional Ethics, the nation heard less and less from the four-term, 58-year old, Evangelical Christian Congresswoman, who announced last year she will not be seeking a fifth term.
Less and less, until now.
This week Bachmann announced, “there’s a chance I could run" for President.
And on Wednesday, Rep. Bachmann gave an interview with the conservative radio show, “Faith & Victory,” and harkened back to her extremist anti-gay roots.
Calling it “the rise of tyranny,” Bachmann claims there is “legislation being pushed all across the United States to punish people who don’t agree with” LGBT equality.
"It’s the basis for hate speech laws across the United States," Bachmann said. "This is an effort to have government coerce, force, speech and behavior, and it’s being pushed and advocated by the gay community."
Bachmann, who has spent decades railing against the LGBT community, same-sex marriage, and even gay people raising children, now claims that she supports a “diversity of opinion,” but the LGBT community does not.
"Today," Bachmann continued, "the big push is on transgender."
"I believe we’re going to see coming an effort for multiple in marriage. Not just tow, but multiple in marriage. I think they want to legalize that."
"Also, they want to abolish age of consent laws. We would do away with statutory rape laws, so adults would be able to freely prey on little children sexually. That’s the deviance that we’re seeing embraced in our culture today.”
Editor’s note: This is the first in a short series of excerpts from Bachmann’s interview — stay tuned for more later in the day.
During a Wednesday appearance on the conservative radio show “Faith & Victory,” Rep. Michele Bachmann accused the “gay community” of pushing “deviancy,” “tyranny” and child rape.
The Minnesota Republican warned that the gay community will “abolish age of consent laws, which means we will do away with statutory rape laws so that adults will be able to freely prey on little children sexually. That’s the deviance that we’re seeing embraced in our culture today.”
She also predicted that gay rights advocates will legalize polygamy and enact “hate speech laws across the United States” in order to bring about “the rise of tyranny.”
The Republican congresswoman and former presidential candidate once again attacked the Supreme Court’s decision striking down the federal component of the Defense of Marriage Act as a “denial of equal protection for all Americans.”
“This is a revolution that we are encountering now,” she said of marriage equality. “For all of the thousands of years of recorded human history, about 5,000 years, there is no instance of any culture, nation or tribe ever having as the established standard for marriage anything other than between man and woman. It may have been multiple women and a man, it may have been something like that, but it was always between men and women.”
She decried marriage equality as a “radical experiment” that will have “profound consequences:” “I think that nature tells us, our biology tells us that marriage is between man and a woman, when we tamper with something that was generated by the Creator of the Universe, I think there are profound consequences that we haven’t yet realized.”
After all that, Bachmann insisted that she was communicating a message of love for gay people and that conservatives must show the nation that God “is so much more powerful than the evil we see unleashed upon the world today.”
“Our message is to spread goodness and joy and wholeness and healing, and we do that through a loving God with a message that frees people, it doesn’t enslave people, we shouldn’t fear giving out this very good word,” Bachmann said. “It takes these concepts for the purpose of bringing liberty, joy, healing, wholeness and a fresh way of thinking for people’s lives.”
h/t: Brian Tashman at RWW
#WIGov: Scott Walker says probe into his campaign finances is "resolved." | Rated: Pants On Fire False
A secret criminal investigation made national news with the disclosure that prosecutors had alleged Gov. Scott Walker was at the center of an effort to illegally coordinate fundraising among conservative groups to help his campaign and others.
But the next day, the Republican governor and potential 2016 presidential candidate said the John Doe probe had been resolved and that two judges had said it was “over.”
Here is part of the June 20, 2014 interview of Walker by Steve Doocy, host of the network TV talk show “Fox & Friends”:
Doocy: ”So, over the last couple of years, there’s been some legal action out in Wisconsin. And some of the documents were unsealed yesterday. We’ve got to point out, you were never charged with anything. But at one point, they allege that you had a central role in a criminal fund-raising scheme. OK, tell us what you did.”
Walker: ”Well, don’t just take my word for it. Look at the facts. The facts are pretty clear.
"You’ve had not one but two judges — a state judge and a federal judge; a state judge (who is) a well-respected court of appeals judge, and a federal judge more recently — have both looked at this argument. And in the past, not just recently — remember this is not new news, it’s just newly released yesterday because documents were opened — but no charges, case over.
"Both judges said they didn’t buy the argument. They didn’t think that anything was done that was illegal, and so they’ve gone forward and not only said, we don’t buy it, they actually shut the case down, both at the state and at the federal level.
"So, many in the national media and even some here in Wisconsin are looking at this (case) backwards. This is a case that’s been resolved, that not one but two judges have said is over. And we’re just learning about it because it became open in a document yesterday. But there is no argument there."
Is that it?
Is Walker right that the Doe case has been “resolved” and two judges have said it is “over”?
Experts say no. After all, one of the key court rulings that has stalled the investigation is a “preliminary injunction.” And that is on appeal.
What’s the case about?
Under Wisconsin law, a John Doe is “intended as an independent, investigatory tool to ascertain whether a crime has been committed and, if so, by whom.”
Unlike standard criminal investigations, law enforcement officials in a John Doe have special powers, including the power to compel the testimony of reluctant witnesses under oath and to issue subpoenas requiring witnesses to turn over documents.
Another key difference is that the judge overseeing a Doe can — and typically does — order that the proceedings be done in secret, unlike the vast majority of court proceedings.
Walker has been connected to two John Doe investigations.
Milwaukee County District Attorney John Chisholm, a Democrat, conducted a wide-ranging probe of aides and associates to Walker going back to Walker’s time as Milwaukee County executive. That investigation, sometimes known as John Doe I, led to six convictions, ranging from misconduct in office for campaigning on county time to stealing from a veterans fund.Walker was not charged, and that investigation was shut down in March 2013.
Before closing that probe, however, Chisholm launched a separate investigation in the summer of 2012 based on information learned in the first one. To get what has been termed John Doe II off the ground, Chisholm worked with district attorneys from four counties — members of both parties — and the state Government Accountability Board, which administers the state’s elections and ethics laws. Francis Schmitz, a former assistant U.S. attorney and self-described Republican, was named special prosecutor in the case.
Alleigh Marre, spokeswoman for Walker’s campaign, cited two court documents to back Walker’s claim. It’s not clear what she was referring to in the first document, a December 2013 court filing by Schmitz, and she didn’t respond to our request to elaborate.
The second document was a court order that John Doe Judge Gregory Peterson issued on Jan. 10, 2014. It quashed subpoenas that had been issued to Walker’s campaign and several conservative groups. And it ordered the return of any property seized with those subpoenas or with search warrants served on two officials of the groups.
But the order did not resolve the case.
Indeed, in his order, Peterson made reference to the possibility of his ruling be appealed. And the order has been challenged and is awaiting a ruling from the state Court of Appeals.
Other legal action
Another key ruling was made in federal court, by U.S. District Judge Rudolph Randa.
In February 2014, the conservative Wisconsin Club for Growth and one of its directors, Eric O’Keefe sued in U.S. District Court in Milwaukee in an attempt to stop the Doe investigation, saying it violated their rights to free speech, free association and equal protection under the law.
Three months later, Randa issued a preliminary injunction halting the probe while he considered the lawsuit. He said it appeared prosecutors were violating the First Amendment rights of Club for Growth and O’Keefe. And he ordered prosecutors to return any material they had gathered in the investigation and destroy whatever copies of it they had made.
But as the term “preliminary injunction” would indicate, that did not mean the case had been resolved or was over.
Indeed, Randa’s ruling has been appealed and the parties are awaiting a decision from the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals in Chicago.
Experts weigh in
We consulted five attorneys who have represented multiple clients in criminal John Doe investigations — Madison defense attorneys Marcus Berghahn and Stephen Morgan (Morgan is a former state and federal prosecutor); Milwaukee defense attorneys Jeremy Levinson, who also handles campaign finance cases for Democrats, and Raymond Dall’Osto; and Marquette University Law School professor and former state prosecutor Daniel Blinka.
Bottom line: The John Doe investigation case has been stopped for the time being, but it has not been resolved. The rulings by judges Peterson and Randa are not final and are being appealed. The appellate rulings could also be appealed.
And if the Chicago appeals panel overrules Randa, the investigation can resume.
"Once the Court of Appeals decides the merits of the case and if no party appeals the Court of Appeals’ decision, then it may be possible to say that the cases are over — unless the case is returned to the trial court or John Doe Judge for further litigation," said Berghahn.
Said Blinka: “The governor’s remark overlooks the role of the appellate courts. The final resolution is up to the appellate courts, and only when the appellate process has run its course will we have a final resolution.”
It’s notable that at times during his governorship, Walker has been in the position of supporting appeals when a lower-court ruling has gone against him.
In 2012, when judges struck down parts of Walker’s Act 10 — the law ending most collective bargaining for most public employees — the state appealed, and higher courts so far have upheld the law.
And on same-sex marriage, which Walker opposes, he didn’t concede that a ban on gay marriages was dead when a federal judge found Wisconsin’s ban unconstitutional. Indeed, he’s backing the state’s appeal of the judge’s ruling.
Similarly, the status of the Doe case is being hammered out in the appeals process.
Walker said the secret John Doe criminal investigation of his campaign has been “resolved” and two judges have said it is “over.”
His characterization is misleading at best. The investigation has been stopped, for now, under one judge’s ruling.
But the second ruling, while a serious blow, did not end the probe, and in any event prosecutors have appealed the two rulings Walker mentioned.
We rate Walker’s statement False.
h/t: PolitiFact Wisconsin
And he wants to be president!
He’s getting coal from Santa this Christmas.
This past weekend, the Texas Republican Party approved a new platform plank that endorsed ex-gay therapy for those “who are seeking escape from the homosexual lifestyle.” Asked about the platform Wednesday night, Gov. Rick Perry (R) seemed to defend it by suggesting that homosexuality is comparable to alcoholism.
“Whether or not you feel compelled to follow a particular lifestyle or not, you have the ability to decide not to do that,” Perry suggested. “I may have the genetic coding that I’m inclined to be an alcoholic, but I have the desire not to do that, and I look at the homosexual issue the same way.”
The comment, which according to the San Francisco Chronicle “drew a murmur of disbelief,” reflects the platform’s condemnation of homosexuality, that it “must not be presented as an acceptable alternative lifestyle.”
Perry has a long history of shunning homosexuality. When the Supreme Court overturned Texas’ sodomy law, which criminalized gay sex, he rebuked the 6-3 decision as the product of “nine oligarchs in robes.” He saw “absolutely no reason” for the Boy Scouts of America to admit gay Scouts, suggesting the organization should oppose a “flavor of the month” like homosexuality just like Sam Houston opposed slavery and secession. He has also joined other conservatives in defending the “religious liberty” of those who might discriminate on the basis of sexual orientation, proclaiming in a 2012 presidential campaign ad that he would “end Obama’s war on religion.”
The American Psychiatric Association diagnoses alcohol dependence in the context of tolerance, withdrawal, abundance, inability to control use, and a negative impact on other life activities. The APA has not diagnosed homosexuality as a disorder since 1973.
Gov. Rick Perry, your endorsement of medically inaccurate and dangerous ex-gay conversion therapy renders you unfit to be a Christian and an upstanding citizen of our Nation. During his tenure as Governor there, he has destroyed the Lone Star State, and if he is elected President in 2016, he’ll wreck our Nation into the ground further than fellow Texas Bush 43 ever did.
Texas Republican Sen. Ted Cruz Cruz spoke at an anti-gay marriage rally on Thursday hosted by Steven Hotze, a controversial doctor who has told women that birth control would make them unappealing to men and has warned that equality for gays would be a stepping stone to child molestation. Hotze, who runs an alternative medicine practice in suburban Houston and is suing the Obama administration over the Affordable Care Act, organized the event through his political action committee, Conservative Republicans of Texas. Cruz was joined on stage fellow Sen. John Cornyn, and state Sen. Dan Patrick, the party’s nominee for lieutenant governor.
As I reported in April, Hotze’s opposition to gay rights stretches back to at least the early 1980s, when he told Third Coast magazine that gay people ”proliferate by one means, and one means only, and that’s recruiting. And they recruit the weak. They recruit children or young people in their formative years.” With that, he was off:
Three years later, after overturning an anti-discrimination ordinance in Houston, Hotze organized a group of eight candidates he considered allies in the fight against homosexuality. He called them “the Straight Slate.” His preferred mayoral candidate said that the best way to fight AIDS was to “shoot the queers.” Hotze told a local newspaper reporter that he cased out restaurants before making reservations to make sure they didn’t have any gay employees and became such a divisive figure in local politics that for a brief period the Harris County Republican Party cleaved in two.
More recently, his PAC spent big bucks to oppose Annise Parker, a Democratic candidate who would become Houston’s first openly gay mayor in 2009. On Thursday, Cruz also signed onto an amicus brief in support of Hotze’s lawsuit against Obamacare, which he contends is unconstitutional because it did not originate in the House. But Hotze is an unusual mascot for politicians who fear Obamacare has ruined the health care system, because he operates largely outside of it. An investigation by the Houston Press raised questions about his medical practice, noting that he had inflated his credentials and touted the healing powers of treatments such as colloidal silver—which can turn patients’ skin permanently blue—which are not covered by health insurance and not backed up by studies.
Herman Cain is just the latest in a long line of GOP candidates who say God told them to run for president—but apparently God never mentioned anything about winning.
Are you there, God? It’s Herman Cain—and the rest of The GOP is likely coming, too.
The Tea Party’s favorite pizza-preneur hit the Republican Leadership Conference in New Orleans on Saturday with a message for conservatives, but more importantly, for Jesus Christ: If called, he’s ready for another run at the presidency in 2016.
“I do not know what the future holds, but I know who holds the future, and that’s God Almighty,” Cain said. “And in case someone is wondering, I don’t trust in government, I trust in God.”
He’s not the only one waiting for God’s go-ahead. “I believe God will make it clear to me if that’s something I’m supposed to do,” said Ben Carson on Fox News in August. The neurosurgeon earned plaudits from conservatives last year (the Wall Street Journal ran a “Ben Carson for President” editorial) following his scalding speech at the White House prayer breakfast.
But sadly for both, God has been known to endorse multiple candidates, and a push from the man upstairs doesn’t always add up to votes.
It’s no surprise that many GOP candidates invoke God in stump speeches; after Mormons, evangelicals are the most Republican religion and just one in 10 consider themselves liberal. But only a select few belong to the divine endorsement club.
Members include former Indiana State Sen. William Costas, who credited a “message from God” delivered by his wife for his ultimately unsuccessful 1986 Congressional run. That same year Richard Stokes lost a bid for a U.S. Senate seat in Pennsylvania, along with his wife, when he quit his job as a middle school teacher after hearing the “very deep, very plain” voice of God at 3 a.m. telling him to launch a campaign that focused on abortion, homosexuality and Communism. And Jim Bob Duggar—hero of the Quiverfull movement and star of the reality series 19 Kids and Counting—said he was “called by God,” but didn’t make it past the Republican primary in his 2002 U.S. Senate attempt. Even Ronald Reagan heard the voice of God, according to his son, Michael, who wrote in his book, Hand of Providence, “He believed God had called him to run for president. He believed God had things for him to do.”God has been known to endorse multiple candidates, and a push from the man upstairs doesn’t always add up to votes.
In 2012, at least five candidates claimed God had called them all the run.
Former Speaker Newt Gingrich told Fox News’ Sean Hannity it would be “up to God and the American people,” whether he would seek the nomination.
Herman Cain is just awaiting a sign like the one handed down to him in 2011. Before throwing his hat in the ring, he said, “I felt like Moses when God said, ‘I want you to go into Egypt and lead my people out.’ Moses resisted. I resisted.… But you shouldn’t question God.”
Though Rick Santorum’s wife, Karen, told him, “God cannot possibly want you to do this,” he ultimately convinced her with prayer that God was leading him onto the presidential path. “After a while she saw the same thing I did.”
In 2011, Texas Gov. Rick Perry told a reporter, “I’m getting more and more comfortable every day that this is what I’ve been called to do. This is what America needs.” And after a string of bad luck pushed him into third place—offensive campaign ads, and laughable debate performances helped—his wife, Anita, likened him to Moses, and described his decision to run as heeding signs from above, relayed by her to her chosen husband. “He didn’t want to hear a thing about running for president,” she said. “He felt like he needed to see the burning bush. I said ‘Look, let me tell you something. You may not see that burning bush, but there are people seeing that burning bush for you.’”
And you can thank God for Michele Bachmann, too. In 2006, the Almighty ordered the mother of five to run for Congress. But He wasn’t finished, so in 2011 God urged her to run for the highest office. “Every decision that I make I pray about, as does my husband,” the Congresswoman explained. “And I can tell you, yes, I’ve had that calling and that tugging on my heart that this is the right thing to do…”
These candidates all claimed that God was the impetus and continuing force behind their campaigns. And every one, save Rick Santorum, claims they never wanted to do it in the first place. According to their own admissions, they had to be convinced by God to do his will.
And they all lost.
But then again, God never mentioned anything about winning.
God’s favorite candidates can all take heart in the words of another famous loser, Pat Robertson, who claimed the White House was as good as his in the 1988 election. The televangelist was another who initially resisted God’s call to run, but eventually relented. “I heard the Lord,” Robertson whispered in front of a New Hampshire church congregation along the campaign trail, “saying ‘I have something else for you to do. I want you to run for president of the United States.’” He went on, “I assure you that I am going to be the next president of the United States.”
After finishing a distant third, Robertson says in his book, The Plan, that he questioned his faith. “I’ve been asked the question a hundred times: ‘Did you miss God?’ I asked over and over, ‘Did I miss Your leading, Father? … Did I hear You? … Why didn’t I win?’”
Robertson’s soul searching led him to draw a comparison between his loss and Jesus Christ himself, whom, he writes, “failed by human standards but was part of God’s perfect plan. Was He hurt? Of course he was. Will He be vindicated? Gloriously so.”
“I followed God’s plan for me, so in His eyes I did win.”
As Digby notes in Salon, Scott Walker is the latest Midwest governor to be anointed a hero by conservatives when he beat the teacher’s union and he’s seen as a formidable presidential candidate for 2016, but that was before the John Doe case came along.
After some early success with the case, Activists like Club For Growth and the WSJ are now freaking out that he may want to settle the case. They can’t have that.
And then they broke into a rousing rendition of “We shall overcome.” The affiliated big money right-wing groups like Club for Growth and American Crossroads and Americans for Prosperity were undoubtedly very pleased at that outcome. And they were also undoubtedly very pleased with one Scott Walker who was standing up nicely to the pressure and getting their backs when they had so generously padded his campaign coffers. That’s how it’s supposed to work. And then the bottom fell out