Posts tagged "Rick Perry"

h/t: Joan Walsh at AlterNet, via Salon

Chris Christie’s 2016 chances he had left may have eroded completely with his foolish move to ban Tesla from his state. To note: Texas Gov. Rick Perry, also a possible 2016 GOP Presidential nomination contender, has banned Tesla in his state.

h/t:  Jillian Berman at the Huffington Post

Talk radio reels them in at US conservative confab (via AFP)

When conservative radio host Dana Loesch takes to the airwaves with Republican White House hopefuls, the exchanges bear little resemblance to mainstream media interviews like those on CNN or NBC. “You brought the house down!” she told a beaming Texas…

The results are in for the CPAC and Senate Conservatives Fund straw polls for the 2016 GOP primary. 
Rand Paul wins CPAC straw poll for 2nd year in a row. 
While over at the SCF version, Ted Cruz won that straw poll.

2014 CPAC Straw Poll results:

31 KY Senator Rand Paul
11 TX Senator Ted Cruz
9 Neurosurgeon Ben Carson
8 NJ Governor Chris Christie
7 Former PA Senator Rick Santorum
7 WI Governor Scott Walker
6 FL Senator Marco Rubio
3 TX Governor Rick Perry
3 WI Congressman Paul Ryan
2 Former AR Governor Mike Huckabee
2 LA Governor Bobby Jindal
2 Former AK Governor Sarah Palin
2 Former Sec. of State Condoleezza Rice
1 Former IN Governor Mitch Daniels
1 OH Governor John Kasich
1 IN Governor Mike Pence
1 OH Senator Rob Portman
1 SD Senator John Thune
1 Business Executive Donald Trump
1 Former FL Congressman Allen West
* NH Senator Kelly Ayotte
* KS Governor Sam Brownback
* SC Governor Nikki Haley
* NM Governor Susana Martinez
* SC Senator Tim Scott

Alex Seitz-Wald (@aseitzwald):

Senate Conservatives Fund straw poll:

Sen. Ted Cruz (TX) - 42.46% (17,605)
Sen. Rand Paul (KY) - 17.38% (7,207)
Gov. Scott Walker (WI) - 10.42% (4,322)
Other Write-in Candidates - 6.50% (2,696)
Fmr. Gov. Mike Huckabee (AR) - 6.29% (2,608)
Gov. Rick Perry (TX) - 4.44% (1,841)
Sen. Marco Rubio (FL) - 2.47% (1,025)
Fmr. Gov. Jeb Bush (FL) - 2.27% (943)
Gov. Chris Christie (NJ) - 2.00% (828)
Rep. Paul Ryan (WI) - 1.64% (680)
Gov. Bobby Jindal (LA) - 1.26% (522)
Fmr. Sen. Rick Santorum (PA) - 0.93% (386)
Gov. John Kasich (OH) - 0.72% (299)
Gov. Mike Pence (IN) - 0.47% (195)
Gov. Nikki Haley (SC) - 0.40% (165)
Gov. Susana Martinez (NM) - 0.34% (140)

A total of 41,462 votes were cast.


A week after the theologically conservative Institute in Basic Life Principles placed its leader Bill Gothard on administrative leave, the influential leader in the Quiverfull and Christian homeschooling movements has resigned from the organization. Gothard, 79, faces accusations of sexual abuse from dozens of women associated with his organization. The IBLP promotes a “chain of command” family hierarchy that Gothard claims is based on Biblical principles. In seminars, the institute has described the structure with the image of a father as the “hammer” of the family, the wife as the “chisel,” and the children as “gems” in the rough.  

This is the third organization associated with an umbrella of group sometimes referred to as the “Biblical patriarchy” movement to face a major sex scandal in recent months. In October, the Vision Forum ministry shut down after its leader Doug Phillips confessed to having a romantic affair outside of marriage. And just weeks ago, The New Republic published an investigation into sexual assault at Patrick Henry College, an evangelical university with big homeschooling support. The accusations against Gothard are quite serious. According to a whistle-blowing organization called Recovering Grace, at least 34 women have accused Gothard of unwanted sexual advances, and four of those women say the leader molested them. One of those four women is underage.  

Religion News Service’s Sarah Pulliam Bailey has been covering the scandal as it unfolded; she spoke to some of the women accusing Gothard of sexual misconduct. According to them, Gothard used his position of authority and as a counselor to those adapting his approach to Christianity in order to “create an emotional bond” with them. Rachel Frost worked at the organization’s headquarters as a teenager, and is one of the women who shared her story with Recovering Grace. Here’s what she told RNS: 

“There was a very common grooming pattern of creating emotional bonds and physical affirmations, the footsie, the leg rubs, the stroking of the hair, the constant comments on physical appearance.” 

Last week, based on the accusations collected by Recovering Grace, Gothard went on leave pending a review by his organization, which he founded in 1965. The board,  a statement at the time said, “will respond at an appropriate time, and in a biblical manner” after finishing their investigation. The scandal, however, isn’t the only problem facing the organization: In recent years, the $95 million-a-year nonprofit has seen its finances dwindle, as RNS noted. Gothard’s empire had its biggest reach in the 1970s and ’80s, when his organization’s seminars would fill 20,000-seat stadiums. And his approach spread out into conservative American takes on popular culture: when you think of conservative Christians condemning rock music during that time, you’re probably thinking of someone who was influenced by Gothard. He sells his teachings like they’re self-help guides: some of his books have titles like Why Did God Let It Happen?, Men’s Manual, and The Amazing Way. 

Nevertheless, it and Gothard in particular remain influential: Gov. Rick Perry has spoken at an IBLP conference, Rep. Sam Johnson of Texas sat on the organization’s board, Congressman Daniel Webster’s ties to Gothard’s organizations became a campaign issue for him in 2011, and former Arkansas governor Mike Huckabee was photographed with Gothard at a fundraiser for his 2008 presidential campaign. And arguably the world’s biggest advocates for the conservative Quiverfull and homeschooling movements — the reality TV family the Duggars — are devotees of Gothard’s Advanced Training Institute seminars. Until recently, the Duggars’ official website called Gothard’s Embassy Institute (which he also founded) their "#1 recommended resource" for families (that page now displays as blank). 

It’s not clear at this point whether the consequences of the accusations against Gothard will include criminal investigations. Some of the cases date back at least to the early 1990s, meaning the statute of limitations may have passed. 

Source: Abby Ohlheiser for The Wire

Another leader of the right-wing Quiverfull movement is now in danger of losing his post over a sex scandal. Homeschooling advocate Bill Gothard has been put on administrative leave from the organization he heads, the Institute in Basic Life Principles, in response to allegations from thirty-four different women that he engaged in sexual harassment and failed to notify Child Protective Services about abuse claims.

The allegations against Gothard are chronicled on the website Recovering Grace, which aims to expose the activist’s record of “emotional, spiritual, and sexual abuse.”

The revelations about Gothard’s alleged misconduct are another blow to the patriarchal, anti-birth control Quiverfull movement, which suffered a setback last year when Vision Forum head Doug Phillips resigned because of an extramarital affair.

Gothard’s Institute in Basic Life Principles has been championed by conservative figures including Rick Perry and Sarah Palin, who attended one of the institute’s conferences and adopted its “Character Cities” program as mayor of Wasilla, Alaska. Mike Huckabee has provided an endorsement of the group for its website: “As a person who has actually been through the Basic Seminar, I am confident that these are some of the best programs available for instilling character into the lives of people.” GOP mega-donor Jim Leininger was once a member of the IBLP’s advisory board.

TLC’s Duggar family are also followers of Gothard’s teachings on homeschooling and Quiverfull families, which teaches that “the husband is the undisputed leader of the family.”

After Gothard’s close ties to Florida congressman Daniel Webster became an issue in a 2010 congressional election, Sarah Posner released an exposé on how the IBLP promotes marital submission and cult-like practices.

She quoted critics who said Gothard instilled a “culture of fear” and preached “the terrible picture of the chain of command in the family with the husband as the hammer, the wife as the chisel and the children as the gems in the rough… The ghastly picture is that he beats on her and she chips on them.” One woman who belonged to the movement said that Gothard taught that women “don’t have any rights.”

He also claimed that he had an “ability to heal ‘stress’ and cancer” and instructed men on how to guard against Satanic attacks on his family.

Gothard taught that homosexuality would lead to the End Times:

He used the graphic of a thermometer to illustrate the moral temperature of society. The lowest and healthiest temperature was the ideal characterized by a spiritually moral society guided by the Laws of God. The next level up showing a rising unhealthy temperature was the development of concupiscence where the soulical natural man with his sensual cravings had begun to dominate and suppress the spiritual. The next level up representing the highest and most dangerous threat to a vibrant society was blatant perversion or homosexuality. Gothard said “That when a society reaches the point of condoning perversion, God will destroy that society” (Israel and Rome are examples from the past).

This wouldn’t be the first scandal for the Gothard family either, as “Gothard’s own brother, who worked for IBLP, was dismissed from his organization after it was discovered that he was having sex with students.”

The Baptist website Ethics Daily reported on abuse allegations stemming from the institute’s “cult-like” and “abusive” practices back in 2007.

One woman who recounted her experience working for Gothard on Recovering Grace said that IBLP board members were well aware of complaints from girls as young as fifteen-years-old:

What I did not know was that in the Summer and Fall of 1997, after the San Jose conference and around the time I arrived at Headquarters, the father of one of the young men on the San Jose trip had approached the IBLP Board with a spectrum of concerns about Gothard’s conduct, particularly his penchant for taking young girls on road trips and conducting himself in a questionable manner with them while on those trips. I do not know what Gothard’s verbal or written response was to the Board when presented with these concerns, but I know firsthand that his conduct with me and other young women did not alter in the months after the Board asked him to change his behavior. The other girls and I were all between 15 and 24 years of age.

I stayed and worked at Headquarters because it was too late for me to start college that year, and because I wanted to make a success of my first job. I stopped explaining away Gothard’s creepy and invasive behavior with young women, although I believed myself powerless to do anything about it. I repeatedly saw him initiate long hand-holding sessions with various young women on staff wherein he would rub and massage their hands as he gazed into their eyes. I heard him praise two of my housemates effusively for their “discipline of figure” after one of them lost weight during a serious illness and the other started exhibiting all symptoms of full-on anorexia nervosa, while other girls were “reassigned” from Headquarters for becoming too heavy. I tentatively discussed Gothard’s hyper-tactile behavior with girls who were or had been in my place. I saw girls rotate on and off of Gothard’s roster of favored companions and stopped trying to convince myself that every brush of his hand against a thigh must be a unique accident. There were always between two and six girls on this rotation, and I couldn’t figure out how to get off of it.

See Also: Homeschoolers Anonymous on Bill GothardQuiverfull Movement and Christian Patriarchy

h/t: Brian Tashman at RWW

h/t: Igor Volsky at Think Progress Economy


There are few events in the modern era that evoke revulsion as much as the attempted annihilation of an entire people based on their religion. No, this particular event is not the neo-conservative movement’s drive to wipe out Muslims; that is another story. The Holocaust was a human atrocity on such a grand scale that it still evokes abject disgust among any decent human being regardless their religious or national background, and just mentioning Nazi elicits outrage amongst all but the worst representatives of humanity. Over the past few days, Republicans rallied around one of the America’s worst representatives of humanity and aligned themselves with pedophile, draft dodger, racist, and now Nazi sympathizer Ted Nugent. There is a saying that a person is known by the company they keep, and the Republicans praising, excusing and defending Ted Nugent should be regarded as Nazi sympathizers.

Last month when Nugent launched a barrage of derogatory comments about President Barack Obama at a gun expo in Las Vegas, he described the President as “a communist-raised, communist-educated, communist-nurtured, subhuman mongrel.” Nugent calling the President a communist is typical for the archetypical white-trash racist assailing Barack Obama for leading the Executive branch while being African American. However, Nugent’s use of “subhuman mongrel” marked a new low that Republicans embraced through their defense, and implied approval, of Nugent’s Nazi remarks. They could hardly condemn Nugent because they support whipping racists and gun-zealots into frenzy against this President since it worked so effectively for Nazis in their drive to exterminate Jews.

It is unclear why only Wolf Blitzer criticized Nugent for channeling Nazis, and why main stream media is not reporting that Republicans are praising and defending the Nazi sympathizer Nugent. Blitzer said last week “That’s what the Nazis called Jews to justify the genocide of the Jewish community. They called them ‘untermenschen,’ subhuman mongrels. If you read some of the literature that the Nazis put out there, there is a long history of that specific phrase he used involving the president of the United States.” According to a historian at the University of California at Los Angeles, David Myers, Adolph Hitler used the word “untermensch,” or subhuman, in his book Mein Kampf in 1925 and “from that point forward, it was part of the Nazi lexicon. That and ‘mischling’ or mongrel, were intoned with daily regularity by the Nazi propaganda machine.” The world knows how that propaganda succeeded, and yet there has been little to no harsh condemnation of Nugent’s Nazi propaganda against President Obama in national media.

There can be little doubt that Nugent deliberately chose the Nazi phrase as propaganda, but Republicans have barely chastised Nugent for using what they call “inappropriate” language. The same day Blitzer reported that Nugent used Nazi propaganda to criticize the President, Politifact rated Blitzer’s assertions as absolutely true. Still, Texas gubernatorial hopeful Gregg Abbot welcomed Nugent’s campaign assistance and Ted Cruz defended and praised Nugent claiming “there are reasons people listen to him, which is that he has been fighting passionately for Second Amendment rights. And this administration has demonstrated an incredible hostility to the Second Amendment rights of law-abiding citizens.” Cruz or Nugent cannot cite one instance of this President’s “incredible hostility to the Second Amendment rights of law-abiding citizens,” but truth is of no consequence to Republicans or Nugent in their demonization of President Obama.

Cruz’s is as bad as Nugent for praising the Nazi sympathizer, and in what CNN and the Washington Post falsely labeled an apology, Nugent reciprocated and praised Texan gubernatorial candidate Greg Abbott, representative Louie Gohmert, Ted Cruz, and governor Rick Perry that Wolf Blitzer could not shame into condemning Nugent’s Nazi propaganda. The most Blitzer could get out of Perry was that Nugent’s remarks were “inappropriate,” and it is likely all any media will get from Republicans, at least from Texas Republicans. It is important to remember that Nugent’s Nazi comments were not for politicians, they were for racist gun-fanatics who embrace Nugent as their prototypical warrior against President Obama.

According to the president and CEO of the Outdoor Channel, Jim Liberatore, who could hardly contain his glowing praise for Nugent while parroting Ted Cruz, “Ted Nugent symbolizes everything that is right in our industry and represents our viewers as an outspoken patriot, a skilled outdoorsman, and a devoted family man. His programs have a powerful, zealous fan base with unmatched engagement levels.” It is no coincidence that Nugent used Nazi propaganda at a gun expo he knew his racist supporters would hear to whip them into intense anti-Obama frenzy. It is also no coincidence that Texas Republicans are tripping over themselves to praise Nugent instead of condemning his embrace of terminology that incited decent German people into Holocaust facilitators. Sadly, there are millions of racists in America who would participate in an attempt to wipe people of color off the face of America, and instead of immediately condemning and distancing themselves from Ted Nugent, Texas Republicans could only praise him for his opposition to the President and follow Willard Romney’s example and welcome his support for their candidacy.

There is a tendency to criticize anyone for comparing Republican propaganda tactics to Nazis, but in this case comparing Republican support of Nugent’s Nazi propaganda is warranted. For over five years Republicans have given tacit approval to, and participated in advancing, propaganda criticizing President Obama as an interloper, not being American, and an illegal President.  Nugent exceeded their efforts by resorting to Nazi propaganda that led to the worst human atrocity in history. Americans should make no mistake that Nugent’s Nazi remarks were not meant to ramp up hate towards Barack Obama or Americans who support him.

Americans should be aware that racist pedophile, draft dodger, and National Rifle Association director Nugent regards any American who does not comport with his vision of America is a hated enemy and unwelcome in his perverse America. Besides failing to condemn Nugent and his Republican cheer-leaders’ defense for using Nazi terminology, there was little reporting that during his Nazi propaganda rant he spared no Democrats from his vile remarks. He said, “I think America will be America again when Barack Obama, Eric Holder, Hillary Clinton, Dick Durbin, Michael Bloomberg and all the liberal Democrats are in jail facing the just due punishment that their treasonous acts are clearly apparent.” Nugent’s inclusion of “all the liberal Democrats in jail” is tantamount to Nazi propagandists lumping all Jews together and it leads one to wonder if “in jail” was code for in concentration camps or worse. Main stream media, Texas Republicans, and anyone defending, excusing, or praising Nugent are as guilty as the racist pedophile because their reluctance to condemn or distance themselves from him is implied approval to use dangerous Nazi propaganda against the President.

Ted Cruz crowd loves blogger’s jokes about opening fire on cars with California plates (via Raw Story )

A conservative blogger drew big laughs at a rally for Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) when he suggested that Texans open fire on cars bearing California license plates. “I’ve said this several times in Texas before and I’ve said it to Mr. Cruz as a representative…


h/t: David Mildenberg at Bloomberg

State Senator Wendy Davis of Texas, who rocketed to fame with her 11-hour filibuster to block an anti-abortion bill, is considering a campaign for governor even though she is thought to be a long shot.

All around Ms. Davis, people are encouraging her to get in the governor’s race. Whether she can win seems beside the point.

Liberal groups in Texas are hungry for her star power to energize the moribund state Democratic Party. Political operatives smell the money that a richly financed Democratic campaign, which early estimates put at $40 million, would direct their way. And national Democrats know a Davis campaign would force theRepublican Governors Association to divert millions from more competitive races in Ohio, Florida and Michigan to the Lone Star State.

“The R.G.A. would probably have to waste resources there, which is compelling to us,” said an official of the Democratic group, who declined to be named because he was not authorized to speak publicly.

Ms. Davis, tuning out the self-interested chorus, has spent August engaging in a private inquiry into the viability of a race for which independent analysts put the chances of her success somewhere between a long shot and a pipe dream. On Thursday she said she would announce her decision in a few weeks — a decision she postponed because she is caring for her father, who is hospitalized with complications from surgery, she said in a statement.

What trusted advisers, pollsters, fund-raisers and friends are telling her, they said in interviews, is that there is a path to victory, even in Texas, where no Democrat has won statewide office in nearly two decades.

“My impression was she was very interested,” said Martin Frost, a Washington lobbyist and former Texas congressman whose counsel Ms. Davis sought. “You don’t get these opportunities very often. She’s 50 years old. This is the right time for her.”

In her most recent public appearance, she sounded very much like a candidate on the verge. She was “very, very seriously considering” a campaign, she told an audience in San Francisco two weeks ago. She added, “I really think hard things are worth fighting for.”

That sentiment echoed what aides have identified as the best way for Ms. Davis to position herself — as a fighter for her beliefs — and deflect Republican efforts to narrowly define her as a defender of late-term abortion.

Researchers presented Ms. Davis with private polling that showed she was better known for her personality than for her positions. They also prepared an analysis of the nearly 900,000 Twitter messages in the 24 hours around her filibuster in June, which temporarily halted a bill to ban abortion in Texas after 20 weeks. A high percentage of those messages focused on her physical ordeal.

“Probably the biggest benefit of this filibuster is Wendy is known statewide and she’s known as a fighter, and that plays very well in Texas,” said Matt Angle, an adviser to Ms. Davis.

Republicans are moving swiftly to peg Ms. Davis, whose celebrity was confirmed this month by a Vogue magazine spread, as someone out of step with the state’s conservative electorate.

“God, I hope she runs, it’ll be great,” said Dave Carney, a consultant to Attorney General Greg Abbott, the most likely Republican nominee. “I don’t see her brand of populism, which is beautifully accepted on the Left Coast and the Acela Corridor, being a selling job in Texas.”

Ms. Davis has sought to broaden her identity, emphasizing a life story that few members of the coastal elites would identify with. Raised by a mother with a sixth-grade education after her father left, she became a single mother herself, living in a mobile home. She worked her way through community college, won a scholarship to Texas Christian University and eventually graduated from Harvard Law School.

She served nine years on the Fort Worth City Council before defeating a Republican incumbent for the State Senate in 2008. In Austin, her shoulder-length blond mane inspired jokes that she was the only politician with better hair than Gov. Rick Perry.

Much of Ms. Davis’s due diligence in eyeing a run has involved sifting the results of past statewide Texas races. The numbers are daunting: President Obama lost the state by 16 points in November.The 2010 Democratic nominee for governor pulled only 42 percent.

But Ms. Davis’s number crunchers are telling her, in essence, that if she can win her Senate district — much of Fort Worth and its suburbs — she can win statewide. It is the only district out of 31 in the state that is a true battleground, not drawn to protect one of the parties.

In winning re-election in November, Ms. Davis outpolled Mr. Obama in her district by 15,000 votes. She appealed to ticket-splitters, who preferred Mitt Romney on the presidential ballot by 8 points. Many were white suburban women, independents who were not driven by wedge social issues like abortion, Ms. Davis’s advisers determined.

Run, Wendy, Run!

h/t: The New York Times