Stephanie Ervin, Washington Alliance for Gun Responsibility

Getting sued is no fun.  Most people try to avoid it.  But not us.  In fact, we’ve asked to join the people of Washington as co-defendants in the gun lobby’s lawsuit attacking Initiative 594 – our new universal background checks law.
Why’d we do it?  Because 594 is keeping guns out of the hands of criminals.  And it’s making our communities safer.  We’ve spent the last two years fighting to pass the initiative and defending the initiative against the gun lobby’s attacks.
And we know how to beat them.
We’re asking grassroots supporters to raise $35,000 by the end of the month – that’s midnight tonight – to help us build the 594 Legal Defense Fund. This is going to be tough fight, and we need all hands on deck.
We’re getting close to hitting the goal, but we’re almost out of time.  Chip in a donation right now, and let’s show the gun lobby that we won’t back down!
Let’s do this!

Rand Paul — — reminders


Freshman Congressman Rand Paul … Celebrated his Teapublican victory at a Private Country Club …

Sen. Jim Bunning (R-KY) said yesterday that Kentucky GOP U.S. Senate candidate Rand Paul’s positions should be the positions of the Republican Party. “I think a lot of us in the Republican Party would like to see Rand Paul and his voting and how he will vote in the U.S. Senate [become] the position of the Republican Party,” Bunning told reporters. Bunning, however, didn’t endorse Paul’s controversial view of the Civil Rights Act of 1964.TP

Rand Paul has been reported stating,  he would (modify)? maybe abolish Dept of Education, Farm Subsidies, Slash Medicare, Fair Housing Act, American Disabilities Act and believes any Public entity should be subjected to the rule of law but Private Ownership should have the right to refuse service to anyone they want; which, makes one wonder if Rand actually understands the 1964 Civil Rights Act or how and who potential business owners get the right to do business, Public or Private … uh City, State, Federal business license ….

From NBC’s John Yang
LOUISVILLE — Rand Paul wasn’t the only Tea Party-favored candidate to defeat an establishment candidate in Kentucky today.

UPS pilot Todd Lally ran away with the Republican nomination to challenge Democratic Rep. John Yarmuth in Kentucky’s 3rd Congressional District, which centers on Louisville. He beat three candidates, including Jeff Reetz, a Pizza Hut franchise owner who was the favorite of the House Republican campaign committee.

Lally is strongly pro-gun rights and anti-abortion rights. The Louisville Courier-Journal‘s editorial page said that during his endorsement interview, he said President Obama wouldn’t be able to get a security clearance if he wasn’t president and said health care reform was for the benefit of “freeloaders.”

Rachel Maddow interviews Kentucky Republican Senate nominee Rand Paul about how he reconciles his views on small government with civil rights, racism and segregation.

WASHINGTON – Kentucky Republican Senate candidate Rand Paul said Friday that President Barack Obama’s criticism of BP in the wake of the Gulf oil debacle sounds “really un-American.”  Paul, already facing a backlash over remarks earlier this week about civil rights legislation, criticized the Obama administration for declaring it will put its “boot heel on the throat of BP.” White House spokesman Robert Gibbs used similar language shortly after the spill.  In an interview Friday on ABC’s “Good Morning America,” Paul says the president’s response is part of the “blame game” that’s played in the United States. msnbc

The morning after he declined to endorse the totality of the Civil Rights Act in his much-discussed appearance on the Rachel Maddow Show, Dr. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) copped to feeling regret — not over his comments, but rather his decision to be interviewed by Maddow in the first place.

“It was a poor political decision and probably won’t be happening anytime in the near future,” the Tea Party endorsed Senate candidate said on the Laura Ingraham show on Thursday morning. “Because, yeah, they can play things and want to say, ‘Oh you believed in beating up people that were trying to sit in restaurants in the 1960s.’ And that is such a ridiculous notion and something that no rational person is in favor of. [But] she went on and on about that.”

Blaming the messenger is a tactic often used by politicians when the message itself is to blame. And Paul’s appearance on the Maddow show on Wednesday night was anything but bland. For 15 minutes, he and the host went back and forth in debating where there should be limits to government efforts to desegregate private institutions (Paul was skeptical that the government should play any role at all). But the notion that the MSNBC host was somehow unloading liberal hostilities on him doesn’t jibe with the fact that Paul got the same type of treatment during an NPR interview earlier that morning — or, for that matter, that a conservative voice on MSNBC, Joe Scarborough, seemed aghast at his answers. “He needs to come up with an answer today, or Kentucky will be Arizona: a battleground for ugly, racial politics,” Scarborough said. “He has 24 hours.”

(Paul, in fact, chose Maddow’s show to initially launch his Senate candidacy a year prior to last night’s appearance.)

Paul did seem to draw back (or tighten) his discussion of the Civil Rights Act during his interview with Ingraham.

“These are settled issues in the Civil Rights Act,” he said. “I have no intention of bringing up anything related to the Civil Rights Act… I think [segregation] is sort of a stain and blight on our history — so, no, I have never really favored any change in the Civil Rights Act or any of that. But they have seemed to unleash the loony left on me.”

In April of last year, Dr. Rand Paul was the featured guest speaker at an event held by the Constitution Party of Minnesota, whose stated goals include “restor[ing] American jurisprudence to its Biblical foundations.”

Bruce Wilson

Bruce Wilson

Writes on religion and politics

Rand Paul Keynoted 2009 Rally for Far-Right Constitution Party

All you really need to know about Christian Reconstructionism is in the title of a January 2008 Talk To Action story of mine, More From The Biblical Stoning & Legalized Slavery Movement.

Enter Rand Paul.

Amidst the hullaballoo over Republican Rand Paul’s upset victory in the Kentucky GOP primary for US Senate, one of the few journalists to raise the issue of Paul’s somewhat uncomfortable proximity to Christian Reconstructionism has been Alternet’s Adele Stan, who observes that Rand Paul’s father Ron Paul is personal friends with one of the bigger names in the Christian Reconstructionist movement, Howard Phillips, founder of the US Taxpayers Party — now re-branded as The Constitution Party. But there’s much more direct evidence tying Ran Paul to the Constitution Party, whose national platform declares,

“The goal of the Constitution Party is to restore American jurisprudence to its Biblical foundations…The U.S. Constitution established a Republic rooted in Biblical law”

As Adele Stan notes, Phillips gave a keynote address at the Ron Paul For President Convention in Minneapolis a year and a half ago. And, Ron Paul endorsed the 2008 Constitution Party’s presidential candidate in the 2008 election, Chuck Baldwin.

As it’s said, the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree. In a May 21, 2009 appearance on the Alex Jones Show, Rand Paul affirmed that his political beliefs were extremely close to those of his father Ron:

Alex Jones: “You’re basically what I would call a chip off the old block. Your policies are basically identical to your father, correct?”Rand Paul: “I’d say we’d be very very similar. We might present the message sometimes differently.. I think in some ways the message has to be broadened and made more appealing to the entire Republican electorate because you have to win a primary.” [Rand Paul on Alex Jones, 5/21/09]

So it isn’t altogether surprising that Rand Paul could be found, in April 2009, at a rally held by a political party that’s been heavily influenced by a movement whose founder, Rousas Rushdoony, advocated executing homosexuals by stoning, wanted to reimpose the institution of slavery, and maintained that the Sun rotated around the Earth.

[below – video from Minneapolis “End the Fed” rally establishes that Rand Paul was in the vicinity prior to the Minnesota Constitution Party rally later that day. Note: the rally itself was not held by the MN Constitution Party.]

On April 25, 2009, Rand Paul was the featured guest speaker at The Constitution Party of Minnesota’s “event of the year.” I’ve found video of Rand Paul at an afternoon Minneapolis rally, so he was without a doubt in the vicinity.

Just to make sure I talked to Tammy Houle, whose phone number is the Minnesota Constitution Party listed contact number, and she confirmed to me that Rand Paul had indeed spoken at the April 25th evening event.

The odd thing about Rand and Ron Paul’s political tendency is that it offers liberals and progressives a number of points of agreement, probably more than with more ‘mainstream’ conservative GOP politicians. For example, Ron Paul has been a principled opponent of the invasion of Iraq and US military adventurism in the Mideast generally, and Rand Paul espouses the same position.

But it’s hard to get much more extreme than Christian Reconstructionism, whose founder Rushdoony was a Holocaust denier, a racist, a creationist, and an advocate for slavery who claimed that African-American slaves were lucky.

Weigh it for yourself — Howard Phillips, who founded the Constitution Party, has, according to journalist Frederick Clarkson, described Rousas J. Rushdoony as “my wise counseler.”

As Rushdoony wrote in Politics of Guilt and Pity:

The white man is being systematically indoctrinated into believing that he is guilty of enslaving and abusing the Negro. Granted that some Negroes were mistreated as slaves, the fact still remains that nowhere in all history or in the world today has the Negro been better off. The life expectancy of the Negro increased when he was transported to America. He was not taken from freedom into slavery, but from a vicious slavery to degenerate chiefs to a generally benevolent slavery in the United States. There is not the slightest evidence that any American Negro had ever lived in a “free society” in Africa; even the idea did not exist in Africa. The move from Africa to America was a vast increase of freedom for the Negro…

None of this, of course, is Rand Paul’s direct responsibility. But it certainly is suggestive.

And so, without further ado, here’s the April 9, 2009 post advertising Rand Paul’s April 25th appearance at the Minnesota Constitution Party “Liberty Banquet 2009″ that’s posted on :

The Constitution Party of Minnesota announces with anticipation, the event of the year — Liberty Banquet 2009Patriots and statesmen will come together on April 25th to hear featured guest,


Don’t miss this opportunity to unite with other like-minded folks for an evening of inspiration and motivation. The evening begins at 5:00 pm with a social hour, dinner at 6:00, followed by introductions and guest speakers. Preceding Dr. Paul, we will hear a few words from the two tenacious gentlemen that recently accepted the co-chairmanship of the CPMN Veteran’s Coalition, Leon Moe and John Salsbury.

The Chaska VFW will be the location of the event, which is located one block west of the intersection of Old Hwy. 212 and Hwy. 41 near downtown Chaska. The cost of tickets is $30 per person or 4 for $100. Get yours soon by sending payment to CPMN Treasurer, Patricia Becker, 23078 – 21st Avenue, St. Augusta, MN 56301.

Related News On Huffington Post:

A version of this post was originally published on Talk To Action.

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Meet Fiorina – Key Note for ALEC summit

Meet Republican Carly Fiorina of California: She’s anti-choice, anti-gay and she’s mocked climate change concerns as just being “worried about the weather.” And like so many other Republican candidates this year, she’s a multimillionaire corporate executive trying to buy her way into public office.



Gov. Christie -did what to Seniors the Disabled and Hispanics of NJ in 2010

Hispanics say N.J. Gov. Christie’s proposed budget cuts would hit them hard
Sunday, June 20, 2010
Last updated: Sunday June 20, 2010, 10:27 AM


another Reminder :

The Record

Hispanic leaders are warning that Governor Christie‘s proposed budget cuts will devastate their communities by leaving little or no funding for programs that assist the unemployed, disabled and the destitute, among others.

Leaders are particularly concerned about the pending elimination of the Center for Hispanic Policy, Research and Development, which funnels funds to some 40 agencies that they say serve about 300,000 mostly low-income Latinos annually. The 35-year-old department, they note, is the only state agency that focuses on Hispanics.

The cuts are the latest source of frustration among Hispanics over Christie. They were angered by his decision to drop legal immigrants who are not naturalized U.S. citizens from NJ FamilyCare, a health insurance program for low-income parents, and by the possibility that he would eliminate the Commission on New Americans, a long-awaited initiative by his predecessor to address immigrant issues in New Jersey.

“This is not shared sacrifice,” said Guillermo Beytagh-Maldonado, executive director of the Hispanic Directors Association, an umbrella group, referring to the proposed cuts. “He’s cutting our head off. So many people in New Jersey are talking about how Hispanics are going be profiled in Arizona because of the new immigration law. But right here in New Jersey we’re being profiled, we’re being treated outrageously.”

Hispanics say Christie seems indifferent to the problems and needs of their communities, though Hispanics are now the state’s largest minority group, making up 16 percent of the population. Nearly 30 percent of the state’s Hispanics in New Jersey are uninsured and about 16 percent live in poverty.

Deborah Howlett, the head of New Jersey Policy Perspective, said that about 80 percent of residents will be affected by Christie’s cuts to varying degrees.

“The economic recession has hit minorities harder than other people,” Howlett said. “People in lower income brackets, which include a disproportionate share of Hispanics, are being asked to shoulder more of the burden because they’re more reliant on the social services being cut.”

A spokesman for Christie said the governor was not singling Hispanics out, or acting insensitively toward them.

“No one can possibly say they’re being singled out,” said Michael Drewniak, Christie’s spokesman. “That’s just ridiculous. It’s a wrong assumption. By that logic, we’re targeting every group of every kind.”

“The governor is trying to tackle an $11 billion deficit that he inherited,” Drewniak said. “The cuts must be deep and wide.”

Drewniak said the cuts were not made thoughtlessly.

“We tried to be as careful as we could,” he said. “Everyone is pretty much in the same boat.”

Hispanic leaders say they understand that the governor faces a tough job in trying to deal with the deficit.

“We’re all willing to tighten our belts,” said Lorenzo Hernandez, who heads the Hispanic Information Center of Passaic, one of the agencies that gets funding from the Center for Hispanic Policy, Research and Development.

But Hernandez and other leaders say it is a mistake to slash funding for Hispanic community organizations that serve a group that not only is one of the most needy in the state, but one whose language and cultural barriers make access to services difficult.

“When I lost my job, my employer did not pay me vacation or holiday pay that I was owed,” said Maria Cristina Caballero, a Passaic resident who came to this country from Colombia two years ago. “I tried going for help to public agencies but got nowhere, and I felt I was in a hopeless, dead-end situation.”

Caballero went to the Hispanic Information Center, which provides a wide range of services, including assistance to domestic violence victims, the unemployed and people who need shelter, food and medical attention. The center helped Caballero get the money owed to her by her former employer.

“I would not have gotten it on my own,” Caballero said. “I was truly lost and overwhelmed.”

Many people who turn to the Paramus-based Hispanic Institute for Research and Development, which offers classes such as word processing and English, have lost jobs and are trying to get back on their feet, said Emilio Fandino, the non-profit group’s executive director. Many of the clients of HIRD, which gets about $75,000 from the state, have taken free English and job skills classes elsewhere, but those usually cover only the basics, Fandino said. The institute offers classes in conjunction with Bergen Community College.

“If we stopped getting the funding from the state, maybe about 200 people wouldn’t get the scholarships we give them, and couldn’t take the classes because they can’t afford it,” Fandino said.

Beytagh-Maldonado has met with legislators to drum up support for restoring funds for programs on which many Hispanics depend. Hispanics in New Jersey typically have received inadequate resources from the state government, he said.

“I don’t think the state has ever really adjusted to the reality that Hispanics are the group with the most needs,” he said. “We have the highest dropout rates, highest uninsured, high poverty rate, and the community is growing in New Jersey.”

Of the community-based agencies, he said: “They go with the people to the schools, talk with the teachers, with social workers. These are the people on the front lines who provide preventative services so that problems don’t get bigger and become crises.”

Many of the agencies and programs were set up in the 1970s and 1980s in response to the growth of immigrant residents who lacked the linguistic skills and knowledge about U.S. public agencies to access services on their own.

“So the idea was to have people from the community, who knew the language and culture, to guide these immigrants,” said Frank Argote-Freyre, a professor at Kean University and head of the state Commission on New Americans, an advisory group that has expressed concerns about Christie’s willingness to keep it alive.

Like other Latino leaders, Argote-Freyre and Beytagh-Maldonado called Christie’s decision to drop legal immigrants from the state’s insurance program for the poor a harsh move.

Nearly 12,000 legal immigrant parents are being removed from the program. U.S. citizen parents are also to be denied coverage if their annual family income exceeds $24,000 a year for a family of three.

“They’re taking people from FamilyCare and are going to force them into charity care,” Beytagh-Maldonado said. “When immigrants can’t get access to health care, everyone is affected, everyone’s health is at risk. All these cuts are just going to end up being more expensive for New Jersey in the long run.”



N.J. Assembly fails to override Christie veto of millionaires tax
Monday, June 21, 2010
Last updated: Monday June 21, 2010, 5:01 PM
State House Bureau
TRENTON — Democrats have failed to override Governor Christie’s veto of a tax that would increase taxes on income more than $1 million.The bills, which would devote the proceeds to restoring property tax rebates for seniors and the disabled, died on the Assembly floor Monday when Democrats could not convert any Republicans who voted against it last month, when it passed strictly along partisan lines.Although a majority of Assembly members (47 to 33) voted for the bill, Democrats did not reach the two-thirds majority needed to override it. The override would have required flipping seven Republican votes. Because the override attempt failed in the Assembly, where the bill originated, the Senate will not attempt it.The Assembly and Senate both passed the millionaires tax last month strictly along partisan lines, only to see it vetoed by Christie minutes later.The bill would have raised the tax rate on income over $1 million forapproximately 16,000 households. A companion bill, also vetoed by Christie, would have devoted the funds to restoring property tax rebates for the seniors and disabled as well as cuts to state-supplemented senior drug programs that have since been reversed.The Assembly first took up the companion bill, whichAssemblywoman AmyHandlin (R-Monmouth) said would not help seniors because there is no money to restore rebates.”What can help (seniors) is a hard 2.5 percent cap on property taxes,” she said.*****************************************************
N.J. Senate resolution urges Christie not to join health care reform lawsuit
Monday, June 21, 2010
State House Bureau
The state Senate Monday approved a resolution urging Governor Christie not to join 20 other states in a lawsuit against the federal health care reform law.Christie has faced pressure from conservative activists to join the suit, which argues the law’s penalty on individuals for not buying insurance is unconstitutional. Senate Democrats, in turn, responded with the resolution, which points out that Christie was able to restore proposed cuts to subsidized senior drug programs in part with money allocated from the law.Christie has not said whether he plans to join the suit. Most of the states challenging the law have either Republican governors or elected Republican attorneys general.“You can’t have it both ways. You can’t be for the senior citizens and use the Obama health care plan to fund their programs and then challenge it in court,” said state Sen. Raymond Lesniak (D-Union), a sponsor.

The state Senate Monday approved a resolution urging Governor Christie not to join 20 other states in a lawsuit against the federal health care reform law.

Christie has faced pressure from conservative activists to join the suit, which argues the law’s penalty on individuals for not buying insurance is unconstitutional. Senate Democrats, in turn, responded with the resolution, which points out that Christie was able to restore proposed cuts to subsidized senior drug programs in part with money allocated from the law.

Christie has not said whether he plans to join the suit. Most of the states challenging the law have either Republican governors or elected Republican attorneys general.

“You can’t have it both ways. You can’t be for the senior citizens and use the Obama health care plan to fund their programs and then challenge it in court,” said state Sen. Raymond Lesniak (D-Union), a sponsor.

New 2016 Projections


The Changing Face of America’s Electorate Has Big Political Implications for 2016

One of several reasons Democrats did not have a successful 2014 was the predictably low turnout among some of the party’s key constituencies. But, as we wrote, 2016 is a whole different ballgame. Now a new Center for American Progress analysis takes a big step in quantifying just how different it could be — and how much of a headwind the GOP faces to retake the White House.

The study, by policy analyst Patrick Oakford, runs a number of simulations of the 2016 elections incorporating the projected racial and ethnic demographic changes in America. As voters of color make up an increasing share of the electorate, it becomes increasingly difficult for Republicans to win key swing states and in turn the Electoral College. In fact, the study finds that even if racial and ethnic groups vote in 2016 how they voted in 2004 when Bush won reelection, Republicans would still lose key states like Ohio.

Here is a brief overview of the simulations and their findings. Check out the full issue brief for more details.

Simulation #1: Racial and ethnic groups turn out to vote at 2012 levels and vote for Republicans and Democrats at 2012 levels.

This scenario means that nothing changes between the 2012 and 2016 elections except for demographic shifts. In this case, the only change is that Democrats would win North Carolina.

Simulation #2: Racial and ethnic groups turn out at 2012 levels, but vote at 2004 levels.

This scenario helps Republicans — four in ten Hispanic voters went for George W. Bush in 2004, while just 27 percent voted for Mitt Romney in 2012. It addresses the argument that voting patters among minority groups might change when Barack Obama is not on the ticket. But, with the demographic changes, Democrats still come out on top in the Electoral College. Ohio, which went for Bush in 2004, would turn blue again.

Simulations #3: Racial and ethnic groups turn out at 2012 levels. Whites vote at 2012 levels, while racial minorities vote at 2004 levels.

This final scenario attempts to stack the deck in favor of Republicans. That’s because they got a stronger white vote in 2012 than in 2004, but a stronger Hispanic vote in 2004 than in 2012. And yet, they come up short in this simulations as well.

BOTTOM LINE: New projections of the 2016 electorate show that Republicans can’t just hope for a return to pre-Obama voting patterns to win the presidency. They need to do even better. But instead of trying to actually represent the changing electorate by tackling the important challenges that matter to these groups, like passing immigration reform, House Republicans are gearing up to defund the president’s recent common-sense executive actions on immigration, rolling back important protections and splitting families and communities in the process.