Tag Archives: Congresswoman

Erika Harold: Harvard law graduate and former Miss America runs for Congress

Republican candidate Erika Harold
Republican candidate Erika Harold

The Weekly Standard reports.

Excerpt:

The most interesting House primary of the 2014 cycle began in June in the 13th District of Illinois. It pits freshman Republican congressman Rodney Davis against an insurgent candidate named Erika Harold. Davis is a political operative who won his seat last year nearly by accident. Erika Harold is a 33-year-old lawyer. Who happens to have been Miss America.

[…]In addition to the charisma and poise native to good politicians, Harold has exhibited the principled toughness of the best pols. And again, to appreciate this aspect of her character, you need only go back to Miss America.

Her platform as a Miss America candidate included abstinence:

Harold competed three times for the Miss Illinois crown, which she finally won in 2003. Each time, she ran on a platform of abstinence. But one of the arcane traditions of Miss America is that while contestants choose their own platforms when competing for the state crown, it’s the state organization that decides what platform the winner will take to Atlantic City. The year Harold was named Miss Illinois, her state committee settled on a bland platform opposing “youth violence.” (Think of it as “world peace,” for the children.) Harold agreed to oppose youth violence.

After she was named Miss America, however, Harold decided to add abstinence to her platform for the year of her reign. She didn’t abandon “youth violence” but rather included it, along with abstinence, in a broad appeal to kids to respect themselves by standing up to bullies and avoiding sex, drugs, and alcohol. This was, as a matter of both intellectual coherence and moral sense, a significant improvement on the pure “youth violence” platform she’d been handed. The Miss America organization did not like it one bit.

The organization pushed back hard and told Harold to keep quiet—especially about sex. The disagreement made national headlines and culminated in a news conference at the National Press Club in Washington, where the newly crowned Harold told reporters, “I will not be bullied. I’ve gone through enough adversity in my life to stand up for what I believe in.” Miss America stared down the pageant and won.

Promotes fiscal conservativism to African Americans:

Harold was already interested in politics. During a Miss America appearance at East St. Louis High School, students asked her what she wanted to be when she grew up. She told them, “My ultimate goal is that I want to be the first black female president of the United States.” While still an undergraduate at Illinois, she volunteered for conservative Patrick O’Malley’s doomed 2002 Illinois gubernatorial campaign. She also volunteered with the Republican National Committee in an effort to promote conservative economic principles in African-American communities. After graduating from law school, she joined a Chicago firm where her practice has specialized in health care law and religious freedom.

[…][W]hile Harold tries to resist easy classification, her ideological markers are highly suggestive of a conservative worldview. There’s the abstinence, of course. She’s fiercely pro-life. She favors concealed-carry gun laws. And she’s on the board of Prison Fellowship Ministries, the program founded by Chuck Colson.

Focused on religious liberty:

The most interesting part of Harold’s legal practice has been her work defending faith-based entities. In one case, for example, she represented a retirement community affiliated with a religious group. The organization featured a cross on its logo and used a Bible verse in its mission statement—which attracted a lawsuit from an advocacy group contending that this amounted to discrimination. Describing this work, Harold says, “It’s a passion of mine.”

Looking across the broader national landscape, Harold sees ample reason to be concerned about religious freedom. “We’re starting to see ways in which our constitutional protections are being encroached upon,” she says. “We all are less free when any group isn’t afforded their constitutional protections.”

And not just less free, but less well off. Harold says that her time with Prison Fellowship Ministries has deepened her appreciation for the good religious organizations can do. “I’ve seen firsthand the need for there to be a space in public life for religious groups to be able to offer service to their fellow man,” she says. When government seeks to quarantine religious organizations, moving from freedom of religion to “freedom of worship” (to use the formulation President Obama favors), “it’s far too limiting in terms of the good they can do for the public, and it’s far too restrictive in terms of the protections which are afforded religious groups by the Constitution. We give something up when we say that certain voices aren’t welcome in the public square.”

Harold says she intends to make religious freedom an issue in her campaign. This is fitting at a time when the HHS mandate, the Hobby Lobby case, and the torrent of litigation about to be unleashed by the Supreme Court’s gay marriage decisions appear likely to make religious freedom a central front in the culture war.

We have such a deep bench, so there’s reason for optimism – if you’re a Republican like me! Here’s another story I found about another young, female Republican candidate Elise Stefanik. I would not be annoyed at all if all of our candidates were women or minorities or minority women. I wouldn’t even be annoyed if our candidates were some sort of dolphin-alligator hybrid monstrosities, (although I prefer pretty lawyers ladies). The main thing I want is that our candidates are conservative. That’s what really matters to me.

Colonel Martha McSally enters congressional race for vacant Arizona seat

Colonel  Martha McSally
Colonel Martha McSally

From Military.com. (H/T Gateway Pundit)

Excerpt:

The first woman to fly fighters in combat for the Air Force, and first to command a fighter squadron in combat, is entering Arizona’s special election to fill U.S. Rep. Gabrielle Giffords’ vacated congressional seat.

Martha McSally confirmed her intentions Wednesday to join the Republican primary. She made her decision after analyzing three factors: was it feasible, was she electable, and did she feel called to run.

McSally said she’s sure she is the right person for the job. “I believe my leadership and my demonstrated moral courage and experience is what this community and this nation needs right now.”

[…]She commanded a squadron of A-10 attack jets in Afghanistan. After that, she was sent to the Air War College in Alabama, where she finished first in a class of 225 people being groomed as senior leaders. She spent her final three years in the Air Force in Stuttgart, Germany.

Gateway Pundit adds:

Southern Arizona is buzzing with the possible entrance of a new candidate in the special election to replace Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords. Martha McSally, the woman who, in 2002, challenged the Department of Defense rule requiring American servicewoman in Saudi Arabia to dress in a Muslim Abaya and headscarf when travelling off base, reportedly plans to formally announce her candidacy Thursday.

McSally, who retired from the Air Force as a colonel, was also the first woman in United States history to fly in combat, and the first woman to lead a squadron into combat, in the skies above Iraq and Afghanistan. McSally is a Distinguished Graduate of the Air Force Academy, earned her Master’s Degree, in Public Policy, from the JFK School of Government at Harvard, and in 1995 was one of only seven active duty Air Force officers selected for the prestigious Legislative Fellowship Program in Washington. She spent the last few years teaching military and foreign affairs to world leaders at the George C. Marshall Center in Germany.

She’s also champion triathlete and has climbed Mt. Kilimanjaro

Democrats in the Southern Arizona district, are lining up behind former Giffords’ aide Ron Barber to replace the outgoing congresswoman. Barber is being described by local Democrats as a “placeholder” or “caretaker” until the end of Giffords’ term. But it’s hard not to wonder if the entrance of a dynamic, young Republican woman will change the nature of this race.

McSally is conservative, pro-life, pro-2nd amendment, and everything else that voters in a Republican-leaning district are yearning for. So have the Democrats in Arizona’s 8th congressional district made a mistake? Some people are starting to think so. Martha McSally isn’t Gabrielle Giffords. But her dynamic personality, her clear convictions and accomplished resume could be just what conservatives need if they want to win the race that one Washington insider called, “the next biggest thing to the Presidential” race this year.

I’d like to know her views on the definition of marriage, but that’s still a good resume. I think I know one reason why she might be running – her A-10 Thunderbolt II was targeted in the Obama’s administration’s most recent round of cuts to American defense capabilities.

Here’s an interview she did with the radically left-wing 60 Minutes:

Here’s a bit more about the A-10 Thunderbolt II that she flew. (Picture, Specifications)

Part 1 of 2:

Part 2 of 2:

I built a model of one of these as a child, and hung it from the ceiling of my room. A great strike platform. I have mounted Rockeye cluster munitions on these guys when playing Steel Panthers and used them to immobilize/destroy multiple Russian T-72s in one pass. The AGM-65 Mavericks are effective at long range, as well.

How Michele Bachmann’s miscarriage shaped her pro-life views

Michele and Marcus Bachmann
Michele and Marcus Bachmann

From Life News.

Excerpt:

Campaigning in South Carolina, Republican presidential candidate Michele Bachmann said a “devastating” miscarriage helped shape her pro-life views on abortion. The compelling personal story ties in to her rationale for becoming a foster care mom.

While on the campaign trail in Rock Hill, South Carolina, the Minnesota congresswoman revealed she had a miscarriage decades ago and that the event led her to solidify her pro-life views and prompted her and her husband to become a foster home to 23 children over the years.

“After our second child was born, we became pregnant with a third baby,” Bachmann said, according to a Politico report. “And it was an unexpected baby, but of course we were delighted to have this child. And the child was coming along, and we ended up losing that child. And it was devastating for both of us, as you can imagine if any of you have lost a child.”

She said the miscarriage also prompted Bachmann and her husband Marcus to re-evaluate their personal and professional life goals.

“At that moment we didn’t think of ourselves as overly career minded or overly materialistic,” she said, according to Politico. “When we lost that child, it changed us. And it changed us forever.”

“We made a commitment that no matter how many children were brought into our life, we would receive them because we are committed to life,” she added.

Reporters at the event say Bachmann shared it about halfway through her town hall at Winthrop University on Wednesday night. The miscarriage story is not one that Bachmann has shared much and Peter Hamby from CNN reports that “Even some of Bachmann’s staffers were caught by surprise when she talked about the miscarriage and had not heard [the] story before.”

You can see pictures and videos of the event at Right Wing News, courtesy of John Hawkins. I really appreciate that John has been broadly supportive of Michele, because he is a major figure in the conservative blogosphere.

You can also find out more about Michele Bachmann from interviews, campaign speeches and speeches in the legislature.

AT LAST! Michele Bachmann is officially running for President in 2012

Full text of the announcement is here.

Excerpt:

This election is about big issues, not petty ones. When all is said and done, we cannot be about big government as usual. Then America will lose.

In Washington I am bringing a voice to the halls of congress that has been missing for a long time. It is the voice of the people I love and learned from growing up in Waterloo. It is the voice of reasonable, fair-minded people who love this country, who are patriotic, and who see the United States as the indispensable nation of the world.

My voice is part of a movement to take back our country, and now I want to take that voice to the White House. It is the voice of constitutional conservatives who want our government to do its job and not ours and who want our government to live within its means and not our children’s and grandchildren’s.

I am here in Waterloo, Iowa to announce today: We can win in 2012 and we will. Our voice has been growing louder and stronger. And it is made up of Americans from all walks of life like a three-legged stool. It’s the peace through strength Republicans, and I’m one of them, it’s fiscal conservatives, and I’m one of them, and it’s social conservatives, and I’m one of them. It’s the Tea Party movement and I’m one of them.

Photos:

I stole those pictures from the UK Telegraph. Canada’s Sun News Network had this segment on Michele Bachmann as well.

Campaign speeches, interviews and debates

Speeches:

Reactions from her recent debate performance:

Profiles of Michele Bachmann:

Michele Bachmann on television news

Let Americans spend their own money

Time to prioritize spending

Obama’s plan is to raise your taxes

Michele Bachmann in the legislature

Against socialism:

For economic growth:

Against ACORN funding:

A closer look at Michele Bachmann’s background, family and education

Who is Michele Bachmann?
Who is Michele Bachmann?

My friend Muddling over at the Muddling Towards Maturity blog notified me this morning that the Weekly Standard has posted the most detailed profile in on Michele Bachmann so far. I took at look at the article, and he’s right. There is a lot of new stuff here. Check out this excerpt, and if you like it, read the whole thing. I will put links to some of her other interviews and speeches at the bottom of this post.

Excerpt:

Michele Amble was born on April 6, 1956, in Waterloo, Iowa, the second of four children and the only girl. Her childhood was modest. Her parents owned a small home and rented out the top floor for income. Her father was studying to be an engineer. When Michele was four, the family moved into a three-bedroom rambler. “It was probably lower middle class,” she said, “and then, as families do, we moved up to middle class.” She was baptized and raised in the Lutheran church.

The Ambles come from Norwegian immigrants who arrived in America in the middle of the nineteenth century. They trace their roots in Iowa back seven generations. They were Democrats. The one Republican Michele knew well as a child was her paternal grandmother, a devoted Wall Street Journal and Time magazine reader who, like her other grandparents, worked in a factory. David Amble, Michele’s father, was the first in the family to go to college.

When Michele was in elementary school, her father got a job designing ordnance at Honeywell. The work took the Ambles to Anoka, Minnesota, north of the Twin Cities. Then came a time of upheaval. Her parents divorced. Her father moved to California. Michele and her brothers remained in Minnesota with their mother, Jean. The family fell into poverty overnight. “My mom made about $4,800 a year,” Michele said. Jean was a bank teller.

Michele was 13 years old. She and her mother had a conversation. “My mom said, ‘One thing that can never be taken away from you is your education,’ ” Bachmann told me in a 2009 interview. If she worked hard in school, her mother went on, she’d have a foundation for life. Michele became a devoted student at Anoka High, graduating early. She was popular and was elected to the homecoming court in the fall and winter semesters. She was never queen, though. “I won Miss Congeniality once,” she said.

[…]When she returned to the States, Michele enrolled at a community college near Anoka. Money was tight. She’d often work three jobs—school bus driver, restaurant hostess, all sorts of things. The following summer she went to Alaska, where she worked for an uncle who lived in the Aleutian Islands. Alaska’s oil boom was just beginning, and geologists scoured the rocks for signs of petroleum. Michele tarred roofs, cleaned fish, washed dishes, and cooked meals. In Alaska she fell into conversation with a geologist who wanted to know her plans. Michele told him she didn’t want to go back to community college, and she also didn’t have any money. The geologist recommended Winona State University in the southeastern part of Minnesota, near the Mississippi River.

[…]It was at Winona State that Michele began to date Marcus Bachmann… Michele and Marcus married after graduating from college in 1978. They spent the next year working in Minnesota, Michele at the Buffalo County judge’s office, Marcus in social work. Then began the long juggling act of continuing their education while holding jobs and raising kids. The family moved to Tulsa, then Virginia Beach, for graduate school. By the time they wound up in Stillwater, Minnesota, in the late 1980s, the Bachmanns had a law degree from Oral Roberts (Michele), a master’s in tax law from William and Mary (Michele), a master’s in education and counseling from Regent University (Marcus), and a growing family.

Marcus went on to open two successful Christian counseling clinics. Bachmann worked as a federal tax attorney until the birth of her fourth child. She always had plenty to do. “We taught all of our children to read and write at home before we sent them to school, and we sent our biological children to Christian school,” she said.

The Bachmanns also opened their home to teenage girls with eating disorders. The maximum number of kids, biological and nonbiological, they had at one time was nine. There came a moment when “we found ourselves with a seventh grader, a first grader, a four-year-old, a two-year-old, and a nursing newborn,” Bachmann said, “and four foster children.” There were so many kids in the house the family applied for a group home license.

Bachmann was involved in all aspects of her children’s education. In the early 1990s, she joined the board of a Christian-influenced charter school in Stillwater. She left that position in 1993, but remained interested in civic life. She and Marcus were active in the pro-life movement. Curriculum reform, though, was the issue that eventually drove her into politics.

The article goes on to talk about her legislative initiatives and political accomplishments.

I just have to include this part about how she got her start, as an inspiration to all of my readers:

In April 2000, as the fight to overturn the Profile of Learning continued, Bachmann attended her local nominating convention for state senate. The incumbent, moderate Republican Gary Laidig, had 28 years’ experience. But he was increasingly out of step with the conservative families pouring into the St. Paul suburbs. As the convention began, Bachmann conversed with her fellow activists. Laidig had to go, they said. Someone suggested Bachmann run against him.

She didn’t know what to do. She was wearing jeans and tennis shoes and a sweatshirt with a hole in it. She’d had no business leaving the house that morning, she said.

But Bachmann went on stage and delivered a five minute speech on freedom. Then she sat down. “I’m sitting there, and I had to be neutral,” former Minnesota state GOP chairman Ron Eibensteiner told me in 2009. “But I’m thinking to myself, boy, would I love to have her run.” Laidig gave a speech, and the convention took a vote. Bachmann won a supermajority on the first ballot.

Shocked, Laidig decided to challenge her in a primary. Bachmann won handily. It was no mystery why. “She tells it like it is,” Minnesota GOP state chair Tony Sutton told me two years ago. “She doesn’t pull any punches. That’s why she has such a strong following.”

And I think this snapshot of Michele shows why we like her:

Whereas Palin makes emotional and cultural appeals to her supporters, Bachmann formulates an argument. She talks like a litigating attorney, and her speeches, op-eds, and interviews are littered with references to books and articles. Not all of her references are conservative. During our recent interview, Bachmann cited Lawrence Wright’s history of al Qaeda, The Looming Tower (“I love that book!”), to illustrate a point about the rise of radical Islam.

Just FYI, The Looming Tower is THE comprehensive assessment of Al Qaeda. We need a President who reads books like that, even if it is written by a liberal. She reads outside of the people who agree with her, so long as what they write is well-sourced and credible. And remember, Michele Bachmann reads re-known economist Ludwig Von Mises on the beach, when she’s on vacation! That’s pretty heavy reading.

You can take a look at the related posts below to learn more about Michele Bachmann.

Campaign speeches, interviews and debates

Speeches:

Reactions from her recent debate performance:

Profiles of Michele Bachmann:

Michele Bachmann on television news

Let Americans spend their own money

Time to prioritize spending

Obama’s plan is to raise your taxes

Michele Bachmann in the legislature

Against socialism:

For economic growth:

Against ACORN funding: