Tag Archives: FRC

Donald Trump names Ken Blackwell as head of his domestic transition team

Ken Blackwell: Senior Fellow for Human Rights and Constitutional Governance at the Family Research Council
Ken Blackwell: Senior Fellow for Human Rights and Constitutional Governance at the Family Research Council

OK, so some of my readers may not know who Ken Blackwell is, but long story short, this would be like naming Ted Cruz as Solicitor General or naming Thomas Sowell as head of the Congressional Budget Office. Ken Blackwell has a reputation as a social conservative who is also a fiscal conservative. Don’t worry, I have things about him for you to read, but first the announcement, which was tweeted by the Family Research Council (!) where Blackwell is a Senior Fellow.

Associated Press:

The Ohio Republican selected by president-elect Donald Trump to lead his domestic transition is an outspoken conservative with a history as a party maverick.

Ken Blackwell prevailed in an intra-party feud in 2006 to become Ohio’s first black nominee for governor. He also took on fellow Republicans in the state Legislature while serving in statewide office.

As state elections chief, Blackwell played a pivotal role in administering the hotly-contested 2004 presidential election while serving as Republican George W. Bush’s honorary campaign co-chair. Democrats alleged in political attacks and lawsuits that Blackwell supported vote-suppressing policies favoring Bush, who won Ohio and the election. Blackwell prevailed in court.

Blackwell is on the boards of the National Rifle Association and Club for Growth. He’s also a senior fellow at the Family Research Council.

Oh my goodness, you can’t appoint someone from the Family Research Council. This is the organization that gay rights activists really hate – remember the attack by gay activist Floyd Lee Corkins? That was the FRC he tried to shoot up! Wow, this is my second favorite think tank.

Here is his fact sheet from the FRC:

Ken Blackwell

Ken Blackwell is the Senior Fellow for Human Rights and Constitutional Governance at the Family Research Council.  He is a national bestselling author of three books: Rebuilding America: A Prescription For Creating Strong Families, Building The Wealth Of Working People, And Ending Welfare; The Blueprint: Obama’s Plan to Subvert the Constitution and Build an Imperial Presidency; and Resurgent: How Constitutional Conservatism Can Save America.

He serves on the Board of Directors of various high-profile organizations including the Timothy Plan, the International Foundation for Electoral Systems, the United States Air Force Academy Foundation, the Club for Growth, Grove City College, the National Rifle Association, the Becket Fund for Religious Liberty, the National World War II Museum, and the Law Enforcement Legal Defense Fund. He is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations and the Board of Advisors, of the Jewish Institute for National Security Affairs (JINSA).

Mr. Blackwell has had a vast political career. He was mayor of Cincinnati, Treasurer and Secretary of State for Ohio, undersecretary at the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, and U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Human Rights Commission. He was a delegate to the White House Summit on Retirement Savings in 1998 and 2002. During the 1990s, he served on the congressionally appointed National Commission on Economic Growth and Tax Reform and the board of the International Republican Institute. He was Co-Chairman of the U.S. Census Monitoring Board from 1999-2001.

He has received many awards and honors for his work in the public sector. These accolades include the U.S. Department of State’s Superior Honor Award for his work in the field of human rights which he received from both the administrations of Presidents George H.W. Bush and Bill Clinton. In 2004, the American Conservative Union honored Mr. Blackwell with the John M. Ashbrook Award for his steadfast conservative leadership.

Ken’s commentaries have been published in major newspapers and websites: The Wall Street Journal, USA Today, The New York Times,The Washington Post, The Washington Times, and Investor’s Business Daily.  In addition, he has been interviewed by many media outlets including CBS’sFace the Nation, NBC’s Meet the Press, ABC’s This Week, and Fox News Sunday.

His continuing education has included executive programs at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Harvard. Mr. Blackwell has also received honorary doctoral degrees from ten institutions of higher education. He holds Bachelor of Science and Master of Education degrees from Xavier University in Ohio, where he later served as a vice president and member of its faculty. In 1992, he received Xavier’s Distinguished Alumnus Award and was inducted into Xavier’s Athletic Hall of Fame in 2015.

I do have something that I can give you right away. A while back the Heritage Foundation made this public policy booklet that featured essays by social conservatives writing on fiscal issues, and fiscal conservatives writing on social issues. The idea was fusionism – that social conservatives and fiscal conservatives need each other. I am a fusionist. Well, Ken Blackwell is a prominent social conservative, and he wrote a chapter on “The Rule of Law” – exactly the thing that was lacking in the corrupt Obama administration.

Here is the PDF of the booklet’s table of contents AND the chapter by Ken Blackwell!!!! How did I get this so fast? I used my Wintery powers, of course.

Also, I have a copy of the full PDF. I would really recommend to everyone that they read this so that they can get a thumbnail picture of what social and fiscal conservatives believe. Each of the essays is only 3-5 pages long, so it’s not a lot to read. These are the things that I wish that every evangelical Christian understood about public policy. Really, everyone should understand what conservatives really believe, whether you agree with these positions, or not.

If you have wonderful things about Ken Blackwell to share, leave them in the comments. This is just incredible – I would have believed that Ted Cruz would have named Ken Blackwell to such a post, but never, ever Donald Trump in a million years. I expect Trump to nominate a bunch of moderates like Giuliani, but Blackwell is more like me – very conservative, and passionate about conservative ideas and policies. I think there will be a lot of picks that I disagree with, but this is one I really agree with.

U.S. Army: Christians and Tea Party conservatives are potential terrorists

Todd Starnes from Fox News reports.

Excerpt:

Soldiers attending a pre-deployment briefing at Fort Hood say they were told that evangelical Christians and members of the Tea Party were a threat to the nation and that any soldier donating to those groups would be subjected to punishment under the Uniform Code of Military Justice.

A soldier who attended the Oct. 17th briefing told me the counter-intelligence agent in charge of the meeting spent nearly a half hour discussing how evangelical Christians and groups like the American Family Association were “tearing the country apart.”

The soldier told me he fears reprisals and asked not to be identified. He said there was a blanket statement that donating to any groups that were considered a threat to the military and government was punishable under military regulations.

“My first concern was if I was going to be in trouble going to church,” the evangelical Christian soldier told me. “Can I tithe? Can I donate to Christian charities? What if I donate to a politician who is a part of the Tea Party movement?”

Another soldier who attended the briefing alerted the Chaplain Alliance for Religious Liberty. That individual’s recollections of the briefing matched the soldier who reached out to me.

“I was very shocked and couldn’t believe what I was hearing,” the soldier said. “I felt like my religious liberties, that I risk my life and sacrifice time away from family to fight for, were being taken away.”

And while a large portion of the briefing dealt with the threat evangelicals and the Tea Party pose to the nation, barely a word was said about Islamic extremism, the soldier said.

“Our community is still healing from the act of terrorism brought on by Nidal Hasan – who really is a terrorist,” the soldier said. “This is a slap in the face. “The military is supposed to defend freedom and to classify the vast majority of the military that claim to be Christian as terrorists is sick.”

[…]The soldier said they were also told that the pro-life movement is another example of “radicalization.”

“They said that evangelical Christians protesting abortions are the mobilization stage and that leads to the bombing of abortion clinics,” he said, recalling the discussion.

[…]But this is not the first time an Army briefing has labeled evangelicals as extremists. Last April an Army Reserve briefing classified Evangelical Christianity and Catholicism as “religious extremism.”

[…]Two weeks ago, several dozen active duty troops at Camp Shelby in Mississippi, were told the American Family Association, a well-respected Christian ministry, should be classified as a domestic hate group because it advocates for traditional family values.

Fort Hood was the site of the attack by Muslim terrorist Major Nidal Hasan, an incident which the Democrats labeled “workplace violence”. They can’t call real terrorism what it is, but they cant teach that Christians and Tea Party conservatives terrorists. If you believe in natural marriage and the Constitution, then you’re a terrorist. If you wage jihad against civilians then it’s “workplace violence”. And this stupidity is all taxpayer-funded. The U.S. Army works for us – we pay for them to teach hatred against us.

So who are the real domestic terrorists? Why don’t we look at actual acts of domestic terrorism. The most recent incident of domestic terrorism is the Southern Poverty Law Center assisted attack on the Family Research Council building. The SPLC, you remember, is the group that labels pro-family groups as “hate groups”. And yet I suspect that the Army is relying on the SPLC to tell them who they should be concerned about. Talk about the fox guarding the hen house!

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U.S. Army tells troops that Christian pro-family group is a hate group

Letitia the Damsel notified me about this story from Todd Starnes of Fox News.

Excerpt:

Several dozen U.S. Army active duty and reserve troops were told last week that the American Family Association, a well-respected Christian ministry, should be classified as a domestic hate group because the group advocates for traditional family values.

The briefing was held at Camp Shelby in Mississippi and listed the AFA alongside domestic hate groups like the Ku Klux Klan, Neo-Nazis, the Black Panthers and the Nation of Islam.

[…]“The instructor said AFA could be considered a hate group because they don’t like gays,” the soldier told me. “The slide was talking about how AFA refers to gays as sinners and heathens and derogatory terms.”

[…]Later in the briefing, the soldiers were reportedly told that they could face punishment for participating in organizations that are considered hate groups.

[…]Earlier this year, I exposed Army briefings that classified evangelical Christians and Catholics as examples of religious extremism.

Another briefing told officers to pay close attention to troops who supported groups like AFA and the Family Research Council.

One officer said the two Christian ministries did not “share our Army Values.”

“When we see behaviors that are inconsistent with Army Values – don’t just walk by – do the right thing and address the concern before it becomes a problem,” the officer wrote in an email to his subordinates.

[…]“The American Family Association has received numerous accounts of military installations as well as law enforcement agencies using a list compiled by the Southern Poverty Law Center, which wrongfully identifies and defames AFA,” reads a statement they sent me.

Letitia the Damsel commented on her blog about this story and the SPLC:

This is a “Strike two!” occasion because, as Todd Starnes pointed out, this briefing by the Army is itself a dangerous hate move not unlike how the Family Research Council was also labeled by the Southern Poverty Law Center as a potential target for a truly hateful fascist to attack, which then happened. In fact, Army officers have come to see themselves as idealogues and the mechanism of the Army as a force for activism.

She quote from the Fox News article:

One officer said the two Christian ministries did not “share our Army Values.”

“When we see behaviors that are inconsistent with Army Values – don’t just walk by – do the right thing and address the concern before it becomes a problem,” the officer wrote in an email to his subordinates.

And comments:

The US Army has values? And it is incumbent upon the American public to conform to those “Army Values?” Call me hog-tied to the text (or paranoid!), but I’m certain that whatever Army Values exist are supposed to be reflective of the US Constitution which in no way acknowledges that one must campaign to “address concerns” of average American citizens that are “inconsistent with (so-called) Army Values.”

So if the Army is going to fling open that door, then I’m not paranoid, and it’s safe again to trod out Hitler references to things I find smack of fascism. I ask that our government root out the Nazi dictator who compiled this briefing and jack him/her up for conspiracy to deprive the people of the AFA of their First Amendment rights and for putting them in potential physical harm.

Previously, the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) labeled the Family Research Council a “hate group” because they are also pro-family and pro-marriage. A gay activist found the FRC listed as a hate group on the SPLC web site, and charged into the FRC building armed with guns. His intent was mass murder. Is that what the U.S. Army was trying to achieve by telling soldiers that the AFA is a hate group? It seems we should avoid using words to encourage people to commit acts of domestic terrorism, like the attack by the anti-FRC gay activist. I certainly never expected the U.S. Army to imitate the SPLC in demonizing pro-family groups – and at taxpayer expense. If this anti-Christian hate speech by the U.S. Army results in actual violence, can the victims then sue the U.S. Army? That seems fair to me.

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IRS official who targeted Tea Party groups now a director in Obamacare administration

ABC News reports.

Excerpt:

The Internal Revenue Service official in charge of the tax-exempt organizations at the time when the unit targeted tea party groups now runs the IRS office responsible for the health care legislation.

Sarah Hall Ingram served as commissioner of the office responsible for tax-exempt organizations between 2009 and 2012. But Ingram has since left that part of the IRS and is now the director of the IRS’ Affordable Care Act office, the IRS confirmed to ABC News today.

Her successor, Joseph Grant, is taking the fall for misdeeds at the scandal-plagued unit between 2010 and 2012. During at least part of that time, Grant served as deputy commissioner of the tax-exempt unit.

Grant announced today that he would retire June 3, despite being appointed as commissioner of the tax-exempt office May 8, a week ago.

As the House voted to fully repeal the Affordable Care Act Thursday evening, House Speaker John Boehner expressed “serious concerns” that the IRS is empowered as the law’s chief enforcer.

“Fully repealing ObamaCare will help us build a stronger, healthier economy, and will clear the way for patient-centered reforms that lower health care costs and protect jobs,” Boehner, R-Ohio, said.

“Obamacare empowers the agency that just violated the public’s trust by secretly targeting conservative groups,” Rep. Marlin Stutzman, R-Ind., added. “Even by Washington’s standards, that’s unacceptable.”

Sen. John Cornyn even introduced a bill, the “Keep the IRS Off Your Health Care Act of 2013,” which would prohibit the Secretary of the Treasury, or any delegate, including the IRS, from enforcing the Affordable Care Act.

“Now more than ever, we need to prevent the IRS from having any role in Americans’ health care,” Cornyn, R-Texas, stated. “I do not support Obamacare, and after the events of last week, I cannot support giving the IRS any more responsibility or taxpayer dollars to implement a broken law.”

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell also reacted to the revelation late Thursday, stating the news was “stunning, just stunning.”

More here from Guy Benson, who linked to this story. He reports that Sarah Hall Ingram received more than $100,000 in taxpayer-funded bonuses while working at the IRS.

IRS gave confidential documents from conservative groups to liberal group ProPublica

The IRS also held up tax-exemption applications of conservative groups.

Excerpt:

A newly obtained watchdog report described how the “inappropriate” IRS program that flagged conservative groups for extra scrutiny led to massive delays, with some organizations stuck waiting years to find out about their applications.

The findings were contained in a highly anticipated and highly critical inspector general’s report, obtained by Fox News, on a practice that IRS officials first acknowledged on Friday.

The report revealed that the program began as far back as 2010. The Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration concluded that it was the result of “ineffective management” and “inappropriate criteria” which must be corrected.

Describing the impact of the IRS program, the report said the flawed criteria led to Tea Party and other groups being singled out and subjected to “substantial delays.” More than 80 percent of the cases it reviewed were left open more than one year, and some were left in limbo for more than three years.

[…]The internal investigation found that the “inappropriate criteria” — which led to the IRS asking Tea Party and other groups about their donors and making other intrusive requests — was allowed to stay in place for more than 18 months. During that time, conservative groups had their applications put on hold for months, even years. 

What did the IRS do with these applications and donor lists?

Breitbart.com explains what happened next:

The progressive-leaning investigative journalism group ProPublica says the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) office that targeted and harassed conservative tax-exempt groups during the 2012 election cycle gave the progressive group nine confidential applications of conservative groups whose tax-exempt status was pending.

The commendable admission lends further evidence to the lengths the IRS went during an election cycle to silence tea party and limited government voices.

ProPublica says the documents the IRS gave them were “not supposed to be made public”:

The same IRS office that deliberately targeted conservative groups applying for tax-exempt status in the run-up to the 2012 election released nine pending confidential applications of conservative groups to ProPublica late last year… In response to a request for the applications for 67 different nonprofits last November, the Cincinnati office of the IRS sent ProPublica applications or documentation for 31 groups. Nine of those applications had not yet been approved—meaning they were not supposed to be made public. (We made six of those public, after redacting their financial information, deeming that they were newsworthy.)

The group says that “no unapproved applications from liberal groups were sent to ProPublica.”

The National Organization for Marriage had their donor list leaked by someone in the IRS.

Excerpt:

The National Organization for Marriage (NOM) today released documents showing that their confidential U.S. tax return containing private donor information came directly from the Internal Revenue Service and was provided to NOM’s political opponents, the Human Rights Campaign (HRC). Joe Solmonese, president of the HRC, is a national co-chair of President Obama’s reelection campaign.

“The American people are entitled to know how a confidential tax return containing private donor information filed exclusively with the Internal Revenue Service has been given to our political opponents whose leader also happens to be co-chairing President Obama’s reelection committee,” said NOM President Brian Brown. “It is shocking that a political ally of President Obama’s would come to possess and then publicly release a confidential tax return that came directly from the Internal Revenue Service. We demand to know who is responsible for this criminal act and what the Administration is going to do to get to the bottom of it.”

On March 30, 2012, the Huffington Post published NOM’s confidential 2008 tax return filed with the IRS, which it said came from the Human Rights Campaign. The HRC has said on its own site the documents came from a “whistleblower.” However, NOM has determined that the documents came directly from the Internal Revenue Service.

The Human Rights Campaign was one of the groups that denounced the Family Research Council as a “hate group”. This is the same Family Research Council that was attacked by a gun-wielding gay activist named Floyd Lee Corkins II. The crime was prosecuted as  an act of domestic terrorism, and Corkins was convicted. The Human Rights Campaign has gotten people fired for disagreeing with same-sex marriage.

Remember that everything that the IRS was doing was not paid for with money that they themselves earned themselves by providing useful products and services. The IRS gets money by culling it from profitable private sector businesses and their employees, through compulsory confiscation of earned income. Should we be paying them to do this? Is this good value for the money?