Tony Perkins / Oct. 22, 2015

House Hunters: GOP Shops for New Leader

If you thought the 2016 elections were heating up, you should see the House Speaker's race! In the frenzy since John Boehner's (R-Ohio) resignation, the back and forth over who will succeed him has seemed more like a daytime drama with the main characters constantly changing. This week, the saga over the most-watched seat on Capitol Hill took another twist now that Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wisc.) is seriously considering the job many are drafting him for.

If you thought the 2016 elections were heating up, you should see the House Speaker’s race! In the frenzy since John Boehner’s (R-Ohio) resignation, the back and forth over who will succeed him has seemed more like a daytime drama with the main characters constantly changing. This week, the saga over the most-watched seat on Capitol Hill took another twist now that Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wisc.) is seriously considering the job many are drafting him for.

[Tuesday] night, speaking to a closed door session of the House Republican Conference, the Wisconsin candidate for 2012 Vice President said his only condition would be broad consensus and unity on the pick. And while many are lining up to support Ryan, who many consider one of the most respected members of the House, some urge their colleagues to consider more than just unity. Speaking of the GOP meeting, Rep. Mark Meadows (R-N.C.) said, “All we were really talking about is how to have great unity within the GOP party.” Others, like Rep. Ted Yoho (R-Fla.) cautioned that as well-liked as Mitt Romney’s former running mate is, members have a lot of thinking to do. “It’s not a given,” echoed Rep. Jeff Duncan (R-S.C.).

For conservatives, who have a legitimate shot at taking back the White House next year, the moment is a critical one. Finally, members have an opportunity to make House leadership reflective of the new conservative majority that’s been steadily growing since 2010. After three election cycles that has given us one of — if not the most — ideologically conservative Houses in the history of Congress, voters who are becoming increasing frustrated with how the GOP has played political patty-cake with President Obama. Obviously, the predominately conservative ideology of the new members sent to Washington by voters in the last five years hasn’t been reflected in the GOP leadership. Instead, we’ve seen new wine put into old wine skins! What the GOP-controlled House needs is someone who reflects the conservative orientation of the voters who put them there. Someone who will work with conservative members so that they can work through the promises that got them elected. Someone who won’t stifle — but advance and amend — legislation.

One of the themes we continue to hear from Republicans is the desire to work as a team again. But you don’t build *esprit de corps( by cutting people off at the knees if they challenge the status quo or try to have a voice in Congress’s direction. Unfortunately, that’s been the history of the modern GOP. As much as Republicans say they need a unifier, they also need a person who won’t sacrifice the truth for the sake of that unity. Whether it’s Paul Ryan, Daniel Webster (R-Fla.), Jim Jordan (R-Ohio) or someone else, the reality is this: conservatives need a leader who will point Congress in the right direction. That should be priority number one.

Houston Reads the Fines Print on Prop 1

Fans of the Houston bathroom ordinance are doing everything they can to keep a lid on Proposition 1’s effects. Including the hundreds of thousands of dollars flowing into the city’s pro-LGBT push. With just 13 days until the hard-fought vote, both sides are keenly aware that what happens in Space City could turn the tables on the special rights battles taking place all across America. Already, the extremist heavyweights at Human Rights Campaign, Gill Action, and others have pumped more than $1.2 million into the mayor’s measure.

And while the conservative forces don’t have the advantage of bloated bank accounts, they do have the edge in local outrage. Everyone from Houston Texans’ owner Bob McNair, major league baseball’s Lance Berkman, and even Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick are exposing the lies that Proposition 1 is just a routine civil rights code. Far from it, Patrick points out in his own paid ad, “City of Houston: Prop 1 is not about equality. That’s already the law. It’s about allowing men in women’s locker rooms and bathrooms.”

If there’s one thing the Left’s money hasn’t overcome, it’s the reality that Houston is literally opening the doors to sexual predation in public restrooms, locker rooms, and showers. “Previously, if a man was seen going into the women’s restroom, store personnel would stop him and notify the police,” said Alliance Defending Freedom’s Erick Stanley. “But [Proposition 1] would remove a barrier of protection that has always existed” — and fine people who object up to $5,000 in the process.

Sadly, Prop 1 is about a lot more than even bathrooms. It’s about criminalizing religious freedom. If it passes, the government would have a new weapon to punish any business or employer who has natural views on sexuality and marriage. FRC Action’s Super PAC, Faith Family Freedom Fund, makes all of these points in a new ad that’s already generating plenty of buzz since it launched into Houston yesterday. You can help by circulating the ad on your social media platforms. Click here and help us get the word out to vote “no” on Proposition 1!

AP-palling Journalism: Associated Press Blasted for Hit Piece

As a former television reporter, I’ve tended to give the media the benefit of the doubt when it comes to their apparent reporting bias. However, for many in the mainstream press, it’s moved from “apparent” to abundantly obvious! Last week, the Associated Press’s Claire Galofaro could not have shown less objectivity in a piece she wrote on the Rowan County clerk Kim Davis. Galofaro tried to discredit our friends at Liberty Counsel for representing Kim in her quest to exercise her right to religious liberty in Kentucky by using Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC).

The only thing worse than trying to smear a group defending someone’s First Amendment freedom is to use a thoroughly discredited anti-Christian organization like SPLC to do it. With the headline, “Law Firm Labeled Hate Group Leading Davis’s Crusade,” the article primary goal seems to be undermining the Mat Staver’s organization. Despite the fact that the FBI, Defense Department, and U.S. Army have distanced themselves from SPLC as a source, Galofaro seems to have her own agenda.

Fortunately, Mat Staver and company aren’t taking the accusations lying down. In a letter to Brian Barrett, the AP’s Assistant General Counsel, Liberty is demanding an apology and expunging of the link. In it, he calls the piece “defamatory” and criticizes the AP for presenting “Liberty Counsel and me in a false light.” “The words and the way the article is written as a whole present a clear and unmistakable message to a reasonable person — Mat Staver and Liberty Counsel are liars and haters, and the organization is a ‘hate group.’ These assertions are very damaging and place lives in danger.”

What’s worse, Staver points out, is that Galofaro knew the sensitive nature of Kim’s case, including the fact that she — and Liberty Counsel — had received detailed death threats. Now, with the AP imitating the SPLC’s irresponsible name-calling, the outlet is very much putting lives at risk (as FRC knows a little something about). After our shooting, which was linked to SPLC in federal court, we had to alter the way we operate because of the SPLC’s recklessness. The media should have learned its lesson from the terrorist attack in our lobby about the risks of legitimizing SPLC. Obviously, the AP has not.


This is a publication of the Family Research Council. Mr. Perkins is president of FRC.

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