Tony Perkins / March 26, 2019

The SPLC Scandal: Cohen Nowhere Fast

If there’s one liberal group grateful for the Robert Mueller report, it’s probably Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC).

If there’s one liberal group grateful for the Robert Mueller report, it’s probably Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC). After a week in the media’s hot seat, the organization is probably relieved for the distraction. But fortunately for the American public there are plenty of new revelations about the phony civil rights group to keep the scandal burning.

Late Friday, just as the special counsel’s report was on its way to the U.S. attorney general, the bleeding at SPLC continued. Center president Richard Cohen, another one named in former employee Bob Moser’s scathing piece for the New Yorker, was the second shoe to drop. The SPLC shake-up now includes Cohen, whose resignation hit the news wire while most Americans were heading home for the weekend. Cohen, who’s spent more than 30 years at the organization and was known for his open hostility toward Donald Trump, said that he was stepping down “in order to give the organization the best chance to heal.”

But healing may be a ways off for the group, who hired Michelle Obama staffer Tina Tchen to lead the internal review of the toxic culture that’s turned the rich “nonprofit” on its head. Of course, Tchen — apart from being an openly partisan choice — has some baggage of her own. It turns out that the Chicago-based lawyer has her own controversy to deal with, including some involvement in the elaborate Jussie Smollett “hate crimes” hoax. According to news reports, his family’s attorneys “enlisted” Tchen’s help, hoping she would use her local leverage to intervene.

“They were ‘concerned’ about details of the incident and Smollett’s reports to investigators being leaked and said that they wanted the FBI to handle the case. Tchen, who serves as Michelle Obama’s Chief of Staff, contacted [state’s attorney Kim] Foxx. ‘I wanted to give you a call on behalf of Jussie Smollett and family who I know. They have concerns about the investigation,’ she said in her first text which was obtained by The Chicago Sun Tribune…”

Over the next two weeks, she quietly worked with Foxx to have the case handed over to the FBI. It wasn’t. Now, the labor union that represents Chicago’s police officers thinks her involvement is fishy enough to ask the Justice Department to investigate. “In a letter to John R. Lausch, the U.S. Attorney in Chicago, Fraternal Order of Police President Kevin Graham wrote, ‘private attorneys are not allowed to interfere with ongoing police investigations, particularly at the request of private individuals associated with subjects being investigated by the police.’” Surely, a woman who’s the subject of an investigation isn’t the best choice person to lead one. And yet, that’s par for the SPLC course. Foxes seem to always be guarding the hate house.

Meanwhile, the organization’s home base is looking more like a sinking ship. “On Thursday, Rhonda Brownstein, SPLC legal director and a member of its senior leadership staff, also resigned, a source familiar with the matter confirmed to the Advertiser.” Earlier, more than two dozen employees had signed a letter to the SPLC board of directors, rife with “allegations of mistreatment, sexual harassment, gender discrimination, and racism.” At least four former employees have come forward with experiences similar to Moser’s. On the condition of anonymity, they told reporters that they were tired of the SPLC “prioritizing marketing and fundraising over civil rights work.”

Like so many others, they were incredibly disappointed to learn once they got to SPLC what a “highly-profitable scam” it was. “We were part of the con, and we knew it,” Moser wrote. At least now, the rest of the country is in on the racket. The next time the organization or any of the Left wing allies have the audacity to use the SPLC’s hate group label, Americans will know that the designation means little coming from a place that the world now knows has its own issues with racism and bigotry.

Originally published here.

America to Dems: Acquit While You’re Ahead

Wait for the evidence, the Left said. It’s coming. Now, two years into this $50 million dollar campaign to derail the president and the conservative agenda of the voters who elected him, the big moment is here. Twenty-eight hundred subpoenas, 500 search warrants, 50 phone taps, 19 liberal attorneys, and 40 FBI agents into this expensive hoax, Special Counsel Robert Mueller agrees: there’s absolutely no proof of collusion. At least on Donald Trump’s part. The Democrats’ conspiracy to destroy America, on the other hand, seems ongoing.

Americans won’t get a do-over on the millions of resources the president’s enemies have wasted — or the dozens of priorities that could have taken this investigation’s place. But the Russia probe has given the country one thing: a glimpse into just how far the other side will go to delegitimize the president. Even now, with their “gotcha moment” spoiled, Democrats don’t seem the least bit interested in letting go. “We will accept the conclusions of the Mueller report,” liberals had vowed. Now that there’s no evidence? “It’s a cover up.”

The Federalist’s Willis Krumholz could only shake his head. “The media and Democrat Party have dug themselves so deeply in a hole, they must keep on digging.” While the American people beg the Left to move on, House Judiciary Chair Jerry Nadler seems intent on beating the dead collusion horse. “Maybe it’s not indictable,” he argued, “but we know there was collusion. The question is the degree,” he insisted on Fox News Sunday. Surely they’re kidding, former Congressman Jason Chaffetz fired back. “The team that Mueller put together — these weren’t friends of the president… [Y]ou had people from the Clinton camp on the team. If they were going to get him, they would have.”

Yet already, Democrats are gearing up for another round of fatal and divisive investigations, wasting more taxpayer time and more taxpayer dollars. “The job of Congress,” Nadler tried to justify, “is much broader than the job of the special counsel. The special counsel is looking and can only look for crimes. We have to protect the rule of law, we have to look for abuses of power, we have to look for obstructions of justice, we have to look for corruption in the exercise of power which may not be crimes.”

For some reason, the Left seems to think that continuing this hoax makes them more electable. A full 64 percent of Americans would disagree, telling Rasmussen that if the Mueller report cleared the president of wrongdoing, then it’s time to put the issue to bed. But, as Rep. Doug Collins (R-Ga.) pointed out, that’s tough to do when sabotaging the president is your only agenda. “For two years, Special Counsel Mueller conducted his investigation with every available Justice Department resource at his disposal, and today’s principal conclusions assure every American there was no collusion between Russia and Donald Trump or his campaign.” Now, he says, Democrats think they can “go into the Judiciary Committee or any other committee and have a limited budget, limited subpoena power, limited staff and go up against an investigation that lasted 22 months, had unlimited power, unlimited subpoena power, had plenty of investigators — and they think they can find something more than what they did.”

Good luck, pundits warn. Not only will Democrats alienate more Americans, they’ll also be undermining any hopes they had for 2020. At the very least, this fiasco has exposed the liberal media for what it is: a coordinated Democratic smear operation. “Never has so little come of so many screaming chyrons,” Rich Lowry declares. “Every mini-scooplet was played up like major news, and if you went on air and said that collusion was unlikely and we should wait for the evidence, you were often treated like you were in the tank for Trump. The last two years have been a disgrace, and no one should forget it.” For the entire year of 2017, Krumholz agreed, “Anything that could damage Trump, no matter how outlandish, was published. Journalistic standards collapsed.” And yet, Mollie Hemingway reminds everyone, the Washington Post and New York times won Pulitzers for their coverage of Trump’s supposedly treasonous activity.

There will be no undoing the damage — to America, to our elections system, to the media’s credibility, and to the Left’s façade of noble intentions. As the president himself said yesterday, a lot of people have been “badly hurt” by this witch hunt. “A lot of very [terrible] things happened for our country.” But, in the end, “this was an illegal takedown that failed.” Let’s hope, as Rep. Collins does, that Chairman Nadler rethinks his “sprawling investigation” and gets back to doing the business of the American people.

Originally published here.

Library Shelves Drag Queen Story Hour

“Why is everyone up in arms about Drag Queen story time?” Houston’s organizers wanted to know in the city’s magazine last December. Two weeks into the event’s latest scandal — which allowed an unvetted sex offender to read to little children — Americans understand exactly why. Now, the protests are growing — not just because these libraries are indoctrinating kids, but because they aren’t even keeping them safe in the process.

“This isn’t what we wanted,” LGBT activists Trent Lira and Devon Will wrote to the city’s families last week. “It is frustrating that the past conviction of a single performer now undermines the efforts of three dozen other drag kings and queens…” But “undermine” doesn’t begin to describe what Montrose Library did by inviting Albert Garza to interface with kids without so much as a background check. “We assure you that this participant will not be involved in any future [Houston Public Library] programs,” officials said.

That’s partially because there’s one less program to worry about. After the outcry from parents, the organizers have decided to end Drag Queen Story Time. In a lengthy article from Lira and Will, the duo explains that they’re stepping aside, because they don’t “believe in putting our friends, our families, and our children in danger.” “We have so loved our drag queens and kings,” they write. “That is why we are choosing to step away, to protect the lives and the livelihoods of the people we love. We want to serve the LGBT+ community, and we will. We will just have to do it another way.”

To the Houston Area Pastors Council — and families all around the city — the announcement was long overdue. After months of calling on the mayor to intervene, it’s a shame that it took something this drastic for the churches’ concerns to be taken seriously. As Pastor Dave Welch points out, if the council hadn’t been engaged, the libraries may not have had any standards for performers to begin with! Until they met with the mayor in September, library officials didn’t have a single safeguard in place for age appropriateness or adult content.

Although there are some concerns that the city’s LGBT activists will find a way to resurrect the Drag Queen hour at another location, parents can at least celebrate that they won a crucial battle with Houston officials — who seem more interested in the sexual exploitation of children than their actual wellbeing.

If these absurd events are happening at your local library, take a page from the Houston Area Pastors Council and get involved. Help organize protests or contact city officials. Ask the local council to host a listening session with nearby families. No parent should have to worry about their children listening to a provocative story at a taxpayer-funded library!

Originally published here.

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

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