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In Order to Form an SPLC Union...

Tony Perkins · Nov. 15, 2019

If you’re wondering how much the employees of the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) trust the group’s new leadership, the answer is: not much. After former staffers pulled the curtain back on decades of racism and bigotry, the internal crisis is far from over. According to the AP, a “supermajority of staffers” has been trying to unionize — one of the only ways, they believe, they’ll be protected from the SPLC’s toxic environment. There’s just one problem. Management is refusing to let them.

The SPLC bills itself as caring about workers’ rights — just not, apparently, their own. When leaders refused to recognize a staff union, employees had no choice. They hired a law firm to force them to. I don’t know about you, but a messy court battle with employees isn’t how I’d try to rebrand as a kinder, gentler workplace.

“We ask SPLC’s senior leaders to respect the desire of its dedicated employees to form a union and have a say in what the future of the Center looks like,” the organizing committee said in a statement. “Current leadership has committed itself to the task of changing SPLC’s workplace culture. Collective bargaining ensures workers the opportunity to play a leading role in this transformation.” Among other things, the group is demanding “a foundation for a legacy of equal rights, respect and dignity for all workers, regardless of race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, physical ability, and national origin.”

Maybe, like a lot of people, they don’t believe SPLC is truly interested in change. Instead of taking the opportunity to dig deep and recalibrate, SPLC showed that they have absolutely no interest in weeding out the bias and extremism that’s poisoned the group for years by hiring Michelle Obama’s former chief of staff. They tapped Tina Tchen to lead its “top-to-bottom” investigation of workplace culture, a move that was supposed to “hold a mirror” up to the organization and its leaders.

What they should have done is hire an outside investigator with an open mind. If SPLC were truly interested in reinventing themselves and earning society’s trust, they would’ve hired a neutral party — not a political hack, who will help them bury their skeletons. All the more suspicious, the Tchen report has never been released, meaning no one knows what’s really happened behind closed doors. Which, based on this staff uprising, is probably the same pattern of harassment, hostility, targeting, and intolerance as before.

Apart from the legacy of prejudice, “People are underpaid to the point they can’t earn a living making $20,000, $30,000 a year,” Bruce Jett, an organizing director and local representative for the Washington-Baltimore News Guild Local 320235, said. “You’re talking about an organization with a half-billion dollar endowment. And they’re paying people slave wages. They’ve got to change,” Jett insisted. Something they obviously never intended on doing willingly. Not before the reckoning — and not now.

For more on SPLC and its scandalous history, check out

Originally published here.

Impeachment: Hearsay Can You See?

If it’s political theater, it’s not a very interesting show. Wednesday’s snore of an impeachment hearing was such a yawn that even the press called it a dud. “Dull,” wrote the New York Post’s Michael Goodwin. “A flop.” Rep. Mark Meadows (R-N.C.), who’s already had to slog through a month of this, told members, “I don’t know about you, but it’s hard for me to stay awake and listen to all of this.” And Republicans weren’t the only ones who thought so. Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.) was on the record weeks ago with her blunt review of the circus: “Boring.”

But boring is just fine with this White House. For all of the threats about secret evidence, the truth about the Democrats’ case is simple: they don’t have one! “It’s hearsay,” Democrat Jeff Van Drew (D-N.J.) argued after the testimony of Ambassador Bill Taylor. The Democrats’ “star witness” was so removed from the Ukrainian conversation in question that Congressman Jim Jordan (R-Ohio) sounded ridiculous repeating it.

“‘Ambassador Taylor recalls that Mr. [Tim] Morrison told Ambassador Taylor that I told Mr. Morrison that I had conveyed this message to Mr. [Andriy] Yermak on September 1, 2019, in connection with Vice President Pence’s visit to Warsaw and a meeting with President [Volodymyr] Zelensky?” Jordan shook his head. “We’ve got six people having four conversations in one sentence, and you just told me this is where you got your 'clear understanding?’”

The ambassador wasn’t on the call with the Ukranian president. He’s never even met our president, but they think he has damning evidence about wrongdoing? Although, as far as Rep. Mike Quigley (D-Ill.) and the rest of the party are concerned, second- and thirdhand gossip is more than enough grounds for impeaching a sitting president. “Hearsay,” Quigley argued to everyone’s surprise, “can be much better evidence than direct [proof].”

Says who, the White House’s Hogan Gidley asked Wednesday on “Washington Watch.” Certainly not our justice system, which relies on a lot more than the rumor mill to convict someone. “Could you imagine any other case if you were on trial for any other subject, and the person that was trying it said, ‘Yeah, hearsay is good enough. I don’t need evidence. Just whatever you’re hearing out there on the street will be plenty enough information to convict you.’ [It’s] disgusting that this is what the Democrats are putting out there… It’s all opinions and speculation about [things they never] came in direct contact with.”

Even CNN analyst Jeffrey Toobin wasn’t swayed by this elaborate game of telephone. Democrats have a “problem,” he warned, if their key witness has never even met Donald Trump. “That’s a problem if you’re going to impeach the president.” The Democrats are telling America: We want you to trust people who’ve never met the president and heard about something. This is what we’re putting the nation’s business on hold to accomplish: Nothing.

Meanwhile, less than two miles away from this sideshow, President Trump is down the road meeting with Turkish President Erdogan about real national security issues in northeast Syria. And how much did the American people hear about that — an issue of international importance? Zero. Because this House majority, led by Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) cares about destroying the president more than they care about doing the nation’s business.

The bottom line? “The president’s done nothing wrong,” Hogan insisted.

“[You] just need to read the transcript — whether you’re Democrat, Republican, or Independent. You see fundamental unfairness. You see a lack of due process. If you’ve got a traffic ticket, you be treated better than the Democrats are treating Donald Trump for an impeachment inquiry. And [also], this puts a complete spotlight on the fact that Democrats are not talking about [issues that matter] — bills that would help farmers and ranchers and manufacturers. They’re not talking about health care, fixing a broken system. They’re not talking about securing our southern border. They instead are going down this partisan road yet again, doing nothing for the people that elected them.”

Originally published here.

ERA: Expand Radical Abortion

It may be the most dangerous bill no one’s really talking about. But if becomes law — this radical grab bag of social extremism — all of America will live to regret it. Meet the Equal Rights Amendment (ERA). It’s not just about women anymore. In fact, it’s not really about women at all.

How much damage can 52 words do? Trust me, you don’t want to find out. The House majority’s new ERA may be short, but the list of consequences is never-ending. Liberals will say it’s about equality, but what it’s really about is a one-way ticket to everything on their social agenda wish list. Gender-neutral bathrooms? Check. Taxpayer-funded abortion? Check. Infanticide? Check. LGBT indoctrination at school? Check. Radical sex ed? Check. Transgender “rights?” Check. The elimination of women’s sports? Check. It’s no wonder the Democrats want to dust off the ERA. As far as they’re concerned, the old push for women’s rights is the perfect Trojan horse for everything else on their agenda.

Don’t expect the Left to let that cat out of the bag. As far as House Democrats are concerned, this is about “women’s rights.” But what rights? It’s 2019, FRC’s Patrina Mosley pointed out on Wednesday’s “Washington Watch.” Women already have equal rights under the fifth and 14th Amendments. There are even laws in place to prohibit sex discrimination. So what is it the ERA would actually do?

For starters, it would wipe the slate clean of any state or national pro-life law, amending the Constitution to create a permanent right to abortion on demand — right up until the moment of birth, paid for by American taxpayers. And, as we know from the last 11 months, “abortion,” at least as far as the Left is concerned, includes leaving perfectly healthy unwanted newborns to die.

This is a smokescreen, Patrina warns, for establishing the most radical nationwide policy on abortion ever seen. Far more radical than Roe v. Wade — and much more binding. Not that liberals will admit it. ERA Coalition co-President Jessica Neuwirth has told everyone who will listen that the proposal is “silent” on abortion. Well, the language may be silent, but abortion groups certainly aren’t. “Both NARAL and Planned Parenthood have had lawsuits in the courts in the states, where they’ve said the ERA would be used to promote and perform abortions,” Patrina countered. “It’s already been used in Colorado. It’s already been used in New Mexico.”

And what about the word “sex?” How does the ERA define it? Simple: it doesn’t. “They are intentionally ambiguous,” Patrina explains. “The term ‘sex’ is not defined, so it can be interpreted it in any way you want. That has implications for women across the board… like allowing men — not even men posing as women, but biological men — to enter women’s locker rooms, showers, facilities. It really opens up that can of worms that we’ve been fighting for so long. This would be that one quick fix that Democrats would have right in the Constitution to strip any protections a state or local government [has] against that.”

Rep. Jerry Nadler (D-N.Y.) sure wasn’t shy about that in Wednesday’s mark-up, telling members that when they talk about “sex,” Democrats mean sexual orientation and gender identity. But how close are Democrats, really, to advancing a bill that’s been dead for 40 years? No one really knows. The Virginia legislature’s flip to liberal control means that their effort to push a state ERA is back in business. They argue that if they pass it, they’ll be the 38th — and final — state that’s needed. But the deadline for ratification has come and gone — not that Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) will let a thing like the rules get in the way.

Congressman Mike Johnson (R-La.) was as surprised as anyone when the chairman of the Subcommittee on the Constitution, Rep. Steve Cohen (D-Tenn.), pointed at Republicans and said, “You guys get so caught up in and in process. Process doesn’t matter…” In other words, Mike said, “We’re here to advance an agenda. We don’t care what the rules say. We don’t care what the Constitution says… That stuff’s immaterial.” Democrats, Cohen said, need to “look beyond the process, because we’ve got to advance this principle…‘ That’s what we’re up against. Right now, they’re defying all of that in our constitutional tradition.”

The rule of law matters, Johnson told Cohen. At least in the Trump-stocked courts, where this bill will surely end up if it becomes law. In the meantime, urge your representative to vote no on the ERA, which ought to stand for Expanding Radical Abortion.

Originally published here.

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

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