People For the American Way



In This Issue


SPOTLIGHT: The Rogues' Gallery: Right-Wing Candidates Have A Dangerous Agenda for America and Could Turn the Senate

Pro-Corporate Players in Post-Citizens United Politics

Hung Out To Dry: Republican Obstruction Gives a Preview of Their 'Governing' Style

Republican Leaders Share the Stage With One of the Most Anti-Muslim, Anti-Gay Men in America

Help Young People For...Simply By Voting Online!

Big Month for the Young Elected Officials Network

Forget the Pastor: Let's Talk About the Extremists to Worry About

--Featured Video

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The Backlash Book Cover


In The Backlash: Right-Wing Radicals, High-Def Hucksters, and Paranoid Politics in the Age of Obama, author Will Bunch sheds light on important questions like why is the Far Right gaining new influence? And who is really behind the Tea Party movement?

If you are already a PBC member, we suggest this book as your next purchase.

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Join the Pledge For Democracy Campaign



If you haven't already, check out the Pledge to Protect America's Democracy campaign, cosponsored by PFAW and Public Citizen, and take the pledge!

  Find Out More >  



New Right Wing Watch In Focus Report Released

The Rogues' Gallery: Right-Wing Candidates Have A Dangerous Agenda for America and Could Turn the Senate

Rogues Gallery Report

Republicans in the U.S. Senate have already broken all records for partisan obstructionism, but a bumper crop of far-right GOP candidates threatens to turn the "deliberative body" into a haven for extremists who view much of the federal government as unconstitutional and who are itching to shut it down.

Fueled by the unlimited deep pockets of billionaire anti-government ideologues, various Tea Party and corporate-interest groups have poured money into primary elections this year. They have replaced even very conservative senators and candidates backed by the national Republican establishment with others who embrace a range of radically right-wing views on the Constitution, the role of government, the protection of individual freedoms, and the separation of church and state.

Read More >


Last week Senate GOP voted in lockstep to block Don't Ask, Don't Tell Repeal, the DREAM Act and the DISCLOSE Act. Not a single GOP senator voted to allow consideration of the bills. Don't let more far-right candidates make it to Congress this November. Fight back with us against hatred and bigotry. Donate Today.





Pro-Corporate Players in Post-Citizens United Politics


The Supreme Court's 5-4 ruling in Citizens United v. FEC held that the First Amendment right of free speech should apply with little distinction to both individuals and corporations, effectively overturning decades of state and federal campaign finance laws. Since Buckley v. Valeo established money as a form of speech, the Court's decision allows for corporations to donate unrestricted funds from their general treasuries to advocate for the election of candidates of their choice, and many are doing it through political front organizations.

A new report by People For the American Way profiles the work of nine organizations that are funneling money, in many cases from undisclosed donors, to help elect pro-corporate candidates in the 2010 elections. Many of the groups originated in the aftermath of the Supreme Court's decision in Citizens United.

Read More >



Hung Out To Dry: Republican Obstruction Gives a Preview of Their 'Governing' Style


Republicans have given us a sneak peek of what they have in store for America if they succeed in taking over Congress on Election Day ... and it's not pretty.

Read More >

And you can read even more about how the GOP has used obstruction to attack the middle class, small businesses, the American judicial system, gays, students, soldiers and more in the press release section of PFAW's web site >



Republican Leaders Share the Stage With One of the Most Anti-Muslim, Anti-Gay Men in America


Bryan Fischer of the American Family Association (AFA) is one of our country's leading hate-mongers, unmatched by most in the viciousness -- and absurdity -- of his attacks on gays and Muslims. Earlier this month, at the so-called "Values Voter Summit," he shared a stage with some of the Republican Party's thought leaders and potential candidates for president in 2012. Thousands of PFAW activists signed an open letter to these Republican leaders urging them to denounce Fischer's hate speech. The action did not get much response from its recipients -- among them, Mike Huckabee, Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell, Mitt Romney and Newt Gingrich -- but it did get excellent blog and media coverage. Thanks to the activism of PFAW supporters, Bryan Fischer's extremism and his connection to these politicians were highlighted by Mother Jones, the Washington Post, the Rachel Maddow Show and more.

Thank you to all who took action.

Read More >



Help Young People For ... Simply By Voting Online!


PFAW Foundation's Young People For (YP4) program needs your help to support the newest generation of progressive leaders. The YP4 Fellowship program will be vying for a $50,000 grant in the October cycle of the Pepsi Refresh contest and it's in your hands.

Sign up today for a daily reminder throughout October to vote for YP4. Your daily votes will go to support the work of Fellows like Marisol Becerra in Chicago, working for environmental justice, or Jon Truong, advocating for responsible development in Los Angeles.

If we're successful, grant funding will go to support Fellows' Blueprints for Social Justice, and to provide training materials for Fellows and alumni.

Sign Up Now >

Read YP4's September Newsletter >

Young People For is a program of People For the American Way Foundation.



Big Month for the Young Elected Officials Network


The YEO Redistricting and Immigration Policy Academy in Los Angeles, California was a huge success. More than 50 progressive leaders from our Young Elected Officials Network (YEO), representing 19 states, gathered September 9-12, 2010 for a powerful weekend of advanced policy study to encourage a more inclusive democracy.

Read More >

And also check out September's exciting YEO Network newsletter, which spotlights education reform and includes an interview with U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan.

YEO Newsletter >

The Young Elected Officials Network is a program of People For the American Way Foundation.



Forget the Pastor: Let's Talk About the Extremists to Worry About


When the extremist pastor of a tiny fringe group in Florida announced that he would cancel what had already become a wildly offensive but also wildly successful publicity stunt involving burning copies of the Koran, it was a relief that the world will not be exposed to endless news feeds of fringe extremists burning religious texts on the anniversary of September 11th. Muslim bashing and book burning is nothing new, but what was especially troubling about this stunt is that it showed just how far off base our national conversation about religious tolerance has slid ... and just how much power the Right's anti-Muslim message has over the national media.

Read More >





Bryan Fischer: Two Minutes of Hate

Bryan Fischer

Nobody can better make the case that the AFA's Bryan Fischer is an hate-filled bigot better than he can, which is why Kyle at PFAW's put together this video featuring the "best" of Fischer's rants against gays, Muslims, and everyone who does not share his extremist views.

Watch the Video > has plenty of great video of the Right's ideological leaders in action.

More from Fischer >





DeMint's Democracy


If you needed any more proof that Congress's "deliberative body" has officially become its "dysfunctional body," now we have South Carolina Sen. Jim DeMint warning Monday evening that he would block all legislation that has not been cleared by his office in the final days of the pre-election session.

Read More >


Right Wing Watch: If you thought Christine O'Donnell was bad...


Meet the GOP's extreme nominee for Delaware's open seat in the House, Glen Urquhart. Since Mike Castle vacated the seat in order to (unsuccessfully) run for Senate, the Republicans nominated Urquhart in a tight primary election. A wealthy real estate investor who self-financed his campaign, Urquhart campaigned as a social conservative with the backing of the Family Research Council, Concerned Women for America and the National Conservative Fund, along with Tea Party groups such as the 9/12 Delaware Patriots. Here's a video in which Urquhart makes clear his opinion regarding the separation of Church and State and misattributes Thomas Jefferson's quote that the U.S. Constitution creates a "wall of separation between Church and State" to Adolph Hitler.

Watch the Video >


Right Wing Watch: Ralph Reed "Proud" Of His Work For Jack Abramoff: "It Was Outstanding and It Advanced Sound Public Policy"


The new film "Casino Jack and the United States of Money" is a documentary all about the shady dealings of Jack Abramoff and his cronies. One of those cronies was Ralph Reed, who just so happened to be on Alan Colmes' radio program pitching his new novel "The Confirmation."

Read More >


Wisconsin GOP Senate Candidate Ron Johnson: Protecting Victims of Child Abuse Will Hurt Business


A devotion to business interests over the needs of ordinary people is a theme that unites ultra-right-wing Tea Party candidates throughout the country. But how far does that devotion go?

A video emerged of Wisconsin Senate candidate Ron Johnson testifying in January against a bill that would have lifted the state’s statute of limitations on filing child abuse lawsuits.

Read More and Watch the Video >


Right Wing Watch: Values Voter Recap: We're All Tea Partiers Now (Including God)


The so-called Values Voter Summit, organized by the Family Research Council and sponsored by a number of right-wing groups, brought more than 2,000 activists (their count) to Washington D.C. for two solid days of speeches, workshops, networking, and a chance to spend time with others who passionately hate President Obama and the Democratic congressional leadership. Addressing the crowd were a number of GOP presidential hopefuls, including Newt Gingrich, Rick Santorum, Mike Huckabee, and Rep. Mike Pence (who eked out a narrow victory over Huckabee in the straw poll). Not surprisingly, conference speakers echoed the themes heard at the smaller Faith and Freedom conference convened by Ralph Reed just one week earlier.

Read More >


Senator Sessions Can't Get His Stories Straight


In a "Critical Judiciary Alert" released today on Facebook (where else?), Senator Jeff Sessions went on the attack against five of President Obama's judicial nominees that the GOP has worked overtime to obstruct.

The whole piece is a fine example of the out of context scare quotes and blatant distortions that are the stock in trade for Senate Republicans trying to block President Obama's judges. But it seems that Senator Sessions can't even keep his arguments in line for the length of one piece.

Read More >


Right Wing Watch: VVS Double Whammy: Smearing Gay Soldiers and US Allies


Tony Perkins of the Family Research Council and Lt. Col. Robert Maginnis warned Americans that the repeal of Don't Ask Don't Tell will make the military weaker, understaffed and morally corrupt. They went on to say that military forces which allow gay and lesbian soldiers to serve openly no longer participate in wars, only parades. However, Great Britain and Australia, two countries that have contributed significant numbers of soldiers to the war in Iraq and are close allies of the US, both allow gays to serve openly. Israel's military also permits gay and lesbian troops in its ranks, as do NATO countries including Canada, Germany, Italy, Spain and France, all of which have forces in Afghanistan.

Read More and Watch the Video >


Right Wing Watch: The GOP's Desperate Smearing of Delaware Democractic Senate Candidate Chris Coons


Having to defend a candidate like Christine O'Donnell is an exhausting task. Finding her bizarre beliefs and troubled financial history almost impossible to defend, the right-wing has moved to demonize her Democratic opponent Chris Coons.

On the face of it, the County Executive of New Castle County appears to be a talented, progressive Democrat. Before he became involved in local politics, Coons has a long history in the non-profit field: he participated in relief work in Kenya, assisted the Protestant anti-apartheid South African Council of Churches, and in the US worked for the National Coalition for the Homeless and the "I Have a Dream" Foundation.

But according to conservative commentators, he is a crypto-Marxist boogieman who make "community organizers" look like Republicans!

Read More >


A Reasoned Debate on Don't Ask Don't Tell


Another popular, common-sense, pro-equality measure ground to a standstill this month as a unified minority of Republican Senators, joined by two Democrats, succeeded in filibustering a bill that included a repeal of the Don't Ask, Don't Tell policy.

Let's take a look at some of the arguments for and against a repeal of Don't Ask, Don't Tell.

Read More >


Alabama County Brings the Voting Rights Act to Court


An 87% white county in Alabama is arguing that some of the anti-discrimination protections in the Voting Rights Act are no longer necessary. . .and its case might end up in the Supreme Court.

Read More >


Is "Eagerness to Obstruct" a Requirement for New GOP Senators?


Former New Hampshire Attorney General Kelly Ayotte narrowly defeated Tea Party insurgent Ovide Lamontagne in the state's Republican senate primary.

Ayotte is hardly a political moderate -- Sarah Palin has anointed her a "Mama Grizzly" -- but that didn't keep her from being attacked from the right. The result? Ayotte has embraced even more extreme positions regarding the "good Republican" requirement to obstruct everything.

Read More >


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