The Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) today responded to the revelations that NOM, the National Organization For Marriage,Â has been using a strategy of dividing liberals via ethnic means as its official corporate policy in their battle to destroy same-sex marriage, by telling African Americans that NOM is attempting to exploit them via race-baiting. The SPLC is the iconic organization credited with minimizing the existence of the KKK.
Stating “the revelation of its bald attempt to exploit black people and Latinos should help end the idea that NOM is an honorable group that would never engage in race-baiting. Because that is precisely what it has done,”Â Mark Potok, SPLC’s spokesman and director of publications and information, writes, in, “Calling All Black People: NOM Wants to Use You,” an article on the SPLC blog, “Hatewatch.”
“Black folks, this is a message for you: The National Organization for Marriage (NOM), the countryâ€™s preeminent group fighting against same-sex marriage, really, really likes you. They even want to make some of you famous!”
Have NOMâ€™s principal leaders, former president Maggie Gallagher and current leader Brian S. Brown, stood up for African Americans before? Well, not so much. But it turns out that theyâ€™ve decided that youâ€™re actually very important.
â€œThe strategic goal of this project,â€ NOM said, â€œis to drive a wedge between gays and blacks â€” two key Democratic constituencies. We aim to find, equip, energize and connect African-American spokespeople for marriage; to develop a media campaign around their objections to gay marriage as a civil right; and to provoke the gay marriage base into responding by denouncing these spokesmen and women as bigots.â€
Translation: Letâ€™s get people who support marriage equality to denounce black opponents, making them look like evil racists. Maybe thatâ€™ll make people forget that the vast majority of black civil rights leaders support same-sex marriage.
Could this be something more than simply exploiting black people â€” folks who NOM figures would be hard for Democrats to criticize without splitting their base â€” for the cynical uses of opponents of same-sex marriage?
No, NOMâ€™s pretty transparent about that. The â€œprojectâ€ to which its call for a wedge strategy refers carries this title in the newly released document: â€œNot a Civil Rights Project.â€ They couldnâ€™t make it much clearer than that, could they?
We also point out that NOM, despite its claims, keeps bringing up the subject of children and sex.
Turns out thatâ€™s part of the plan, too. In one NOM documents entitled â€œSideswiping Obama,â€ the group urges activists to raise â€œsuch issues as pornographyâ€ and â€œthe protection of children.â€ â€œWe will put a special focus on exposing those administration programs that have the effect of sexualizing children,â€ along with other â€œpolicy threats to children.â€
What do pornography and sexual threats to children have to do with same-sex marriage? Well, nothing really. But as another NOM document points out, the object isnâ€™t so much to appeal to rational argument, but rather â€œa new, more emotionally powerful set of messages.â€ You know, like gay men molesting your kids.
Letâ€™s get back to using certain racial and ethnic groups to battle same-sex marriage for a moment. NOM points out that the Latino vote in America is â€œa key swing voteâ€ and suggests a good way to appeal to that constituency: â€œ[G]ather and connect a community of artists, athletes, writers, beauty queens and other glamorous noncognitive elites.â€ And theyâ€™ve already talked to a former Mexican beauty queen! Because Latinos apparently are into those â€œglamorous noncongnitive elites.â€
How long will it be before the Southern Poverty Law Center awards NOM with the coveted “active anti-gay hate group” classification?
If you’re unfamiliar with the work the SPLC does, here’s an excerpt from their Wikipedia entry:
TheÂ Southern Poverty Law CenterÂ (SPLC) is an American nonprofit civil rights organization noted for its legal victories againstÂ white supremacistÂ groups; legal representation for victims ofÂ hate groups; monitoring of alleged hate groups,Â militiasÂ and extremist organizations; and educational programs that promote tolerance.Â The SPLC classifies as hate groups organizations that denigrate or assault entire groups of people, typically for attributes that are beyond their control.
In 1971,Â Morris DeesÂ and Joseph J. Levin Jr. founded the SPLC as a civil rights law firm based in Montgomery, Alabama.Â Civil rights leaderÂ Julian BondÂ soon joined Dees and Levin and served as president of the board between 1971 and 1979.Â The SPLC’s litigating strategy involved filing civil suits for damages on behalf of the victims of hate group harassment, threats, and violence with the goal of financially depleting the responsible groups and individuals. While it originally focused on damages done by theÂ Ku Klux KlanÂ and other white supremacist groups, throughout the years the SPLC has become involved in other civil rights causes, among them, cases concerned with institutional racial segregation and discrimination, the mistreatment of aliens, and theÂ separation of church and state.
Hat tip: Joe.My.God.
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Another Santos Financial Concern: GOP Lawmaker Claims Campaign Paid WinRed Triple the Fees It Should Have
WinRed, the right-wing fundraising processor platform created to compete with Democrats’ ActBlue, has asked the Santos campaign to correct a financial report that claims the New York GOP lawmaker paid them more than triple what it should have – suggesting the entry on his Federal Election Commission (FEC) report is erroneous.
“Santos reported paying WinRed more than $206,000 to process donations to his 2022 campaign, records show. But that amount doesn’t match up with how much money Santos actually raised,” NBC News reports.
“WinRed charges candidates a 3.94% fee for contributions made online by credit card. At that rate, Santos would have had to have raised more than $5.2 million through WinRed to warrant a $206,000 payment to the firm,” NBC explains. “Through November, however, his campaign reported total contributions of $1.7 million, including donations that didn’t come through WinRed.”
WinRed would not tell NBC News how much the Santos campaign actually paid them, with the news network offering that it could be “sloppy accounting.”
But one campaign finance expert, attorney Brett Kappel, warns, “nothing that appears on Rep. Santos’s FEC reports can be taken at face value.”
This follows reports that the Santos campaign amended two filings to indicate that a $500,000 personal loan and a $125,000 personal loan, claimed to have been from the candidate’s own personal funds, was not from his personal funds. There is no information indicating what entity loaned the Santos campaign the money, or if it actually even existed.
That bombshell was followed up this week with yet another one: the FEC reports were allegedly signed by a “treasurer” who does not and never has worked for the Santos campaign. One expert called that a “big no-no,” and “completely illegal.”
‘Deliberately Deceived the Nation’: Legal Experts Stunned by ‘Jaw-Dropping’ Report on How Barr and Durham Protected Trump
Legal experts are now weighing in on Thursday’s bombshell, massive and months-long reporting from The New York Times that reveals, among several previously unknown allegations, that then-Attorney General Bill Barr and his special counsel, John Durham were handed apparent evidence of suspicious financial acts by Donald Trump, and proceeded to create a false public narrative that Durham’s investigation found evidence of “suspicious financial dealings” related to Trump, suggesting it was on the part of the FBI, not the president, in order to protect the president.
“On one of Mr. Barr and Mr. Durham’s trips to Europe,” The Times reveals, “according to people familiar with the matter, Italian officials — while denying any role in setting off the Russia investigation — unexpectedly offered a potentially explosive tip linking Mr. Trump to certain suspected financial crimes.”
The Times adds that “Mr. Barr and Mr. Durham never disclosed that their inquiry expanded in the fall of 2019, based on a tip from Italian officials, to include a criminal investigation into suspicious financial dealings related to Mr. Trump.”
“Mr. Durham never filed charges, and it remains unclear what level of an investigation it was, what steps he took, what he learned and whether anyone at the White House ever found out. The extraordinary fact that Mr. Durham opened a criminal investigation that included scrutinizing Mr. Trump has remained secret.”
Harvard Law Professor Emeritus Laurence Tribe, a constitutional law expert who literally wrote the book on the U.S. Constitution, calls the Times’ report “jaw-dropping.”
“When Durham unexpectedly found evidence of crimes committed BY rather than AGAINST Trump, he and Barr deliberately deceived the nation into thinking the opposite! This deep dive by the NYT is as jaw-dropping as anything I’ve read in the past decade,” Tribe says.
Law professor and former President and Director-Counsel of the NAACP Legal Defense Fund (LDF) Sherrilyn Ifill, one of TIME’s 2021 most influential people in the world, accused Barr of “gaslighting” the public.
“Every line of this article must be read,” Ifill implored. “Horrifying breaches of professional ethics, misuse of DOJ investigative resources, and deliberate lies to, and gaslighting of the public. A grotesque perversion of the appropriate role of Attorney General.”
Former U.S. Attorney Joyce Vance, the well-known MSNBC legal contributor and professor of law, also calls it “jaw dropping.”
“Jaw dropping reporting. Lots here including an explanation of why Durham’s colleague resigned: under pressure from Barr to release an ‘interim’ report damaging Clinton & the FBI as the election drew near, Durham had a draft prepared that wasn’t factual,” she says.
Andrew Weissman, the former General Counsel of the Federal Bureau of Investigation who spent 20 years at DOJ, including working under Special Counsel Robert Mueller, calls Barr “corrupt.”
“Can anyone really be surprised by this?” he asks. “Barr was just so corrupt and so corrupted the DOJ.”
MSNBC legal analyst Jill Wine-Banks, a former Watergate prosecutor and the first woman to serve as US General Counsel of the Army was troubled by the picture The Times painted of how close Barr and Durham were, when special counsels are supposed to have great autonomy and not be shaded by any Attorney General interference.
“Even more troubling than Barr and Durham frequently having drinks and discussing the investigation is the fact that the only crime they discovered on their foreign trip was Italian intel about crimes by Trump,” she says via Twitter. “I want to know the status of that investigation!”
Some legal experts lament that despite the bombshells in The Times’ report, it appears nothing will come of it – certainly nothing from the House Republicans.
Former Associate White House Counsel Ian Bassin sardonically asks, “Surely McCarthy and Jim Jordan’s new Select Committee on ‘the Weaponization of the Federal Government’ will focus on this story and the actions of Bill Barr, John Durham and Donald Trump. Surely, right? Right?”
Wine-Banks also points to House Republicans’ new committee investigating what they claim is “weaponization” of the federal government.
“Barr’s relationship with Durham, his pressure on him to reach a certain result and their failure to follow up on Trump’s crime revealed during the investigation is what weaponization of the DOJ looks like — not what Republicans want to investigate now.”
Pete Strzok, who spent 26 years at the FBI including as Deputy Assistant Director of the Bureau’s Counterintelligence Division, and led the investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 United States election, speaks from experience.
“I can see Barr allowing the stunning amount of craziness (a gentle choice of word) described in this article,” he writes. “But does anyone in the current OAG or ODAG care about this? Durham has reported to AG Garland for twenty two (22) months now.”
“This,” Weissman adds separately, pointing to The Times article, “is all about the Trump weaponization of the DOJ – but we know that the House Rs won’t give a damn about it.”
Questions Raised About Another Freshman Republican’s Finances After He Refuses to Comply With Federal Law
Rep. George Santos (R-NY) isn’t the only freshman Republican facing questions about his personal finances.
An investigation conducted by News Channel 5 in Nashville has found that freshman Rep. Andy Ogles (R-TN) never complied with federal laws requiring that he make disclosures about his personal finances.
In fact, notes News Channel 5, “not only did Andy Ogles ignore that law during the campaign, he continues to ignore it today.”
The law in question requires that Ogles and all candidates for elected office to disclose their assets and unearned income, their liabilities, and sources of income paid by one source that exceed $5,000.
Ogles’ office hasn’t responded to News Channel 5’s questions even though the Tennessee lawmaker’s refusal to comply with the law could result in up to a year in prison.
Ogles’ defeated Democratic opponent, Heidi Campbell, told News Channel that it was “frustrating” to see Ogles flout the law, which she complied with last year by releasing her personal finance information all the way back in April of 2022.
“We, as Tennesseans, deserve to have representatives who are following the rules,” she said.
Ogles was also regularly late in filing campaign finance reports, which also contained so many discrepancies that Ogles has received four different letters from the Federal Election Commission demanding that they be explained.
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