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Anti-LGBT Texas Officials Claim They’re Being Bullied By Pro-Civil Rights Group



Lawmakers Blast Records Requests Seeking Links To National Hate Groups

Anti-LGBT Texas officials claim they’re being bullied by a Washington, D.C.-based organization that’s filed records requests in an effort to determine whether they’ve conspired with national hate groups. 

The Campaign for Accountability, a pro-civil rights watchdog group, wants to establish a link between anti-LGBT Texas lawmakers and groups such as the Alliance Defending Freedom, the Family Research Council, the Liberty Counsel and the National Organization for Marriage.

But Texas officials who’ve received the records requests, including tea party state Rep. Debbie Riddle (photo), apparently don’t think the public has a right to know the public’s business. Either that, or maybe they just have something to hide. Riddle filed two bills this year that would have made it illegal for transgender people to use public restrooms in accordance with their gender identity. 

“I am proud of my legislative record, and I am proud to work side by side with people and organizations in defense of Texas’ heritage and tradition of religious liberty,” Riddle said in a release responding to the records requests. “We cannot be bullied by groups who would shame us for standing up for our faith. This coming legislative session I will continue to stand strong on these issues and will file legislation to keep men out of women’s bathrooms in Texas. This is clearly a politically motivated attack because of my staunch opposition to the HERO ordinance in Houston.” 

Daniel Stevens, deputy director of the Campaign for Accountability, said the group sent records requests to numerous state legislators in Texas, where more than 20 anti-LGBT bills were filed this year, the most in the history of any state.  

“Frankly, I find it sort of laughable that this would be considered bullying,” Stevens told The New Civil Rights Movement. “These records are public, and the public should have access to them.” 

In its request to Riddle, the Campaign for Accountability cited media reports suggesting national hate groups are shopping model anti-LGBT bills to legislators across the country. 

“These organizations appear to be coordinating directly with elected officials and public employees to push so-called ‘religious freedom’ laws in states like Texas as part of their nationwide effort to codify discrimination under the guise of ‘religious freedom,'” the group wrote. “The public deserves to know the extent of this coordination and the extent to which its elected officials are doing the bidding of outside organizations seeking to advance their own agenda.”

The Campaign For Accountability also sent records requests to Houston City Council members who voted against the city’s Equal Rights Ordinance last year. 

On Tuesday, Houston council members Michael Kubosh and Dave Martin staged a press conference outside City Hall, where they blasted the records requests, which they claimed are being orchestrated by Mayor Annise Parker, according to The Houston Chronicle. (The press conference was conveniently timed four days before the Houston city election runoff.) 

“I felt like when we received this open records request for over tens of thousands of emails and 51 names of individuals and organizations that we’re going to have to search through, this is a type of bullying,” Kubosh said, calling the requests a “lump of coal” from the mayor.

Stevens called Kubosh’s allegation “outlandish,” and Parker spokeswoman Janice Evans said the notion that the mayor is behind the requests is “totally unsubstantiated.” (Indeed, if Parker were coordinating the effort, it seems doubtful she would have included state legislators.)

The US Pastor Council, which worked to repeal HERO and is also named in the records requests, said they amount to “harassment.”

“It is clear that the false front of ‘accountability’ this organization works behind is a thin veneer for an activist LGBT advocacy group that is now attempting to intimidate a Texas legislator for sponsoring legislation which would protect the privacy, safety and freedom of Texas women in particular,” Pastor Council Executive Director Dave Welch said in a release. “We will stand firmly with Rep. Riddle and other legislators who stand for decency, religious freedom and the rights of all people, not cater to a radical, tiny fragment defined by sexual behavior and gender confusion represented by Campaign for Accountability.” 

Welch is also named individually in the requests along with other anti-LGBT activists including Dr. Steve Hotze, Texas Values President Jonathan Saenz, Texas Eagle Forum President Cathie Adams and others. 


Image: Screenshot via Debbie Riddle/YouTube


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‘Start the Kevin McCarthy Death-Clock’ After Biden Wins Debt Ceiling Battle: Rick Wilson



Appearing late Saturday night on MSNBC after it was announced that President Joe Biden and House Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) had reached an agreement “in principle’ on a budget deal, former GOP strategist Rick Wilson claimed this could be the beginning of the end for McCathy’s speakership.

Sitting in on a panel with guest host Michael Steele, Wilson suggested that McCarthy’s decision to compromise with the president to avoid a default that would spin the economy into chaos will not go over well with far-right members of his House caucus who could make a motion to “vacate the chair” to express their displeasure.

Asked by host Steel about what comes next, Wilson stated it was a win for the White House which will not make conservatives happy.

RELATED: ‘Crazy cuckoo MAGA people’ could sink debt ceiling deal: Dem strategist

“Great night for Joe Biden, great night for the White House even though I think their messaging has been kind of tentative the past few weeks” the Lincoln Project founder began. “I think though we are now going to start the Kevin McCarthy death-clock. He has certainly got a very angry part of his caucus tonight who probably burning up his phone no matter how good it is for the country not to default.”

“It’s not going to please the chaos caucus in the GOP,” he added.

Watch below or at the link:


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Debt Ceiling: McCarthy Faces ‘Lingering Anger’ and a Possible Revolt as Far-Right House Members Start Issuing Threats



As House Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) continues to negotiate a deal to avoid a debt crisis, members of the far-right Freedom Caucus are growing furious with him over broken promises he made to them.

According to MSNBC political analyst Steve Benen, with a slim GOP majority in the House, McCarthy is walking a tightrope to get a budget deal passed and may need help from House Democrats if members of his caucus refuse to go along with him.

As Benen points out, in order to win the speakership McCarthy agreed to an easier path for a motion to “vacate the chair” which could end his tenure as Speaker. That could come into play if the Freedom Caucus stages a revolt.

“… as the negotiations approach an apparent finish line, the House Republicans’ most radical faction is learning that it isn’t likely to get everything its members demanded — and for the Freedom Caucus, that’s not going to work,” he wrote in his MSNBC column.

ALSO IN THE NEWS: Trump in danger of heightened espionage charges after bombshell report: legal expert

Citing a Washington Times report that stated, “[Freedom Caucus members] want everything from the debt limit bill passed by the House last month plus several new concessions from the White House,” Benen suggested far-right House Republicans are now issuing veiled threats.

In an interview, Rep. Chip Roy (R-TX) stated, “I am going to have to go have some blunt conversations with my colleagues and the leadership team. I don’t like the direction they are headed.”

With Politico reporting, “The [House Freedom Caucus] was already unlikely to support a final bipartisan deal, but lingering anger with Kevin McCarthy could have lasting implications on his speakership,” Benen added, “If this is simply a matter of lingering ill-will from members who come to believe that GOP leaders ‘caved,’ the practical consequences might be limited. But let’s also not forget that McCarthy, while begging his own members for their support during his protracted fight for the speaker’s gavel, agreed to tweak the motion-to-vacate-the-chair rules, which at least in theory, would make it easier for angry House Republicans to try to oust McCarthy from his leadership position.”

Adding the caveat that he is not predicting an imminent McCarthy ouster he added, “But if the scope of the Freedom Caucus’ discontent reaches a fever pitch, a hypothetical deal clears thanks to significant Democratic support, don’t be surprised if we all start hearing the phrase ‘vacate the chair” a lot more frequently.”

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Prosecutors Tell Trump They Have a Recording of Him and a Witness: Report



Prosecutors in Donald Trump’s Manhattan criminal trial have notified the ex-president’s attorneys they have a recording of him and a witness. The notification comes in the form of an automatic discovery form, CBS News reports, which “describes the nature of the charges against a defendant and a broad overview of the evidence that prosecutors will present at Trump’s preliminary hearing or at trial.”

CBS reports prosecutors have handed the recording over to Trump’s legal team.

It’s not known who the witness is, nor are any details known publicly about what the conversation entails, or even if it is just audio or if it includes video.

READ MORE: ‘Likely to Be Indicted Soon’: Trump Might Face Seven Different Felonies, Government Watchdog Says

According to the article’s author, CBS News’ Graham Kates, via Twitter, prosecutors say they also have recordings between two witnesses, a recording between a witness and a third party, and various recordings saved on a witness’s cell phones.

Trump is facing 34 felony counts in Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg’s case related to his allegedly unlawful attempt to hide hush money payoffs to a well-known porn star by falsifying business records to protect his 2016 presidential campaign.

See the discovery form above or at this link.

Image via Shutterstock


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