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Right Wing ‘Astroturf’ Group Training Thousands to Run for School Boards in Fight Against ‘Socialist Brainwashing’



FreedomWorks, the astroturf organizing and advocacy group​, is among the right-wing organizations spreading fear of ​the teaching of the racial history of the United States ​to motivate conservative activists to run for school board seats nationwide.

​Such right-wing fearmongering is framed around the term ​”critical race theory​,” ​an academic framework for analyzing systemic racism. Right-wing activists, religious-right groups, and Republican political operatives have spent the past year using inflammatory, red-baiting claims about critical race theory to fan fears and racial resentments among conservative parents and justify laws banning schools from exploring racism in American history, institutions, and culture.

Right Wing Watch recently reported on the right-wing Leadership Institute’s project to help candidates “take over” local school boards by running campaigns focused on ​their conception of critical race theory. FreedomWorks, a group funded by corporate interests and right-wing foundations, has its own operation to encourage right-wing takeovers of local school boards.

In an email sent to its supporters Wednesday, FreedomWorks President Adam Brandon said the group has held 66 events in 10 states, training ​more than 2,000 activists and recruiting candidates to run for school board. The group’s “Parents Know BEST” initiative is also nearing completion of a six-week online “academy” to train people to run school board campaigns.

The Wednesday email charges that “leftists” are trying to shut down FreedomWorks’ efforts “so they can have free reign to indoctrinate children with their Marxist ideology.” The group wants to get right-wing activists elected to school boards where “they can take direct action to root out CRT and any other left-wing indoctrination.”

In a “Stop Socialist Brainwashing Survey” sent to supporters via text message this week, FreedomWorks asked a series of loaded questions about critical race theory before asking for money to “continue mobilizing the nation’s largest grassroots network to STOP the far-Left’s Socialist Brainwashing schemes.”

For example, the survey asserts, “According to Critical Race Theory, shredding the Constitution, the rule of law, and teaching children to hate everything that’s made the United States the greatest and freest nation in human history is the only way to ‘fix’ America’s supposed ‘systemically racist’ institutions.” It then asks:

Do you OPPOSE teaching children that the only way to “fix” America is to hate everything that’s made the U.S. the greatest and freest country in human history, and to transform our Republic into a socialist “utopia?”

FreedomWorks is also mobilizing opposition to federal voting rights legislation and raising money to help Republicans win a majority in the House of Representatives in 2022 by targeting 21 Democratic representatives in districts won by Donald Trump in 2016 and exploiting upcoming Republican-controlled redistricting efforts that Brandon hopes could make a couple dozen additional Democratic members more vulnerable.


This article was originally published by Right Wing Watch and is republished here by permission.

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Exposé Reveals Ginni Thomas’ Ties to ‘Many Groups Directly Involved in Controversial Cases’ Before the Supreme Court



A bombshell exposé by an award-winning investigative journalist takes a deep look into lobbyist and far right wing activist and conspiracy theorist Ginni Thomas, and the ties she has to people, groups – and money – that have or may have business before the U.S. Supreme Court, on which her conservative husband sits.

Is Ginni Thomas a Threat to the Supreme Court?” The New Yorker’s Jane Mayer asks point-blank. “Behind closed doors, Justice Clarence Thomas’s wife is working with many groups directly involved in controversial cases before the Court.”

Mayer writes that “Ginni Thomas has declared that America is in existential danger because of the ‘deep state’ and the ‘fascist left,’ which includes ‘transsexual fascists.'”

But that’s just a small piece of her massive reporting.

“Ginni Thomas’s political activism has caused controversy for years. For the most part, it has been dismissed as the harmless action of an independent spouse. But now the Court appears likely to secure victories for her allies in a number of highly polarizing cases—on abortion, affirmative action, and gun rights,” Mayer reveals.

How bad and how close are these ties? Thomas, unbeknownst to almost anyone, was “an undisclosed paid consultant at the conservative pressure group the Center for Security Policy, when its founder, Frank Gaffney, submitted an amicus brief to the Court supporting Trump’s Muslim travel ban.”

Did Justice Clarence Thomas know? Did the couple discuss the case, or her financial and political ties? No one knows.

And that’s just one example. Mayer notes that Ginni Thomas “has held leadership positions at conservative pressure groups that have either been involved in cases before the [Supreme] Court or have had members engaged in such cases.”

“In 2019, she announced a political project called Crowdsourcers, and said that one of her four partners would be the founder of Project Veritas, James O’Keefe. Project Veritas tries to embarrass progressives by making secret videos of them, and last year petitioned the Court to enjoin Massachusetts from enforcing a state law that bans the surreptitious taping of public officials. Another partner in Crowdsourcers, Ginni Thomas said in her announcement, was Cleta Mitchell, the chairman of the Public Interest Legal Foundation, a conservative election-law nonprofit. It, too, has had business before the Court, filing amicus briefs in cases centering on the democratic process. Thomas also currently serves on the advisory board of the National Association of Scholars, a group promoting conservative values in academia, which has filed an amicus brief before the Court in a potentially groundbreaking affirmative-action lawsuit against Harvard.”

Should Americans be concerned? Should Justice Thomas? Should Chief Justice John Roberts?

“If Ginni Thomas is intimately involved—financially or ideologically tied to the litigant—that strikes me as slicing the baloney a little thin,” David Luban, a professor of law and philosophy at Georgetown, who specializes in legal ethics, tells Mayer.

Surely Justice Thomas has the ability to separate his work and home life, right?

“Even before” Clarence Thomas’ controversial and contentious confirmation hearing, which included the accusations – labeled  “credible” by many – from Anita Hill, “a friend told the Washington Post, the couple was so bonded that ‘the one person [Clarence] really listens to is Virginia.'”

In 2019 then-Congressman Mark Meadows, who because White House Chief of Staff to President Donald Trump and now appears to have been intimately involved in aspects of the January 6 insurrection, told members of a “nonprofit that mobilizes conservative evangelical voters” that “Ginni was talking about how we ‘team up,’ and we actually have teamed up. And I’m going to give you something you won’t hear anywhere else—we worked through the first five days of the impeachment hearings.”

Mayer adds, “Ginni Thomas has her own links to the January 6th insurrection.”

The nearly 7000 word deep dive can be read here.



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Fox News Host Accuses Democrats of Using Public Schools to Push ‘Race Warfare’ and ‘Revolution’



Influential Fox News host Greg Gutfeld is accusing Democrats of engaging in “an insidious transfer of power” by using America’s public school system to indoctrinate children in “race warfare” and an “ideology” of “hate” that sees the country as “systemically racist and corrupt.”

Gutfeld, host of the conservative cable channel’s late night show “Gutfeld!” is also co-host of “The Five.” He is reportedly viewed by five million Americans daily and last year was ranked the twelfth most influential person in American media.

“There’s a — what you’re seeing is an insidious transfer of power,” Gutfeld, baselessly attacking Democrats, told his co-hosts, as Media Matters reports. “The same people that demand removal, say of the Pledge of Allegiance, embraces this kind of progressive propaganda as a replacement.”

There is no national movement to ban the Pledge of Allegiance. A four-year old petition demanding a ban on “the compulsory recitation in public schools of the pledge of allegiance by anyone under the age of 18” has received seven signatures. Reuters reported in 2020 on a satirical website that claimed, jokingly, that Democrats had included a law banning the Pledge of Allegiance into an aid package.

The “progressive propaganda” is CRT, critical race theory, which the right has been falsely claiming for close to a year is “taught” in many public schools.

“So, in that framing, you see that they don’t want children paying respect to the country, they want you to — they want the children to pay respect to an ideology that sees that the country is systemically racist and corrupt,” he continued. “That’s the path towards revolution. It’s no longer class warfare, it’s race warfare and it’s a complete switch from — this is what scares me the most about this. What does it do to the brain of children when you switch from gratitude to hate?”



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Revealed: Anti-LGBTQ Billionaire Has Spent Millions Pushing Trump’s ‘Big Lie’



Donald Trump’s efforts to push his “big lie” of election fraud are receiving powerful help from one billionaire donor, The Daily Beast reported Thursday.

“Among the ranks of “dark money” groups and anonymous megadonors who bankrolled the effort is a familiar name in GOP fundraising circles: Dick Uihlein, founder of the multinational Uline shipping company,” The Beast reported. “According to previously unreported tax disclosures, Uihlein’s nonprofit—the Ed Uihlein Family Foundation—poured millions of dollars in 2020 into a sprawling number of groups connected to efforts to challenge Joe Biden’s victory and reimagine election law, as well as other right-wing extremist organizations, including ones designated as hate groups.”

The Beast noted that all of the foundations $16.8 million in donations in 2020 came from Uihlein.

Kyle Herrig, president of Accountable.US, blasted Uihlein for the donations.

READ: ‘Craven’ Mitch McConnell condemned for ‘shockingly racist’ remarks about Black voters

“In 2020, as workers and families struggled to get by, Dick and Liz Uihlein’s company cashed in on pandemic aid—then turned around and funded hate groups pushing COVID conspiracy theories, bigotry, and efforts to undermine democracy,” he said. “By signing away more than $1 million to groups that have promoted hate and sedition, Dick and Liz Uihlein have made it clear where their company’s values truly lie.”

The Beast noted Uihlein gave $1.25 million to the Conservative Partnership Institute, where Cleta Mitchell served as a senior legal fellow.

“Mitchell, a veteran GOP operative, helped construct the campaign’s post-election legal strategy mostly behind the scenes. But she drew national attention in early January 2021 after she featured heavily in a taped phone call between then-President Donald Trump, his Chief of Staff Mark Meadows, and Georgia’s top election officials. Trump pressured the election officials in that now infamous call to ‘find’ enough votes for him to win Georgia. (Meadows joined Mitchell at CPI after he left the White House in January.,” The Beast reported.

RELATED: Trump held ‘secret meetings’ before Jan. 6 in White House residence

Uihlein also contributed to the Federalist Society, the Texas Public Policy Forum, and the Center for Security Policy, which has been designated a hate group by the Southern Poverty Law Center.

“Uihlien—whose net worth Bloomberg pegs at about $4 billion—also funded right-wing media outlets that pushed false narratives about the 2020 election. For instance, he donated $750,000 to the FDRLST, which pushed misleading claims of voter fraud. He also slipped $25,000 to the American Conservative, which published a number of articles claiming that Democrats had stolen the election, including a debunked article the evening of Jan. 6 alleging widespread fraud,” The Beast reported. “Uihlein also threw a $25,000 bone to conservative watchdog Judicial Watch, run by conspiracy theorist Tom Fitton. That organization also challenged the election results.”

Read the full report.

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