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RIGHT WING EXTREMISM

GOP Nominee for Virginia Governor Rubbing Elbows With Virulently Anti-LGBTQ Groups Just Weeks Before Election

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Glenn Youngkin, the Republican candidate for governor of Virginia, spoke at a gala Saturday held by the virulently anti-LGBTQ, anti-choice Family Foundation, Blue Virginia first reported. And on Friday, the Republican hopeful will speak at the Pray Vote Stand Summit hosted by the Family Research Council, another anti-LGBTQ organization so extreme the Southern Poverty Law Center has deemed it a hate group.

Youngkin appeared at the Family Foundation event alongside GOP candidate for lieutenant governor Winsome Sears and the hard-right Virginia state Sen. Amanda Chase, who posted to Facebook a photo of herself and Youngkin in attendance. Among the sponsors of the event was Alliance Defending Freedom, a multimillion dollar litigation-and-legislation shop for the religious right that has attacked a women’s right to choose and LGBTQ rights.

Like ADF and FRC, the Family Foundation has fought against same-sex marriage for years, suggesting after Virginia’s 2014 marriage equality decision that allowing same-sex couples to marry would harm children. The group has also supported so-called “conversion therapy,” harmful practices that seek to change a person’s sexual or gender orientation. A blog post from June declares, “OBJECT TO THE LGBTQ+ AGENDA, GO TO THE CLOSET!” while encouraging readers to vote for executive and legislative candidates who would block Virginia schools from teaching more comprehensive sex-ed and LGBTQ-inclusive curriculum. A promotional video on the group’s website showcases the hostility toward the LGBTQ community that the group fosters; a pastor of the Smith Memorial Baptist church said it shocked and angered him when he was notified of an “LBGTQ”—his spelling, not ours—“person coming to speak to all of our elementary schools.”

At the heart of the Family Foundation’s mission is to instill government policy with its fundamentalist views.

“We believe there is no square inch in all the universe over which God has not claimed ‘Mine’, and that includes the arenas of civil government and public policy where we spend much of our time,” the Family Foundation’s website reads. “We advocate for policies based on Biblical principles that enable families to flourish at the state and local level.” Those “biblical principles” in The Family Foundation’s reading include the following:

1) Human life, from fertilization until natural death, is sacred, and the right to life is fundamental to all other rights.

2) Marriage, as a lifelong union between one man and one woman, is an institution of God and a foundation for civil society.

3) Gender, beautifully expressed as either male or female according to God’s immutable design, is an important biological and social reality that must be respected by all.

Youngkin has tried to portray his candidacy as moderate, but his courting of groups like Family Foundation and Family Research Council in addition to his refusal to say whether he supports marriage equality suggest that his candidacy is more extreme than he would let on.

Indeed, his political ally Chase—a Trumpian Republican who called on former President Donald Trump to declare martial law, hobnobbed with the Oath Keeper’s Stewart Rhodes before the insurrection, and attended the so-called Stop the Steal rally held on Jan. 6 before praising the insurrectionists as “Patriots who love their country”—has been campaigning for Youngkin since she failed to win the GOP nomination for governor.

Pushing Trump’s false claim that the 2020 election was stolen, Chase created a national “election integrity caucus” of state legislators to push for “forensic audits” of election results in all 50 states, following the model of the notorious “audit” carried out in Arizona. Just days before Chase joined Youngkin at the Family Foundation event, Right Wing Watch’s Peter Montgomery reported that Chase joined the religious-right group Intercessors for America to encourage its followers to elect Youngkin and continue to push the big lie that the election was stolen: “the best number one solution for Virginia to have better election integrity is to elect a Republican governor, lieutenant governor, attorney general, and replace all the members in the House so that we have a Republican majority.”

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

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RIGHT WING EXTREMISM

John Eastman Will Face Charges if Continues ‘Frivolous Argument’ Against Capitol Riot Probe: Adam Schiff

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John Eastman, the far-right lawyer who authored Trump’s “coup memo,” announced on Friday that he would be defying a subpoena from the House January 6 Committee.

Appearing on CNN later in the day, Rep. Adam Schiff (D-CA) made clear that Eastman is free to plead the Fifth if he has a good-faith reason to fear he could incriminate himself — but that doesn’t entitle him to a free pass to ignore investigators.

“Eastman says the partisan makeup of the committee, he says makes it invalid and doesn’t need to cooperate,” said anchor Wolf Blitzer. “What do you say to that?”

“Well, that was a frivolous argument,” said Schiff. “If he uses that as a basis to refuse to answer questions, he will be in contempt of the committee, simple and straightforward. So we’ll be seeing with each witness… whether they’re properly invoking a privilege or to stall and delay for the former president, and will make the judgment as to what the repercussions should be once we see and hear the testimony.”

READ MORE: Trump DOJ official Jeffrey Clark postpones Capitol riot testimony due to ‘medical condition’

This comes after former Trump adviser Steve Bannon was indicted on contempt charges for ignoring the committee, and as former DOJ lawyer Jeffrey Clark faces an upcoming contempt vote by Congress.

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RIGHT WING EXTREMISM

Newsmax Host Falsely Attacks Biden and Entire Democratic Party for Declaring ‘War on Christianity’

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A host on the far right wing cable and streaming TV channel Newsmax has declared the entire Democratic Party, including its devoutly-Catholic President, has “declared war,” not on just Christmas, but on “Christianity” itself. That would be extremely surprising to the majority of Democratic registered voters who self-identify as Christian.

The revelation of a “war on Christianity” comes in a wide-ranging attack on the left from the Newsmax host Friday morning, who decided to attack the White House’s highly-praised Christmas decorations this year, which were designed by First Lady Dr. Jill Biden.

“This week is about Christmas at the White House,” the host declared. “I love Christmas decorations. But this looks a little like a Carnival Cruise especially from an administration and political party as a whole that has declared war on Christianity for a while now.”

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RIGHT WING EXTREMISM

‘What Wannabe Totalitarian, Fascist Dictators Do’: Alarm Over DeSantis Move to Form His Own ‘Personal Militia’

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Critics are responding with alarm to news Florida GOP Governor Ron DeSantis is asking for millions of taxpayer funds to create his own militia force, separate from the existing National Guard.

CNN calls it “a World War II-era civilian military force that he, not the Pentagon, would control.” And while the law allows for the move, it was created “as a temporary force to fill the void left behind” when the state’s National Guard was deployed overseas, and “disbanded after the war ended.”

But the highly-controversial Florida Republican, seen as one of the top 2024 GOP presidential candidates, is also making clear his motives are a further escalation in his war of words against the Biden administration.

“DeSantis also said this unit, called the Florida State Guard, would be ‘not encumbered by the federal government.’ He said this force would give him ‘the flexibility and the ability needed to respond to events in our state in the most effective way possible.'”

It’s also being seen as one more potential attack on science during the coronavirus pandemic era. All National Guard members must be vaccinated. DeSantis opposes all vaccine and mask mandates and has invited unvaccinated, fired police officers from others states to move to Florida – and offering them a $5000 payment.

Former Florida Gov. Charlie Crist, now a U.S. Congressman but running to unseat DeSantis, called DeSantis’ militia a “handpicked secret police” force.

Perhaps one of the strongest warnings comes from SiriusXM Progress host Dean Obeidallah, who calls it “the beginning of a ‘Red Army’ as the GOP prepares for war.”

“The same Republicans who claim Jan 6 was not a terrorist attack but just a ‘tourist visit’ now tell us not to be concerned with Ron DeSantis forming a personal militia that he says will ‘not encumbered by the federal government,'” Obeidallah adds. “This is a Red Army!!!”

MSNBC’s Joy Reid likened the move to fascism, asking: “So… y’all know this is fascisty bananas, right…?”

Attorney and DeSantis critic Daniel Uhlfelder noted the governor’s “classic authoritarian move” on bringing his son to the announcement.

“More setting up for 2024 coup!” tweeted Amy Siskind, The New Agenda founder and author of The Weekly List.

Research and strategic communication CEO Fernand Amandi describes DeSantis’ move as “What wannabe totalitarian, fascist, authoritarian dictators do.”

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