Glenn Beck worked the crowd like a preacher at a rally this month in Louisville, Ky., declaring that God had responded to conservatives’ prayers by sending a slate of tea party candidates to wrest control of the Republican Party from Mitch McConnell.
But there was a more earthly benefit to the arrangement that brought Beck to the rally. It was organized by the tea party nonprofit group FreedomWorks, which had endorsed the candidates — and which has paid more than $6 million in recent years to have Beck promote the group, its initiatives and events.
The FreedomWorks-Beck relationship is just one example of a powerful and profitable alliance between the conservative movement’s most aggressive groups and the most popular radio hosts. The details of the arrangements are little-known, but they have been lucrative for the recipients, and, in turn, have helped ensure that the groups get coveted airtime from hosts with a demonstrated ability to leverage their tens of millions of listeners to shape American politics. It’s an alliance that helped spawn the anti-establishment tea party and power Republicans to landslide victories in the 2010 midterms. It’s also exacerbated congressional gridlock by pushing a hard line on the budget, immigration and Obamacare, and it is roiling the Republican Party headed into critical midterm elections.
A POLITICO review of filings with the Internal Revenue Service and Federal Election Commission, as well as interviews and reviews of radio shows, found that conservative groups spent nearly $22 million to broker and pay for involved advertising relationships known as sponsorships with a handful of influential talkers including Beck, Sean Hannity, Laura Ingraham, Mark Levin and Rush Limbaugh between the first talk radio deals in 2008 and the end of 2012. Since then, the sponsorship deals have grown more lucrative and tea party-oriented, with legacy groups like The Heritage Foundation ending their sponsorships and groups like the Tea Party Patriots placing big ad buys.
A view of the Bundy affair from a resident of nearest town:
So, good job, everyone. The tea party has eliminated the rule of law, militarized the Gold Butte region with armed civilian militias, saved those poor starving cows to wander the desert for inadequate food and water, enhanced our business climate with threats of violence, put us on the map of every nut with a gun who is itching to fight for “liberty and justice” AND established Cliven Bundy as the face of the Virgin Valley. All in one week.
And would it surprise anyone to learn that the Republicans in the primary for Cliven Bundy’s congressional district (NV-4) are already falling over themselves to show that they will carry Bundy’s crazy ideas to Washington?
… when it does not work out in your favor, you have to explain to the rest of us exactly what it means that God is definitively not on your side.
The Tea Party-backed Matt Bevin was sent by God to unseat Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY), claimed talk show host Glenn Beck during a campaign event for the Republican challenger.
Beck told conservative activists Saturday afternoon at FreePAC Kentucky that Bevin was the answer to their prayers.
“I will tell you I met the guys you had speaking. Some of them I’ve met several times,” Beck said. “Matt Bevin, I have not met. I’ve talked to him several times and I had a good feeling. But I am telling you, I believe that man was called of God.”
Tea Party favorite Tim Donnelly, who holds a big lead among the Republicans running for governor in the latest Field Poll, is unapologetic about delivering what he labeled a “call to action” in a 2006 speech in which he likened taking steps against illegal immigration to warfare.
“The truth is, people will respect you if you stick to your guns,” Donnelly said in an interview Tuesday at a Republican event in San Francisco. “The only thing they’ll forgive you for is passion in the defense of liberty.”
Donnelly addressed reports Tuesday in the Los Angeles Times, which detailed a 2006 speech on illegal immigration that he delivered in Temecula (Riverside County) as a founder of the California Minutemen, a self-styled border patrol.
“I am a descendant of Jim Bowie, who died at the Alamo,” Donnelly said back then. “It is rumored that he took a dozen Mexican soldiers to their deaths before they finally killed him. How many of you will rise up and take his place on that wall?”
An ad from a PAC headed by tea party Republican Sharron Angle relies on several dubious comparisons to attack the Affordable Care Act’s state-run exchange in Nevada.
The ad claims Nevada’s exchange “has brought the highest increase in premiums in the country” — 179 percent. The claim relies on an analysis from a conservative think tank that purports to compare pre- and post-ACA insurance rates on the individual market, but the state’s Department of Insurance says the comparison is not “fair” or “accurate.”
The on-screen text claims that the Nevada exchange offers “33 percent of the benefits of the federal exchange.” All exchange plans — regardless of whether offered on state-based or federally run marketplace exchanges — are required to cover the same set of essential health benefits.
The ad claims enrollment in the exchange has been far less than what was “projected, and needed.” Enrollment has, indeed, fallen short of initial goals, and even the more modest goals reset in February, but exchange officials say the program is “sustainable” with the current enrollment.
More: Silver State Slipups
Obamacare, the United Nations’ Agenda 21, the National Defense Authorization Act. All of these things appear to be linked, in the mind of North Carolina GOP Senate candidate Greg Brannon, a global conspiracy “to control you, to control me, to control life.”
He also seems to believe his kidney disease might be the result of a flu vaccination.
BuzzFeed flagged Brannon’s 2012 comments during a local radio interview. Brannon, a physician, is running as the tea party alternative to North Carolina House Speaker Thom Tillis, who has been the presumed frontrunner for the GOP nomination. A March 11 poll from the Democratic-leaning Public Policy Polling found Brannon and Tillis tied at 14 percent to lead the Republican primary field.
For the uninitiated, Agenda 21 is a non-binding UN plan regarding sustainable development that is the subject of numerous fringe conspiracy theories. Glenn Beck, for instance, wrote a dystopian novel about it, and Beck’s news site, The Blaze, has warned readers that it could lead to a one-world government.
Democratic primary voters in some Montana legislative districts will see new and unfamiliar names on the ballot this year. That’s because at least eight Democratic candidates are actually far-right “constitutionalists” and Tea Party activists. One of them is the current Republican vice-chairman for Sanders County. Two of the others have turned out to be homeless.
Most of the activity has occurred in Gallatin County, where Bozeman is the main population center and county seat. The county is home not only to Montana State University but also a variety of extremist elements. Key members of the radical Montana Freemen group were active there in the 1990s.
Chief among the new crop of candidates is Michael Comstock, a well-known local Tea Party activist and antigovernment “Patriot” movement organizer who has run previously as a Republican. This year, he filed to run in the Democratic primary for the state Senate seat in District 24, a seat currently held by Republican incumbent Roger Webb, who is running for re-election.
Comstock claimed during an interview with KCFW-TV in Bozeman that he’s a mainstream Democrat in the tradition of John F. Kennedy and Montana icon Mike Mansfield, and more mainstream than his primary opponent, Democratic activist and educator April Buonamici. But as the blogger Montana Cowgirl observed in her posts calling out Comstock and the other candidates, no one in Bozeman who knows Comstock is fooled by this, since he has been a colorful figure on the local political scene for many years:
Comstock’s main focus is his concern about a possible takeover by ‘a one-world UN controlled government,’ the Bozeman Chronicle has reported. In his campaign literature and on Facebook, he says he is worried about the impending collapse of civilization. He proudly calls himself ‘a Tea Party extremist’ and believes the Muppets have ‘sold out to socialism and bad behavior.’
A Montana Human Rights Network profile of Comstock published in a 2012 newsletter noted that he is a prolific author of letters to the local newspaper editors, where his views have been well noted:
In 2003, he complained that ‘women and minorities get a free leg up on this white male [Comstock]’ when it came to employment. He’s also advocated getting rid of the minimum wage, which he called a ‘relic of our socialist past.’ He claimed the devastation in New Orleans following Hurricane Katrina was ‘directly attributed to 100 years of corrupt liberal politics.’ In another letter about Katrina, he complained that the media gave too much credence to the ‘rantings of opportunistic race-baiting leftists.’ He said statistics proved more focus should have been on white victims. While ‘blacks did constitute the majority of deaths,’ Comstock wrote, ‘proportional to their represented numbers, whites suffered the most deaths.’
HURR HURR DEMOCRATS IS TEH RACISTS!!!!!!!
The Bleach Blonde From Hell reminds us once again how ugly and bigoted her world is. CPAC is where Democracy Goes To Die. Ann Fugly states her case. Don’t step in it.
“I think [women] should be armed but should not vote…women have no capacity to understand how money is earned. They have a lot of ideas on how to spend it…it´s always more money on education, more money on child care, more money on day care.” - AC 2001