Friday, March 4, 2011

Brody's Notes... Gingrich Using Anti-Gay Evangelical Initiatives To Line Up Support

Newt Gingrich
By Mark Singer (Washington DC) MAR 4 | Former GOP House Speaker Newt Gingrich has been investing time and money into backing Anti-Gay Initiatives to gain the support of evangelicals as he positions himself for a potential run for the presidency in 2012.
An article published by the Los Angeles Times Wednesday reveals that Gingrich supplied backers of the successful removal campaign in Iowa last year to oust three Iowa Supreme Court justices who had ruled in favor of same-sex marriage rights in the state, $200,000.
"It wouldn't have happened without Newt," said David Lane, executive director of Iowa for Freedom, the organization that led the campaign. "Newt provided strategic advice and arranged the initial seed money, about $200,000, which is what got everything started."
The money came from an anonymous donor whose contribution was arranged by Gingrich, Lane said.
Robert L. Vander Plaats, chief spokesman for the judicial campaign, said the former speaker provided key strategic advice.  He said Gingrich had won over pastors in the state with his "open and transparent" approach.
Gingrich, who is twice-divorced and recently attacked President Barack Obama for the president's ordering the U. S. Justice Department to no longer defend section 3 of the Defense of Marriage Act, has come under heavy criticism for his perceived hypocrisy for his personal marriage infidelities, charges that Gingrich supporters such as Pastor Brad Sherman, who leads Solid Rock Christian Church in Coralville, Iowa answered with:
"Everybody brings up his past, but he's very open about that, and God is forgiving," said Sherman, who had lunch with Gingrich last fall during the Iowa campaign to remove the justices there.
Gingrich, a key strategist for the Republican Party and an influential voice in the conservative movement stacked the board of his religion-based nonprofit organization with evangelical leaders like Vivian Berryhill, the founder of the National Coalition of Pastors' Spouses. She told the Times that Gingrich helped her organization raise money for their projects on diabetes and teen sexual abstinence.
The former speaker has also set out to court supporters in critical states like California where  a key leader in getting Proposition 8 passed, Jim Garlow, pastor of Skyline Church in San Diego,  said that Gingrich is the "strongest possible candidate" for the 2012 Republican nomination.
Garlow who agreed to serve as chairman of Gingrich's faith-based nonprofit acknowledges that he has provided Gingrich with entree to evangelical circles nationwide.
According to the Times:
Garlow agreed to head ReAL after a private meeting at which Gingrich acknowledged his past marital failings and began to weep as he spoke of his love for his two daughters.
"In my bleakest days when I was doing wrong, I knew it was wrong," Garlow quoted Gingrich as saying. "There was no attempt to justify his actions."
Garlow's commentaries now appear regularly on the ReAL website, encouraging matrimony, exploring faith and linking economic positions such as ending deficit spending to biblical principles.
In private at least, it appears that Gingrich has been forthcoming about his infidelities and martial strife, however, when pressed on the issue publicly, he has shown signs of anger. During a recent speaking engagement at the University of Pennsylvania last month, a self identified Democratic student activist asked him how it was possible with his marital record he could square that against his goal of putting the nation on a higher moral plane. He testily responded by saying;
"I hope you feel better about yourself. I will be totally candid: I've had a life which, on occasion, has had problems. I believe in a forgiving God. … If the primary concern of the American people is my past, my candidacy would be irrelevant."
Yesterday Gingrich announced formation of a new website seen as yet another calculated move towards launching a 2010 campaign:
"We are excited about exploring whether there is sufficient support for my potential candidacy for president of this exceptional country."
There are those who are watching Gingrich has he positions his possible run by courting the evangelicals who caution that it will be a difficult process:
"Gingrich should be considered a "long shot" because some evangelical voters are wary of the fact that he was twice divorced before his current marriage, said Merle Black, political science professor at Emory University in Atlanta."
Some prominent evangelical leaders agreed that Gingrich still had significant work to do before getting their vote.
"There's a feeling that Newt understands how important social conservatives are to winning the coalition, but that it's our issues that are on the back of the bus when it comes to what he would do as president. The speaker is going to have to convince people on that."


Desmond Rutherford said...

"God is forgiving?" Must be a right wing thing. I thought we are all supposed to burn in hell. Oh wait, I get it, God is forgiving if you are a right wing bigot. If you are gay, you burn, or so they say.

I really do not want to think that this man could be elected President by a majority of the US people. You guys really need to invest in compulsory voting so that the real majority does the electing.
If compulsory voting is not acceptable then extend the capitalist system to pay each voter for their vote. $5 should do it, -might even make the Federal government popular.