Archive for the ‘Cathie Adams’ Category

Bashing Gays for Votes

February 24, 2012

How quickly they turn on you. Tom Leppert won his 2007 race for Dallas mayor after supporters attacked his main opponent for being gay. Now Leppert is under attack by his opponents in the race for a U.S. Senate seat for “celebrating gay pride” while he served as mayor.

On Wednesday Leppert and other Republican candidates for the seat of retiring U.S. Senator Kay Baily Hutchison participated in a debate sponsored by the right-wing Eagle Forum at the Dallas Country Club. Among the candidates at the debate were Texas Solicitor General Ted Cruz, ESPN sports analyst Craig James and Driftwood mediator Lela Pittenger. Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst, who is also seeking the Senate seat, didn’t attend.

Leppert’s opponents criticized him for (gasp!) attending two gay pride parades when he was Dallas mayor. According to the Dallas Morning News, Cruz argued that Leppert’s participation in the events sent a wrong message to the public:

“When the mayor of a city chooses twice to march in a parade celebrating gay pride, that’s a statement. It’s not a statement I believe in.”

James moved beyond just criticizing Leppert and insisted that sexual orientation is a “choice.” From the Dallas Morning News story:

James, a rancher and former NFL player, said Leppert could have made a stronger stand for Christians by skipping the events. James said he would never take part in a gay rights parade.

“Our moral fiber is sliding down a slope that’s going to be hard to stop if we don’t stand up with leaders who don’t ride in gay parades,” he said. “I hear what you’re saying, Tom, but our kids out there need to see examples. … I know you’re a Christian. I’m not doubting you, Tom, but, man, you have to stand up.”

James went on to say that being gay was not innate.

“It’s a choice,” just as people choose to be in same-sex relationships, he said. “You have to make that choice.”

“God’s going to judge each one of us in this room for our actions,” he said. “But in that case right there, they are going to have to answer to the Lord for their actions.”

Leppert argued that he was just as opposed to gay marriage as the other candidates, but he defended his actions as mayor:

Leppert, who appeared visibly angry, said he marched in the parades because he was the mayor of all the city’s citizens. “My job as mayor was to represent everybody in this city. I visited groups that didn’t agree with what I said. I talked to groups that I didn’t agree with what they said, but it was my obligation to represent everybody,” he said.

“My role as a Christian is to reach out and touch everybody,” Leppert said. “I wish I could have made stands only when I was in a courtroom, but I didn’t. I was criticized time and time again for showing my faith and being open with it” while mayor.

Leppert won his mayoral run-off election in 2007 against openly gay Councilmember Ed Oakley. Cathie Adams, then and now the rabidly anti-gay president of Texas Eagle Forum, was particularly outspoken in her opposition to Oakley. She sent out an email to right-wing activists begging them to “PLEASE vote FOR Tom Leppert for Mayor!” Just days before the run-off election, Adams told the Houston Chronicle:

“Does Dallas want to be famous for having a lesbian sheriff and a homosexual mayor to compete with San Francisco? I don’t think that is where Dallas is going,” said Cathie Adams, leader of the conservative Texas Eagle Forum.

She said Oakley, who sits on the board of a company that operates four gay bars, has been low-key about it but “will push a gay agenda in every arena he can push it.”

Now, less than five years later, Leppert finds himself criticized for walking alongside gay folks after his election.

Advertisements

Testing a Conspiracy Theory

February 8, 2012

Texas Education Commissioner Robert Scott raised eyebrows last month when he and State Board of Education members engaged in a discussion of the intense focus on testing students. Scott, an appointee of Gov. Rick Perry, called the overemphasis on testing at the state and local level a “perversion” of what accountability proponents had intended.

You might be surprised to know that religious-right groups also haven’t been big fans of state standardized tests. But over-testing hasn’t been their concern. We found in our files a Dallas Morning News article from March 5, 1996, (“Criticism about TAAS puzzles some officials,” no link) about opposition to the state’s standardized test at the time. Here’s an excerpt:

Kelly Shackelford of the Rutherford Institute says many of his clients think the tests are really a tool for “liberal, educratic elitists” who want to monitor students’ values and undercut their religious beliefs.

For example, in 1992 a state-administered test used a reading passage and graphs on the number of followers of different religions around the world. The parents complained that the question was designed to make all religions look equal, therefore undermining their children’s Christian beliefs.

They are also concerned that the questions ask children for their personal beliefs and that those beliefs may then be used against the students if they don’t conform to educators’ values.

“These questions are being asked in a secretive atmosphere,” Mr. Shackelford said. “A lot of people think it’s an attempt by these folks … to use the government to affect the minds of students and their belief systems.”

Some parents are afraid that the state is using opinion questions to spy on their children.

“Whoever has access to these students’ tests is of great concern to parents,” said [Cathie] Adams of the Texas Eagle Forum. “How do we know it’s not going to be shared with businesses? If a child has emotional problems when he’s 10 and he goes to apply to work at a large corporation when he’s 21, they’ll have his whole history.”

Have mercy. Tests are the secretive tools of “liberal, educratic elitists” engaged in anti-Christian, mind-controlling, school-corporate conspiracies? We’re kind of disappointed that Shackelford and Adams didn’t warn parents about the black helicopters delivering those subversive tests to schools across Texas.

You want to know what’s really scary? Shackelford — now head of Liberty Institute, the Texas affiliate of Focus on the Family — and Adams — once again head of Texas Eagle Forum and recently chair of the Texas Republican Party — continue to wield political influence over Gov. Perry and substantially more than a few state lawmakers.

Cathie Adams Is Back!

January 23, 2012

Texas Eagle Forum today announced that its current president, Pat Carlson, is stepping down because she is seeking election to the Texas House of Representatives. (We reported about Carlson’s House run here.)

Her replacement is Cathie Adams, who had served as TEF’s president until she became chair of the Texas Republican Party in fall 2009. But Adams wasn’t too popular among Republican activists — she lost her post as state party chair in 2010.

Adams is one of the most extreme voices on the far right in Texas today. How extreme? Let’s take a walk down memory lane.

– Adams sees religious diversity as a threat to this country. From an October 1999 TEF letter:

“(W)e must place our faith in the ONE true God, then humble ourselves, pray and seek Him and repent for our sins. Then God will forgive us and heal our land. Do you think that a jealous God will tolerate ‘religious pluralism’ and allow us to come to Him any way we please? Absolutely not!”

– Adams believes that the United Nations is paving the way for the “anti-Christ.”

From a 2000 TEF letter:

“The Bible tells us that in the end times there will be a world government headed by a world leader, called the anti-Christ, who will profess a world religion, but did you ever think you would live in the day when these things would come into being? That is exactly what the United Nations is doing behind the backs of most Americans.”

From a January 1999 TEF newsletter:

“In the future, the anti-Christ will use the pleas for human rights, economic equity and a promise to ‘end all wars’ to found global government. . . . God is not the author of global government, the anti-Christ is, and the UN conspicuously manifests his warmongering spirit.”

– Adams has compared President Obama to Adolf Hitler, suggesting that a speech to American students was “eerily like Hitler’s youth movement.”

– In an e-mail to far-right activists in 2008, Adams viciously attacked the faith of then-candidate Obama (page 40):

“While many question Barak [sic] Hussein Obama’s ‘religion’…, the more important question is whether he has a ‘relationship’ with Jesus Christ because that is the only HOPE that any of us have to obtain eternal life. I personally see NO evidence that Obama has that kind of ‘saving faith.'”

Adams is an anti-science zealot.

Criticizing evolution in an October 2003 email to TEF activists during the Texas State Board of Education’s debate over proposed new science textbooks:

“Did you evolve from an ape or were you created by God? This is NOT a rhetorical question. Your child or grandchild WILL be taught according to what you choose now.”

(more…)

Living in the Past

October 26, 2010

Eagle Forum — whose founder, Phyllis Schlafly, the Texas State Board of Education added to curriculum standards for public school social studies classes this year — doesn’t orbit the fringes of the right just on issues like opposition to evolutionary science and gay rights. No, the group is also still fighting the Cold War, which ended nearly two decades ago. And Cathie Adams, the former Texas Republican Party chair and former Texas Eagle Forum president, is leading the group’s march back to the past.

(more…)

Too Extreme for Texas Republicans?

June 14, 2010

Less than a year. That’s how long Cathie Adams, former head of the far-right group Texas Eagle Forum, lasted as chair of the Texas Republican Party. At their state convention in Dallas on Saturday, Republicans replaced Adams with Houston attorney Steve Munisteri.

The State Republican Executive Committee elected Adams as party chair last October. At the time, we noted just how extreme Adams’ political positions are. She has questioned the personal faith of political opponents, such as former Texas Gov. Ann Richards and President Obama. She has suggested that the United Nations was bringing us to the biblical “end times.” She advocates positions that threaten religious freedom and mixes anti-science and peculiar anti-government paranoia on issues involving education, the environment and public health. Adams was also an unhinged anti-Clinton fanatic in the 1990s and is rabidly and venomously anti-gay.

Of course, we shouldn’t assume too much here about whether her replacement is any better. Much of Munisteri’s campaign for party chair focused on concerns such as party financial problems and other administrative issues involving Adams’ short term as chair. Adams’ divisive stands on “culture war” issues really weren’t at issue (at least not directly). Indeed, Republican convention delegates who elected Munisteri (who helped found Young Conservatives of Texas) appear to have also approved a party platform as far to the right as other state GOP manifestos in recent years. We’ll have more on that soon.

Hypocrisy and Cathie Adams

March 16, 2010

Remember when we warned you about the extremist politics of Cathie Adams? When the former head of the far-right Texas Eagle Forum was named chair of the Texas Republican Party last fall, we noted her shameful attacks in the past on President Obama’s faith, Hispanic immigrants and former Texas Gov. Ann Richards. Now she’s got the Texas GOP, in an e-mail to activists today, charging that congressional Democrats are violating the Constitution if they use a specific parliamentary maneuver to pass health care reform in the U.S. House. Problem for Adams’ and the other folks at the Texas GOP: Republicans used the same procedure to pass legislation 35 times the last time they controlled Congress in 2005-06. Oops.

TFN has no position on health care reform legislation pending in Congress, but we have noted the hysterical attacks from the far right. So here’s some unsolicited advice for Adams: if you’re going to accuse someone of breaking the law (or worse, violating the Constitution), make sure your own side hasn’t done the same thing numerous times. Otherwise, you’ll get a reputation for problems with hypocrisy. Just sayin’.

The UN Is Coming to Get Your Guns!

February 6, 2010

Friday’s “Republican Party of Texas Update” e-mail puts party Chair Cathie Adams’ bizarre worries on display once again. The Update notes Adams’ activities while attending the Republican National Committee Winter Meeting. Among them:

“Chairman Adams sponsored a resolution reaffirming the American right to bear arms, in the face of threats eminating from international bodies like the Organization of American States and the United Nations.”

Huh?

So does Adams think the UN or the OAS is trying to take away Americans’ guns? Or is she worried about America’s imminent invasion by the two international organizations?

Well, her fellow Republicans didn’t seem to think her suggestion was weird. The e-mail notes that Adams’ resolution “passed without controversy.”

Hitler on the Brain

December 10, 2009

Is everybody at Texas Eagle Forum obsessed with Adolf Hitler? The far-right group’s former leader (and now Texas Republican Party chair) Cathie Adams infamously compared President Obama to Hitler in September. Now new TEF boss Pat Carlson is referring to Hitler in an e-mail to far-right activists in which she attacks the United Nations and mainstream science on climate change:

(more…)

Cathie Adams on Gay Americans

November 13, 2009

As we end (for now) our series of posts looking at extremist statements Cathie Adams has made over the years, we present some of what the new Texas Republican Party chair has said in the past about gay men and lesbians. She has been both contemptuous and absurdly contradictory in her statements about the right of gay and lesbian Americans to live free from hatred and discrimination.

(more…)

Cathie Adams on the Clintons

November 12, 2009

Next in our series on Cathie Adams, the new chair of the Texas Republican Party: her almost unhinged hatred for former President Bill Clinton and his wife, current Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. Far-right politicians, commentators and activists have targeted the Clintons with venomous attacks over the years. Adams has been no exception. She has even implied that the Clintons were somehow involved in the murder of former aides, particularly Vince Foster (whose death in 1993 was ruled a suicide by multiple authorities).

(more…)

Cathie Adams on Science and Public Health

November 11, 2009

Up next in our series on new Texas Republican Party Chairwoman Cathie Adams: her anti-science views and peculiar anti-government paranoia, even when it comes to bipartisan, common-sense measures dealing with public health and children.

(more…)

Already Looking to Dump Cathie Adams?

November 11, 2009

Are Texas Republicans already looking to dump Cathie Adams, the state party’s newly appointed chair? Gardner Selby of the Austin American-Statesman writes that Adams already has an opponent in next year’s June election for party chair: Tom Mechler of Amarillo. He reports that former Texas GOP chair George Strake is backing Mechler’s bid to replace Adams when the party meets at its June convention.

Selby notes that some Republicans are concerned that Adams is too “sharp-edged.” That’s putting it mildly. Adams can barely open her mouth without some extremist nonsense tumbling out of it. She has even compared President Obama to Adolf Hitler. Strake says he hopes Adams will decide not to seek a full term as chair in June:

“We can’t afford the luxury of a blood bath right now. We’ve got to regroup, reorganize and get on down the road. We’re in a battle for survival right now.”

The developing civil war between traditional conservatives and far-right extremists in the Texas GOP should be interesting to watch.

Cathie Adams on Religious Freedom

November 10, 2009

We continue our look at the extremist statements that Cathie Adams, the new chair of the Texas Republican Party, has made over the years. Today we look at Adams’ alarming views about religious freedom in America. She seems to agree that Americans are free to worship as they choose, but she wants government to make it clear whose religious beliefs are better than all the others.

(more…)

Cathie Adams on the United Nations

November 7, 2009

We have spent the last couple of weeks combing through our files on Cathie Adams. Ms. Adams headed the far-right Texas Eagle Forum for 16 years until her appointment as Texas Republican Party chair in October. She has had plenty to say over the years, much of it ranging from bizarre and kooky to vicious and truly offensive. We have already reported on some of that here and here. But we thought you’d like to see more pearls of wisdom from Ms. Adams — after all, she now heads the political party that controls every statewide elected office in Texas.

We’ll continue this series over the next week or so, but let’s start with Ms. Adams’ loathing for the United Nations and her warnings about “one world” government. Adams’ rhetoric has made her sound much like the wild-eyed fanatics who spent the 1990s shouting about the UN’s “black helicopters” and “jack-booted thugs” terrorizing Americans and destroying freedom. She mixes that strain of extremist paranoia with a hefty dose of “end times” theology as well.

(more…)

Talking Points

October 29, 2009

From today’s TFN News Clips:

“This was not a full representation of Republicans in the state of Texas, and it’s disappointing to me that the vote occurred with no discussion and was done by secret ballot. In fact, what’s happened is we’ve set the party back five years.”

— Jonathan Neerman, chair of the Dallas County GOP, talking about the appointment of Cathie Adams — head of the far-right Texas Eagle Forum — as new Texas Republican Party chair

Stay informed with TFN News Clips, a daily digest of news on issues involving the religious right, religious freedom, civil liberties and public education. Subscribe here.