Republicans are always saying how much they love freedom. But when it comes to your freedom to access information–or make decisions about your own body that they don’t agree with–they aren’t actually for it at all.
Take the Alaska Republican who had Ms. Magazine removed from a local grocery store so that local shoppers would no longer be able to make up their own minds about the magazine’s content. The GOP objects to the feminist magazine because it supports reproductive health and the right to privacy for women.
As Jeanne Devon writes for The Mudflats:
It all makes one wish he were bright enough to appreciate concepts like irony and hypocrisy. Of course he supports “firearm freedom” on the local university campus, and “school choice” when it comes to public education dollars going to religious schools. But the freedom and choice of shoppers to decide for themselves which magazines they’d like to purchase? Not so much.
Here in Montana, groups like the Montana Family Foundation have recruited a whole slate of candidates who claim to love freedom but support policies which will take freedom away from Montanans. These candidates are running to oppose the right to privacy for women, to oppose the freedom of Montana adults to marry, to censor scientific information in public school classrooms, and to take your tax dollars to subsidize sectarian schools which support censorship when it comes to things Republicans don’t want people to know, such as the existence of fossils.
Here are some of these candidates who are running for legislature on the GOP ticket:
In Billings Senate District 24, the Montana leader of the so-called “Concerned Women of America,” Montana chapter, Tonya Shellnut, has filed to run against democratic Senator Kendall Van Dyk.
But for those not yet familiar with this highly credible organization, according to the watchdog group Right Wing Watch, the Concerned Women for America are very concerned that health care reform violates each and every single one of the Ten Commandments, that gays are discriminatory bullies who hate American democracy, that climate change science is a conspiracy against poor people, and that President Obama wants communists to control America’s children.
In Livingston House District 60, the Family Foundation’s lobbyist and leading school censorship proponent Debra Lamm is running against democratic Rep. Reilly Neill.
Lamm wants censorship because she claims (as the School Administrators of Montana point out) that higher standards for reading and math are connected to the workings of “the United Nations, UNESCO, the ‘New World Order,’ Marxism, Globalism, Islam, etc.” and that the new, better standards are the culmination “of an envisioned future of ’dominant elites’ who have been working behind the scenes for over 100 years to ensure its adoption.” The Family Foundation and its anti-illuminati cohorts also believe that celebrating bigotry and taking away Montanans’ freedoms by importing stale, greasy fast food from hundreds of miles away is a good idea.
Sen. Scott Boulanger R-Darby pictured left with the infamous bullet-ridden Obama outhouse, is running against in a GOP primary against Rep. Pat Connell. Boulanger was one of ten Republicans who actually voted to take freedoms away from Montanans by keeping being gay an imprisonable offense in Montana. Voters in the area have already picked Pat Connell over Boulanger once before, when Boulanger ran for house in 2012. Boulanger lost, and the only reason he’s in office now is because he was appointed by the Ravalli County Republican Central Committee after another legislator was elected to the Public Service Commission.
Ronalee Skees is another anti-freedom for women candidate on the GOP ticket. Skees works for Hope Pregnancy Ministries [screenshot] as the so-called crisis pregnancy center’s Resource Director.
A crisis pregnancy center, in case you aren’t familiar with them yet, is basically a fake doctor’s office run by an anti-choice organization which poses as a medical clinic to get pregnant women seeking abortions or medical care in the door. Once women are inside, the staffers often then give women a Walmart pregnancy test out of the box and make them watch films with fake claims about the evils of abortion. There are all kinds of horror stories about these places, and there are several in operation in Montana. Some states have passed “truth in advertising” laws the prohibit these places from posing as medical clinics.Anyway, as the Montana Human Rights Network’s researchers report, “In 2010 white supremacist April Gaede solicited donations for Hope Pregnancy Ministries.”Even if you haven’t heard of April Gaede, you’ve probably heard of her twin daughters, Lamb and Lynx, who used to have a white power musical group called Prussian Blue. The two girls have been referred to as the “Nazi Pop Twins,” the Human Rights Network reports. The Southern Poverty Law Center calls Gaede “a neo-Nazi stage mom” and includes a picture with her profile.
Gaede has posted on the white supremacist website Stormfront that she‘s given to Hope Pregnancy Ministries in the past, and that she believes giving money to that organization is a good way to “help save White babies.” I won’t link to Stormfront, nor should anyone. As MHRN reports:
Gaede‘s posting continued by saying she has ―personally met many of these people (Ministries‘ staff). She told her peers to tell staff members that they were supporters of Stormfront, the white supremacist website where Gaede made her request, when making a donation. She included the mailing address and website address for the Ministries.
Gaede encouraged her fellow white supremacists to send funds, because “our local population is over 95% White so they would be ―pretty much guaranteed to be helping to save White babies.”
Recall that Zachary Klundt, the man charged with four felonies in connection with the vandalism of a women’s clinic in Kalisepell is the son of a woman named Twyla Klundt, who is on the board of Hope Pregnancy Ministries.
Ronalee Skees is the wife of Derek Skees, the former TEA Party Republican legislator and nullification nutjob from the Flathead who proudly marched in a Memorial day parade wearing the confederate flag and is running this year for the Public Service Commission, which regulates utilities in Montana. Skees was profiled in TIME magazine because he has been trying to make himself into a national figure in the ultra-right wing crowd.
Marissa Stockton has filed for office in Helena’s SD 42. Stockton is a former Steve Daines employee who has testified in the Montana legislature against the right to privacy and in favor of repealing women’s freedom to make their own medical decisions.
The deadline for candidates to file for office today, when we’ll know how many GOP candidates have filed who claim to love freedom but support policies to take it away.