Is That A Rainbow I See Dripping All Over Your Target Audience?
Today, Tom Emmer, a vociferous anti-Gay policitan and recipient of Target Corp. political monies, who is running in the Minnesota gubernatorial Republican primary, has announced he is re-oganizing his campaign; long-time advisor Tom Mason has left, according to an article in the Minnesota Star Tribune.
Following the Supreme Court’s landmark Citizen’s United vs. Federal Election Commission decision that was handed down earlier this year, Corporations and labor unions are allowed to contribute directly to political campaigns—to people and issues.
The Executives of Target might be wishing they hadn’t given $150,000 in campaign contributions to MN Forward (which says its focus is the creation of jobs—but gave the money and philosophical endorsement to Tom Emmer), but most observers feel that Target is just sorry it got caught.
And despite that Target Corp. money, Emmer has been struggling to raise funds for his campaign against a backlash of raising the ire of cafeteria workers whose wages, he said, should be changed (lowered), and the GLBT community, who consider his receipt of Target Corporation money via the MN Forward group, to be a double slap in the face.
Additionally, blogger Abe Sauer of The Awl, has been digging deeply into Emmer’s political history, his tendency to ‘misspeak,’ the legislation he has sponsored or backed, and his right-wing political associations and affiliation.
While the Human Rights Campaign earlier called for Target to make equal donations to gay rights organizations, MoveOn.org is gaining nationwide momentum in its efforts to get Target to withdraw completely from the electoral process, something that Common Cause Minnesota has also requested of the company, urging it to enroll in Common Cause’s clean elections pledge.
The Emmer campaign expects to bring on a new campaign manager soon–and possibly a new campaign advisor, according to multiple Republican sources. “Tom Mason is going to step back,” said Bill Walsh, Emmer’s deputy campaign manager. He said Mason has been a “huge advisor” to the campaign since Emmer started running.
“This is a perfect time to do this,” said Mason, who said he spent 50 hours a week with the Emmer campaign last week (did Target call you? A lot?) and didn’t have the time to devote to it, given his other businesses.
Walsh also said the Emmer campaign has been working on expanding the team (no kidding!) and several Republican sources said that Emmer is looking to hire a campaign manager. One name mentioned is that of Cullen Sheehan, who managed former U.S. Sen. Norm Coleman’s 2008 campaign, although there is apparently no confirmation on that.
But what has this got to do with hard rock of the gospel variety? Quite a bit actually.
According to an article by Andy Birkey of the Minnesota Independent, both Emmer and Michelle Bachman have something extremely disturbing in common. On May 25, 2010, Birkey linked both politicians to Bradlee Dean frontman for You Can Run But You Cannot Hide hard rock gospel ministry. Birkey said:
You Can Run But You Cannot Hide, Inc., a 501(c)3 nonprofit ministry that brings its hard rock gospel into public schools, has been deepening its long-running ties to the Republican Party of Minnesota. Long a cause célèbre for Rep. Michele Bachmann, who has twice lent her name to the group’s fundraising efforts, You Can Run (YCR) had a booth at the GOP convention in April, and the group’s frontman, Bradlee Dean, reports that gubernatorial candidate Tom Emmer recently accepted an invitation to visit with him at Dean’s home. But recent controversial statements by Dean — that Muslim countries calling for the execution of gays and lesbians are “more moral than even the American Christians” — have drawn the ire of some both within and outside the party.
“Muslims are calling for the executions of homosexuals in America,” Dean said on YCR’s May 15 radio show on AM 1280 the Patriot. “This just shows you they themselves are upholding the laws that are even in the Bible of the Judeo-Christian God, but they seem to be more moral than even the American Christians do, because these people are livid about enforcing their laws. They know homosexuality is an abomination.”
“The bottom line is this… they [homosexuals] play the victim when they are, in fact, the predator,” Dean said, before going on to make a claim that has no basis in fact: “On average, they molest 117 people before they’re found out. How many kids have been destroyed, how many adults have been destroyed because of crimes against nature?”
A statement from Emmer’s office originally said:
“Tom is not a donor to the You Can Run But You Cannot Hide ministry, and has never appeared as a spokesman at one of their fundraising events.”
A “clarification” was put out after the original statement. It said:
Emmer’s campaign acknowledges that Emmer’s Minnesota House campaign donated $250 to You Can Run in 2008; the campaign has alerted the Campaign Finance Board because the donation exceeded the legal limit by $150.
For his part, Bradlee Dean is screaming “Foul!” and insists Birkey has twisted his words, or, well, his meaning. Mr. Dean addressed the issue on his website, and here is what he said:
To my fellow Minnesotans,
I am a preacher who is deeply tired of seeing Americans roll over in the face of the social decline that is eradicating what hundreds of thousands of our veterans fought and died for – our freedom and our civility. It is my duty to honor these men and women; to live for the principles they died for. They did not die so we could lead the world in crime, drug use, immorality or political corruption.
Scripture refers to Christians as the light of the world for a reason (Matthew 5:14). I am, by God’s grace, continually pouring fuel (our Forefather’s intent) on our fire to make it burn as brightly as it can. Ours is a vision of one nation under God.
Over the last six months our radio program (“The Sons of Liberty” on AM1280 The Patriot), produced as a part of our ministry, has become more successful, and many in the drive by media have started to dissect everything we say in the hopes of finding something to mislead you about, something to spin, something to pervert.
There is a journalist in the Twin Cities – Mr. Andy Birkey of the Minnesota Independent — who habitually falsifies our message – a message that has a long and consistent history. For years we have spoken out about the sinfulness of the gay life style without ever suggesting that gays should be subject to any kind of repression, let alone violence, either by the state or any individual or group. We have made the Christian position clear and stated it consistently over the years: Homosexuals are sinners who, like all sinners, need to be loved and respected as human beings by the church with a view to their redemption and transition — just as heterosexuals who engage in fornication and adultery need to be admonished because of God’s love and the love he has given us for ourselves and others as sinners in need of a Redeemer (1 Corinthians 6:9). The media in Minnesota, even nationally, is very familiar with our message and its consistency. And so there is no excuse for lying about it — falsifying it by removing it from its total history and context. Birkey in particular is guilty of twisting the meaning of our ministry and suggesting that it is associated with people and ideologies we have specifically repudiated.
For example, we have specifically rejected, as all Christians do, the Islamic doctrine, and actual practice, of executing homosexuals. But some have claimed, in effect, that by merely mentioning the execution of homosexuals (as a criminal practice of Islam), on our radio broadcast, we have suggested it for consideration. Obviously this is absurd. The whole point was to contrast the Islamic position with the Christian position. This may not have been as clear as we would have otherwise planned it to be. Live radio is not scripted. But everyone who knows us knows that this is our position because we have stated it consistently for years – long before we ever discussed the topic on the radio. There are board members, and other supporters who can vouch for this. We have never and will never call for the execution of homosexuals. This is a complete misinterpretation by design.
On May 25, 2010 The Minnesota Independent published an article interpreting statements that I made on the radio, some of which clearly warned homosexuals that their life-style is sinful before God, as we warn all unrepentant sinners of every stripe that their sin problem has consequences for them and our society. All sinners, without the sacrifice of Christ, and without the acceptance of that sacrifice, are doomed to eternal separation from God. This is the last thing in the world we want happening to anyone, including homosexuals. When you love someone, you are willing to wrestle with them, as we wrestle with our children because we love them. We are not apathetic, not lazy about those whom we love. Both Jake and I were so very close to our own eternal separation from God and came to understand so vividly what an empty and frightening prospect that was, that we are sincerely petrified for anyone headed in that direction. We are sinners who have been liberated by Christ. And we want all sinners to be liberated by Christ. This process can only start when we admit in the first place that we are wrong. We are in a sinful condition.
Let me make this perfectly clear — again. We are opposed to the state, in any country, no matter what its religious tradition, in executing homosexuals. We are against anyone, anywhere, at any time, who executes homosexuals for being homosexual. We would hide them in our homes before we would allow that to happen. But we would preach at them while they were there.
The gay “movement” is part of a sexual revolution that has stripped sexuality of all moral significance for an entire generation. We cannot accept the physical prosecution of homosexuals and we cannot accept the proposal that homosexuality is either private or moral. Therefore, as Christians, we must wrestle with this human sin in order to preserve healthy, loving human sexuality for as many as possible. We must love the homosexual and preach to him. God must and will do the rest. We are content with our role.
Our position is not libertarian because we cannot accept the idea that sex is a private language. But we are not authoritarian because we do not believe that persecution is going help homosexuals.
But preaching is not persecution. The notion, promoted by liberals, that preaching — freedom of speech — is a form of coercion, is madness, and proves that the modern liberal, so often identical with the modern journalist, does not care about keeping people free – including homosexuals. When is the gay community going to wise up to the fact that it is nothing but a political opportunity to the liberals? Most liberals do not care about homosexuals. They care only for the political strategy they can build around the gay community; a strategy directed at reducing the influence of Christianity on government generally. It is nothing but a will to power, not a will to health and well being for real people.
Using an excerpt from our radio show, taken out of context, to suggest that I have called for the execution of homosexuals is not accurate, nor is it correct. I was not affirming Islamic law. I was contrasting its excesses with the approach of Christianity which recognizes both the law and grace. I have never said that homosexuals should be subject to any kind of violence. I oppose exercising any kind of violence on them.
I preach what my faith tells me to preach – out of authentic love and commitment to the eternal souls of each and every sinner. The media has twisted my remarks so irresponsibly, without calling me for correction or comment, as any competent journalist would have done. Given this statement, it is clear that if any media source were to slander this ministry’s position, we will have to take action and will be likely to succeed with it. It is time for the drive by media to start dealing honestly with dissent.
President and CEO
You Can Run International, Inc.
But Andy Birkey isn’t buying it. For his response, he provided a word for word transcript of the relevant part of Dean’s radio show, and provided a link to the YouTube audio for context.
Here is Birkey’s transcript from a portion of Dean’s May 15, 2010 radio show:
“Muslims are calling for the executions of homosexuals in America,” Dean said. “This just shows you they themselves are upholding the laws that are even in the Bible of the Judeo-Christian God, but they seem to be more moral than even the American Christians do, because these people are livid about enforcing their laws. They know homosexuality is an abomination.”
“If America won’t enforce the laws, God will raise up a foreign enemy to do just that,” Dean said later. “That is what you are seeing in America.”
“The bottom line is this… they [homosexuals] play the victim when they are, in fact, the predator. On average, they molest 117 people before they’re found out. How many kids have been destroyed, how many adults have been destroyed because of crimes against nature?”
Here’s the audio clip for context of his remarks.
So! It’s not very original for a band name, but it’s true as blue for a trite refrain: You can run, but you cannot hide!
The press in Minnesota is reporting that other corporations are beginning to contribute to elections, issues and candidates, and inasmuch as the Supreme Court has virtually declared a corporation is as legitimate a source for political funds as an individual, the list of corporate donors and their causes should prove interesting.