Trump To Select Washington Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers for Interior Secretary?

Several media outlets are reporting that President-elect Donald Trump will select Washington State Congresswoman Cathy McMorris Rodgers to serve as Secretary of the Interior.  McMorris Rodgers, from Spokane, has served in Congress since 2004 and is the current chair of the House Republican Conference. She is the fourth-ranking Republican in the House of Representatives.

This appointment would also impact the Washington State legislature; it is expected that several Republican state legislators would be interested in filling her vacant congressional seat in a special election that would take place next November.

To date, State Senator Michael Baumgartner and State Representative Matt Shea, both Republicans, have indicated their intent to run for the seat if McMorris Rodgers gets an appointment

Spokane City Council President Ben Stuckart, a Democrat, has already announced his candidacy for the seat in next November’s special election.

If the appointment is confirmed, McMorris Rodgers would be the second member of Trump’s cabinet from Eastern Washington.  Gen. James Mattis, who has been appointed to serve as Defense Secretary, was born in Pullman and graduated from Richland High School and Central Washington University.

Updated at 6:00 am 12/10/16

Why Washington State Didn’t Follow America’s Lead

Following this week’s elections, FPIW’s Joseph Backholm, Zach Freeman, and Chris Plante sat down to talk about why Washington State’s elections didn’t go as well for conservatives as other elections did nationally.

It all comes down to one thing: high voter turnout in Western Washington, and low voter turnout in Central and Eastern Washington. Listen here:

10 Reasons Trump’s Election Could Be Good for Social Conservatives

So guess what? That guy with the bad hair who yells “you’re fired” at people on the Apprentice? Yeah. He just got elected President.

While the reactions are mixed across the political spectrum, the result could be good news for social conservatives across the country.

Here are ten reasons social conservatives (whether you voted for him or not) have some reason for optimism.

  1. Planned Parenthood can be defunded. The House and Senate both passed legislation to defund Planned Parenthood that was vetoed by President Obama. Trump has said he would sign legislation if it came to his desk which would require Planned Parenthood to go fund themselves.
  1. The Supreme Court will not be stacked with progressives. When Justice Antonin Scalia died, it left a vacancy on the court that remains unfilled. If Hillary Clinton had nominated Scalia’s replacement, the harm to the First Amendment and life could have been devastating. However, if President-elect Trump follows through on his commitment to nominate an originalist justice to the bench, it will likely mean good things for civil liberties and the protection of the unborn.
  1. ObamaCare can be repealed. Multiple times, Congress passed legislation to repeal ObamaCare along with its promotion of abortion and multiple threats to conscience rights. President Obama, however, was in no mood to repeal legislation that is the foundation of his legacy. President-elect Trump has promised repeatedly to repeal ObamaCare and will begin his term with Congressional leadership that has repeatedly shown a willingness to do so.
  1. The open bathroom mandate can be removed. Earlier this year, President Obama issued a memo telling every school district in the country that they would lose education funding unless they forced the girls in their schools to share showers and locker rooms with boys who believe they are girls. A new memo from a new President can eliminate this threat as quickly as it was created.
  1. The Health and Human Service Mandate can be repealed: After ObamaCare was passed, the Department of Health and Human Services issued a mandate that requires all employer health plans to provide free contraceptives, sterilizations and abortion-inducing drugs, regardless of any moral or religious objections. This is the mandate that put Little Sisters of the Poor, a nunnery, at odds with the federal government because they did not want to pay for contraceptives. However, since this mandate was simply an agency directive rather than an act of Congress, a new directive from new agency leadership can solve the problem quickly.
  1. The Hyde Amendment will not be repealed. The Hyde Amendment prohibits the use of federal funds for abortion and the abortion industry has wanted to get rid of it for decades. Secretary Clinton had promised to do her best to get rid of the Hyde Amendment if elected. However, with pro-life majorities in Congress and the White House, the Hyde Amendment looks to be very safe.
  1. The Johnson Amendment can be repealed. For years, churches in America have lived under threat of IRS punishment if they did or said something “political”. This is because in 1954, then Senator Lyndon B. Johnson passed a rule prohibiting religious 501(c)3 organizations from engaging in “electioneering”.   While the threat is largely a paper tiger (no church has ever lost their tax exempt status for saying something about politics) it remains a source of great confusion in religious communities. During the campaign, Mr. Trump promised to repeal the Johnson Amendment to clarify that churches are free to speak and act according to their faith without fear of IRS reprisal.
  1. Hope for the Pain-Capable Abortion Act. Earlier this year, Congress passed the Pain Capable Abortion act making it illegal to kill a baby who is capable of feeling pain after 20 weeks gestation. While Trump has not made a public statement about this legislation specifically, it is difficult to imagine him using a veto on it if it were to pass Congress.
  1. Hope for the First Amendment Defense Act (FADA). Earlier this year, legislation was introduced in Congress that would prohibit the government from discriminating against people because of their beliefs. The legislation is necessary because people like Chief Kelvin Cochran are increasingly being fired from public sector jobs simply because of their beliefs. FADA was well received in Congress but almost certain to be vetoed in a Clinton Administration. Now, it has a very real chance.
  1. Protecting Religious Education. This year in California, progressives attempted to pass legislation that would cut off religious institutions from access to federal loans or aid because of their beliefs about marriage, gender, and sexuality. If that effort was successful at the federal level, estimates are that sixty percent of Christian universities would be forced to close their doors.   While state battles around this issue are likely to continue, yesterday’s election results all but guarantee this assault on religious education is no longer imminent at the federal level.

One election does not solve our cultural or political challenges, but for social conservatives who have been wandering in the wilderness for eight years, there is reason for optimism.

But do not be naïve enough to believe the work is over now that the election is over. Political pressures will once again pressure those who talked a good game during campaign season to take the path of least resistance during legislating season.

As the saying goes, if it is to be, it is up to me. Let’s make it happen.

2016 Washington State Elections Results

Aside from the national implications, much is on the line here in Washington State tonight.

The Washington Secretary of State’s office has announced the first round of results from tonight’s elections, giving us our first look.  These numbers are not final.  Votes from drop-off and mail-in ballots will continue to be counted in the coming days.

Statewide Offices

Governor’s Race

Bryant, Bill (R) – 848,681 (43.68%)

Inslee, Jay (D) – 1,094,123 (56.32%)

 

Lieutenant Governor’s Race

Habib, Cyrus (D) – 1,051,024 (55.81%)

McClendon, Marty (R) – 832,186 (44.19%)

 

State Auditor

McCarthy, Patrice (D) – 998,802 (54.03%)

Miloscia, Mark (R) – 849,758 (45.97%)

 

Attorney General

Ferguson, Robert (D) – 1,248,789 (69.23%)

Trumbull, Joshua (R) – 555,038 (30.77%)

 

Secretary of State

Podlodowski, Tina (D) – 884,471 (46.86%)

Wyman, Kim (R) – 1,003,067 (53.14%)

 

Treasurer

Davidson, Duane (R) – 958,664 (58.64%)

Waite, Michael (R) – 676,078 (41.36%)

 

Insurance Commissioner

Kreidler, Mike (D) – 1,102,232 (60.04%)

Schrock, Richard (R) – 733,627 (39.96%)

 

Commissioner of Public Lands

Franz, Hilary (D) – 1,018,495 (54.90%)

McLaughlin, Steve (R) – 836,703 (45.10%)

 

Superintendent of Public Instruction

Jones, Erin – 784,961 (48.84%)

Reykdal, Chris – 822,184 (51.16%)

District Battleground Senate Races

5th District – Senate

Magendanz, Chad (R) – 20,525 (46.62%)

Mullet, Mark (D) – 23,499 (53.38%)

 

17th District – Senate

Probst, Tim (D) – 20,305 (45.94%)

Wilson, Lynda (R) – 23,895 (54.06%)

 

24th District – Senate

Turissini, Danille (R) – 21,281 (41.26%)

Van De Wege, Kevin (D) – 30,292 (58.74%)

 

28th District – Senate

O’Ban, Steve (R) – 15,309 (52.33%)

Peloquin, Marisa (D) – 13,947 (47.67%)

 

41st District – Senate

Litzow, Steve (R) – 19,531 (44.85%)

Wellman, Lisa (D) – 24,015 (55.15%)

 

District Battleground House Races

 

5th District – House, Seat 2

Burner, Darcy (D) – 21,654 (49.70%)

Graves, Paul (R) – 21,912 (50.30%)

 

17th District – House, Seat 1

Kim, Sam (D) – 21,748 (49.45%)

Kraft, Vicki (R) – 22,229 (50.55%)

 

26th District – House, Seat 1

Seaquist, Larry (D) – 18,617 (45.13%)

Young, Jesse (R) – 22,639 (54.87%)

 

28th District – House, Seat 2

Kilduff, Christine (D) – 15,980 (55.04%)

Wagemann, Paul (R) – 13,052 (44.96%)

 

30th District – House, Seat 1

Kochmar, Linda (R) – 12,688 (44.70%)

Pellicciotti, Mike (D) – 15,694 (55.30%)

 

30th District – House, Seat 2

Hickel, Teri (R) – 13,555 (47.79%)

Reeves, Kristine (D) – 14,806 (52.21%)

Election Day Resources and Results

Today is Election Day!  If you haven’t yet returned your ballot, you have until 8pm PST to do so. You can print a replacement ballot here, and find a list of drop-box locations here.

If you’d like to stay up-to-date on the elections results, here’s your best bet:

  1. Follow FPIW on Twitter for up-to-the minute updates on federal and state elections.
  2. Washington’s state elections close at 8pm PST.  Visit the Secretary of State’s page for live election results.  You can also download the WA Election Results app from the Google Play or the App Store.
  3. Tune into FPIW’s Facebook page tomorrow morning, Wednesday, November 9th at 9:00am PST for a livestream recap of tonight’s election results.

Opinion: What Would Life for Christians Look Like Under a Clinton Presidency?

During the second presidential debate, Gorbah Hamed, a Muslim woman, asked Donald Trump to address her fears about living as a Muslim in the United States following the presidential election.

This isn’t the first time the media has asked questions about what life for Muslims would look like under a Trump presidency, and rightly so. Ever since Trump infamously proposed banning Muslims from entering the United States, journalists have been eagerly raising questions about whether the Republican nominee is a closeted Islamophobe, anxiously awaiting the opportunity to deny Muslims their constitutional rights.

Ironically (or not, depending on your opinions about the news media), I haven’t yet heard journalists ask an analogous question of Secretary Clinton: What would life for Christians look like under a Clinton presidency?

What reasons has Mrs. Clinton given for Christians to be so concerned about their constitutional right to live according to the precepts of their faith and the dictates of their consciences?

First, Clinton supports coercive non-discrimination statutes that trample upon the consciences of religious organizations and Christian business owners.

In remarks made to an event hosted by the militantly anti-Christian Human Rights Campaign, Clinton voiced her support for the Federal Equality Act. Critics warn that the Federal Equality Act would dismantle the essential pillars of religious liberty protections by amending the 1964 Civil Rights Act to include protections for sexual orientation and gender identity.

If signed by President Clinton, the Federal Equality Act could be used to compel Christian colleges to allow transgender biological males to live in female dorms. Likewise, Christian ministries should expect penalties if they refuse to employ practicing homosexuals. And Catholic adoption agencies could lose their licenses to operate if they follow their Church’s teaching by refusing to provide their services to same-sex couples. (Catholic adoption agencies have already stopped operating in both Massachusetts and Illinois because of similar state non-discrimination laws – an unfortunate development for the tens of thousands of children waiting to be adopted every year).

Mrs. Clinton also decried the Supreme Court’s ruling that allows Christian-owned companies like Hobby Lobby to refrain from providing abortifacients to employees. She called the Supreme Court’s affirmation of the business owners’ right of conscience “deeply disturbing.”

Under a Clinton administration, religious organizations and Christian business owners who don’t agree with the federal government’s revolutionary legal assaults on life, marriage, and gender should anticipate being given two options: repudiate the doctrines of your faith or expect the fist of government to squash you.

Second, consider Hillary Clinton’s comments at the 2015 Women in the World Summit regarding abortion. In her keynote address, she expressed her regret that too many women are “denied” reproductive healthcare [code word: abortion] and expressly stated that “deep seated cultural codes, religious beliefs and structural biases have to be changed.”

Christians find Clinton’s radical positions on abortion even more frightening when they realize that the Progressive Left, which is financing Clinton’s candidacy, supports using the federal government to force Christian doctors and hospitals to provide abortions, violating the most sacred human right protected by the First Amendment.

Third, Mrs. Clinton would nominate far-left judges who share her vision to limit the constitutional rights of Christians. The battle for religious liberty will be fought in court – and if Hillary Clinton is able to nominate judges of her choosing, that battle for religious liberty will be lost.

Christians have a lot to fear from a Clinton administration concerning their rights. Mrs. Clinton has made it clear that she’s not going to respect the constitutional protections of religious liberty, freedom of conscience, free speech, free association, and liberty of contract.

The mainstream media’s silence about Mrs. Clinton’s hostility toward the rights of Christians is revealing. Muslims are justifiably concerned about Mr. Trump rising to our nation’s highest office, and it is appropriate for the media to share those concerns with the public. So, too, are Christians justifiably concerned about Mrs. Clinton winning the election – but their concerns are being dismissed and buried by journalists with a political agenda.

Blaine Conzatti is a columnist and 2016 Research Fellow at the Family Policy Institute of Washington. He can be reached at Blaine@FPIW.org.

Podcast: FPIW Pre-Election Analysis

Today on the program, hear FPIW’s analysis of the upcoming elections at the state and national level, and hear more about the story that broke yesterday on Planned Parenthood’s political involvement.

October Surprise: Planned Parenthood Dumps $253,069 Into WA Elections

Public Disclosure Commission records show that at least twelve different Planned Parenthood-affiliated entities directly influenced Washington elections in October.

Three of these entities, Planned Parenthood Votes Northwest, Planned Parenthood Votes! Washington, and Planned Parenthood Votes Northwest Washington PAC, made a total of 170 separate independent expenditures totaling $243,769.26.

This total does not include an additional $9,000 in direct cash contributions that these entities gave to campaigns.

State law allows certain types entities to spend money to influence campaigns through independent expenditures, however, Planned Parenthood, an organization that routinely receives $500 million or more every year from government sources, is already under scrutiny for giving $75,000 to the Planned Parenthood Votes Washington PAC in September.

Previous PDC records showed that “Planned Parenthood” in New York City made the contribution.  Senator Mike Padden sent a 45-day letter to Attorney General Bob Ferguson formally asking the AG’s office to investigate if this contribution was made using taxpayer funds, a violation of federal law.

The Attorney General himself has received $2,717.05 in support from Planned Parenthood.

Other races Planned Parenthood spent money to influence in October include:

  • $56,467.21 to promote Democrat Marisa Peloquin over Republican Steve O’Ban in District 28
  • $43,332.08 to promote Democrat Lisa Wellman over Republican Steve Litzow in Senate District 41
  • $20,083.28 to promote Democrats Mike Pellicciotti and Kristine Reeves over Republicans Teri Hickel and Linda Kochmar in House District 30
  • $19,721.40 to promote Democrat Tim Probst over Lynda Wilson in Senate District 17
  • $7,401.15 to influence the State Supreme Court elections
  • $5,574.26 to influence the Superintendent of Public Instruction Race
  • $4,293.94 to influence the Insurance Commissioner’s Race
  • $2,694.78 to influence the State Auditor’s Race
  • $2,467.05 to influence the Secretary of State’s Race
  • $1,738.02 to influence the Minimum Wage Initiative and Gun Access Reform Initiative

You can see the full list of contributions here.

All contributions were made on behalf of Democrats, with the exdeption of Republican Michael Waite who is one of two Republican candidates running for State Treasurer.

Planned Parenthood is spending vigorously to protect their power and influence in Olympia.  They’re continuing their federal lawsuit against FPIW as well, hoping to keep public records from being released about the group’s activities in Washington.

If you’d like to help counter the influence of Planned Parenthood in our state, and would like to invest in pro-life, pro-family causes, please consider financially supporting our work.

List of Planned Parenthood’s October Political Donations Released

The Public Disclosure Commission has released the list of campaigns Planned Parenthood contributed to in October.  In addition to the contributions made in the months prior, the following contributions were made by Planned Parenthood in October:

$1,000 to Irene Bowling (House, Dist. 35)

$1,000 to Lisa Wellman (Senate, Dist. 41)

$1,000 to Mari Leavitt (House, Dist. 28)

$1,000 to Kristine Reeves (House, Dist. 30)

$1,000 to Marisa Peloquin (Senate, Dist. 28)

$1,000 to Mark Mullet (Senate, Dist. 5)

$1,000 to Teresa Purcell (House, Dist. 19)

$800 to Christine Kilduff (House, Dist. 28)

$500 to Governor Jay Inslee

$500 to Pat McCarthy (State Auditor)

$250 to Angie Homola (Senate, Dist. 10)

$250 to Lynnette Vehrs (House, Dist. 6)

 

You can also view the full list of Washington State candidates Planned Parenthood has endorsed here.

Two Bad Reasons Christians Won’t Get Involved in This Election

We are now less than two weeks from the election. While there is a lot that people are fighting about, the one thing everyone seems to agree on is that we’re ready for it to be over; in a dead man walking kind of way.

Within the church, people are disagreeing as well. One side says Donald Trump is too bad of a person to vote for, while the other side says that we have to vote for him because to allow Hillary to become President is a death sentence for the Supreme Court and many of our civil liberties.

But there’s another voice that sometimes chimes in as a kind of referee encouraging everyone to relax. And they have some really spiritual arguments for why we shouldn’t be that worried about it.

So here are my two favorite “Christian” reasons for being ambivalent.

  1. God is in Charge Anyway

This is basically the sovereignty of God argument. It says that, “God is still going to be God regardless of who is elected, so chill out.” From a strictly logical sense, this argument is the fallacy known as the non sequitur. Which means the conclusion does not follow logically from the premise.

It’s like saying, “Burritos are yummy so I should buy a new car.” Burritos are in fact yummy, but my decision to buy a car should be determined more by things like need and my ability to afford one. Burritos are going to be yummy regardless.

It is true that God is in charge, but our responsibilities and obligations are given to us independent of that fact. After all, God is also in charge if I neglect to pay my mortgage, abandon my family, or set off a nuclear bomb in the middle of a city.

Indeed, if we think it significant that God is always in charge, we should contemplate the implication of the command to occupy until he returns (Luke 19:13), seek the welfare of the city to which he has sent us (Jeremiah 29:7), and cast down every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God. (2 Cor 10:5).

Of course God’s sovereignty is always relevant to our lives, it’s just not always instructive to our choices and should never be an excuse for passivity.

For those of us who are more inclined to panic at the current state of affairs and live in a state of perpetual fear, the fact that God is good and always in charge should comfort us and allow us to trust Him and be confident regardless of the circumstances.

But ultimately, it should lead us to be more interested in His purposes for us in our current circumstances, not less.

  1. Persecution will be good for us.

This argument says essentially that, “I know things are bad and getting worse, but maybe shouldn’t do anything about it. After all, I’ve read Revelation and the decline is inevitable. Maybe we should embrace the loss of religious freedom and be ok with the government taking control of our churches, universities, non-profits, businesses, and families. After all, a little persecution will be good for us.”

What would your life be like today if our Founding Father’s took this position?

The first reason we know this is a bad argument is that no one would be willing to make it outside America.

Raise your hand if you’re willing to tell a Christian brother in Syria, Iran, or Nigeria how much you’re looking forward to experiencing a little persecution so our churches can flourish.

I’m sure we’d all become a bit sheepish at the sight of the machete scar across his face.

We should be prepared to obey regardless of what happens in the future, but that should never become indifference to what happens in the future, particularly when we are in a position to influence it.

Remember, if persecution happens in any form, that means bad things are happening to real people. In the Middle East, parents are forced to watch their kids be executed unless they recant their faith. In America, businesses are forced to shut down. Different degrees of bad, but still bad.

The church has been created in Christ Jesus for good works (Eph 2:10). We were not created to allow some harm because it will be good for us.

Of course God can take even the worst circumstances and make something beautiful from it, but if bad things start happening to our friends, neighbors, and churches, it should be despite our best efforts, not because of our passivity.

In 2014, it is estimated that only 20 million of the 60 million evangelicals in America filled out a ballot. That’s a lot of influence for good that was never leveraged.

Sometimes the reason we aren’t engaged is that we don’t know how to. We’ve tried to help in this election cycle by providing a voter guide that will help you identify which candidates share your worldview and value system. You can also access it by texting your zip code to 77039.

But sometimes we aren’t engaged because we’ve convinced ourselves we don’t need to be.

There are many things people within the church can disagree about this election season, including what to do with Trump v. Clinton. But we should all be able to agree that we won’t be afraid, we won’t be indifferent to evil, and we don’t quit because it’s challenging.

Why? Because we all want to be like Jesus.