Marilyn Musgrave

NOTE: Marilyn Musgrave was soundly defeated in the 2008 elections, but I'm leaving this up as a reminder of the kind of people we have elected in the past. Therefore, many of the links to Musgrave's quotes, etc., which were on her official page for Congress are no longer valid. I'm keeping them here since there are archive sites where you might find them if you want to verify my sources.

Marilyn Musgrave was elected to her first term in Washington in 2002 representing Colorado's fourth congressional district (essentially the high plains of the eastern third of the state. Musgrave's districts is the second biggest of the seven in Colorado.) Her official biography (on her website) states that Marilyn "is recognized as a passionate conservative leader who will work to pass necessary legislation reforming government, reducing bureaucracy, and promoting personal freedoms." On another page, it states:

"Keeping the government from unduly imposing burdens on the family is one of Representative Musgrave's greatest priorities in Congress. Despite the claims of many bureaucrats, parents are the best advocates for their children and know best how to raise them.

"Empowering parents, while keeping the government from intervening as much as possible, is the best way the federal government can help parents build strong families to continue the strength of America's society."

Ironic considering her first major piece of legislation to introduce was the Federal Marriage Amendment, which would most certainly limit the personal freedom of gays. I stand corrected. It's not ironic— it's hypocritical. Irony is when it's a one-time thing. But Musgrave is noted for her stand with the radical religious right and counts herself among the leaders seeking to defend our "traditional values".

Musgrave received a ringing endorsement by the Campaign for Working Families, an organization run by Gary Bauer, who once was president of the Family Research Council, which was in turn founded by James Dobson. CWF, like most groups, has a congressional scorecard that scores politicians according to whether they voted for the ideals of the group or against them. Musgrave has a 100% "for" the CWF agenda. This included voting against the passage of hate crime legislation, voting for a law that would keep the words "under God" in the Pledge of Allegiance, and voting for allowing faith-based programs who get government funding to continue to discriminate. Musgrave marches to the same drummer as the radical religious right. The two goose-step side by side, voting against laws that uphold the Constitution and voting for laws that establish Christianity as the faith of this nation.

Musgrave also has the endorsement of the Susan B. Anthony List, an avid anti-choice group whose stated purpose is "see abortion ended in the United States." More irony in that this group is using the name of a woman who was noted for fighting for women's rights and now this group is seeking to take them away. Yet Musgrave supports them and has received awards from them. One of the members of the executive committee of the SBA-List is Judy Istook, Ernest Istook's wife. Ernest has his own page on "Exposed!". The Heritage Foundation's Edwin Meese III wrote a letter to Musgrave regarding his support for the Federal Marriage Amendment she introduced. The Heritage Foundation was originally funded in large part by Joseph Coors (of Coors Brewing, Golden, Colorado) yet, despite its huge influence on Capital Hill and the millions that flow into its coffers, the Heritage Foundation is still considered a non-profit organization. It does not "lobby" in the legal sense of the word, yet it makes policy statements that conservatives take quite seriously.

Musgrave has some very definite ideas on the role of Christians in government. In addition to legislating abortion, Musgrave also says that "I also believe it's important for believers in office to stand up for the sanctity of human life, to do everything we can to slow the growth in the divorce rate and keep families intact." Does this mean she supports tougher divorce laws as well as tougher abortion laws? What about those who are in abusive relationships? Should we really work to keep those families "intact" or do we instead work to protect the survivor? According to Musgrave, "We [Christians] do need to pray, and as the Scriptures say, to humble ourselves and repent. The condition of our culture very much rests on our shoulders." In other words, "we" need to work harder to have a Christian culture. So how do we solve our cultural problems? Musgrave says, "The problems in our culture are just symptoms of spiritual problems in our nation. We must return to God and biblical principles for answers." Like most other puppets of the radical religious right, Musgrave uses fear-mongering to get votes, like bringing 9/11 into quite a lot of unrelated conversations, which serves to keep the fear of terrorist attacks on the edge of consciousness for people. All one has to do is read part of one of her fund-raising letters:

"You may know that I have been the U.S. House leader to protect traditional marriage from the radical agenda of the homosexual lobby by sponsoring the Marriage Protection Amendment.

What you may not know is that the last sponsor of the Amendment was defeated for re-election, and now the bull's eye is on my back.

Leaders of the homosexual lobby know if they can take me out, no one will stand against them in the future...

... Unlike the homosexual lobbies' ads, my ad campaign will be based on truth and compare my solid record to that of my opponent, liberal Democrat Stan Matsunaka.

Stan Matsunaka fears the truth because he knows his record in the State Senate shows he supports homosexual marriage and will promote it as a U.S. Congressman.

If we allow these vicious ads to go unanswered then Stan Matsunaka and the radical homosexual lobby could succeed by deceiving the voters, and win on Election Day."

Truth of the matter is, Musgrave lied. Her opponent supports civil unions, not gay marriage. Yet her campaign of fear-mongering was effective and she won re-election to Colorado's fourth district. [Author's note: Since the site that has the excerpt from her letter is a site that supported her opponents campaign, I had also referenced an article that appeared in the Boulder Daily Camera that showed almost the same excerpts, but that article is no longer available on the Camera's site but if you put your mouse here, you can copy the link location and see if you can find it yourself. If you do find it, please let me know so I can include it here! Thanks!]

Finally, Musgrave appears to follow what seems to be a common thread among the leaders of the radical religious right: either the laws don't apply to them or they find loopholes and jump through them to get around the law. It has been alleged that Musgrave violated the prohibition against using one's congressional office as a campaign office and that, in a separate alleged violation, she sent out a mass mailing within 90 days of the election. Both are prohibited by federal law. [Note: Again, the links to the Camera articles no longer exist, but this time, I just left them there and active in case anyone can track them down.]

Musgrave is one of the politicians Ralph Reed spoke about when he was the head bigwig at the Christian Coalition. Reed said the CC planned to start small— by putting "their" people on school boards and town councils and then working them up through the state government and into federal government. Musgrave's political career reads like Ralph Reed's ideal scenario. She first served on the Fort Morgan school board from 1990-1994. She then spent four years in the state house of representatives, four years as a state senator and now she's into her second term as a member of the federal legislature in the House of Representatives. And as a freshman representative, she introduced probably the most controversial and important bill this country has seen since the civil rights legislation: the Federal Marriage Amendment. Musgrave has fast-tracked through local and state politics and one can't help but wonder if she is being groomed to play a larger, more important role in the fulfillment of the radical religious right's agenda.

Musgrave certainly appears to be out of touch with reality. In a recent (2006) appearance on C-SPAN, she calls the fight against gay marriage "the most important issue that we face today." Not one of the most important. THE most important. Above poverty. Above global warming. Above the men and women dying in Iraq and Afghanistan. Above all other issues, banning gay marriage is the most important. This despite study after study— and the "fallout" from legalizing gay marriage in Massachusetts— that shows that there will be no adverse affects to allowing gay marriage. And Musgrave was re-elected to another term in Congress.

Why, when the actions of these elected officials goes so against the grain of the American ideals, do so many people still vote for them? For an answer to that, please read my thoughts on the issue.

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Click on any of the links below to read more articles about Marilyn Musgrave.
Musgrave On the Sanctity of Marriage Musgrave On the Sanctity of Marriage
Synopsis: Musgrave's op-ed piece that truly demonstrates the fear-mongering tactics that the radical religious right uses to demonize their opponents. It's a great example of the twisted spin that's put on issues and the blatant misrepresentation of basic civics lessons that are used by the proponents of this anti-American agenda.
Musgrave's Political Career Musgrave's Political Career
Synopsis: A very detailed look at Musgrave's career by a site that says it is "exposing the architecture of power that's changing our world." Right Web is a citizen's activism website. While it has ties to IRC (Interhemispheric Resource Center), which lists its mission as "working to make the U.S. a more responsible member of the global community by promoting progressive strategic dialogues that lead to new citizen-based agendas", the site states facts like who contributed to Musgrave's campaign and how much. Follow the money trail back to the radical religious right's agenda and policy makers.
Musgrave's Stand on the Issues Musgrave's Stand on the Issues
Synopsis: Find out where Musgrave stands on the issues facing our nation today by seeing how she has voted in the past.
Musgrave Rents Mailing List Musgrave Rents Mailing List
Synopsis: This is an article from the Boulder Daily Camera (registration is required, but is free) that references the same fear-mongering letter from above. But it adds another little tidbit. This fundraising email was sent out via email list of the Traditional Values Coalition, a group that has 43,000 member churches. And we're to believe that none of those churches will pass this message on through the pulpit. [Note: As with other links to the Daily Camera, this link is no longer active. Gives you a blank page. But I'm leaving it here for anyone who might be able to track down the article.]

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