David Barton's New Project: What is Keep the Promise Super PAC?

Bloomberg broke the story today that David Barton has been appointed to lead the umbrella Super PAC Keep the Promise. The PAC supports Ted Cruz but is structured in a curious manner. There are actually several PACs which supported Cruz, four of which named Keep the Promise. It is not completely clear to me that Barton will lead all of them.
In any event, what is known about the KtP family of Super PACs?
Ballotpedia appears to be a good source of information about them. Some highlights of that entry (which you should read) are:

  • Oil, gas and fracking interests figure prominently in the donor base. A combined $25 million went into the family of PACs from people who have interests in those sectors.
  • One of the PACs gave $500k to a Super PAC which benefits Carly Fiorina.
  • Only 10 people are reported as giving money to these PACs. A very small group of people are providing Cruz with immense support.
  • One of the fracking donors is Farris Wilks who also pastors a church in Cisco, TX.

The FEC filing for the KtP PAC is here.
Want to donate? Here’s the pitch.
The Wilks brothers sound like they have attended a David Barton seminar. They are wasting their money preaching to the choir. People outside the bubble don’t buy it. They also run a church called Assembly of Yahweh which sounds like a 7th Day Adventist style church.
The amount of money to be spent in this election cycle is staggering and discouraging. So much will be spent and so little will be accomplished.

David Barton Will Assume Leadership of Ted Cruz's Super-PAC

CashBloomberg news is reporting that David Barton has become leader of a Super-PAC with ties to Ted Cruz.
Keep the Promise PAC raised more money in the first half of the year than any other Super-PAC besides Jeb Bush’s, according to Bloomberg.
Well, to me, this mean Ted Cruz would rather be president of the Wallbuilders’ Fan Club than the U.S. It has sometimes been hard to get media to pay attention to Barton’s wild claims but this appointment may now make it easier.

Mike Huckabee and Ted Cruz Fuss Over Kim Davis

According to the Texas Tribune, Ted Cruz showed up at the Kim Davis Freedom Rally and was shown the door by Mike Huckabee’s handlers. According to Patrick Svitek with the Tribune:

In the footage, Cruz exits the Carter County Detention Center, where Davis was being held, and heads toward the microphones where Huckabee was later broadcast alongside the clerk. However, Cruz quickly runs into a Huckabee staffer who points him in another direction, setting off a roughly 15-second back-and-forth followed by Cruz repeatedly trying to maneuver around the staffer. Cruz, appearing dumbfounded by the situation, ultimately follows the staffer offscreen. 

A cynical person might take this as evidence that the Kim Davis controversy isn’t about same-sex marriage but capturing the religious right vote.
I don’t know for sure, but I heard that Cruz and Huckabee broke out into song and dance after the presser and sang this together.

John Adams on American Exceptionalism

In my opinion, whenever David Barton tells his audiences to read the founders writings, he takes a large risk that someone in the audience will actually do it. What such curious readers find is a hodgepodge of political theories with much disagreement on matters of substance. One will also find much that contradicts Barton’s tendentious claims. For instance, last week Barton said the founders all agreed that God’s law was higher than man’s law. Our second president John Adams is worth reading on these points.
Frequently, Barton promotes American exceptionalism. Next time he talks on that subject, he should try to explain John Adams words to John Taylor in an July 29, 1814 letter:

Again, how are the United States distinguished from all other governments, or from any other government? What are the good moral principles from which the governments of the United States are deduced, which are not common to many other governments? In all that great number and variety of constitutions which the last twenty-five years have produced in France, in Holland, in Geneva, in Spain, we find the most excellent moral principles, precepts, and maxims, and all of them complicated with the idea of a balance. We make ourselves popular, Mr. Taylor, by telling our fellow-citizens that we have made discoveries, conceived inventions, and made improvements. We may boast that we are the chosen people; we may even thank God that we are not like other men; but, after all, it will be but flattery, and the delusion, the self-deceit of the Pharisee.

In the entire letter, he gives no credit to the Bible or Christianity for American government. He does imply that man is sinful and bent for corruption which is consistent with a reformed view of human nature. However, in his defense of the Constitution, Adams claims that such knowledge of human nature may be discerned from reason without aid of revelation. In that work, Adams defends the checks and balances of the Constitution by addressing other views from history. In doing so, he criticizes those who attempt to generate good citizenship via religious exceptionalism.

If this writer had been one of the enthusiasts of that day, and told the people they must pray to God for his omnipotent grace to be poured out upon them, to distinguish them from all the rest of mankind as his favorite people, more even than the Jews were, that they might be enabled to observe the rules of a free state, though all history and experience, even that of the Hebrews themselves, and the constitution of human nature, proved it impossible without a miracle; or if he had told them that they were a chosen people, different from all other men, numbers would have believed him, and been disappointed; for it is impious presumption to suppose that Providence will thus distinguish any nation; 

Adams criticizes what sounds very much like the battle cry of the Christian political right. If we just turn to God, all will be well. If we turn to God, our political house will come into order. God will smile and we will be the shining city on a hill as his covenant nation. Adams dismisses this kind of thinking as “impious presumption.”

Kim Davis to Be Released from Prison with Order Not to Interfere with Same-Sex Marriage Licenses

According to CNN, Rowan County (KY) clerk has been released from prison with instruction from Judge David Bunning not interfere with deputies issuing same-sex marriage licenses.
The compromise appears to involve not requiring Davis’ to put her name on the license. Given the form of a KY marriage license, this should be possible. Note in the license below that the clerk’s name is typed in.
KY Marriage Lic Sign
According to the CNN report (and Mat Staver on Wallbuilders Live earlier today), Davis plans to stop licenses if they have her name on them. As you can see above, this license does not have her name on it. KY law appears to require the clerk to certify the accuracy of the license so there may be another impasse.