Michele Bachmann and David Barton: God Rigged the Election

Those are my words, but that’s about what she is saying. Yesterday, Michele Bachmann and David Barton produced a chart showing Trump’s chances of election were increasing as Clinton’s chances were decreasing. The lines crossed at about 8:30pm eastern time and Barton and Bachmann credited the Daystar prayer requests for the victory. Watch:
Many polls were closed at that time. Perhaps God engaged in vote tampering.
Although it is true that many polls were open, millions of votes had already been cast before the broadcast.
I think it is sadly true that evangelical Christians are partly responsible for electing a man that most of them wouldn’t have supported for school board. However, I don’t believe Bachmann’s evidence of divine election rigging holds up.

Some Evangelicals Turn Away from Trump, Some Remain, Some Haven't Spoken

The fall out continues from the audio of Donald Trump claiming to use his celebrity status to assault women. While some evangelical Trump supporters have remained on the Trump train, at least two prominent ones have jumped off. At least one prominent Trump supporting evangelical has stayed quiet.
UPDATE: Christianity Today’s Andy Crouch produced a hammer after the video scandal and didn’t spare his evangelical brothers and sisters who are enabling Trump. Must. Read.
The Leavers
Wayne Grudem and Hugh Hewitt have taken back their support. Hewitt thinks Trump should turn over the candidacy to Mike Pence while Grudem took back his support and called for Trump to withdraw.
Hewitt also thinks more tapes and awkward material is to come. Grudem still doesn’t know who he is going to vote for if Trump stays in.
UPDATE: Christianity Today has a nice write up of former Trump advisory board member James McDonald’s efforts to get Trump to take advice from the advisory board.
WaPo also has the report of McDonald’s strong denunciation of Trump’s comments on the video.
On the Trump Train
Supporters Tony Perkins, Ralph Reed, and Gary Bauer, are sticking with him. Liberty University president Jerry Falwell, Jr. tweeted his Trump pride after last night’s debate. Michele Bachmann is still on the team.
Silence in the Face of Vulgar Video is Still Silence
Eric Metaxas hasn’t tweeted anything since October 7 when he first acknowledged the video. In his tweets, he took a negative view of Trump’s behavior and said he was going off Twitter for awhile.
Trump advisory board member and president of the American Association of Christian Counselors Tim Clinton has not responded to two requests for his position on Trump’s candidacy in light of the video.  I expected the owner of the largest association of Christian counselor might have something to say about it.
The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette’s Mike Fuoco quoted me in this article on evangelical support for Trump.
Eric Metaxas will keep us waiting until Wednesday but will block out unpleasantness until then. Sigh.

Former Bachmann advisor says Santorum should apologize to Bachmann

In other news, Peter Waldron thinks Rick Santorum ran a sexist campaign in Iowa and owes Bachmann an apology.

Santorum Owes Michele Bachmann an Apology

“…children’s lives would be harmed if the nation had a female president” Jamie Johnson, Senior Santorum Advisor

Contact: Dr. Peter E Waldron, 727-415-7189, contactamerica1@msn.com

OPINION, Jan. 14, 2012 /Christian Newswire/ — Presidential candidate Senator Rick Santorum deployed a sexist strategy in IA. His IA Evangelical surrogates promoted the idea that a female cannot be an elected official or a commander-in-chief. The same Evangelical surrogates repeatedly called upon Rep. Michele Bachmann to withdraw from the race although she led the Senator and other male candidates in the polls. Bob Vander Plaats, CEO Family Leader and Santorum endorser, also, rejected two consensus votes in favor of Rep. Bachmann polled among Evangelical pastors at a meeting hosted by an organization close to the Family Leader. Home school parents circulated a treatise written in 2004 titled, “Should Christians support a female civil magistrate.”

Further, the Des Moines Register ran a story on Friday, January 13, 2011 written by Jennifer Jacobs that published excerpts from an email written by the Senator’s senior advisor, Jamie Johnson. Mr. Johnson sent out an email saying that “children’s lives would be harmed if the nation had a female president”. He continues, “The question then comes, ‘Is it God’s highest desire, that is, His biblically expressed will, … to have a woman rule the institutions of the Family, the Church, and the State?'”

If the issue were “racism” or “anti-Semitics” I believe that Senator Santorum would terminate the staffer and apologize to Michele Bachmann. Sexism and misogyny require no less of an expeditious response.

The longer that the Senator takes to step up and apologize to Michele Bachmann, the guiltier he looks.

(Peter Waldron is the former National Faith Outreach Coordinator for Bachmann for President. He is based in Florida.)

Bachmann’s campaign manager defects to Ron Paul, needs to change Twitter motto

Earlier today Kent Sorenson appeared with Michele Bachmann at an Iowa campaign event and then a bit later Bachmann’s campaign manager announced that he joined up with Ron Paul. He became an ex-Bachmann.

Given this defection, Sorenson’s motto on his Twitter account is interesting:

His new motto should be:

Screw standing for something, I just want to win!

A Peter Waldron Sighting in Iowa: Spreading the Gospel of Michele Bachmann

Peter Waldron, the man who helped Michele Bachmann take the Iowa caucus vote in August, is back in Iowa organizing pastors. According to the New York Times yesterday, Waldron was deploying his faith based strategies:

One Bachmann aide, Peter Waldron, gathered 16 evangelical pastors in Des Moines last week to discuss strategy. “These are our caucus-builders,” Mr. Waldron said. “We have a very deliberate plan. It’s been thought-out, prayed over.”

The plan probably looks something like the one he implemented for Gary Bauer in 2000, and described here. Waldron might be informing pastors in Iowa that Bachmann is like King David and Rick Perry like King Saul as he said in August, just after the straw poll victory. Churches are prime source of campaign energy in the plan, turning them into political organizing stations, where they spread the gospel of their favorite candidate.

Florida Got On the Cain Train

Wow, Hermann Cain scored a big win in the Florida straw poll today.
Beat out Perry – who was expected to win – by nearly 22 points.

Herman Cain: 37.11%
Rick Perry: 15.43%
Mitt Romney: 14.00%
Rick Santorum: 10.88%
Ron Paul: 10.39%
Newt Gingrich: 8.43%
Jon Huntsman: 2.26%
Michele Bachmann: 1.51%

Michele Bachmann had Peter Waldron deployed to FL and she still finished lower than Huntsman. Time to follow T-Paw back to MN?

What Michele Bachmann's strategy for evangelical outreach might look like

After Michele Bachmann took the Iowa Straw Poll on August 13, Bachmann’s press secretary Alice Stewart credited Peter Waldron with a job well done, saying, “Michele’s faith is an important part of her life and Peter did a tremendous job with our faith outreach in Iowa. We are fortunate to have him on our team and look forward to having him expanding his efforts in several states.”
Waldron first came into the spotlight in relation to the Bachmann campaign when The Atlantic published a story on August which detailed Waldron’s 2006 deportation from Uganda after 37 days in jail following charges of terrorism. Those charges were dropped but the expose has led to interest in the background of one of Bachmann’s staffer’s responsible for keeping the evangelical vote away from Texas Governor, and fellow evangelical, Rick Perry.
The Bachmann campaign is by far not Waldron’s first. His resume listed on websites now only accessible through Internet archives claims positions in campaigns of Reagan/Bush, Bush/Quayle, Gary Bauer in 2000 and John McCain in 2008. While it is not clear what Waldron did for other candidates, he provided a detailed look at his strategy for Gary Bauer in 2000. Bauer had worked in the Reagan administration and clearly identified with evangelicals and the religious right. Just after Waldron left a failed youth program in the St. Petersburg area of FL, he went to work for Bauer, with the aim of securing the GOP nomination. Perhaps, Waldron used elements of this plan in Iowa.
Bauer’s campaign never caught on but the strategy mapped out by Waldron involved a good showing in the same Iowa straw poll event that his new boss, Michele Bachmann, recently won.  In 2000, Bauer took fourth place in the poll which, according to Waldron, inspired some momentum:

The August 14, 1999 Straw Poll was a good test of the Iowa organization and an opportunity to lay the foundation for success in the Iowa Caucuses. The strong showing gave the campaign a positive boost going into the final quarter of the year. The Ames success was built on the deployment of several key tactics, all of which can be used for the Caucuses.

One of those key tactics was the “Deployment of a concentrated church outreach program to recruit votes in sectors not being touched by other candidates.” Apparently, they used churches for political organizing:

One of the most successful aspects of the Ames effort was the collection and use of Evangelical church lists. Through the course of the Ames effort, over 30,000 such names were collected; they yielded over 600 committed Bauer supporters. Among such Evangelical church-goers, the candidate ran second to George Bush as the first choice for the GOP nomination. More importantly, that second place standing improved substantially when mail was used to raise the candidate’s I.D. and favorable rating.

Waldron’s 2011 straw poll strategy may have looked like 2000 but the newer version was more successful. So successful, that candidate Bachmann wants to expand his role in other states. Waldron’s Bauer plan provides some insight into what such an expansion might look like. Here are the keys to a successful evangelical campaign outreach:

The key components to a successful Evangelical organization program are the following:
The candidate needs prayer and must develop a prayer network in each state. The prayer network secures the candidate’s position as a “legitimate” Evangelical and a member of the faith-based community. All people of faith respect prayer and its supernatural power. Everyone can pray and each person must feel a part of the candidate’s effort to receive the nomination. Prayer does not require money, fame, and position of influence or power to achieve a sense of importance.
The Campaign must identify the individual spheres of influence in the state. Sub-divisions include Congressional districts; metropolitan areas; churches (large to small); para-church organizations; minority congregations; elected civic leaders from the faith community; pastors; etc.
Mail surveys (if time permits) and telephone calls permit the Campaign to identify supporters from within available lists. ID phone calls are invaluable to the overall strategy to deliver voters to the polls.
The central organizing unit is the “Church Contact.” The Church Contact is the candidate’s local organizer within a congregation. The Church Contact’s primary functions are to recruit, maintain, and deliver supporters to Gary Bauer. His/her job performance is enhanced by distributing campaign literature to family and friends, answering questions regarding the candidate, making announcements regarding Gary Bauer’s scheduled appearances, and collecting names and addresses (church directories). Registering new voters is another critical task performed by the Church Contact.
The Church Contact becomes the critical mass around which support for Gary Bauer grows concentrically. The Church Contact helps identify others within different congregations who support the candidate and will volunteer to be a Church Contact in that congregation. The challenge to the State Director (or local church coordinator in metropolitan areas) is to connect all the Church Contacts/congregations within a community. When the individual parts of the Church Contact program are connected the cumulative results is the beginning of a “movement.”
The Campaign must collect and maintain accurate names and addresses of current Evangelical Protestants in the targeted State. The lists are sub-divided into leadership, para-church, churches, pastors, and lay people. The Campaign is well served when it has representation in each of the Churches.
Communication to one’s database is critical to recruitment, maintenance, and growth. Timely and effective delivery of material into the hands of one’s constituency is imperative. Political literature is the ammo of a successful campaign. One cannot mail too much. Mail provides direction, recruitment material, and motivates one’s constituency.
The Evangelical community, in particular, and the broader faith-based community, in general, is a sub-culture with its own value-system, vocabulary, and vision for the future. Within this “sub-culture” is a distinct communication system that circumvents the main-line media, establishment elite, and high-profile political leadership.
Arranging for appearances on Evangelical broadcasts on religious radio and television networks is equally important. There are hundreds of call-in talk shows on Christian radio and television. An earnest effort must be made to arrange opportunities for the candidate to address his base via religious broadcasting.
The faith-based community wants to help. A message within the context of the Evangelical belief system is volunteerism and service. There must be a sincere effort to develop volunteer organization within each State. Each person brings three gifts to bear on the candidate’s success – time, talent, and treasure. Each State Director must set-up a volunteer program to cultivate the time and talent.
A critical component of the Church Outreach program is the hiring of a statewide Church Outreach Coordinator in each Tier I state. The Church Outreach Coordinator must be hired by local state leadership in consultation with the national Church Outreach team, and should be trained by the national team. All necessary staff must be in place by September 15, and all training must be completed by October 1.
The strategy for success outlined herein is dependent upon extraordinary grassroots organizing in Tiers I, II and III; appropriate levels of message mail, phone banks and earned/paid media; and the candidate’s grassroots appeal as demonstrated in personal appearances and the rise and fall of the candidate’s competition.

My guess is if you are involved in any kind of an evangelical church in South Carolina, you will be getting a call from Waldron or someone associated with the Bachmann campaign. Clearly, his strategy relies heavily on bringing out the evangelical vote. Currently, a real problem for this plan is Rick Perry. As a fellow evangelical, Perry is competing for the same voters. Perhaps, that is why Waldron likened Perry to King Saul and Bachmann to King David in a recent description of the two, saying that Bachmann has been anointed by God. Saul was initially popular and was attractive to the masses, whereas David was a less likely but eventually more successful King.  Such imagery fits right in with the Waldron plan:

The Evangelical community, in particular, and the broader faith-based community, in general, is a sub-culture with its own value-system, vocabulary, and vision for the future. Within this “sub-culture” is a distinct communication system that circumvents the main-line media, establishment elite, and high-profile political leadership.

Waldron’ analogy might be questionable, but, if it catches on, could be good politics.
UPDATE: Waldron is deploying the strategy in FL now, appearing with Bachmann at a Baptist church there. The write up mentions Waldron’s FL youth basketball program but is a little kind in the description.

It is dominion we are after…

Right Wing Watch has noted a backlash among some evangelicals about the term Dominionism. Seems some evangelicals don’t like the term applied to them. I want to address this more in a future post, but for now, I want to note a key statement about dominion made by Peter Waldron’s co-author, George Grant. Recall that Waldron was key to Michele Bachmann’s straw poll win in Iowa on August 13 and is now in South Carolina attempting to line up evangelicals for Bachmann.
Grant and Waldron wrote a book called Rebuilding the Walls: A Biblical Strategy for Restoring America’s Greatness in 1987. I am looking for a copy of this book. For now, consider this passage from George Grant’s book Changing the Guard, published by Dominion Press (!) in the same year, 1987.

Christians have an obligation, a mandate, a commission, a holy responsibility to reclaim the land for Jesus Christ-to have dominion in the civil structures, just as in every other aspect of life and godliness.
But it is dominion that we are after. Not just a voice.
It is dominion we are after. Not just influence.
It is dominion we are after. Not just equal time.
It is dominion we are after.
World conquest. That’s what Christ has commissioned us to accomplish. We must win the world with the power ofthe Gospel. And we must never settle for anything less.
If Jesus Christ is indeed Lord, as the Bible says, and if our commission is to bring the land into subjection to His Lordship, as the Bible says, then all our activities, all our witnessing, all our preaching, all our craftsmanship, all our stewardship, and all our political action will aim at nothing short of that sacred purpose.
Thus, Christian politics has as its primary intent the conquest of the land – of men, families, institutions, bureaucracies, courts, and governments for the Kingdom of Christ. It is to reinstitute the authority of God’s Word as supreme over all judgments, over all legislation, over all declarations, constitutions, and confederations.
True Christian political action seeks to rein the passions of men and curb the pattern of digression under God’s rule. Fortunately, because of the theocratic orientation of our founding fathers, our nation has virtually all the apparatus extant to implement such a reclamation. Unfortunately, the enemies of the Gospel have hand-in-hand eroded the strength of those godly foundations.

Mr. Grant and Mr. Waldron would like to restore America’s greatness. Waldron’s remaining website is dedicated to this end. If you donate $25, you can get a copy of the book with Mr. Grant. Note the purpose of the book:

Rebuilding the Walls: A Biblical Strategy for Restoring America’s Greatness. I wrote this book 25-years ago. My editor, Dr. George Grant, and I pulled the precepts and principles necessary to develop a deployable strategy for Christians to restore America’s greatness.

Currently, Mr. Waldron is in South Carolina on behalf of candidate Bachmann. I wonder if he is deploying any strategies.

Bachmann staffer accused of mismanaging public funds in 1999

Peter Waldron, Michele Bachmann’s evangelical organizer, was accused in 1999 of “mismanagement of public funds” in connection with a youth program he founded in St. Petersburg, FL. Waldron founded Rising Stars Education and Sports Foundation in the mid-1990s and claimed to serve thousands of inner-city youth in the St. Petersburg area. However, according to reports in the St. Petersburg Times, city officials said the charity served far fewer young people than Waldron claimed, only about 400.
Waldron abruptly shut down the foundation in June, 1999 after questions surfaced about the management and financial practices of the group. According to a July 21, 1999 op-ed in the St. Petersburg Times, Waldron received over $600,000 of state and local grant money, but spent 83% of that on overall administrative costs. During his tenure with Rising Stars, Waldron purchased homes in Florida and Wyoming.
In a February 5, 1999 St. Petersburg Times editorial, Waldron was credited for his innovative program but the paper concluded:

Waldron had a good idea for helping children, one praised by participants, parents and juvenile justice officials. But his mismanagement of public funds taints that success. St. Petersburg should take over Rising Stars, and city and state officials should set up a means for overseeing the program, as they should have been doing all along.

Waldron was arrested in Uganda in 2006 and charged with illegal possession of weapons. After 37 days in jail, Waldron was released and the charges dropped. The Bachmann campaign credited him with part of the reason for their win in the Iowa straw poll on August 13.

Peter Waldron's Vanishing Act

Last week, The Atlantic broke the story about Michele Bachmann’s staffer, Peter Waldron, who was arrested in Uganda in 2006 on charges of possessing firearms illegally.  The Bachmann campaign credited Waldron with helping her win the Iowa straw poll vote on August 13. 
After The Atlantic story came out, there were several reports about Waldron with information about his background and an upcoming film about his experiences in Uganda. The title of the film is The Ultimate Price.
Shortly thereafter, I pointed out a reference on Waldron’s Facebook page to his next assignment: South Carolina. He also shared there that he saw Texas Governor Rick Perry as comparable to King Saul and Bachmann like  King David in the Old Testament. Bachmann is like David in that she has been anointed by God, according to Waldron. Those comments are now unavailable; the screen cap follows:

Now almost everything current related to Mr. Waldron has disappeared. His Facebook page is now private, and all that is left of his personal (peterewaldron.com) and movie promo (theultimatepricemovie.com) websites is the phrase, “under construction.” (See screen caps at the end of the post)
Once three video interviews were available on YouTube. Hosted by Hermann and Sharron Bailey, the interviews focused on his time in the Ugandan prison on weapons charges. These are now marked private (e.g, Part two
YouTube hosts two videos promoting the film about Waldron (The Ultimate Price). Now one of them (the 4 minute version) is marked private, while the two-minute version carries the disclaimer that the video is “unlisted.” For now, the embedding feature allows it to be shown, but it does not appear in YouTube search results.

Despite these disappearances, you can still get some Waldron at his Christian’s Restoring America’s Greatness (CRAG), this Facebook group dedicated to promoting CRAG,  Advancing America’s Freedom (co-founder), and this BlogTalkRadio podcast for his Contact America organization.
Several questions occur to me: Why remove these sites? Did he do it? Did the Bachmann campaign want him to do it? Is he still working for her in SC? Is there something troubling about the information being removed?
Given that Mr. Waldron believes Michele Bachmann is anointed by God to pursue to the Presidency, I hope the media start asking Bachmann some questions about what Waldron is telling evangelicals about her candidacy.
Screen caps: Peterewaldron.com, Theultimatepricemovie.com, Facebook comment