Weekend Open Thread: Would Mimi Take Over Michele Bachmann’s Pulpit in Congress?


 Powered by Max Banner Ads 

I’m working hard on an Anaheim story right now, so I haven’t had time to give this linked story proper thought, but with a long weekend and all perhaps you’ll collectively be able to give it the analysis it deserves.

As you probably know, Michele Bachmann is retiring from Congress.  This potentially opens up the slot that she has filled — and with it the prospect of inviting maximum national cringe onto the district of whomever the New Bachmann.  A relatively mainstream Democratic blog raises the question (without mentioning the name of “She Who Will Not Be Retained”) of whether Laguna Niguel’s Irvine’s OC’s own Mimi Walters might be poised to take over Bachmann’s mantle.  (Or “womantle.”  Whatever’s more Biblical.)

They point out that Schemin’ Mimi is not just your average religious hyperconservative:

California State Sen. Mimi Walters (R) announced Tuesday that she will run for the open seat of retiring Congressman John Campbell (R-CA), with the endorsements of seven current California Republican Congressmen. While the Orange County Republican says she is running to promote small government and freedom, one of her largest career campaign donors is a millionaire advocate for strict biblical law in the United States.

Walters, who ran unsuccessfully for California Treasurer in 2010, has received at least $22,500 over her career from Howard Fieldstead Ahmanson Jr.’s Fieldstead & Co — making it one of her top ten industry funders, and making her their second biggest state recipient, according to the National Institute on Money in State Politics. Ahmanson, heir to a banking fortune reported to total hundreds of millions, has distributed millions of dollars to right-wing political causes promoting a “Christian worldview.” Fieldstead & Co. is an incorporated private company which Ahmanson uses to distribute money to his favoritecauses without having to disclose the donations publicly.

Most notorious among these was the Chalcedon Foundation. Ahmanson served for decades on the board of this radical Christian Reconstructionist organization and heavily funded its efforts. The group’s late founder, Rousas John Rushdoony advocated for American laws to literally follow those in the Book of Leviticus, including death by stoning for gay and lesbian people and similar execution for adulterers, juvenile delinquents, non-believers, and most other Americans. While Ahmanson has made clear he personally does not advocate “the stoning or execution of homosexuals,” he conceded to the Orange County Register in 1985: “My purpose is total integration of biblical law into our lives.”

Naturally, I would not want to attribute those views to Mimi herself, especially given the dim view that the Bible takes of defrauding one’s constituents by pretending to live in a small vacant apartment in one’s new district with one’s family while actually continuing to reside in a mansion in one’s old district, and violating the law on the grounds that if one’s legislative body doesn’t enforce the law then the law doesn’t matter.  (I can’t recall, but I think that that may be somewhere in the book of Deuteronomy.  (That book’s name of course means “second law,” which at any rate means apt for one’s second domicile.)  But there’s a way to fend off those whom might make that connection.

Specifically, Walters could follow the narrow path taken by many prominent Republicans before her:

In the past, even anti-LGBT conservatives like Rep. Frank Wolf (R-VA) and former Gov. Linda Lingle (R-HI) have returned campaign contributions from Ahmanson in light of his radical views and record (Full disclosure: in 2004, the author was president of an LGBT-rights group that successfully pushed Wolf to return a $1,000 contribution from Ahmanson). But Walters has accepted his money since her 2006 campaign.

Or, if she wants to embrace Ahmanson’s politics, she can embrace away!  I don’t, of course, offer that opinion as a representative of the Democratic Party, although I expect that there are a lot of Democrats out there who hope that she won’t give back money from a large donor who wants to impose the equivalent of sharia law in the U.S., as it makes her a beatable target.

Oh, did I say “sharia law”?  I recognize that she may not call it “sharia law,” but — well, check out Wikipedia on the subject:

The concept of justice embodied in sharia is different from that of secular Western law.  Muslims believe the sharia law has been revealed by god. In Islam, the laws that govern human affairs are just one facet of a universal set of laws governing nature itself. Violations of Islamic law are offenses against god and nature, including one’s own human nature. Crime in Islam is sin. Whatever crime is committed, whatever punishment is prescribed for that crime in this world, one must ultimately answer to god on the Day of Judgement.

Change “Islam” to “Christianity,” “Muslims” to “Christians,” and “sharia” to “biblical” and do we have to change another word?  Has anyone ever lined up the “Biblical Law” that Ahmanson would impose on our society and compared it to “Sharia Law”?  I ask only because, if they match up pretty well (as I expect), the anti-Sharia-Law laws that people like Bachmann keep promoting could come in unexpectedly handy.

(This, of course, is why the Founding Fathers put out big warnings to the likes of Ahmanson and those who might listen to him saying “Don’t Do That!”  But will Mimi heed them?  Or will she note that widescale death-by-stoning for sins does provide a way to dramatically reduce unemployment?)

Betty Bowers & trad Marriage

Surely — SURELY! – someone out there with mad skillz can create a “Mimi Walters as Betty Bowers”-type poster for us to use as our standard graphic, right? (Or, on the other hand, maybe she’ll just give back the Ahmanson money and take away the punch line.)  If you’re not familiar with Betty Bowers — you know how to use Google, don’t you?

Regardless, this is your feistier than usual Weekend Open Thread.  Talk about that, or anything else you’d like, within broad bounds of decorum and decency.  The weekly OC Register ”Dearthwatch” results will soon appear below.


About Greg Diamond

Prolix worker's rights and government accountability attorney and General Counsel of CATER. His anti-corruption work in Anaheim infuriated the Building Trades and Teamsters in spring 2014, leading them to work with the Democratic Party of Orange County Chair and other co-conspirators (who had long detested the internal oversight his presence provided) to remove him from the position of DPOC North Vice Chair of in violation of party rules and any semblance of due process. He also runs for office sometimes. Unless otherwise specifically stated, none of his writings prior to that lawless putsch ever spoke for the Democratic Party at the local, county, state, national, or galactic level. He tries to either suppress or openly acknowledge his partisan, issue, ideological, and "good government" biases in most of his writing here. If you have a question about any particular writing, just ask him about it and (unless you are an pseudonymous troll) he will probably answer you at painful length. He lives in Beautiful Bountiful Brea, but while he may brag about it he generally doesn't blog about it. A family member works as a campaign treasurer for candidates including Wendy Gabriella in AD-73; he doesn't directly profit from that relatively small compensation and it doesn't affect his coverage. He does advise some campaigns informally and (except where noted) without compensation.