Tuesday, July 30, 2019

GOP 91st District Candidate Colleen Holcomb - A Far Right Extremist

Holcomb - an extremist in sheep's clothing as shown
on her Eagle Forum profile.
With the entire Virginia General Assembly up for re-election, one would think at first blush that the Republican Party of Virginia would have worked diligently to field sane, somewhat mainstream candidates in order to improve its chance of clinging to control of House of Delegates and the Virginia Senate. That first reaction would, however, would require forgetting just how extreme the Republican Party has become. In the person of Colleen Holcomb, the GOP candidate for the 91st District, where the GOP is seeking to retain a Democrat leaning seat held by a retiring Republican, the true extremism of the Virginia GOP is on full display.  Not that one would know this from Holcomb's campaign website which conveniently omits  much of her background and disturbing affiliations.

Based on opposition research I have seen, Holcomb embodies the all too typical far right wing "Christian" who is anti-gay, anti-choice (even in cases of rape or incest), anti-contraception, anti-women's rights, and anti-Obamacare.  Meanwhile, like so many "conservative Christians" her positions on marriage do not carry through to her own life.  She is the third wife of  her twice divorced husband. Her support of "covenant marriage laws" - which would make divorce far more difficult - apparently do not apply to her or her husband.  To understand Holcomb's hidden agenda, one must look at her past and present jobs and affiliations.  These are extremely telling: Regent University, Eagle Forum (which has endorsed Holcomb and continues to show her as part of its Washington DC office), the far right Family Foundation, extreme Christian "legal" groups.  In short, Holcomb's supporters and affiliates are a who's who of Christian extremist organizations who one could argue oppose modernity itself.  Again, not surprisingly Holcomb's campaign website omits all of these telling affiliations.

Unlike Holcomb, her Democrat opponent, Martha Mugler, the current Hampton school board chairwoman, is  a candidate of mainstream values and achievement.  More importantly, Ms. Mugler would not be pushing a hidden extremist agenda that would harm Virginia's future and likely frighten away progressive, future looking businesses and potential residents. 

Here are some highlights from the background research on Holcomb and the organizations with which she is in leadership roles (there is much, much more):   
When she was executive director she had “a leadership role in nearly all the Eagle Forum’s activities.” Colleen Holcomb, who has been on the Eagle Forum board of directors since 2017, said working there “was and still is my dream job.” Since college she considered Eagle Forum founder Phyllis “Schlafly to be a personal hero” and “an excellent role model.” Phyllis Schlafly, who was a “hero” and “role model” for Colleen Holcomb, thought “that President Obama is a secret Muslim,” embraced Donald Trump as a presidential candidate, and thought husbands cannot rape their wives within a marriage. She also blamed Africans for slavery in the United States. Colleen Holcomb is anti-reproductive choice. She was also the longtime executive director and is currently a board member of the Eagle Forum, which “has always been” anti-reproductive choice for rape and incest victims.
Colleen Holcomb helped write an article that said, “women are victimized by other women’s free exercise of…personal liberty. Colleen Holcomb is registered to lobby in Virginia for the anti-gay, anti-reproductive choice Family Foundation, which supports requiring women to be given an ultrasound prior to having an abortion. It “believes in marriage as a lifelong union between one man and one woman,” and it opposes adding “sexual orientation/gender identity to the list of protected classes in nondiscrimination laws,” since “no evidence of discrimination exists.”

The Family Foundation also supports the “Education Improvement Scholarship Tax Credit,” which is essentially a voucher program to divert moneys from public schools. The Eagle Forum opposes the Violence Against Women Act, which it calls “dangerous,” and equal pay legislation, including the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act and the Paycheck Fairness Act.

It also stands with conservatives on numerous random political issues, including climate change and marijuana legalization. Colleen Holcomb, in 2008, was “scheming to dredge up gay ‘horror stories’ to convince the world that ‘homosexuality is wrong’ and gay troops – currently serving, and dying for, America – ‘threaten our national security’ and the ‘personal safety’ of other soldiers.”  She acknowledged in e-mails “that such ‘horror stories are very difficult to find,’ but could be one of the only tools left to combat growing acceptance of homosexuality.”  

Colleen Holcomb opposed legislation to protect people from hate crimes based on “race, religion, ethnicity or gender.” She called this hate crimes legislation “radical social engineering.” According to the Eagle Forum, “school shootings have nothing to do with guns themselves. The common thread of these shooters has been fatherlessness” and playing violent video games. It thinks “focusing on mental health is not a fix-all,” and “an increase in psychiatric evaluations can be very dangerous.” 

The Eagle Forum thinks “restricting gun laws devalues our freedoms.” It thinks people on the No Fly List should be allowed to buy guns and teachers should be allowed “to arm themselves while at school.” Colleen Holcomb, two months after Senate candidate Todd Akin claimed “in a TV interview …that victims of ‘legitimate rape’ very rarely get pregnant because their bodies prevent them from doing so,” campaigned for him.
 Eagle Forum supports anti-vaccine extremists.

Do not be fooled by Holcomb's campaign website or her efforts to hide her true extremism.  Sadly, Holcomb is not an exception in today's Republican Party.  If your House and Senate districts are not competitive, consider making donations to or volunteering for Democrat candidates in competitive districts. Virginia does not need more far right extremists in the General Assembly. 

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