Like Lying Governors, Hate Comes in Many Flavors

Special to Page One by University of Kentucky student Robert Kahne

MSU Hate 1Ask any student of the University of Kentucky about Brother Rick, Soulwinner Ministries, and the man dubbed “Crazy Old Guy” and they will invariably remember the first time their ears were assaulted with the words of these street preachers. It is a time-honored practice of street preachers to spread their message of hate in free speech areas at institutions of higher education. Recently, a street preacher at Morehead State University caused quite a controversy.

Here at UK, Soulwinners Ministries is a well-known group. This group of 4 African-American people and their children pop up on our free-speech area once or twice a semester, and hold up a sign decrying homosexuals, abortion, popular culture, anything sexual, and many other things. These guys always yell really loudly at passers-by and are always willing to argue for hours on just about anything. Soulwinners usually generate more debate and agitation than any of the street preachers because of their obvious commitment to their cause. Other street preachers are easily joked about because the things they say are so over-the-top and ridiculous that it is hard to think that even the preachers themselves take themselves serious. (See our friend, Brother Rick)

Now, Soulwinners Ministries are quite ridiculous. They claim on their shirts that “Real Christians Don’t Sin” among other things. They are also very hateful, saying “Homos Go to Hell” and such. Their jaunts to UK have always passed without incident; however recently, a trip to Morehead State sparked some controversy.

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At Morehead, Soulwinners was met by dozens of protesters that spanned several races, ethnicities, religions, and sexual orientations. Many of these appeared to be kids from campus ministries who are pissed that their religion is being hijacked. Others appear to be homosexuals who don’t like the fact that hate about them is being spewed on their campus. Other people seem to be there just to see the show. Soulwinners and the subsequent protests prompted the Dean of Students to e-mail the campus calling on people to protest peacefully and to avoid the free speech area if Soulwinners offended them.

MSU Hate 3Free speech is a fundamental tenet of our democracy. The ability to say anything we want without fear of prosecution has been used effectively to end slavery, give us women’s suffrage, end war, and to fight for civil rights. However, with the good comes the bad. Hate speech is still free speech, and as a society, we would do well to tolerate those whom we disagree with, and to protest them peacefully. While I hope we all agree (no matter what our political affiliation) that the message of Soulwinners is laced with hate and malice, I hope that we also agree that the protests that accompany our objection should be in good taste.

Big Money Mitch ad to air…

During tonight’s ESPN’s broadcast of Monday Night Football. We call that kind of a big deal.

Click here to see the ad critical of Sen. Mitch McConnell’s financial dealings.

Patience really is a virtue. Okay, okay. We’re told it’s a virtue. Appears to be true in this circumstance.

Will the RSCC again release a statement about the evils of Public Campaign Action Fund? Or will they forget that they’ve been told to bow before Master Mitch’s about-face on campaign finance reform?

Media catches up to McConnell… three days late

Louisville media finally caught up to Mitch McConnell and his buddies at Insight Communications. Three days late, both WLKY and WHAS11 aired coverage of the controversy. Please see previous posts if you’re not sure what we’re talking about.

As noted earlier, Insight caved to scrutiny and decided to air the ad critical of Big Money McConnell.

While it’s great two television stations are catching up to the news, it’s a bit troubling when they (WHAS11) incorrectly report the facts. The station referred to Public Campaign Action Fund as a “liberal group” when they’re definitely not. Visit their website to learn that they’re a non-profit, non-partisan organization that works to improve campaign finance law. WHAS11 also reported McConnell had received $14,000 in campaign contributions from Insight. The truth is he’s received more than $17,000 in direct contributions from Insight’s executives. Puzzling that they could get two easily verifiable bits of information so far off the mark of accuracy. Especially when we know they read Page One and other sites which detailed the story as it unfolded.

View the coverage here:

WLKY:




WHAS11:


Warning: Kentuckians demand answers from Insight!

Public Campaign Action Fund just released a statement in response to Insight Communication’s weird decision to pull a commercial critical of Mitch McConnell. Read the full release here.

An excerpt:

“Executives at cable giant Insight Communications have given Senator Mitch McConnell $17,000 in campaign contributions for his campaigns. And they now are helping him even more by engaging in political censorship by refusing to run Public Campaign Action Fund’s commercial that criticizes McConnell for his special interest politics.

“Network affiliates and another cable system in Kentucky ran the ad after reviewing its content for accuracy. But with Insight, Public Campaign Action Fund was neither given an opportunity to respond to any of their concerns, nor were we notified of their decision to pull the commercial from rotation on a prime viewing slot. This is highly irregular and their action reeks of censorship.

To pull further from their relese, PCAF raises important questions that we’ll unfortunately probably never have answers to:

  1. Since every other outlet in Kentucky ran the ad after reviewing its content for accuracy, what is Insight’s justification for deciding not to air the ad?
  2. Which executives made this decision and did they make it without reviewing the background documentation that supports the ad that other media companies found adequate?
  3. What role did Insight lobbyist Keith Hall or Insight CEO Mike Willmer, both McConnell donors and allies, play in making this decision to censor the ad? Were they or anyone else at Insight urged by McConnell or his aides to censor this ad?
  4. What has Mitch McConnell done for Insight on the issues that directly impact Insight’s bottom line?
  5. Has Insight lobbied McConnell to further its interests, and how much campaign money have Willner and his associates bundled for McConnell’s campaigns and PACs?

The pulling of PCAF’s ad critical of McConnell reeks of censorship and is a complete violation of freedom of speech. McConnell, who supports flag burning and says he believes freedom of speech is one of the most important rights we have as citizens, is the very person stifling dissent.

Forget 2007. It’s already decided. 2008 is ON. Discussion and promotion of campaigns and candidates in 2008 will not affect fundraising or focus in this year’s election. We’re less than 8 weeks away from E-Day and we think it’s time to start the next cycle early.

UPDATE: Insight has approved the ad for airing.

Jim Bunning Makes Discriminatory Statement

Jim BunningWhile speaking before the Northern Kentucky Chamber of Commerce, the senator afraid of attending Fancy Farm said the following:

“The Islamic threat to your kids and grandkids, and to my kids and grandkids is dead serious,” he said, calling the situation more severe than the threat posed by Nazi Germany during World War II.

We’re not taking this out of context. Terrorism and terrorists weren’t mentioned in the entire article. He said Islam is a threat to your children.

It’s the perfect time to read the First Amendment: “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.”

We find ourselves wondering if Jim Bunning Will ever join us in the reality-based community.