Alan Grayson’s GOP opponent Daniel Webster has a thorn in his side. Listed in his official voter guide as a top supporter is a right wing activist named David Barton, who has already come under scrutiny for addressing two white supremacist organizations.
Barton claimed in both circumstances that he was unaware of the group’s white supremacist ties. But that doesn’t mean he’s not possessed of extreme views of his own. From 1998 to 2006, he served as vice-chair of the Texas Republican party, which is notorious for having one of the most zealously conservative platforms in the country.
In 2004, for instance, the platform advocated the following:
1. The abolition of the IRS and the repeal of the Sixteenth Amendment.
2. The elimination of the income tax, inheritance tax, gift tax, capital gains tax, corporate income tax, and payroll tax.
3. “an orderly transition to a system of private pensions based on the concept of individual retirement accounts, and gradually phasing out the Social Security tax.”
4. The abolition of the Department of Education.
5. Eliminating the government’s right to restrict public display of “the Decalogue” (a.k.a. the 10 Commandments).
The Texas GOP also “opposes the legalization of sodomy,” and holds that “[h]omosexual behavior is contrary to the fundamental, unchanging truths that have been ordained by God, recognized by our country’s founders, and shared by the majority of Texans.”
Neither Barton nor Webster responded to requests for comment.
Barton is the found of the evangelical organization WallBuilders and was instrumental in Texas’ efforts to change its state’s (and the nation’s) textbook standards.
Brian Beutler is TPM's senior congressional reporter. Since 2009, he's led coverage of health care reform, Wall Street reform, taxes, the GOP budget, the government shutdown fight, and the debt limit fight. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.