The political arm of a national left-wing think tank led by Hillary Clinton campaign chairman John Podesta and former U.S. Senate Majority Leader Tom Daschle, D-South Dakota, is running Internet ads attacking state Rep. Gary Glenn, R-Williams Twp., a full year before the November 2018 election.
Glenn, a long-time conservative activist before being elected to the state House of Representatives in 2014, was presented an award after his first year in office by the American Conservative Union for compiling the most conservative voting record in the House in 2015 on fiscal, social, and military and veteran-related issues. He received the same award a second time for maintaining the most conservative record in the House in 2016, after which he was reelected by over 60 percent of the vote, winning 48 out of 50 precincts. Now in his second term, Glenn serves as Associate Speaker of the House Pro Tem and chairman of the House Energy Policy Committee.
Glenn said Friday that as a conservative, he's flattered.
"As a conservative, I take it as affirmation that a national-level left-wing hit group, run and funded by some of the biggest celebrities of the progressive socialist universe, think I threaten their leftist agenda sufficiently that they need to spend George Soros' money attacking me a full year before the election," Glenn said. "It certainly is my intention to do whatever I can, wherever I am, to help defeat the Left's oppressive big-government, freedom-killing, job-destroying, socialist tax-and-spend political agenda."
Last month, Glenn announced plans to run in 2018 for an open state Senate seat representing Bay, Lapeer, and Tuscola counties.
But starting even before Glenn announced his candidacy, Google users who search for Glenn's name have found at the top of the list of results a web advertisement -- identified as sponsored by ThinkProgress.org -- which states, "Gary Glenn is too extreme...Hate group leader turned MI Senator (sic) says being gay should be a crime."
The ad links to a 2016 ThinkProgress.org article in which Glenn -- who serves as president of the American Family Association of Michigan, a conservative Christian traditional values advocacy group -- was quoted as saying, "We believe that states should be free to regulate and prohibit behavior that’s a violation of community standards and a proven threat to public health and safety -- including, as most of the United States did throughout its history, homosexual behavior.”
The quote, which Glenn in a news release confirmed is accurate, was a 2010 comment referencing the U.S. Supreme Court's 2003 ruling in Lawrence v. Texas, in which six members of the court voted to overturn a Texas law outlawing homosexual sodomy. Three U.S. Supreme Court justices -- Chief Justice William Rehnquist and Justices Antonin Scalia and Clarence Thomas -- agreed with Glenn's "states rights" position.
The article also states: "Last year, Glenn spoke out against a Planet Fitness policy that resulted in a Midland, Michigan woman having her membership cancelled after she spent several days complaining about a transgender woman (a man) she saw using the (women's) bathroom at her gym. 'Planet Fitness obviously should rethink its anti-woman, anti-reality policy,' Glenn said. 'If they don’t, they shouldn’t be surprised in a conservative family-friendly community such as Midland if they lose more female members.'"
According to its website, "ThinkProgress is an editorially independent project of the Center for American Progress Action Fund."
According to the Center for American Progress Action Fund's website, its board includes prominent left-wing politicians and academicians including Harold Ickes, who served as White House Deputy Chief of Staff for President Bill Clinton.
The Action Fund's website reports that last year, it received $1 million or more from only one organization, the Center for American Progress. It also received six-figure funding from George Soros individually, his Open Society Policy Center, and the Service Employees International Union, plus five-figure contributions from the AFL-CIO and other individual unions, former Clinton Administration Secretary of State Madeline Albright, AT&T, Facebook, and other left-wing individuals and organizations.
The leadership of the Center for American Progress, according to its website, includes board member John Podesta, board chairman Tom Daschle, D-South Dakota, former U.S. Senate Majority Leader, and president Neera Tanden.
Podesta, now caught up in the scandal involving Russian involvement in the 2016 U.S. elections, served as a White House aide to both Bill Clinton and Barack Obama before chairing Hillary Clinton's losing 2016 presidential campaign.
The New York Times -- under the headline, "Russia Scandal Befalls Two Brothers: John and Tony Podesta" -- reported last Friday: "In between campaign and White House stints, John Podesta helped to create and run some of the leading institutions on the American left, including the Center for American Progress think tank."
Glenn said the Soros-funded web of left-wing organizations may also be responsible for a lengthy telephone "push poll" -- received last week by voters in Lapeer and Tuscola counties -- that was also critical of Glenn.