Something appears to be seriously amiss with the Republican Party of Virginia. There’s the right-wing gubernatorial candidate, the right-wing candidate for lieutenant governor, and the right-wing candidate for state attorney general. Making matters worse, there’s the scandal-plagued sitting governor and the anti-contraception state GOP leader who fears liberals may want to give birth control to babies.
It couldn’t possibly get worse, right? Wrong. TPM reported yesterday, “Rev. Joe Ellison Jr. was tapped as the Republican Party of Virginia’s state director of African American engagement Tuesday, but, as seems to be the recent status quo in Commonwealth politics, the pick is not without its controversy.”
For example, in this video, posted by our friends at Right Wing Watch, we see Rev. Ellison defending radical TV preacher Pat Robertson, who said a deadly Haitian earthquake was God’s punishment for practicing voodoo. Ellison, the director of Pastoral Relations and Church Ministries for the Virginia Pastors Coalition, agreed, saying, “From a spiritual standpoint, we think the Dr. Robertson was on target about Haiti, in the past, with voodoo. And we believe in the Bible that the practice of voodoo is a sin, and what caused the nation to suffer. Those who read the Bible and study the history know that what Dr. Robertson said was the truth.”
Ellison, naturally, also said in 2010, “Today, this African American pastor is declaring war against Planned Parenthood.”
At a minimum, Virginia’s right-wing activists will certainly be motivated to turn out this November.