Clarence Thomas’ Wife Forms Tea Party to Fight Obama’s ‘Hard-Left Agenda’
March 14, 2010
(ChattahBox)—Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas, may have some impartiality and conflicts of interest problems ahead. Thomas, a conservative Bush nominee, was part of the 5-4 majority decision in the controversial case, Citizens United vs. Federal Election Commission, allowing corporations to use their unlimited profits to influence federal elections. Now, his wife Virginia Thomas, a fan of Glenn Beck and Rush Limbaugh, is taking advantage of the newly released spigot of corporate cash. She has formed a tea party lobbying group to rake in corporate money to fight against President Obama’s “hard-left agenda.” She describes herself, as an “ordinary citizen,” but that’s obviously not the case. Besides being married to a judge on the highest court in the land, Virginia Thomas is a former right-wing political operative for the Heritage Foundation and former Republican Rep. Dick Armey, who now runs FreedomWorks, a front group for corporate interests that funds tea party groups.
The LA Times reported on Virginia Thomas’ new tea party venture on Sunday. Thomas, 52, who goes by Ginny, formed Liberty Central Inc., in January, to solicit corporate donations to fund tea party activism based on conservative “core principles.” Her bio on the group’s Web site lists her as President and CEO and gushes that she “finds the new citizen activists inspirational!” And says, she plans to use Liberty Central, “as a clearinghouse for new and more effective online activism.” The LA Times noted, “As a a 501(c)(4) non-profit, Liberty Central can raise unlimited amounts of corporate money and largely avoid disclosing its donors.”
Ginny Thomas points out she is a fan of hate talker Rush Limbaugh and other right-wing talk radio hosts:
“Ginni, the ‘proud’ Nebraskan, is a fan of Rush Limbaugh, Mark Levin and Laura Ingraham and other talk radio hosts. She is intrigued by Glenn Beck and listening carefully.”
The list of names under the endorsements section of Liberty Central’s Web site, is even more revealing. At the top of the list is Mark Meckler and Jenny Beth Martin, of the Tea Party Patriots, which is closely associated with FreedomWorks. Other endorsers, include Donald Rumsfeld, former Secretary of Defense under the Bush administration, the Heritage Foundation and vilified Washington lobbyist Rick Berman, known as Dr. Evil and dubbed by 60 minutes, as “the booze and food industries’ weapon of mass destruction.”
Ginny Thomas recently spoke at the CPAC conference, praising the teabaggers. “I adore all the new citizen patriots who are rising up across this country,” she said. “I have felt called to the front lines with you, with my fellow citizens, to preserve what made America great.”
“I am an ordinary citizen from Omaha, Neb., who just may have the chance to preserve liberty along with you and other people like you,” she continued. And she pledged to fight against what she called President Obama’s “hard-left agenda.”
Although there are no rules banning the political activism of Supreme Court Justices’ wives, the corporate money pouring into Ginny Thomas’ group will largely remain hidden, making it easy for pay-for-play schemes, in which a corporation with a case before the highest court may try to influence the outcome, by donating large sums of money to Liberty Central. In such cases, Justice Thomas would be required to disclose a possible conflict of interest, but recusal from the case would be entirely up to Thomas.
Ginnie Thomas dismissed concerns of conflicts of interest, saying “I don’t involve myself in litigation.” Justice Thomas declined to comment.
As pointed out by the LA Times, this is not the first time Ginnie Thomas’ right-wing activism has raised eyebrows:
“In 2000, while at the Heritage Foundation, she was recruiting staff for a possible George W. Bush administration as her husband was hearing the case that would decide the election. When journalists reported her work, Thomas said she saw no conflict of interest and that she rarely discussed court matters with her husband.”
Ginnie Thomas’ group Liberty Central plans to become involved in the November mid-term elections, but she was vague on specifics.
See the LA Times for more.