Texas legislators in 2007 and 2009 delivered huge defeats to backers of voucher schemes that would drain hundreds of millions of dollars from neighborhood public schools to subsidize tuition at private and religious schools. Those defeats came after the state’s voters punished pro-voucher legislators at the polls in 2006. Now Mitt Romney, the likely Republican nominee for president this year, is trying to revive those efforts to defund public education.

Today the former Massachusetts governor promoted a federal voucher scheme. From Talking Points Memo:

Romney’s plan would not entail any increased federal spending on education, his advisers confirmed to reporters beforehand. It would instead allow individual parents to use existing federal money to send children in public schools to private and charter schools.

Texas and other states across the country have already made deep cuts to funding for public education, leading to massive teacher layoffs and classrooms that are increasingly crowded. Now Romney wants to divert even more funding to private and religious schools that aren’t accountable to taxpayers and don’t have to meet the same standards as public schools.

Texans said “no” in 2006. Utah voters overwhelmingly rejected a voucher program the next year. According to the… Read More

Their failure to dictate which candidate will be the Republican Party’s presidential nominee this year doesn’t mean that religious-right leaders and activists aren’t shaping this year’s campaign. Just this week, for example, intense pressure from religious-right groups essentially forced openly gay political strategist Richard Grenell to resign from Mitt Romney’s campaign staff. A Republican adviser made that clear in a New York Times piece on Wednesday:

“It’s not that the campaign cared whether Ric Grenell was gay. They believed this was a nonissue. But they didn’t want to confront the religious right.”

Of course, Texans are familiar with politicians who refuse to confront the extremism of the religious right. Even worse, we have politicians — like Gov. Rick Perry — who pander to extremists. Bryan Fischer, the anti-gay hate monger at American Family Association, has been among the loudest (and most vicious) critics of Romney’s decision to put Grenell on his foreign policy team. You might recall that Gov. Perry got Fischer’s hate group to organize his prayer extravaganza at Houston’s Reliant Stadium last August.

Fischer is obsessed with homosexuality. He says, for example, that gay people are Nazis and that Americans

It becomes difficult to believe you’re not using faith for political purposes when, like First Baptist Dallas pastor Robert Jeffress did, first you say this:

“I have conservative friends who are saying, well, he believes in Jesus, we believe in Jesus, let’s just hold hands and sing kumbaya. It doesn’t work that way. If a person is supporting Romney, that’s fine. But don’t confuse him with being a Christian.”

And then at the opportune time — yesterday and with the GOP nomination fight all but settled, to be exact — you turn around and say this:

“Given the choice between a Christian like Barack Obama , who embraces non-Biblical principles like abortion, and a Mormon like Mitt Romney, who embraces Biblical principles, there is every reason to support Mitt Romney in this election.”

Watch the video:

Watch the latest video at video.foxnews.com(h/t Dallas Morning News)… Read More