Archive for September 26th, 2012

September 26, 2012

These Are 10 Surprising Republican Actors & Singers

Hollywood is known for being overwhelming left-of-center. From celebrity-led fundraisers supporting President Barack Obama’s re-election campaign to incendiary rhetoric aimed against Republicans, the majority of Hollywood doesn’t hide its liberal inclinations.

That being said, Tinseltown isn’t completely devoid of GOP enthusiasts. While they comprise a very silent minority, right-of-center celebrities exist – and some may even surprise you. While the following list is by no means a complete picture, it is a compilation of 10 of the most interesting and surprising actors and performers who reportedly consider themselves Republicans.

1. TONY DANZA

Actor Tony Danza is known for his popular role on the 1980s sitcom “Who’s the Boss?,” for his former talk show gig and for appearing in some popular feature films. But the New York City-born actor is also a Republican who may even have political ambitions of his own.

In fact, in a recent interview, he told The Wall Street Journal that he’s thought about running for NYC mayor:

“I’m of a certain age, and you see things, and you think maybe you could help,” Danza said. “You say: ‘Let me fix the city. Let me run for Mayor.’” […]

Danza declined to say which party he’d run for, adding that he’s never made a monetary contribution to a politician. “The country’s been hoodwinked into thinking we’re supposed to do that,” he said.

While he didn’t share his political persuasion, numerous outlets have reiterated his right-of-center views.

Actors Joseph Gordon-Levitt and Tony Danza attend the ‘Premium Rush’ New York premiere at Regal Union Square on August 22, 2012 in New York City. Credit: Getty Images

2. SARAH MICHELLE GELLAR

When she’s not slaying vampires, Buffy (also known as Sarah Michelle Gellar) is apparently donating to charity and…being a Republican (allegedly). Gather news writes, “It’s probably no surprise that Buffy the Vampire Slayer’s Sarah Michelle Gellar is Republican. She‘s all about what is right in the world and fixing whatever’s wrong.”

While she’s purportedly right-minded, Gellar is reportedly tight-lipped about her political affiliation.

Actress Sarah Michelle Gellar visits the SiriusXM Studios on February 7, 2012 in New York City. Credit: Getty Images

3. PATRICIA HEATON

From “Everybody Loves Raymond” to “The Middle,” actress Patricia Heaton has been a television fixture for over a decade. The outspoken actress has made her pro-life views known, as she has often come out to publicly support anti-abortion causes (although she has also been openly supportive of gay marriage).

The actress is a fan of Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney, too. In July, POLITICO reported:

Actress Patricia Heaton thinks Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney is pretty great.

“Met Gov. Romney last nite – excellent human being,” the star of ABC’s “The Middle” tweeted on Tuesday.

Heaton is one of a few outspoken conservatives in Hollywood and regularly shares her political musings on Twitter.

While everyone may not love Heaton’s political views, she’s certainly a successful example of a political rarity in Hollywood.

Actress Patricia Heaton attends Hallmark Channel and Hallmark Movie Channel’s 2012 ‘TCA Summer Press Tour’ on August 2, 2012 in Beverly Hills, California. Credit: Getty Image

4. ADAM SANDLER

Adam Sandler is a well-known comedian. He’s also a Republican who financially-supported 2008 presidential candidate Rudy Giuliani. Numerous media outlets have reported that Sandler is a registered GOPer. Like Heaton, he, too, has stated his support for gay marriage, a stance issue that tends to rile social conservatives.

Actor/executive producer Adam Sandler attends the screening of Columbia Pictures and Sony Pictures Animation’s ‘Hotel Transylvania’ at Pacific Theatre at The Grove on September 22, 2012 in Los Angeles, California.Credit: Getty Images

5. ANGIE HARMON

Angie Harmon is a Republican and she’s apparently not afraid to show it. The star of “Rizzoli & Isles” spoke at the 2004 Republican National Convention. Naturally, she’s been more than open about her conservative views. In a 2011 interview, she spoke about the experience of “coming out” as a GOPer:

“Here’s the thing about that. When I quote, unquote came out I had no idea I was doing something that was detrimental to my career. It never occurred to me. I’m an American. I’m going to have an opinion as everybody else does and I was asked a question. The fact that it was turned into that I was a gay hating racist was just heartbreaking. It was really horrible. The fact that most of my close friends are gay. After I quote unquote came out as a Republican, one of my dearest gay friends said to me, ‘You’ve got to go on a T.V. show and tell everyone you like gay people.’ I was like, ‘Why?’ He was like, ‘Because you’re a Republican.’ I was like, ‘I’m sorry who’s stereotyping who?”

Interestingly, Fox News‘ Bill O’Reilly made a guest appearance last season on ”Rizzoli & Isles.”

WEST HOLLYWOOD, CA – JUNE 19: Angie Harmon arrives at Gilt Baby and Kids celebrates Wendy Bellissimo collection launch at Palihouse Holloway on June 19, 2012 in West Hollywood, California.Credit: WireImage

6. HEATHER LOCKLEAR

While there’s not much known about Heather Locklear and her Republicanism, the “Melrose Place” actress has been known, for years, to be right-of-center. Like Gellar, she’s tight-lipped about her views and hasn’t been quoted much speaking on-the-record about conservative values.

Zimio adds, “Heather Locklear has been known as a Republican for years, but is stubbornly quiet on the issue. She declined to participate in a 2004 documentary called ‘Rated R: Republicans in Hollywood,’ in which celebrity conservatives talked about being a cultural minority.”

Actress Heather Locklear (R) and Ava Locklear arrive at Summit Entertainment’s ‘The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn – Part 1’ premiere at Nokia Theatre L.A. Live on November 14, 2011 in Los Angeles, California. Credit: Getty Images

7. JOAN RIVERS

Joan Rivers isn’t known for being a Hollywood sweetheart. That being said, the 79-year-old comedian and actress is, at least constitutionally-speaking, a Republican. New York Magazine has a few sentences that perfectly encapsulate her views:

Though she calls herself an independent and voted for Obama, she is constitutionally Republican. Friends with Nancy Reagan. Thinks we should just bomb the shit out of Iran. Ambivalent about feminism. Detests whining and victimhood and laziness. Hated Precious. “I got very annoyed,” she says. “I thought, Oh, get a job! Stand up and get a job!”

Despite voting for Obama, Rivers has agreed that his policies are unfair to the wealthy, telling POLITICO, “I think if I work very hard, I should be able to gather the fruits of my labor. And I think if you’re not about to work, you should get minimal and leave me alone. I think if you don’t wear a helmet and you fall off your bike, you pay for the doctor.”

Comedian Joan Rivers arrives to Us Weekly’s 25 Most Stylish New Yorkers Event at STK Midtown on September 12, 2012 in New York City. Credit: Getty Images

8. BRUCE WILLIS

Actor Bruce Willis has a penchant for small government. While he may not be on board with all (or most) GOP proposals, in 2006, he made his pseudo-conservatism known.

“I’m a Republican only as far as I want a smaller government, want less government intrusion,” he said, going on to make it clear, though, that he is not political. “I hate government. I’m apolitical. Write that down. I’m not a Republican.”

Willis did support George H.W. Bush in 1992 and President George W. Bush in 2000, but, today, he remains “apolitical.” In fact, he recently said that he doesn’t care who wins in the upcoming election and that GOP presidential candidate Mitt Romney is an “embarrassment.” Still, he embraces right-of-center sentiment and, because of his smaller-government views, he qualifies for this list.

Actor Bruce Willis attends the ‘Looper’ opening night gala premiere during the 2012 Toronto International Film Festival on September 6, 2012 in Toronto, Canada. Credit: Getty Images

9. SHANNEN DOHERTY

“90210′s” Shannen Doherty has been vocal about her Republican views in the past. ”I realize that the majority of people in the entertainment business happen to be Democrats. I have no problem with that. And they should have no problem with the fact that I’m a Republican,” she once said.

In a recent interview, Doherty proclaimed that, while she’s a conservative, she needs to believe in a candidate in order to cast a vote for him or her. The actress said that she supports people who are willing to “evoke change and to stand for something.” The actress is also passionate about educating students on what unfolded on September 11, 2001:

“…9/11 affected me, as it affected everybody in this country and most people around the world. It was horrific and scary, but it also elicited feelings of pride, camaraderie and patriotism. You saw a country pull together and support each other. It was one of the most beautiful things I’ve bared witness to, while also being a horrific event with how many people were murdered on that day. My political mind comes into play being that I’m confused as to why we don’t have some form of a curriculum in our schools for teaching about that day.

I don’t think it’s a day that should ever be forgotten. We certainly didn’t forget about Pearl Harbor and we teach about Pearl Harbor. I don’t see why 9/11 is any different, and it’s something I am going to be fighting for. In life, you have to get passionate and stand behind something and fight for it. It takes one person to evoke change, to start a movement to make the world a better place. Education is first and foremost, which is again, why I believe that 9/11 is something that should be taught about in school.”

While she was once known as a wild card and a Hollywood bad girl, Doherty is nowadays calling herself a conservative.

Actress Shannen Doherty arrives at the 20th Annual Elton John AIDS Foundation Academy Awards Viewing Party at The City of West Hollywood Park on February 26, 2012 in Beverly Hills, California. Credit: WireImage

10. 50 CENT

Perhaps the biggest surprise is rapper 50 Cent. In the past, he’s stated that he is, in fact, a Republican. Inquisitr writes, “Rapper 50 Cent allegedly leans to the right and once noted he would vote for President George W. Bush if it weren’t for his felony conviction.”

However, some outlets have shown that 50 Cent, though he once showed his love for the nation’s 43rd president, eventually soured on Bush. StarPulse.com has more:

The hip-hop star – real name Curtis Jackson – was a one-time fan of the political figure, telling interviewers in 2005, “I wanna…shake his hand and tell him how much of me I see in him.”

However the In Da Club hit maker has made a dramatic u-turn, accusing Bush of being cruel and heartless. He tells New York Magazine, “George Bush has a talent: he has less compassion than the average human. By all means, I don’t aspire to be like George Bush.” The President has lost public support in the polls in recent years following wars in Afghanistan and Iraq.

Either way, 50 Cent has shown his support for Republican ideals — a fascinating notion, considering his stature in the entertainment industry.

Singer ’50 Cent’ Curtis James Jackson arrives at the premiere of Open Road Films’ ‘End of Watch’ at Regal Cinemas L.A. Live on September 17, 2012 in Los Angeles, California. Credit: Getty Images

There you have it. Ten of the most fascinating (alleged) Republican celebrities.

via These Are 10 Surprising Republican Actors & Singers | TheBlaze.com.

September 26, 2012

Union Hooey on Display

Larry Sand President California Teachers Empowerment Network

Even with a “victory” in Chicago, teachers unions are still under attack, and their buzz words, doublespeak and bunkum are becoming ever so transparent.

After striking Chicago teachers went back to work last Wednesday following a seven day walk-out, their union declared a victory. While the school district did get some concessions, the union managed to get its teachers a hefty raise, a continuance their archaic “step and column” salary scale and the requirement that only a small part of their evaluations are to be based on whether or not the kids learn anything. While somehow, the Chicago Teachers Union managed to maintain the sympathies of most Chicagoans, public opinion outside the Windy City was derisive, as was much of the mainstream media everywhere. Even the Chicago Tribune felt the union went overboard with its demands.

At the same time, the “Students Matter” case drew some attention from the California Federation of Teachers. As I wrote in May, this lawsuit was filed

…on behalf of eight students from around the state, claims provisions of California’s education code—rigid tenure rules, a seniority-based firing system that ignores teacher quality, and a “due-process” system that makes it all but impossible to remove incompetent or criminal teachers—violate student rights. “As a result of these arbitrary distinctions” in hiring and firing, the complaint reads, “children of substantially equal age, aptitude, motivation, and ability do not have substantially equal access to education. Because education is a fundamental interest under the California Constitution, the statutes that dictate this unequal, arbitrary result violate the equal protection provisions of the California Constitution.”

The Students Matter lawsuit doesn’t ask the court to devise specific policy solutions. Ultimately, those decisions should be left to local districts—as they are in 33 other states. 

The California Federation of Teachers came out swinging on its website, claiming that it opposes the suit because it “threatens teacher due process rights.” Its verbiage is typical union claptrap – filled with buzz words, bogeymen and fear mongering – in short, a self-righteous pastiche meant to rally the troops and fellow travelers and to “educate” the public. Some examples:

CFT says it a “malicious and costly lawsuit.”

Costly, perhaps. But malicious? Trying to overturn statutes that are harming school kids is malicious?

CFT says that the suit is “financed by wealthy investors from Los Angeles and the Silicon Valley….”

Why do they have to let us know the investors are “wealthy?” Do you know any impoverished investors? Of course not; they mention “wealthy” as an invitation to their ongoing us vs. them class warfare effort.

CFT says, “…there is nothing in the suit that would then prevent administrators from politicizing the classroom and removing many of the same employment rights enjoyed by doctors, lawyers, police officers, firefighters, and nurses.

Huh? Last time I checked, people in these fields who are lousy at their chosen profession either fail if they are self-employed or are fired if they are employees. Doctors? Tenure? Lawyers? Seniority? Employment rights?

CFT says, “Our complete and total focus must be in our classrooms, not the courthouse.”

Nice thought. And when teachers unions stop buying legislators in Sacramento, litigation will no longer be necessary.

At the core, CFT fears that if the top-down, one-size-fits-all education code they so strongly defend is amended and these decisions are left to local education agencies, the union’s freedom to run the education enterprise in California will be imperiled. At the same time, AFT President Randi Weingarten, gloating in the wake of the Chicago strike, said,

Real public education reform comes from the bottom up with teachers, parents and communities and kids working together to make all of our schools thrive.

Here is the doublespeak. The Students Matter case is about getting the community control that Weingarten claims to want, yet the California affiliate of her union wants reform to stay on the state level.

But continuing its power on the state level may not be as easy as it used to be. According to an encouraging post by Mike Antonucci, the California Teachers Association (CFT’s big union brother, and the most powerful union affiliate in the country) came out with some interesting new business items which are currently under review by its board of directors. One deals with the union’s ongoing effort to limit the number of charter schools. But there is also a revealing item that suggests that the CTA board should

… explore options to generate additional resources from both internal and especially external sources to counter the vast resources available to our political opponents due to the Citizens United decision.

CTA needs to recognize we are in a war we do not currently have the resources to win. Since the Citizens United decision our political opponents have been able to raise unlimited amounts of money via “Independent Expenditure Only Committees,” popularly known as “Super PACs.” Although CTA currently has such a committee, it has only been utilized on an ad hoc basis. We need to aggressively pursue consistent funding sources. These could include entertainers, professional athletes or other wealthy individuals with possible ties to public education. CTA-retired members could be a valuable resource to assist in this effort.

Bottom line here is that whether it’s negative publicity from the Chicago strike, fear of losing its grip on tenure and seniority in California or CTA admitting it is in a war that it doesn’t “currently have the resources to win,” this is not a good time for the teachers unions. As things get worse, they will become more frantic. The public needs to be highly skeptical of union claims that they are only thinking about the children, that they are just interested in due process and that they really want to “work together to make all of our schools thrive.” These are not serious words. In fact, it’s the same bunkum they have been peddling for years, and it’s way past time for us to stop buying it.

Larry Sand, a former classroom teacher, is the president of the non-profit California Teachers Empowerment Network – a non-partisan, non-political group dedicated to providing teachers with reliable and balanced information about professional affiliations and positions on educational issues.

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