Sunday, April 03, 2005

Cornerstone Policy Research and Karen Testerman

You may remember in the myriad of stories last week about Brownback's potential presidential run a mention of a New Hampshire speaking engagement he was to attend. He is speaking at the Cornerstone Policy Research's "True Blue Breakfast." According to Cornerstone's site, the "True Blue" breakfast serves to "recognize New Hampshire legislators with a 100% score on our 2004 Scorecard for the 159th Session of the NH General Court."

This seems pretty standard. Cornerstone is one of many rabid conservative groups that thrive off of anti-gay and anti-choice legislation. Their website contains position papers with far right ideas on everything from gays in the military to school vouchers. They lobby the NH state legislature to further their ideals.

The interesting parts came when researching Karen Testerman, the executive director of Cornerstone Policy Research. She has been involved in NH conservative politics for more than a few years. In 2003 Gov. Craig Benson nominated her to the state's Commission on the Status of Women. This set off a firestorm of protest centered around her comments made on NH public radio. According to an Associated Press article on Oct 8, 2003, she compared "gays and lesbians with 'shoplifters and drug addicts.'" Testerman was eventually denied the post in a 3-2 vote by the executive council.

In addition to being rabidly anti-gay, she also has some unusual ideas about abstinence education. The fact that she supports abstinence only education should not come as a surprise. What is downright weird is her belief that holding hands leads to pre-marital sex and STDs. I kid you not. From the Concord Monitor on April 2, 2003:
A state committee advocating abstinence education is recommending that a "just say no" to sex message should be spread via community programs, according to a draft of its final report. During a meeting yesterday, the group also vowed to support programs that promote the social skills necessary to help young people avoid premarital sex.

"Holding hands is the first step," said Karen Testerman, a committee member, "you're not even supposed to do that if you can avoid it."

I couldn't make this stuff up if I tried. Wingnuttery at its best. So while you will probably never hear of the Cornerstone Research Institute again, remember the type of people who are shilling for Brownback. His new Campaign Slogan: Hands Off -- Brownback in 08.


Blogger Biblio said...

Oh I detest Sam Brownback! Keep it up!

12:16 PM  
Blogger Big Dog said...

Good job Nate! Keep up the good work!

Big Dog
The Political Dogfight

1:24 PM  

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