From outward appearances, 42-year old Ben Sasse [pronounced
"Sass"], the GOP's U.S. Senate candidate from Nebraska, would seem like
a perfect candidate. Sasse came from four percent name recognition
before the GOP primary to defeat three other candidates, including former
Navy pilot Shane Osborn, the pilot of the U.S. Navy reconnaissance plane
forced to land in Hainan island, China in 2001, in the primary. Sasse
ran as a "Tea Party" outsider but an examination of his record suggests
that he is anything but an outsider but a consummate insider who represents
the dark political side of the Republican Party, namely the Christian
Dominionists who favor the establishment of a Christian theocracy in the
United States. Sasse, whose campaign cash mostly poured in from out of
state, outspent Osborn by a wide margin. Another candidate, Pinnacle Bank
president Sid Dinsdale, criticized by the far-right allies of Sasse for
being a covert Obama supporter, was forced to loan his own campaign $1
million but it was to no avail.
The Dominionists are largely wealthy Republicans who have been extremely
active in Nebraska politics. The upset victory of Sasse in the primary
echoes that of Nebraskan Chuck Hagel in 1996. Hagel, the chairman of American
Information Systems, won his U.S. Senate seat in a surprise victory of
Attorney General Don Stenberg. It also just so happened that Hagel was
the chairman of an election machine company, which later became known
as ES&S, that counted 80 percent of the votes for Hagel. American
Information Systems had been owned by the Howard Ahmanson family of California.
Ahmanson is a well known Christian Dominionist or "Reconstructionist"
and was a longtime disciple of the father of Christian Reconstructionism,
P. J. Rushdoonie. Ahmanson later sold his shares of American Information
Systems to the McCarthy Group and the World Herald Company, the latter
the owner of Nebraska's largest newspaper, the Omaha World Herald, now
owned by native Nebraskan and multi-billionaire Warren Buffett.
Sasse's connections to Dominionist politics is clear. Although he did
not receive a law degree, his M.A. and PhD in Philosophy from Yale, his
M.A. from St. John's College in Annapolis, and B.A. in History from
Harvard were considered sufficient for him to work under U.S. Attorney
General John Ashcroft as chief of staff in the Office of Legal Policy,
where he worked with the CIA to draft the infamous torture memos. The
"torture memos," which gave legal justification to President George W.
Bush to carry out "enhanced interrogations" of prisoners and detainees,
have tainted both the Bush and Obama administrations. From the Department
of Justice, Sasse was able to parlay his religious academic credentials
to serve as an adviser to Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff
in 2005 and as assistant secretary for planning and evaluation at the
Department of Health and Human Services under Secretary Michael Leavitt
from 2006 to 2007. Sasse also served as chief of staff to Representative
Jeff Fortenberry (R-NE), who has a post-graduate degree in theology. While
Sasse was earning additional Washington "insider" points working for Fortenberry,
another rising GOP staffer, Ryan Loskarn, was honing his political skills
under Representatives Wally Herger (R-CA) and Marsha Blackburn (R-TN).
Earlier this year, Loskarn allegedly committed suicide after he was arrested
for possession and distribution of child pornography.
It is inconceivable that Sasse, whose degrees were more in keeping with
those of an aspiring theologian, would have been involved with career
attorneys in the Justice Department. Sasse had already punched the right
"tickets." From 1994 to 1995, Sasse worked for the Boston Consulting Group,
Mitt Romney's and Binyamin Netanyahu's old firm. From 1996 to 1998, Sasse
was a tutor and proctor for the U.S. House of Representatives page program.
It is during his job in the House page program that Sasse's meteoric political
career met its first scandal. One of the members of the House Page Board
while Sasse served as a tutor and proctor was Representative Jim Kolbe
(R-AZ). Sasse had the responsibility to protect the underage teen House
pages from among other threats, predatory members of Congress.
The chair of the House Page Board in 1998, Sasse's final year as proctor/tutor,
was Representative Tillie Fowler (R-FL). Fowler died suddenly from a brain
hemorrhage on March 2, 2005, after allegations about the sexual abuse
of pages first hit the front pages.
In 1996, while Sasse was a proctor and tutor for the pages, Kolbe, a member
of the oversight House Page Board, took two 17-year old male pages on
a three-day Independence Day camping trip to the Grand Canyon in Arizona.
Kolbe also said he was aware of ex-GOP Rep. Mark Foley's (R-FL) e-mails
to underage male pages as early as 2000. However, Foley's indiscretions
with the pages reportedly began as early as 1998, while Sasse was still
a proctor/tutor. Foley later resigned after it was publicly revealed that
he had made sexual advances toward male pages, including attempts to coax
them from their dormitory on Capitol Hill.
Kolbe later stepped down as chairman of the House Page Board after questions
were raised about his camong trip with the pages. Sasse, as a proctor
and tutor for the pages, had the responsibility of stopping Kolbe from
taking the pages out of state for possible illegal purposes. Sasse's closeness
to the House Page Sex Scandal begs the fabled Washington scandal question:
"What did Sasse know and when did he know it?" If Sasse was unaware of
the activities of Kolbe and Foley with House pages between 1996 and 1998,
why did he not know? As a proctor and tutor, it was his job to know. If
Sasse was aware of the activities of Kolbe and Foley and chose not to
report it to the House leadership, that makes Sasse an accessory to criminal
Sasse's superiors in the House Page Program in 1998 were, in addition
to Kolbe, Representative Dale Kildee (D-MI), House Clerk Robin Carle,
and House Sergeant-at-Arms Wilson Livingood. Sasse could have approached
Kildee, Carle, or Livingood with information about Kolbe's and Foley's
improper relationships with the pages. Fortunately for Sasse, House ethics
investigations are usually mired in secrecy with no transparency afforded
to the proceedings or documents arising from House Ethics Committee investigations.
Officials of the Nebraska government in Lincoln (above) tried
in vain to stop the use of their state for child sex trafficking during
the infamous "Franklin Scandal." WMR photo.
Sasse has received the political support of Senator Ted Cruz (R-TX), former
Alaska Governor Sarah Palin, and Representative Paul Ryan (R-WI), the
latter two former GOP vice presidential candidates. Sasse is also well-funded
by the Club for Growth, an extremist capitalist group that favors shrinking
government and eliminating regulation of the private sector, including
parochial schools and child protective services.
It is easy to see how Sasse would favor deregulation of government oversight
of foster care programs, orphanages, and other child services. Nebraska
was ground zero for the infamous "Franklin Scandal," the use of children
for sexual prostitution by prominent Republicans in the state, including
Franklin Credit Union president Lawrence King, a rising African-American
star in the Republican Party. King was later convicted for embezzling
funds from the minority-owned Franklin Credit Union, but thanks to pressure
from the Reagan and Bush 41 administrations, there were never any prosecutions
for child molestation and trafficking across state lines.
Sasse, who home schools his children, is clearly tainted by the House
Page Scandal in a state with a sordid history involving the sexual abuse
of children, including orphans from Boy's Town near Omaha.
Beyond Sasse's involvement in a scandal that ultimately led to the abandonment
of the House Page program in 2011, Sasse's adherence to the Christian
Dominionist philosophy is troubling to many Nebraskans. While living in
Boston, Sasse served as Executive Director for Christian United for Reformation
(CUFR), which merged with the Alliance of Confessing Evangelicals (ACE).
Sasse moved to Anaheim, California to head up ACE.
Ben Sasse, a Christian Dominionist who appears to have helped
cover up the Kolbe/Foley House Page sex scandal wants to be a U.S. Senator.
Sasse, who claims to be a Lutheran, became deeply immersed in neo-Calvinist
theology that appears to agree with the goals of the Christian Dominionists:
remaking the United States as a reformed Christian theocracy and maintaining
fervent opposition to "Romanism," militant fundamentalist code for the
Catholic Church. Sasse has reportedly proposed moving the capital of the
United States from Washington, DC to Lincoln, Nebraska. In fact, had Nazi
Germant conquered the United States, the Germans also had plans to move
the U.S. capital to Lincoln. Sasse is also reported as telling college
classmates in Harvard and Yale that he would be the "45th President of
the United States." Obama is the 44th president.
Sasse was also associated with the Westminster Seminary of Escondido,
California. Westminster has advanced the cause of the anti-ecumenicalism
within Christianity. It is affiliated with the Christian Apologetics and
Research Ministry of Meridian, Idaho, which provides Internet trolls with
"cut-and-paste" comments for sock puppets to post on Internet chat rooms.
The pre-written comments debase the beliefs of atheists, Unitarians, Roman
Catholics, Eastern Orthodox, Mormons, Muslims, Jehovah's Witnesses, as
well as homosexuality.
Sasse's beliefs also appear to mirror those of the powerful "Fellowship"
or "Family" that dominates politics in Washington, DC. If Sasse was aware
of the activities of Kolbe and Foley with the House pages and failed to
act, it may have something to do with fundamentalist forgiveness of even
pederasty if the transgressor submits to Jesus. Fellowship founder Douglas
Coe once stated, "Let's say I hear you raped three little girls. What
would I think of you?" To which a young man in his audience replied, "
You'd think I was a monster." Coe answered, No. I wouldn't." Presidential
hopeful Hillary Clinton once called Coe a "genuinely loving spiritual
guide and mentor."
The Democrats may be complicit in paving the way for Sasse. The Democratic
candidate is David Domina, a lackluster trial lawyer who is receiving
little to nothing in campaign cash from the Democratic Senatorial Campaign
Committee. The "fix" appears to be in for the seat of retiring GOP Senator
Mike Johanns in Nebraska. Challenging this "fix" is Dan Buhrdorf who is
running on the Tax Wall Street Party ticket. Buhrdorf is currently canvassing
Nebraska for the 5000 petition signatures required to appear on the ballot
Sasse's doctoral dissertation at Yale took on American atheist leader
Madalyn Murray O'Hare. The dissertation was titled: "The Anti-Madalyn
Majority: Secular Left, Religious Right, and the Rise of Reagan's America."
Sasse's dissertation postulated that a conservative Protestant alliance
could take over political power in the United States. The rhetoric, coupled
with Sasse's belief in the "just war," is strikingly similar to the Dominionist/Reconstructionist
beliefs of P. J. Rushdoonie and his adherents, including the Ahmanson
family, the former owners of the election machine company that helped
propel Hagel and possibly other Nebraskan politicians into the U.S. Senate
Sasse is going directly for the U.S. Senate without the typical preliminary
run for the U.S. House. It is noteworthy that the House disbanded its
page program while the Senate Page Program remains as active as ever.