Pegram’s Group Asks Candidates about ‘Values’

It’s too early to tell whether Larry Pegram will be elected to City Council to represent District 9, but he does have some powerful backers, including Mayor Chuck Reed. Pegram, who identifies with the religious right, promised not to raise the issues near and dear to him as a member of City Council.

Reed’s endorsement focused on Pegram’s ability to deal with fiscal issues, or as he said, “I need members on the Council who are concerned about the fiscal issues, who understand the fiscal issues, and who are willing to stand up to special interest groups and say no, in order to protect the services to our residents.” Indeed, Pegram’s campaign pledge reads that, our first priority has to be getting our residents back to work!” with a focus on small businesses. There’s no mention of Prop 8 or teaching intelligent design.

The problem is that the Values Advocacy Council that Pegram co-founded and headed (and still works for) is continuing to focus on its mission of ensuring that “elected and non-elected officials to make values based decisions and take values oriented actions.”

To that end, the committee has sent a letter and questionnaire to school board candidates to determine where they stand on such issue as the role of religion in education, their stance on abstinence education and abortion, and the teaching of intelligent design. Among the questions they ask, for example, is: “The display of religious articles or symbols has a place on school property. YES/NO.”

This leaves people wondering whether Pegram is behind the questionnaires, and whether he is really focused on fiscal issues, or whether he would rather concentrate on matters of faith.
Read More at the Daily Fetch.

23 Comments

  1. This is an easy one…. This guy is a Religious zealot.  Don’t we elect people to the council not only for their political beliefs but also their personal beliefs as well?? I’m sure Hitler was fiscally responsible but I don’t think he would have done well on the City Council….

    As such, there is NO WAY that Pegram will be able to keep his “Christian Values” muted for long…. 

    I can already see it, “Sorry, domestic partnership benefits are costing the city too much… Gotta cut it!!.  By the way, did you know that marriage is between a man and a woman??”

    Ya, That could never happen… (insert sarcastic tone here)

  2. > As such, there is NO WAY that Pegram will be able to keep his “Christian Values” muted for long…. 

    And so, Urn-est, are you proposing that there be religious tests for people who hold public office?

    Perhaps a test to establish that a candidate isn’t TOO Christian.  You think?

    • Well Bronco Billy, I was merely responding to the story above…. It is well known that Pegram has some very outspoken Religious Views regarding marriage, homosexuality, and such…. 

      This is a Democracy and Freedom of Speech is everybody’s right, However, when you make your speech well know and then have people support you but say that your personal beliefs won’t come up because your fiscally responsible…??  I don’t know how that works…. even if it works. I highlighted “christian values” because I too am a christian and don’t share his values…. Way too extreme for me.  But that’s the beauty of the process, we get to see what he’s all about and turn him inside out and then vote him in or out.

      As far as testing one’s religious beliefs for office….. That’s just silly.  How about a test for common sense and telling the truth and showing some responsibility for the greater good when needed??  I’m all for that.

      • > I don’t know how that works…. even if it works. I highlighted “christian values” because I too am a christian and don’t share his values….

        What a coincidence!

        Our First Black President is also a Christian.  Did you know?

        He reports that he’s always been a Christian.

        Something of a miracle in my book since Daddy was a Muslim and Mommy was an atheist.

        My guess is that he pulled the covers over his head at night and listened to radio preachers.

    • I don’t think anybody’s proposing any litmus tests about religion (or any other topic, for that matter) for candidates. People generally decide on how they’ll vote based on the information available to them. And regarding Pegram, the information available is that he’s a religious zealot who all of a sudden is downplaying all that now that he’s running for the District 9 council seat. The whole purpose of his Values Advocacy Council (make no mistake: it’s still his, even if his name is no longer officially attached to it) is to elect and support candidates for official governmental offices based on their religious beliefs.

      I’m sure most people, including District 9 voters, will arrive at their own conclusions.

      You ought to check out the YouTube video of Chuck and Larry touting the 2008 National Day of Prayer. REAL interesting how they juxtapose religious imagery and recognizable local government symbols, like City Hall.

      • > I don’t think anybody’s proposing any litmus tests about religion (or any other topic, for that matter) for candidates.

        Yup.  They’re proposing religious litmus tests for candidates, plain as the ample nose on your face:

        > As such, there is NO WAY that Pegram will be able to keep his “Christian Values” muted for long….

        Try posting this, Dean:

        “There is NO WAY that [candidate X] will be able to keep his “Jewish Values” muted for long…”

        How long do you think it will take for the ADL to arrive on your doorstep, denounce your “anti-semitism”, accuse you of “hate crimes”, and demand that you recant you statement?

  3. This is the same questionnaire they’ve been sending out for years.  They maintain the mission to promote candidates who share an extreme religious right agenda.  Nothing wrong with that, but those of us who don’t like that agenda have every right to point out where the candidate comes from and what his values are.  The Mayor’s argument that his values don’t matter, only his fiscal responsibility, is a joke.

    And note that for the June primary, they sent the questionnaire to over 40 candidates and only 3 responded.  (Most don’t bother playing games with this extremist group.)  Two of the three candidates who responded are Chuck Reed and Larry Pegram, and they agree on all but abortion.  So how can we trust that the Mayor doesn’t think Pegram’s values are important?  His comments are a smoke screen to try to sneak this candidate by us.

    Incidentally, how does a group like VAC get away with being a tax-exempt non-profit?

    • By the way, VAC and Urn-est, do either of you gentlemen have any information on when and where Nancy Pelosi’s post-election victory party will be held?  I am told that there is absolutely no doubt that Nancy will be re-elected.

      Some of my Republican acquaintances have expressed an interest in attending the festivities and joining in the celebrations.

    • “. . . how does a group like VAC get away with being a tax-exempt non-profit?”

      Same way the Mormon and Catholic churches get away with it: by breaking the law.

      • > Same way the Mormon and Catholic churches get away with it: by breaking the law.

        By the way, Deanie, did you realize that Mormons and Catholics have First Amendment free speech rights, just like regular Americans?

        Go ahead, cite your legal authority that says that they can’t exercise their free speech.  Here’s mine:

        “Congress shall make no law . . . .”

        And, by the way, neither Congress nor anyone else can barter away anyone’s free speech rights by trading it for a tax exemption. It’s a FUNDAMENTAL right.

        And if Ruth Bader Ginsburg disagrees, Ruthie is wrong.

        • Expect, that the Churches get tax exempt status, which you forget to mention.

          If they want to preach from the pulpit fine! But no tax exempt status, sounds like a fair trade to me.

    • “The Mayor’s argument that his values don’t matter, only his fiscal responsibility, is a joke.”

      Actually, its basic common sense, since his positions on the municipal fiscal issues before the Council will be AT LEAST twenty times more important than what he thinks about gay marriage, abortion, etc.  If not infinitely so.

      “Incidentally, how does a group like VAC get away with being a tax-exempt non-profit?”

      Presumably because they meet the statutory criteria.

  4. The Chamber of Commerce just declined to endorse in the D9 race.  I guess Chuck Reed’s endorsement wasn’t enough to sway the Chamber.

  5. Does being strongly religious automatically disqualify a person from positions of political influence? Apparently it does, if we are to agree with the logic of the “openminded” progressives of Silicon Valley. In the case of Larry Pegram’s candidacy his religion seems to be the only issue that makes any difference to them.

    Had Ernest Beginner’s simpleminded criterium for judging public figures been commonplace in the last century, our history books would be much, much thinner. If past generations had been as bigoted as today’s “progressives” then names like Gandhi, Malcolm X, and Martin Luther King would be unknown to us. At the first glimmer of their faith based tendencies these deeply religious men would have been shouted down, ridiculed, and drummed out of public life by our heroic defenders of the 1st Amendment, without ever having been given a chance to spread their message to the broader populace.

    • Not sure who pee’d in your cheerio’s but Pegram is too much of a risk for most people in the valley, Simpleminded as that…!!

      Bummer the history books won’t be thicker because of his religious beliefs….

  6. Pegram is my man for the city council. Not only am I a non-union Jewish carpenter, I am the Son of God. My endorsement has to carry some weight.

    • Hey, JC!  Bronco here.

      I really loved it when you got your bull whip and chased the money changers out of the temple.

      You would agree, wouldn’t you, that the SBLC lobbyists who are funneling card room money to Sacramento politicians qualify as “money changers”, right?

      Just checking.

  7. It would be proper for you to check your facts. I am the one who sent out the VAC survey. Just because Mr.Pegram is running for office doesn’t stop the VAC from continuing it’s work on behalf of the voters.

    VAC has offered a voter guide for several years. This year will be no different.

    Your comments are misleading and in error.

    Dave Sawkins
    VAC Chairman & Interim President

  8. I don’t really understand what this article is trying to say.  Surely you can’t be suggesting that the Values Advocacy Council was somehow obligated to cease its regular operations, merely because its most prominent member happens to be seeking a seat on the City Council?

    Anyhoo, Larry Pegram’s conservative ideas on social policy shouldn’t matter to anyone.  What’s the worst that’s gonna happen?  He and Pete Constant might form a coalition of two, and get overwhelmingly & humiliatingly voted down a few times?  Why are people so bothered by the idea that a City Council member might actually oppose gay marriage, or abortion?  Heavens to Betsy!  We must have absolute conformity of thought at every level!  Our City Council must be demographically diverse, yet ideologically uniform.

  9. “I can already see it, ‘Sorry, domestic partnership benefits are costing the city too much… Gotta cut it!!.  By the way, did you know that marriage is between a man and a woman??’”

    You mean a member of the City Council might actually state an opinion that was shared by over ninety percent of the electorate in 1985?  Oh my stars and garters!  Someone please fetch me a vermouth, I think I’m going to be faint!

  10. I live in the same townhouse complex as Larry and his wife.  I served on the HOA Board with his wife. Neither Larry nor his wife have ever said a religious word to me.

    I am a non-believer.  I probably come down on the opposite side of Larry on many issues, but I agree wholeheartedly with his philosophy of fiscal restraint—something this city has lacked for a couple of decades.

    If I have to choose between a right wing religious guy and a labor stooge, I’ll take the right wing religious guy.

  11. I will be doing an on-line survey to see how the citizens in my district feel about Larry Pegram. I will be presenting my results at a community meeting.

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