This morning I woke up to one of the shoddiest pieces of blogging I have seen in a while. It was from Jeanine Martin at Virginia Virtucon with the title, Why did Mike Farris endorse Pete Snyder?
I understand Jeanine can’t stand Pete Snyder, but Mike Farris deserves to be understood on his own terms, not used as one more excuse to go after Pete Snyder. As someone who has worked with Mike Farris, been employed by organizations he created, and graduated from the college he founded, I’d like to take a moment to help explain why Mike Farris endorsed Pete Snyder.
First of all, has Mike Farris made mistakes in who he has endorsed? The Scott York endorsement was a mistake. There’s no point in denying that.
However, to claim that that endorsement, and the Pete Snyder endorsement were done to help Mike Farris politically takes a lot to prove, and no proof was given. You also can’t start a rumor, and then claim that rumor as the reason for attacking someone’s decision to endorse a candidate.
If you are interested in understanding why Mike Farris endorsed Pete Snyder, let’s take a look at their history. One thing Pete Snyder did a very good job of as Victory Director was social conservative outreach. At times when Boston was clamping down on social conservative outreach, Pete Snyder repeatedly stood up and pushed back against Boston to give social conservatives working for Victory the leeway they needed to do their job. As part of that outreach he worked hard to reach out to Mike Farris. Mike Farris was very much on the fence in 2012. It was the direct result of Pete Snyder’s outreach to Mike Farris that set up his one-on-one meeting with Mitt Romney. The meeting with Mitt Romney and Pete Snyder’s outreach were crucial to Mike Farris deciding to vote for Mitt Romney.
This relationship with Pete Snyder developed into a working relationship on Mike Farris’s most important issue. Over the last half dozen years Mike Farris’s top issue has been the assault on parental rights. He started ParentalRights.org, went back to school for an LLM in international law, and has generally poured more energy into this issue than any other single issue.
In the fall of 2012, Mike Farris lead the fight against the UNCRPD, UN Convention on the Rights of Person’s with Disabilities, a treaty which would have infringed on the rights of parents and transferred those rights to international bureaucrats. He brought people together he had worked with in the past to fight this battle. One person who provided help was Pete Snyder. He utilized his D.C. connections to help lobby against the treaty. He and his wife, who serves as Roy Blunt’s Deputy Chief of Staff, were crucial in helping convince Roy Blunt to oppose the treaty. In December the Senate rejected the treaty, and it was entertaining watching the number of Democrat Senators address the number of homeschoolers opposing the treaty in the statements about their votes.
During the General Assembly session Pete showed that parental rights was an issue he cared about as he used his campaign to advocate for the passage of legislation on this issue. It was an issue very few other campaigns were talking about.
Pete’s commitment to parental rights was crucial in making Will Estrada and Joel Grewe strong believers in Pete Snyder. They had no race they were rumored to run for that Pete could even be rumored to endorse them for. When you’ve recently been in the trenches with someone fighting for an important issue, it is only natural that you support that person later. This is true for many of the activists at HSLDA, and it is very much true for Mike Farris.
In short, Mike Farris endorsed Pete Snyder because Pete fought hard for and believes strongly in the issue that is at the top of Mike Farris’s list, parental rights. Through the time spent together fighting that battle, he has also come to realize that Pete is a true conservative on other issues as well.
UPDATE: Looks like another Virginia Virtucon contributor has a stronger response to Jeanine’s smear post.