Cornerstone’s Kevin Smith appointed to the US Commission of Civil Rights

I first saw this in the UL but also found it in a press release:…

“The U.S. Commission on Civil Rights has appointed 13 people to its New Hampshire Advisory Committee.

Martin Dannenfelser, staff director of the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights, announced the appointment of Jerianne E. Boggis of Milford, Katherine L. Brown of Barrington, Jordan C. Budd of Concord, Anthony J. Epaphras of Manchester, Patricia M. Gormley of Portsmouth, Elizabeth S. Hager of Concord, Barbara J. Jago of Manchester, Rogers J. Johnson of Stratham, Rowell Shep Melnick of Amherst, Nabil Migalli of Manchester, Kevin H. Smith of Litchfield, Carol Stamatakis of Lempster and Alejandro J. Urrutia of Hudson to the New Hampshire Advisory Committee. Commissioners appointed Jordan Budd as chair. The appointments are for two years. An independent bipartisan federal agency, the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights conducts research and advises the President and Congress on civil rights issues…”

This is THE Kevin Smith from Cornerstone – their website mentions his middle initial and the UL, in another article about school censorship, states he lives in Litchfield. Some of the other names are interesting too.

Does anyone know who nominates people for this commission or what it actually does?

36 Responses to Cornerstone’s Kevin Smith appointed to the US Commission of Civil Rights

  1. Ray Buckley June 19, 2009 at 6:40 pm #

    So, if you are a paid lobbyist to deny people their civil rights you get to get appointed to an advisory board regarding civil rights?

    Someone’s sense of humor is whacked.

    • TimothyHorrigan June 19, 2009 at 7:39 pm #

      We live in a world where Henry Kissinger got the Nobel Peace Prize and Cher won an Oscar.  Anything is possible— anything, that is, aside from universal health care for all Americans and a fair and reliable tax system in NH.

      • Ray Buckley June 19, 2009 at 7:49 pm #

        Are you criticizing Cher? OMG.  

  2. Rep. Jim Splaine June 19, 2009 at 6:44 pm #

    As I first read this it sounded like a The Onion (the false news) story.  

    This IS unbelievable.  How can this be?  It makes no sense.  This doesn’t happen in the United States of America, 2009.  Does it?  

    • beverlywoods June 19, 2009 at 7:32 pm #

      whoever appointed Mr. Smith needs to get a bit of feedback.

      • beverlywoods June 19, 2009 at 7:43 pm #

        Told them it was like putting a KKKer in there. Mentioned that he just finished a stint as director of an organization which illegally robocalled everyone in the state in an effort to prevent equal rights from happening.

        • beverlywoods June 19, 2009 at 7:50 pm #

          he’s still director of Cornerstone.  

        • Zandra Rice Hawkins June 20, 2009 at 4:06 am #

          at Granite State Progress. and click on the frontpage photo

  3. Ray Buckley June 19, 2009 at 6:45 pm #

    The staff director’s bio includes years with the Family Research Council:

  4. TaxiManSteve June 19, 2009 at 6:50 pm #

    Boffo day for a fox…(sigh)

  5. Ray Buckley June 19, 2009 at 7:02 pm #

    The United States Commission on Civil Rights
    The U.S. Commission on Civil Rights is an independent, bipartisan agency established by Congress in 1957, reconstituted in 1983, and reauthorized in 1994. It is directed to investigate complaints alleging that citizens are being deprived of their right to vote by reason of their race, color, religion, sex, age, disability, or national origin, or by reason of fraudulent practices; study and collect information relating to discrimination or a denial of equal protection of the laws under the Constitution because of race, color, religion, sex, age, disability, or national origin, or in the administration of justice; appraise federal laws and policies with respect to discrimination or denial of equal protection of the laws because of race, color, religion, sex, age, disability, or national origin, or in the administration of justice; serve as a national clearinghouse for information in respect to discrimination or denial of equal protection of the laws because of race, color, religion, sex, age, disability, or national origin; submit reports, findings, and recommendations to the President and Congress; and issue public service announcements to discourage discrimination or denial of equal protection of the laws.

    The State Advisory Committees

    By law, the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights has established an advisory committee in each of the 50 states and the District of Columbia. The committees are composed of state citizens who serve without compensation. The committees advise the Commission of civil rights issues in their states that are within the Commission’s jurisdiction. More specifically, they are authorized to advise the Commission on matters of their state’s concern in the preparation of Commission reports to the President and the Congress; receive reports, suggestions, and recommendations from individuals, public officials, and representatives of public and private organizations to committee inquiries; forward advice and recommendations to the Commission, as requested; and observe any open hearing or conference conducted by the Commission in their states.


    • Michael Marsh June 19, 2009 at 8:39 pm #

      … folks on both sides of the civil rights issue? Those fer ‘em, and those aginst ‘em.

      This is simply what you get if you continue to play bi-partisan when one of the parties is dysfunctional.  

  6. Kathy Sullivan 2 June 19, 2009 at 7:04 pm #

    The right wing fringe had 8 years to place people in federal jobs; not just political jobs, but civil service jobs. It is going to take a long time to flush the system. We’ve seen it in the Justice Department, we are going to see it all over the place.

    I don’t know Jordan Budd, who was named the chair of the advisory group, but on paper he has some pretty good credentials. Shep Melnick is excellent. I am guessing what happened is that since this is biparitsan, they needed to appoint some Republicans, and a right wing staffer managed to slip Smith through. Annoying? Big time. Could it have been prevented?  I don’t know enough about how this process works, so I can’t say. Do I think Smith will have any influence? No. Will it now be on his resume? Yes.  Does it stink? Yes.


  7. Nanuq June 19, 2009 at 7:06 pm #

    Does this mean we will now see an increase in complaints of discrimination against straight, white, male, married Christians?

    • Michael Marsh June 19, 2009 at 8:40 pm #

      “My right to keep my head in the sand and pretend everyone is the same as me is being discriminated against.”

    • jdblanch June 23, 2009 at 4:22 am #

      and I sometimes feel discriminated against and judged by Republicans.  Can Mr. Smith help me?!

  8. Paul Twomey June 19, 2009 at 7:17 pm #

    The Civil Rights Commission is a “bipartisan” organization set up under the control of both the executive and the congress. I believe, although I am not certain, that the congressional republicans have the right to appoint members and I suspect that that is what this is.

    Usually in things like this the executive appointments determine the balance of power, but it may well be that holdover appointments from Bush administration are still in place. I am trying to get a clarification on this.

    • Paul Twomey June 19, 2009 at 7:30 pm #



      The eight commissioners serve six-year staggered terms. Four are appointed by the President, two by the President Pro Tempore of the Senate and two by the Speaker of the House of Representatives. No more than four Commissioners can be of the same political party. In addition, neither the two Senate appointees nor the two House appointees may be of the same political party. With the concurrence of a majority of the Commission’s members, the President designates a Chair and a Vice Chair. The Staff Director is also appointed by the President with the concurrence of a majority of the Commissioners.

      The Commission has appointed 51 State Advisory Committees (SACs) to function as the “eyes and ears” of the Commission in their respective locations. The Commission’s enabling legislation authorizes the creation of these SACs and directs the Commission to establish at least one advisory committee in every state and the District of Columbia. Each state committee has a charter that enables it to operate and identifies its members. Each charter is valid for a term of two years, and the committee terminates if the charter is not renewed by the Commission. Each committee has a minimum of eleven members. The SACs are supported by regional offices whose primary function is to assist them in their planning, fact-finding, and reporting activities. Like the Commission, the SACs produce written reports that are based on fact finding hearings and other public meetings.


  9. Peter Sullivan June 19, 2009 at 8:10 pm #

    Carol Stamatakis: Director of Planning, NH Developmental Disabilities Council.

    Jordan Budd: Professor, Pierce Law School, former ACLU staff attorney.

    Nabil Migali: Leader in the Islamic community in New Hampshire.

    Anthony Epaphras:Professor at SNHU, officer of The India Association of New Hampshire.

    Barbara Jago: UNH-Manchester communications professor; has written about her battle with depression.

    But right-wing politicians like Kevin Smith and Rogers Johnson? That’s insulting.

    • Vis Unita Fortior June 20, 2009 at 4:43 am #

      But I thought Nabil Migali is a Christian.

      • Peter Sullivan June 20, 2009 at 9:22 am #

        He is inolved with an Arab-American group, and has spoken out in defense of the folks who are constructing a mosque in Manchester, so I may have jumped to a conclusion. Nonetheless, it’s important to have someone with an Arab-American perspective on this sort of a panel. It makes a lot more sense than an anti-civil rights activist, that’s for certain.

        • Vis Unita Fortior June 20, 2009 at 9:51 am #

          Migalli sometimes has run an Arabic language class which I took way back in the nineteen-hundreds.  If I recall correctly the class met in a church and Migalli specifically mentioned that he was a Christian.  To my knowledge there is a fairly sizeable Arab Christian community in Arabia, Palestine, and the rest of the Levant.

          • jdblanch June 23, 2009 at 4:24 am #

            and there is a growing minority of Christians in Palestine.

  10. StevenPlace June 19, 2009 at 10:36 pm #

    Great find Putney Swope. I can’t believe this though. Is it 100% confirmed? Or can the appointment be challenged?

    • RealNRH June 19, 2009 at 10:41 pm #

      When it says ‘bipartisan commission’ that suggests that right-wing extremist Republicans get to put people on it, too. And since Republicans have no interest in any reality that doesn’t match their dogma, Democrats end up putting on sane people with credentials appropriate to the commission while Republicans put on whoever hates the subject the most.

  11. Derek June 19, 2009 at 11:32 pm #

    Just Wednesday he was leading the charge to ban a book with homosexual content in it. SO much for civil rights…

    Kevin Smith, executive director of Cornerstone Policy Research, indicated he was looking into possible legal action over the issue.

    He noted that local school district policy mandates that parents be informed when their children are going to be exposed to sexually explicit material.

    “We are not Cambridge, Mass., or L.A., or even Hanover,” said Smith, who added that he and many others moved to Litchfield because of the community’s traditional values

    • Michael Marsh June 19, 2009 at 11:59 pm #

      don’t they have rights, too?

      I love that phrase – community traditional values. If you don’t think too hard, it seems quite reasonable. But all it really means is because something was done in  the past is enough justification for doing it today. If that were the case, we would still have slavery and witch burnings.

      It reminds me of what Churchill said when he was Chief of the Admiralty and was attacked for upsetting some Royal Navy tradition: “Don’t talk to me about naval tradition. It’s nothing but rum, sodomy, and the lash.”  

      • Tim C. June 20, 2009 at 2:32 am #

        • Peter Sullivan June 20, 2009 at 9:23 am #

          One that I still play 20+ years down the road!

      • JonnyBBad June 20, 2009 at 2:46 am #

        was in use when I was growing up in CT in the early 60’s, used for masking a different prejudice…keeping out Jews by not selling homes to them. It was framed the same way. Neighborhoods, “an exclusive neighborhood” is what they said in Fairfiled County…when they meant ‘no Jews’. Theye were not bigots in their own estimation, they were just preserving the character of the neighborhood, and its community traditional values.

  12. Beth Campbell June 20, 2009 at 4:53 am #

    I had the distinct dishonor of sitting across the table from him on CloseUp a few weeks ago.  After the taping, he told me that, in spite of my rotten childhood, I would have been worse off with a same sex adoptive couple.  Asshole.

    Nice catch, Putz!  If you and Bill had been around when I was a kid, you would have been the best parents ever!  

    • Putney Swope June 20, 2009 at 6:29 am #

      We love you in spite of this comment. We hope die Hunden enjoyed the gigot!

      Sayonara, auf wiedersehen, shalom!

      • Beth Campbell June 22, 2009 at 10:14 pm #

        Julia = Jules
        Desmond = Dez
        Putney = Putz

        I love you more than Fiesta Ware!

  13. Ref June 20, 2009 at 5:42 am #

    believeable!  Why can’t we do the opposite of the Repubs?  Say, let’s find the most liberal Repubs we can (Walt Peterson, anyone) and put them on the board.  Hey!  It’s bipartisan.

    • Dartmouth Dem June 20, 2009 at 7:02 am #

      I know he’s a Democrat now, but, back in the day, he became the only Republican for whom I have ever cast a ballot.  

  14. Lucy Weber June 20, 2009 at 5:23 pm #

    I contacted the Eastern Regional Office of the US Human Rights Commission and was told that the State Advisory Councils are appointed by the existing Commission members.  They said the next meeting of the NH Advisory Board will probably be held in July at Franklin Pierce Law Center.  I asked to be put on the list of those to get notice of any meetings, and will post here whatever I find out.

    With respect to the choice of Republican appointees, I note that one of the new appointees is Liz Hager, who would get my vote any day.   I am thinking she must have served in the Legislature with Kevin Smith, and I would guess, but do not know, that he would have had a hand in her defeat in the Republican primary this time around.

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