Saturday, August 06, 2005

A Republican Woman Speaks out

As a Republican I have long worried about the erosion of freedom in America. It was a concern for freedom that propelled me into politics when I was eleven, having read Conscience of a Conservative by Barry Goldwater. It was a desire to leave a more civil America for my five children that has kept me in politics all of my life.
Many things changed for all of us on September 11th. From the place of unity and trust that followed the tragedy of September 11th we have moved to a state of unprecedented hostility, division and fear.
Remember for a moment the outpouring of compassion from the world and the way we came together during those days when volunteers from every walk of life throughout the world worked to aid survivors in New York. That is the real America, the America that each of us loves and trusts; the America that speaks a vision beyond the partisanship of politics and inspired the world as a shining beacon of hope.
That trust had been used by the Bush administration to cancel the Bill of Rights and install a federal monarchy. The Bush White House has betrayed both America and the Republican Party. No real Republican can support George W. Bush.
The steady growth of government is drowning the hopes of women and men from all parties and all parts of our nation. Using the rhetoric of freedom the White House is calling up the reality of fascism. None of us is immune.
As a Republican woman I did not imagine that the Patriot Act would be used in a focused attempt to destroy my family. That is, however, what happened. Sometimes freedom becomes very personal. Our story will be your story if we cannot change the direction our nation has taken.
We are no longer safe from our own government.
In our case this administration allowed one of its political operatives disguised as a journalist access to private records legally protected by the courts. The Patriot Act makes this possible. National security was not an issue. The political operative in question was seeking to evade charges of domestic violence. The abuser’s name was John Fund. Here is how this administration uses its power.
Normally, adoption records are sealed unless ordered by the court. Getting access is impossible, even for those most closely involved. That is what the law says. But if you have the right connections with the NeoCons presently running our country into bankruptcy and corporate fascism you can get anything on anyone.
I have been a member of the National Federation of Republican Women since the early 1990s. My daughter is also a member – but I have learned some hard lessons in the past three years about those who are in charge of the Party that once was the shining hope of a generation inspired by Barry Goldwater and dedicated to individualism and civil liberties. I spent my entire adult life working for those ideals only to see the progress we had made redirected to line the pockets of those who gathered the power into their own grasping hands, laying the groundwork for an Imperial Federalism.
How did my daughter and I learn this had happened? The first inkling we had of just how far the Bush administration will go to protect its political operatives came from Eric Alterman’s article published in the Nation in June of ’03. In that article Alterman publishes information that we would ourselves be unable to access, information available only through the misuse of power.
My daughter, Morgan Pillsbury, was in a relationship with John Fund from October 1998 until she finally left him, preferring charges for domestic violence, in the spring of 2002. John Fund had been a NeoCon operative since he started working with Evans and Novak in the early 1980s after a brief stint with the Star. His potential thus revealed he was recruited. From there he moved on to the Wall Street Journal and worked there as a political operative for eighteen years. He has vacationed with Dick Cheney and remains in close contact with the White House.
The NeoCons do not care about issues of right and wrong. A study the ‘election strategies’ of Karl Rove reveal that slander, libel, and orchestrated events are standard operating procedure. Fund used his NeoCon connections to evade justice. This included eliciting cooperation from men like Eric Alterman. Alterman is no NeoCon, but he has the same kind of ego.
Alterman is only one in a series of journalists who cooperated with Fund and were rewarded for their cooperation with jobs from other NeoCon sources. Another journalist who recently killed a story was then immediately hired by the Wall Street Journal, a NeoCon institution.
Let’s examine how Alterman’s hit piece was assembled.
“In a signed affidavit, the woman in question--whose true age is 36, seven years older than was reported, and who was born Carolyn Anne Barteaux but carries a passport (a copy of which was provided to me by Fund) under the name Carolyn Anne Pillsbury and now goes by Morgan Francis Pillsbury--withdraws any accusations of physical abuse, accusations that resulted in Fund's arrest.”
The entire article is a montage of arrogance and unsubstantiated accusations not just according to me but according to the journalists who bothered to do research. Alterman’s article says more about his quality as a journalist than about my daughter.
Here, Alterman implies that the changes of name indicate a questionable history, raising questions of devious intent. But the facts actually say something very different. When my daughter was between five and six she was adopted by my new husband, something that happens every day. She became Carolyn Anne Kellett. When my daughter was twelve I allowed my parents to adopt her. She had been living with them and they wanted this very much. She became Carolyn Anne Pillsbury. She continued to visit me during the summers. When my daughter turned 18 she changed her given name to Morgan because she loved horses, and took Francis as a middle name to honor my father, Dr. Arthur Francis Pillsbury.
California allows name change by usage. But to get a passport you have to jump through hoops. So, while she used the name Morgan for everything else her passport remained Carolyn Anne. She has used ‘Morgan Francis’ unfailingly since she was 19.
But how did John Fund get copies of my daughter’s adoption records and passport? My daughter kept the passport elsewhere and never mentioned her previous name to Fund. Neither she nor I possess a copy of the original birth certificate and her baby book in which the name is written is in storage at my home in California. But Alterman says he was shown a copy of the passport and published the previous name.
The law on passports is similar to the law on adoption records. These records are not available. Accessing them is a felony. The only way Fund could have gotten it therefore is through his political NeoCon connections. In a deposition of Fund taken in New York on October 19th Fund admitted to having destroyed the documents that would prove how he acquired these records. More discovery is in motion.
The withdrawal of charges Alterman cites did not happen. Morgan was physically forced to sign a statement dictated by Fund. The man who had so often beaten her into unconsciousness told her he would do it again if she did not cooperate. He also threatened to harm me, her mother, I later learned. Such coerced statements are void for obvious reasons. Since I heard my daughter being abused and saw her injuries I was able to rebut this document myself and have done so under penalty of perjury. I was not the only one to hear her abused; there is another witness.
Fund and his attorneys have declined to depose me. His chief attorney, Fred Kessler is a partner at Wollmuth, Maher & Deutch, LLP in New York.
The Alterman article also mentions a “close friend of Fund’s” who supplied “documents now posted on the Internet—that demonstrate to almost any fair-minded person that Fund is probably the victim of a deeply disturbed person.”
The ‘close friend’ is my former husband, Craig Franklin, the only person to have access to a transcript from a now settled lawsuit. That transcript was never filed and so is not available through the court. The transcript is also misidentified. To use the document in this way is a felony and has now been reported to the court having jurisdiction in the matter.
The failure to do adequate research on this point opens both Alterman and the Nation to litigation and Morgan and I have filed against them in New York. We were urged to do this by fair minded journalists who were appalled at Alterman’s article and his arrogant disregard of the truth and fair journalistic practice.
The relationship between Fund and Franklin is also unusual.
In the spring of 2001 Morgan took stock of her life and made some changes. She recognized she had said things that were hurtful and untrue about friends and family and wrote letters to those she could have harmed thereby and apologized. Many of us have had similar experiences and changed our lives for the better. God calls us to such self examination and amendment. Doing so is not a sign of mental disorder but of growing maturity. I received one such apology from my daughter.
Why would Morgan’s step father, a man who raised her and my other children and named them as his children for all purposes in his will supply a document to a man he barely knows? He had his reasons, and as with all other stories examining it is revealing.
John Fund and Craig Franklin are not close friends but they are co-conspirators, cooperating to suppress the facts in two separate cases that they knew could cost them financially and professionally. Craig’s only other previous contact with Fund was to try to use me to pressure John to get an Oped on achieving world peace published in the Wall Street Journal in around 1994. In the Oped Craig urged that all world leaders be forced to exchange children with leaders from other countries. Craig said that John’s failure to find this idea appealing would make him responsible for the nuclear war that would doubtless ensue. To date that war has not started.
Craig’s great ideas also included a suicide hotline staffed by a computer that at the end of a lengthy menu suggested the depressed person become a libertarian activist. I thought he was joking. He wasn’t.
Common goals create cooperation between relative strangers. Discrediting me and my daughter with slander and libel was the goal they could best achieve through cooperation.
Craig supplied the documents because he was guilty of fraud related to our divorce and to cover the fact he is a sexual pervert who tried to live out his fantasies about young girls by exposing himself to my pubescent daughters and attempting to have sex with Morgan. I employed a private detective to provide documentation of his perversion and have that evidence. The law suit I was forced to settle because I ran out of money was over the fraud he had perpetrated and those records are available through the court in Santa Barbara.
A partnership of this kind is a criminal conspiracy and Craig is named as a defendant in the lawsuit now filed in New York.
Eric Alterman was one of a series of credulous and greed driven journalists and political hopefuls Fund and other NeoCons used in their campaign against us. The NeoCons use the same techniques politically.
The list of those who cooperated with Fund includes his former employer, the Wall Street Journal, Fox News, his sometime sexual partner Gail Heriot, a law professor from the San Diego University of Law, and more than 30 others. That pleading is now under review by the court in New York because, we were told by the clerk of the court, many of the charges for which we provided documentation were felonies.
The strategies used by Fund and other NeoCon operatives such as Karl Rove are simple. Lie. Lie some more. Manufacture events. Lie again. Coerce silence. Bribe where necessary. When that fails violence is always an option. The NeoCons have been profoundly successful in converting the power of government into a means for private self enrichment using these techniques. They grabbed for power like the most ill-mannered brat in Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory.
They have destroyed our trust along with lives and so much else.
Any tool misused can become a weapon. The economic tools for returning power to the individual, privatization, and those like it, have become the means to transfer control and wealth into the hands of the few. These tools were originated by what we call the Freedom Movement.
In 1971 after Nixon imposed Wage and Price Controls thousands of people spontaneously left the Republican Party and the Libertarian Party was founded. The intellectual and political insights, founded in an understanding of markets and individualism, gave birth to a series of think tanks that have created the policy now used by both the Republican and Democratic parties.
But those tools have been misapplied. Instead of reducing the size of government by returning the choices and control to the individual those market tools have been applied to permit government to reach deeper into our pockets.
Those in the Movement saw it happening and did nothing. Their failure to demand that these powerful tools be properly applied is perhaps the most massive moral failure since the 1799 failure to sunset slavery. They chose to protect their 401Ks and remained silent or have become apologists for the Bush administration.
In this way the NeoCons converted the rhetoric of freedom that brought a generation into politics, creating privatization, deregulation, and outsourcing, into the means for establishing a totalitarian state. It is a tragedy for freedom.
It is a fact that within any market for human action the bad currency and bad behavior drive out the good. In the American system of government that means that bad ethics, the short term strategy of winning at all and any cost, has driven out the long term strategy of creating cooperative governance and a society of consent that rewards those who do the right thing.
The Bush administration is the logic of a course set through greed. John is one small but very useful cog in the NeoCon wheel that seeks to run the world for its own profit. The course set by the NeoCons can only end in the death of American honor and freedom.
This tragedy for our family is a microcosm of the fate awaiting all Americans and therefore transcends the personal and serves as a model for the warfare presently being waged against Americans and the entire world from those we believed we could trust.
However, in every crisis is also opportunity. Freedom remains the goal and the vision. Change is possible. The issue for those who love freedom should not be which bad choice wins the presidency but how we retake control of our lives.
Freedom that word so debased and misused still bespeaks a harbor of opportunity, hope and peace. The vision of America is still the destination that draws humanity through the fateful courses of time. But America must change its course to remain that shining light.
We must reject fear and relearn the lessons of Washington, Jefferson, and those other men and women of courage and vision who saw opportunity in a simple equality and honor in a clear sighted reliance on the plain truth.
When the autonomy of the individual to choose is respected each of us learns the lessons God placed before us. We are drawn by necessity to confront our own souls and convert our human yearnings into communities of consent.
The civil sector, the organizations through which we work, churches, charities, and associations, clubs and lodges, have been doing their good work despite the interferences of government. Through parents who home school, local charities who meet the needs of those who yearn for jobs, meals, shelter, homes and hope, through community sighted businesses and volunteers we are building a better tomorrow.
On September 11th thousands of American volunteers voted with their own lives for a world of community. From blood banks to food banks to tutoring for literacy we, the American people, are creating the future, not any president.
On November 2nd there will be an election. A man unworthy of our trust will win and America will lose. But on November 3rd we can begin again to make the vision of America real. Remember that when you are listening to the election results.


Rainbow Law said...

Just read your OnLine Journal post -- Climbing off the real estate grid and also found your blog. Thought you would like to know that we are two grandmothers who are currently building our own house out of recycled materials. We made a website with photos of our project at

Someday (when we are not so busy building) we are going to make the site more political and also open up the house for tours.

Our goal is to show that even a couple of middle-aged women can make their own house for lttle money while at the same time helping the environment.

Its not for everyone -- but soon, people may not have much of a choice!

Carrie & Elisia Ross-Stone

Anonymous said...

Hi Melissa,

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Walt Thiessen
Nolan Chart LLC