Moms for Liberty was founded as a “parents rights” group focusing on school boards, but its reach is growing.
Two Republican legislative candidates – an incumbent and a challenger – have teamed up with the “Moms” with a straightforward goal – “to win control of the state legislature and reverse Phil Murphy’s radical, anti-family policies.”
This is the work of incumbent Assemblyman Robert Auth from LD-39 in Bergen and Passaic counties and state Senate candidate Michael D. Byrne in LD-27 covering mostly Essex County. They just announced the formation of a Moms for Liberty Coalition of Candidates.
The interesting point here is not that Republicans are collaborating with a grassroots conservative organization. It’s that Moms for Liberty appears to be branching out into overtly partisan politics.
There is, of course, an overlap here.
Byrne says “parents rights” are the biggest issue of the fall campaign; all 120 legislative seats are up.
It also is an issue heartily embraced by Republicans across the state. That’s especially
been the case after the Murphy Administration through its Attorney General sued four local school districts – three in Monmouth and one in Morris – regarding new policies governing the treatment of gay and transgender students. The policies are on hold as the litigation plays out.
Some GOP lawmakers have also called for the adoption of specific parental rights legislation.
Auth and Byrne are on board with that.
“Bergen County needs a strong Moms for Liberty organization to promote and defend the integrity of the family unit,” Auth said. “And New Jersey needs Moms for Liberty to end Phil Murphy’s secretive gender identity policies in our schools.”
Byrne concurred, saying, “The moms of Moms for Liberty know that the future of our country is inextricably linked to the strength of families. No one can hold a family together like a strong mom and Moms for Liberty is proving that no one can save a country like a group of moms.”
Rhetoric aside, what impact will this coalition have?
In what figures to be a low turnout election, just about anything that brings out conservatives will help Republicans.
More specifically, Auth’s district is a pretty safe Republican one.
As for Byrne, he faces a huge challenge no matter what happens. Registered Democrats outnumber Republicans in LD-27 by more than 3-1.
When it comes to parental rights, Republicans have been enthused by a recent Monmouth poll that showed overwhelming support for schools notifying parents if a student wants to be identified by a different gender. That is the Republican position.
Here’s a cautionary note. A poll question in the middle of summer is one thing; actually voting with this issue in mind may be another.
At any rate, the Moms for Liberty dalliance with Republicans has come to the attention of the New Jersey Public Education Coalition, which was formed to oppose “right wing extremism” in public schools.
Its founder, Mike Gottesman, issued a statement that begins by lamenting the fact so-called non-partisan school elections “may be quickly disappearing.”
Few could seriously quibble with that assessment.
More to the point, Gottesman points out that the Southern Poverty Law Center has called Moms for Liberty an “extremist group.”
He added, “It’s important to recognize that the “Parents’ Rights” movement is not a movement for all parents. They concern themselves only with the rights of parents who agree with their anti-inclusion, anti-diversity agenda. The rights of parents who disagree with them are disregarded and rejected.”