Warm Southern Breeze

"… there is no such thing as nothing."

How Jerry Falwell, Jr. Influenced Trump’s Election

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Monday, August 31, 2020

Predictions sometimes come true.

And paybacks aren’t always hell.

The NY Times and other news agencies are reporting that Liberty University is in the process of a forensic audit to examine the school’s operations during Jerry Falwell, Jr.’s tenure as its President.

You had to have known (i.e., strongly suspected) that it would happen.

Falwell, Jr. is a real estate attorney-developer whose father, the late Rev. Jerry Falwell, Sr. founded the school, and was founding pastor of Thomas Road Baptist Church in Lynchburg, Virginia. As well, he founded the long-defunct “Moral Majority” – a right-wing Christian religious political action group which was extensively involved in Republican politics, and was predominately concerned with social and cultural matters, and vehemently opposed Civil Rights for anyone but heterosexuals.

Others in the same era include James Dobson, a psychologist and founder of “Focus on the Family” who frequently pointed to Judeo-Christian holy writ to support his theories, the Rev. Don Wildmon, a United Methodist pastor and founder of the Tupelo, Mississippi-based American Family Association, and the American Family Radio network which began as Low-Power FM stations in small communities and neighborhoods throughout the nation, and numerous other predominately White Protestant religious figures, including many in the so-called “blab-it-and-grab-it” heterodox pseudo-faith movement also known as the “prosperity gospel” preachers such as Kenneth Copeland, Benny Hinn, Robert Tilton, Jerry Savelle, Marilyn Hickey, Kenneth Hagin, Sr., T.L. and Daisy Osborne, and John and “Dodie” Osteen, whose son Joel, with his wife, now occupies their former positions in the church they founded.

Perhaps now you can better understand the basis for some, if not much, of the shenanigans with the Republican party’s fawning obeisance to Evangelicals. Simply put, it’s payback, because they put them in power. You’ll see that theme emerge again, later in the article.

But back to the matter at hand.

And that is concerning Jerry Falwell, Jr.’s tenure as Liberty University President and Chancellor.

NOTE: For sake of simplicity, and ease of understanding, the junior Falwell will be referred to simply as “Jerry Falwell,” except for instances in which it is pertinent to mention his father, the late “Rev. Jerry Falwell, Sr.”

Liberty University today (Monday, August 31, 2020) released a statement regarding their objectives, which also mentioned that they would be pursuing an investigation of Falwell’s time as President. Their statement read in part that,

“One of the leading forensic firms in the world has been retained by Liberty University’s Board of Trustees to conduct a thorough investigation into all facets of Liberty University operations during Jerry Falwell, Jr.’s tenure as President, including but not limited to financial, real estate, and legal matters.”

Doubtless, they’ll be looking to “claw back” the $10.5 million golden parachute his contract provided in a concerted effort to uncover moral failures (which undoubtedly would’ve violated any morals clause in his contract), as well as legal and/or ethical wrong-doing, including self-dealing.

Such actions are not without precedent, and the McDonald’s restaurant corporation is presently involved in litigation with former CEO Steve Easterbrook to reclaim the severance package paid to him after discovery of “repeated bad acts” which they say makes him “morally bankrupt and fails under the law.” It was discovered that he’d had sexual relationship with at least one female, and quite possibly 3 more, in the corporation – a violation of the terms of the contract, and of longstanding company policy.

The image that started it all – Jerry Falwell, Jr. with his wife Becki’s secretary, partying aboard a yacht

Bloomberg has reported that Easterbrook’s total severance package is estimated to include stock worth over $37 million and $675,000 in severance and health-insurance benefits. However, Equilar Research Services – an executive compensation consulting firm – has estimated Easterbrooks’ total severance compensation to be valued at least $57.3 million due primarily through an increase in the price of company stock. His “golden parachute” initially consisted of $3,763,872 in cash, and $53,555,480 in company equity.

To recap (unless you’ve been hiding under a rock), Falwell recently created a ruckus with a Social Media post which depicted him standing with his arm around a woman later identified as the secretary for his wife Becki, both of whom had their pants unbuttoned and partially unzipped. He later claimed that she was pregnant and couldn’t fasten her shorts, while he claimed his pants were simply too small. Later, he claimed they were portraying character roles in a popular online television series, Trailer Park Boys.

Shortly following the outcry over that unseemly image of the two, Reuters published a news story that provided verified details of a 6 years-long cuckolding sexual relationship the Falwells had with a young man who was then a pool boy at the Fontainebleau Miami Beach, a Miami hotel renown for their permissive attitudes, including topless female swimming, and pool lounging.

Part of that story involved previous revelations that Jerry had invested in purchased a Miami, Florida youth hostel primarily known for being predominately gay-friendly, had given a majority share ownership to his son Jerry “Trey” Falwell III as its “manager,” and a 25% share to the pool boy/sexual playmate Giancarlo Granda. Some of the money used to purchase the property had reportedly come from a loan issued by a bank frequently used by Liberty University for capital improvements, and other purposes. Further, the address of the LLC established to purchase the Miami property was listed as being headquartered on Liberty University’s campus.

Whether that loan was issued under questionable, or preferential circumstances, or violated law in any way, remains to be seen, and doubtless will be an area closely scrutinized by the forensic accounting team.

Because of its status as a religious, faith-based institution of higher education, Liberty University enjoys significant benefits under the Internal Revenue Service Code, including reductions and eliminations of Federal and State tax liabilities, which also incurs equally scrutinized restrictions against partisan political participation, donation to political efforts, including candidate endorsement.

Falwell infamously trod a very thin line in his endorsement of Donald Trump as a GOP Presidential candidate, and his support for Trump remains well-known, if not infamous, because of his substantial delivery of the Evangelical vote for Trump, despite the candidate’s highly-publicized and numerous well-known moral short comings, especially when compared to, and contrasted with the strict personal and ethical conduct guidelines of Liberty University for students, faculty, staff, and employees.

An irony of the matter is that Trump “fixer,” attorney Michael Cohen was utilized by Falwell in an ostensible attempt to obtain images of the numerous sexual liaisons he and wife Becki had with Giancarlo Granda, in order to prevent their public release, and the scandal which would inevitably ensue.

Donald Trump shakes hands with Giancarlo Granda (RIGHT) in 2012 at Liberty University as Jerry Falwell, Jr. appears in CENTER, wearing red striped tie

Cohen also had “secretly” recorded conversations (under New York State law, only one party must be aware a conversation is being recorded, and that party was Michael Cohen) with actor Tom Arnold in which he stated that such images existed, and suggested that he had seen them.

Trump’s “fixer” had also suggested that he had an agreement with Falwell to hide those images of Becki, which ostensibly may have involved Giancarlo Granda, and was supposed to have been struck during the 2016 Republican primary. That matter itself raised questions – or, more accurately, perhaps answered the question – why Falwell threw his support to Trump, rather than Texas U.S. Senator Ted Cruz.

Of course, Falwell’s “slut shaming” of his wife Becki, which he characterized as an “inappropriate personal relationship” claiming that she fell prey to Giancarlo Granda’s seductions, he said was “something in which I was not involved.” That, of course, was not a question anyone was asking, the revelation of which raised even more questions, and obliquely corroborated Granda’s claims that Falwell was involved in cuckoldry – the observation of another man having sexual relations with his wife.

So, here’s another tidbit question quite pertinent to, and germanely related to current political events:

What consideration has ever been given to the possibility that Jerry Falwell, Jr.’s corruption would have figured into the 2016 General Election calculus, and election of Donald Trump?

Religious right wing/Evangelical hypocrisy and corruption is not only real, its cancerous tentacles run deeper than many imagine.

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