October 18, 2006
Note to Candidate: Read the job description!
Update: The news is catching on… In today’s Washington Post, “Hot-button social issues have largely remained a dormant element of the U.S. Senate campaign in Maryland this year, even though the two candidates have sharply divergent views on abortion, gay marriage and the death penalty. But that's starting to change, as groups in the camps of Republican Michael S. Steele and Democrat Benjamin L. Cardin yesterday began ramping up their involvement.” (“Issues Advocates Jumping In for Senate Race,” Washington Post, 10/19/06)
Wow. Do you think you’ve heard all there is to hear about anti-choice candidates and their divisive attacks on a woman’s right to choose? Well, think again. Last night, in a senatorial debate in Ocean City, MD, candidate Michael Steele made a stunning statement regarding abortion and the role of a U.S. Senator.
Here is an excerpt from the story:
Pressed further, he is quoted as saying: "Do not think you're going to define me on that question; don't even go there. That is nowhere near defining who I am. It's not even a piece of defining who I am. ... Trying to define me on this issue is ludicrous." (“Separate pitches to state Chamber,” Baltimore Sun, 10/18/06)
Said Nancy Keenan, president of NARAL Pro-Choice America, in a release sent out earlier today, “Anti-choice Senate candidate Michael Steele’s comments on abortion are either a desperate attempt to hide his extreme views on the issue or reflect a total unawareness about the work of the U.S. Senate.”
It’s really hard to determine which option is more deplorable: the fact that Steele’s extreme views are too controversial to say out loud, or simply that Steele obviously has no idea what goes into being a U.S. Senator. Either way, Steele knows that his anti-choice views and ties to this anti-choice White House are a liability in Maryland.
The fact is choice is under constant attack in Congress. In the last ten years, the Senate has voted 75 times on choice-related issues. This year alone, more than 25 bills that pertain to reproductive choice are awaiting action in Congress – including some proposals that would outlaw abortion altogether. And George Bush has made three Supreme Court nominations in the last 12 months, two which were confirmed by an anti-choice Senate.
Maryland voters have a right to know whether Mr. Steele will stand up for their values and prevent attacks on women’s freedom and privacy. It’s a fair question that deserves a direct answer.
** Another interesting note: The Baltimore Sun also reported that the National Right to Life Committee PAC has vowed to spend nearly $20,000 on direct mail pieces in support of Steele’s Senate bid.
Elizabeth J. Shipp
NARAL Pro-Choice America
Posted by Bush v. Choice at October 18, 2006 11:11 AM
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It's really appalling that Steele thinks his opinions on Roe as a US Senator would be "moot"! He's either incredibly naive or really trying to dodge a question on a key issue for US Congressmen. In the last ten years, the Senate has voted 75 times on choice-related issues! Not to mention the power of the US Senate in the Supreme Court nomination process. George Bush has made three Supreme Court nominations in the last 12 months, two which were confirmed by an anti-choice Senate.
Posted by: soxgal at October 19, 2006 2:02 PM