Monday, August 11, 2008
We now know that Sec. State Mike Coffman is the only candidate for the GOP 6th District Congressional primary who holds uncompromised views on abortion, and the only candidate who has promised not to continue supporting compromised legislation.
In two conversations today with CRTL officers or high-profile activists, Sen. Ted Harvey explained and clarified that he would still support compromised child-killing regulations of the type which he wrote and passed before (a compromised Parental Notification bill, which in essence said if you notify the parents, then it's okay to kill the baby). We believed he had promised not to support legislation like this in the future, but apparently he was being misleading in his "promise." Rep. Kevin Lundberg at least had the honesty to admit on his survey that he still believed in supporting such regulations, and earned a 6 out of 7 on our questionnaire. We hope both of these legislators will be open to hearing us out in a second discussion (both legislators attended CRTL's 2007 Legislative Luncheon and heard us explain why child killing regulations are wrong), and will eventually come around.
In these 2 conversations today, Sen. Harvey explained that he believed his Parental Notification measure was the right thing to do, and he would support legislation like that again. He also supported Sen. Dave Schultheis' Abortion Ultrasound bill (i.e. show the mom an ultrasound and if she still wants the abortion then you can kill the baby), and would apparently do so again.
We believed that by indicating on his questionnaire response he would not support "...and then you can kill the baby" legislation, he was being sincere. We now know differently.
It appears that Harvey was being intentionally deceptive when he indicated support for "point 7" on our questionnaire ("Will you refuse to support any legislation that would allow abortion, even if it is a 'pro-life bill' (i.e. legislation that says "Abortion shall be prohibited unless...")" Ted's answer (he did not specify yes/no) was "I would never support any legislation which says 'Abortion shall be prohibited unless...'"
Harvey's answer on this point was apparently specific to that wording (which, of course, would never specifically appear in any legislation), and not to the spirit of what we meant. He was trying to "get by" on a technicality, and claim support for CRTL's position, when it apparently was not true and his commitment was false. This, naturally, is a very disturbing development.
Which brings up another couple of points which it now seems necessary to discuss. Ted Harvey has claimed on his website and in literature that he was CRTL's "Legislator of the Year," and otherwise implying strong support from CRTL. The "Legislator of the Year" designation is true, but at the same time deceptive. That award was for a previous year, when he skewered pro-abortion Democrats on the House floor in a nationally publicized speech regarding Ms. Giana Jessen -- the young lady who survived a saline abortion, but who now suffers from abortion-related Muscular Dystrophy. We still applaud Ted for his action on that day, but it is inappropriate and unethical that he would imply our support and endorsement, when he knows he does not agree with our uncompromised stance on legislation.
Harvey has also claimed to be "the only proven conservative leader" which is a stretch of the truth -- Mike Coffman has a long record as a strong pro-lifer and a strong conservative. Ted also claimed at one time (he may have stopped saying it) he's the only candidate who has carried pro-life legislation. That's also not true -- Mike Coffman did so when he was a legislator, many years ago.
The combination of Ted Harvey's deceptiveness, and his promise to continue supporting the "child-killing regulations" of the past, mean that CRTL now has serious reservations about him. It's clear, at least, that he cannot truthfully claim he is currently an uncompromised pro-lifer, and therefore should not claim CRTL support.
We and Ted have had a long conversation on these subjects, and we believed he had come around to our point of view. This isn't true, though we hold out hope that he will continue listening to CRTL and our positions, and that he will eventually come to agree with us, and change his voting behavior.
Sen. Kevin Lundberg, Sen. Dave Schultheis, and Sen. Ted Harvey all remain some of the most likely legislators to eventually convert to the uncompromised, non-regulating point of view CRTL now holds. Sadly, none of them are at that point yet.
Thankfully, Sec. State Mike Coffman has met with CRTL board members for long and pointed discussions on these issues, and has seemed to understand, and has furthermore promised not to support compromised legislation. Mike Coffman also has a decades-long history (20 years or more) of not just support, but active involvement in the pro-life community, over and above what would be expected of any typical Republican official.
Mike Coffman has been a good and consistent friend to CRTL for many years, up to and including the last couple of years when even CRTL's strongest legislative supporters (including Harvey) found excuses not to attend CRTL events.
Friday, August 8, 2008
by ARTL president Brian Rohrbough
August 8, 2008
With his pronouncement that he opposes equal protection under the law for unborn babies, Republican Bob Schaffer confirmed what many in the pro-life community have long known: he believes that unborn babies are expendable, and he lacks the moral clarity and courage to defend their God-given right to life.
Ten years ago, Schaffer's indifference to the plight of Asian women forced to undergo abortions while working in American factories in the Marianas Islands proved him to be a politician without principle.
Schaffer has long given lip service to the truth that human life begins at fertilization, as stated in Personhood Amendment 48. Now that he has the chance to enact that truth in law, he opposes it. Actions speak louder than words.
Schaffer's refusal to stand for life at this historic opportunity leaves the Republican candidate at polar opposites with the 131,000 petition signers who put Amendment 48 on the ballot, and with the groups endorsing this personhood effort, including American Right to Life, Focus on the Family, Colorado Right to Life, American Life League and committed pro-life, pro-family Catholics and Protestants across Colorado.
Schaffer is unfit to represent Colorado in the U.S. Senate.
Many of us have felt for a long time that Bob Schaffer was on our side on abortion issues. He's even stated belief that life begins at conception - the foundation of Amendment 48! But he's now said on KHOW radio (Caplis & Silverman) that "I just don't support that initiative."
By first understanding that human life begins at conception, but secondly being unwilling to solidify that belief in law, Schaffer is saying he won't stick his neck out to save babies who he knows are babies! He's said all these years he believes in life at conception, but the first opportunity he has to establish that principle in law, and he balks! What kind of pro-lifer is this?
Bob Schaffer, this year, has established over and over again that he is no longer the pro-lifer he used to be:
- He sneered at a petitioner at a GOP event this spring who asked if he would sign the Personhood petition.
- He immediately refused to meet with Colorado Right to Life when asked if he would like to discuss his experience in the Marianas Islands (CRTL had refused to talk to a reporter when asked until we had heard Schaffer's side!) - If he had a good answer, he had his chance to offer it, but he refused.
- Dick Wadhams, Schaffer's campaign manager (and GOP Chairman), called Personhood supporters "the fringe of the pro-life movement," and both he and Schaffer emphasized he did not support Personhood.
- Wadhams then refused any pro-life tables at the State GOP Convention, but allowed not one but two pro-abortion tables! Both tables distributed literature reviewed and approved by Wadhams which repeated his claim that Personhood supporters were "the fringe".
- Wadhams then came out and called on all Republicans (having obviously already given this advice to Schaffer) to "avoid social issues" like abortion and marriage.
- Schaffer now explicitly said on the radio he does not support Personhood.
Bob Schaffer makes a big deal about his past pro-life record. But his claims fall flat, even from the past. His list of legislation on his website are all abortion regulations, none of which are fundamentally anti-abortion. He's supportive of attacking abortion around the edges, like National Right to Life, which is why he has a 100% rating from NRTL -- something which does not impress us. The key question, when he brings up his past record, is where does he stand now? Not with us! And we believe, based on his statements, that he would also oppose Personhood at the federal level. The legislation on his website doesn't include any past support of Human Life Amendments, and he's served at times when he could have supported those. He apparently did not!
The old Bob Schaffer -- the man we knew and loved as close to our hearts on issues like the Right to Life -- is no more! He has renounced his old "extremism" and now calls himself a "centrist" (his words!).
Who is this new Schaffer, who associates with pro-aborts and anti-Christian political hacks like Wadhams? We don't know. But whoever he is, he's NOT on our side, and he opposes the very values we hold dearest -- like saving the lives of unborn children.
Monday, August 4, 2008
As will be explained soon, we have had discussions over whether it will be helpful to publish the results of our Legislative Scorecard publicly, as there are some complicated matters that need to be explained and cannot be left to a simple letter score.
But we believe it is important to explain our findings on the critical 6th District (south Metro Denver, Elbert Co., etc.) Republican Primary.
There are two of the four candidates on the ballot whose pro-life records we have no doubts about.
Sec. State Mike Coffman and Sen. Ted Harvey have both responded to the Colorado Right to Life candidate questionnaire. The other two candidates have not. Both Sen. Harvey and Secretary Coffman have carried pro-life bills in their legislative career. Some of the bills carried by both are not what CRTL would today ask for, but they are what CRTL asked for at the time, and we believe both candidates were sincerely meaning to do what was best for the lives of unborn children. Both Sec. Coffman and Sen. Harvey have promised (by answering our questionnaire) not to support "compromised" legislation in the future (i.e. legislation that allows abortions to occur once certain regulations have been met -- what we call "and then you can kill the baby" legislation, which we firmly believe entrenches the notion of a "right" to abortion in government/legal policy and in the minds of the public). We believe either of these candidates would serve Colorado pro-lifers well in Congress (THIS HAS CHANGED IN THE LAST 24 HOURS - MIKE COFFMAN REMAINS THE ONLY CANDIDATE FOR THE 6TH CONGRESSIONAL DISTRICT WHO AGREES WITH CRTL ON UNCOMPROMISED LEGISLATION -- SEE NEW POST ON TED HARVEY!).
It is important to note that Wil Armstrong, another candidate for this seat, has also endorsed Amendment 48 (the Personhood Initiative), and has expressed (recently) a fairly strong pro-life position. However, he has not responded to the CRTL questionnaire even after several requests to do so (including directly on the radio), has never stated a strong pro-life position on his website, has seemed to treat the pro-life issue as an afterthought in his campaign (as have most GOP candidates in the recent past), and we are deeply concerned by the endorsement he has touted from Gov. Mitt Romney, who as many of you know has a long and continuing record of supporting abortion (he has flip-flopped on life issues depending on who he's talking to, and contrary to his claim of having converted to the pro-life side in 2004, he has supported abortion "rights" (including public funding) as recently as 2006. You may see American Right to Life Action's widely broadcast TV ads here. Romney is simply NOT pro-life, and we are concerned by Wil Armstrong's close affiliation with him. CRTL has no reason to believe Armstrong's pro-life views are anything more than an election year promise which we have no guarantee he will keep.
Lastly, Sen. Steve Ward has falsely claimed to be pro-life. His record over the past 2 years in CRTL's Legislative Scorecard earned him a "D" rating. Ward voted TWICE to support an "emergency contraception" bill which would require medical professionals to inform rape victims of the availability of means to kill their babies with abortifacient drugs such as RU-486 or Plan B (commonly known as "morning after pills"). CRTL's position is that any means, chemical or otherwise, to kill an already-conceived baby is nothing less than murder. We also believe that exceptions to allow abortion in case of rape or incest is a false compassion that does not help the mother, which kills an innocent human being, and can cover up the crimes of the father. Furthermore, Ward wrote a bill which was specifically directed at impairing the Free Speech rights of pro-life protestors who were holding up executives from Weitz Construction for ridicule in front of the public and his neighbors for being an abortion collaborator and building the largest abortion center then under construction in the United States (otherwise and foreverafter known as AuschWeitz). These votes can never be construed as "pro-life", and Sen. Ward clearly does not understand the Right to Life. Neither does he support Personhood for unborn children.
If you have any questions about these issues, please feel free to comment to these points, and we would be glad to respond.
EDITOR'S NOTE - MON 8/11: SEN. TED HARVEY HAS CLARIFIED IN TWO CONVERSATIONS WITH CRTL MEMBERS THAT HE STILL SUPPORTS "AND THEN YOU CAN KILL THE BABY" REGULATIONS. SEE NEW POST ON THIS SUBJECT, POSTING IN JUST A FEW MOMENTS.