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Oberstar snubbed by pro-life group

Campaign cites increasingly partisan direction of Minnesota Citizens Concerned for Life

Marshall Helmberger
Posted 10/15/10

A potent political organization that has long backed Congressman Jim Oberstar has thrown its support to his Republican opponent for the first time.

Minnesota Citizens Concerned for Life …

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Oberstar snubbed by pro-life group

Campaign cites increasingly partisan direction of Minnesota Citizens Concerned for Life

Posted

A potent political organization that has long backed Congressman Jim Oberstar has thrown its support to his Republican opponent for the first time.

Minnesota Citizens Concerned for Life announced its endorsement of Chip Cravaack during an Oct. 12 press conference in Duluth. Cravaack, of Lindstrom, is hoping to unseat Oberstar in the Nov. 2 election.

In its endorsement statement, MCCL Executive Director Scott Fishbach took primary aim at Oberstar’s vote on the health care overhaul, claiming that the bill provides federal funding for abortion, a claim that is disputed by the Oberstar campaign as well as independent fact-checkers, like Factcheck.org.

“Jim Oberstar has turned away from the pro-life principles he used to hold in common with the citizens of the 8th District,” Fischbach said. “For years Jim Oberstar has had a 100 percent pro-life voting record and now he has a zero percent pro-life voting record. Just as Jim Oberstar has abandoned the babies, it is time for the voters to retire Jim Oberstar,” Fishbach added.

While the Oberstar campaign expressed disappointment with MCCL’s decision, spokesperson John Schadl said the group’s endorsement reflects MCCL’s increasingly partisan slant, rather than any shift in pro-life commitment from Oberstar. “Jim has been consistent. He has not changed on this issue at all,” said Schadl.

According to Schadl, the MCCL is “drifting from pro-life to pro-partisan, a change that he said began when the Mgroup began accepting funding from the Republican Party two years ago. He said the group has strayed from pro-life issues to support other partisan positions. For example, he said, MCCL and Oberstar recently parted company over a federal measure supported by Oberstar that would have required groups that run political attack ads against candidates to disclose their funding sources.

The health care overhaul did become a litmus test for some pro-life groups, although other pro-life forces supported the compromise that allowed final passage. The new law does allow health insurance companies participating in federal insurance exchanges to provide abortion coverage, but only as a separate rider that must be funded solely by the insured’s private funds. Federal funds can still be used to pay for abortions in the case of rape, incest, or to protect the life of the mother, exceptions that have long been included under Medicaid.

Factcheck.org had this to say about the issue: “the new law states specifically that federal funds are not to be used for coverage of any other kinds of abortions, and that only premium dollars paid by individuals out of their own pockets may be used to pay for coverage of other kinds of abortions.”

Oberstar said such protections were put in place, in part, through his efforts. “I worked with pro-life Democrats to make sure that no federal funding would go towards abortion,” said Oberstar.  “The leadership knew that they couldn’t pass the bill without our support, and we withheld our support until we were certain those concerns were met. To ignore our work on this issue and then to distort the facts is proof positive that MCCL has lost its way.”

But MCCL takes a different view, claiming the health care overhaul “instituted health care rationing and taxpayer funding of abortion.” The MCCL continues: “Fortunately, voters have a strong pro-life candidate in Chip Cravaack. He is the candidate with the courage and conviction to protect unborn babies, senior citizens, disabled persons and everyone else who life is threatened by abortion, health care rationing and other dangers,” stated the group in its press statement.

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The correspondent failed to report in his piece that Oberstar refused to fill out the MCCL's questionaire prior to endorsement (anybody surprised these days?). Seems to me Oberstar took them for granted like all the rest of us little people, thus the groundswell of support for Chip Cravaack.

Saturday, October 16, 2010

I am angry with our Congressman for his Obamacare vote too. He compromised his pro-life values for the leadership of his party. Mr. Oberstar claims the new law doesn't allow federal funding for the killing of the unborn, but his vote for the bill allows the President to change all of that by executive order. Who wants to bet that Obama will not sign an executive order when NOW and his other baby killing supporters push him to do so.

Our Congressman used to live in northern Minnesota. He lives in Maryland. He gets the vast majority of his campaign funding from outside Minnesota. The last time I looked at www.opensecrets.org Mr. Oberstar had received 90% of the funds from elsewhere and 5 of the top ten zip codes for his money were east coast and the other 5 were somewhere in Texas.

I think it is time to retire our Congressman. 36 years in Washington is more than enough!!! Rick Sathre, Greenwood Township

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Rep. O may have done great things for MN and his district,however,when a congressman accepts the support of a fundamentalist religious group he goes down a path that leads to rejection.

The American version of the Taliban will stress their relgious views and eventyually raise the bar so high that no human could meet their litmus tests. The America we and our fathers fought for is being dismantled by the greedy and their religious allies. Without the anti-gay and racists,along with their true "believers", the GOP would be a marginal group and the Independence party would be the opposition....stayed tuned we are are not yet a totally bankrupt empire.

Reason will prevail!

Remember when religion ruled the world? It was called the Dark Ages!

Friday, October 29, 2010