Marilyn Musgrave Lands New Gig with Anti-Choice Group

Former Rep. Marilyn Musgrave will lead a new antiabortion initiative dubbed “Votes Have Consequences” that will target members of Congress in the 2010 election cycle who support abortion rights.

In a case of supreme irony, Musgrave intends to rip a page from the
hardball playbook used by the Defenders of Wildlife. The environmental
group that was credited with helping to defeat the three-term Republican congresswoman
with intense local organizing and a $1.6 million barrage of TV attack
ads — a strategy that was roundly criticized by Republicans.


Musgrave and her new boss, Marjorie Dannenfelser, president of the Susan B. Anthony List, told the Coloradoan they would mimic the same scorched-earth tactics:

“We need to know that the person that we defeat has a scalp that we
can hold up high and say their pro-abortion leadership is why they
lost,” Dannenfelser said.

The Susan B. Anthony List is the conservative response to and polar
opposite of EMILY’s List, a group devoted to raising funds for
pro-choice women candidates.

In a transcribed press call, Dannenfelser confirmed to the Coloradoan’s Bob Moore that the project is structured as a tax-exempt 501(c)(4) social welfare organization and will not disclose the Votes Have Consequences donors.

During the height of the campaign, a group of GOP senators blasted DOW for abusing its nonprofit status by pushing a political agenda.

Pro-choice Democrat Betsy Markey, who vanquished Musgrave by 12
points in the 2008 electoral slugfest, is a likely target of the group.
Dannenfelser said the list of politicians on the hot seat will be
released this fall.

A Roll Call story hidden behind a subscription firewall continues the “get ‘em” theme:

Leaders of the Susan B. Anthony List called the project
the most “aggressive effort” in existence, citing its early
mobilization as a key factor for its success.

“This is a program that will keep a few people awake at night. …
It’s not okay to articulate a position and talk in a certain fashion in
your district and then do something very different when you are in

Dannenfelser declined to name any particular Members they would target or how much money they were putting toward the effort.

Like this story? Your $10 tax-deductible contribution helps support our research, reporting, and analysis.

For more information or to schedule an interview with contact

  • invalid-0

    I don’t understand these Rep. conservative women. Why are they fighting against their own kind? It boggles the mind. They are taking away the few rights women have in this world against other women. These women are in need of therapy.

  • invalid-0

    “We need to know that the person that we defeat has a scalp that we can hold up high and say their pro-abortion leadership is why they lost,”
    As aggravating as this quote is, at least those that subscribe to the ideology of “pro-life” are showing their true colors. They say they protect the sanctity of “life”, but do so by referring to their desire to cut off the scalp of their enemy and wave it in the air by what could only be it’s bloody hair. Not to state the obvious, but the process of scalping a human being causes death, or is practiced after the person has been killed. Not to mention the fact that historically, scalping is not a practice that has been reserved only for adults.
    If nothing else, thank-you Musgrave and associates for your well articulated comparison, your compassion and sensitivity is inspiring.

  • wendy-norris

    The use of violent imagery by some elements of the antiabortion folks is fascinating for its lack of continuity with their expressed religious beliefs.

    It’s important to underscore that not all of the folks in the antiabortion movement perpetuate such aggressive language but when it happens it does need to be called out.

  • invalid-0

    This is great of Musgrave. The rights of the unborn need to be protected against those who use abortion as birth control. There are many risks and potential complications from abortion procedures, including infection, hemorrhage, anesthesia complications, such as death, professional negligence and malpractice of the medical personnel involved, inability to conceive later in life, etc.