Roundup: Anti-Choice Political Ads Under Fire for Lies

Multiple anti-choice groups are launching campaign arms to attack anti-abortion Democrats across the country. And those attacks are quickly resulting in lawsuits over false and misleading advertising.

False advertising charges are being leveled against Americans United for Life in anti-choice Democratic Representative Kathy Dahlkemper’s Pennsylvania race.

From the Associated Press:

Attorneys for Democrat U.S. Rep. Kathy Dahlkemper’s campaign want four Erie radio stations to pull an ad by an anti-abortion group that contends her vote for health care reform resulted in “the largest expansion of taxpayer-funded abortions ever.”

Americans United for Life stands by the ad, saying the freshman lawmaker voted to pass a final version of the bill that omitted key safeguards to prevent federal funding of abortions.

But the campaign’s lawyers said in a letter to the stations on Wednesday that the ad is “slanderous, inaccurate and falsifies … Dahlkemper’s stance on abortion.”

“We’re hopeful that the radio stations won’t air the ads and be responsible and honor their (Federal Communications Commission) licenses,” Erie attorney Philip Friedman told The Associated Press on Thursday.

The Erie Times-News first reported the letter sent to three FM stations owned by Connoisseur Media, of Westport, Conn. and a fourth owned by Citadel Broadcasting, based in Las Vegas and New York City.

In Ohio, Rep. Steve Driehaus is the subject of attack ads by Susan B. Anthony List, and he’s responding with a criminal lawsuit.  Via Politico:

On Tuesday, Driehaus filed a complaint alleging that billboards from the Susan B. Anthony List, a Washington-based group that advocates on behalf of anti-abortion women candidates, are illegal under Ohio law because they feature a photo of Driehaus and say: “Shame on Steve Driehaus! Driehaus voted FOR taxpayer-funded abortion.”

“Despite the fact that [health reform] does not permit and in fact prohibits taxpayer-funded abortions, the SBA List and other groups opposed to Congressman Driehaus’ reelection have published and disseminated the false statement,” the campaign’s complaint reads.

“This is the latest volley in a smear campaign that SBA List and its Republican allies have been running since the time the health care vote was passed. We have repeatedly put out information demonstrating that there is no federal funding for abortion in the health care law,” said Tim Mulvey, a Driehaus spokesman. “We have repeatedly challenged Susan B. Anthony List and their allies to identify a single taxpayer dollar going to pay for abortion services; they can’t do it because it’s not there.”

Driehaus, a freshman, is in a tight race to keep his 1st District seat away from former GOP Rep. Steve Chabot, whom he beat in 2008.

The billboards were supposed to go up in Driehaus’s heavily anti-abortion Cincinnati district earlier this week. But the company tasked with erecting the billboards, Lamar Advertising, has agreed to hold off on putting them up until the commission rules on whether the billboards are legal.

The law makes it illegal to “post, publish, circulate, distribute, or otherwise disseminate a false statement concerning a candidate, either knowing the same to be false or with reckless disregard of whether it was false or not.”

Now, Susan B. Anthony List has decided to embark on a campaign against Sen. Lisa Murkowski, who is running a write-in campaign against Tea Party candidate Joe Miller in an attempt to retain her senate seat after a primary loss.  The Hill reports:

The Susan B. Anthony List (SBA) announced Friday that it is endorsing Alaska Senate candidate Joe Miller (R) and releasing a radio ad targeting Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska).

“Joe Miller’s unique experience and commitment to rescind taxpayer funding of abortion in the federal healthcare legislation is urgently needed in the coming Congress,” Marjorie Dannenfelser, the anti-abortion-rights group’s president, said in a statement.

SBA spent $10,000 on the radio spot, a significant buy in the state. The ad features the voice of an “ear doctor” showing up at Murkowski’s office “for the hearing test.”

“Alaska voters sent me, afraid she didn’t hear them during the primary,” he says.

Murkowski already had her lawyers demanding that a misleading Tea Party Express campaign commerical be pulled from the airwaves.  Will the new SAB List quickly be following?

Mini roundup: A Saudi professor discusses introducing sex ed to the classroom, while in Egypt, the classes are being removed.

October 8, 2010

October 7, 2010

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  • crowepps

    Simmons continued to prey on teenagers in his custody until 2008, when a 15-year-old girl came forward to say he had sodomized her behind a locker in the girls holding area, which he stocked with condoms and cookies. Investigators believe the assaults go back a decade to the rape of a 13-year-old in the holding area.

    “Just the tip of the iceberg,” Assistant District Attorney Amir Vonsover said in 2008, when Simmons was indicted for three sex assaults.

    On Sept. 27, Simmons appeared in court and pleaded guilty to raping Ashley and sexually assaulting two other teens.

    He received probation.

    Read more:

    Don’t blame C-section rate on moms

    Britain’s high cesarean section rate can’t be blamed on moms who are too lazy, too busy or too glamorous to pant, sweat and “hee-hee-hoo” their way to a baby. A new study published in the British Medical Journal found no evidence of such a trend and instead reports that most C-sections in England have a medical basis. Lead author Fiona Bragg explains that “most women undergoing a cesarean section in 2008 had at least one clinical risk factor, and there is little variation in adjusted rates of elective cesarean section.”

    That tells us that it isn’t as simple as blaming low-risk moms who are simply “too posh to push” — which we’ve long suspected here at Broadsheet — but it doesn’t give us someone or something that we can blame. (That’s a bummer, seeing as the blame game is so much fun, right?)

  • crowepps

    I have cared for many children in many different ways, siblings, nieces and nephews, grandchildren, children in a hospital nursery, yet still, family members know if they want to really hurt me, the shiftest and surest way is to go right for the heart and say, “You’re not a mother.”  

    You’re not a mother.  Whether fate chose not to make some mothers or they chose it for themselves, moral authority does not suddenly shift in the direction of those who feel they are superior by virtue of being able to procreate.  The ability to conceive or give birth does not bring with it the automatic ability to be a parent (would that it did), and children in this world don’t always go to those most capable or most deserving.  My sisters forget when they think I know nothing about raising children that I came to their sides when they needed me, both as infants and as new mothers.

  • crowepps

    In more than two decades in India’s cities and towns, I have experienced my share of male violence. I have been pinched, groped, shoved, stroked, jeered, and even spat at. I have protested, shouted, shoved back, and, on one occasion, physically thrown an attacker from his bicycle to the ground. Not once has a hand been extended to my aid, or a voice been raised in my defense, from the ranks of the numerous spectators, many of whom were women themselves. Violence against women is a spectator sport in India. Some avert their eyes; some enjoy the woman’s misery and humiliation; still others weigh in on the side of the perpetrator, with the same cry that in itself constitutes an assault on women: “She asked for it.”

    I did not ask for it. Neither did any of the millions of other Indian women for whom this treatment is a daily reality. No woman ever, ever asks to be tortured or humiliated. Until all women walk India’s streets free from fear, laws that guarantee the equal rights of women remain a mockery, reminding us of what should be our civic birthright, but at the moment is only a bitter reminder of freedom that many of us have never tasted. And not only must this freedom ring out for Indian women, but for women all over the world, including here in the United States.

    In this country, too, violence against women is all too often excused or minimized, confined to the space of “domestic dispute” rather than interpreted as a larger problem concerning perceptions of gender equality and social justice. Even when celebrities are involved, such as in the recent case of Rihanna and Chris Brown, we tend to keep a decorous distance. But when one woman is beaten, that action challenges all of us to take a stand against violence — whenever and in whatever corner of the globe it occurs. Our outrage at such crimes must burst the confines of legal writ and academic debate and come vividly to life in all our hearts. Only then, when we see a woman assaulted, will we stop asking ourselves the odious question: “But did she ask for it?”

    Until then, we are all complicit.