Wednesday, October 25, 2006

Fact check: Judy Johnson and MCCL

Last week, Sen. Terri Bonoff (DFL-Minnetonka) was the target of an anonymous, anti-abortion "hit piece" flyer distributed in Plymouth. KSTP-TV quoted Bonoff as saying, "They're lies. They said some horrible, horrible things. And I just thought that's the kind of thing that makes someone never run for public office." In the same story, Bonoff's opponent for the SD 43 seat, Plymouth Mayor Judy Johnson was quoted, "Hate is not something we want to see in our community. And it certainly does not belong in campaigns when we should be issue-based about things that really matter to people in district."

DFL FlyerA few days later, Johnson was the target of a pro-abortion "hit piece" flyer widely distributed via bulk mail by the Minnesota DFL Party. The hit piece makes several provocative statements in an attempt to distract some voters from Bonoff's actual voting record, including the controversial Twins stadium tax vote.

DFL Statement: "In past campaigns, Judy Johnson has been helped by radical, anti-choice groups like the MCCL [Minnesota Citizens Concerned for Life] who want to outlaw abortion in Minnesota."

Fact: Judy Johnson's past campaigns for city council, mayor, or state Senate were not "helped" by "groups like the MCCL." Cleverly, this vague statement never claims that Johnson received money or an endorsement from the MCCL, neither of which has ever happened.

DFL Statement: "MCCL even supports a ban on abortions in the case of rape, incest, or to protect the health of the mother."

Fact: This statement is made to set up the third bullet point. Question 4 of MCCL's 2006 candidate questionnaire says:
According to recent polls, most Minnesotans believe that abortion is morally wrong. Though some of these people are not yet convinced that the procedure should be outlawed, many of them do not want to actively participate in the process, including allowing their tax dollars to fund the procedure.

4. Will you vote against the use of government funding for abortion other than to prevent the death of the mother, when the pregnancy is the result of forcible rape (reported to law enforcement agencies within two days), or when the pregnancy of a minor is the result of incest (with the perpetrator reported to law enforcement
DFL Statement: "Now Judy Johnson is trying to downplay her ties to the extreme and anti-choice agenda of the MCCL. But don't be fooled."

Fact: Johnson has no "ties" to the agenda of MCCL to downplay. Johnson has publicly supported exceptions to a ban on publicly-subsidized abortions in the cases of rape, incest, or to protect the health of the mother.

DFL Statement: "Judy Johnson is ready to follow MCCL's playbook to the letter."

Fact: Judy Johnson is not endorsed by the MCCL.

I suppose it would be a bit much, for partisan reasons, to call on Bonoff to denounce this misrepresentation of the MCCL's position and Johnson's stated views as an attempt to scare and distract voters from the significant issues of this election, including education, transportation, and taxes. Fortunately for you, dear reader, these topics and others were examined by the candidates at yesterday's TwinWest Chamber of Commerce candidate forum in Minnetonka, which I attended and will report on shortly.

| | |

1 comment:

lloydletta said...

MCCL's voters guide shows that Judy Johnson answered 100% on their questions - even the unrelated to abortion one about campaign finance.