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FRC’s latest distortions reveal partisan agenda

April 20, 2010, 3:21 pm | Posted by Dan Nejfelt

As the Family Research Council’s Action PAC ramps up its attacks against Democratic Members of Congress with an ad campaign rife with misinformation about abortion and health care reform, another false claim on their part further demonstrates their partisan agenda. Two of the Democratic Members of Congress they are aiming to unseat this year didn’t even vote for the health reform legislation FRC claims as the impetus for their campaign targeting.

FRC issued a press release yesterday announcing their “20 in 10″ campaign targeting “the districts of 20 Democratic incumbents who voted for President Obama’s abortion-funding health care bill.” However, two of the Members FRC is targeting- Reps. Glenn Nye and Walter Minnick — voted against health care reform. They both happen to be in very tight races for re-election, though. The Cook Political Report rates both contests as tossups.

The language on the FRC Action PAC website describing the “20 in 10″ campaign contradicts the language in the FRC Action PAC press release, merely indicating that the targeted Democrats face “pro-life, pro-family” challengers and are vulnerable:

…FRCACTION PAC has spent many months researching races we see as vulnerable and that will have pro-life, pro-family candidates to fill the void. As a result of the “health care” bill, we have expanded and revised our original “target list” from the “dirty dozen” to the “20 in ’10″ list. The expansion reflects those so called “pro-life” Democrats who seemed destined to heroism when they joined forces with Bart Stupak on a House bill that would have precluded any use federal dollars for abortion, but who caved under White House and Democrat [sic] leadership.

Given all of the misinformation and inconsistency swirling around FRC’s website and press releases, it’s hard to get to the bottom of the reasoning behind their political targeting. But their glaringly false statement about Congressmen Nye and Minnick, alongside their inaccurate claims about health care reform and abortion funding, suggests that the “20 in 10″ campaign uses the issue of abortion funding in healthcare as a false pretext to carry water for the Republican party. They should immediately correct their misleading statements about health care reform, as well as the false claim that Rep. Nye and Rep. Minnick voted for this legislation.

If FRC disagrees with these 20 Members of Congress on principled reasons, they’re free to support whatever challengers they see fit. But deploying distortions and lies in the service of their campaign is not the way to go about it.

4 Responses to “FRC’s latest distortions reveal partisan agenda”

  1. I’m a regular reader of this blog and have included it as a link on my own. I applaud your effort to encourage truthfulness as a fundamental requirement of constructive social discourse by calling out FRC so to speak. However, I’m wondering how what some might read as an “attack” on FRC squares with the mission of Faith in Public Life:

    “Faith in Public Life is a strategy center advancing faith in the public square as a positive and unifying force for justice, compassion and the common good.”

    I do not offer these remarks as a criticism, but simply as a fellow American who shares many of the desires for our country that your organization holds.

  2. Dan says:

    Thanks for the kind and thoughtful commentary, Phillipe. An important part of building up a positive and unifying role for faith is making sure that misleading voices that cast the religious community in a negative light do go unchallenged and aren’t left as the de facto face of religion in public life. Given that so much of public dialogue is wedged into the frame of conflict, some might interpret such corrections as an attack, but I see correcting falsehoods as a necessary and useful step.

  3. Thanks for responding. It’s a difficult challenge your organization is up against, especially when so often issues are framed in a partisan manner that makes them difficult to discuss without sounding partisan oneself. I agree that particular voices that claim to speak for people of faith can cast all people of faith in a poor light and applaud your efforts to counteract that.

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