Six elected officials representing Loudoun voters have ties to the highly-publicized Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) speaker who on March 15 drew a comparison between abortion rights to slavery.
Marjorie Dannenfelser, president and chairman of the staunchly pro-life Susan B. Anthony List, or her organization has pledged campaign contributions to Lt. Gov. Bill Bolling (R), Attorney General and gubernatorial candidate Ken Cuccinelli (R), state Sen. Jill Vogel (R-27th), Del. Barbara Comstock (R-34th) and Loudoun County Supervisor Eugene Delgaudio (R-Sterling). Dannenfelser also chipped in cash to Gov. Bob McDonnell's 2010 Inaugural Committee.
During the CPAC abortion panel segment last weekend, Dannenfelser said “there's a point when you become culpable in the killing of other people, because of what, because of what the government is making you do.”
“And that is one of those tipping-point moments
– it happened in slavery when slaves had to be returned to their masters,” Dannenfelser continued. “When our hands are bloodied by this it becomes a whole 'nother thing.”
Virginia Democrats have gone on the offensive this week to highlight Dannenfelser's comments and link her to conservatives in the commonwealth, notably Cuccinelli, the presumed Republican nominee for governor in 2013, as well as Northern Virginia representatives in the General Assembly.
“Sen. Vogel and Del. Comstock should publicly denounce the comments of Republican candidate for Governor Cuccinelli and Susan B. Anthony (SBA) List President Dannenfelser,” Ashley Bauman, press secretary for the Democratic Party of Virginia, said Wednesday. “Comparing access to women's reproductive health care to slavery is not only extreme but ignorant of the terrible impact slavery had on our country."
Bauman said Virginians need leaders who focus on the economy and jobs, “not ones who put their extreme Tea-Party agenda above Virginia families.”
Both Comstock and Vogel said Wednesday they had not heard or read about Dannenfelser's comments. The two expressed those remarks don't represent their views.
Comstock previously served on the SAB List's executive committee, but said she hasn't done so since being elected to the House of Delegates in 2009.
“These kinds of comparisons or attempts to demonize people with differing views – done by either side - is not how I think is best to approach these issues,” Comstock said. “We need to focus on policies that bring us together to get things done like my data center bills and getting more high tech jobs, getting more in-state college spots, helping address the growing threat of Lyme Disease in Northern Virginia and tackling the growing crime of human trafficking."
Comstock continued, “Good people can and do disagree on social issues. I think we all learn from having a diversity of views that inform us.”
Vogel said the SBA president's comments “certainly are unfortunate and do not reflect [her] views.”
The SBA List or Dannenfelser has given at least $3,000 to Vogel, more than $2,000 to Comstock and $120 to Delgaudio, according to information from the Virginia Public Access Project, which is current through 2012.
Statewide, SAB gave more than $10,000 to the Bolling for his lieutenant governor campaign and $2,500 to Cuccinelli's state senate campaign.
Dannenfelser has been highlighted in the media not only for her CPAC speech, but for her declaration last month to donate $1.5 million to Cuccinelli's gubernatorial campaign, reported in the Washington Post.
That donation is not listed by VPAP because the first filing quarter of 2013 hasn't yet ended.
Both the Post
and the Associated Press
this week reported on Dannenfelser's comments, her link to Cuccinelli and comments the attorney general made last summer that also connected abortion to slavery.