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Sunday, January 01, 2006

MCCL Big Loser in Senate District 15 Race

The anti-abortion group, Minnesota Citizens Concerned for Life is the big loser in the recent St Cloud special election.

The St Cloud Times wraps up the race:

Social issues

Clark bristles at being described as an abortion-rights supporter, saying she seeks a third way in the abortion debate that reduces abortions while keeping them legal and safe.

But she went on the record opposing abortion restrictions during the campaign, as well as opposing a constitutional amendment to ban gay marriages and civil unions that the Senate will be pressured to vote on next year.

Both her opponents took the socially conservative position, yet she received 55 percent of Tuesday's vote.

"I think people want to focus on issues that impact their lives directly," said Scott Wells, co-chairman of the Senate District 15 DFL Party. "The issues that affect people's everyday lives are good jobs, good education and good health care, and that's what both (DFL) candidates talked about."

Republicans didn't do a good enough job of highlighting Clark's positions, said Roger Knauss, Senate District 15 Republican Party chairman.

"Her campaign was very effective at making her appear moderate on social issues and we did nothing to correct that misimpression," he said.

That's bunk. Both Dan Ochsner and Sue Ek - and later Kay Ek, campaigned on the social issues. Ochsner had the MCCL endorsement - and the endorsement did not help him. If you look at Ox's issues page on his website, you can see that Ox included both abortion and gay marriage on this page.

Protecting the Unborn – I am firmly pro-life, and will be a vocal advocate for pro-life issues in the Minnesota Senate.

Marriage – I strongly believe we must protect the institution of traditional marriage. I will work to ensure the people of Minnesota have the chance to vote on the Defense of Marriage constitutional amendment in the next general election.

The St Cloud Times continues:

Clark's election may dispel the myth that candidates must oppose abortion rights to win in St. Cloud, but only more evidence from future elections will tell, Frank said.

"The reason abortion-rights supporters don't win in St. Cloud is because they don't run. They don't run because of the perception that the area is so anti-abortion," he said. "But this area, particularly St. Cloud, is not as conservative as most people think."

The question isn't whether a candidate supports "abortion rights" - the question is do candidates believe that abortion should be criminal. Does emergency contraception count as "abortion"? What about the use of the birth control pill? Extremists on the abortion issue - such as Sue Ek, Janet Robert (Air America Minnesota owner) and Mary Ellen Otembra believe that life begins at conception and are opposed to all contraception except for "natural family planning". If a candidate believes abortion should be criminal, they should state what they believe the criminal penalty should be?

The MCCL took a bath in this special election.