IL-14 Update: Perilous Times in Aurora Edition

Wednesday night, in Aurora, Illinois, at 46 W. Downer Place, the Laesch for Congress office officially opened.  We were pleased to see not just many "old hands" on deck, but a large contingent of new faces as well.  As you can imagine, this was a big event for us, most of the campaign staffers were on hand, John was there, Jen was there.  I meant to do a general update diary tonight, blog about our office opening, and invite you all to come down and visit us or call at (630) 801-8900, but something transpired here on DailyKos while we were distracted that we want to address.  

Planned Parenthood Under Attack
Being otherwise occupied Wednesday night, we weren't here to see this diary by Planned Parenthood until pretty late.  

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Obama Wins Planned Parenthood Straw Poll

Via the Swamp (Washington bureau blog of the Chicago Tribune):

Last week, the three major presidential campaigns addressed Planned Parenthood: Clinton, Obama, and Elizabeth Edwards. I posted a diary about Obama laying out an agenda for a family-based progressivism that Ezra Klein at TAPPED saw as hinting at the direction of Obama's policy proposals.
After the convention, President Cecile Richards asked members (presumably via email) to go to the website, watch video of the speeches given during the convention, and then answer the simple question: "Who made the best case for women's health?"
Surprisingly, Obama won the poll, garnering 42%. I've been searching around trying to find the percentages for the other two candidates. They don't seem to have been released yet.

Given Clinton's endorsements from Emily's List and NOW and her early support among women voters, she had to be seen as a favorite in the poll.
The online straw poll does not directly affect Planned Parenthood's endorsement:
The poll will not determine the endorsement of the Planned Parenthood Action Fund, a spokeswoman said. The group's endorsement will be recommended by its board of directors and ratified by the membership, said the spokeswoman, who declined to be identified.

Partial video of Obama's appearance can be seen here.

Stop Taking Us for Granted (Clinton @ Planned Parenthood Conf)

Cross-posted at

When it comes to voting, I look at what the candidate's done - not just what they've said. Have they gone above and beyond what's expected, or have they just cast a vote or signed a bill when something's presented to them? Have they appeared on stage with leaders in this fight - leaders like Cecile Richards of Planned Parenthood, or Kim Gandy from NOW? Have they stood shoulder to shoulder with us in our fight to protect women's rights and advance access to information and the tools we need to prevent unwanted pregnancies?  

I attended the annual convention of the Planned Parenthood Action Fund yesterday because I wanted to hear my candidate speak to the issues I care deeply about.  All of the presidential candidates were invited to address this group of committed activists, but only two chose to show up, stand on that stage with Cecile Richards, and be counted as someone who'll work night and day to defend my rights (Clinton & Obama).

My message to those who chose to take a pass on this event is simple - if you want my vote boys you'd better suit up and show up to ask for it.  Because I'm tired of being taken for granted.  

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Obama and Family-Based Progressivism

I've posted before about why I think Obama's style of progressive politics would him make not only a good president for the next four years but the best spokesperson for progressivism over the next decade.  In case you haven't seen it, there's been a pretty interesting conversation over at TAPPED, the blog of the American Prospect, about three presidential campaigns visiting Planned Parenthood today.

A lot of Obama's agenda is still being developed and rolled out piecemeal, but the TAPPED discussion provides some hints about where it's going and some background on Obama's policy director Karen Kornbluh, who has been a proponent of what Ezra Klein calls "family-based progressivism" and creating a new social insurance system relevant to the needs of today's families.

I'll just post a few of the highlights here, it's worth going over to read it.  Dana Goldstein summed up the day.  Elizabeth Edwards went first and has some great lines:

Representing her husband, Elizabeth Edwards was charming, glowing, funny, and very warmly-received. "If I wanted Rick Santorum's opinion" on my reproductive health choices, "I would call him up," she quipped. In what sounded like a dig at Hillary Clinton and her perceived radical left agenda, Elizabeth argued, "We need a pro-choice candidate who can be elected on a pro-choice platform."

Elizabeth lays out details, tying in health care, talking about the availability of contraception, etc.

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Changes @ Planned Parenthood & PID Advice

I apologize if the new rules were discussed here at length when the grace period ended and went in to effect back in March. I just found out about the new rules which were enacted July 1 as part of a federal budget deficit reduction act during my last visit to Planned Parenthood. If you're still on....

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