Planned Parenthood's Vision = Action

In the days and weeks leading up the elections, there's been a major shift toward pro-choice candidates. Voters in key heartland states are getting the message about where candidates stand on common-sense issues like support for women's health and safety - and it's clear they care.

In Ohio, anti-choice candidate Ken Blackwell (R), who said he would sign an abortion ban even more extreme than the one in South Dakota, trails pro-choice candidate Ted Strickland (D). In Wisconsin, pro-choice Gov. Jim Doyle (D) is running against Mark Green (R), who opposes providing emergency contraception to rape survivors. Doyle is the one thing standing between women's health and safety and a total abortion ban. This year Doyle vetoed seven anti-choice bills this legislative session, including a law that would have allowed concealed weapons into family planning clinics. Michigan's gubernatorial candidate, Dick DeVos (R), is trailing pro-choice Gov. Jennifer Granholm (D) and running scared from his extreme views: in a televised debate, he insisted he would do nothing to change the state's current abortion law -- and yet the very next day said on a Catholic radio show that he supports a South Dakota-style ban.

Our supporters have been out on the streets, raising money, collecting signatures, and getting people in these key states excited to vote on election day. We all feel the momentum building, and we want to be ready for this pivotal moment in our country's history. We CAN advance an agenda that ensures the health and safety of women and families. But we can't get there without a plan.

We have to make it clear what we are for, not just what we are against. We will play offense, not defense, in exposing anti-choice groups and their political sponsors and making them explain their indefensible anti-family planning positions. We have to communicate common-sense values to the entire nation. We're striking a new deal between the pro-choice movement and legislators and policymakers. We will use the courts to broadcast our message.

Read more about our strategy and let us know what you think.

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SD-Gov Watch Jack Billion's First Campaign Ad!

Jack Billion came out this week with his first media buy.  The ad is great as Jack takes on the biggest issue facing South Dakotans - the Abortion Ban.  In the ad Jack comes down strong against the ban and Mike Rounds' position on it.  I think it shows some courage by Jack to take on this very divisive issue in his first ad. Jack is a doctor so you can tell when he is speaking that this is an issue that is important to him and this ad gives him the forum to give South Dakotans a bit of his biography. 7E

And here is the Actblue page for the campaign if you want to contribute. or

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GOP Shoots for About 40 Percent of the Vote

Faced with a wave of polling showing the Democrats maintaining near record leads in generic congressional polling, Republicans are again tacking to the right and highlighting positions upon which they are distinctly among the minority. This past week, for instance, the Bush administration renewed its effort to slash Social Security and other popular programs, as The Washington Post's Michael Abramowitz reports.

The Bush administration has begun sounding out lawmakers and other key figures about mounting a new bipartisan effort to rein in the costs of Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security after the midterm elections, according to officials in the administration and on Capitol Hill.

No specific plan has been advanced, and administration officials are proceeding gingerly given the political debacle that beset the White House last year when President Bush promoted a plan to create private accounts in the Social Security program. But they have been sending strong signals in recent weeks that they want to try something again after the elections in November.


Bush, for his part, appears fixated on the issue, even as he is focused on securing new immigration legislation and preoccupied by several world crises. Despite being forced to shelve his Social Security plan -- which included establishing private investment accounts and reducing guaranteed benefits down the road -- Bush regularly mentions his desire to tackle the issue again. [emphasis added]

First, let's note that the only example of the bipartisanship of this effort mentioned in the entire article is the administration's discussions with Senate Budget Chairman Kent Conrad, who does not appear to be on board with major cuts to social programs or partial privatization of Social Security. But leaving this important fact aside, a look at the polling on Social Security from the first half of 2005 shows that at most about a third of Americans approved of the approach towards the program taken by George W. Bush and his Republican allies in Congress, with a number of polls pegging that number even lower in the 20s. If the President and the Republicans on Capitol Hill believe that its sound political strategy to hammer away on an issue upon which they are creamed by the Democrats, the Dems should do little to try to stop them.

Social Security partial privatization is not the only area where the Republicans are shooting for the support of a distinct minority of voters. As the Associated Press reports today, House Republicans are now trying to make this fall's midterm elections about Nancy Pelosi, and specifically her position on choice.

Republicans are on slightly firmer ground on the issue of abortion, with perhaps as much as 40 to 45 percent of the electorate voicing anti-choice sentiments. However, the pro-life position commands majorities in just nine states and pluralities in another four, according to 50-state polling by SurveyUSA, and even in a state as hostile to choice as South Dakota, a significant plurality of voters opposes a move to ban abortion in almost all cases.

Looking at these two issues (as well as many others), Republicans seem intent on appealing to 40 percent of voters -- at most -- in the hope that those voters turn out at a significantly higher rate than the remaining three-fifths of the electorate. And while this tactic succeeded in previous elections in which the GOP base was closer to half of the electorate and that base was energized (perhaps even more so than the Democratic base), in an election season in which the GOP base is smaller than that of the Democratic base and seemingly less engaged, it's not clear to me that this will be a winning strategy for Republicans in Congress.

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Polls on Parental Notification and Stem Cell Research

Since it has been in the news recently, Gallup put out articles on parental consent for abortions and stem cell research. These are two issues that invoke strong emotion in the left blogosphere.

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A night at the County Fair

Tonight the Welsh for Congress Campaign was again on the road.  Two stops were on the schedule and both in the neighborhood so to speak.  Which means they were both within thirty miles of home!

The first stop was a county party pork chop dinner fundraiser in Fayette County and it was well attended and a great event.

Then we went to the county fair in Franklin County, my home county.  

I was accompanied by a couple of the very valuable members of the campaign as we walked around the midway, ventured into the various 4-H Barns to look at the livestock that the kids have worked so hard with for the past several months, the vegetables and crafts and on and on displayed with creativity, talent and love.

What's this got to do with politics?

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