Thursday, July 06, 2006

A Misleading Message from the Green Team

When I got home from work last night, the following message was waiting for me on the answering machine. The voice was from an older lady, and the words she spoke were clearly scripted:

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Hello, this is Marilyn and I'm a volunteer locally for Mark Green's campaign for governor. I support Mark Green because he is committed to restoring respect for human life and other family values.

On the other hand, Jim Doyle supports even late-term abortions. Jim Doyle simply does not share our Wisconsin values.

We can trust Mark Green to move our state forward.

If you have any questions about Mark or the campaign, you can call us at 414-453-9921. You can also visit our website at www.votemarkgreen.com.

Thank you for your time.

This call was paid for by Green for Wisconsin.

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Normally I just would've erased the message, and I was about to, but then I heard the comment about Doyle supporting late-term abortions. That got me thinking -- is that true?

As it turns out, it's not.

While Doyle was attorney general in the late 1990s, Wisconsin passed a law banning all late-term abortions except when the woman's life was at stake. Doyle upheld the law until 2000 when the US Supreme Court nixed a Nebraska late-term abortion ban because it didn't provide adequate protections for the health of the woman.

Since the Wisconsin law also didn't provide adequate protections for the overall health of the woman, Doyle made a public statement that the Wisconsin law was likely unconstitutional just like the Nebraska law.

Wisconsin Right to Life -- which is backing Mark Green in the governor's race this year -- was outraged. The group's legislative director at the time, Susan Armacost, had this to say: "Shame on him! Shame on him. James Doyle is supposed to defend the laws of this state, and for him to make that statement without pursuing this obvious difference between Wisconsin and Nebraska is unconscionable and a dereliction of duty." (See Journal-Sentinel, June 30, 2000, p. A15.)

As it happens, less than one year later Doyle was proven right when a US Court of Appeals ruled in April 2001 that, in light of the US Supreme Court decision on the Nebraska law, the Wisconsin late-term abortion law was indeed unconstitutional because it did not provide adequate protections for the health of the woman.

Commenting on his opinion, Doyle had the following to say about Wisconsin's late-term abortion ban: "I've said all along, I would have never voted for this law in the Wisconsin Legislature. I wouldn't have voted for it for exactly the reasons the Supreme Court struck it down." (See Journal-Sentinel, June 30, 2000, p. A15.)

In other words, Doyle's personal opposition to the ban was a result of its lack of protections for the health of the woman -- that doesn't mean he supports all late-term abortions, as the message I received from the Green Team asserts.

In fact, Doyle stated just two months ago that he would sign a late-term abortion ban in Wisconsin "tomorrow" if it included adequate protections for the health of the woman -- protections that are demanded by the US Supreme Court.

I guess it's clear the Green Team is willing to do whatever it takes to outrage people enough to get them to crack open their wallets -- even if it means misleading them.

Needless to say, my wallet stayed closed last night.

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