The decision by the Susan G. Komen Foundation, the nation’s largest breast cancer advocacy group, to cut most of its ties to Planned Parenthood – made public this week — has roiled the left, cheered the right, and has many wondering why and how the split happened.
John D. Raffaelli, a Komen board member and Washington lobbyist, said Wednesday that the decision to cut off money to 17 of the 19 Planned Parenthood affiliates it had supported was made because of the fear that an investigation of Planned Parenthood by Representative Cliff Stearns, Republican of Florida, would damage Komen’s credibility with donors….
So the Komen board voted that all of its vendors and grantees must certify that they are not under investigation by federal, state or local authorities. But for Planned Parenthood, the nation’s largest abortion provider, being the target of partisan investigations is part of doing business. So Komen’s new rule effectively ended their long partnership and seemed to the health services provider an unacceptable betrayal of their common mission to save women’s lives.
But many news organizations, including the Times and the Washington Post, also point to last April’s hiring of Karen Handel, the former Republican candidate for governor, as a senior vice president for Komen. Again, from the Times:
Mr. Raffaelli disputed assertions that were widely circulated on the Web on Wednesday that the decision was made or influenced by Karen Handel, Komen’s new senior vice president for public policy, a Republican who ran for governor of Georgia in 2010.
During that campaign, Ms. Handel wrote, “Since I am pro-life, I do not support the mission of Planned Parenthood.” Ms. Handel was hired to urge state governments to spend money on breast cancer screening, and having a Republican deliver that message could help in many states, Mr. Raffaelli said.
We’ve reached out to Handel, but haven’t heard back. She makes no mention of the Komen decision on her Facebook page, but that hasn’t stopped friends from congratulating her. From one:
”I was so happy to read about the defunding of Planned Parenthood by Komen. Thank you for any part that you had in this!! I am a breast cancer survivor and I always participated in the Race for a Cure, but I was not going to this year – after hearing about the funding. Now I am very happy to be able to participate with a clear conscience, knowing that the money I collect will not be going to Planned Parenthood! Thank you again! “
We’ve also got a frame grab of a Tweet that Handel passed along: “Just like a pro-abortion group to turn a cancer orgs decision into a political bomb to throw. Cry me a freaking river.”
Down in Florida, one of Newt Gingrich’s last, futile shots at Mitt Romney took the form of a robo-call targeted at Jewish voters, alleging that the former governor of Massachusetts once vetoed a Medicare bill that paid for kosher food service to nursing homes in seniors.
It failed to rally the troops. Possibly because there were few troops to rally. This note comes from Alan Abramowitz, the Emory University political scientist:
Florida is the first state with a large Jewish population to hold its primary this year and there is not much evidence from the results of any movement of Jewish voters to the GOP.
In 2008, according to exit poll data, Jews made up 9 percent of voters in the Florida Democratic primary and 3 percent of voters in the Florida Republican primary. This year, turnout in the GOP primary was down considerably overall, and Jews made up only 1 percent of the voters.
Some Jewish voters may be unhappy with [President Barack] Obama, but based on these results, they don’t seem to find the current crop of would-be Republican challengers very appealing.
Gov. Nathan Deal is making a special pitch to urge Georgians to make sure they don’t driver drunk. The governor appears in a 60-second TV ad scheduled to air on before the game Sunday. Deal’s office says NBC affiliates statewide are airing the commercial for free:
Joseph Pond of Marietta sends word that state Reps. Earl Ehrhart, R-Powder Springs; Karla Drenner, D-Atlanta; and others have introduced HB 853, a measure that would kill local government restrictions on the raising of chickens or rabbits for personal consumption on “private residential property.”
Prohibition of the animals have been the topic of legal actions in Roswell and Marietta. There’s even a website.
- By Jim Galloway, Political Insider