Fifteen of 20 self-described “pro-life” congressman who voted for President Obama’s health care reform bill went down to defeat Tuesday and the Alexandria-based Susan B. Anthony List credits its $3.4 million “Votes Have Consequences” project for helping to expose voting records at odds with their political rhetoric.
Project director Marilyn Musgrave told The Examiner that right after the health care bill passed in March, the group started “targeting a number of people who campaigned as pro-life, with pro-life voting records, but then caved in on the big one.”
The group takes credit for forcing the retirement of Rep. Bart Stupak, D-Mich., author of an amendment to ban the use of any federal funding for abortions in the health care bill, and Rep. Alan Mollohan, D-W.Va., who lost his primary earlier this year.
Rep. Kathy Dahlkemper, D-Penn., Rep. Brad Ellsworth, D-Ind., and Rep. Steve Driehaus, D-Ohio, went down to defeat in Tuesday’s mid-term election. All five voted for Stupak’s amendment, but then turned around and voted for final passage after the Stupak amendment had been stripped out and President Obama promised to replace it with an executive order instead.
The List supported Rep. Dan Lipinski, D-Ill. – the lone member of the Stupak Coalition to vote against the health care bill because of its abortion provisions – who retained his seat.
Musgrave, a former elected official, says the highlight of the evening was the defeat of Driehaus, who filed a complaint with the Ohio Elections Commission for what he claimed was a “false statement” about a political candidate during an election cycle in violation of state law. The three-member panel found “probable cause “for the case to move forward.
“The defeat of a member of the U.S. Congress who tried to hide behind a elections commission to oppose what we were saying and limit our free speech was notable,” Musgrave added.