The chief question candidates running for office
this election cycle must answer is how to improve the economy. How to
reform the health care system and expand access to coverage follow
closely behind. We look at GOP gubernatorial candidate Bill Brady's record on the topic.
The Illinois Supreme Court will not hear an appeal
from the anti-abortion Thomas More Society that sought to overturn a
"stay of enforcement" for a state law requiring parents to be
notified before a girl has an abortion. Last March, a Cook County judge
lifted a temporary restraining order on the law but delayed enforcing the statute until the appeal process wrapped up.
Judge Diane Wood of the Seventh U.S. Circuit Court of
Appeals in Chicago is a firm believer in the legal right to abortion. So firm, in fact, that some think she might have trouble surviving a heated nomination process if President Obama nominates her to replace John Paul Stevens on the U.S. Supreme Court. But are her views really that controversial? After reviewing some of Wood's decisions, Slate's Emily Bazelon isn't convinced:
In revisiting a decade-old Supreme Court ruling that made abortions
harder to obtain, Wood clearly took a pro-choice stance. But is this
ruling radical or outside the mainstream of constitutional thought?
Only if the right has succeeded in stifling every last judicial impulse
to ensure that women can have unburdened access to abortion.
We've repeatedly noted the unwarranted concerns from pro-life Democratic Congressmen Dan Lipinski and Jerry Costello that the health care reform bill would lead to federal financing of abortions. In the hopes of swaying Lipinski on the issue, Catholics United is going on the air in the Chicago market today with an ad making that very point. "Some say health reform would force taxpayers to fund
abortions," says the narrator. "It’s not true." Watch it:
The adjoining press release included this remark from Bob Bossie, a Roman Catholic priest in Chicago: “As a lifelong advocate for health care reform, I call on Congressman
Lipinski to do what’s best for hard working people of Illinois
and support reform. The reform bill before the House will save lives, support families and
uphold existing laws which prevent taxpayer dollars from being used to pay for
abortions.” Catholics United tells us that the spot will run through Sunday and that the ad-buy is in the six-figures.
When State Sen. Bill Brady was certified as the Republican gubernatorial nominee last week, Gov. Quinn rightly characterized his rival's voting record
as "extreme." A coalition of consumer advocates and women's groups
agree. At a press conference today, representatives from Planned
Parenthood Illinois Action, Chicago-NOW, Personal PAC, and Citizen
Action Illinois railed against Brady's legislative record on consumer and health
issues that impact Illinois women, ranging from his opposition to
abortion rights and stem cell research to his record on the minimum
wage, paid family leave, and gender pay laws. "When Bill Brady was
certified," said Planned Parenthood's Beth Kanter, "I literally
shuddered at the notion of him in the governor's office. ... His record demonstrates that he is anti-woman, anti-choice, and that his views are, quite frankly, antediluvian." Watch it:
For more on Brady's voting record, check out Eric Zorn's post from yesterday. (UPDATE: The Chicago Current also covered the event.)
On Friday, Gov. Pat Quinn welcomed State Sen. Bill Brady into the gubernatorial general election race by characterizing his voting record in the General Assembly as "extreme." Tribune columnist Eric Zorn asked the Quinn camp to provide a bit more detail on that record. Today, they sent a laundry list
of specific votes Brady has taken to back up their statement. There's
plenty of reason for voter concern here. On multiple occasions,
Brady opposed a minimum wage hike. He was just one of four
lawmakers to vote against an extension of the breast cancer
research tax write-off. And he opposed a bill requiring health
insurance companies to cover contraceptives, even suggesting he would
prohibit access to emergency contraception if given the opportunity.
Tomorrow, we're planning on covering a press conference in which several advocacy groups -- Planned Parenthood, the National Organization for Women, Personal PAC, and others -- will denounce Brady's positions on women's issues. Check back for our full report.