Dannenfelser Responds to Ohio Election Commission Decision to Advance Rep. Driehaus' Efforts to Silence Free Speech

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Susan B. Anthony List President Marjorie Dannenfelser offered the following statement in response to today’s vote by a three-member panel of the Ohio Elections Commission that advanced efforts by Rep. Steve Driehaus (OH-01) to silence his critics using criminal statute concerning his vote in support of health care legislation that allows for taxpayer funding of abortion:

“The Ohio Elections Commission has allowed Steve Driehaus to achieve his strategic objective of preventing constituents from learning the truth about his vote in favor of taxpayer funding of abortion in the health care reform bill. We are disappointed and surprised that the complaint was not immediately dismissed. The fact that the health care reform bill allows for taxpayer funding of abortion has been agreed upon by every major pro-life group in the country, including National Right to Life, Americans United for Life, Focus on the Family, and the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops. The larger problem here is a public official’s attempt to use a criminal statue to silence legitimate debate on his record. The proper place for public policy debate is in the public square, not in an Elections Commission or criminal court. The SBA List will see this process through to the end and vigorously defend our position that the health care reform bill, supported by Steve Driehaus, allows for taxpayer funding of abortion. Moreover, we will use every vehicle possible within our First Amendment rights to communicate this message to the people of Congressman Steve Driehaus’ district between now and the hearing.”

Rep. Steve Driehaus filed a complaint with the Ohio Elections Commission on Tuesday, October 6th alleging that the Susan B. Anthony List is falsely accusing him of voting for taxpayer funding of abortion as a result of his vote in support of health care legislation. The complaint was spurred in part by the Susan B. Anthony List’s intention to put up four billboards across his Congressional district.  A lawyer representing Rep. Driehaus convinced Lamar Companies not to put up the billboards until the matter was settled by the Ohio Elections Commission, stifling the free speech of the Susan B. Anthony List. A probable cause hearing was convened today by a three-member panel of the Ohio Elections Commission which voted to advance the matter to a full hearing (date to be determined).

A 23-page affidavit detailing the taxpayer funding of abortion in the health care reform bill was filed on behalf of the Susan B. Anthony List by National Right to Life Legislative Director Douglas Johnson.

For further information, please contact Kerry Brown at (703) 470-1926 or kbrown@sba-list.org.  

 

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