The Suzy B Blog

Jun 25, 2010
SBA Interns Visit Congresswoman Michele Bachmann on the Hill

Interns with Bachmann

Enrico Filippini, Katie Hudson, Laura Schaefer, Maria Dogero, Congresswoman Michele Bachmann, Tommy Valentine, Danny Cannon, Rebecca Herr, Mary Crnkovich, and Megan Roberts pose for a quick picture in Congresswoman Bachmann's office.

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Jun 24, 2010
Happy Birthday Codi!

Today, on what would have been her seventeenth birthday, family and friends of Codi Nicole Alexander of Gaithersburg, Maryland, are remembering the beautiful and all too short life of a very special young woman.

Kind, warm, and considerate, Codi was a devoted daughter to Lisa and Bruce Alexander, a helpful older sister to Taylor, Chase, and Brandon, an honor roll student, and talented soccer player. A community leader even as a high-schooler, Codi had recently been elected to the Parish Council at St. Rose of Lima Catholic Church in Gaithersburg, Md., where she also ministered as an alter server, and as Challenge Club leader—leading younger girls in their faith formation.

Codi was also a vibrant and compassionate young leader in the pro-life movement. At school and in her daily life, she was known for never backing down from a debate on Life, and could hold her own—even when she was the lone pro-life advocate in the classroom. Every January, she commemorated and challenged Roe vs. Wade by participating the March for Life. Her beautiful face always stood out in the crowd as she fought against the injustice of abortion.

Last August, Codi’s life was cut tragically short when, on her way home from her job as a lifeguard, she was hit by a car while riding her bike. Five days later, on August 10, 2009, Codi passed away.

With her death, Codi proved to be just as selfless, just as enthusiastic, and just as loving of her brothers and sisters as she had been in life. She left her organs to save others suffering from physical illness, and she left her legacy—to save unborn children from abortion.

Codi understood, with a wisdom and grace beyond her sixteen years, that the fight for Life must be fought on multiple fronts, and that the biggest gains to be made were in the political arena—where pro-life women leaders could enact laws to save lives. This why, a couple of months before her death, at the Susan B. Anthony List June Tea, Codi was ecstatic to meet so many like-minded people, all concerned with protecting the lives of the unborn. A beautiful young leader herself, Codi stood out of the crowd with passion and authenticity in her convictions.

The Codi Alexander Teen Pro-Life Leadership Fund was established in Codi’s honor. The fund will specifically be used to reach out to young teen girls, ages 13-19, and to provide training. This training will teach them how to articulate the pro-life message, learn how to defend their position, and give them the tools to make a difference for the unborn and women.  Moreover, the goal of the Fund will be to inspire young women to take a leadership role in their schools, their communities, and the pro-life movement as a whole.

Codi Nicole Alexander will live on, not just in the hearts of her family and friends, but in the hearts and voices of the next generation of teen pro-Life leaders.

More than 200 attend Vigil for Gaithersburg Teen, The Gazette, 8/14/2009

Gaithersburg Teen remembered for 'friendship with Jesus' and Pro-life Views, The Catholic Standard, 9/9/2009

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Jun 22, 2010
How to Lose the Presidential Nomination in Two Days

Mitch DanielsIndiana Governor Mitch Daniels recently told The Weekly Standard that the next president "would have to call  truce on the so-called social issues. We’re going to just have to agree to get along for a little while."

Later, when asked by The Weekly Standard's John McCormack whether or not he would reinstate the Mexico City Policy (banning U.S. funding to groups that provide or promote abortion overseas), Daniels replied "I don't know."

In an Fox News op-ed, Frank Cannon, SBA List Treasurer and President of the American Principles Project takes on Daniels' claim that protecting Life must take a back seat to economic issues.

Mitch Daniels, a man not given to making many national headlines, finally did so with a remark that the next American president will need a truce on the “so-called social issues” while he deals with the economy. Ever since the Indiana Governor’s comment appeared in a magazine piece in which he was touted as potentially that next president, the “truce talk” raced through the blogosphere like an electric current.

Daniels is no obscure political figure in a heartland red state. He has been a quietly effective and unusually popular Republican governor with a well-earned reputation for cost-cutting and health care innovation. With a federal debt approaching $13 trillion, Daniels is apparently seen by many as just what Washington needs.

The “truce” comment might have been a one-day story were it not for Weekly Standard blogger John McCormack, who caught up with Daniels shortly after the magazine piece appeared. To clarify, he asked Daniels if he meant that social issues would be de-emphasized if he became president, or if he would actually refuse to act.

Would Daniels, for example, reinstate the Reagan-era Mexico City policy (banning U.S. foreign aid to groups that provide or promote abortion overseas)? The policy has been suspended and reinstated by executive order by successive Democratic and Republican presidents for the past 20 years.

Daniels’ stunning answer to McCormack’s question: “I don’t know.”

The reply would have been careless for any prospective GOP candidate for the White House; for a reputed social conservative, it was something much worse. It had the feel of a planned surprise – a flight from orthodoxy meant as a symbolic message that a whole array of issues are about to be shelved. Restoring the Mexico City policy would require only a presidential executive order, a stroke of the pen. Presidential pens are not a heavy lift.

The Hoosier governor’s truce talk is wrong on so many levels. It needlessly demeans one portion of the conservative coalition – the “ethnic, Catholic (and, more recently, evangelical) blue collar” vote that Ronald Reagan led into fealty with the GOP’s traditional hawks and economic conservatives. And social conservatives are not just a portion of that coalition – they hold views on issues like federal abortion funding and protecting the definition of marriage that represent a significant majority.

Second, calling for a truce on social issues is a little like asking the kid being pummeled by the schoolyard bully to stand down. All the kid is doing is holding his hands in front of his face to ward off the blows. Social conservatives did not launch campaigns to exploit the definition of marriage for their own gain, whatever that would mean. Instead, they have only fought to preserve the natural and perennial status of marriage as the union of one man and one woman. They have faced, and in most cases defeated, judicial elites who have sought to impose same-sex marriage on the populace.

The long-term battle over the sanctity of life issue has had the same character. The Supreme Court attempted to resolve it in 1973 by judicial fiat, nullifying the laws of all 50 states. In the four decades since, the courts have gone further and limited laws designed to guarantee parental consent and encourage informed consent. And in the past year alone the Obama Administration has subverted federal abortion funding restrictions by rescinding the Mexico City policy, approving local public funding of abortions in the District of Columbia and, most egregiously of all, designing a national health system that will provide tax credits for plans that cover elective abortions.

Social conservatives are, by and large, resisting public policies handed down from on high by unelected judges. In many cases, they are rallying for causes the elites thought they could resolve by undemocratic means. Since the passage of the Obama health plan, five state legislatures have voted to bar coverage of elective abortions in their insurance exchanges. Believing they had largely won the battles over public abortion funding three decades ago, pro-life Americans are fighting again for the same principle in battles they did not seek.

At the end of the day, Mitch Daniels’ truce talk is a profound insult to the public’s intelligence. Defenders of life in the womb and the marital bond cannot sit back while yet another administration tells them to take a pounding because “bigger issues” like excess government spending deserve all the attention.

When millions of these social conservatives are asked the question sometime next year whether they will support Mitch Daniels or anyone like him who derides their concerns and counsels surrender, they won’t be answering, “We don’t know.”

Frank Cannon is the President of American Principles Project and Treasurer of the Susan B. Anthony List.

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