There will be yet another anti-abortion activist in congress in 2011, as Republican Ann Marie Buerkle has won a very close election over Dan Maffei in New York. But Buerkle isn’t just another Tea Party activist, but a former Operation Rescue spokesperson, too.
After a contentious recount, Rep. Dan Maffei has conceded to Republican Ann Marie Buerkle, who led the Upstate New York Democrat by just 567 votes. While Buerkle ran as a Tea Party conservative, she has her political roots in the anti-choice movement. Buerkle formerly served as her region’s spokesperson for Operation Rescue, the militant anti-choice and anti-gay organization founded by Randall Terry. Terry, like Buerkle, is from Upstate New York where he made a run for Congress and started his career of attacking “murderous abortionists and demonic homosexual sodomites.”
According to the Syracuse Post-Standard, Buerkle “was the local spokeswoman for Operation Rescue when the group demonstrated outside of a gynecologist’s office in 1989. In that protest, 44 abortion protesters who blocked the entrance to the office were charged with trespassing. Earlier that year, she was with a group that carried a blackened fetus named ‘Baby Choice’ to a protest at Planned Parenthood in Syracuse, where 14 protesters were arrested.”
Buerkle told a Tea Party rally that under Democratic leadership “we lose more and more freedoms every day” and that if Republicans don’t win the election, “by 2012 we’re not going to recognize the United States of America.” One threat to freedom that Buerkle falsely alleges is that “the Obama Health and Human Services Department is planning to compile a federal health record on all U.S. citizens by 2014, and will include information on each individual’s Body Mass Index in the files.”
Former Operation Rescue staff and volunteers appear to be getting more active in the political process these days. Randall Terry is pushing for new candidates to run in 2012 on a “graphic abortion pictures on TV as campaign ads” platform, and is even meeting with future Majority Leader John Boehner, according to Think Progress:
When it comes to the GOP agenda, future House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) always looks for constructive input. On Wall Street Reform, Boehner was quick to consult corporate lobbyists on how to defeat it. On the GOP “Pledge to America,” he made sure to invite “senior Republican lobbyists” and “more than 20 trade representatives” to offer their advice, while summarily ignoring that of the public. Now, apparently seeking to flesh out the GOP’s social agenda, Boehner has invited another influential voice to the table: the far right Christian activist Randall Terry.
As the founder of the extremist, pro-life group Operation Rescue, Terry turned rabid fanaticism into a high-profile career. Known for his outlandish antics and incendiary rhetoric, Terry earns the scorn of most respectable lawmakers. But, according to an email alert obtained by Right Wing Watch, Terry’s extremism has now secured him a spot in Beohner’s inner circle. Meeting with Boehner’s staff, Terry apparently demanded the GOP “hasten the end of legalized child killing in America” and that “unless the Republicans do something concrete to save babies from murder, then they are collaborators with child killers, and we must treat them as such”…
Having former Operation Rescue activists making policy for the country? That ought to scare some progressives back to the voting booth in 2012.