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Last of the small spenders?

"Last of the small spenders?" Continued...

Issue: "Terrorism: Unmasked men," Oct. 16, 2004

And then there are the dirty tricks, which Coburn spokesman John Hart accuses the Carson campaign of generating. Mr. Hart says Carson campaign workers and state Democratic operatives were the ones who distributed a flier depicting the obstetrician and pro-life activist as an abortionist. The flier decried abortion, then gave Tom Coburn's office number and advised people to "ask him to STOP performing abortions." (Carson campaign spokesman Kristofer Eisenla calls the charge that it was behind the flier "preposterous.")

Out of his more than 4,000 successful deliveries, Dr. Coburn admits he's performed two abortions-only, he says, to save the lives of the mothers. During Dr. Coburn's final session in Congress, the National Right to Life Committee awarded him a perfect score on its abortion scorecard. For the current Congress, Mr. Carson has earned a 67 score. During his first term, he earned only a 38.

Mr. Hart says Dr. Coburn would duplicate his House record in the Senate, making stands for the rights of unborn children. But he admits that Dr. Coburn's campaign thus far has centered on fiscal responsibility. And in one of the nation's poorest states, a freeze on pork-barrel spending is harder to sell. Dr. Coburn understands the risk of running a campaign that basically tells the voters not to expect much in the way of pork spending directed to the state. Mr. Hart says the stand is necessary: "There aren't as many people in our party sounding the alarm for the instability of some of these programs. We need a guy in the Senate to say, 'We're going to move in the right direction, or we're not going to move at all.'"

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