Virtual Voices

Shame on Steve Driehaus

Campaign 2010

I recall approaching a playground as a kid to find my brother taunting a boy bigger than he. Frustrated, the angry boy asked my brother if he wanted to fight. My brother replied, "No, but my big brother will fight you." Instantly, the boy assaulted me with a flurry of fists. Recently, the Susan B. Anthony List (SBA) picked a fight with Rep. Steve Driehaus, D-Ohio. The ladies at the SBA weren't looking for any assistance in battling the congressman, but Driehaus went running to Big Brother, the Ohio Election Commission, for help. It's quite a scrap and I hope the ladies win.

Marjorie Dannenfelser and her organization hired Lamar Companies to erect billboards in Driehaus' Cincinnati district stating, "Shame on Steve Driehaus! Driehaus voted FOR taxpayer-funded abortion." The SBA rightly exposes the truth of Driehaus' healthcare vote-the legislation allows for federally funded abortions. (For a detailed explanation of the abortion aspect of Obamacare, read the report from the Office of General Counsel of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops.)

Moreover, it appears that the first-term congressman has little regard for free speech. Citing a peculiar Ohio election law, Driehaus filed a criminal complaint against the SBA with the Ohio Election Commission, alleging that the SBA made a "false claim" on its billboards. Driehaus' campaign contacted Lamar before the billboards went up, and fearing it would get dragged into court, Lamar refused to erect them until the issue was resolved. The Ohio Election Commission's staff attorney recommended dismissing the case, but a "probable cause panel" ruled 2-1 that a full seven-member panel hearing be held on Oct. 28, just four days before the election. Dannenfelser may have to pay a fine and spend time in jail if the SBA loses.

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Throwing a counterpunch, the SBA filed suit in federal district court seeking to overturn the Ohio election law and, somewhat ironically, the American Civil Liberties Union filed an amicus brief on the organization's behalf, stating that the Ohio law "is vague and overbroad, and it cannot withstand constitutional scrutiny. . . . The people have an absolute right to criticize their public officials, the government should not be the arbiter of true or false speech and, in any event, the best answer for bad speech is more speech."

Shame on Steve Driehaus. A pro-life Catholic, he voted for a healthcare law that does indeed allow for federal abortion funding. And shame on him again for trying to limit the SBA's speech. I'm cheering for the ladies in this fight. He deserves to get beat up by the girls.

Lee Wishing
Lee Wishing

Lee is the administrative director of The Center for Vision & Values at Grove City College.

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