Long time mover and shaker in the christianist war on women and girls, a war planned and fought on the mean rural roads and city streets of America, lately coming to full bloody flower in SD, is... Leslee Unruh.
Her husband, a local chiropractor, served on the Task Force that led to the recent law signed by Gov. Rounds. She has flogged every horse that the white, christian, oppressive mentality will support from an online abstinence clearinghouse, to a CPC center, to a suspicious Omega Maternity home for unwed girls...
Leslee Unruh: Oh, do please meet this woman. For she is the enemy.
The Abstinence Clearinghouse is an offshoot of the pro-life movement that refers to those who believe in comprehensive sex education as the "safe sex cartel" and "condom pushers." Its mission is "to promote the appreciation for and practice of sexual abstinence (purity)" through distribution of abstinence-only publications. Its website boasts a "medical advisory board" composed of health professionals who will not prescribe contraceptives to unmarried teens.
Abstinence Clearinghouse founder Leslee Unruh has close ties to the pro-life establishment. She spent most of the '80s protesting outside abortion clinics and encouraging people to protest outside the homes of physicians who provide abortions.
That is Ed Meese, AG under Reagan, with Leslee Unruh beside him, on his left.
She also started a "crisis pregnancy center" in Sioux Falls, S.D., about which there were so many complaints that the governor had her investigated. Unruh pleaded no contest to unlicensed adoption and foster care practices as part of a plea bargain in which 19 charges, including four felonies, were dropped.
Let's stop, and read that bit again:
She also started a "crisis pregnancy center" in Sioux Falls, S.D., about which there were so many complaints that the governor had her investigated.
Unruh pleaded no contest to unlicensed adoption and foster care practices as part of a plea bargain in which 19 charges, including four felonies, were dropped.
A promo shot of Leslee, meant to indicate she wants "you" for her abstinence games.
I say, anyone with a brain will say, her angle, long term, is federal funds. And white babies. And cash. And coercion of women and girls. It already was her game...
The charges resulted from Unruh's promises to pay teenagers if they remained pregnant so she could put their babies up for adoption. Tim Wilka, one of the state's attorneys at the time, explained,
"There were so many allegations about improper adoptions being made [against her] and how teenage girls were being pressured to give up their children," he says. "Gov. George Mickelson called me and asked me to take the case."
Well, somebody covered her ass. As she bleated out, nolo contendere...
The picture on the ground in SD, and several other states, is very bleak for women... but as I cast my mind back over a year long of online - and so very ''DLC'' it has been - demagoguery of NARAL (imo, there is a buzzing bee up Kos's ass), and, while I believe in very harsh criticism of pols, lobbyists, hacks and others, I have been around the block... and there is a difference. Demagoguery is meant to demonise.
The past 6 weeks the demagoguery starts to extend, across the board, from NARAL to PPFA. Often involving a small circle of "incestuous amplification" blogs who tie in tightly via, again!, incestuous linking to the Red Star Mother Ship....
I say: they wear pink rhinestone collars and leashes and the leashes lead straight back to the party. Yes yes yes: they are "Democratic" sites. They surely do coordinate. Rahm, Reid, Hillpac, Schumer, Rendell, others. The conservative Democrats, red states, blue states, purple states... all the same in the end.
Scratch so many Democrats and you find a "reformed" Republican, ones that have scarcely changed at all, never really left Republican mommy and daddy.... Why cultivate your base, why form coalitions, when you can just herd the new weeds?
Find the Biz Wing, the Handmaiden Wing, the Chortle Loudly but Curl Up With No Spine, No Filibuster Wing. "Bitch and capitulate". Oh they, the incestuous blogs and the wanna bees, they raise their little poodle arms in fake approbation at this, or that, that the party does... but they work for the Yankee dollar, as I put it.
And not one of them wants anyone to remember that a majority Democratic senate brought us Clarence Thomas (Jane Mayer). That Biden, chair of the Judiciary, was outwitted and blind to flank work by aides to Republicans on the committee. Danforth shepherded that nom right by the Dems. 11 Democrats crossed the aisle on the senate floor to vote for Clarence, 52/48... he would not be on the SC without senate Democrats and a Democratic chaired Judiciary Committee.
I may be, and I am in fact, uneasy with the national level at NARAL, long time Democratic office holder in MT, Nancy Keenan, til she failed at her run in '00 (lost to the R by 6 pts) for the one seat in the House (it is possible to be critical and not demagogue her). There is no real ground level history of working for reproductive rights... unlike Kim Gandy, who, in addition to a history as a Louisiana prosecutor, came up thru the ranks at NOW for 30 years and ascended thru internal vote.
However, let's take a look at REAL grassroots in SD - as opposed to what I call "greasy roots", the visible leadership of the Big Box Blogs:
The Unitarian Universalists, a tiny number in SD - all of 186 souls at three congregations spread out across those hard rural roads of SD... from within their number we find Mahala Bach, who came forward with her desperate recounting of the most brutal rape at the age of 13 and her subsequent abortion, sought with the support of her mother and her doctor.
UUs worked as the only organised religion to fight against the war against women, this siege of the SD leg. Sometimes working interfaith, but often alone... protesting out side the capital (something Kos does not like) demonstrating (ditto) ... and among their number is Unitarian Universalist member:
Thelma Underberg, who attends All Souls, is executive director of NARAL ProChoice South Dakota.
She predicted pro-choice groups would challenge the bill because it has no exceptions for the health of women. She thinks it would take a minimum of two years for the challenge to reach the U.S. Supreme Court.
South Dakotaâ€™s experience should be a warning, she said, adding, â€œThere are a lot of other terrible pieces of legislation out there. I hope people are finally waking up to the fact that things are totally out of whack.â€?
And in case anyone think this SD NARAL/others (PPFA operates the single abortion clinic left) pro-choice work is anything like sitting in a house in Berkeley bitching for months on end over Langevin and RI and NARAL endorsements (I personally cannot stand Chafee, but I don't control, nor contribute to, NARAL) at a keyboard, or on the phone or fax machine to Reid's office - who is a Democrats for Life all star, see p.4 of the pdf, he voted with Pryor, Breaux, Zell Miller and Ben Nelson in the 108th congress on pro-life - if anyone thinks pro-choice work in SD is easy, think again:
South Dakota has the fewest number of UUs of any state, but they are far from shy about speaking out on issues like abortion. They know, however, that when they do raise their voices in the public square there can be a price to pay.
A year ago Justin Lena, a member of the Rapid City fellowship and chair of the local Democratic Party, wrote a letter to the newspaper advocating the availability of emergency contraception in hospital emergency rooms for women who are raped. The day the letter was published someone threw flaming liquid on his lawn.
As I said, grassroots vs greasy roots.
And it is wise to listen, from time to time, to the real political writers, the very small handful in the nation... most others are what I call "churn" writers. But then there is William Greider, among the few (Lapham, Krugman, Walter Karp - now sadly gone - it never is many)... and I can hear in Greider's words from 1992 the backing for the demagoguery carried out by the Big Box Blogs... and I can hear who yanks their pink rhinestone poodle chains:
"The DLC's main objective was an attack on the Democratic Party's core constituencies -- labor, schoolteachers, women's rights groups, peace and disarmament activists, the racial minorities and supporters of affirmative action. Its stated goal was to restore the party's appeal to disaffected white males, especially in the South."
DLC, NDN, "reform" Democrats, New Democrats, DINOs... Republicrats, Demlicans. Third Way. Party "lobbyists". Consultants vs "activists" (the Kos preferred) and, of course, the patented "important shit".
Lots of names for the mess. People really cannot defend it any longer. The pro-white, pro-male (with "women assists" at the ready), pro-Republican (lite lite lite) agenda is in its third decade.
This just in, I could not caption the online game better:
You Can DONATE to Yearly Kos!
After all, if the pro-choice single issue groups aren't going to do their jobs, we'll just have to do it for them. We will sit down with these politicians and tell them to their face how important privacy and choice are to all of us.
We can use Yearly Kos to amplify our message beyond the convention hall.
THEY WILL HEAR OUR MESSAGE, LOUD AND CLEAR.
Yes do send off a fax to Reid, the star speaker.... Who voted for every pro-life measure targeted by Democrats for Life. You do that. I call YKos busy work. And showing evidence of scant interest from the ... ranks.
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UPDATED: Wednesday, 9:08 AM PT
well I have toured B-B-Blogs, post Ciro... now, if there was real struggle to rebuild the party (outside the beleaguered Howard and I did not support this last ditch stand of going "inside") losing, as the party rebuilds, would be acceptable.
However, the mantra from the Boyos is no idealogy, no factions pulled together to form coalition and, last but not least (or so they say): win win win.
The Orellys, with Barnum in the 20s. Performed in Paris.
Likely wore pink rhinestone, Paris paste collars...
So Boyos (and Girls and Democrats) ya gotta win. More than a couple governorships that should NEVER have produced so damned much public flop sweat.