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UW Election Eye 2012

Campaign 2012 through the eyes of UW faculty and students

Topic: abortion

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August 22, 2012 at 6:44 AM

Mike Huckabee provides political lifeline for Todd Akin

Former presidential candidate and current media celebrity Mike Huckabee is in Todd Akin’s corner. And that is enough for Akin as he tries to recover from his claims about rape, without the support of Republican Party leadership.

Former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee during an interview in May 2008 in Seattle about the future of the Republican Party (Photo by Will Mari /UW Election Eye)

SEATTLE — I have long been interested in former Arkansas governor, minister, and former presidential candidate Mike Huckabee. I have reported on him and I have interviewed him. He is not one to back away from controversy. And in the heat over Missouri Republican Senate candidate Todd Akin, who made his infamous comments about rape on Sunday, Huckabee is in a unique spot. But more on that in a moment.

In 2008, Huckabee lost a long-shot bid at the GOP nomination to John McCain. Afterward, we talked at a local radio station about where the Republican Party had to go if it wanted to leave the political wilderness. He declared that white evangelical voters — the voting base of the GOP — could not be taken for granted in that, or any election cycle.

“I would caution anybody to not assume that the evangelicals will go and vote Republican,” he said. Comments like that didn’t bring down the fire from the GOP establishment, but showed his irascible side.

That side comes in handy in his support for Akin.


Comments | More in Culture, National | Topics: abortion, Mike Huckabee, Todd Aiken

June 27, 2012 at 6:45 AM

On eve of Supreme Court ruling, political toll of health care remains

Stupak is Whacked

A protestor at the Washington state capitol makes known her view of then-Michigan congressional representative Bart Stupak. At a rally in Olympia on January 22, 2010 (photo courtesy of Flickr member Berd).

BOYNE CITY, Mich. — Three years of political war–a word that unfortunately seems to apply–will culminate tomorrow when the U.S. Supreme Court rules on the constitutionality of the Obama administration’s health care law. The political toll of this conflict on the American body politic has been high.

No one symbolizes this carnage more than Bart Stupak.

Stupak is the former representative of the first Congressional District in Michigan. In 2010, after passage of the Obama legislation, he decided that he’d had enough.

The beginning of the end came when Stupak, a Democrat, angered some liberals by joining with a handful of his party colleagues to initially withhold support for Obama’s health care plan because of concerns about abortion funding. In his words at the time, “We are not voting for health care if we do not resolve this language on public funding for abortion–no public funding for abortion.”

And it ended when he angered some conservatives because he and his allies eventually voted yes after a compromise–known as the Stupak Amendment–was brokered. Immediately he was harassed and had his life threatened. He was called “baby killer” by a Republican on the floor of the House of Representatives. A month later he announced he would not run for re-election.

I wanted to know what people thought of him these days, whether emotions were still raw. I found some former constituents miss him.


Comments | More in National | Topics: abortion, Bart Stupak, Dan Benishek

February 29, 2012 at 6:30 AM

Contraception controversies energize Catholic voters in Washington of all political stripes

Patricia O'Halloran, Wash. State anti-abortion activist, at a coffee shop near the recent Rick Santorum rally held in Tacoma on Feb. 13, 2011 (Will Mari / UW Election Eye)

Patricia O'Halloran, an opponent of abortion, at a coffee shop near the Rick Santorum rally in Tacoma on Feb. 13 (Will Mari / UW Election Eye)

The Contraception Controversies are at hand for Washington politics.

The conflict over the Obama administration’s birth control-funding mandate and a federal judge’s ruling last week that Washington’s pharmacists don’t have to provide prescribed contraceptives appear likely to drive more Catholics to the Washington Republican caucuses this Saturday — on all sides of the political spectrum.

Here’s three perspectives.


Comments | Topics: abortion, conservatives, Religious faith

February 14, 2012 at 6:30 AM

Slideshow of Rick Santorum Monday night in Tacoma: religious liberty, gay marriage, and glitter bombs

TACOMA — Sporting his trademark sweater vest, Rick Santorum was greeted by hundreds of supporters, one glitter bomb, and about a dozen Occupy Tacoma protesters at a rally Monday night at the Washington State History Museum.

As two of the Occupiers were arrested and dragged away, literally kicking and screaming, some of Santorum’s fans, many of them families sporting babies on their hips, grew annoyed.

“We pick Rick!” alternated with ragged cries of “We are the 99%!” as Santorum spoke, referring at various points to President Barack Obama’s Health and Human-Services (HHS) mandate.


Comments | Topics: abortion, conservatives, Evangelicals

February 7, 2012 at 6:34 PM

In Passing: Colorado Springs Pregnancy Center

"In Passing" posts capture shorter snapshots of places and people we encounter on the road. (Photos courtesy of Alex Stonehill, A.V. Crofts and Flickr Creative Commons/UW Election Eye) COLORADO SPRINGS — The Colorado Spring Pregnancy Center—part of the Life Network—is a small, two-story brick building, positioned conveniently by a bus stop and a Toys…


Comments | Topics: abortion, Colorado, Colorado Springs

January 19, 2012 at 12:28 PM

Getting personal in South Carolina

Matthew Saxon

GREENVILLE — I came to South Carolina to learn, see, and hear opinions that I don’t encounter every day in Seattle. What I didn’t expect was to be asked for my own thoughts — and certainly not on abortion.

But that’s what went down Wednesday, more than once.

The day began in a sit-down meeting in Columbia with Matthew Saxon, 27, at the Moe’s Southwest Grill, where he works to pay his way through divinity school at Columbia International University. I’d met up with him hoping to hear the perspective of a young evangelical South Carolinian.

Matthew had plenty of views that defied my stereotype of a southern Christian.


Comments | Topics: abortion, conservatives, Election 2012