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UW Election Eye 2012

Campaign 2012 through the eyes of UW faculty and students

Topic: HHS Mandate

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September 15, 2012 at 7:32 PM

Beyond big-name speakers, conservatives tackle issues that matter to them

Washington, D.C. — Not everyone here was a veteran culture warrior, such as Gary Bauer or Tony Perkins, and there were plenty of other, perhaps more representative, social conservatives in attendance.

Some come because they’re worried about such perennial topics as same-sex marriage and abortion, and now the HHS mandate. Some, such as former U.S. Congresswoman Linda Smith (R-Wash.), are deeply concerned about social-justice.

Former U.S. Rep. Linda Smith (R-Wash.) addresses human-trafficking at the Values Voter Summit, in Wash., D.C., on Saturday, Sept. 15, 2012. (Will Mari / UW Election Eye)

Former U.S. Rep. Linda Smith (R-Wash.) addresses human-trafficking at the Values Voter Summit, in Wash., D.C., on Saturday, Sept. 15, 2012. (Will Mari / UW Election Eye)

Smith, who served in Congress from 1995-98, founded Shared Hope International, a Northwest-based nonprofit that fights domestic human trafficking.

While she was invited to speak by Perkins, she hopes to get people who oppose abortion to care, too, about those abused and neglected as adults, and become interested in other social-justice causes as a result.


Addressing a small crowd during one of the afternoon “break-out” sessions, she said that efforts to stop the sell and trade of minors in the sex industry should be an extension of the “pro-life” cause.

“Believers and conservatives should put this issue in its proper position,” and not treat it as tangential, she said.


Comments | More in Culture, National | Topics: Evangelicals, HHS Mandate, Religious faith

September 14, 2012 at 2:34 PM

Paul Ryan rallies cultural conservatives as he headlines Values Voter Summit

Washington, D.C. — As is his job as the GOP’s vice-presidential nominee, Paul Ryan dutifully came to the Values Voter Summit this morning, making the case that his boss was the best person to carry the Republican cause forward in the fall.

The crowd at the Values Voter Summit in Wash., D.C. stands to welcome Wisc. Rep. Paul Ryan, GOP vice-presidential nominee, on Friday, Sept. 14, 2012 (Will Mari / UW Election Eye)

But the congressman from Wisconsin was also here, it seems, to rally cultural conservatives and to help ensure that they stay energized enough to vote come November.

It wasn’t his line about how Romney is “an honest man with a charitable heart; a doer and a promise keeper,” nor his criticism of the president’s economic polices, that got the biggest standing applause.

For while he said that “in this election, values voters are also economic voters,” and tried to connect the economy under the president to social issues, Ryan was much more in his element toward the end of his speech, when he addressed worries about the HHS mandate and its impact on religious non-profits, especially those run by or associated with the Catholic Church.

“You would be hard pressed to find another group in America that does more to serve the health of women and their babies,” Ryan, who is Catholic, said.

But he claimed that the mandate is “not a threat and insult to one religious group; it is a threat and insult to every religious group.” It’s a standard line from the Romney campaign, but meant something different here.


Comments | More in Culture, National | Topics: GOP, HHS Mandate, Paul Ryan