As Wall Street Plunges, More Culture War Ads, Funded by Ab-Only Profiteer

Scott Swenson

As news about the economy gets worse for most Americans, one multimillionaire who has profited from abstinence-only-until-marriage programs is the primary funder of the latest battle in the Culture War.

On a day when most Americans are looking at the news from Wall Street, as markets plunge, comes word from far-right social conservatives that one multimillionaire funder will attempt to distract voters with independent television advertising on more Culture War issues.

Last week featured the now resoundingly discredited lies about age appropriate comprehensive sex ed, discredited even by Karl Rove on Fox News Sunday when he said, "McCain has similarly gone, in his ads, one step too far and sort of attributing to Obama, things that are, you know, beyond the 100% truth test."

Those lies were about legislation in Illinois promoting comprehensive sex ed, that clearly stated in Section 2, Lines 11 and 12, that all sex ed curriculum would be "age appropriate."  For Kindergartners, that meant teaching kids "good touch, bad touch" lessons to protect them from pedophiles and predators.

The abstinence-only-until-marriage crowd pushed the McCain campaign one step too far, even for Karl Rove. Now one of abstinence-only’s chief profiteers, Raymond Ruddy, a wealthy multimillionaire, is going to be the primary funder of an independent advertising campaign that will attack Obama on the also discredited, by, claims that he supports infanticide.

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Social conservatives — emboldened by the addition of Sarah Palin to the ticket — are promoting Culture War issues to shift the focus away from the economy, housing, energy, the environment and national security.  In the process, the debate Americans could be having on these critical issues is being distorted — as is the reality about sexual and reproductive health. 

Who can blame the far-right when at stake in the election is their access to government grants to continue profiting from their failed abstinence-only programs; their efforts to ban all abortions, even in the case of rape and incest; and to reduce access to contraception by allowing individual medical professionals to redefine contraception as abortion, as the Bush Administration is currently attempting to do.

The ad will be emotionally powerful and manipulative, but in the end it is being funded primarily by one multimillionaire, whose company Maximus, has benefited from more than $100 million dollars in government grants during the Bush Administration. That fact won’t likely appear in the :30 second ad or many mainstream media reports.  Meanwhile, wars still rage, the economy is in decline, the environment is a mess, and Americans with jobs are concerned about losing them, and those without health care are wondering what to do if they get sick.

Raymond Ruddy, the multimillionaire behind the ads, will be okay though. Don’t worry about him when you see his ads or hear the media reports about them. 



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