Roundup: Driehaus Sues for “Lack of Livelihood”

Robin Marty

The Ohio Congressman, after losing his reelection bid, is suing anti-choice groups for his "loss of livelihood."

He may have lost his reelection bid, but Ohio Democratic Representative Steve Driehaus isn’t done fighting.  Now, he’s suing anti-choice action groups for “loss of livelihood” for lying about him in campaign attack ads.

Via The Hill:

Driehaus (D-Ohio), who lost his reelection bid last month, announced Friday that he was suing the group for knowingly misleading voters about his position on public funding for abortion. The SBA List asserted that the reform law provided for taxpayer funding of abortion.

During the campaign, Driehaus had issued a complaint with Ohio’s election board against the SBA List to prevent the group from posting billboards that claimed the one-term congressman voted in favor of public abortion funding by supporting the reform law. However, the billboards never went up, and Driehaus dropped the complaint.

Susan B. Anthony Group has responded to his suit via press release:

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“Counter to his claims, the voters of Ohio’s First District are the ones that cost Steve Driehaus his livelihood. Congressman Steve Driehaus’ problem is not that the Susan B. Anthony List allegedly lied about his vote for taxpayer-funded abortion in the health care bill. It’s that he caved when it counted, took the wrong vote, and paid the price on Election Day.
Now he wants exclusive rights to describing that vote to his constituents and, in a democracy, that just isn’t possible. All major pro-life organizations along with the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, who speak on behalf of the Catholic Church, came to the same conclusion: that the health care bill Congressman Driehaus voted for allows taxpayer funding of abortion.
Despite his best efforts to criminalize the SBA List’s free speech, Driehaus’ constituents heard the truth about his pro-abortion vote and have already determined whose description of that vote is true. The SBA List will continue to defend that truth and the right to criticize our elected officials.”

The usual conservative groups are rallying together to state that even if SBA’s claims weren’t entirely true, they were…well, true enough.

Was the SBA’s criticism of abortion funding in ObamaCare “untrue?”  You may recall the infamous moment in the health-care debate when supposedly “pro-life” congressman Bart Stupak (D-MI) cashed out his insistence on firm language against such funding.  The few paper-thin restrictions on abortion funding in the massive ObamaCare law are all tied to the Hyde Amendment, which must be re-authorized yearly, and could be repealed by executive order.  No Hyde-related restrictions are applied to the billions in funding directed to “community health centers,” many of which happen to be owned by Planned Parenthood.  High-risk insurance pools created by ObamaCare in Pennsylvania and New Mexico were caught red-handed funding abortions, to the great consternation of congressman John Boehner… who was the House minority leader at the time, but has since received a promotion to Speaker.

At the very least, the Susan B. Anthony List’s assertion is debatable.  A strong case could be made that insisting ObamaCare would not fund abortions is more like an outright lie.

Still, Driehaus isn’t backing down.

“A lie is a lie,” Driehaus’ lawyers wrote in his federal defamation lawsuit. “The First Amendment is not and never has been an invitation to concoct falsehoods aimed at depriving a person of his livelihood.”

Mini Roundup: As if they don’t already have enough problems, gay teens are apparently being punished more than straight teens, either by police or other authority.

December 6, 2010

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