By Tom Quiner
This was the Quiner’s Diner post on April 13th.
The Des Moines Register picked it up and ran it without changing a word. The Dubuque Telegraph Herald ran with it. I was asked to be a guest on a Northern Iowa talk radio show to discuss the issue.
Here’s the quick recap:
1. Governor Branstad appointed Dubuque resident, Colleen Pasnik, to the Iowa Board of Medicine.
2. Senate Democrats voted her down. Why? Because they saw a photo of Ms. Pasnik at a public event in the company of Cheryl Sullenger, a convicted bomber of an abortion clinic in 1988.
3. The only problem: Ms. Pasnik didn’t know Ms. Sullenger. They had never met. They have never met since. Ms. Pasnik was rejected for guilt by association.
I got a lot of response to this. “How do Democrats defend this?” is the question I frequently was asked. The person who led the smear campaign against Ms. Pasnik, Democratic Senator Jack Hatch, responded in yesterday’s Des Moines Register:
“When the governor’s applicant for the Iowa Board of Medicine lost her Senate confirmation, it was not because of her “anti-choice” positions or her association with convicted domestic terrorists, but rather, it was because she has demonstrated an inability to reasonably and rationally make non-biased decisions about medical issues that she has been active in complaining and protesting.”
Let us deconstruct this sentence:
“When the governor’s applicant for the Iowa Board of Medicine lost her Senate confirmation, it was not because of her “anti-choice” positions or her association with convicted domestic terrorists … “
That’s not what he suggested at her confirmation hearing when he said:
“She was accompanied by people who were…arrested and convicted of crimes and bombing of abortion clinics.”
Then, he DID suggest that her (non) association with Ms. Sullenger was an issue. Why else would you mention it?
It wasn’t true. Not a single Democrat contacted Ms. Pasnik to clear up the confusion.
Senator Hatch is not shooting straight with us in his follow up remarks that this wasn’t relevant. His previous remarks confirm that he wanted to make it relevant, even it it wasn’t true.
So, if the Senator’s issue isn’t her (non) association with a terrorist, what is it? It is this …
“… but rather, it was because she has demonstrated an inability to reasonably and rationally make non-biased decisions about medical issues that she has been active in complaining and protesting.”
He claims Ms. Pasnik is not reasonable or rational.
Why is this? It can’t be because of any association with Ms. Sullenger, because there was no association with Ms. Sullenger. EVER.
Evidently, it is because she “complained” and “protested.”
To what does he refer? She attended a meeting of the Iowa Board of Medicine. The public was invited. I was there. So was Monsigor Frank Bognanno from Christ the King parish. So were attorneys. And Moms. So was a woman who had an abortion, because she was pressured into it. And she regretted it and is haunted by it to this day.
Guess what? Most of us were faithful Catholics who defend our Church’s principle that life begins at conception.
We had all taken time out of our work day because, as conscientious citizens, we were concerned about an issue before the Iowa Board of Medicine. They were about to decide if Telemed abortions were a permissible procedure to be used by Planned Parenthood. Telemed abortions allow a doctor to dispense abortion pills from a remote location.
Is Senator Hatch suggesting that any faithful Catholic who attends a public forum on a critical life and death issue like abortion is immediately disqualified if they stand up and speak, as did Colleen Pasnik?
Would he say the same thing about a war protestor?
Would he say the same thing about an Occupy Wall Street protestor?
Of course not. His party reveres these protestors and from the president down, has lavished praise on these people.
No, the issue isn’t complaining.
No, the issue isn’t protesting.
We know Senator Hatch is being disingenuous.
So what are we left with?
Colleen Pasnik is Catholic, and the worse kind: one who stands by her Church’s teachings. Everything else Jack Hatch said is a smokescreen.
Colleen Pasnik practices her Catholic faith, and that was a deal-killer to Senate Democrats.