The anti-abortion group Operation Rescue is demanding that the GOP delay nominating Mitt Romney today until the party restores funding to Congressman Todd Akin’s Senate campaign in Missouri. They also want Mitt Romney to release details of his tax returns so they can see Romney’s connection with the medical waste company Stericycle.
This is one more mess the leaders of the GOP must deal with to keep the news coverage of Romney’s nomination positive. This drama joins the simmering revolt by Ron Paul supporters over the Rules Committee and a few other scraps like the denial of a speaking slot for Sarah Palin. The GOP bosses want the party to appear unified and in love with Mitt Romney on national TV.
When Congressman Akin (RTP-MO) said in an interview that victims of “legitimate rape” could not get pregnant, there was an outcry that shook the Republican establishment. The outcry was not because most GOP leaders and elected officials disagree with Akin on rape or abortion, they don’t. It is because he looked stupid by saying what so many of them also think and they fear it will cost them the Missouri Senate seat.
The party and current and former GOP office holders demanded Akin withdraw from the race. He just won the nomination in the Republican primary. Karl Rove withdrew his PAC support from Akin. Despite all this heat, Akin did not withdraw. Instead, he is rallying support and raising money from pro-life and other conservative groups.
Monday, one of these groups, Operation Rescue demanded that the party not nominate Romney today unless the party restores Akin’s financial support.
Operation Rescue is based in Kansas. It stages protests at abortion clinics around the country and uses visible displays of aborted fetuses to deliver its anti-abortion message. The group defines itself as a “pro-life Christian activist organization.” Operation Rescue is working with another group, Created Equal, to run a mobile billboard that features photos of aborted fetuses through the streets of Tampa, Fla., near the Republican National Convention.
“Heaven sent a hurricane to hold off Gov. Romney’s coronation, so today we’re urging pro-life GOP delegates to abstain from any voting on Romney’s nomination until all GOP financial support for Todd Akin is reinstated and details of Romney’s income tax returns in connection with Bain’s Stericycle investment have been made public,” Operation Rescue President Troy Newman said.
The Akin story has been in the news, but Stericycle has been ignored by the main (or lame) stream media. Stericycle is a medical waste firm that disposes of medical waste from clinics and hospitals including “waste” from abortions that pro-life supporters consider to be human remains deserving of burial.
Reports surfaced in July that Mitt Romney personally and Bain Capital invested millions of dollars in Stericycle and profited handsomely from that investment. Details have been hidden because Romney used an off shore company he owned in a confidential tax haven, Bermuda, to make the investments.
Romney used to be pro-choice and supported Roe v Wade. He has flip flopped and now says he is anti-abortion. The Stericycle investment raises eyebrows because some conservatives say Mitt’s money is not where his mouth is.
Even though pro-life groups had targeted Stericlycle prior to this disclosure about Romney’s investment, the issue has been as hidden as Romney’s tax returns—until now. Mother Jones broke the story, but other than Mother Jones and this column, no one has really covered Romney’s investment in Stericycle. With Operation Rescue, Romney’s involvement with that firm now gets equal standing with the Akin situation.
This is one more mess the GOP will muscle out of existence, but how clean will that extermination be?
The Akin situation is not going away despite the fact two polls show him trailing Senator Claire McCaskill (D-MO) by 9% in a race that should be a cake walk for the GOP. Even though more Republican muscle piled on Akin, some notable Republicans have rallied behind him. One is former Governor and Presidential candidate Mike Huckabee. This makes the Akin situation a little trickier than Republican bosses planned on.
The nomination or coronation, depending on one’s point of view, will occur today. The GOP will stamp out this prairie fire from Kansas. The question is will it re-kindle?
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