Catholics United launches “Set the Record Straight” to address “the dishonesty of many political operatives”
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Catholics United Announces New Campaign to Defend Rep. Driehaus and Rep. Boccieri from Religious Right Attacks
Organizing and Paid Media Effort will Set the Record Straight about Health Care Reform
Washington, DC – The social justice group Catholics United (www.catholics-united.org) today announced that it is mounting an innovative, multifaceted campaign to defend Rep. Steve Driehaus and Rep. John Boccieri’s voting record on health care reform and a number of other issues. The Congressmen are now facing a coordinated misinformation campaign from a host of self-proclaimed pro-life groups intended to perpetuate the misconception that the health care reform bill passed earlier this year allowed for federal funding of elective abortion. The $500,000 campaign will also be active in the districts of Kathy Dahlkempeer (PA-3), and Tom Perriello (VA-05).
Catholics United’s “Set the Record Straight” campaign will activate thousands of Catholics and other people of faith who reject the abortion funding myth and support recent congressional efforts to expand health care access, create jobs, reduce dependence on foreign oil, protect consumers, and crack down on Wall Street abuses. Paid organizers and volunteers will work in each district to monitor the religious right’s activities, educate faith leaders, and provide the media with local voices to speak on behalf of social justice issues. Catholics United will augment local organizing efforts with television, radio, and internet advertisements, phone calls, and direct mail.
“As a person of faith, I’m proud that Congress passed health care reform,” said Catholics United member Pat Mallory, a constituent of Congressman Steve Driehaus and resident of the White Oak neighborhood of Cincinnati. “Health care reform will help millions of uninsured Americans obtain access to health insurance while also providing pregnant women and their children the help they need.”
The Catholics United effort comes in direct response to advertising campaigns currently underway by Republican-affiliated groups such as the Susan B. Anthony List, Family Research Council, National Right to Life Committee, and Republican National Campaign Committee. These groups’ ads ignore the findings of health care policy experts and independent news analyses which show that abortion funding is prohibited by both the legislation and a subsequent presidential executive order.
In one recent high-profile example, the National Right to Life Committee and Susan B. Anthony List claimed that the federal government was funding elective abortions through high-risk pools in Pennsylvania. The allegations were widely discredited by media fact-checks.
“Catholics and other people of faith are frustrated by the dishonesty of many political operatives who oppose reform of our nation’s outdated economic and social policies,” said Chris Korzen, executive director of Catholics United. “Instead of an open and honest dialogue about how best to meet the challenges of the 21st century, these groups are engaging in scare tactics and misusing the language of faith to score cheap political points and lead voters astray.”
Catholics United’s “Set the Record Straight” campaign is an expansion of its earlier efforts to inform people of faith about the true nature of health care reform. In March, it ran television ads in eight Congressional districts challenging the false claim that health care reform included abortion funding. After the vote, the organization ran thank-you ads in the districts of four Members of Congress who were under pressure from the religious right for voting yes.
Catholics United is a non-profit, non-partisan organization dedicated to promoting the message of justice and the common good found at the heart of the Catholic Social Tradition. This is accomplished through online advocacy and educational activities. For more information, visit www.catholics-united.org.