Former Rep. Marilyn Musgrave will lead a new antiabortion initiative dubbed “Votes Have Consequences” that will target members of Congress in the 2010 election cycle who support abortion rights.
In a case of supreme irony, Musgrave intends to rip a page from the hardball playbook used by the Defenders of Wildlife. The environmental group was credited with helping to defeat the three-term Republican congresswoman with intense local organizing and a $1.6 million barrage of TV attack ads — a strategy that was roundly criticized by Republicans.
Musgrave and her new boss, Marjorie Dannenfelser, president of the Susan B. Anthony List, told the Coloradoan they would mimic the same scorched-earth tactics:
“We need to know that the person that we defeat has a scalp that we can hold up high and say their pro-abortion leadership is why they lost,” Dannenfelser said.
The Susan B. Anthony List is the conservative response to and polar opposite of EMILY’s List, a group devoted to raising funds for pro-choice women candidates.
In a transcribed press call, Dannenfelser confirmed to the Coloradoan’s Bob Moore that the project is structured as a tax-exempt 501(c)(4) social welfare organization and will not disclose the Votes Have Consequences donors.
During the height of the campaign, a group of GOP senators blasted DOW for abusing its nonprofit status by pushing a political agenda.
Pro-choice Democrat Betsy Markey, who vanquished Musgrave by 12 points in the 2008 electoral slugfest, is a likely target of the group. Dannenfelser said the list of politicians on the hot seat will be released this fall.
A Roll Call story hidden behind a subscription firewall continues the “get ’em” theme:
Leaders of the Susan B. Anthony List called the project the most “aggressive effort” in existence, citing its early mobilization as a key factor for its success.
“This is a program that will keep a few people awake at night. … It’s not okay to articulate a position and talk in a certain fashion in your district and then do something very different when you are in Washington.”
Dannenfelser declined to name any particular Members they would target or how much money they were putting toward the effort.