Re-submitted to the Rocky Mountain News, Nov. 5, 2008:
Politically speaking, our state’s Personhood Amendment 48 was trounced, but 550,000 Coloradans voted ‘Yes’ giving us a firm baseline from which to fight for the innocent. But now that Colorado has also rejected the Republican U.S. Senate candidate Bob Schaffer, I would like to re-submit (as reported on by the Denver Post, LifeNews and appearing on the Rocky Mountain News site) Colorado Right To Life’s June press release as a guest editorial:
Right To Life Warns Colorado Republican Chairman
by Leslie Hanks
June 16, 2008
Colorado Right To Life is warning Dick Wadhams, the state Republican Party chairman, that by shunning their pro-life conservative base they’re headed for another election defeat in November, three election-cycle catastrophes for the Colorado GOP, and two U.S. Senate losses for Wadhams.
Wadhams banned the nation’s oldest Right To Life organization from their state convention while he welcomed a pro-abortion group. The state’s top Republican is out of touch with his own party’s base, where 4 out of 5 Republicans at the convention voted to defend life beginning at fertilization.
The thousands of convention delegates passed all forty resolutions offered, except for the only one that failed, the pro-abortion Resolution #21. Convention rules require literature to be approved by the party chairman. Wadhams allowed the misnamed Republican Majority for Choice to distribute flyers quoting him about the Personhood Amendment 48 sponsors as “on the fringe of the pro-life movement, and they do not represent by any stretch of the imagination the hundreds of thousands of pro-life Coloradans.”
130,000 pro-lifers signed the Personhood petition. Delegates overwhelmingly passed all uncompromising pro-life resolutions including the 78% vote affirming that “life begins at conception.” 20-year-old Personhood Amendment sponsor Kristi Burton was elected among the top ten most popular of the 46 national delegates.
The Denver Post last week reported Wadhams’ assessment (Wadhams: Dobson’s lack of support won’t hurt McCain, June 11, 2008) regarding conservative leader Dr. James Dobson’s refusal to support the Republican presidential candidate. “Dobson’s comments that he would not vote for the party’s presumptive nominee, John McCain, won’t hurt,” and that the party should “avoid social issues,” and the liberal ColoradoPols.com headlined their report about the state Republican chairman: “Wadhams: Dobson Is So Yesterday.”
While social issues have motivated Republicans in every presidential cycle since 1980, Wadhams is more accommodating to pro-abortion lobbyists than to Dobson and pro-life voters. In sharp contrast, our own ColoradoRTL.org candidate questionnaire has identified many heroic leaders running for office. But Wadhams has moved U.S. Senate candidate Bob Schaffer to the liberal middle, and he’s trying to drag the Colorado GOP to the left.
The party’s affinity for abortion supporters will be the straw that elects Democrat Mark Udall. Why would Colorado elect a pretend liberal rather than a real one? And this move to the left helps explain the Rocky Mountain News report that Bob Schaffer’s convention speech received, “the loudest applause… when he criticized his own party.”
Virginia’s George Allen could have been re-elected as a Republican U.S. Senator in 2006 despite his infamous macaca comment. With Dick Wadhams as his campaign manager, Allen had only given lip service but did not significantly support their state’s marriage amendment. Salon magazine reported “a popular sentiment” that defeat came “when Allen failed to make the anti-gay marriage amendment, which passed handily, a centerpiece of his campaign.” Just before that election New Jersey’s Supreme Court gave homosexual partners the same legal rights as heterosexual couples. So in the last desperate days of the campaign, Wadhams, generally inclined to avoid social issues, hoped to hitch his candidate to the values momentum. According to the New York Times, “In Virginia, the [New Jersey] court decision could not have come at a better time for Senator George Allen, a Republican whose campaign for re-election had been thrown off course… The Virginia ballot includes a proposed constitutional amendment to ban gay marriage. Mr. Allen supports it… ‘It’s an issue that’s going to play a big role in the next 12 days,’ Mr. Allen’s campaign manager, Dick Wadhams, said in an interview.”
According to the Roanoke Times, “Less than two weeks away from Election Day, U.S. Sen. George Allen spent Thursday… making sure [voters] knew he supported a proposed amendment to… prohibit gay marriage.” A bit late, no? The marriage amendment won by 328,000 votes, and Allen lost by a mere 9,000, squandering countless values votes because Wadhams restrained Allen from giving the amendment more than lip service.
In Colorado, Wadhams is begrudging 130,000 petition signers even lip service for Amendment 48, which is virtually identical to Schaffer’s formerly claimed pro-life position, that personhood begins at fertilization. Now Schaffer is allowing the party boss to position the candidate’s previous pro-life belief as a negative, so Schaffer, more than Wadhams, will be blamed for the Colorado GOP’s third election strike out and game over.