A huge but still emerging storyline of the 2012 midterms -- referenced twice by us already today -- is the huge increase in third party spending, most of it on behalf of Republicans. Incumbent Democrat Kathy Dahlkemper in PA-3 has already been hit with two rounds of outside ads by a conservative seniors group, as well as as two by the national GOP, and she's facing a new attack from the outside that's also personal in tone.
It relates to her decision to join a group of other anti-abortion Dems to support health care reform. Here's what I wrote in a story about Dahlkemper and opponent Mike Kelly in a story a week ago:
In addition to the stimulus, Ms. Dahlkemper voted in favor of health care reform, but broke with party leaders over cap-and-trade energy legislation. The health measure caused the biggest splash because she joined a group of other anti-abortion Democrats in voting for the bill after getting a White House order affirming it contained no federal funding for abortion.
The former dietitian campaigned on changes to health coverage in 2008 and said the package would boost health coverage for women and babies. "There's no greater friend to the unborn in Congress than me, and the health care bill is probably the most pro-life piece of legislation we've ever passed," she said.Her vote spurred intense backlash from anti-abortion groups such as the Susan B. Anthony List, which argues the executive order is illusory, and whose whose president was in Pittsburgh this summer fundraising for radio and television spots it plans to run against Dahlkemper in coming weeks.
“Especially given our focus on pro-life women, her betrayal was particularly felt,” the SBA’s president Marjorie Dannenfelser said in a June 28 interview. “In our view she was capable of so much more. A freshman and a woman standing up to all those guys would have been a great example of what it meant to be a pro-life feminist.” (That is their billboard above, which has begun popping up around Erie lately -- 11 of them in all, according to SBA.)
In an interview for the story above, Dahlkemper said the group only supports Republicans, which the SBA disputes. (All of its $8 million in independent expenditures this cycle have benefitted the GOP, according to OpenSecrets.org.)