A fundraiser for the anti-abortion Democrat Rep. Daniel Lipinski has been cancelled by Rep. Cheri Bustos, who heads the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee (DCCC), according to the New York Times. It’s likely that the fundraiser was cancelled due to pressure from voters angry about abortion bans passed in states like Missouri and Alabama. In 2020, Lipinski will face a progressive primary challenger, who, unlike him, supports abortion rights.
Bustos all but confirmed that the cancellation of the dinner was directly related to the recent abortion bans and Lipinski’s views on reproductive rights.
“I’m proud to have a 100 percent pro-choice voting record and I’m deeply alarmed by the rapidly escalating attacks on women’s access to reproductive care in several states,” Bustos said in a statement.
The cancelled fundraiser was to be a $1,000 a plate dinner held in Chicago next month. Bustos was set to host the now-cancelled fundraiser.
But Bustos still isn’t ready to disavow anti-choice Democrats. She said in her statement that she still believes in “our big tent Democratic caucus” and warned progressives that “every dollar spent trying to defeat one of our Democratic incumbents is a dollar that we cannot spend defeating Republicans.”
Bustos’ aides said she hasn’t ruled out using DCCC funds to help Lipinski’s campaign in the future. The DCCC, under Bustos, has actively worked to undermine candidates challenging incumbents by refusing to hire any consultant who has worked with them.
Lipinksi, meanwhile, has been trying to convince people that excluding anti-choice Democrats from the party is a bad idea. He told the Times that “if the Democratic Party keeps signaling that there’s no room for people who are pro-life in the party,” it could damage them “significantly in presidential races and Senate races.”
That would sure be convenient for him if it was true! But it’s hard to believe, given the high percentage of Americans who support abortion rights.
Lipinski isn’t just a conservative on abortion. He’s also opposed progressive legislation like the Affordable Care Act, wouldn’t endorse Obama for reelection in 2012, and has been “uneasy” about gay rights, according to the Times. Just admit you’re a Republican already!!
In the upcoming primaries, Lipinksi will face Marie Newman, who also ran against him in 2018 and lost by only two points.
Newman’s campaign has been supported by NARAL, Planned Parenthood, and Emily’s List, all powerful liberal organizations. In her first quarter of fundraising she raised $209,962, compared to $127,343 raised by Lipinksi.
At a meeting in Chicago this week, a Newman called Lipinksi’s anti-choice stance “totalitarian.”
“Ask a fascist nation how they got there,” she added.
Bustos says she has no choice but to support Lipinksi, since the DCCC has a strict policy on supporting incumbents. But that isn’t necessarily going to convince voters of the party’s good intentions.
“This is a bad race for the DCCC to be putting a thumb on,” Esther Peters, a progressive activist at the meeting, told the Times. “There’s no need for them to be supporting and fund-raising for an anti-choice candidate.”