Shifting the Debate with Baseless Charges
By: Brian Sikma
Today the Indiana Democratic Party inserted itself into the ongoing battle over holding Planned Parenthood of Indiana accountable for its misconduct. Dan Parker, Democrat State Party Chairman, issued a press release in which he tossed out baseless charges against Representative Jackie Walorski (R-Jimtown) in an apparent attempt to discredit the messenger since the message is hard to argue with. If a legal investigation into Planned Parenthood of Indiana continues to move forward, the organization stands in serious jeopardy of incurring legal sanctions as a result of violations of state law uncovered late last year. Regardless of the full course of the legal investigation, however, Planned Parenthood has violated the public’s trust and may lose the funding that it receives from the state.
Parker called for the House Ethics Committee to look into the fundraising activities of Rep. Walorski because, according to Parker, a post on Walorski’s blog dated December 26th referred to her efforts to bring to account the actions of Planned Parenthood and requested that supporters contribute to her campaign fund. State law says that legislators may not actively raise money during the session, and House Ethics Rules say that legislators may not hold fundraising events between Organization Day and the close of session. According to Parker:
“This is the most blatant attempt to raise money during the prohibited period since the rules were adopted many years ago.”
Most blatant attempt to raise money during the prohibited period? First, the state law mandated prohibition on soliciting funds was not in effect on December 26th, that was the day the blog post went up. Second, the House Ethics Rule only applies to “events” not solicitations.
Instead of attacking Rep. Walorski for imagined violations of misinterpreted rules, Dan Parker and state Democrats would do better by calling for a full investigation of Planned Parenthood of Indiana as a result of the inappropriate and illegal misconduct on the part of Planned Parenthood. Standing up against actual violations of state law, and procedures that ultimately harm the women they are intended to protect, is a better way to use your political influence. Knee-jerk reactions and personal attacks do not serve anyone well.