Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Liberty University College Republicans and Jim Gilmore

Former Republican Governor of Virgina, Jim Gilmore, threw his hat early into the ring for the GOP nomination in the 2008 Presidential Election. Consequently, we have a lot of good information on Jim Gilmore regarding his stances on the controversial moral issues of the day. We also have campaign finance information on his candidacy, too. Put the two together and this story emerges:

In general, Jim Gilmore is a pro-life Republican. BUT, Gilmore apparently supports the right of a woman to choose an abortion up to the 8th week of pregnancy. Or at least he doesn't believe in interfering with or denying a woman's right to choose an abortion for any reason up to the 8th week of pregnancy. And Gilmore also supports abortions after the 8th week of pregnancy when the life of the mother is threatened and under other extenuating circumstances.

In an interview on CNN's Late Edition with Wolf Blitzer on May 6, 2007, this exchange occurred:

Q [Blitzer]: Your position on abortion, correct me if I'm wrong, suggests that there is a moment, at least early on in a woman's pregnancy, when abortion would be OK. Is that right?

A [Gilmore]: Well, OK is not exactly the way I would put it. But what I would say is this: There has to be some time for the baby to form in the womb, which I think happens at about eight weeks. And after that, I think that abortion should be limited except to save the life of the mother.

Q [Blitzer]: Between the beginning and eight weeks, abortion would be OK if necessary?

A [Gilmore] : Not OK, but the question is, should the law prohibit it at that point? And I've never taken that position. [Emphasis added.] On the other hand, my record has governor of Virginia with the pro-life movement has been very strong. We passed a 24-hour waiting period, parental notification, & informed consent. I signed the partial-birth abortion ban. And I think I have furthered our pro-life movement very substantially, even though not everybody would agree with every nuance of my position.
And later, at the May 3, 2007, GOP Primary Debate at the Reagan Library, hosted by MSNBC, Gilmore was asked:
Q: You have said in the past that you believe in the first eight to 12 weeks of pregnancy that the woman should have the right to have an abortion. Do you still want to stick with that exception?
Gilmore responded:
A: I do. My views on this, my beliefs on this are a matter of conviction. And they've always been the same, and they've never changed, the entire time that I've been in public life. However, my record as governor of Virginia, I think, has been one that the pro-life community, of which I'm a part, would be very proud: passing a 24-hour waiting period, passing informed consent, passing parental notification, signing the partial-birth abortion law in Virginia. So I think the record is there. But my views -- my views are strongly and fundamentally believed and been held that way.
Whatever else that might be, that doesn't sound like a categorical pro-life, anti-abortion position to me. Now, the relevant question to this debate is whether Gilmore's "nuanced" position on abortion is consistent with Liberty University's moral foundations? I'm not sure, because I don't know if Liberty University has a specific position on whether any abortions, even under particular conditions or following a particular pregnancy timeline, are acceptable or not. But, if I had to make an educated guess, I would imagine that Liberty University's position is one that holds that life begins at conception and therefore that abortion is morally wrong absolutely and at any point during a pregnancy. So, if this is Liberty University's position, as I suspect it might be, Jim Gilmore is a candidate who supports a position regarding abortion at odds with Liberty University's principles on the subject. And, regardless, Gilmore clearly supports a woman's "right" to an abortion under current law.

Here's the kicker ... Guess to whom the "Jim Gilmore For President - Exploratory Committee Inc." paid $445 to in the Spring of 2007? According to the Federal Election Commission's April 2007 Quarterly Report, it was the Liberty University College Republicans!!!!!!!! Presumably the payment was for travel costs associated with the Liberty University College Republicans' hosting a campaign event for Jim Gilmore, who was scheduled to speak at Liberty by invitation of the Liberty University College Republicans. I am guessing that the Liberty University College Republicans paid for Gilmore's travel, and then were reimbursed by Gilmore's Exploratory Committee in order to be in compliance with Campaign Finance laws. I'd really like to know what this exchange of money between Gilmore and the Liberty University College Republicans was truly about, though. In any event, there is a clear connection between the Liberty University College Republicans and support for a particular Republican candidate whose pro-life credentials seem not to be 100% in line with an absolutist life-begins-at-conception, anti-abortion position.

And guess what Liberty University did to the Liberty University College Republicans for this egregious violation of the University's moral position on abortion by supporting and sponsoring a Republican candidate whose pro-life bona-fides were suspect? Yep, you guessed it: DIDDLY SQUAT.

Yet, here's how Liberty Univesity's Chancellor and President, Jerry Falwell, Jr., ends a letter defending the University's decision to elminate the College Democrat club's official standing:
To blindly support any candidate solely because of party affiliation irrespective of their moral views is wrong. Liberty would never endorse a Republican student group that supported abortion rights. [Emphasis added.] Liberty stands for certain core values; not for a political party.
I want to hold Jerry Falwell, Jr., to that statement.

I demand that the Liberty University Administration apply its policy in a consistent manner and take the same action with regard to the Liberty University College Republicans that they took with regard to the Liberty University College Democrats. And if they don't remove the Liberty University College Republicans from officially sanctioned status, they should reinstate the College Democrat club. Otherwise, there is no other thing to conclude than that Liberty University = Republican University.


D-BB said...

Hey Huck, I bet u glad i still around since no one read blogs anymore. Us old diehards are tuff old birds.

Anyway, uou asked "Guess who donated $447.00 to the "Jim Gilmore For President - Exploratory Committee Inc." in the Spring of 2007?

I am so glad you gave me that answer because I thought it was the Fireballs.

Are you sure it was them rightwing maggots?

Here's my source.

(Sorry 'bout not hyper texting but it's so laborious....besides, any idiot can figure out to copy and paste and since it's just you and me, they ain't no idiots.)

Don_cos said...

I would suggest that you inquire of Liberty about their level of knowledge of this issue. And if this is indeed true then they need to review the Republican Student groups and either take equitable action in response or offer renewed recognition to the Democrat Student groups.

I do not believe that Liberty is wrong to set a standard that adheres to the moral standard set by the school, but it does need to be enforced equally.