“Traditional Marriage is hanging by a thread,” says the first side of a new flyer that recently arrived at households in the Sixth Congressional District. “Patty Wetterling is holding the scissors,” says the second side, with the same bad-hair-day mugshot of Wetterling that has been in the previous four fliers from the National Republican Congressional Committee. There’s also a big picture of a scissors and the smaller type says:
“Liberal Patty Wetterling is against a Constitutional Amendment that would ban gay marriage. You’d think protecting marriage would be easy. Obviously Patty’s “hometown” values aren’t our values.
Quickie fact check:
DFLer Wetterling does oppose a Constitutional amendment banning gay marriage. She says it’s unnecessary because gay marriage is already banned by state and federal statutes.
Her Republican opponent, state Sen. Michele Bachmann supports both a state and federal constitutional amendment on the issue. She says the experience of Massachusetts demonstrates that statutes limiting marriage to opposite sex couples can be struck down by the courts.
And there’s a sixth NRCC flyer attacking Wetterling. Here’s the text:
“Don’t Be Fooled. Take a closer look at Patty Wetterling’s ‘hometown values.”
This side of the flyer has the bad-hair-day mugshot and the “closer look” reference sets up a magnifying glass over the words: “Pro-Abortion. Pro-Gay Marriage. Pro-bisexual, transgender.”
Then, on the other side:
“Do these sound like hometown values to you?
“Pro-Abortion? In her 2004 race for Congress, Patty took over $50,000 through pro-abortion groups.” (I’m assuming this is a reference to EMILY’s List, which supports women candidates who support abortion rights, as Wetterling does. EMILY’s List supported Wetterling in 2004.)
“Pro-Gay Marriage: Patty is against a Constitutional Amendment to ban gay marriage.”
“Pro-Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, Trans-gender: Patty is supported by the largest Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender Organization.” (This apparently refers to the Human Rights Campaign, which does advocate for gay, lesbian bisexual and trans-gender rights and does encourage contributions to Wetterling.)
Other than her position on same-sex marriage, which has been a disappointment to many gay rights advocates because Wetterling does not advocate legalizing it, I’m not clear what policy positions Wetterling takes that qualify as pro-glbt. It’s quite possible that HRC support for Wetterling reflects a strong desire by gay rights advocates to defeat Bachmann, for obvious reasons.
David Joseph De Grio, a gay rights advocate, informed me in an e-mail that Wetterling has returned a donation from the Human Rights Campaign PAC. I’ll try to follow up on that.
Screenshots of the new fliers are viewable on the Bachmann v. Wetterling website.