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Friday, November 5, 2010

Haggar Anti-Abortion Ally Lies with Last-Minute Negative Flyer

Congresswoman-Elect Kristi Noem wasn't the only South Dakota Republican lying her way to victory with deceptive mailings. District 15 Representative-Elect Jenna Haggar, a Republican masquerading as an Independent, enjoyed a bump Tuesday from a last-minute lie from her friends in the Unruh-abstinence camp.

As documented by Mr. Powers on Monday, the "District 15 PAC" sent out a flyer "endorsing" incumbent Democratic Representative Martha Vanderlinde. I've been tuning out Mr. Powers's propaganda too often lately. Had I paid attention, I'd have noticed the following statements on this flyer:
  1. "We are proud that Martha is among the most liberal-left politicians in Pierre."
  2. "Celebrated the passage of Obamacare"
  3. "Proudly assisted a 3rd-trimester abortion"
  4. "Supports gay marriage and endorsed by gay/lesbian/transgendered lobbists" [sic]
I also would have noticed the statement of organization for the District 15 PAC, filed four days before the election. PAC chair Christina Espenscheid declared the purpose of the PAC to be "Support Distric [sic] 15 candidates."

Christina Espenscheid, 2004Christina Espenscheid (left), pictured at International Leadership Conference, Nashville 2004
Espenscheid, Espenscheid... where have I heard that name before?

Two new studies released Tuesday provided evidence that abstinence for youth is “healthy and effective.” The reports for both of these studies were released at the Welfare Research and Evaluation Conference by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), according to Christina Espenscheid, the education program director of the Abstinence Clearinghouse [press release, 2005.06.17].

Ah, Christina Dena Espenscheid, veteran of Leslee Unruh's Abstinence Clearinghouse, an organization well-accustomed to denying reality. Espenscheid, event and volunteer coordinator for the failed abortion ban campaign in 2006. Espenscheid, paid lobbyist in Pierre for the Abstinence Clearinghouse in 2006, the year before Jenna Haggar did the same job for SD Right to Life. Espenscheid, who went on to coordinate for another failed ballot measure in 2008, Initiated Measure 10, on behalf of the shady "South Dakotans for Clean and Open Government." (Dang, Pat: I wish your server hadn't deleted all your great posts on why Espenscheid's IM 10 was bogus.)

I guess it's nice that political operative Espenscheid could finally coordinate a campaign that succeeded. It's too bad that, to help her colleague in abstinence-crusading Jenna Haggar win, Espenscheid stooped to deceit, pretending to be an organization supporting Vanderlinde and mailing out this lie on the eve of the election.

I've been told by a mostly reasonable Christian neighbor that Muslim fundamentalists are authorized by the Qu'ran itself to lie to advance their religious and political beliefs. Espenscheid appears to demonstrate that taqiyya works for South Dakota Christians as well.

Bogus attack flyer distributed by Christina Espenscheid and "District 15 PAC"
on behalf of the Haggar for House campaign.


  1. Taqiyya is a an allowance by the Quran to deny one's faith if it should end up in your death. Some faiths would say that by doing so, you deny the faith. Muslims here would say that they're allowed to do so to save their life. Historically, Christians, as a juxtaposition, have believed they must not deny their beliefs publically because it's by the "blood of the Lamb and their TESTIMONY" that they are saved.

    So, I don't see that you could use this loophole the Quran gives Muslims and twist it as a source of deceit used for political gain. Maybe some Islamic fundamentalists go so far, maybe some CHRISTIAN FUNDAMENTALISTS claim this falsely...but it's not a fair conclusion to this article about the more rabid, insidious tactics of the Republicans.

    As another 'reasonable Christian neighbor,' I flinched for Muslims when I read this. Her deception is annoying...but she wasn't the only one who switched parties to get elected this year.

  2. Tasi, the video in my first link contends that taqiyya applies to political (Sharia law) goals as well. I don't cite that argument to endorse it. I seek only to juxtapose the propaganda Christian fundamentalists give us about Islam and the propaganda they use to trick people into voting for their Christian fundamentalist agenda.

  3. hahaha "mostly reasonable" ...ok well anyway. I actually received one of the mentioned postcards because I live in that district.

    Read through it and laughed...because it was written as a sarcastic "promo" for the D candidate.

    But perhaps many read it as simply fear.

    Here's the deal our district has been solidly D for ages. So a little division in our delegation is not a bad thing.

    UNFORTUNATELY the rest of the state has the same problem but in the R direction. AND Angie B. had NO ONE run against her.

    FYI I did not make the video you linked to. And here's some more on multi-faith conversations: http://www.mercy-church.org/wordpress/?p=3292

    And how does one have a conversation with someone who feels that you are less than human until you convert? (whether that's to secular atheism (e.g. the pop-atheists with their dehumanizing rhetoric or religious fundamentalists?)...


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