SBA List announces new spending to reelect Lipinski

Chicago, Ill., Mar 6, 2020 / 10:30 am (CNA).- The national pro-life group Susan B. Anthony List will make a five-figure investment in the primary race of pro-life Democrat Rep. Dan Lipinski (Ill.), the group announced on Friday.

Lipinski, a Catholic eight-term pro-life congressman from Illinois’ third district, is facing a second consecutive primary challenge from pro-abortion candidate Marie Newman. The vote will be on March 17.

Newman, also a Catholic, has received support from national pro-abortion groups such as the National Abortion Rights Action League (NARAL), Planned Parenthood, and EMILY’s List, a group that works to get pro-abortion women candidates elected to offices around the country.

The Susan B. Anthony List (SBA List) Candidate Fund already made the maximum-allowable $5,000 direct contribution to Lipinski’s campaign in 2019, and has been orchestrating other donations to his campaign to be delivered all at once.  

On Friday, the group announced a five-figure investment in Lipinski’s primary race, National Review first reported.

“Congressman Lipinski has been a champion of commonsense, compassionate, and popular legislation to stop taxpayer funding of abortion, to end late-term abortion, and to protect babies born-alive after failed abortions,” Mallory Quigley, national spokeswoman for Women Speak Out PAC’s independent expenditure campaigns, stated on Friday.

SBA List’s investment will be “independent expenditures” of digital ads and direct mail to voters in the third district, Quigley told CNA.

“The current Democratic leadership may say there is no room for voices like Dan’s in their party, but we need him now more than ever,” she stated.

Previously, SBA List announced a $52 million budget for the 2020 elections, in partnership with Women Speak Out PAC. The spending in the presidential and key senate races would include digital ads, direct mail, canvassing, and phone calls, and an intent to visit four million voters to emphasize the “abortion radicalism” of Democratic candidates.

Other pro-life groups have also announced their support of Lipinski. National Right to Life (NRLC) told CNA they were sending direct mail to “thousands of pro-life supporters in the district,” while Democrats for Life of America said they planned to work with Students for Life to canvass for Lipinski in the days leading up to the race., which spent more than $7,000 on independent expenditures in support of Lipinski in 2018, said they would be “working overtime” to help him beat Newman.

Lipinski’s House primary race is unusual for the amount of outside spending it is attracting.

While national groups might normally wait until general election races to spend money on contributions and ads, especially for senate and presidential races, Lipinski’s consistent pro-life record as a Democrat has attracted the attention of pro-abortion groups such as the National Abortion Rights Action League, EMILY’s List, and Planned Parenthood.

The 2018 race between Lipinski and Newman was a contentious one, with Lipinski winning by around only 2,000 votes and Newman initially refusing to concede the race on election night. Around $2.5 million was estimated to have been spent, two-thirds of it in support of Newman.

SBA mobilized support for Lipinski in the 2018 primary, getting 70 canvassers to visit 17,000 pro-life Democrat households in the district and spending more than $100,000 in support of his 2018 candidacy. 

His primary opponent Marie Newman has been an outspoken supporter of abortion. Although Newman has reportedly tried to make her campaign about other progressive issues such as Medicare-for-All and the Green New Deal, NARAL announced on Feb. 24 that a coalition of groups would be making a massive $1.4 million investment in her race.

The groups, including the Illinois Federation of Teachers, highlighted various issues including abortion, Medicare-for-All, and immigration. NARAL and Planned Parenthood emphasized Lipinski’s record on abortion for their support of Newman, as well as his being “Anti-Obamacare.”

While Lipinski voted against the Affordable Care Act in 2010 for several reasons including abortion funding, cost, and Medicare cuts, he opposed Republican attempts to repeal-and-replace it in 2017. “We need to make the Affordable Care Act (ACA) work better, not replace it with a bill that makes Americans worse off,” he said.

Newman has even received the support of two Chicago-area nuns who are activists for immigrants. Sisters Pat Murphy and JoAnn Persch, members of the Sisters of Mercy, endorsed Newman in a recent video for her “incredible power to listen to people” and her presence in the district.

Quigley said that Newman “is an abortion extremist who supports a radical agenda of abortion on demand through birth, and even beyond.” She added that 75% of voters in the district support protections for babies who survive botched abortions. Lipinski signed a petition in the House to bring up a vote on legislation that would provide such protections to infants.

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