Michael Schiavo (Photo: Baynews9.com)
Republican gubernatorial candidate Jerry Kilgore has the NRA’s Wayne LaPierre riding shotgun, but Democratic rival Tim Kaine has Michael Schiavo.
Dubbed ‘America’s most admired widower this side of O.J. Simpson’ by American Spectator, Schiavo is lending his political clout to influence Tuesday’s tight race in Virginia, widely considered to be a harbinger for the 2006 mid-term congressional elections.
The Florida resident, whose successful battle to end the life of his
brain-injured wife Terri Schiavo attracted worldwide attention, endorsed
Virginia’s lieutenant governor over former attorney general Kilgore.
“I have seen firsthand what can happen when a governor disagrees with a single citizen,” Schiavo said in a statement released by the Miami-based
Democratic political consulting firm, November Group. “In Florida, Gov. Jeb
Bush abused the power of his office in an attempt to replace my personal
family decisions with his own opinions and political grandstanding.”
In October 2003, the Florida Legislature passed the landmark “Terri’s
Law,” which empowered Gov. Bush to intervene in the seven-year battle
between Schiavo and Terri’s parents and siblings over her fate. Bush order
the reinsertion of the incapacitated woman’s gastric feeding tube.
As WorldNetDaily has reported exhaustively since 2002, Terri Schiavo had no living will or other advance directive.
Michael Schiavo, who has lived with another woman, with whom he fathered
two children, for a decade, maintained his wife made casual statements years
prior to her still-unexplained brain injury that she would not want to live
dependent on artificial means. The Schindlers argued their daughter was a
devout Catholic who believed in the sanctity of life and asserted Schiavo
and his siblings fabricated Terri’s alleged end-of-life comments.
A probate judge sided with Schiavo and following affirmation by appellate
courts, ordered the feeding tube removed based on Terri’s adjudicated will.
He further barred oral hydration and nutrition from the 41-year-old woman.
Congress and President Bush passed an historic law in March, seeking a
fresh review of the court case by a federal judge, but failed to prevent the
death of Terri Schiavo that ensued from 13 days of dehydration and starvation.
Michael Schiavo reportedly has not met either gubernatorial candidate,
but was moved to speak up following statements the men made during their
televised Oct. 9 debate when the topic of Terri Schiavo was broached. Kilgore stated that as governor he would “not agree to the forced starvation of any individual” if they had not “had a say” in the matter.
“I don’t think governors should use their PR grandstanding to intervene
in these cases,” Kaine contrarily responded, according to the Associated
In his press release, Schiavo said Kilgore was following the example of
Gov. Bush who “did not respect me, my family or the rule of law,” reported
“Michael issued the statement because he is interested in getting more
involved in the political process,” Derek Newton, manager of November Group,
told the AP.
Schiavo could not have picked a brighter political spotlight to step
The Virginia election, the most expensive in state history at $40
million, according to USA Today, is viewed by insiders as a critical preview
of coming attractions in 2006 and 2008, where outgoing Democratic Gov. Mark
Warner is a potential presidential contender. Term limits bar Warner from
As such, former Democratic presidential candidate John Kerry has called for his supporters to work for the Kaine campaign as it enters the final
stretch, reports the Financial Times. Former President Bill Clinton also
recently did a photo op with Kaine.
“We can send [the White House] a powerful message about the direction of
this country if we win this race, and we will,” the paper quoted Kaine as
Larry Sabato, a politics professor at the University of Virginia in Charlottesville, told the Times whichever political party wins in Virginia will have “bragging rights.”
Roll call columnist Stuart Rothenberg reported a veteran GOP insider
believes that a decisive Kaine victory would be regarded as “the canary in
the coal mine” and would produce a “meltdown” within the national Republican Party.
A Mason-Dixon poll released Friday puts the two candidates about even
with Kaine attracting 45 percent of registered voters surveyed to Kilgore’s
44 percent. A Rasmussen poll gives Kaine a 49 to 46 percent edge.