A consortium of progressive groups working with a marketing outfit that helped to sell Obamacare to the public recently recommended that President Obama make contraception a re-election issue, WND has learned.
Billionaire George Soros is a primary funder to the progressive groups.
The marketing outfit that coordinated the contraception campaign, the Herndon Alliance, received funds from the embattled Media Matters for America, which is also tied to the other progressive groups behind the contraception drive.
A national debate on contraception has been raging on Obama’s announced mandate to including birth control in health-care coverage.
GOP candidate Rick Santorum responded by saying states should have the right to outlaw the sale of contraception.
House Republicans drew fire when they invited a panel consisting only of men to debate the issue.
George Stephanopoulos of ABC News came under heavy fire after asking Mitt Romney during a presidential debate if a state could ban birth control.
“I’m thinking contraception? Who is talking about that as a political issue?” said Fox News political analyst Dick Morris. “Then I see George in the ABC debate ask Romney four times – the audience was hooting, they were booing, they were laughing at him – whether a state can ban birth control. And Romney said George, nobody is talking about that and he said no, but I want to know if you think they can. Do you think they can? And then Obama comes in with this birth-control regulation. And I think that this is all of a piece to set up contraception as the new social issue replacing abortion to separate the left and right.”
The U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops also fueled the debate by going up against Obama on the contraception mandate.
In a Politico article yesterday titled “2012: The year of ‘birth control moms’?” progressive strategist Celinda Lake was quoted as saying Obama’s stance on contraception is enough to “really irritate” independent suburban moms and “re-engage” young, single women who haven’t tuned into the campaign so far.
Lake said that she and other Democrats see the strong Republican opposition to contraception as a way to win women back after they swung right in 2010, even though they backed Obama in big numbers in 2008.
Politico also quoted Jennifer Lawless, director of the Women and Politics Institute at American University, as warning of a major female backlash if the Republicans overreach on contraception.
“If women feel they are being targeted again, that women’s health is on the line – that’s not an argument you want to make in an election year,” she said.
Dick Polman, a columnist for the Philadelphia Inquirer, wrote Sunday, “It’s hard to fathom why the Republicans would want to launch a sustained assault on birth control, align themselves with the most conservative voices in the Catholic Church, and thereby risk alienating women voters in November. But, hey, if that’s how they want to play it, President Obama is only too happy to reap the benefits.”
Progressives behind contraception drive
Lake, quoted by Politico, is no bystander on the contraception debate.
WND has found that she is one of the driving forces behind the progressive election strategy to use contraception as a way to turn women against the Republican Party.
Lake heads Lake Research, which ran extensive polling in November in an effort to gauge voters’ reactions to including birth control or contraception in insurance coverage.
According to Lake’s website, the polling was done in conjunction with an organization called the Communications Consortium Media Center, or CCMC, and the Herndon Alliance marketing firm.
WND previously reported how the Herndon Alliance helped to market Obamacare, even providing suggestions on which words supporters should use to promote the bill.
As part of an in-depth investigative series on Media Matters for America, the Daily Caller revealed that the progressive media organization gave away $125,000 of its donors’ money to the Herndon Alliance.
That information came amid reports that White House staffers held regular meetings with Media Matters, which is under fire for unusual tactics, including compiling a de facto enemies list; announcing an all-out campaign of “guerrilla warfare and sabotage” aimed at the Fox News Channel; and reportedly seeking to investigate the personal lives of targeted reporters and news personalities.
Meanwhile, Lake’s research on voters’ attitudes on contraception found Catholic voters tend to mirror voters overall when it comes to reproductive healthcare services that the Affordable Care Act will cover.
Related Lake’s website: “Not only are Catholics favorable to including birth control or contraception in insurance coverage, these inclusions also make them more favorable toward the Affordable Care Act.”
“Moreover, a majority of Catholics say that the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops’ criticism of the requirement to cover contraception and birth control with no co-pay or deductible makes no difference in how they view the Affordable Care Act.”
Lake also found affirmative reaction on the following issues, according to the Women Donors Network:
- Can communicating these new preventive health services to women boost public support for the Obama administration’s premiere domestic policy initiative?
- What are communication strategies to shift the discussion on health care to a winning one for progressives?
The Women Donor Network noted the polling was funded by Lake and conducted by CCMC and the Herndon Alliance.
CCMC says its work focuses on a cluster of issues, including “children and families, early education and child welfare reform, health care, women’s equality, reproductive rights, global population, the environment, voting, civil rights and immigration.”
Soros is a primary donor to CCMC via his Open Society Institute, according to documentation reviewed by WND.
The Open Society gave a $475,000 grant to fund CCMC’s so-called Global Population Initiative. The 1998-2003 initiative had the stated goal of increasing “media and public interest in world population, reproductive health and women’s empowerment.”
Soros granted another $625,000 to CCMC as part of the group’s Justice at Stake campaign.
Another $150,000 was provided to support CCMC’s Coalition for a Fair and Independent Judiciary.
CCMC is also funded by the Fulfilling the Dream Fund, a project of the Public Interest Projects.
The Fulfilling the Dream Fund is itself funded by Soros’ Open Society Institute as well as by the Woods Funds.
From 1998 to 2002, Obama was a paid director of the Woods Fund, serving on the board alongside Weather Underground terrorist Bill Ayers, as WND was the first to report.
In 2010, CCMC received a $25,000 grant from the Tides Foundation, which is the single biggest donor to Media Matters for America.
With research by Brenda J. Elliott