UKOR, or All of One Stripe: Unruh, Kline, Operation Rescue
cyncooper printable version print page     Bookmark and Share
Sat Jan 13, 2007 at 02:09:15 AM EST
Link one, Link two, Link three.

An award program concocted by a militant Religious Right organization does more to depict the singular ugly underbelly of the anti-abortion movement than any mere blog could ever do. Next week, Operation Rescue will honor two losers as Man and Woman of 2006: Phill Kline of Kansas and Leslee Unruh of South Dakota.  Kline lost as Attorney General after the citizens got fed up with his prying into women's medical records. Unruh was the executive director of the losing campaign to ban abortion in South Dakota.

But it is a measure on its own that the outrageous, militant Operation Rescue is bestowing honors upon them.

A press release from Operation Rescue states:

Operation Rescue ... has awarded the 2006 Malachi Man of the Year Award to Kansas Attorney General Phill Kline for his courageous investigations of abortionists George R. Tiller and Planned Parenthood for violations of Kansas laws prohibiting the concealment of child rape and illegal late-term abortions.

Recipient of the 2006 Malachi Woman of the Year Award is South Dakota activist Leslie Unruh for her work spearheading the controversial South Dakota abortion ban. After the ban was signed into law, it was narrowly defeated at the polls November.

"Both Kline and Unruh have shown tremendous courage, dedication, and self-sacrifice in their bold efforts to protect the innocent in the face of tremendous adversity," said Operation Rescue President Troy Newman. "In doing so, they helped bring the tragedy of abortion into the national debate, which has served to advance the cause of life."

Overlook, for the moment, the lies in the release, such as "narrowly defeated" (the ban lost by 11.5% in a high turnout election). Operation Rescue is best known for its aggressive and hostile actions at abortion clinics and public events. Fred Clarkson described its nefarious history on Talk to Action.  It likes to drive trucks with bloody images through quiet neighborhoods and harass people who support reproductive rights. The Maggot Punks in Wichita have documented their activities.

When bloody trucks showed up in South Dakota this fall, infuriating the local citizenry, Ms. Unruh protested that they had nothing to do with the Yes for Life campaign.

They may not have been Operation Rescue trucks. But they were Operation Rescue tactics, for sure.  And Operation Rescue had no problem bragging about its presence in South Dakota, posting lots of pictures on its website, parading Troy Newman posing with Yes for Lifers.  

But there is more that puts Unruh in league with Operation Rescue. When the ballot campaigns in South Dakota were required to file information on donors, just before the November election, the records showed plainly and clearly that Operation Rescue, more than an out-of-state carpetbagger, donated $2,500 to Unruh's outfit, as reported here on Talk to Action.

Unruh's response?  Nothing.  She kept the $2,500.  She did nothing to return the money or to reject the tactics of her donor.

And now that Operation Rescue is granting her with its greatest honor, the response of Yes of Life is to promote the award to Unruh on its website. (The campaign lost, but the website goes on, so you can watch all of their losing videos.)

Read more about Unruh's disturbing history and actions in articles by moiv and others on Talk to Action here and here.

Phill Kline, the anti-abortion zealot who was ousted as Attorney General of Kansas, accepted a personal donation from Troy Newman. Kline had no problem accepting that, either, and no thought of returning it, but then he also accepted donations from the Phelps' family that is notorious for its venomous anti-gay protests, even at funerals of straight soldiers killed in Iraq. Kline appointed an Operation Rescue pal as a special prosecutor in an attempt to continue a failing effort to harass Dr.George Tiller.

Read more about Kline's endeavors here .

There is something else that ties these three together, other than their ugly attacks on women's reproductive rights -- a certain looseness in their financial dealings.  A pending IRS complaint alleges that Unruh used funds from her tax-exempt organizations, Abstinence Clearinghouse (which gets approximately $3 million in government money) and a crisis pregnancy center, to inappropriately lobby the legislature. The 'Yes for Life" campaign also accepted, and refused to return, $750,000 from an unknown donor through a shell company that happens to have been set up by one of its founding board members. Kline also had a little trouble understanding the campaign laws, asking his campaign to distribute his literature to churches, and telling churches it was ok, as Bruce Wilson reported on Talk to Action. The Interfaith Alliance voted Kline's actions as number one on the top ten abuses of religion and politics. And Kline had already conceded improper solicitation of donations from lobbyists, when a new set of allegations about misuse of government property for campaign solicitations arose.

Operation Rescue has has similar troubles understanding the law. Its operational organization in Wichita was stripped of non-profit tax status.

But Operation Rescue ingeniously drew one straight line for everyone to see. So hats off to OR for awarding U and K and letting the rest of us know for sure: they are all of one stripe.

The awards program is part of four-day event, Jan. 19-22, that Operation Rescue is convening in Wichita, during the time of the Roe anniversary.

(Partial list)
The majority of members of the original Operation Rescue leadership team from the 1991 Summer of Mercy are expected to attend including:
Rev. Patrick Mahoney, director, Christian Defense Coalition
Jeff White, former OR tactical director
Mike McMonagle director of Generation Life
Joe Slovenic, long-time pro-life advocate
Other national pro-life leaders that are expected at A Cry For Justice include:
Dr. Gary Cass, Ex. Director of the Center for Reclaiming America
Cheryl Conrad, director of the Survivors
Leslie Hanks of Colorado Right to Life
Larry Donlan from Omaha's Rescue the Heartland
Dr. Heather Mechanic, a post-abortion expert from San Diego
In addition representatives are expected from the following groups:
Operation Outcry
Justice For All
Kansas Coalition for Life
Kansans For Life
Kansas Republican Action Assembly
Rock for Life Kansas

by cyncooper on Sat Jan 13, 2007 at 02:44:13 AM EST
Kline will show up to accept his award in person? After all, the OR front page has been "all-Kline-all-the-time" since before the awards to him and Unruh were announced.

The hand-in-glove operations of Kline and OR have become so blatant that Newman has even taken the precaution of posting a disclaimer on the OR site, denying that Kline's office leaked information to him directly.

Information in the report below was based on public information garnered from public sources, including a Wichita Eagle story by Deb Gruver that appeared on Sunday, December 31, 2006. Nothing in the report below was obtained by any communication with the Attorney General's office or with his Special Prosecutor. Operation Rescue has no first hand knowledge of any legal action that may or may not be taken by the Attorney General or his Special Prosecutor. -OR Staff

by moiv on Sun Jan 14, 2007 at 08:38:34 PM EST
to honor his former boss?  

I wonder too, if the media will show up to ask him about his 15 year relationship with Army of God leader, Paul deParrie.

by Frederick Clarkson on Sun Jan 14, 2007 at 09:14:25 PM EST

I'm hoping Kline will face a little flak for firing all of the top employees at the District Attorney's office, where he was just installed in sneak tactics, including his own lobbying from his position as losing Attorney General.

At least the fired employees are suing him .  

From the KC paper:

The seven former prosecutors and chief investigator dismissed by District Attorney Phill Kline filed a lawsuit today against Kline in Johnson County District Court.

Kline dismissed the employees on Jan. 8, the same day that he was sworn into office. Two days later, the eight filed grievances with the county requesting reinstatement and back pay. After Kline told county commissioners Friday that he would not participate in hearings on the grievances, county chief counsel Don Jarrett said the hearings would not be held.

Kline seems to have imperial ambitions ... maybe a follow-up suit seeking personal damages will do the trick.

by cyncooper on Wed Jan 17, 2007 at 02:12:28 PM EST

Thanks for posting that and keeping on top of  Operation Rescue.  That is an astonishing comment by Troy Newman.  The mere possibility that Kline or the pal he appointed as Special Prosecutor let others see files gives me shivers.

by cyncooper on Mon Jan 15, 2007 at 12:43:04 AM EST

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