Several key conservative movement leaders, in an attempt to jack up pressure against Kathleen Sebelius Wednesday, sent a memo to the Senate urging members of both parties to oppose her Health and Human Services Secretary nomination. Sebelius cleared a key Senate committee yesterday by a comfortable 15-8 margin and her nomination is expected to come up for a vote shortly.
Calling themselves "leaders of a citizen based conservative movement," the letter-writers followed up on an eleventh-hour effort by a group of Sarah Palin supporters to derail Sebelius' nomination. The push against Sebelius is unusual for how long it took to gather steam after her nomination was announced in late February, nearly two months ago.
The letter is signed by Tony Perkins, James Dobson, Grover Norquist and other leaders of the conservative movement. The opposition flags Sebelius for tax problems, but their major concern with the Kansas governor is her pro-choice stance on abortion.
The full letter:
To Members of the United States Senate:
We, as concerned Americans and leaders of a citizen based conservative movement, call on you to oppose the nomination of Kathleen Sebelius for Secretary of Health and Human Services.
Gov. Kathleen Sebelius's lack of integrity during the nomination process, together with her extreme pro-abortion record clearly demonstrate that she is unfit to serve as secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services. Americans want and deserve better than a health care system run by a politician with serious lapses of conscience and integrity. We call on all senators who claim to uphold the sanctity of life and the responsibility of the office of HHS to oppose her confirmation.
Twice during her nomination Governor Sebelius has had to change her testimony to conform to the facts. First, it was disclosed that she had to correct three years worth of her personal tax returns, and second it was disclosed that she had received large sums - much more than she had initially told the Senate - from late-term abortion providers. Both of these unfortunate incidents have cast serious doubts on her integrity.
Governor Sebelius is also an abortion radical. She is one of the most fervent advocates for taxpayer-funded and late-term abortions in American politics. Americans do not want an uncompromising and anti-life partisan politicizing one of the most important offices in the United States government.
* Failed to pay taxes. Governor Sebelius found it necessary to correct three years worth of tax returns, inform the Senate of this serious financial oversight and subsequently paid, some $7000 in back taxes.
* Failed to disclose campaign contributions. Gov. Sebelius initially failed to disclose to senators the $35,000 in personal and PAC contributions she received from notorious late-term abortion provider Dr. George Tiller and another $200,000 that Tiller donated to ProKanDo, a political action committee (PAC) dedicated to defeating her pro-life gubernatorial opponent.
* Built her political career on abortion money. Not only did Governor Sebelius receive significant money from Kansas abortion and late-term abortion clinics, but she also vetoed every piece of legislation that would have provided even the most minimal oversight over these providers, putting the health of thousands of Kansas women at risk.
* Advocates taxpayer funded abortions. Gov. Sebelius favors publicly-funded abortion at home and abroad -- a stance that places her far outside the mainstream. In doing so she also makes a mockery of the millions of struggling working families who will scrape and save to pay their taxes during this recession, only to see their hard-earned dollars pay for abortions on demand.
* Takes a position far outside the mainstream in support of late-term abortions. Although 80% of Americans disapprove of late-term abortion, Gov. Sebelius advocates it relentlessly. Wichita is known as the late-term abortion capital of the Midwest despite its fairly restrictive laws, thanks to Gov. Sebelius's refusal to enforce the will of the people. With such an utter disregard for the position of an overwhelming majority of Americans, Gov. Sebelius is clearly too ideological and partisan to oversee the health care of 300 million people.
If confirmed as Secretary of Health and Human Services, Governor Sebelius would be in charge of one of the largest government cabinet departments, with one of the largest budgets, and which affects virtually every American citizen. Given her propensity for abortion radicalism, her failure to pay her own taxes and her demonstrated lack of integrity, she will be a divisive force in this important office.
We call on Senators of both parties to oppose the nomination of Gov. Sebelius.
Tony Perkins, President, Family Research Council
Wendy Wright, President, Concerned Women for America
James Dobson, Focus on the Family
Grover Norquist, President, Americans for Tax Reform
Brent Bozell, President, Media Research Center
Alfred Regnery, Publisher, American Spectator
Don Wildmon, President, American Family Association
Majorie Dannenfelser, President, Susan B. Anthony List
David McIntosh, former U.S, Representative, Indiana