As the veepstakes heats up along with the summer temperatures, columnist Robert Novak is reporting that Kansas Gov. Kathleen Sebelius is not the "moderate" that the media elite might suggest as she's considered by the Obama campaign as a potential running mate. She has run afoul of her local Catholic bishop for being a staunchly pro-abortion governor:
Last year, she vetoed a bill requiring explicit medical reasons for a late abortion, and she vetoed other abortion legislation in 2006, 2005 and 2003.
Those positions are necessary for Democratic politicians to pass their party's pro-choice litmus test, but Sebelius's connection with abortion is more intimate. She is allied with the aggressive Kansas branch of Planned Parenthood in a bitter struggle with antiabortion activist District Attorney Phill Kline. There is substantial evidence she has been involved in what pro-life advocates term "laundering" abortion industry money for distribution to Kansas Democrats. Kansas is the fiercest state battleground in the abortion wars, making Kathleen Sebelius the national pro-choice poster girl.
So will reporters see only "moderation" in her abortion alliances? Novak dug into the specifics:
Behind that facade, Sebelius sits at the apex of a complicated Kansas financing system involving the famous abortion provider George Tiller of Wichita. She controls Bluestem Fund PAC, which distributed money to Kansas Democratic candidates. Tiller, one of the few U.S. doctors still performing late-term abortions, contributed $120,000 in 2006 to the Democratic Governors Association, which has given $200,000 to Bluestem.
In 2006, Sebelius recruited Paul Morrison, then the Republican district attorney in Johnson County, to run as a Democrat against Republican Kline, who was seeking reelection as attorney general. Morrison, financed by Tiller's ProKanDo PAC, outspent Kline and swamped him at the polls. But Kline then replaced Morrison as district attorney in Johnson County and promptly filed 107 charges against Planned Parenthood, including allegations of "unlawful late-term abortions."
That triggered a ferocious legal battle during which Sebelius appointees, both judicial and executive, have sabotaged Kline's efforts, with the Kansas Supreme Court barring a key witness from testifying. The confrontation continues even though Morrison resigned after the revelation in December of a two-year affair. District Judge Stephen Six, whom Sebelius appointed attorney general, has joined the legal action against Kline that had been led by Morrison.
In her 2006 abortion veto statement, Sebelius declared: "My Catholic faith teaches me that life is sacred. Personally, I believe abortion is wrong." Yet, a year later, Sebelius invited Tiller and his staff to a party at the governor's mansion. She thanked Tiller for his generosity in helping to finance her election and Morrison's. Last May, Sebelius was featured at a Planned Parenthood fundraiser in Kansas City.
Sadly, reporters will probably suggest it's difficult to find any controversy in building your political career with a wildly controversial late-term abortionist.