By Peter J. Smith

WASHINGTON, D.C., July 23, 2010 ( – The left-leaning group Catholics United is dedicating $500,000 to bailing out the campaigns of key congressional “pro-life” Democrats who voted for the national health care reform, which was decried by pro-life leaders as vastly expanding abortion.

Catholics United, which has many times conflicted with the U.S. Catholic Bishops over the primacy of pro-life teachings, intends to help defend the seats of Democrat Reps. John Boccieri (OH-16), Kathy Dahlkemper (PA-03), Steve Driehaus (OH-01), and Tom Perriello (VA-05). The lawmakers face an all-out pro-life assault in the November elections, a contest which analysts predict may sweep Republicans into control of the House of Representatives and possibly the Senate. 

The group says their efforts are a “direct response” to the campaigns mounted by the Susan B. Anthony List, the Family Research Council, the National Right to Life Committee, and the Republican National Campaign Committee to bring down those lawmakers. Of the four, only the fight for Dahlkemper’s seat was listed by Real Clear Politics as a genuine toss-up. The other three Democrats are listed in ”lean/likely GOP” races.

However, Chris Korzen, executive director of Catholics United and a former organizer for the Service Employees International Union (SEIU), is framing his “Set the Record Straight” campaign to bail out these four targeted Democrats as a religious struggle.

“Catholics and other people of faith are frustrated by the dishonesty of many political operatives who oppose reform of our nation's outdated economic and social policies,” said Korzen. “Instead of an open and honest dialogue about how best to meet the challenges of the 21st century, these groups are engaging in scare tactics and misusing the language of faith to score cheap political points and lead voters astray.”

“We are sick and tired of partisan front groups using religion for political gain,” added Catholics United member Beverly Mirmelstein in the CU press release.

Catholics United is an affiliate of Catholics in Alliance for the Common Good, an organization funded by atheist billionaire George Soros. Both organizations have been condemned by Denver Archbishop Charles Chaput as front groups for the Democrat party that have “done a disservice to the Church.” 

Catholic League president Bill Donohue told that, as Planned Parenthood gave House Speaker Nancy Pelosi a “well deserved” award “for her work championing abortion” on July 15, perhaps next year they would like to consider Korzen for the prize.

“Though Korzen may scream all day long about pro-life groups ‘misusing the language of faith to score cheap political points,’ every honest person knows he is a master of expedient politics,” said Donohue. “His latest gambit, funneling George Soros money to Pelosi shills, is just the latest example of his duplicity.” 

One of the major forces against the health care bill in the lead-up to its passage was the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB), which chiefly opposed the measure on the grounds of both short-term and long-term threats to the lives of unborn children. The USCCB emphasized that no legitimate social justice could be achieved while opening the floodgates of federal dollars to the abortion industry.

But Catholic groups supporting the bill, such as the Catholic Health Association and NETWORK, a left-leaning lobby of Catholic women religious, undercut the bishops' message and gave Catholic Democrats political cover to justify voting for the health care bill.

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