By Tim Waggoner

WICHITA, KS, May 29, 2008 ( – In early April, 2007, late-term abortionist George R. Tiller and his entire abortion clinic staff was honored by Gov. Kathleen Sebelius at a lavish secret party held at Cedar Crest, the Governor’s mansion.  In response to photographs published by Operation Rescue this week, Gov. Sebelius’ office has released what Operation Rescue is calling a “laughable” defense, saying that the Tiller party depicted in the photographs was a prize in a charity auction in which Sebelius had no control over who would attend.

OR obtained the set of 27 photographs from a confidential source that told OR the party was held exclusively in Tiller’s honor. Tiller and his staff were the only guests invited to the gala event that featured, according to the source, a menu of steak and lobster.

“According to our source, who attended the event at Cedar Crest, the party was ‘by special invitation only.’ It was obvious to this person that Tiller was on a very friendly basis with Sebelius and took the time to personally introduce each member of his abortion clinic staff to the governor,” said Operation Rescue President Troy Newman. “Our source was very specific that the event’s purpose was to ‘honor’ Tiller and his staff. The pictures, especially the ones that include the political t-shirts produced by Tiller, back up our source’s claims.”

“It is laughable for Sebelius to now say she has no control over who she parties with. The Women’s Political Caucus is a radical leftist feminist organization that is providing the smoke and mirrors to cover for the Tiller party,” said Newman. “We don’t buy it.”

Receipts obtained by Operation Rescue from the Governor’s office show that taxpayers paid for the April 9, 2007, event.

OR alleges that “Tiller is a major contributor to pro-abortion candidates in Kansas,  giving hundreds of thousands of dollars through a complicated series of political action committees and non-profit organizations”.

“Sebelius’ office arrogantly believes that they can keep her strong ties to Tiller a secret, but their efforts to keep the truth from the public have only exposed their corruption,” said Newman. “Sebelius would not be governor today if not for Tiller’s financial support. She owes him her career. Every agency in Kansas that could hold Tiller accountable for illegal late-term abortions, from the Board of Healing Arts to the Kansas Supreme Court to the Attorney General, are all laced with Sebelius appointees. It is little wonder that they all have done nothing but stall and obstruct efforts to prosecute him.”

OR suggests this event is an indication of a broader relationship that the Governor shares with the abortion industry.

Just over a month after the Tiller soiree, Gov. Sebelius celebrated her birthday on May 15, 2007, at a party thrown by Planned Parenthood of Kansas and Mid-Missouri, while they were still under investigation by the Attorney General’s office and the Johnson County District Attorney. The party featured Planned Parenthood CEP Peter Brownlie leading a conga line in celebration. Planned Parenthood was later cleared by Sebelius’ handpicked Attorney General Paul Morrison but charged by District Attorney Phill Kline with 107 criminal charges related to illegal abortions and manufacturing records.

  See all the photos on the Operation Rescue website