How Jack Hatch took down a pro-life nominee

Des Moines voters will select a new mayor in a run-off election on December 3rd. Jack Hatch and incumbent mayor, Frank Cownie, finished in a dead heat in this week’s election. Iowans for LIFE has never weighed in on a mayor’s race before. However, Jack Hatch’s anti-life political history generally, and a specific, deplorable incident in 2012, reveals a political character that pro-life voters in Des Moines should be aware of.

The following piece was written by Iowans for LIFE board president, Tom Quiner. It ran in the Des Moines Register and the Dubuque Telegraph Herald in April, 2012.


Dishonest Democrats smear a good woman

By Tom Quiner

Colleen Pasnik is a practicing Catholic

Colleen Pasnik

Iowa Democrats resorted to a smear campaign to provide cover in refusing to confirm Colleen Pasnik to the Iowa Board of Medicine.

As background, the Board of Medicine has been in the news in the past year. This is the Board that allowed Planned Parenthood to proceed with “telemed abortions” in Iowa.

In other words, even though a doctor is not present as one should be, according to Iowa law, the Board gave the abortion lobby the green light to provide them via a computer monitor from a remote location. With the press of a button, they could simply dispense abortion pills.

Governor Branstad nominated Ms. Pasnik to the Board earlier this year. She needed a two thirds vote to be confirmed, but came up short after a 29 to 18 vote. The opposition was led by Democratic Senator, Jack Hatch.

What was the beef against Ms. Pasnik? According to Senator Hatch:

“She was accompanied by people who were…arrested and convicted of crimes and bombing of abortion clinics.”

Senator Jack Hatch leads the dissent against the confirmation of Coleen Pasnik

State Senator, Jack Hatch, Democrat

He refers to pro life activist, Cheryl Sullenger, who was convicted of bombing a clinic in 1988.

Let us deconstruct Democrats’ deceit on this issue:

1. Ms. Pasnik didn’t even know Ms. Sullenger. They never spoke before or since that meeting. For the record, I was at the same meeting. So was Monsignor Frank Bognanno of Christ the King Catholic Church. So were a whole bunch of other faithful Catholics concerned about the expansion of abortion in Iowa. By this standard, we are all tainted with “guilt by association” even though not a one of us knew Ms. Sullenger.

2. Senator Hatch used the word “people,” not “person,” in referring to the anti-abortion terrorists Ms. Pasnik allegedly chums around with. And yet Ms. Sullenger was the only one at the event convicted of a crime. Mr. Hatch’s intent was to smear all of us in attendance of guilt by association with his use of the plural instead of the singular.

3. The good Senator also used the plural on the word ‘clinics,’ suggesting that the lot of us bombed multiple clinics. To be clear, Ms. Sullenger was convicted for blowing up a single clinic.

4. Not a single dissenting Democrat bothered to contact Ms. Pasnik to verify her (non) association with Ms. Sullenger. I was nominated to a different commission a year ago. A Democratic Senator contacted me before my confirmation vote to “check me out” (I was confirmed.) Why wouldn’t they extend the same courtesy to Ms. Pasnik? Here is why: they were looking for an excuse to vote against her. Had they cleared the air with a simple phone call, it would have been difficult to come up with a reason to vote against her.

What do we know about Ms. Pasnik?

She is a practicing Catholic and heeds the Church’s call to respect human life from conception to natural death.

She is a past director of the Family Life Office for the Archdiocese of Dubuque.

She is the past executive assistant for the Dubuque County Right to Life.

She is the vice president of The Power of Prayer, a group that promotes perpetual Eucharistic Adoration.

I met her a year after Iowa Board of Medicine public hearing at the Christ Our Life Catholic Conference. We have stayed in touch via e-mail for the past year-and-a-half.

Each communication, and I mean EACH, ends with this encouragement: “keep your eyes on the risen Christ.”

This is a person Senate Democrats say is not fit to sit on the Iowa Board of Medicine.

Having tainted Ms. Pasnik by linking her to Ms. Sullenger, Senator Hatch said:

“I think in my judgment that I presented to my caucus that a person like this who has strong beliefs may be unable to provide the non-biased support or judgment to listen to presentations of doctors and providers who come in front of this board on serious matters of medicine.”

To what strong beliefs does he refer? He suggests it is because she hob knobs with terrorists. We know that isn’t an issue for Democrats. After all, Barack Obama has hob knobbed with convicted terrorist, Bill Ayers, who bombed public buildings. These same Democrats voted “yes” for Barack Obama for president. So an association with a bomber of public buildings is certainly not an issue to Democrats.

And in the case of Ms. Pasnik, she didn’t even know a bomber of public buildings. That was simply a Democratic fabrication.

So what does that leave us with but her Catholic belief in the sanctity of life?

Catholics like Ms. Pasnik embrace the Catholic values of peace and justice. As she said:

“I have never advocated violence against anyone, and would never advocate violence and to intimate otherwise borders on slander and libel.”

What kind of people are these Senate Democrats? How could they take a bright, decent person like Colleen Pasnik and drag her name through the mud?

Republican Senator, Mark Chelgren, supported Ms. Pasnik in the strongest terms:

“Here is somebody who lives their life based on their Catholic convictions.”

Evidently, that is a deal-killer for Senate Democrats.