"I have no hidden agenda," District congressional candidate Missy Smith told me last month, after detailing her strategy for winning her race against Eleanor Holmes Norton based solely on her "anti-baby-killing" platform.
So, that wasn't true. "I am running for Congress in Washington D.C. with the express purpose of running political ads on TV of graphic pictures of healthy and dead babies," Smith clarified last week. Smith has raised funds to run campaign ads teeming with graphic fetus photographs on several local television networks, which are legally required to give airtime to the political stunt.
National Abortion Federation president and CEO Vicki Saporta was gracious enough to speak with me today about how dumb this is.
"Graphic images often backfire," Saporta told me. "We’ve seen it happen time and time again across the country. Even people who are not pro-choice do not support the use of those images." Candidates who force people to look at graphic images of aborted fetuses "do not get support for their viewpoint," Saporta said. "Instead, they get people very angry."
Smith is challenging Eleanor Holmes Norton under the Republican banner, though the D.C. GOP does not even endorse her. "These ads are not going to get support for this woman," Saporta reiterated. "I don’t think they were aimed at getting support. I don’t think she has a chance."
Who does support fetus ads? Smith has compiled a handy list of endorsements:
Congressman Trent Franks, Arizonia (R)
Day Gardner, President National Black Pro Life Union
Rev. Walter Hoye, California Human Rights Amendment
Congresswoman Margaret M. Heckler, Ambassador To Ireland And Head Of HHS
Dr. Alan Keyes, Ambassador To U.N.
Norma McCorvey, the Roe of Roe vs. Wade
Jack Ames, Pro-Life Leader
Day Gardner, Head Of Black Pro Life Union
Smith also claims the support of Pastor Luke J. Robinson of Frederick, Md.'s Quinn Chapel A.M.E. Church. Robinson writes: "it is definitely a time to stop the wholesale slaughter of African American babies and all babies from the horrible procedure called abortion. . . . These babies need a voice in Congress and I believe that Missy Smith will be that unwavering voice on their behalf." The ads are were set to appear yesterday and today on local networks; for the curious, Smith has a schedule here.