Monday, June 18, 2018
Politics

Kathleen Peters rejects antiabortion group's criticism

The antiabortion group National Right to Life this week described Pinellas congressional hopeful David Jolly as "the only candidate in the GOP primary who has taken a pro-life stand."

But an aide to Republican candidate Kathleen Peters says the group has it wrong. Campaign manager Mark Zubaly said the group mischaracterized Peters' position when it recently wrote:

State Rep. Kathleen Peters has a 100% pro-abortion voting record even voting against a ban on sex-selection abortions.

Neither candidate has made abortion a focal point of his campaign, but the issue remains important to many voters and inevitably comes up. Someone asked about it Friday when all three candidates appeared at the Belleair Women's Republican Club.

Jolly said "as a matter of my Christian faith I believe life begins at conception" and added "I was pleased this past week to receive the endorsement of the National Right to Life Committee."

Although Peters has previously been vague in some of her answers on the issue, she said on Friday that "I am absolutely pro-life." And Peters, a first-term state representative, said she had a track record "where I have voted on good policy that protects the unborn children." She added that she would never support taxpayer-funded abortions or mandates forcing religious hospitals "to do procedures that don't fit within their principle core."

Zubaly said Peters did vote against a bill in the House that purported to ban abortions based on sex and race selection. She would absolutely oppose that practice, he said. But she voted against the bill because it would have added unnecessary regulations to doctors, without actually being effective, he said. He also said he believed Peters had never received a questionnaire from the group.

National Right to Life officials did not return phone calls or emails made late Friday afternoon and early evening in an effort to learn what information it used for its conclusions. In an article posted Dec. 31, the group also claimed the third Republican candidate, Mark Bircher, had an unknown position on abortion and that he "has refused to answer questions about his position when asked by local Floridians."

But Bircher has explained his position. For example, in an article published Dec. 23 in the Tampa Bay Times, Bircher said "Personally, I'm pro-life." But he added that he believes the issue should be left up to individual states to regulate, not handled by a federal mandate.

The Republican primary election is Jan. 14 and the winner will go on to face Democrat Alex Sink and Libertarian Lucas Overby in the March 11 general election.

Curtis Krueger can be reached at [email protected] or (727) 893-8232. Twitter: @ckruegertimes.

Comments
FBI agent removed from Russia probe for anti-Trump texts says heís willing to testify before Congress

FBI agent removed from Russia probe for anti-Trump texts says heís willing to testify before Congress

The FBI agent who was removed from the investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 election for sending anti-Trump texts intends to testify before the House Judiciary Committee and any other congressional committee that asks, his attorney sai...
Updated: 9 hours ago
Erosion of immigrant protections began with Trump inaugural

Erosion of immigrant protections began with Trump inaugural

The Trump administrationís move to separate immigrant parents from their children on the U.S.-Mexico border has grabbed attention around the world, drawn scorn from human-rights organizations and overtaken the immigration debate in Congress.Itís also...
Published: 06/17/18
GOP lawmakers decry family separations as WH defends policy

GOP lawmakers decry family separations as WH defends policy

WASHINGTON ó Congressional Republicans distanced themselves Thursday from the Trump administrationís aggressive policy of separating children from their parents at the southern border even as the White House cited the Bible in defending its "zero tol...
Published: 06/14/18
Sarah Sanders and  Raj Shah are planning to step down, per CBS report

Sarah Sanders and Raj Shah are planning to step down, per CBS report

Press secretary Sarah Sanders and principal deputy press secretary Raj Shah are considering stepping down, according to a CBS report. Sanders promptly responded in a Tweet saying, "I love my job and am honored to work for @POTUS." Does @CBSNews k...
Published: 06/13/18
Updated: 06/14/18
Fed raises key rate and sees possible acceleration in hikes

Fed raises key rate and sees possible acceleration in hikes

WASHINGTON ó The Federal Reserve has raised its benchmark interest rate for the second time this year and signaled that it may step up its pace of rate increases because of solid economic growth and rising inflation. The Fed now foresees four rate hi...
Published: 06/13/18
Hillsborough Sheriff Chad Chronister hits $1 million mark in first bid for election

Hillsborough Sheriff Chad Chronister hits $1 million mark in first bid for election

TAMPA ó Law enforcement officers never want to be outgunned. Neither do political candidates.Hillsborough Sheriff Chad Chronister need not worry.The Republican candidate has amassed what appears to be a record-sized war chest of just more than $1 mil...
Published: 06/12/18
Romano: It ainít voter suppression if you bother to show up

Romano: It ainít voter suppression if you bother to show up

So the Supreme Court is in favor of voter suppression.Or is it election integrity?I suppose your interpretation depends on your party affiliation.Liberals seem convinced that an Ohio voting law upheld by the Supreme Court on Monday is a devious plot ...
Published: 06/12/18
Romano: It ainít voter suppression if you bother to show up

Romano: It ainít voter suppression if you bother to show up

So the Supreme Court is in favor of voter suppression.Or is it election integrity?I suppose your interpretation depends on your party affiliation.Liberals seem convinced that an Ohio voting law upheld by the Supreme Court on Monday is a devious plot ...
Published: 06/12/18
Trumpís tougher Cuba policy having little impact on Tampa area

Trumpís tougher Cuba policy having little impact on Tampa area

TAMPA ó June 16 will mark a year since President Trump announced a tougher Cuba travel policy, but unlike in much of the nation, the changes donít seem to have hurt local bookings to the island.The number of people traveling between Tampa and Havana ...
Published: 06/11/18
Updated: 06/13/18
Trump, Kim Jong Un arrive in Singapore for historic summit

Trump, Kim Jong Un arrive in Singapore for historic summit

SINGAPORE - President Donald Trump arrived here Sunday night ahead of a potentially historic summit with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, the first meeting between the leaders of two countries that have been sworn enemies for almost seven decades.Air...
Published: 06/11/18