One of Gov. Bruce Rauner’s new communications aides has argued that abortion is being used “to rid the world of disabled and other ‘unwanted’ persons” — comparing it to Nazi Germany.
Communications specialist Brittany Carl has also taken on organized labor in her on-line posts, contending that teachers unions should be dissolved.
Carl, a $45,000-a-year communications specialist was hired this week as part of sweeping changes within Rauner’s administration. Carl, who goes by Brittany Clingen Carl or Brittany Clingen in online articles, is listed as the editor and publisher of Reclaiming Feminism, a conservative blog.
In an April blog post, Carl commented on a Huffington Post article about a Catholic high school in Canada that had been criticized for screening an anti-abortion video that compared the procedure to the Holocaust.
“Certainly nothing matches the atrocity of the Holocaust, but it’s undeniable that abortion is being used to rid the world of disabled and other ‘unwanted’ persons — a fact the Left and their pro-abortion allies don’t want discussed,” Carl wrote.
Carl also wrote about parents aborting babies diagnosed with Down syndrome: “Attempting to rid the world of people with Down syndrome simply because they are different constitutes the dangerous and morally reprehensible practice of eugenics not entirely unlike what was practiced in . . . Nazi Germany.”
In a story posted on eagnews.org in May 2013, Carl wrote about a Stanford University professor and author who said teachers unions have created “insurmountable problems for effective schools” and should be stopped.
“It’s clear that the faster the teachers unions are dissolved, the faster we can begin to restore the education system and ensure its benefits for those whom it was created for – the children,” Carl wrote.
Asked about the posts against abortion and unions, a Rauner spokeswoman said they are Carl’s personal opinions.
“Any of the writing Brittany did before she worked for the state reflect her personal opinion, not the opinion of the administration,” said Laurel Patrick, Rauner’s new communications director in an email. “If you’re going to quote from her past writing, she asks that you please quote accurately and with full context.”
Rauner last week began a series of firings, including all of his communications team. Employees of the conservative-leaning think tank the Illinois Policy Institute have now taken key posts in Rauner’s administration.
The transition has not gone smoothly. On Monday, the governor fired Ben Tracy, his handpicked “body man,” after his staff found a series of homophobic and racially insensitive remarks on Tracy’s Twitter account.
The governor has always portrayed himself as a social moderate, focused more on fiscal issues than social ones. Rauner and first lady Diana Rauner have contributed hundreds of thousands of dollars to abortion rights groups jointly and through their family’s not-for-profit foundation.
But the shift in Rauner administration employees shows he’s moving further to the right. Many staffers who were either fired or resigned were moderate Republicans — and said they were able to get Rauner away from an anti-union and right-to-work agenda to focus on attainable reforms.
A Republican operative said Diana Rauner should be concerned. “I would like to know, the first lady, who is a known pro-choice advocate, how she feels about this,” the operative, speaking on condition of anonymity, said. “Really she should be weighing in.”
Carl’s husband is Jared Carl, who is listed as vice president of development for the Illinois Opportunity Project on his LinkedIn page. Rauner on Monday named that group’s president Matthew Besler his new campaign chief, following the exit of Mike Zolnierowicz.
The “free market” Illinois Opportunity Project is co-founded by conservative radio talk show host Dan Proft, a Rauner ally.
Personal PAC, an abortion rights group that took aim at the Rauners earlier this year, blasted them on Wednesday for the recent hires.
“This is just further evidence as to what a complete fraud Governor Rauner and Diana Rauner truly are. They have spent tens of millions of dollars lying to Illinois voters about being pro-choice and moderate,” Terry Cosgrove, Personal PAC CEO said in a statement. “Hiring racist, anti-Semitic, homophobic right-wing activists to run Illinois government puts them on a race to the bottom in competition with Donald Trump as to who can be the most destructive.”
The local chapter of the Anti-Defamation League also called on Carl to retract her statement.
“Any analogy comparing the Holocaust to the national debate over abortion is historically inaccurate, inappropriate and offensive especially to survivors and their families,” regional director Lonnie Nasatir said in a statement.
But Illinois Right to Life dubbed Carl a “strong intelligent pro-life woman,” and called attacks on her a ” discriminatory smear campaign. ”
“Our state is on the verge of financial collapse and pro-abortion Democrats are standing knee deep in dredging up abortion quotes rather than fixing our state’s current financial crisis,” the anti-abortion group’s executive director Emily Troscinski said. “Democrats seem more upset that Gov. Rauner didn’t consult them when hiring his new, well qualified staff than with the real problems facing Illinois.”