Another snippet has been leaked of a now-infamous recorded fundraising call made by state Rep. Amy Grant, R-Wheaton, in late August. And it’s a doozy.
Grant already is reeling badly from the backlash to other comments she made during the call. She has insisted that she is neither a racist nor a homophobe and has tried to claim her words were taken out of context, without explaining how.
You may have seen the news about this. Grant is running against Ken Mejia-Beal, a gay Black Democrat. In the call, Grant dismissed Mejia-Beal to someone she believed to be a potential campaign contributor by saying, “That’s all we need is another person in the Black Caucus.” She mocked “the way he talks,” saying “He’s all LGBTQ. He wants to work for the chronically ill. He just gives us, like crazy, and every week it’s a different reason for why he wants to get into the race.”
In the latest clip, Grant is heard telling the potential contributor how groups like Planned Parenthood would be attacking her for opposing abortion even in cases of rape and incest.
“Well, of course, you know, people don’t want to hear that,” Grant admitted about her position on the issue.
But Grant went on to explain why she continues to stick by her beliefs. “For starters, the percentage of incest,” she said. “Peter Breen, who said, ‘Amy, don’t worry about that; the percentage of incest is so small it’s ridiculous. And in the case of rape it’s even small.’”
Breen is a former Republican state representative who is campaigning to regain the seat he lost in 2018 to Terra Costa Howard, D-Glen Ellyn. He’s also vice president and chief counsel at the staunchly anti-abortion Thomas More Society.
The House Republicans turned down an opportunity to respond.
Grant’s opponent Ken Mejia-Beal pointed to a series of recent Republican attack mailers that essentially accused him of helping cover up a rape. “It really is the height of hypocrisy,” he said of Grant’s recorded comments.
Similar mailers apparently have been used against Democratic House candidates this cycle. The front of one of the mailers has the words (in all capital letters) “Rape, Cover-Up, Mike Madigan” and the candidate’s name. The headline on the other side was: “Ken Mejia-Beal: Silent When It Mattered.”
“When Mike Madigan’s political organization was implicated in a rape cover-up, top Democrats called for him to step down. What did Ken Mejia-Beal have to say? Nothing.”
The mailer referred to an emailed comment made by House Speaker Michael Madigan’s former consigliere Mike McClain, who was trying to protect a state worker’s job by claiming the guy had kept his mouth shut about “the rape in Champaign.” The explosive story broke in January of this year, less than two months after Mejia-Beal had filed his nominating petitions.
Mejia-Beal said the mailers were particularly hurtful because he’s been a mentor for sexual assault survivors. He issued a press release at the time saying he had no knowledge of the issue and called the attack “pathetic” because Grant was “using the unfortunate story of someone else’s abuse to earn political points for her own campaign.”
After the latest audio clip was leaked, Mejia-Beal issued a formal statement: “While millions of women in the U.S. have become pregnant as a result of rape or incest, Rep. Grant’s heartless and disgusting remarks are a reminder of how out of touch she is with reality. These comments from Rep. Grant also serve as a reflection of her extreme record against women’s health care and victims of abuse.”
Terry Cosgrove, who runs the pro-choice Personal PAC, also weighed in: “It’s the height of cruelty that Peter Breen and Amy Grant are so callous to victims of rape and incest... I would like to see Breen and Grant look into the eyes of a 15-year-old girl who has been victimized repeatedly by a relative or neighbor and tell her ‘it’s ridiculous.’”
One other thing: Grant has some trouble saying what she means during the recording. For instance, she claims, “You know, life is going to come after me, Planned Parenthood.” And “They’re going to say, oh, Amy Grant supports abortion even in case of incest and rape.”
Obviously, what she meant was pro-choice groups were coming after her for opposing abortion even in cases of incest and rape, because it wouldn’t make any sense otherwise.
Rich Miller also publishes Capitol Fax, a daily political newsletter, and CapitolFax.com.
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