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Komen DC Run Hurting

11:46 am in Health care by Teddy Partridge

(photo: Talk Radio News Service/flickr)

The Komen Race for the Cure in the District of Columbia is one of the nation’s largest, with as many as 60,000 runners in past years. This year, in the wake of the Komen Foundation’s disastrous attack on Planned Parenthood following their hiring of a failed Georgia gubernatorial candidate and Palin acolyte, registration for the run is down 40%.

Registration is down nearly 40 percent for this year’s Susan G. Komen Global Race for the Cure in Washington after the controversy in February over the breast cancer charity’s unsuccessful attempt to defund Planned Parenthood.

Across the country, numerous affiliates have reported a downturn in donations and registration for Komen for the Cure events in the aftermath of the funding flap.

Big Pink has irrevocably soiled its brand with the American public; one can only hope that previous participants and donors are finding other avenues to support breast cancer research and screening more directly, or are giving directly to Planned Parenthood, which is what I do now.

It’s not only the DC race that’s hurting; Komen affiliates nationwide report trouble.

Elsewhere, the drop in donations has already hurt affiliates’ ability to fund community organizations. Because registration and donations for its March 25 race fell short of goals, the Southern Arizona affiliate was not able to give out as many grants this year despite a record number of applications, according to its executive director, Jaimie Leopold.

The Komen ‘flap‘ will, I believe, be studied in business school classrooms for many years as a counterexample to building a strong brand: ruining it takes only one bad decision in a polarized climate.

Lightning in a bottle, this one was. But not in the good way that phrase is usually used.

Dday has more.

UPDATE: TPM provides some reporting from other affiliates. This doesn’t look good.

In Sacramento, Calif., approximately 18,000 people participated in the race this year, down from 25,000 the previous year. And it took a late surge in registration to get just to that number. In Richmond, Va., about 6,000 joined in, down from 7,300 the previous year and well short of organizers’ goal of 10,000. Asked about the decline, the local affiliate’s executive director Linda Tiller told the Richmond Times Dispatch there’s “nothing other to attribute it to” than the Planned Parenthood flap.

Tucson, Ariz.’s race shrank from 10,000 registrants to below 8,000 this year. Some 45,000 marched in Columbus, Ohio, down from 50,000 in previous years. In Atlanta, organizers also reported their participation rate was down 10 to 15 percent in 2012.

Maureen Meldrum, Komen Detroit executive director and a 21-year breast cancer survivor, told TPM that participation was down for the city’s race earlier this week, though she partly attributed the decline to the event being held on Memorial Day.

Homo Heroes Upset Hate Group “Moms”

10:33 am in Uncategorized by Teddy Partridge


(Photo: octothorpopus/flickr)

The “organization” One Million Moms — actually some dudes on Facebook who hate homosexuality with an astonishingly acute blazing hatred and get money from a SPLC-designated hate group to pursue their all-consuming hatred that’s garnered such incredible success — has decided that the comics industry has crossed a bright line by revealing the gayitude of several characters. And that one of them, with the not-gay name of Northstar, will marry.

In the comics!

And we’re not just talking about Kevin Keller in the lame Archie comic. No, these are superheroes the “moms” are upset about.

The notoriously anti-gay group that bills itself as One Million Moms, but in reality has only about 47,000 supporters judging by its Facebook page, is now targeting Marvel and DC Comics over their announcements to introduce and marry gay characters in their mainstream comics.

The moms find the homosexuals-in-comics trend shocking:

Children desire to be just like superheroes. Children mimic superhero actions and even dress up in costumes to resemble these characters as much as possible. Can you imagine little boys saying, “I want a boyfriend or husband like X-Men?”

Yes, I can.

What say you other 953,000 “moms,” anyway? Are you really cool with this? If these 47,000 FB-likers have the same success for the get-gays-out-of-comics that they got with JCPenney against Ellen DeGeneres and with SGKomen Foundation against Planned Parenthood, we’re likely to see mandatory same-sex marriage in every comic book.

Do you 953,000 really want to be on the hook for that?

Slow your roll, turbo. Your success has gone to your heads.

Who would you trust to repair Komen’s reputation?

5:27 pm in Uncategorized by Teddy Partridge

Susan G. Komen, Cure

(photo: michaelhyman300/flickr)

So the Susan G Komen Foundation has hired an expensive reputation consulting firm (the firm run by Mark Penn, who ruined Hillary Clinton’s shoo-in candidacy for president in 2008 by not knowing how Democratic Party state caucuses work — good luck with this project, Ambassador Brinker!) to ask supporters how they might repair their reputation after the Planned Parenthood fiasco entirely of their own creation.

In addition to asking supporters what they think of Komen…

The 20-minute questionnaire first asks a series of questions to determine how favorably people feel about Komen now and how likely they are to donate to it, as compared to the American Cancer Society, Planned Parenthood and the Breast Cancer Research Foundation.

It then launches into a series of questions about messaging: Did you read the media stories about Komen defunding Planned Parenthood? Which parts of certain passages most affected your opinion of Komen? Are you upset with the organization as a whole, or a few individuals? Was the decision about political ideology?

the survey also suggests a list of personalities who might be engaged by the Foundation to assist them in conveying their message (of apology? of change? unclear) to the public. I found this list uncommonly hysterical and wanted to share it with you. Nothing better demonstrates how out of touch Mark Penn is, even on this issue.

Note that respondents could rate the names Very credible, Somewhat credible, Not very credible, Not credible at all, or Don’t know:

Spokesperson from Susan G Komen For the Cure

Tom Daschle, former Senate Majority Leader
Breast Cancer Survivor
Sheryl Crow
A member of Congress
Suzanne Somers
Christina Applegate
Former President Bill Clinton
Ellen DeGeneres
People who participate in Susan G Komen for the Cure walks or races
Giuliana Rancic
Rudy Giuliani, former Mayor of New York City
Nancy Brinker, Susan G Komen for the Cure CEO
Melissa Etheridge
Dorothy Hamill
Eric P Winer, MD, Director of Breast Oncology Center, Dana-Farber Cancer Institute
Sandra Day O’Connor, former Supreme Court Justice
Former President George H W Bush
Neil Patrick Harris
Lance Armstrong

Now, I have my own idea how this list got generated, in that it’s not in alphabetical order and seems pretty stream-of-consciousness.

– scene, PSB conference room, during list-making brainstorm session, after lunch is delivered –

PSB underling: “Ooooh, ooh! Giuliana Rancic from E! just had treatment, she’d be great!”

(Inattentive Mark Penn): “[Chomp, Chomp] Who? Rudy Giuliani? What?”

underling (raises voice): “No, I said Giuliana Rancic — but Rudy would be great, too, Mark! Great idea! Super!”

mid-level account manager: “Oh, wait, we’d better put Nancy Brinker on the list, she’s paying this bill, even though they should never ever use her.”

– and: scene –

Who do you think is most ludicrous on this list? And why do you think people pay Mark Penn any money for anything, ever?

LensCrafters™ To Bachmann: Stop Using Our Name

11:25 am in Uncategorized by Teddy Partridge

Broken Glasses

Broken Glasses by Greything, on Flickr

Michele Bachmann is test-driving a new line — actually a misquote from a Planned Parenthood executive — in her speeches to the rabid rightwing anti-family-planning crowds she’s drawing in Iowa:

The possible GOP presidential candidate supported her belief that Planned Parenthood should lose its government funding by telling a crowd in Iowa on Monday, “The executive director of Planned Parenthood in Illinois said they want to become the LensCrafter of big abortion in Illinois.”

Here’s the actual three-year-old statement:

But what Steve Trombley, CEO of Planned Parenthood Illinois, actually said is different than Bachmann’s interpretation. In an interview with the Wall Street Journal in June 2008, he stated, “I like to think of Planned Parenthood as the LensCrafters of family planning,” while speaking of making family planning services more accessible.

And here’s what LensCrafters’™ parent company has to say to Congresswoman Bachmann:

LensCrafters hit back at Bachmann Tuesday, telling Roll Call, “She’s using our name without our knowledge or permission.” Julie Maslov, communications director for Luxottica Retail, the parent company for LensCrafters, said the company contacted Bachmann’s office Tuesday and asked that she stop making the comparison.

Clearly unwilling to have their brand injected into Bachmann’s ‘Big Abortion’ so-called debate, the corporation has moved to protect its name. No word yet from Bachmann.

Boxer: “Not All the Choice Groups Oppose This Bill”

1:58 pm in Uncategorized by Teddy Partridge

Senator Barbara Boxer, touting the Nelson "compromise" abortion language and confronted with Planned Parenthood’s opposition to the bill, claims that "not all the choice groups oppose this bill." (2:34)

Senator Boxer’s "friends at Planned Parenthood" have been joined by NARAL/Pro-Choice America and the National Organization for Women (NOW) in opposing the Senate bill. I would very much like to know what ‘choice groups’ Barbara Boxer refers to in her statement in this video.

Which ‘choice groups’ do not oppose this bill, Senator?

AARP to Score Cloture Vote on HCR; Will NARAL, NOW, Planned Parenthood Counter?

5:59 pm in Uncategorized by Teddy Partridge

AARP has announced that their organization will ‘score’ the cloture vote on the Manager’s Amendment on health care ‘reform’ as a Key Vote, informing their members how Senators voted when the election comes around. Of course, AARP favors the Manager’s Amendment, which includes the odious forced-birth Nelson language that has led NOW, NARAL/Pro-Choice America, and Planned Parenthood to come out against the bill.

Notorious for allowing Senators to slide on cloture votes in the past, will these organizations put their considerable muscle behind their opposition and announce they plan to ‘score’ votes on cloture as well as the bill itself?

First, AARP (letter at link):

In a letter to all senators, AARP Executive Vice President Nancy LeaMond says the Monday 1 a.m. cloture vote will be among those the group tells members about when the next election rolls around.

They also are doing a new ad campaign that focuses on older Americans. It will run through Wednesday in Arkansas, Louisiana, Maine, Nebraska and North Dakota, states that are home to key Democratic senators and one Olympia Snowe (R-ME).

And here’s part of the NOW announcement, with no mention of whether they’ll score health care or the cloture vote:

The National Organization for Women is outraged that Senate leadership would cave in to Sen. Ben Nelson, offering a compromise that amounts to a Stupak-like ban on insurance coverage for abortion care. Right-wing ideologues like Nelson and the Catholic Bishops may not understand this, but abortion is health care. And health care reform is not true reform if it denies women coverage for the full range of reproductive health services.

We call on all senators who consider themselves friends of women’s rights to reject the Manager’s Amendment, and if it remains, to defeat this cruelly over-compromised legislation.

Nancy Keenan, President of NARAL/Pro-Choice America, had this to say, but was also mute on scoring or the cloture vote itself:

"It is outrageous that, two weeks after pro-choice Americans came to Capitol Hill united against the egregious Stupak-Pitts amendment, the Senate has succumbed to including further anti-choice language in its bill. While the Senate bill does not include the Stupak-Pitts provision, this new language is unacceptable. It is inexplicable that a bill seeking to expand health coverage for Americans would impose such great administrative burdens on women who purchase abortion coverage and plans that offer it.

"At every turn, our standard has been consistent and clear: Women should not lose ground in the new health-care system. The bill does include other provisions that will improve women’s access to reproductive-health services significantly. However, the language regarding abortion coverage comes at too high a price for reproductive health. Thus, we must oppose this new Nelson language. And NARAL Pro-Choice America withholds support from the overall health-reform legislation until we assess the totality of provisions in the final bill that comes out of a conference committee between the House and Senate.

Finally, Cecile Richards of Planned Parenthood issued this statement, which was also silent on how her organization would score a vote, and whether they’ll score the cloture vote as well:

"As many members of Congress and the president believe, Planned Parenthood does not think that health care reform is the forum to litigate abortion policy. Unfortunately, opponents continue to use abortion as a political wedge at every step of the reform process.

"There is no policy reason for this action, it is simply a political maneuver. We understand that leaders in the Senate and the White House want to move the process forward, but given this provision, we have no choice but to oppose the Senate bill. Planned Parenthood will now work with leaders to fix the abortion coverage language in conference."

These organizations need to understand that the progressive base understands cloture, and scoring for their handy scorecards published at election time. Thankfully, AARP has now brought cloture scoring front and center in the debate. It’s not enough to say you’ll oppose the bill and hope to fix it in conference, especially if both conferring Houses of Congress have passed draconian forced-birth language.

Banning federal funds for women’s health services ensures the continued financial health of these three organizations. If the fight goes on, so do they. Unless they announce, and quickly, that they will downgrade their ratings on any Senators who vote for cloture AND the Manager’s Amendment, their opposition means nothing.

Will Senators Boxer, Feinstein, Stabenow, McCaskill, Murray, Cantwell, Gillibrand, and the Mainers go against these women’s rights organizations if they know their vote will result in a downgrade on their pro-choice efforts? More importantly, will these organizations put their incumbent allies in a position to choose between a downgraded rating on an Election Day scorecard and the leadership’s need for all 60 votes?

Speak up, ladies: time’s running out.