It sounds like the Billie Sutton campaign doesn’t like the fact that he’s apparently playing both sides on the abortion issue and getting caught on it, according to Kevin Woster’s recent column at South Dakota Public Broadcasting:
That might lead a suspicious person to suspect the new tradition of endorsements by South Dakota Right to Life was begun to give Noem a boost in a competitive race. Deutsch said that while the actual endorsement is new, the state organization has long been involved in issuing grades of the voting records of elected officials.
The Sutton campaign has had little to say publicly about the organization’s endorsement of Noem. When I contacted them for comment, Campaign Manager Suzanne Jones Pranger set this by email: “Senator Sutton is pro-life. His voting record demonstrates that. And any claim otherwise is untrue.”
But this is a touchy issue for Sutton, given the reality that many if not most of his Democratic supporters are pro-choice. And Sutton must work with those pro-choice people and organizations, and hold on to their support, leading up to the Nov. 6 election.
He was apparently doing some of that last month during a fundraiser in Sioux Falls that the Noem campaign said was by Planned Parenthood and Jones Pranger said was hosted by a grassroots organization called South Dakota Forward. Todd Epp of KELO Radio in Sioux Falls reported that the event was hosted at the home of a woman who works for Planned Parenthood.
“Planned Parenthood’s leadership in South Dakota has made it very clear that they would prefer that Billie Sutton be elected — and there’s a reason for that,” Cummings said.
So, the Sutton campaign says “Senator Sutton is pro-life. His voting record demonstrates that. And any claim otherwise is untrue.”
And that’s possibly correct….. except when is isn’t. Such as in the 2017-2018 legislative sessions, as stuck out from the Spring 2018 SDRTL newsletter:
For 2017-2018, Coming in with a B vote for this cycle, Sutton didn’t rank as highly as his fellow District 21 Democrat, Julie Bartling. Just coming off of a “B” ranking in the short term, and refusing to fill out the questionnaire, it should not come as a shocker that they chose Noem, who has consistently been pro-life.
In fact, if you look back, Sutton’s grades have been all over the map on the life issue. In 2014, he received a 75% (C) rating.…
In 2016, he received his only 100% A rating. And as evidenced above in the most recent legislative report, his grades have slipped again to a B.
So, by his own admission, Sutton refused to fill out the SDRTL survey. But you have to wonder if he’s as pro-life as he claims, why would he skip filling it out? In most South Dakota political circles, in this red state, there are two survey’s you fill out – The NRA’s, and Right to Life’s.
It may have been because he didn’t want to be “on the record.” for the questions asked.
And like many politicians, he might be doing his best to ride the fence much like he does the horse in his commercial as he tries to portray himself as “pro-life, ” despite avoiding sone of the questions….. And raising money with the help of a staffer from Planned Parenthood. And with his grades going up and down over time.
Maybe he could call himself pro-life..ish?
At least when Planned Parenthood isn’t in the campaign room.