Former Operation Rescue Spokeswoman Wins Seat in Congress

After a contentious recount, Rep. Dan Maffei has conceded to Republican Ann Marie Buerkle, who led the Upstate New York Democrat by just 567 votes. While Buerkle ran as a Tea Party conservative, she has her political roots in the anti-choice movement. Buerkle formerly served as her region’s spokesperson for Operation Rescue, the militant anti-choice and anti-gay organization founded by Randall Terry. Terry, like Buerkle, is from Upstate New York where he made a run for Congress and started his career of attacking “murderous abortionists and demonic homosexual sodomites.”

According to the Syracuse Post-Standard, Buerkle “was the local spokeswoman for Operation Rescue when the group demonstrated outside of a gynecologist’s office in 1989. In that protest, 44 abortion protesters who blocked the entrance to the office were charged with trespassing. Earlier that year, she was with a group that carried a blackened fetus named ‘Baby Choice’ to a protest at Planned Parenthood in Syracuse, where 14 protesters were arrested.”

Buerkle told a Tea Party rally that under Democratic leadership “we lose more and more freedoms every day” and that if Republicans don’t win the election, “by 2012 we’re not going to recognize the United States of America.” One threat to freedom that Buerkle falsely alleges is that “the Obama Health and Human Services Department is planning to compile a federal health record on all U.S. citizens by 2014, and will include information on each individual’s Body Mass Index in the files.”

Although she strongly supports budget-busting tax cuts for the wealthy and Wall Street, Buerkle believes she would be able to cut the deficit by ending the near-non-existent federal funding for abortion. Buerkle has embraced other right-wing beliefs, calling for the elimination of the Department of Education and charging that climate change isn’t real and that “a lot of the global warming myth has been exposed.”

Buerkle claims her political and social views have not changed since her days of working for the radical Operation Rescue and organizing demonstrations to stop women from accessing health clinics, but now Buerkle appears to fit comfortably with the “Ten Scariest Republicans Heading to Congress.”