Minnesota Citizens Concerned for Life, a group that lobbies against legalized abortion, has decided not to endorse DFL Rep. Collin Peterson for re-election.
MCCL spokesman Bil Poehler says his group has endorsed Peterson several times over the past few election cycles but said Peterson’s stance on the federal health care law has prompted the MCCL to decide against endorsing him this year.
“We typically endorse candidates when they are 100 percent with us, but because he isn’t with us on the Affordable Care Act, that’s the case this time around,” Poehler said.
Peterson is running for re-election in Minnesota’s 7th Congressional District, which includes much of the western part of the state. Poehler said his organization will not endorse anyone in the 7th. That hasn’t stopped Republican Lee Byberg from using the MCCL’s decision to his political advantage. Byberg, who lost to Peterson by nearly 18 percentage points in 2010, issued a statement criticizing Peterson.
“Obamacare is an abomination, and an affront to the conscience of millions of pro-life Americans. Collin Peterson gives lip service to our cause, but when the chips are down he votes with his party, not his conscience,” Byberg said.
Peterson initially opposed the Affordable Care Act in 2009 but has voted against measures that would have defunded the program. He said earlier this year that the federal law known as Obamacare is “not all bad.”
An official with Peterson’s campaign said he just learned about MCCL’s decision and said he would get back to me with a statement. I’ll post it when it arrives.
MCCL’s endorsement could play a factor in the 7th District. The group holds political power in many rural areas. For example, it endorsed Republican Chip Cravaack over DFL Rep. Jim Oberstar in 2010 because of Oberstar’s support of the Affordable Care Act. Cravaack defeated Oberstar with the help of the MCCL’s endorsement.