The Democratic party is doubling down on its embrace of abortion as its representative issue with the hiring of Jess O’Connell as the Democratic National Committee’s (DNC) CEO.
O’Connell is the former executive director of EMILY’s List, whose sole mission is to elect Democratic women who support abortion. She also served as national director of operations for Hillary Clinton in 2007 and 2008, and worked at the left-wing Center for American Progress.
Now, O’Connell will work side by side with the party’s new chairman Tom Perez.
“The DNC has incredible potential and, under the leadership of Chair Perez, I’m ready to jump in and help make this organization more inclusive, effective, and influential,” O’Connell said, reports Politico. “We are poised to build a foundation for a new Democratic Party in every state to jump-start a wave of Democratic wins from school board to Senate nationwide.”
Perez made headlines last month with his announcement that those who espouse pro-life values are not welcome in his party.
“Every Democrat, like every American, should support a woman’s right to make her own choices about her body and her health,” Perez said. “That is not negotiable and should not change city by city or state by state.”
Democrats’ reliance on the abortion industry became clear when the DNC supported Heath Mello, a pro-life Democrat running for mayor in Omaha, Nebraska, and drew the ire of abortion lobbying group NARAL Pro-Choice America.
“The actions today by the DNC to embrace and support a candidate for office who will strip women — one of the most critical constituencies for the party — of our basic rights and freedom is not only disappointing, it is politically stupid,” fumed NARAL’s president, Ilyse Hogue.
Mello ultimately lost his mayoral race to the Republican candidate.
Perez responded to the scathing bashing with the compliant statement that he “fundamentally disagree[s] with Heath Mello’s personal beliefs about women’s reproductive health,” adding that “every candidate who runs as a Democrat should do the same.”
Since Perez’s statement, his party – which has touted its “diversity” and “inclusivity” – has been in turmoil over the purposeful exclusion of those with pro-life views and the open acknowledgment of the importance abortion has in its agenda.
Writing at the left-leaning Jesuit magazine America, Robert David Sullivan observed, “Abortion is proving that the Democratic Party can outdo Republicans in self-destruction.”
The author continued:
Abortion is now the single issue defining the Democrats, and Ilyse Hogue, the president of NARAL Pro-Choice America, is the de facto head of the party. This gives the Republicans a major advantage in holding off electoral losses if the Trump administration continues to founder.
Many other EMILY’s List staffers have enjoyed a close relationship with Clinton. The group’s president, Stephanie Schriock, was a board member of Priorities USA, Clinton’s aligned Super PAC, and was reportedly discussed as a possible campaign manager prior to Clinton’s decision to hire Robby Mook.
In October of last year, a Wikileaks release revealed that Hillary Clinton’s campaign explored using EMILY’s List to coordinate messaging strategy with Priorities USA.
The email suggested EMILY’s List would publicly post suggested themes and portions of video of Clinton to send a message to Super PACs.