Campaign 2010

Mar 19, 2013

Did Congressman Kline and DesJarlais Bond Over Bill to Redefine Rape?

This evening, Congressman John Kline is serving as host of a fundraiser for embattled Tennessee Congressman Scott DesJarlais – despite the fact that DesJarlais is facing serious investigations and scrutiny from within his own party after reports revealed he has a history of having sex with his patients and pressured one to have an abortion. Recent media reports have revealed Congressman Kline’s efforts to help embattled Congressman DesJarlais raise money by hosting tonight’s event.

Just why does Congressman Kline like Congressman DesJarlais enough to host a fundraiser for him?

“Congressman John Kline has proven that he’s willing to stand shoulder to shoulder with Scott DesJarlais by giving him thousands of dollars to boost his troubled re-election campaign last year, and now, hosting a fundraiser for him,” said Brandon Lorenz of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee. “Congressman Kline’s willingness to support Scott DesJarlais is another example of how he’s lost touch with Minnesota values after a decade in Washington.”

According to media reports, Congressman Kline is hosting a $500-a-person fundraiser for DesJarlais today. View the invitation here. Since Congressman Kline is ducking and won’t explain why he is helping Congressman DesJarlais raise money for his re-election campaign, here are a few possible explanations:

  • Did Congressman Kline Bond with Congressman DesJarlais Over Their Attempt to Redefine Rape? In 2011, both DesJarlais and Kline joined to co-sponsor the No Taxpayer Funding for Abortions Act, a bill that would have redefined a ban on federal funding for abortions to exempt only “forcible rape” and not “rape” generally. Under the language initially proposed by the No Taxpayer Funding for Abortions Act, rape would have become “forcible rape.” The Washington Post reported that the bill’s critics believed “the modifier could distinguish it from other kinds of sexual assault that are typically recognized as rape, including statutory rape and attacks that occur because of drugs or verbal threats.” [Washington Post, 2/01/11; HR 3 Co-Sponsors, 112th Congress]
  • Did Congressman Kline Support Congressman DesJarlais’ History of Having Sex With Patients and Pressuring One to Have an Abortion? “A family practice doctor, DesJarlais was forced to empty his war chest when court records revealed a checkered past days before the election. Interviews and documents showed he had sex with two female patients and tried to persuade one to get an abortion.” [Chattanooga Times Free Press, 2/24/13]
  • Did Congressman Kline Not Mind That Congressman DesJarlais is Under Investigation? “Embattled U.S. Rep. Scott DesJarlais, R-Tenn., told a Nashville television station Friday that state Health Department investigators have already spoken to him about complaints that he had sex with at least two patients, one of whom he urged to get an abortion in 2000. DesJarlais acknowledged in the interview with WKRN-TV reporter Chris Bungaard that officials are actively investigating the complaints, one of which was filed during his 2012 campaign by the Washington-based Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington. The other was filed by the Tennessee Democratic Party.” [Chattanooga Times Free Press, 1/05/13]
  • Did Congressman Kline Support DesJarlais’ History of Getting His Patients/lovers Gifts and Medications? “Court documents obtained by the Chattanooga Times Free Press confirmed that the anti-abortion politician supported his ex-wife’s abortions in the 1990s; slept with patients and co-workers while chief of staff at a Jasper hospital; bought expensive gifts for his patient-lovers; and prescribed one pain medication during their affair.” [Chattanooga Times Free Press, 2/24/13]
  • Does Congressman Kline Not Think Congressman DesJarlais is Setting New Records “for Creepiness and Depravity?” One of Congressman Kline’s hometown newspapers, the City Pages, wrote that Congressman DesJarlais was one of a group of members of Congress “setting new records for creepiness and depravity.”  The paper wrote, “To save his marriage — and prove the affair was over — the Tennessee Tomcat devised the most misguided coverup since Watergate. He secretly recorded a conversation with his mistress in which he pressured her to get an abortion...Last November, the congressman's 700-page divorce-trial testimony went public. In it, he admitted to affairs with three co-workers, a drug rep, and two other patients. He also confessed to encouraging his wife to get two abortions before they were married.” [CityPages, 2/27/2013]