Group backing Clark hits Nolan on abortion votes

A group is sending out campaign literature in Minnesota's 8th Congressional District that takes issue with some of DFLer Rick Nolan's votes on abortion.

Women Vote!, the political arm of Emily's List, says in the mailing that Democrat Tarryl Clark will protect abortion rights for women. It raises Nolan's voting record on abortion during his tenure in Congress in the 1970s.

"As a member of Congress, Rick Nolan failed to protect a woman's right to choose, voting repeatedly in favor of limiting access to abortions for some low-income women," the mailing says.

This is the first action Emily's List has taken on behalf of Clark. The group, which works to elect female candidates who support legalized abortion, endorsed Clark's candidacy last year. A spokeswoman for Women Vote! did not returned messages to comment on the group's activity in the race.

Nolan's campaign reacted swiftly to the lit piece. In a statement, Nolan said the mailing "badly distorts" his record.

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"I've been in the forefront of the battles for choice, women's rights, and Planned Parenthood for more than 30 years. In fact, my wife, Mary, and I were holding a fundraiser for Planned Parenthood here in the 8th District on the very night the Brainerd Planned Parenthood office was firebombed in August 1994. We will never turn the clock back for women on my watch."

Nolan, Clark and former Duluth City Council member Jeff Anderson are competing for the 8th District DFL nomination. Clark and Nolan have largely held back on criticizing each other during the primary battle, but that appears to be changing in the final two weeks before DFLers head to the polls.

Here are the two lit pieces. Click on each picture for a larger image. (Sorry, we don't have higher resolution for the Nolan votes listed at the bottom of the mailer. We altered the images to remove addressee information.)