Clinton Backer Taylor Marsh Recycles Republican Talking Points Against Obama

Taylor Marsh has repeatedly been posting Clinton talking points against Obama for months, and does it yet again today. The Clinton campaign held a conference call with bloggers earlier in the week to push their latest line of attack against Obama based upon his “present” votes in the Illinois legislature. Today Marsh brings up a case where Obama voted present on a measure allowing victims of sexual abuse to have court records sealed to protect their privacy. She ignores the fact that Obama has explained that he voted present because there were questions as to whether the measure was Constitutional. It must be kept in mind that, as a former professor of Constitutional law, Obama would be more likely to recognize such Constitutional issues. Such devotion to the Constitution would be a welcome change.


Obama Voted Present On The Floor And In Committee On A Bill That Would Seal Sexual Assault Victims’ Court Records; Illinois Press Association And Obama Argued That The Bill Was Unconstitutional. Obama voted present on a bill to amend the Criminal Identification Act by allowing certain assault victims to petition to have their court records sealed, only to be opened for public inspection if good cause is shown. Under the bill the trials involving sex crimes would remain open, but upon a conviction, a victim of a sex crime could ask a state’s attorney to petition a judge to seal the records of the case. If the judge agreed, the public could not open those records unless someone petitioned the court and showed good cause. The State Journal-Register reported, “But the Illinois Press Association argued that the measure violates the First Amendment. The U.S. Constitution does not allow judges to seal the records of trials that have been held in open court, said association attorney Don Craven. Besides, Craven argued, the legislation does not allow defendants the same opportunity if they’re found not guilty. And there’s no indication what would happen to the case files if the verdict were appealed. Sen. Barack Obama, D-Chicago, agreed that the bill probably wouldn’t pass constitutional muster, although he said it’s not unusual for his colleagues to pass such measures to show political resolve.” [91st GA, HB 0854, 5/11/99, 3R P; 58-0-1; State Journal-Register, 4/28/99]

3 Of The 4 Democrats On The Judiciary Committee Voted Present On This Bill. In committee, Senators Shadid and Silverstein joined Obama in voting Present on HB 854. [91st GA, HB 854, Jud Committee, 7-0-3, 4/28/99]

When Similar Measures Were Passed In Other States Following A Scandal, The Press Raised Similar Constitutional Objections. The AP reported, “News executives in both states said the legislation was unnecessary and would hinder freedom of the press. ‘It’s another case where in order to achieve some possible good, legislatures are often willing to run right over basic constitutional rights,’ said J. Randolph Murray, editor of The Anchorage Times in Alaska. ‘We are against the thing because of the blanket restrictions it would impose,’ said Doug Crews, executive director of the Missouri Press Association. ‘Once a restriction such as this is made, where is the line drawn and where does it stop in the area of law enforcement records?'” [AP, 4/30/91]

You may agree or disagree with Obama voting present on this specific vote but it is hardly a matter of substance to question Obama’s qualifications to be president, as Marsh presents this. This is simply a repetition of a current Clinton talking point which as, The American Prospect has noted, is really a recycled Republican talking point.

Update: “We at Planned Parenthood view those as leadership votes.” More at Political Radar.

Update II: The New York Times describes the use of voting present in the Illinois Legislature. The Chicago Tribune writes “Disparagement of Obama votes doesn’t hold up.”

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  1. 1
    gracie taylor says:

    Taylor Marsh is nothing but Rush Limbaugh on the left. She distorts, exaggerates and just plain misconstrues virtually all things that are not pro-Hillary.

  2. 2
    Aaron says:

    Her site has become utterly ridiculous. It’s nothing but an Obama hit site now! What the hell has happened to her?

  3. 3
    john brosnan says:

    Yeah. What’s up with Taylor and Barack? I used to enjoy her podcasts, but I’ve canceled them and removed her bookmark from my web browser.

  4. 4
    Ron Chusid says:

    If Taylor really objected to Obama over matters of substance I could see her criticizing him. However her criticism is just a repetition of the same nonsense talking points coming from the Clinton campaign.

  5. 5
    Gob Bluth says:

    Gracie Taylor, you hit the nail on the head. I must admit, I’d not heard of this woman until recently. Then I visited her website. It was as if I was reading the nonsensical ramblings of a mental patient. I’d never seen anything quite like it. It’s hard to convey through words the sense that the author is foaming at the mouth, but she does it with aplomb. In every post, no less!!!

    Truly the Coulter/Limbaugh/Ingraham (take your pick….) of Progressives.

  6. 6
    impeachcheneythenbush says:

    I discovered Taylor Marsh’s website a couple of months ago, and I couldn’t believe what I was reading. She AND her commenters are frothing at the mouth! I tried to post a couple of reasonable statements in favor of Obama, and not ONE was published. That was when you could post without registering. That’s changed in the last week or so. Now, you have to register and then THEY assign you a password. And they ironically accuse Obama supporters of being “cultists.” Taylor Marsh and her commenters (who apparently idolize her) are NOT Progressives.

  7. 7
    Probus says:

    Taylor Marsh and other Clinton cronies can’t stand the fact that their candidate is still behind in delegates and has lost so many states to Obama. And the fact that a majority of the American people just don’t see Clinton as the candidate of change rather they see her as the establishment candidate. Taylor Marsh can censor comments on her site as much as she wants but will not be able to hold back this great big tidal wave of support for Obama that we have seen across the country. He truly represents democracy at its best and Hillary knows it.

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