The latest on Komen

As you know, I’m not fond of the Pinkification of Mammary Gland Cancer to begin with, but now they’ve given me some more ammunition. It came out yesterday that they stopped funding stem cell research, too:

It wasn’t until 2008 that the Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation, a 501(c)3, founded theSusan G. Komen For The Cure Advocacy Alliance, a 501(c)4 non-profit that, under IRS rules, can spend unlimited donor funds on lobbying. It’s that arm of the Komen Foundation that former Secretary of State and failed gubernatorial candidate Karen Handel (R-GA) was hired to run in April 2011, despite being once investigated for issuing voter ID regulations that the Department of Justice determined to be discriminatory against non-white voters. She’d beenserving “as a consultant” to the organization since January 2011.

Before Handel’s hiring, Komen’s lobbying shop was staunchly Democratic — from its head to its hired guns, former Democratic aides did most of the heavy lifting on everything from the breast cancer stamp to breast cancer research to its advocacy on the health care bill. And when their lead lobbyist, former Democratic staffer Jennifer Luray, quietly left in 2010, she took with her a six-figure severance package not in keeping with an employee that just found a new job.

At the time Handel was hired as a consultant — shortly after Luray left — Handel told the local magazine Northside Woman that Komen was her first and only client, and that her role was to “[work] with [the affiliates] to make sure they are as strong as they can be,” adding, “we’re making sure there’s a good relationship between the national group and the affiliate group [sic].” She told the Atlanta Trend last year, “Everybody understands that budgets are really, really tight in virtually every state. And that means that every program, no matter how worthwhile, is on the table to be scrutinized.” That would seem to belie Komen Foundation President Nancy Brinker’sassertion today that Handel wasn’t involved in the decision to end most affiliates’ grants to Planned Parenthood for breast cancer screenings, let alone her assertion that none of their decisions were “political.”

Sure sounds like the right wing did a really good sales job.

By the way, their founder put out this piece of PR hackery to try to save them. Do you suppose she goes to the same place as Callista Gingrich for her Botox?

4 thoughts on “The latest on Komen

  1. Brinker’s attempt to cover for Handle simply ain’t gonna work. Either Handle has to go or Komen is inevitably stained as a viable NGO working to support the good health of ALL women in this country.

  2. Now that they’ve apologized and reinstated Planned Parenthood they should take the next logical step and fire Handel. After all it was she who brought the Komen group into disrepute. Next they should call out Republican Cliff Stearns of Florida for his purely political attack on PP.

  3. Fire Handel? No, that would be an admission that the claims of rightwing political pressure were true.

    Not that they ever actually DENIED them, just some “how could you say that?” non-denial denials.

    So, in a few weeks or so, Handel will leave to spend more time with her family. The real issue is how much donor funds go into her golden parachute.

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