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Family Institute Endorses Pro-Choice Candidate

by | Sep 4, 2014 5:30am () Comments | Commenting has expired | Share
Posted to: Civil Liberties, Election 2014, Health Care, Religion

Christine Stuart file photo Republican Tom Foley is pro-choice, but he still received the first-ever gubernatorial endorsement from the Family Institute of Connecticut Action Committee.

The group, which describes itself as “pro-family” and declined to endorse Foley in 2010 because of his “unwillingness to express support for the most basic of pro-family legislative goals,” decided to endorse the former Ambassador to Ireland this year.

So what changed?

Through a spokesman, Foley confirmed Wednesday that he has not changed his stance on a woman’s right to choose.

Peter Wolfgang, executive director of the group, said they continue to have discussions with Foley about the issue of abortion and “it matters,” but it’s not an issue that’s likely to come up during the next four years.

The issue the group is most concerned about at the moment is assisted suicide or aid-in-dying. The legislation that would have allowed doctors to prescribe a lethal dose of medication for terminally ill patients was defeated this year in committee.

“Assisted suicide is THE life issue at the Capitol right now,” Wolfgang wrote in an email Wednesday. “FIC Action Committee won’t sit on the sidelines when the safety of Connecticut’s most vulnerable people is at stake.”

Hugh McQuaid file photo In an email to supporters, the FIC Action Committee wrote about why they endorsed Foley, who spoke to the group in June and again on Aug. 26.

“Tom Foley has clarified to us that he opposes assisted suicide and would veto the assisted suicide bill,” the group wrote in an email. “Governor Malloy’s position on assisted suicide is ambiguous.”

Malloy didn’t take a position on the legislation this year and told reporters back in March that his support would depend upon the specific language lawmakers send him.

The Connecticut Democratic Party was giddy about the Family Institute of Connecticut Action Committee’s endorsement of Foley Wednesday.

Rep. Matt Lesser, D-Middletown, said Foley should repudiate the endorsement.

“What state does Mr. Foley think he’s running in?” Lesser said in an email. “The Family Institute’s agenda is so extreme that this endorsement will no doubt raise eyebrows across the spectrum.”

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(18) Archived Comments

posted by: thomas hooker | September 4, 2014  8:53am

Ms Stuart’s headline is patently misleading.  Does Ms Stuart really, honestly believe that Peter Wolfgang and the Family Institute of Connecticut would really endorse a candidate who wasn’t pro-choice?  If Tom Foley really was pro-choice, would he ever accept Wolfgang’s endorsement?  Of course not.

Wolfgang and Foley both understand each other, and both understand that Foley is in no way supportive of a woman’s right to choose. 

This is the same cynical ploy that Wolfgang and Republican congressional candidates Dan Debicella and Steve Obsitnik played.  Debicella voted against requiring rape victims to be given emergency contraception in Connecticut hospitals, yet pretended that he’s pro-choice.  Same with Obsitnik, who would never clearly state his views on abortion or choice.

Contrary to Ms Stuart’s contention that an anti-abortion group has endorsed a pro-choice candidate, both Wolfgang and Foley know better.  And so do voters.

posted by: ACR | September 4, 2014  8:55am


Oh my!
CLEARLY Peter Wolfgang, a favorite punching bag of the left, isn’t the zealot they would like to paint him to be.

This isn’t new news, but it doesn’t fit the story line the uber left would prefer to promote.

[Notice that ctnewsjunkie pitches it straight down the middle.]

>> Democratic Party was giddy about…
Instead they should be concerned, because if Republicans stop infighting they’ll win.

posted by: SocialButterfly | September 4, 2014  9:43am

Malloy’s lame excuse for not taking a stand on this subject was dependent on the specific language his Democratic lawmaker’s send him. Didn’t he get their message?

posted by: bob8/57 | September 4, 2014  10:01am


Ghouls, gadflies and the gung ho for guns crowd aligning behind Foley? Woot!

posted by: Not that Michael Brown | September 4, 2014  10:24am

All these calls for Foley to ‘repudiate’ this endorsement may be misguided.  Foley actively sought this endorsement. No one, save Foley and Wolfgang, knows what was promised to get this endorsement.  Has “pro-choice Foley” also sought an endorsement from NARAL or Planned Parenthood?

posted by: SocialButterfly | September 4, 2014  10:45am

@bob8/57:  It sounds like Foley is getting the votes of diversity in Connecticut. You are sharp to make note of it. Go Foley!

posted by: Joebigjoe | September 4, 2014  10:53am

People get all worked up about some “immaterial” group that most people have never heard of providing an endorsement, but when it comes to the Head of the Democrat National Committee falsely accusing a Republican Governor of physical assault against women all you hear are crickets.

Violence against women is one of the most vile things that we can all agree on needs to stop, yet she and other Dems have taken this war on women thing too far, whether it be her comments or the concern about whether or not someone like Foley got an endorsement is now pro life or pro choice.

Just another reason why I think Foley wins. There are going to be just enough Democrats and Independents that are going to say that they just don’t feel like being tied to the party whose leaders do this kind of stuff. Notice I didnt say Malloy does it, but he will be painted by enough people who look at parties behavior nationally, and Obamas recent weakness and behavior, and now Debbie Wasserman Schultz disgusting comments will impact the Governors race in CT.

posted by: MGKW | September 4, 2014  11:18am

Watch the man’s hands and not his mouth…he has not committed on one single issue…he says I can’t promise anything because I will not know what I will find…really? Give the public a little credit, Tom..the is a dodge if there ever was one.

posted by: thomas hooker | September 4, 2014  1:40pm

In an article by the New Haven Register, when asked by the editorial board which issues espoused by the Family Institute Foley agrees with, Foley pretended not to know what they espoused.  Wolfgang and Foley know full well what assurances Foley gave them.  It is simply unbelievable that the anti-abortion organization would endorse someone who was really pro-choice.  Would never happen.  This endorsement came with a wink and a nod from both men.

posted by: Scott S | September 4, 2014  2:43pm

Really, the Family Institute of Connecticut, the same organization that gave us Brian Brown who now leads National Organization for Marriage, which in 2010 was certified by the Southern Poverty Law Center as an anti-LGBT hate group not for its opposition to marriage equality, but for knowingly and repeatedly using hyperbole and misinformation to describe a group they simply dislike, and that’s a relevant endorsement?!  Although Malloy isn’t exactly popular, that doesn’t mean Tom Foley is any more popular.  Voter turnout will make the determination, not endorsements.

posted by: Joebigjoe | September 4, 2014  2:43pm

Foley didnt commit to anything 4 years ago either and lost by only 6000 votes. Why would he change that strategy when we are worse off now as state than we were back then and there is a group of thousands of gun owners, many of them Dem that will vote against Malloy this time or stay home?

It’s Foleys to lose, which he is fully capable of doing.

posted by: GBear423 | September 4, 2014  3:48pm


Lots of mind readers commenting here getting all worked up; the endorsing group represents fundamental Christians, the 5 or 6 that are left in CT. They wouldn’t vote for Tom Foley so much as voting AGAINST Malloy. May sit it out with the ambivalent posturing of Foley.

relax abortion fans, its likely not even a percentage point in CT.

posted by: SocialButterfly | September 4, 2014  8:14pm

The tide appears to be going in Foley’s direction, and he is enhanced by leading in the polls.

posted by: Stephen Mendelsohn | September 4, 2014  9:24pm

As a disability advocate and one of the leaders in the fight to stop the legalization of assisted suicide in Connecticut, I would suggest that this endorsement has everything to do with assisted suicide.  Opposition to assisted suicide is broad and diverse, and includes disability-rights progressives (some of whom are LGBT), the medical and hospice communities, progressive critics of Ayn Rand hyperindividualism, and yes, social/religious conservatives.  It is an uneasy alliance of people who often passionately disagree on almost everything else.

We in the disability community have our own issues—opposition to assisted suicide being prominent among them—and have expressed our concerns to various candidates.  Until recently, both Governor Dan Malloy and Tom Foley have held ambiguous positions on assisted suicide.  Over the past week Tom Foley clarified his position to us that he would veto legislation to legalize assisted suicide.  We await further clarification from Governor Malloy.

The timing strongly suggests that opposition to assisted suicide was the single deciding issue in terms of Foley receiving this particular endorsement. One should not underestimate the influence that this issue can have on the upcoming election; given the broad-based opposition, support for assisted suicide could well be the kiss of death for a candidate.

posted by: Moboss | September 5, 2014  3:31am

Hey Bob, how about the anti-constitutionalists,socialists and dependant aligning behind Malloy? I’ll see your woot and raise you two faster than Malloy can raise our taxes.

posted by: Not that Michael Brown | September 5, 2014  11:17am

From the NH Register on 9/4: Foley, in the editorial meeting, was asked if he agreed with any other positions held by FIC.
“I don’t actually know where they stand,” he said.
[Peter] Wolfgang [of the FIC] said they talked to Foley for 90 minutes on June 12 on pro-family issues and the candidate then called FIC on Aug. 26.

You’ve got to really hate Connecticut to want this liar to be governor.

posted by: dano860 | September 5, 2014  3:15pm

NTMB, sort of like Dannel saying he wouldn’t raise taxes huh?

posted by: Not that Michael Brown | September 7, 2014  10:11am

Oh course.  Bargaining away a woman’s reproductive rights is exactly like a token tax increase, mostly on millionaires. (Read with a sarcastic voice.)

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