According to his own campaign website Orange County Congressman Ed Royce has been called California’s Most Effective Conservative Congressman. I guess if you classify extremist as effective, then the claim is accurate. On Monday we gave a bit of attention to the extremist claim by TEA Party Republican Congressman Todd Akin from Missouri that If a woman is legitimately raped, she will not become pregnant. In looking deeper into the stance of Akin and Congressman Paul Ryan on the issue of abortion and rape, I decided to take a look at the position of Orange County Congress members who share their views.
It turns out that all of Orange County’s congressional Republicans the extremist legislation, H.R. 3 the No Taxpayer Funding for Abortions Act, from last year. The proposed legislation which passed the House, would have redefined a ban on federal funding for abortions to exempt only “forcible rape” and not “rape” generally.
We asked Orange County Congressman Ed Royce, an initial co-sponsor of the No Taxpayer Funding for Abortions Act, to articulate his understanding of the difference between forcible, and non-forcible rape? As anticipated, neither he nor his spokesperson responded to our inquiry. We were however able to get a statement from Royce’s Democratic opponent Jay Chen on the matter.
“It is disturbing that while Republican leaders from Mitt Romney on down have denounced Congressman Akin, Representative Ed Royce still has not repudiated Akin’s remarks,” Jay Chen told us.
“As the President has said, rape is rape. We need elected leaders who recognize the severity of rape, the trauma it causes, and dangers of sexual predators. While I am appalled to hear a sitting Congressman make this kind of statement, it is not entirely surprising given the types of anti-women legislation that this Congress has tried to pass, from defunding Planned Parenthood to weakening equal pay statutes.”
“I call on Ed Royce to officially repudiate Congressman Akin’s statement and join with Republicans and Democrats alike in asking Akin to abandon his bid for the United States Senate immediately. Californians expect their leaders to uphold the dignity of Congress when other members embarrass the institution, and Congressman Royce must demonstrate to his constituents where he stands on these disturbing statements made by his Tea Party colleague.”
Should Congressman Royce choose to respond to our request for a statement, we’ll let you know what he has to say for himself.
Extremist views are nothing new for Royce, and his supporters. At a 2009 health care forum, a Royce supporter was allowed to distribute political literature containing Nazi imagery linking President Obama and Adolf Hitler. Royce was quick to distance himself from the literature in a statement issued after the matter came to light. The Congressman’s stated that an individual “… was able to sneak several highly objectionable fliers… into the meeting” and “Any attempt to portray me or my office as endorsing these repugnant fliers is 100 percent false.”
Our contributor Deborah White wrote:
All well and good, I suppose, except that there wasn’t much sneaking. The young man distributing the 16-page booklets strode confidently up and down stairs on both sides of the room, loudly hawking the slanderous hand-outs as though he was selling peanuts at Anaheim Stadium. “Sneaking” is hardly the operative term.
But regardless, the tone was set. The damage was done. Constituents read the trashy booklets, and they took them home for their families and friends to read. The angry and frightened became more angry and frightened. And rational discussion of health care reform became even more impossible.
I have no doubt this won’t happen again at Rep. Ed Royce’s town halls. I have little doubt that Rep. Royce is horrified that this rubbish was distributed. That’s not the point.
The point is that it was distributed. That his staffers could easily have stopped it. And that they didn’t have enough respect for non-conservative constituents in the crowd to stop it.
Unfortunately for Orange County, this was not the last time that Royce would get caught up in extremist rhetoric. A couple weeks after Royce signed on as a co-sponsor to the No Taxpayer Funding for Abortions Act, he found himself speaking at a rally of TEA Party extremists protesting a fundraiser for a New York based Muslim charity called the Islamic Circle of North America Relief USA.
This was the event where Villa Park Councilwoman Deborah Pauley called the Muslims attending the event ‘terrorists.’ In the video of the event, Tea Party protesters and other conservative groups shout down the attendees and tell them to ‘go home’ despite home being Orange County for many of the Muslims there.
Congressman Royce is no stranger to extremism. He is no stranger to religious bigotry. Those are the values he protects. Unfortunately he attaches greater value to his extremist supporters than the rights of women who are victims of rape.
Ed Royce, is Orange County’s version of Todd Akin.