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Anti-Abortion Lobbyist Cassidy Denies Women Privacy, Hides Millions in Debt

New Jersey lawyer Harold Cassidy has made a career of meddling in state legislatures, including South Dakota's, promoting restrictions on abortion that deny women their rights to privacy and bodily autonomy.

But he evidently hasn't made a good living at it. RH Reality Check reports that Cassidy and his wife have racked up millions of dollars in unpaid taxes and debts since the late 1980s. Cassidy tells RHRC that his finances are none of their business. Rep. Peggy Gibson (D-22/Huron) and Sen. Angie Buhl O'Donnell (D-15/Sioux Falls), two of the women into whose private business Cassidy eagerly pokes his the public nose, note the obvious irony:

Upon learning of Cassidy’s financial track record, South Dakota Rep. Peggy Gibson (D-Huron) called the attorney a “hypocrite.”

“He’s so financially irresponsible and yet he’s supposed to be this big ‘savior’ of women,” Gibson said. “He can’t manage his own affairs. Why would he be able to manage the affairs of South Dakota women, and their most private affairs—their health care and their reproductive decisions?”

State Sen. Angie Buhl O’Donnell (D-Sioux Falls) said it was “unfortunate” that Cassidy had such influence in the state.

“We, as a state, have bought everything that this guy has told us on how to shape policy, about how women should live their lives, when he could clearly use some advice on that front himself,” she said [Sharona Coutts, "Anti-Choice Lawyer Harold Cassidy Owed Millions in Taxes and Debts, Records Indicate," RH Reality Check, 2014.02.11].

Rep. Gibson concludes with today's money quote:

“He’s invasive of women’s private affairs, and then he says his affairs are private, when women have no right to privacy,” she said.

If you can't manage your own pocketbook, if you can't take responsibility for your own debts, don't presume to manage what women do with their bodies.


  1. Becca Pivonka 2014.02.18

    I've always found it amusing (but not that amusing) that conservative Republicans are supposed to be so big on small government - yet they sure want to stick the government into all my incredibly personal decisions.

  2. mike from iowa 2014.02.18

    Let's take all religion out of politics and then we can seek common ground.

  3. Deb Geelsdottir 2014.02.18

    Oh, the irony!

  4. Bill Dithmer 2014.02.18

    Good read IP

    The Blindman

  5. interested party 2014.02.18

    back atcha, bill.

  6. Deb Geelsdottir 2014.02.18

    That was a very good link Larry. Thanks.

    I have been acquainted with various evangelical folks most of my life. What I've observed repeatedly is that there are wide variations.

    There have always been evangelicals who care very much about the environment, equal rights and respect for women and LBTGs. There have always been evangelicals who could care less care about the environment, equal rights and respect for women and LBTGs.

    This quote from the article is right on the money:

    "Tippett emphasized that media attention has focused on people like Pat Robertson and Jerry Falwell, which has skewed public perception of Evangelicals and hasn't given enough of a voice to other leaders like theologian and social activist Ron Sider or Jim Wallis of the Sojourners community."

    If you substitute the word "fundamentalist" for "evangelical", you'll better describe people who attack health clinics that provide abortions, pour money into anti-equal rights politics, and believe Pat Robertson, James Dobson, Tony Perkins, Kenneth Copeland, Joel Ostein and the like are direct prophets of the fundamentalist's version of god. That god is a rageful, vengeful, blood thirsty, monster deity. And Jesus is macho.

    Most evangelicals are fine people in general. I have theological disagreements with them in some areas, but that's not a problem.

  7. Roger Cornelius 2014.02.18

    Like my grandma would say, "some people have no shame".

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