Be careful what you brag:
I am writing to correct an error in your article about Ed Martin, the Republican candidate for Congress. Ed bragged that, during his tenure at the Human Rights Commission, he defunded ProVote. That is not accurate, and Ed knows it is a lie.
At that time, I was the executive director of ProVote, and ProVote never received one dime from the Human Rights Commission. The group that Ed defunded was a group called ROWEL, an organization of welfare recipients who supported public policies that were fair for low-income parents. Ed Martin and the archdiocese demanded that ROWEL end its affiliation with ProVote, or face elimination of their funding.
I was so proud when I heard that the low-income women who made up the ROWEL board refused to be bullied by Ed Martin, and ROWEL decided to remain affiliated with ProVote. Ed made good on his threat, and he defunded ROWEL. Subsequently, the organization shut its doors due to lack of funds.
So, the real story does not sound so good for Ed. It does not sound heroic to attack and defund low-income single mothers who are trying to exercise their right to organize for better conditions.
In fact, I am a product of local Catholic schools, and I don't remember any stories in the Bible about Jesus bragging about crushing organizations of poor people. Jesus supported the powerless. Ed Martin does the dirty work for the powerful.
John Hickey, Webster Groves
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