Capitol - Your Illinois News Radar » Here we go again: Different excerpt leaked of Rep. Amy Grant’s fundraising call
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Here we go again: Different excerpt leaked of Rep. Amy Grant’s fundraising call

Monday, Sep 28, 2020 - Posted by Rich Miller

* My weekly syndicated newspaper column

Another snippet has been leaked of a now-infamous recorded fundraising call made by state Rep. Amy Grant, R-Wheaton, in late August. And it’s a doozy.

Grant already is reeling badly from the backlash to other comments she made during the call. She has insisted that she is neither a racist nor a homophobe and has tried to claim her words were taken out of context, without explaining how.

You may have seen the news about this. Grant is running against Ken Mejia-Beal, a gay Black Democrat. In the call, Grant dismissed Mejia-Beal to someone she believed to be a potential campaign contributor by saying, “That’s all we need is another person in the Black Caucus.” She mocked “the way he talks,” saying “He’s all LGBTQ. He wants to work for the chronically ill. He just gives us, like crazy, and every week it’s a different reason for why he wants to get into the race.”

In the latest clip, Grant is heard telling the potential contributor how groups like Planned Parenthood would be attacking her for opposing abortion even in cases of rape and incest.

“Well, of course, you know, people don’t want to hear that,” Grant admitted about her position on the issue.

But Grant went on to explain why she continues to stick by her beliefs. “For starters, the percentage of incest,” she said. “Peter Breen, who said, ‘Amy, don’t worry about that; the percentage of incest is so small it’s ridiculous. And in the case of rape it’s even small.’”

Breen is a former Republican state representative who is campaigning to regain the seat he lost in 2018 to Terra Costa Howard, D-Glen Ellyn. He’s also vice president and chief counsel at the staunchly anti-abortion Thomas More Society.

The House Republicans turned down an opportunity to respond.

Grant’s opponent Ken Mejia-Beal pointed to a series of recent Republican attack mailers that essentially accused him of helping cover up a rape. “It really is the height of hypocrisy,” he said of Grant’s recorded comments.

Similar mailers apparently have been used against Democratic House candidates this cycle. The front of one of the mailers has the words (in all capital letters) “Rape, Cover-Up, Mike Madigan” and the candidate’s name. The headline on the other side was: “Ken Mejia-Beal: Silent When It Mattered.”

“When Mike Madigan’s political organization was implicated in a rape cover-up, top Democrats called for him to step down. What did Ken Mejia-Beal have to say? Nothing.”

The mailer referred to an emailed comment made by House Speaker Michael Madigan’s former consigliere Mike McClain, who was trying to protect a state worker’s job by claiming the guy had kept his mouth shut about “the rape in Champaign.” The explosive story broke in January of this year, less than two months after Mejia-Beal had filed his nominating petitions.

Mejia-Beal said the mailers were particularly hurtful because he’s been a mentor for sexual assault survivors. He issued a press release at the time saying he had no knowledge of the issue and called the attack “pathetic” because Grant was “using the unfortunate story of someone else’s abuse to earn political points for her own campaign.”

After the latest audio clip was leaked, Mejia-Beal issued a formal statement: “While millions of women in the U.S. have become pregnant as a result of rape or incest, Rep. Grant’s heartless and disgusting remarks are a reminder of how out of touch she is with reality. These comments from Rep. Grant also serve as a reflection of her extreme record against women’s health care and victims of abuse.”

Terry Cosgrove, who runs the pro-choice Personal PAC, also weighed in: “It’s the height of cruelty that Peter Breen and Amy Grant are so callous to victims of rape and incest… I would like to see Breen and Grant look into the eyes of a 15-year-old girl who has been victimized repeatedly by a relative or neighbor and tell her ‘it’s ridiculous.’”

One other thing: Grant has some trouble saying what she means during the recording. For instance, she claims, “You know, life is going to come after me, Planned Parenthood.” And “They’re going to say, oh, Amy Grant supports abortion even in case of incest and rape.”

Obviously, what she meant was pro-choice groups were coming after her for opposing abortion even in cases of incest and rape, because it wouldn’t make any sense otherwise.

* The audio


  1. - Pundent - Monday, Sep 28, 20 @ 8:42 am:

    The recordings make you wonder who she was talking to. She obviously feels very comfortable in sharing her views on these subjects. Nothings qualified or offered with any hesitancy or sense that she may be offering opinions that are in any way controversial. As the article notes, what exactly was taken out of context?

  2. - TheInvisibleMan - Monday, Sep 28, 20 @ 8:55 am:

    ===because it wouldn’t make any sense otherwise===

    Oh, I don’t know. In a strange way, it does make sense the way she said it.

  3. - Precinct Captain - Monday, Sep 28, 20 @ 9:22 am:

    Drip, drip, drip

  4. - JoanP - Monday, Sep 28, 20 @ 9:41 am:

    =the percentage of incest is so small it’s ridiculous. And in the case of rape it’s even small.’”=

    One child raped and impregnated by her father/grandfather/uncle is one too many.

  5. - Cheryl Powell - Monday, Sep 28, 20 @ 10:02 am:

    She’s barely coherent.

  6. - Candy Dogood - Monday, Sep 28, 20 @ 10:48 am:

    I do not understand the folks that keep demanding zero exceptions. Not for the life of the month, not for rape, not for incest (which I always took to imply abuse.)

    It is not a reasonable position to have that the Government should force a woman to die or force a victim to carry their rapist’s baby to term.

  7. - @misterjayem - Monday, Sep 28, 20 @ 11:03 am:

    “Peter Breen, who said, ‘Amy, don’t worry about that; the percentage of incest is so small it’s ridiculous. And in the case of rape it’s even small.’”

    Nobody told her that Breen’s “rape and incest are ridiculous” strategy got him voted out?

    – MrJM

  8. - Annonin' - Monday, Sep 28, 20 @ 11:04 am:

    She is trying to raise money….maybe a little silly sauce? Looks like GOPies gettin’ their wish to release the tape/

  9. - Oswego Willy - Monday, Sep 28, 20 @ 11:26 am:

    Good stuff, Rich. Your context gives a better clarity to who and why and the Breen angle too.

    To the post,

    With bigoted views, and using Breen as a rationale for out of touch “pro-life” views, it’s understandable, even running in Ives’ old seat, that Grant’s words won’t be embraced by her when heard… aloud.

    Sunshine to thoughts will do that.

    I appreciate Grant’s honesty to who she is. Now I know.

  10. - Last Bull Moose - Monday, Sep 28, 20 @ 11:27 am:

    Which is more frightening? That a legislator is ignorant enough to talk that way or that this raises money.

  11. - All this - Monday, Sep 28, 20 @ 2:02 pm:

    “Peter Breen, who said, ‘Amy, don’t worry about that; the percentage of incest is so small it’s ridiculous. And in the case of rape it’s even small.”
    So what if the percentage is small. What makes it impossible to carve out exceptions in the law?

Sorry, comments for this post are now closed.

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