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posted: 3/13/2014 12:01 AM

Defender of 1st Amendment? Hardly.

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Defender of 1st Amendment? Hardly.

Peter Breen is running in the Republican primary next Tuesday to replace Sandy Pihos as my Illinois representative in the 48th District. Breen is vice president and senior counsel for the Thomas More Society, which he claims champions First Amendment rights.

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I take issue with Breen's wrapping himself and his candidacy in a phony mantle of First Amendment defender. His Thomas More Society simply promotes opposition to gay marriage, the "right" of anti abortion fanatics to harass traumatized women entering abortion clinics, and the "right" of these same fanatics to shove their religious beliefs down our throats. If I had a First Amendment issue, Breen would be the last person I'd see for advice.

This month Breen raised the stakes in his phony First Amendment defender issue with his latest campaign mailer. Above his movie star handsome visage he has an even bigger photo of Ronald Reagan. Then, he imagines the Gipper would, like Breen, jump into the "Demonize the IRS" camp we know so well from our IRS hatemongering Congressman Peter Roskam. Breen tops even Roskam by linking the IRS to the trampling (his term) of First Amendment rights of anti abortion activists.

Bunk. Breen makes this scurrilous charge simply because he believes it will play well in a primary where the most bigoted and know-nothing Republicans are most energized to vote. If Breen was really concerned about the sanctity of life, he wouldn't invoke the patron saint of Tea Party Republicans, Ronald Reagan, who began the decline of the middle class in 1981, with his tax cuts, union busting, and outsourcing frenzy.

Breen's mailer claims, "In the Boy Scouts, we were always taught to leave a place better than we found it." When it comes to providing good governance in the 48th, Peter Breen should just leave.

Walt Zlotow

Glen Ellyn

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