Say what? Democratic challenger Jessica Ehrlich says Bill Young comes from “same school of thought” as Todd Akins

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In a new fundraising letter, Democratic congressional candidate Jessica Ehrlich writes, “The whole country is in shock over what Republican Congressman Todd Akin said over the weekend regarding ‘legitimate rape victims.’ “

No one is going to disagree with Ehrlich there. As she says, it’s difficult to believe that a member of Congress could believe that a woman can’t get pregnant during rape because women’s bodies have “a way of shutting these things down.”

But then Ehrlich takes a ridiculous wrong turn, writing “…what is more shocking is the Congressman C.W. Bill Young comes from the same school of thought as Rep. Akin. Just last year, Young and Akin cosponsored a bill that tries to ‘redefine’ the act of rape.”

First of all, as far as this matter is concerned, nothing is more shocking that the original statement from Akin. To suggest that any connection Young might have to Akin is “more shocking” than the original comment is a disservice to the women Ehrlich hopes to “protect” by gathering signatures or some such thing for a petition she has organized.

Again, nothing is more shocking than Akin’s statement.

Perhaps not shocking, but certainly, disappointing is all of these politicians’ attempts to bracket one politician with another’s outrageous act. Bill Young doesn’t come from the “same school of thought” as Todd Akin, regardless or not if Young co-sponsored a certain, albeit reprehensible, bill.

Jessica Ehrlich needs to focus on running against Bill Young on the issues important to Pinellas voters, not get drawn into a national debate that will be forgotten by the time the next congressman says something ridiculous.

By the way, that could be any moment now.

Peter Schorsch is the President of Extensive Enterprises and is the publisher of some of Florida’s most influential new media websites, including,,, and Sunburn, the morning read of what’s hot in Florida politics. SaintPetersBlog has for three years running been ranked by the Washington Post as the best state-based blog in Florida. In addition to his publishing efforts, Peter is a political consultant to several of the state’s largest governmental affairs and public relations firms. Peter lives in St. Petersburg with his wife, Michelle, and their daughter, Ella.