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Strickland calls remarks on women by his veterans' representative 'objectionable'

By Timm Herdt, Ventura County Star, Calif.
McClatchy-Tribune Information Services

April 26--Republican congressional candidate Tony Strickland on Friday denounced as "objectionable" a Facebook posting written this week by the chairman of his "Veterans for Strickland" coalition.

Former Army Sgt. William Reynolds wrote that among the biggest challenges women face today is being brainwashed by political ideology into thinking that it is fine to have "abortion on demand " and to engage in "indiscriminate frequent sex."

In a statement released by his campaign, Strickland said Reynolds' comments "in no way represent my views," and asserted that if elected to Congress, he would be an advocate for women's rights.

Strickland, who formerly represented portions of Ventura County in the Legislature for 10 years, is one of eight candidates competing in the June 3 primary in the 25th Congressional District, which includes most of Simi Valley.

Democratic opponent Lee Rogers on Friday said Strickland showed poor judgment in selecting someone who holds such views to a leadership position in his campaign.

"It boils down to the judgment of Tony Strickland's campaign and what their views are on women's issues," said Rogers, a Simi Valley podiatrist.

Strickland last month named Reynolds, who was awarded a Bronze Star for his service in Vietnam, to chair the group of veterans supporting his campaign. In a news release on his campaign website announcing that appointment, Strickland called Reynolds "a hero and local leader" and said Reynolds would take on the role of representing him in the veterans' community.

Strickland's campaign did not respond Friday afternoon when asked whether Reynolds will be kept on as chairman of its veterans' coalition.

At a candidates' debate earlier this week on the campus of College of the Canyons, a woman student asked the eight candidates -- all men -- to give their views on women's issues.

The following day, on a Facebook forum page called 25th Congressional District Election Watch, Reynolds posted what he suggested would have been "the perfect answer" for any candidate to have provided:

"The biggest challenge women face today is being brainwashed by progressive ideology that has them thinking it's fine to be a single mom, free contraceptives, abortion on demand, indiscriminate frequent sex, forget marriage, BIG gov't is daddy, womb to tomb entitlements, etc."

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Rogers noted that Reynolds' remarks were reminiscent of comments made by radio personality Rush Limbaugh during the 2012 election cycle, when he referred to Georgetown University law student Sandra Fluke as "a slut" after she testified before Congress in support of including contraceptive coverage as a mandatory benefit in health insurance policies.

Limbaugh said a woman who seeks to have contraceptives covered by her insurance plan "wants to be paid for having sex."

Strickland, Rogers and Republican state Sen. Steve Knight, of Palmdale, are the only three candidates who have raised substantial amounts of campaign funds and are widely seen as the favorites who will be competing for the top two spots in the June 3 primary. The top two finishers, regardless of party, will advance to the November election.

Knight said candidates cannot be held responsible for things supporters might say in public forums, but in this case Reynolds is much more than just a supporter.

"Tony put out a press release saying Bill Reynolds was his guy, so I think this becomes an issue," Knight said. "I certainly wouldn't want someone from my campaign coming out and saying these ludicrous things."

In his statement, Strickland asserted that he has "a long record of fighting domestic abuse and championing equal pay for equal work. As a husband and as the father of a wonderful 8-year-old little girl, I will always be an advocate for women's right in Congress."

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(c)2014 Ventura County Star (Camarillo, Calif.)

Visit Ventura County Star (Camarillo, Calif.) at www.vcstar.com

Distributed by MCT Information Services

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