WESTCHESTER PRO-ABORTION UNIT PENALIZED FOR VIOLATING FEDERAL ELECTION LAW
Catalyst January/February Issue 2002
In mid-December, Rye, New York attorney and Catholic League member Aldo Vitagliano was notified by the Federal Election Commission that he has prevailed against a pro-abortion group from Westchester, New York.
On March 1, 1999, Vitagliano filed a complaint against PROCHOICE VOTER, the Westchester Coalition for Legal Abortion PAC, and the Westchester Coalition for Legal Abortion, Inc., for violating federal election law. WCLA signed a settlement agreement and was fined.
Vitagliano charged that WCLA committed “gross and substantial violations of the Federal Election Law in the 1998 Federal Election cycle for the U.S. Senate in New York, as well as for Congressional races in the 17th, 18th, 19th and 20th Congressional Districts.” Specifically, he was able to demonstrate that WCLA made 86,000 phone calls on behalf of senatorial hopeful (and eventual winner) Charles Schumer. Vitagliano decided to file his complaint once WCLA executive director Polly Rothstein denied that any corporate funds were utilized by her organization.
When we learned of Vitagliano’s victory, we drew media attention to the unethical behavior of Rothstein. Here is what we said:
“Polly Rothstein previously slandered the late John Cardinal O’Connor by holding him responsible for the killing of the Buffalo abortionist, Dr. Barnett Slepian. Never mind that Cardinal O’Connor always condemned violence—whether committed by abortionists or by violent pro-life activists. Moreover, the New York Archbishop explicitly denounced the killing of Dr. Slepian in a homily at St. Patrick’s Cathedral. But none of this mattered to Rothstein. Now she has been caught not only violating elementary standards of decency, she has been caught violating the law.”