A new tell-all memoir by a former executive at Susan G. Komen for the Cure alleges the chairwoman of the Democratic National Committee personally pressured the breast cancer charity to reverse its decision to cut funding from Planned Parenthood.
Handel describes DNC chief Debbie Wasserman Schultz as a “schoolyard thug” who intimidated Nancy Brinker, the nonprofit’s president, into reinstating its $700,000 grant to the reproductive health services outfit.
The book claims the top Democrat phoned Brinker the night before news would break that Komen would eliminate its grants for Planned Parenthood. The conversation that ensued, Handel said, was “extremely ugly in its tone.”
“According to Nancy, Wasserman Schultz raised one additional issue: me,” Handel, whose new book hit the shelves Tuesday, wrote. “I wrote down precisely what Nancy said Wasserman Schultz had said: ‘How dare you hire someone who was diametrically opposed to Planned Parenthood.’”
When Brinker, who has since resigned her post at the charity she founded, rebuffed Wasserman Schultz, Handel said the pugnacious DNC chairwoman became “overbearing, if not threatening.”
“Was it appropriate for a sitting member of Congress and the head of the DNC to browbeat a private organization about its grants and who would get them?” Handel asked. “The timing of the call seemed to suggest that if Komen would just continue the Planned Parenthood grants, all would be forgiven — that if Komen got back in line, the bullies would back off.”
- James Richardson