For Immediate Release: July 12, 2006
Contact: James Thompson
MICHAEL SCHIAVO DELIVERS LETTER TO MARILYN MUSGRAVE
Angie Paccione accompanies Schiavo to Musgrave’s Loveland Office.
DENVER—Michael Schiavo, the husband of Terri Schiavo, today delivered a harshly worded letter to the main Colorado office of Congresswoman Marilyn Musgrave in Loveland. He was accompanied by Musgrave’s opponent, State Rep. Angie Paccione. (See text of the letter below.)
Musgrave, along with Rep. Tom DeLay and other extreme right-wing members of Congress, tried to overturn court decisions upholding doctors’ recommendations to remove the feeding tube from Terri Schiavo, who had no hope of recovering from a permanent vegetative state. In a speech on the House floor on March 20, 2005, Musgrave said, “When we talk about a permanent vegetative state, I am offended by that.”
“Marilyn Musgrave embarrassed herself and Congress when she decided to turn my deeply personal family situation into a cheap political debate. That’s the real offense,” Michael Schiavo said. “She has no right to interfere with my family’s privacy. Family decisions are no place for congressional intervention.”
“However you feel about the decisions families make, they are family decisions and politicians have no place in them,” Schiavo added. “There’s a big difference between running the country and running our private lives. Unfortunately, Marilyn Musgrave has proven to be one of those politicians who has confused the two.”
Paccione also spent time meeting with Schiavo one-on-one and discussing his concerns. She said Musgrave voted to interfere in the case because she sides with right-wing special interests and Republican powerbrokers like DeLay.
“This is a very personal, private, painful issue, and she shouldn’t have intervened. She’s a hypocrite for saying she supports less government and then turning around and voting to intervene. You can’t have it both ways, Marilyn,” Paccione said. “Unlike Marilyn Musgrave, I’ll stand up against special interests and against extremism, and I won’t support unconstitutional invasions of privacy.”
Text of Michael Schiavo’s Letter to Marilyn Musgrave
Dear Congresswoman Musgrave,
I had hoped to meet with you today to ask you a few questions about your past actions and words regarding myself and my family. I am hand-delivering this letter to your office because you and some of your colleagues have gone too far in your attempts to infringe upon the rights of and violate the privacy of Americans.
Your outspoken and misguided attempts to have Congress overrule the legal courts and overturn the private medical decisions made by my family and my wife, Terri, were entirely inappropriate.
Why do you and Tom Delay think it is a national priority to inject yourselves into the private lives of Americans, as you did with your disgraceful behavior around Terri’s tragic situation?
Last year you said you were “offended” by discussion of Terri’s state. Well, Ms. Musgrave, I’m offended by your lack of respect for my rights and my family’s rights. On the floor of the U.S. House of Representatives, you dared to render a medical opinion on Terri’s condition, even though you had never met her, and despite your admitted ignorance of medical science and of the law. Ms. Musgrave, I am offended that you would attack others out of ignorance.
You ignored Terri’s wishes, the expertise of countless doctors, the authority of the law, and the principles of our nation. I am offended by such indifference. I continue to believe that you took advantage of my family’s situation for political gain without regard for who you hurt. While I sought only dignity for Terri, you played to the camera, and you played to a waiting crowd of political extremists.
I’ve heard you claim to be for less government. But how is it less government when you misuse the power of Congress to place your own opinions ahead of the actions of my family?
Simply put, Ms. Musgrave, who gave you the authority to speak for me, my wife or my family, and to play politics with such a tragic situation?
Don’t you think it is time for you and other members of Congress to promote family values by protecting the rights of American families instead of trampling on them? Would you not agree, Ms. Musgrave, that enough is enough?
I await your response.