When Susan G. Komen for the Cure cut funding for Planned Parenthood
, critics said
the nonprofit had been hijacked by extreme right-wing political interests.
Komen took a public lashing for its decision and later apologized and reinstated the funds to Planned Parenthood
. The breast cancer organization’s new vice president, Karen Handel, a right-wing conservative who allegedly instigated the controversial move, resigned as a result
Now, Komen is assessing the damage, and it’s using a consulting firm founded by two former Democratic strategists. Penn Schoen Berland (PSB), the firm Komen hired to help determine how badly the crisis hurt its reputation, is founded by former Democratic strategists Mark Penn and Doug Schoen.
If you want to know whether people think you’re views are too right wing, guess it’s best a Democrat asks the questions.
PSB circulated a 20-minute survey to Komen supporters. According to The Huffington Post
“The survey runs statements by the respondent and asks him or her to rate their believability. One statement, for example, says, ‘Susan G. Komen is an organization of right-wing conservatives with an anti-choice agenda. They decided to stop funding Planned Parenthood, which has become a punching bag of anti-choice Republicans, even though Planned Parenthood helps to provide life-saving cancer screenings for young and low-income women who do not have regular medical care.’
‘Perhaps most interestingly, one section of the Komen survey asks participants whether they feel that the organization still owes them an apology, and then lists a series of potential apologies to test whether or not they are effective. The options range from deeply apologetic to defensive and deflective of blame. ‘We made mistakes, but political elements on the right and left have sought to use our missteps to advance their own political agenda,’ one potential apology reads.”
You can see screenshots from the survey here
Penn is also the worldwide CEO of PR giant Burson-Marsteller and has played an active role for Democratic candidates and allies. He worked in the Clinton White House, helped reelect Tony Blair as U.K. prime minister in 2005, and served as chief campaign strategist for the Hillary Clinton presidential campaign in 2008, a post from which he later stepped down.