SCHIAVO WANTS TO GET INVOLVED IN POLITICS - HE SHOULD BE GEOFFRY FEIGER'S CAMPAIGN MANAGER!
Michael Schiavo endorses Kaine
By BOB LEWIS
AP Political Writer
RICHMOND, Va. (AP) -- Michael Schiavo, who was at the center of a passionate national end-of-life debate when his brain-damaged wife, Terri, died in March, endorsed Democrat Tim Kaine for governor Wednesday.
"I have seen firsthand what can happen when a governor disagrees with a single citizen. In Florida, Gov. Jeb Bush abused the power of his office in an attempt to replace my personal family decisions with his own opinions and political grandstanding," Schiavo wrote a six-paragraph statement distributed by a Democratic political consulting firm in Miami.
Conservatives vilified Schiavo for ordering the removal of the feeding tube that had sustained his wife for 15 years. In the resulting legal and ideological conflict, Congress, Jeb Bush and his brother, President Bush, all sought to have the tube reinserted.
Schiavo based his endorsement on responses from Kaine and Republican Jerry Kilgore during their Oct. 9 televised debate when asked if governors should intervene in disputes within families over discontinuing life support for a loved one.
￼￼￼Kilgore said he is "not going to agree to the forced starvation of any individual if that individual hasn't had a say." He said he would urge people who don't wish to be kept alive artificially to write their instructions in medical directives.
Kaine's response: "I don't think governors should use their PR grandstanding to intervene in these cases." He said such disputes should be settled within the privacy and dignity of juvenile and family courts.
Schiavo, who lives in Florida, wrote that Kilgore "is wrong to follow the example of a governor who did not respect me, my family or the rule of law, and I fear what may happen to unsuspecting Virginians when Mr. Kilgore disagrees with their deeply private family decisions."
Kaine campaign spokesman Mo Elleithee was unaware of Schiavo's letter. "Tim Kaine has never met or talked with Michael Schiavo, but Tim's position on this issue is very clear," he said.
Kilgore's campaign declined to comment.
Derek Newton, manager of the November Group consulting firm that released the statement, said Schiavo was not available for comment Wednesday.
"Michael issued the statement because he is interested in getting more involved in the political process," Newton said.