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Schiavo Rejects Both Pa. Senate Candidates

Michael Schiavo, 8/31/2004
AP
Both Republican U.S. Sen. Rick Santorum and Democratic challenger Bob Casey Jr. drew fire from right-to-die advocate Michael Schiavo.

Schiavo was in Philadelphia on Monday to support two Democratic congressional candidates who have said they would have voted against legislation Congress passed in March 2005 to let the federal courts review the case of his wife, Terri Schiavo, after Florida state courts ruled that her feeding tube could be removed.

Terri Schiavo, formerly a resident of Montgomery County, died March 31, 2005, 15 years after falling into a semi-vegetative state.

Michael Schiavo noted that Santorum and Casey both supported the legislation. He criticized Democratic ads, including a state party mailer that called Santorum "the only U.S. senator who flew to Florida and interfered with Terri Schiavo's private family tragedy."

"What gives Casey the right to use my wife's case against Santorum when he would have voted the same way," Schiavo said. "That's a bad race. The choice is between bad and worse."

Santorum has said he went to the hospice, where he visited Terri Schiavo's parents, Bob and Mary Schindler, and held a news conference, only because he was already in the area for a political fundraiser.

Schiavo said he "came down to the hospice in his limousine" to attract attention.

In the congressional races, Schiavo gave a $1,000 check from his political action committee, TerriPAC, to Democrat Joe Sestak, who is challenging Republican U.S. Rep. Curt Weldon. The PAC has also contributed $1,000 to Democrat Patrick Murphy for his campaign against Republican U.S. Rep. Mike Fitzpatrick. Weldon and Fitzpatrick voted to allow the federal court review.

Schiavo has traveled to five states to publicly support candidates who agree with him that "government should stay out of patients' business, such as mine."