A Cedar Rapids, Iowa, funeral home director is running for Congress in Iowa’s 2nd District.
Peter Teahen, 54, is facing off against two other Republican hopefuls to unseat U.S. Representatuve Dave Loebsack, a liberal Democrat from Mount Vernon. The GOP primary is June 3rd.
Teahen is recognized for his work in the Cedar Rapids community, as well as a volunteer with the American Red Cross. Sporting an eight page resume filled with involvement in humanitarian and disaster relief efforts, Teahen has appeared on national and international television as a spokesman for the Red Cross.
While his list of accomplishments and experiences look impressive on paper, how well do voters really know Peter Teahen?
Not on Peter's resume is the fact that he was a registered Democrat until December of 2007 when he decided to run for Congress. In 2002 he supported liberal Democrat Julie Thomas, in her bid to unseat Republican Jim Leach. According to OpenSecrets.org donor records, Teahen contributed $250 to her campaign. Teahen also supported Democrat Mike Blouin in his 2006 primary run for Governor.
One of Teahen's campaign ads currently running on television makes the claim that he is a conservative Republican. But many area Republicans are finding it difficult to see how Teahen developed core conservative values when considering Teahen's support for the pro-abortion Julie Thomas and the pro-union Blouin. Coupled with Teahen's recent registration switch to the Republican party in December 2007, it's understandable then why Teahen's conservative credentials are questioned by area Republican voters.
In a review of the Congressional hopeful's professional profile, some of his claims are something else voters might find to be suspect. Resume embellishment, while perhaps more common in the business world than not, is something that some folks resort to in attempting to land a job. But we're not talking about the business world in this case. Teahen is applying for the job of representing Iowans and the core values of duty, honor, and family. Voters will have to determine if Mr. Teahen is all he says he is in stump speeches and has done all that he has put to paper.
One example open to scrutiny is on his resume under the heading of Education. Mr. Teahen lists Liberty University, Lychburg, VA. M.A., Human Services Management. Postgraduate studies. According to Transcript Verification Officer Deborah Stone at Liberty, "Peter Teahen has not received his MA degree and has not met his requirements for graduation at this time. He is not currently enrolled." Despite not having earned his MA degree, Teahen lists it as a credential as a member of an academic board at the University of Iowa.
In another example, Teahen listed himself as the Deputy Medical Examiner in the Oklahoma City bombing, April, 1995. http://peterteahenforcongress.com/personal.pdf
Not so according to Oklahoma authority. There is no record of Peter Teahen being employed by the Medical Examiners office during that time frame. Further, medical examiners in Oklahoma are by law required to be a physician licensed to practice medicine in that state. In conducting a records research, Peter Teahen is not a licensed physician in Oklahoma. Members of the medical examiners agency have indicated that Peter Teahen was in the Oklahoma City area at the time of the incident, but did not have any role in any capacity with the agency.
In yet another example, Teahen claims to have looked into a machine gun and being physically close to Janjaweed bandits (the bad guys) in Darfur. From the Teahen campaign website: '"When this campaign gets heated this fall, staring into the eyes of a liberal PAC-funded professor-congressman will be a breeze compared to the time I stared into that 50-caliber machine gun in Darfur," he said.'
Is such supposed heroism nothing more than a Hillary Clinton sniper fire in Bosnia moment? One would think that if Mr. Teahen had indeed come face-to-face with Janjaweed bandits and found himself staring down the barrel of a 50 caliber machine gun, that someone on his team could corroborate his story. No one has. Surely nobody else on his team could keep such a story quiet for 12 months right? Surely such a story would have been featured somewhere before now.
Make no mistake, Peter Teahen's business experience is a plus and he's done some great things in his work with the Red Cross. But do we need our representative in Congress to have a questionable past? One has to wonder what the Democrat opposition will do with such cannon fodder.
It looks like the Democrats have already started their attack. Peter Teahen has been charged by Democrats to be in violation of advertising/election law, for massaging a Teahen Funeral Home ad, into a political campaign piece: HEADLINE: Republican accused of election violation
Is this the kind of 'leader' Republicans want on the ballot in November?