State Rep. Eric Roberts responds to “That Mailer.”
The women it affected have some thoughts, too!
10:52 AM EDT on November 3, 2022
A couple of days ago, we told you about TLO finally earning respect and credibility after one of our exclusive stories was used in a negative campaign mailer against State Rep. Eric Roberts.
When the girlfriend’s friend gave Roberts the receipt for reimbursement, he paid her back and left the receipt on the floor in his bedroom. His girlfriend then discovered the receipt and… well… if Jerry Springer was around back then, it would have made a fun episode.
Anyway, flash forward 30-something years and Roberts – a man who happily paid for someone to get an abortion when it affected him – is now an Oklahoma lawmaker voting to restrict abortion rights for people who face similar predicaments.
I guess this revelation of hypocrisy surprised uninformed voters who didn’t know about his past, so he left a Facebook post responding to “That Mailer.” Check it out:
About That Mailer
From Rep. Roberts & Leigh Roberts:
When faced with challenges, many young people can easily make the wrong choices and, if not mentored, can spiral into more serious circumstances. Almost 35 years ago, Eric experienced his own challenge, which in turn softened his heart, increased his care for others, and resulted in years of dedication and commitment to mentor today’s youth. We believe a person’s challenges are only chapters in a life story, not conclusions.
We married 29 years ago and have been inseparable, faithful partners in life and marriage. There have been no mistresses or infidelities.
After a struggle with infertility, the joy of our son’s adoption and our daughter’s birth, we dedicated our lives to helping and serving others. Eric served as a community youth sports coach (he’s still called Coach to this day in our community!) and Leigh served with an adoption ministry and with helping women re-integrate into society after serving prison terms. We both have served as mentors for almost 10 years for Ozarks Teen Challenge. Leigh helps parents navigate the difficulty of addiction and recovery, while we both help troubled youth restore dignity by providing positive mentorship. This mentorship leads to success as they become equipped to handle challenges they face with courage and determination.
Our community is strong and resilient as we have worked together to make a positive impact. We know that working together through COVID and economic challenges and with uncertainties ahead, there is nothing we cannot accomplish together.
With your help and Vote Nov 8, we will continue to work every day for our community - as we continue serving, growing, and thriving - together.
Find out more about Eric & Leigh Roberts work together for our community:
Watch the video here: https://www.robertsforhouse.com/...
Yeah, do you like how he addressed “That Mailer” without really addressing “That Mailer?” He’s definitely getting the whole political game figured out.
When I first saw the mailer, I forwarded it over to the two women who went on record for the story – Robert’s then-girlfriend Sara, and the woman he impregnated – Shannon. The two made up long ago, are still friends, and are both equally stunned by Roberts's blatant hypocrisy.
I asked them what they thought about Roberts's response, and Sara sent this statement:
They completely glossed over the incident; it was barely mentioned. In fact, it was mentioned under the same breath as providing positive mentorship to “today’s youth” as parents. There was almost no mention of the incident at all.
Eric was 25 years old when this happened. He was older than Shannon and me by, at least, three years. A young adult, sure, but not a minor or a teenager. Secondly, I was thinking about his parents as I read this – does this mean that this reflects poorly on how they raised him? Of course, it doesn’t. I knew his parents, during the six years that we dated, very well. And I can promise you that they were loving parents, but they were also stern. Eric wasn’t coddled, and he learned responsibility, early, by getting his first job when he was 15 years old. I don’t know who wrote this, but it stood out to me as a poor analogy.
So, let’s break that link that great parenting and mentorship will prevent unwanted pregnancies. That doesn’t happen, and it certainly doesn’t make sense. Their response reads, to me, that they’re deflecting, re-directing, and whitewashing his history. I hope that the good people of Oklahoma will also see through this, and make their voices known that Eric has no right to dictate women’s reproductive health care when he was easily given this choice. If he were 25 years old, today, and in the same situation, I wonder what options would be afforded to him? Would he have to go out of state? Would his parents be involved? Shannon, I can only imagine how you would feel in today’s world.
Another note is that they comment that their marriage has had no infidelities or mistresses. That’s a clever way of taking direct information from the mailer, since it didn’t mention that this happened while we were at SMU, and make it seemed as if someone is just out to “trash” them.
The bottom line is this: while it’s true that people can change, be “born again”, and do many wonderful things for their community, they do not have the right to promote anti-abortion and pro-life platforms when they haven’t come clean to their supporters about their own mistakes. As they stated, “challenges aren’t conclusion”, which is so true, and again, I applaud their work with children and teenagers, but that doesn’t give him permission to dictate to other women on what to do with their situations (ie, rape, incest, personal reasons, and a life-threatening emergency) and their bodies just because he's changed man and has a "softened heart."
As I’ve always maintained, from two years ago, the key issue is the hypocrisy. And how they handled their response to the mailer wasn’t the best option, to be frank. There are only two choices, here: he needs to either fully admit what happened or get out of the race, entirely. My firm belief has always been that the public will forgive him and respect him more for coming out and telling the truth (people love redemption stories). He would be viewed as a much more trustworthy politician and servant of the city and of his community.
The truth always wins in the end.