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October Surprise: Planned Parenthood Dumps $253,069 Into WA Elections

Public Disclosure Commission records show that at least twelve different Planned Parenthood-affiliated entities directly influenced Washington elections in October.

Three of these entities, Planned Parenthood Votes Northwest, Planned Parenthood Votes! Washington, and Planned Parenthood Votes Northwest Washington PAC, made a total of 170 separate independent expenditures totaling $243,769.26.

This total does not include an additional $9,000 in direct cash contributions that these entities gave to campaigns.

State law allows certain types entities to spend money to influence campaigns through independent expenditures, however, Planned Parenthood, an organization that routinely receives $500 million or more every year from government sources, is already under scrutiny for giving $75,000 to the Planned Parenthood Votes Washington PAC in September.

Previous PDC records showed that “Planned Parenthood” in New York City made the contribution.  Senator Mike Padden sent a 45-day letter to Attorney General Bob Ferguson formally asking the AG’s office to investigate if this contribution was made using taxpayer funds, a violation of federal law.

The Attorney General himself has received $2,717.05 in support from Planned Parenthood.

Other races Planned Parenthood spent money to influence in October include:

  • $56,467.21 to promote Democrat Marisa Peloquin over Republican Steve O’Ban in District 28
  • $43,332.08 to promote Democrat Lisa Wellman over Republican Steve Litzow in Senate District 41
  • $20,083.28 to promote Democrats Mike Pellicciotti and Kristine Reeves over Republicans Teri Hickel and Linda Kochmar in House District 30
  • $19,721.40 to promote Democrat Tim Probst over Lynda Wilson in Senate District 17
  • $7,401.15 to influence the State Supreme Court elections
  • $5,574.26 to influence the Superintendent of Public Instruction Race
  • $4,293.94 to influence the Insurance Commissioner’s Race
  • $2,694.78 to influence the State Auditor’s Race
  • $2,467.05 to influence the Secretary of State’s Race
  • $1,738.02 to influence the Minimum Wage Initiative and Gun Access Reform Initiative

You can see the full list of contributions here.

All contributions were made on behalf of Democrats, with the exdeption of Republican Michael Waite who is one of two Republican candidates running for State Treasurer.

Planned Parenthood is spending vigorously to protect their power and influence in Olympia.  They’re continuing their federal lawsuit against FPIW as well, hoping to keep public records from being released about the group’s activities in Washington.

If you’d like to help counter the influence of Planned Parenthood in our state, and would like to invest in pro-life, pro-family causes, please consider financially supporting our work.

List of Planned Parenthood’s October Political Donations Released

The Public Disclosure Commission has released the list of campaigns Planned Parenthood contributed to in October.  In addition to the contributions made in the months prior, the following contributions were made by Planned Parenthood in October:

$1,000 to Irene Bowling (House, Dist. 35)

$1,000 to Lisa Wellman (Senate, Dist. 41)

$1,000 to Mari Leavitt (House, Dist. 28)

$1,000 to Kristine Reeves (House, Dist. 30)

$1,000 to Marisa Peloquin (Senate, Dist. 28)

$1,000 to Mark Mullet (Senate, Dist. 5)

$1,000 to Teresa Purcell (House, Dist. 19)

$800 to Christine Kilduff (House, Dist. 28)

$500 to Governor Jay Inslee

$500 to Pat McCarthy (State Auditor)

$250 to Angie Homola (Senate, Dist. 10)

$250 to Lynnette Vehrs (House, Dist. 6)

 

You can also view the full list of Washington State candidates Planned Parenthood has endorsed here.

How Planned Parenthood Influences Elections in Washington State

Planned Parenthood is one of the largest corporate funders of liberal candidates and causes. The pro-abortion organization gave $6.6 million to political campaigns nationally during the 2014 election cycle alone – and they are spending lots of money in Washington State to influence the upcoming November elections.

According to reports from the Washington Public Disclosure Commission, Planned Parenthood and its lobbying arm, Planned Parenthood Votes, have given tens of thousands of dollars to state races so far during the 2016 election cycle – a number that will undoubtedly increase as we get closer to Election Day in November.

Planned Parenthood’s political contributions are highly partisan. Every candidate whose campaign it has contributed to is Democrat.

Governor Jay Inslee and Attorney General Bob Ferguson have both received campaign contributions from Planned Parenthood during this election cycle.

These contributions followed a state review, conducted by the Office of the Attorney General, into Planned Parenthood’s medical and business practices in Washington State. The review was conducted after undercover videos released by the Center for Medical Progress reportedly showed Planned Parenthood officials talking about how some clinics illegally performed partial birth abortions to increase the value of fetal body parts, which were then sold to medical researchers for profit.

The Attorney General later determined that Planned Parenthood had followed all applicable laws when performing abortions and donating fetal tissue. Both Governor Inslee and Attorney General Bob Ferguson vehemently defended Planned Parenthood, chastising the Washington State legislators that asked for the investigation.

Critics have raised questions about whether Attorney General Ferguson exercised due diligence in his review of Planned Parenthood after an email exchange, which appears to show the Deputy Attorney General refusing an opportunity to examine documents that could have incriminated Planned Parenthood. FPIW launched an effort to view these documents through a public records request, but was sued by Planned Parenthood and others in the abortion industry who want to make sure those public documents are sealed permanently and not released to the public.

Moreover, Inslee and Ferguson supported a Skagit County Superior Court ruling that requires public hospitals that provide maternity services for patients to also perform abortions, weakening conscience protections for doctors and hospitals. The ruling was celebrated by abortion rights activists.

Planned Parenthood used candidate surveys, which it distributed to candidates earlier this summer, to determine which legislative candidates shared the organization’s political agenda before giving endorsements and campaign contributions.

In its candidate survey, Planned Parenthood attacked the forty percent of Washington’s hospitals managed by Catholic health systems, claiming that these religiously-affiliated health providers “undermine patients’ rights” and “interfere with their ability to obtain a full range of health services.” This view likely shared by the legislative candidates that have received campaign contributions from Planned Parenthood.

In addition to funding political campaigns, Planned Parenthood used its financial resources to help sway the state initiative process. It donated a large sum to Raise Up Washington, the campaign responsible for Initiative 1433. If approved by voters in November, I-1433 will raise the state minimum wage to $13.50 per hour, which economists warn will result in higher consumer prices for goods, as well as the loss of thousands of entry-level jobs.

Planned Parenthood Votes Northwest also donated thousands of dollars to Washington Won’t Discriminate, the group that misled Washingtonians about Initiative 1515. Had I-1515 been approved by voters, it would have ensured privacy for women and girls in public showers, changing facilities, and bathrooms, but it failed to gather enough signatures before the July deadline to qualify for the November ballot.

Here are the other Washington candidates and legislators who have received contributions from Planned Parenthood during the 2016 election cycle:

Mark Mullet – $1,000 Incumbent State Senator (5th Legislative District – Democrat):

Teresa Purcell – $750 Candidate for State House of Representatives (19th Legislative District – Democrat)

Kevin Van De Wege – $1,000 Candidate for State Senate (24th Legislative District – Democrat)

Marisa Peloquin – $1,000 Candidate for State Senate (28th Legislative District – Democrat)

Christine Kilduff – $1,200 Incumbent State Representative (28th Legislative District – Democrat)

Mari Leavitt – $1,000 Candidate for State House (28th Legislative District – Democrat)

Irene Bowling – $750 Candidate for State House (35th Legislative District – Democrat)

Kristine Reeves – $500 Candidate for State House (30th Legislative District – Democrat)

Michael Pellicciotti – $500 Candidate for State House (30th Legislative District – Democrat)

Steve Hobbs – $200 Incumbent State Senator (44th Legislative District – Democrat)

Annette Cleveland – $500 Incumbent State Senator (49th Legislative District – Democrat)

Additional donations for state legislative races are expected to be disclosed on Planned Parenthood Votes Washington PAC’s C-4 form, to be filed with the Public Disclosure Commission before October 18th.

In addition to campaign contributions, Planned Parenthood Votes Northwest has also released a list of endorsements for candidates in Washington’s upcoming election.  Predictably, they’re all Democrats.

You can find the list here.

If you’d like to see which special interest groups are supporting the candidates in your district, use the Washington Public Disclosure Commission’s portal to take a look.

New Video: Did Planned Parenthood Just Break the Law…Again?

FPIW has released a new video following the discovery of a document that appears to show Planned Parenthood’s New York-based 501(c)(3) non-profit giving $75,000 to the Planned Parenthood Votes Washington PAC, in direct violation of federal law.

Planned Parenthood’s 501(c)(3) non-profit receives an average of $500 million per year from government sources. The fact that these taxpayer dollars are now being used to directly influence elections here in Washington is highly concerning.

The Planned Parenthood Votes Washington PAC that received the donation from Planned Parenthood’s non-profit has, so far in 2016, donated to the campaigns of Governor Jay Inslee, Attorney General Bob Ferguson, a candidate for State Auditor, and ten other legislative candidates.

Watch the video:

Regardless of your feelings towards Planned Parenthood, it isn’t hard to conclude that when the officials who are supposed to be enforcing the law are being funded by those who break the law, it’s a definite conflict of interest.

Planned Parenthood is already suing FPIW to keep the records we’ve requested from being made public. You can learn more about that lawsuit and support the legal fund here.

Washington Primary Results Analysis: What Does it Mean?

 

Tuesday night’s primary election in Washington pushed a number of candidates through to the general election in November, where a number of district- and state-level seats are set to be filled. The balance of power in the Washington legislature is almost certainly in play as well.

These numbers will change as more votes are counted from late-mailing voters. In 2012, the Republicans gained some ground after the counting of late-mailed ballots; however, at present, the ballots counted are certainly a majority. We’ll keep you updated as the updates become available.

Here are some of the races to pay attention to as the election draws nearer.

Balance of Power in the State Senate

Several state senate races may well determine if the Republicans are able to maintain control in that chamber.

In the 5th District, incumbent Democrat Mark Mullet clings to a very narrow, 45-vote lead over challenger Chad Magendanz. Both will, of course, advance to the general election. While in the House, Magendanz voted against for the abortion insurance mandate and for the legalization of gay marriage, but also claims to support parental notification for abortion. Current Score: Mullet (D) 50.15%, Magendanz (R) 49.85%.

In the 10th District, incumbent Republican Senator Barbara Bailey gathered 51.4% of her district’s primary vote; however, both of her challengers were Democrats, who split the remaining 48.6% of the vote. If failed challenger Nick Petrish’s supporters consolidate behind Democrat Angie Homola, this could shape up to be a tight race in a district that has elected both Democrats and Republicans in recent years. Current Score: Bailey (R) 51.4%, Democrats 48.6%.

In the 17th District, Senator Don Benton is retiring, leaving the seat up for grabs in a narrowly contested race. Former Democrat Rep. Tim Probst holds a few hundred-vote lead over current-Rep. Lynda Wilson, who has vacated her seat in an attempt to keep the 17th in Republican hands. Current Score: Probst (D) 50.67%, Wilson (R) 49.33%.

In the 41st District, incumbent Republican Senator Steve Litzow holds just a 169-vote lead over Democrat challenger Lisa Wellman. Third-party Libertarian challenger Bryan Simonson picked up 590 votes in the race. If the numbers hold at present, Litzow will hold the seat. Litzow was one of the three Republican Senators that defected from the ranks to strike down Senator Doug Erickson’s attempt at reversing the Washington Human Rights Commission’s open-bathrooms rule. Current Score: Litzow (R) 48.72%, Wellman (D) 47.69%; 3.59% of votes cast have gone to Libertarian Bryan Simonson.

At present, Republicans hold a 26-23 lead in the Senate, including Senator Tim Sheldon from the 35th District (Shelton), a long-time Democrat who caucuses with the Republicans. If current results of the primary held through the general election, the Republicans would lose one seat, but retain leadership of the Senate 25-24. If Litzow loses control of the election in the 41st District, however, and Magendanz can’t overtake Mullet in the General, the Democrats would reclaim the senate majority by the same margin. However, if Litzow can hold his seat, Wilson holds the seat vacated by Don Benton in the 17th, and Magendanz could pick up Mark Mullet’s seat in the 5th, the Republicans would gain a seat.

In summary, the balance of power in the Senate is up for grabs.

 

Balance of Power in the State House

The primary elections in the Washington State House appear not to have an impact on the overall balance of power. Democrats, who hold a 50-48 majority, would retain the majority if the primary results carried over to the general election in November. After Tuesday night, Republicans are at risk of losing as many as six seats, while Democrats appear only to be at risk of losing one. Here are the races to watch:

District 5, Seat 2: The race is on to fill the seat vacated by Chad Magandanz, who is running for Senate in the District. Republican Paul Graves brought in 47.17% of the vote in the primary, however, his two Democrat challengers, Darcy Burner and Matt Larson, brought in a combined 52.83% of the vote. Graves will have his hands full keeping the seat in Republican hands.

District 6, Seat 1: In the race to replace a vacant seat left by Kevin Parker, Democrat Lynnette Vehrs pulled in the highest number of votes during the primary; however, three of four of Verhs’ challengers are Republican, meaning that Mike Volz will be the candidate to run to keep the seat in Republican hands. Current ballot counts show Democrat and Republican turnout to be almost a dead heat. Current Score: Vehrs 44.29%, Republicans 51.58%.

District 17, Seat 1: This seat, vacated by Rep. Lynda Wilson when she decided to run for the district’s Senate seat, will be a close race between Republican Vicki Craft and Democrat Sam Kim. In a crowded field, Republican candidates received 47.04% of the votes, while four Democrats split the remaining 52.96%.

District 26, Seat 1: Gig Harbor Rep. Jesse Young faces a tough re-election, capturing the primary lead by just 141 votes over Democrat challenger Larry Seaquist. In the field of four candidates, Republicans received 49.41% of the vote while Democrats received slightly more at 50.59%.

District 28, Seat 2: Incumbent Democrat Christine Kilduff captured a majority of her district’s vote Tuesday night, barely crossing the 50% threshold. However, her remaining opponents, all Republican and Libertarian, captured the remaining votes, separating the Democrats from the Republicans by only 264 votes.

District 30, Seat 1: Incumbent Republican Rep. Linda Kochmar trails Democrat challenger Mike Pellicciotti by 419 votes, nearly a four-point margin; currently 52-48%.

District 30, Seat 2: Incumbent Republican Rep. Teri Hickel currently trails Democrat challenger Kristine Reeves by just 55 votes. (50.23-49.77%) While late arriving ballots could change the final outcome of the primary, it appears this will be a very close race in November.

Statewide Office

Governor: Incumbent Governor Jay Inslee captured less than half of the votes cast in Tuesday’s primary. Republican challenger Bill Bryant came in second place, ahead of all other candidates by a wide margin. The race will likely come down to voter turnout; Republicans captured 43.5% of all votes cast while the Democrats and other minor parties captured the rest.

Lieutenant Governor: In a bit of a surprise race, the top two candidates to emerge from this race are Republican Marty McClendon and Democrat Senator Cyrus Habib. McClendon bested Habib by a full percentage point in a race that featured eleven candidates.

Supreme Court, Position 5: Chief Justice Barbara Madsen enjoyed a healthy showing in the Primary, besting opponent Greg Zempel by a wide margin. Both will head to the general election. Current results from the primary: Madsen 64.16%, Zempel 29.28%.

Judge That Ruled Against Stutzman to Face Electoral Challenge from Stutzman Lawyer

 

An attorney who formerly represented Barronelle Stutzman and Arlene’s Flowers has announced that she’s running for Superior Court Judge in Position 3, a seat currently held by Judge Alexander Ekstrom.

In 2013, Washington State Attorney General Bob Ferguson sued Stutzman for alleged discrimination when she declined to prepare flowers for a longtime customer’s gay wedding.  The suit was filed with the Washington Superior Court in District Benton and Franklin counties.

The judge presiding over this case was none other than Judge Alexander Ekstrom, who ruled against Stutzman and in favor of the the Government on summary judgement. Stutzman has appealed and the Washington State Supreme Court has agreed to take up the case.  Stutzman was sued her her personal and professional capacity and faces significant financial penalties shoudl she lose.

Attorney Alicia Berry, a principal partner at the Liebler, Connor, Berry & St. Hilaire Legal Firm, says people have lost trust in the judicial system.  “This loss of trust in a fundamental government system designed to protect the people from oppressive government oversight and regulation needs to be addressed,” she says on her campaign website.

Her opponent, incumbent judge Alexander Ekstrom, was appointed to the seat in 2014 by Governor Jay Inslee. “Religious motivation does not excuse compliance with the law,” he said, in his 60-page opinion ruling against Stutzman.

Washington Gov. Jay Inslee Vetoes Bills, Calls Special Session

 

Washington Governor Jay Inslee has called a special session in an attempt to encourage the legislature to pass a budget.

The announcement was made immediately following the close of regular session on Thursday night in Olympia.  Earlier in the week, Governor Inslee had said he would veto the bills on his desk if a budget agreement wasn’t reached by the end of session, a tactic that some likened to a “temper tantrum” to achieve passage of his version of the budget.

When it came time to fulfill his promise to veto the bills, Governor Inslee did — well, kind of.  Ten of the 37 bills on his desk were signed into law on Thursday night.  The remaining 27 bills — all bills which had attained bi-partisan support, an accomplishment in itself — were effectively killed with the Governor’s veto.

The list of bills vetoed by the Governor included bills pertaining to services for students with special needs, personal property rights, and several bills pertaining to healthcare and pharmacies.

While some, like Governor Inslee, believe this budget negotiation period should only last a short time, others are less convinced.  Depending on how hard public unions dig their heels in, and how willing or unwilling the legislature is to compromise, it may take a much longer time to pass a budget.

It’s important to note that no legislators can begin raising funds for reelection campaigns until the special session ends. Lawmakers are expected to reconvene to resume budget talks as early as this weekend.

For more updates, follow @FPIW on Twitter and Facebook.

BREAKING: Pierce and Kitsap YMCA President and CEO Bob Ecklund Retires


YMCA of Pierce and Kitsap Counties President and CEO Bob Ecklund is retiring.  You can read the YMCA’s press release at this link.
The YMCA of Pierce and Kitsap Counties was thrust into the spotlight early on in the open-locker rooms debate in Washington State.  After quietly adopting a new policy that opened YMCA locker rooms and showers to individuals based on their gender identity, without notice to members, they were forced to rescind their policy after public outrage and a decline in memberships. They reinstated much of the policy a short time later, even earning the praise of Washington Governor Jay Inslee.

In response to the Human Rights Commission’s bathroom rule, the Just Want Privacy Campaign has been launched by Washington citizens as a way to roll back this overstep.  You can read more about how to volunteer or donate to the campaign here.

Gov. Inslee Won’t Answer Question About Bathroom Rule; Bryant Opposes

 

On December 26th, a new rule went into effect that has generated a significant public response.   The rule, which was passed by the Washington State Human Rights Commission, mandates that all schools and businesses in Washington State maintain open bathroom/locker room policies which will allow people to choose the facility they want to use based on their gender identity or gender expression.

It makes it illegal for any school or business to ask someone to use a bathroom that corresponds to their biological gender or to provide them a separate gender neutral option.

Members of the Human Rights Commission are appointed by Governor Inslee.

InsleeYesterday, FPIW communications director Zach Freeman had a chance to talk with Gov. Jay Inslee as well as his Republican challenger Bill Bryant to ask them their thoughts on the new rule.

Gov. Inslee appeared uncomfortable and resorted to asking Mr. Freeman a series of questions in an apparent attempt to avoid answering any questions himself:

Gov. Inslee: Are you a journalist?

Mr. Freeman: I’m trying to be.

Gov. Inslee: Who do you work with?

Mr. Freeman: The Family Policy Institute of Washington

Gov. Inslee: Who is that?

Mr. Freeman: It’s Joseph Backholm’s group…

Gov. Inslee: It’s a what group?

Mr. Freeman: It’s a group that does family policy

Gov. Inslee: Well what kind of family policy

Mr. Freeman: We do issues of marriage, life, religious freedom…the things that nobody really likes to talk about.

Gov. Inslee: Really? What kind of things are they working on?

Mr. Freeman: Well, at the moment I’m actually asking about the bathroom rule that was proposed by the Human Rights Commission…

Gov. Inslee then cut off the question by again asking Mr. Freeman if he was a journalist and who he was working for.

He concluded the exchange by telling Mr. Freeman that if he became a part of the Associated Press “then I’m really happy to answer your question.”

You can hear the full audio of the brief but awkward exchange below:

After the interview, FPIW reached out to Governor Inslee’s press office for a statement on the issue but they have not responded.

BryantBill Bryant, the only current challenger to Gov. Inslee in the 2016 gubernatorial election, was also in Olympia yesterday. He was more willing to discuss the issue. “Everybody deserves to be in an environment where they feel safe.” Bryant said.  “That includes someone who is transitioning between genders, but it also includes a high school girl who wants to go into a locker room.  I think the Human Rights Commission picked the rights of one group over the rights of others.”

Bryant suggested that it would be appropriate for the Governor to set the rule aside for 24 or 48 months so that the legislature can address it.  You can hear Mr. Bryant’s statement below:

If you are a member of the Associated Press, you can contact the Governor’s office at 360-902-4111 where he would apparently be happy to answer your questions about this issue.  Please do ask, because the rest of us would like to know.

Everyone else can use that number to share their thoughts about this issue with the Governor.  If you do, please be respectful. He needs to hear from you, but not if you’re angry.  That only hurts the cause.   Besides, the person answering the phone is not the Governor.  It’s just someone doing their job who probably hasn’t ever done anything mean to you.  But if you’re kind to them, they’ll be happy to relay the message.

You can also email the Governor by clicking here.