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.

Padden Formally Requests AG Investigation of Planned Parenthood PAC Contribution

Following last month’s revelation that Planned Parenthood’s 501(c)(3) organization in New York may have illegally contributed $75,000 to influence elections in Washington State, Senator Mike Padden – also the Chairman of the Senate Law and Justice Committee – has formally requested an investigation into the contribution.

Washington public disclosure rules require that campaigns and committees report the name of the individual or group making the donation, the address, and the amount of the contribution exactly as printed on the check or transfer documents. The donation in question was initially reported to the PDC as being made by “Planned Parenthood” in New York City – a 501(c)(3) organization not legally allowed to contribute to political action committees – before twice amending the report to indicate that the money came from a legal source. What we don’t yet know is which report is accurate.

Padden’s letter also raises the question of whether or not any of the Planned Parenthood groups have filed a C-5 form, required by state law to be submitted when an out-of-state political committee makes political contributions inside Washington State.

A copy of Padden’s 45-day letter to the Attorney General can be seen here.

Shortly after FPIW reported concerns regarding the potentially illegal contribution last month, Planned Parenthood Votes Washington PAC twice amended filings with the PDC.

The first amended filing erroneously revised the contributor to “Planned Parenthood Votes,” an organization that could be authorized to make this contribution, but is not located at the address originally on record for the donation.

The second amended filing revises the contributor to “Planned Parenthood Action Fund,” an entity of Planned Parenthood that could be authorized to make contributions to campaigns, and also has an office located at the address first recorded.

The question remains: which report is accurate? Did the donation actually come from a legal source? Or are they simply amending reports to make it look like it did?

The reliability of the reports is also called into question, in part, because of who is involved. Lora Haggard, the Treasurer of the Planned Parenthood Votes Washington PAC, previously worked as the Chief Financial Officer of John Edwards’ failed 2008 presidential campaign. As the Campaign’s CFO, it is thought that Lora Haggard was heavily involved in concealing $1 million in hush money that were paid to Edwards’ mistress and daughter. She testified multiple times to convince judges and juries that the funds donated towards keeping the affair quiet were personal, not campaign contributions, despite them taking place during Edwards’ presidential campaign.

Lora Haggard also previously served on the board of three political advocacy organizations: Foundation for Patients’ Rights, Citizens for Strength and Security, and Citizens for Strength and Security Action Fund. These three organizations were involved in “highly unusual” activities regarding their tax status, disclosure policies, and adherence to federal tax laws, according to the Center for Responsive Politics.

While Haggard’s involvement doesn’t prove this contribution is illegal, it does raise questions. If Planned Parenthood were looking for someone to conceal activities, contributions, or expenditures, Haggard’s previous experience would qualify her for the job.

We’ll keep you updated here at FPIW.org.

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.

AMA Reconsidering Position on Euthanasia and Suicide

The American Medical Association (AMA) is considering whether it will drop its stridently held position against physician-assisted suicide.

In June, the AMA asked its Council on Ethical and Judicial Affairs to reexamine the association’s disapproval of the practice.

The AMA has long opposed physician-assisted suicide and euthanasia, believing these practices to be “fundamentally inconsistent with the physician’s role as healer.” It most recently reaffirmed its opposition to physician-assisted suicide in the newest edition of its Code of Medical Ethics, which was adopted earlier this summer.

Other medical associations – including the California Medical Association, the Oregon Medical Association, and the American Medical Students Association – take a neutral stance on the issue of physician-assisted suicide.

A majority (54%) of American doctors support physician-assisted suicide, according to a 2014 Medscape survey of 21,513 American and European doctors.

Five states (Washington, Oregon, Montana, California, and Vermont) currently allow some form of physician-assisted suicide. In Washington State last year, there were 176 “participants” who received lethal medication from doctors to end their lives under the authority of the Washington Death with Dignity Act, according to state records.

Supporters of physician-assisted suicide are often motivated by misguided compassion. Arguments for physician-assisted suicide fail to recognize other more humane forms of treatment, as well as the inherent dignity and value of the terminally ill.

Instead of prescribing deadly drugs to end a patient’s life, physicians can more aggressively work to alleviate a patient’s pain and suffering through better palliative and hospice care.

Patients seeking physician-assisted suicide often suffer from depression and loneliness. This provides families and ministries with the opportunity to care for the dying, fulfilling intergenerational and communal duties by giving emotional support to terminally ill patients.

Physician-assisted suicide creates the perception that the terminally ill and elderly are burdens on their families and the medical system. It denies the most fundamental of rights – the right to life – and violates the basic principles of natural law and human dignity.

Life is an invaluable gift. Society looks to doctors for lifesaving medical care. The Hippocratic Oath, taken by physicians for millennia, dictates that they “do no harm.”

The American Medical Association should remain faithful to the oath taken by its members and reject efforts to change its position on this critical issue.

Take action by sharing your concerns with the AMA:

Blaine Conzatti is a columnist and 2016 Research Fellow at the Family Policy Institute of Washington. He can be reached at Blaine@FPIW.org.

Why Planned Parenthood is Suing FPIW

 

Two days ago, FPIW’s communications director, Zach Freeman, was served legal papers naming him as a defendant in a lawsuit. The suit was filed by 10 unnamed plaintiffs, identified only as “Jane and John Does”, asking the court to prohibit the University of Washington from releasing public records that had been requested by Mr. Freeman.

Those asking for their personally identifying information to be withheld include four current or former employees of Planned Parenthood, one employee of Cedar River Clinic (a controversial late term abortion clinic) as well as an employee of Evergreen Hospital and the University of Washington.

David Daleiden, founder of the Center for Medical Progress, was also named as a defendant because he made a similar public records request.

Mr. Daleiden made national news last year with the release of videos showing Planned Parenthood and abortion industry executives discussing how to harvest the organs of aborted babies and maximize revenue.

Shortly after those videos were released, a group of Washington State legislators wrote two letters to Washington Attorney General Bob Ferguson asking him to investigate whether the parts of aborted babies were illegally being sold for a profit. (A copy of those letters can be found here and here).

After a couple of months had passed, the Attorney General wrote a memorandum to the legislators notifying them that he had done an investigation and Planned Parenthood had done nothing wrong. (A copy of that memorandum can be found here).

It is no secret that Bob Ferguson is a strong political ally of Planned Parenthood. Therefore, we thought it would be wise to verify that the evidence supported the Attorney General’s office conclusion that nothing illegal had taken place.

As a result, Mr. Freeman filed a public records request seeking information relevant to the AG’s investigation into Planned Parenthood.  That request provided a number of documents, including an interaction between the AG’s office and the University of Washington from September 2015 that caught our attention.

In that correspondence, Deputy Attorney General Paige Dietrich asked Ian Goodhew, Government Relations Director at the University of Washington for “the contract you mentioned”.

Mr. Goodhew responded to this request by seeking assurances that “You will hold those confidential and not share with anyone without consent?”

In response, Ms. Dietrich said, “I don’t think we’ll need copies of the agreements.” (A copy of this correspondence can be seen here.)

While we don’t know what this contract they were referring to is, it seems plausible given the context that it would be an agreement UW had with an outside entity to procure aborted body parts.

The fact that the Attorney General’s office rescinded their request for information after UW expressed concern about that information becoming publicly available was interesting enough to warrant further investigation.

That, in addition to other things, is the reason Mr. Freeman filed the public information request with the University of Washington. Even if the Attorney General was not interested in those contracts, we decided we were.

Since they are public records, the public is has the right to inspect them.

It is entirely possible that those records are innocuous and/or irrelevant to the investigation. We simply don’t know.

Still, the response to our request for those records as well as others has done nothing to dampen our curiosity.

While the requests were not intended to gather information about any individual, it is inevitable that public records will reveal the identity of people involved in public work. As a general matter, if you are having conversations with public entities you can expect that the public might discover that through public records.

The plaintiffs in the lawsuit claim that their safety would be in jeopardy if their identities became public. They argue that because Mr. Freeman and Mr. Daleiden are pro-life that they intend to harass and/or commit violence against the individuals who might be identified in these documents.

Coming from an industry built on violence to others, this is deeply ironic. But that is beside the point.

The conversation about who is a bigger threat to whom is irrelevant to the legal question about whether anyone in Washington was illegally profiting off the sale of baby body parts.

It is possible that all relevant information will be turned over once this distraction is resolved and the public will be able to see if anything illegal is happening. It also possible that this is just an initial attempt to keep information away from the public.

We don’t know. Yet. But we intend to find out.

We anticipate a hearing to be scheduled soon.   We will be sure to let you know what happens.

One more thing.

Thank you for your support that allows us to ask important questions like these. The abortion industry in Washington has been operating free of accountability for decades and Planned Parenthood is a billion dollar tax-payer funded giant.

We are still a ways away from our first billion and receive no money from taxpayers. Friends like you make it all possible.  If you want to support this effort, please consider partnering with us.

Thank you for standing with us so we can continue to fight for what is good, true, and beautiful. When the dark side is agitated, you know you’re doing something right.

BREAKING: FPIW, Daleiden Sued by Planned Parenthood in Federal Court

 

In a federal lawsuit filed Wednesday, lawyers for Planned Parenthood are seeking a judge’s help to keep records pertaining to its activities in Washington State sealed from public view.

The lawsuit, which specifically names David Daleiden and FPIW Communications Director Zach Freeman as defendants, comes after separate public records requests were filed by Daleiden and Freeman pertaining to information regarding Planned Parenthood’s relationship with the University of Washington’s Birth Defects Research Laboratory.

Following the filing of the lawsuit, Daleiden released the following statement:

“Planned Parenthood and their allies have yet again stormed into federal court, this time demanding the suppression of public records about Planned Parenthood’s supply of aborted baby parts to the taxpayer-sponsored, NIH-funded fetal harvesting service at the University of Washington.

Last October, Planned Parenthood President Cecile Richards hailed the partnership between Planned Parenthood Greater Washington & North Idaho and the University of Washington as the exemplary model of their new program for profit-neutral baby parts harvesting. Numerous headlines proclaimed Planned Parenthood’s new “policy change” purporting to stop receiving payment for fetal body parts, after CMP’s videos had revealed Planned Parenthood’s senior leadership callously negotiating the harvest and sale of tiny baby hearts, lungs, and brains for profit.

Over the past year, the American people have watched as Planned Parenthood has scrambled to distract the public and public authorities from the scandal—even while Planned Parenthood has failed the answer the most basic questions about their baby body parts program. What is Planned Parenthood hiding about their new model baby parts program at the University of Washington? The American people, whose tax dollars make this entire barbaric industry possible, deserve to know the truth.”

Follow FPIW on Twitter @FPIW.

BREAKING: Final Charge Dropped Against Pro-Life Activist David Daleiden

 

A District Judge in Harris County, Texas has dropped the last remaining charge against David Daleiden and Sandra Merritt.

The duo had previously been charged with tampering with a government records after using fake drivers’ licenses to hide their identities while filming Planned Parenthood doctors undercover.

Following the move, Daleiden’s office released a statement: “The dismissal of the bogus, politically motivated charges against [Center for Medical Progress] project lead David Daleiden and investigator Sandra Merritt is a resounding vindication of the First Amendment rights of all citizen journalists, and also a clear warning to any of Planned Parenthood’s political cronies who would attack whistleblowers to protect Planned Parenthood from scrutiny.”

Stand with FPIW to root out Planned Parenthood’s corruption in Washington State!

Opinion: NARAL Should Pay for My Guns

NARAL should pay for my guns.  And ammunition, regardless of its members’ moral or ethical objections.

Every person now has an unalienable constitutional right to an affordable health insurance plan, which means that, pursuant to leftist logic, society has a moral obligation to provide this right to everyone at no cost.  Quality healthcare, they say, includes access to contraception free of cost to the patients, which must be provided by the employer.

The tradition of abortion rights is loosely found in the right to habeas corpus, which originates with the idea that one has the right to one’s own body. Of course, according to leftists, this right to habeas corpus includes any entity within the body, living or nonliving, attached or unattached.  We knew that this is Roe v. Wade’s interpretation because Planned Parenthood v. Casey confirmed as much a decade later.

This new “right” to affordable health insurance – derived indirectly from such fluid concepts like “body,” “person,” and “pursuit of happiness” – has been now deemed as “unalienable.”  The ability to utilize this sacred, “unalienable right” to obtain contraceptives and abortion is seen by many as paramount, superseding the rights of others to conscientiously object from participating in such programs. And because it’s an unalienable right, according to leftist reasoning, society has an obligation to provide it to everyone, free of cost.

Let’s be consistent with our logic.

The U.S. Constitution directly and explicitly guarantees every person the right to “keep and bear arms” – in fact, it was once interpreted as a mandate unto itself! By extending the logic of requiring employers to provide abortions or birth control in the interest of health and wellness, regardless of their objections to abortions and birth control, we should also mandate the distribution of personal firearms to ensure “the security of a free state.”

Any common man knows that enabling an armed citizen to shoot a madman before his work is finished can effectively prevent loss of life or limb, and resulting depression for hundreds of others.  The founders who guaranteed that right with specificity had the foresight to see what might happen if citizens were left unarmed.

Yet, because it doesn’t match the inviolability of the right to an abortion, the right to keep and bear arms is often ratcheted down by leftists in the aftermath of crimes.

The government has mandated coverage of ever-increasing abortion and contraceptive rights while suppressing the right to keep and bear arms.  Why must my tax dollars be used to provide health care, abortion, and contraception, but NARAL is not compelled to pay for my guns?

Christopher Fossedal is a guest columnist at FPIW.  

Progressive Democrats Take Aim at Hyde Amendment in Party Platform

 

It is “the most progressive platform in the history of the democratic party.” – Bernie Sanders

Democratic National Platform Committee members have been hard at work to finalize this year’s Democrat Party platform. Generally unveiled around the nominating convention, the platform outlines the goals and objectives of the Democrats in this election cycle and beyond.

Now that the members of the Committee have moved towards finalizing the platform, Americans are getting a clearer picture of the radical nature of their plans.

A party platform is a non-binding document that formally expresses the party’s positions on a wide variety of issues. This year’s priorities include: adding a $15/hour minimum wage, adding a tax on carbon, decriminalizing marijuana, and abolishing the death penalty.  But perhaps most shockingly, the Democrats are adding a plank that even further increases access and taxpayer funding for abortions, admitting that they want to rid America of the 1976 Hyde Amendment.

The Hyde Amendment, which was introduced after the Roe v. Wade decision, has served as the central legal mechanism that blocks the federal government from directly funding abortions.  Now that abortion had been found as a constitutional right, Congressman Henry Hyde, a strong believer in the sanctity of life, moved to ensure that taxpayers wouldn’t be on the hook for abortion funding.  The amendment passed 207-167, and is still considered the first major legislative success to come out of the pro-life movement in the United States.

The Democrats view the Hyde Amendment as an attack on women’s rights, despite the fact that 69% of American women oppose taxpayer funding of abortions.  Over half of Americans who identify as pro-choice are opposed to taxpayer-funded abortion.

Although Democratic Party Platform Committee convened on July 1, the final adopted platform will not be formally announced until the Democratic National Convention on July 25 in Philadelphia.

Do you value the sanctity of life?  Do you stand with the Democrats and their new progressive positions? Leave your thoughts below.