As I’m sure you know, there are two constitutional amendments on the ballot this fall. One is about letting the legislature meet whenever it wants to (vote NO on Amendment 1). The other is about preventing anyone from appealing to the state constitution to protect abortion rights, effectively strengthening the existing ban on all abortions in the state. (Vote NO on Amendment 2 as well.)
I examine the KREF campaign finance reports to see just who is giving money to the two main groups wrestling over Amendment 2. Let’s take a look.
Who is supporting the NO group, Protect Kentucky Access?
The top-line news item about this campaign is that the anti-amendment group, Protect Kentucky Access, has raised five times as much money at the pro-amendment group, Yes for Life. So where has that money come from?
Organizational Donations to “Protect Kentucky Access”
|Advocacy Action Fund, Inc.||500,000|
|Planned Parenthood Ind-KY||450,000|
|Planned Parenthood Action Fund, Inc||400,000|
|Families United for Freedom||375,000|
|American Civil Liberties Union||350,000|
|Movement Voter PAC||75,000|
|ACLU of KY||50,000|
|Planned Parenthood Advocates Mar Monte||50,000|
|Preston-Werner Initiatives, Inc.||50,000|
|Planned Parenthood Federation of America||35,000|
|Planned Parenthood Central Coast||15,000|
|Planned Parenthood of Illinois||10,000|
|Planned Parenthood Southern New England||4,000|
|Kentucky Religious Coalition||3,000|
|Honor Bound PAC||1,000|
|Mt. Baker Planned Parenthood||1,000|
|Kentucky National Organization for Women||500|
Most of these are what you would expect, with significant donations by Planned Parenthood and ACLU organizations.
Some notes on the others:
- Honor Bound PAC is a leadership PAC founded by Amy McGrath.
- Advocacy Action Fund is a California-based non-profit
- Preston-Werner Initiatives is a branch of Preston-Werner Ventures, and says that it “invests via C4 in progressive legislation and political action to make the world a better place.”
- The full name of KY Religious Coalition is the Kentucky Religious Coalition for Reproductive Choice.
Individual Donations to “Protect Kentucky Access”
|Mary Gwen Wheeler||30,000|
While it’s a little surprising to see Michael Bloomberg drop a quarter-million into a constitutional amendment in Kentucky, it’s also an indication of just how much national attention Amendment 2 is getting.
As for some of the other individuals in the top of the list, Mary Gwen Wheeler is the former director of the 55,000 Degrees program in Louisville, and is now an independent policy consultant. Michele Janin is a community leader and volunteer in Indianapolis, and is on the board of the Center for Progressive Reform. Hillary Bates is an architect and activist from Woodside, California.
Who is supporting the Yes group, Yes for Life?
Here are some donors for the “Yes for Life” group:
Organizational Donations to “Yes for Life”
|Kentucky Baptist Convention||284,010|
|Catholic Conference of Kentucky||100,000|
|The Family Foundation of KY||100,000|
|Right to Life Educational||75,000|
|Kentucky Right To Life Association, INC.||27,000|
|Sisters for Life Educational Fund Inc.||1,000|
|Commonwealth Policy Foundation||48|
Not really any surprises here – although I was a little surprised to see the KY Baptist Convention throw in over a quarter million.
How about individuals?
Individual Donations to “Yes for Life”
Daniel Hyslop is a natural gas trader who used to live in Indiana, but now resides in Omaha, Nebraska. His donations in the past have been mainly to Republicans, but not exclusively. Ralph Wilson is an attorney for Humana in Louisville.
So, there you have it: a summary of donations to both the Amendment 2 abortion amendment organizations. I’m not sure if the large gap in fund-raising says anything about the outcome of the vote – but I certainly hope so.
If you want to donate to Protect Kentucky Access, you can do so here.
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