Who’s spending $$ to fight or support Amendment 2?

Bruce Maples
Bruce Maples
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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”

Name Amount
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
Fairness Campaign 10,000
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”

Name Amount
Michael Bloomberg 250,000
Mary Gwen Wheeler 30,000
Michele Janin 10,000
Hilary Bates 10,000
Garvin Brown 10,000
Owsley Brown 10,000
Judith Axelrod 5,000
Nancy Martin 5,000
Kimberley Greene 5,000
Kim Boland 3,000

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”

Name Amount
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”

Name Amount
Daniel Hyslop 1,350
Ralph Wilson 1,000
Scott New 300
Donna Walter 250
Jed Kenney 250
Jonathan Crosmer 250
Ryan Quarles 250
Betty Coffey 200
Joseph Martino 200
Betty Detwiler 103
Jim Paris 103
Mary Goulet 103
Scott Majors 50

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.

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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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Bruce Maples has been involved in politics and activism since 2004, when he became active in the Kerry Kentucky movement. (Read the rest of his bio on the Bruce Maples Bio page in the bottom nav bar.)

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