Leading Pro-Abortion Group Launches Hillary Clinton Efforts This Week

County GOP News
November 27, 2007

Emily's List, a pro-abortion PAC based in Washington, DC, was in the local news recently when it was revealed that Democrat Rep. Vida Miller- Pawleys Island, has been endorsed twice by and received campaign contributions from the group. The following article from LifeNews.com confirms that Emily's List is going all out to support Hillary Clinton for president.

Leading Pro-Abortion Group Launches Hillary Clinton Efforts This Week

by Steven Ertelt
LifeNews.com Editor
November 19, 2007

Washington, DC (LifeNews.com) -- A leading pro-abortion political group is set to launch its primary election efforts for pro-abortion New York Sen. Hillary Clinton this week. As LifeNews.com previously reported, Emily's List plans to spend the next two months organizing abortion advocates on her behalf.

The group will unveil a new web site this week and promote it online via ads on leading search engines and on web sites women view such as those on yoga or health issues.

Emily's List hopes women searching for Thanksgiving information -- putting in keywords such as "turkey," "champagne" or "eggnog" -- will see its Internet ads promoting Clinton.

The group says it's targeting women who are more interested in the goings-on in their own world than the political one.

"We are playing in Iowa as a pro-Hillary group," Emily's List spokeswoman Maren Hesla told Politico. "That is what our focus is on here."

The pro-abortion group and the Clinton campaign will both work over the course of the next few weeks to incorporate new voters into Iowa's caucus system, which saw 125,000 Iowans participate in 2004.

The group intended to weigh in on Super Tuesday -- the name for the slew of contests on February 5 in various primary states -- but the closeness of the Democratic campaign in Iowa and the compact primary schedule forced it to shift its attention to the Midwestern state.

Next month, the Clinton campaign hopes to visit more than 50,000 supporters or potential supporters to train them on the caucus and encourage them to attend and motivate others.

At the same time, Emily's List will start a round of phone calls and mailings on Clinton's behalf to target 125,000 women and double up on efforts the campaign organized.

"It will be substantial and you won't be able to escape it," Helsa previously said of the group's efforts.

Emily's List has chosen to endorse Clinton even though she faces two strongly pro-abortion candidates in John Edwards and Barack Obama in the Democratic Party. The group only endorses women, which partly explains their endorsement of the New York senator.

Washington Post article raises issue of Vida Miller's Biden endorsement and acceptance of Biden PAC money

Contact: Tom Swatzel (843) 357-1673

GEORGETOWN--An article published in the Washington Post on October 3rd questions the intent of contributions from U.S. Senator Joe Biden's political action committee (PAC) to state legislators who endorsed him for president, specifically mentioning Rep. Vida Miller-(D) Pawleys Island, as an example of a legislator who benefited from a PAC contribution and then endorsed Biden on October 1st.

According to the article Miller received a $500 contribution earlier this year from Unite Our States, a leadership PAC controlled by Biden. While it is not unusual for U.S. Senators to use their PACs to support state legislators, the article states that it is unusual for those contributions to continue after someone has announced their candidacy for president.

Michael Toner, a former Federal Elections Commission chairman, says in the article, "Leadership PACs cannot be used to underwrite campaign activities. If you have a pattern where the leadership PAC is making disbursements in early primary states, that's the kind of fact pattern that could invite an FEC investigation."

Meredith McGehee, policy director at the Campaign Legal Center in Washington, also says in the article "the perception created is that leadership PACs are "political slush funds." When you see someone using a leadership PAC this way, where there is a financial reward for an endorsement, it makes the public roll their eyes."

Georgetown County Republican Party Chairman Tom Swatzel said, "I urge Rep. Miller to return Joe Biden's tainted money as soon as possible."

Swatzel said a review of Miller's campaign contribution reports over the years shows that Miller has also received contributions from leadership PACs controlled by John Edwards, Howard Dean, and John Kerry, as well as from Emily's List, a national pro-abortion PAC that only supports female candidates who support abortion on demand and oppose any restrictions on abortion, including partial-birth abortions.

"The old saying "birds of a feather flock together" certainly applies when you have liberal Democrat Vida Miller attracting PAC money from some of the top, most elite liberal Democrat politicians and PACs in the nation. None of these politicians or PACs represent South Carolina or Georgetown County values," Swatzel said.

Biden PAC Contributed To Some Who Endorsed Him

The Trail
Washington Post-Wednesday, October 3, 2007; A06
Biden PAC Contributed To Some Who Endorsed Him

When Democratic Sen. Joe Biden traveled to Columbia, South Carolina yesterday to announce the latest in a string of endorsements he has received from state lawmakers in early primary and caucus states, two local lawmakers there declared themselves proud and loyal supporters of his presidential bid.

"He will be a great Commander-in-Chief," state Rep. Vida Miller told onlookers.

What was not said was that the two lawmakers endorsing Biden, Miller and state Rep. Jim Battle, had received $500 contributions earlier this year from the Unite Our States Political Action Committee, a leadership PAC Biden controls.

There is a pattern of similar exchanges between Biden's leadership PAC and the early-state political endorsements that dates to the weeks before he announced for president in January. At least nine state legislators in Iowa and South Carolina who have endorsed Biden have also received contributions from his leadership PAC.

Biden advisers said the leadership PAC contributions were not intended to help his presidential bid. "They were intended to support their local campaigns," said Larry Rasky, communications director for Biden for President

Biden's campaign spokeswoman, Marion Steinfels, said the senator used his leadership PAC for the purpose of spreading the word about his Iraq plan. "Sen. Biden has campaigned across the country, and has given to local candidates and state parties. Obviously he also spent a lot of time working with candidates, talking about the Iraq plan, working with folks running for congress."

It's not unusual for members of congress to distribute money to state legislators. And other politicians with presidential ambitions, most notably Mark Warner and John McCain, made extensive contributions from their leadership PACs to state legislative candidates in early states. The difference with Biden is that his contributions continued after he formally announced his bid for the White House.

Michael Toner, a former Federal Election Commission chairman who in 2003 wrote the regulation governing how politicians can use their leadership committees, said it is "very dangerous to be operating a leadership PAC while simultaneously running for president." Toner was formerly chief counsel of the Republican National Committee and now works for GOP presidential hopeful Fred Thompson.

"Leadership PACs cannot be used to underwrite campaign activities," Toner said. "If you have a pattern where the leadership PAC is making disbursements in early primary states, that's exactly the kind of fact pattern that could invite an FEC investigation. When you have spending from the leadership PAC in early primary states, that is a real red flag."

Don Simon, a campaign finance lawyer who serves as counsel to the group Democracy 21, said he could not speak specifically to Biden's activity, but added that generally the problem with using leadership PAC funds to assist a presidential bid is that it circumvents contribution limits. Someone could donate the maximum amount to both the leadership committee and to the campaign. As a result, if a leadership PAC spends money on behalf of a campaign, it is supposed to be treated as an in-kind contribution, he said.

The only potential concern then for Biden, would be that his leadership committee has doled out more than $10,000 to state legislators in 2007. The legal limit for an in-kind contribution is $5,000.

No one has suggested that the state politicians endorsed Biden because of the contribution. Iowa state Rep. Doris Kelley, the recipient of a $500 contribution from his PAC, told the Associated Press she opted to endorse Biden not out of obligation but because after sorting through all the candidates, he was her top choice. "If I chose to go with another candidate, I'm sure that there would be financial support there, but I truly believe that those decisions are based on each individuals' opinion of who will make the best president," she said.

Meredith McGehee, the policy director at the Campaign Legal Center in Washington, said that the perception that is created by leadership PACs is that they are "political slush funds" used to "buy favor." "When you see someone using a leadership PAC this way, where there is a financial reward for an endorsement, it makes the public roll their eyes," McGehee said. "The public cynicism is well earned."
--Matthew Mosk