Choose Life Under Attack in Virginia
By Matt Smith
When Tim Kaine (D, Virginia) successfully ran to be the one-term Virginia Governor, he carved into the growing Catholic electorate in the state with cleverly worded personally pro-life, matched with women’s choice language, and death penalty messaging advertisements. After vetoing previous attempts, personally pro-life Governor Kaine, a Catholic and President Obama’s pick to lead the Democrat National Committee, finally signed legislation in March 2009 making Virginia the twenty-third state to have some form of Choose Life license plates.
The proceeds from the purchase of the plates, after the first $15,000 stays with the Virginia Department of Motor Vehicles to cover costs, are earmarked for use by Virginia crisis pregnancy centers and adoption programs.
At the time, Governor Kaine said, “I sign this legislation today in keeping with the Commonwealth’s longtime practice of approving specialty plates with all manner of political and social messages.”
“If Planned Parenthood … or another similar organization ever chooses to seek a specialty license plate in Virginia, I believe the constitution would require the state to approve that plate to protect against any viewpoint discrimination.”
Governor Kaine was sending two signals with his comments: 1) I do not support this legislation but know a second veto would be overturned in the General Assembly, and 2) to my pro-abortion allies – go out and do what needs to be done to secure your own plates and funding. Governor Kaine received intense lobbying from the National Association for the Repeal of Abortion Laws (NARAL) and other pro-abortion groups to veto the legislation the second time, but since they failed, they are now taking their fight to the recipients of the funds.
NARAL Pro-Choice America spent the last year launching their own investigation into the groups receiving funds – questioning the programs and services they provide along with their tax status. To date, the Virginia Choose Life license plates have raised just over $10,170 but that is just one dollar too much for NARAL Pro-Choice America. It is important to note, there are over 225 different specialty plates available in Virginia and purchasing them is purely voluntary. NARAL Pro-Choice America is staking out ground early before money even reaches the groups in line to benefit to prevent them from receiving contributions from private citizens who show their support for life on their license plates.
This is another example of the extent the pro-abortion crowd will take to advance their cause. It is a bit hypocritical for NARAL Pro-Choice America to criticize money funneling through government programs when their own NARAL Pro-Choice America Foundation appears on the national list of “charities” eligible to receive funds through the federal government’s Combined Federal Campaign (CFC) for charitable giving.
“The mission of the CFC is to promote and support philanthropy through a program that is employee focused, cost-efficient, and effective in providing all federal employees the opportunity to improve the quality of life for all.”
Secretary of State Hillary Clinton was this past year’s CFC Honorary Chair and part of her responsibilities included encouraging Federal employees to consider participating in the campaign – which ends its mission statement with “improve the quality of life for all.”
According to the Office of Personnel Management (OPM):
“CFC Charities are organizations with status as tax-exempt charities as determined by the Internal Revenue Service under 501(c)(3) of Title 26 of the United States Code that provide health and human services and that are determined to be eligible for participation in the CFC. Organizations may apply and be listed in the CFC brochure as either a local, national, or an international unaffiliated organization or as a member of a local, national, or international federation.
“Charities that apply to receive funds through the CFC are required to submit to an extensive review of their financial and governance practices prior to acceptance. This eligibility review has helped set standards for participation in giving initiatives that transcend the community.”
For the folks at NARAL who are so concerned about $10,170 in the Commonwealth of Virginia, how much did your year-long, 52 site investigation cost, and who funded your investigation of crisis pregnancy centers in Virginia? Did you use any of your foundation dollars that might have come from the Combined Federal Campaign? And for the Office of Personnel Management – is it acceptable practices for CFC endorsed groups to conduct investigations of other non-profit groups in an effort to impede receipt of funds?
Matt Smith is a consultant in Washington D.C., resident of Virginia, and former Associate Director of the White House Office of Public Liaison under President George W. Bush
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