Prior to an election I always like to vet candidates on a number of issues including life, liberty and other rights enshrined in our Constitution. The sanctity of life – protecting innocent human life – has always been the top issue for me because if a candidate or elected officials waffles on life, it reveals where they stand on all other rights.
Part of my vetting process looks at whether or not the candidate filled out certain surveys, their answers, public statements, their involvement on the issues and even who is pushing for their election. I also look at who is donating to their campaign and what people and organizations who are opposed to my values are saying about the candidates.
Because of my involvement in the Pro-Life movement for many years, naturally I look at who Planned Parenthood or other high profile pro-abortion organizations and individuals have said about certain candidates. By looking at the donations of “true believers” in a cause, one should get a sense of the value system of the recipient. It would be akin to looking at the donations of Wayne LaPierre. You wouldn’t expect him to donate to an anti-2nd Amendment candidate.
One particular organization and its people I’ve looked at is the Arizona WISH list. WISH stands for Women In the Senate and House. Their fundamental goal has always been to elect “pro-choice” Republican women as the GOP version of EMILY’s list (the Democrats pro-abortion women’s group).
On their national board of directors sat an Arizonan named Deborah Carstens. Although it doesn’t appear that AZ WISH is active or that she currently serves on the national board of directors, Carstens continues to remain active in elections through her donations primarily to candidates who have declared themselves to be “pro-choice” or refuse to state their position on the sanctity of life. These have typically been Republican candidates who define themselves as more moderate but tend to vote liberal on social issues.
Because I have my suspicions on a handful of candidates, I decided to check out a few resources to clarify their positions and to see if Carstens had donated to their campaigns.
Here’s what I found:
Scott Smith was the only gubernatorial candidate to receive a donation from Carstens in the amount of $500. Scott Smith also took the most liberal position on abortion of all the GOP candidates (survey)
Michele Reagan has received a total of $1,250 from Carstens as the only Republican candidate for Secretary of State. Reagan also avoided answering questions on the Center for Arizona Policy voter guide.
Carsten also donated $160 to Terry Goddard, the Democrat running for Secretary of State and $250 to Felecia Rotellini the Democrat candidate for Attorney General. Neither Democrat responded to the Center for Arizona Policy questionnaire – which is very typical of Democrat candidates.
When it comes to state legislative races, Carstens has donated to Republican incumbents and challengers.
In LD-11, Jo Grant received $150 from Carstens in her house race. On CAP’s survey, Grant to answer the question on abortion.
Diane Landis running for House in conservative district 13, also received a donation of $100 from Carstens. Surprisingly, Landis did answer the question on CAP’s survey.
No surprise, Heather Carter pocketed $500 from Carstens in her re-election bid in LD-15. Carter dodged filling out the CAP survey altogether.
Effie Carlson received $100 as a challenger in the LD-23 house race. Carlson did respond to the CAP survey but with qualifiers.
Finally, Kate Brophy-McGee in LD-28 took at $270 donation from Carstens in her house re-election race. Brophy-McGee also evaded the CAP survey.
Another quick check for pro-life endorsements revealed that none of these candidates were endorsed by the Arizona Right to Life PAC.
One interesting pattern among the incumbents who are running for re-election is that they also supported the Obamacare Medicaid expansion vote in 2013. And one may recall that an amendment was attempted on that bill that would have prohibited tax dollars from going to abortion providers. That amendment failed thanks to these incumbents – Carter, Coleman & Brophy-McGee (see vote).
For those of you who remain committed to electing candidates who will protect innocent human life, hopefully this has been informative and an exercise in how to cross-reference candidates and their supporters. Please use this information wisely as you vote in the Primary Election.