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The Center for Public Integrity has investigated the spending habits of Republicans for Choice and found they stink.
RFC is not spending much money at all to elect pro-abort Republicans. Rather, the bulk of RFC’s donations go to its chairwoman or consulting firms she owns.
This is not a bad thing as far as I’m concerned. If legal, which it apparently is, to bilk pro-aborts, go ahead, make my day. And this let’s us know RFC is a paper tiger.
This is just shady, that’s all. Following are key excerpts from CPI’s January 6 report. Also note the commendable spending habits of pro-life PACS and the dismal spending habits of NARAL, which the evidence shows spends less than half of its contributions on electing pro-aborts…

Since the PAC’s formation in 1990, documents show that RFC has raised and spent more than $5.5 million. But… over the past decade less than 5% of the committee’s spending has gone to political candidates, other political committees, or independent expenditures.
Since 2005, just about 0.5% of the PAC’s nearly $1 million in spending has gone to federal or state campaigns….

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Where did RFC’s money go? Much of the group’s spending has been for consulting companies owned by the PAC’s chairwoman, Ann E. W. Stone. Those firms – along with payments to reimburse Stone’s expenses for travel, entertainment, and automobile repairs – comprise more than 2/3 of RFC PAC’s expenditures since 2006. And hundreds of dollars more went to pay for Stone’s parking tickets….

Stone, 57, is the founder, chairman, treasurer, and sole registered officer of RFC. A veteran GOP political operative, she was a protégé of conservative direct mail pioneer Richard Viguerie and, in 1991, an unsuccessful mayoral candidate in Alexandria, VA; she is also the ex-wife of prominent Republican strategist Roger Stone, who was known for controversial hardball tactics….
Stone has led the RFC PAC since its founding in 1991…. The committee lists 3 major goals on its website: locating and mobilizing a “pro-choice” majority within the GOP, fighting to remove anti-abortion language from the party’s platform, and raising money to elect pro-abortion-rights Republican candidates to state and federal office.
In its early years, some pro-abortion-rights Republicans publicly expressed skepticism about the true intentions of Stone and RFC PAC. Nevertheless, Stone quickly became the national face of abortion-rights Republicans….
Aided by that publicity, her PAC raised sizeable sums of money: $850K combined over the 1992 and 1994 cycles, about $1 million in the 1996 cycle, and nearly $1.5 million in the 1998 cycle. FEC numbers show the average PAC’s per-cycle haul was less than $82K in 1992 and less than $110K in 1998.
Following the Money
As the PAC’s fundraising grew, it began racking up expenditures. But unlike many similar committees, the amount of cash going to federal candidates – the bread and butter of most PACs – never once approached the 10% mark….
But in recent years, the group’s expenditures have not tracked with other major PACs on both sides of the abortion debate…. [T]he Center analyzed how much other abortion-issue PACs spent on federal candidates, political committees, and independent expenditures since 1997:

  • Republican Majority for Choice PAC, another abortion rights GOP committee: more than 87%
  • NARAL Pro-Choice America PAC: 49%
  • Planned Parenthood Action Fund’s PAC: 72%
  • Republican National Coalition for Life PAC, an anti-abortion GOP group: 79%
  • National Right to Life PAC: over 91%
  • Allison Hayward of George Mason University’s School of Law… [said]… with most of RFC’s money going to the PAC’s sole officer – “the PAC seems to be an extension of Ann Stone”…
    Over time, the percentage of RFC PAC’s spending going to clear political activity actually dropped from low to even lower. Since the 2004 cycle, when the committee’s contributions to state and federal candidates and committees totaled a mere $44,780 out of $539,504 spent in that period (8.3%), political giving dropped precipitously. Just $5,420 of $967,108 spent since the beginning of 2005 has gone to federal or state candidates or committees – less than 1%….
    A 2006 article still on the site, “Look Past the Party Label,” highlighted 7 allies Stone feared might be defeated in that year’s Congressional elections. These incumbents, she warned, “all have tough races.” As PACs may contribute up to $10K per candidate per cycle between the primary and general elections, RFC PAC could have given these candidates a major financial boost. It had the money to do so, as the PAC ended the 2006 cycle reporting nearly $760K cash-on-hand. Yet… RFC PAC only reported contributions to 2 of the 7 ($1K each). And her fear proved well founded; 5 were defeated in the November elections that year. Without them, proposed abortion restrictions were added to the House health care reform bill last month without a single Republican dissenting….
    Where the Money Goes
    In recent years, most of the PAC’s payments have gone to 1 of 3 recipients: Capstone Lists (a direct-marketing company owned by Stone), The Stone Group (a political consulting firm owned by Stone), and Ann Stone directly.
    RFC shares office space with 3 other Stone-related groups – 1 nonprofit and 2 Stone-owned companies. Dating back to the beginning of 2005, about 69% of the $967,108 spent by the group has gone to those 3 entities. Both companies and the PAC, along with the not-yet-built National Women’s History Museum (Stone is senior VP), share space in an Alexandria office building. Though the 4 entities list different suite numbers on correspondence, filings, and the building’s occupant directory, the 4 Stone groups share a 2nd-floor office with a door marked “250-260.”
    Republicans for Choice pays thousands of dollars each year for office, equipment, and list rental to Capstone Lists. The Stone Group’s services are retained for the PAC’s accounting, mailing production, and website updates (though contains numerous out-of-date and under construction pages).
    Stone herself received nearly $250K since the start of 2001 as reimbursements for her “travel and entertainment,” “automobile maintenance repairs,” phone, tires, gasoline, and various other expenses.
    While PACs are largely legally free to spend money as they deem fit , Michael Surrusco, director of research for Common Cause, says the expenditures raise an ethical question. “It seems like there’s clearly a conflict of interest on the part of [Stone] benefiting significantly from the PAC she controls,” he told the Center. The high percentage of spending going to Stone and her companies, he observed, “just smells fishy.”…

    [HT: RH Reality Check]

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