Planned Parenthood playing games with its Alabama PAC
After the mysterious Planned Parenthood Southeast PAC “Alabamians for Healthy Families” dissolved on August 23, questions arose about the legality of its actions. However, records made publicly available by the Secretary of State’s office now show that another PAC, named “Alabama for Healthy Families,” has registered to seemingly take its place.
The newly formed PAC lists verbatim all of the same registration information as the now-dissolved entity, including Parenthood Southeast’s president and CEO Staci Fox serving as the PAC chair and the organization’s Alabama state director Katie Glenn serving as the PAC treasurer, along with the same address, (nonworking) phone number and email address.
Even the mission statement was copied and pasted, with the old PAC’s name accidentally left in. The new PAC registered on August 29 with the Secretary of State’s office, which was two days after Yellowhammer News reported on the original PAC dissolving and the day after Planned Parenthood Southeast ignored the news outlet’s attempts to follow-up on the story.
While the active PAC registered after the old one was dissolved, their registration paperwork states the PAC was formed on August 1 – meaning the two PACS would have been in simultaneous existence.
Just like the original PAC, “Alabama for Healthy Families” in its sole finance report only listed in-kind contributions: one from Planned Parenthood Southeast for $3559.31 that only discloses it as “administrative” and one from Planned Parenthood’s federal PAC – “Planned Parenthood Action Fund” – for $710.06, again calling it “administrative” with no other information.
The only activity shown on the old PAC’s reports were in-kind contributions totaling $18,744.72 from Planned Parenthood Southeast, the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) Inc. and Planned Parenthood Action Fund. Its original April and May monthly reports were amended on August 23 to show that the federal PAC (not the Planned Parenthood Federation of America itself) gave money to the state PAC.
Alabama’s Fair Campaign Practices Act (FCPA) defines a PAC as:
Any political committee, club, association, political party, or other group of one or more persons, whether in-state or out-of-state, which receives or anticipates receiving contributions and makes or anticipates making expenditures to or on behalf of any Alabama state or local elected of cial, proposition, candidate, principal campaign committee, or other political action committee.
Alabama currently has a ban on PAC-to-PAC transfers, which then-Attorney General Luther Strange called “instrumental in limiting campaign corruption while adding greater transparency to the elections process” when it was upheld by a federal appeals court in 2016.
The stated purpose of both Alabama Planned Parenthood PACs was “to accept contributions and make expenditures in order to support elected officials, propositions, candidates, or principal campaign committees that support access to health care for all Alabamians.”
Neither the original nor the new PAC disclosed monetary contributions or spending of any kind over the entirety of its existence. This also means that it is unclear what candidates and elected officials, if any, they supported or opposed.
That original PAC was formed on the exact date Sen. Doug Jones (D-Mountain Brook) won election to the United States Senate and dissolved on the same day that Jones voted to continue federal funding of Planned Parenthood.
Sean Ross is a staff writer for Yellowhammer News. You can follow him on Twitter @sean_yhn