Washington Assisted Suicide Backers Outspent Opponents Nearly 3-1 on I-1000
by Steven Ertelt
January 7, 2009
Olympia, WA (LifeNews.com) — Washington became the second state in the nation to legalize assisted suicide when voters approved I-1000 on the November ballot. New figures from a governmental agency make it easy to understand why — as backers of the measure outspent opponents by a three to one margin.
The Public Disclosure Commission has collected its final numbers from the 2008 elections and determined that assisted suicide backers made good on their pledge to bring in significant amounts of out of state money to fund their efforts.
The campaign to legalize physician assisted suicide, Yes on 1000, brought in $4.881 million.
Though the media attention focused on the supposed high levels of spending by the Catholic Church against the measure, the Committee Against Assisted Suicide raised only $1.659 million to oppose I-1000.
Peg Sandeen, the executive director of the Oregon-based Death With Dignity National Center, admitted during the campaign that large sums of out of state money was flowing to the I-1000 campaign coffers.
"Most of our donations come from Washington, Oregon, California, New York and Florida," she said.
Carrie Herring, head of the group opposing the assisted suicide measure, has talked about the funding problems.
"Differing opinions have been aired by individuals and organizations as to why I-1000 passed, but one answer deserves particular attention – and that answer is money," she said in November after the election.
"The message itself is very important, and we’ll be taking a close look at whether we can improve the message," she said. "However, the truth in political campaigns is that the results are often determined by the amount of money each side has to get the message out."
"We were outspent by out-of-state donors," Herring said — pointing to the fact that the Yes campaign received over twice as much money from non-Washington donors as the No campaign brought in from all donors.
"We didn’t have the money both times we needed it most in the campaign," Herring explained.
That meant the group didn’t have the start-up funds needed and that it was outspent by more than 2-1 on media advertising during the crucial final weeks of the campaign when most voters started paying attention to the debate.
The lesson for pro-life advocates is clear. If they want to defeat anti-life measures or pass their own, they need to open their wallets and give more to make it happen.
Related web sites:
Washington Coalition Against Assisted Suicide – https://www.noassistedsuicide.com
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