Ballot Question Funding Update

A couple of weeks ago I wrote about some of the funding behind the opponents of this year's ballot questions in Massachusetts.

I wrote that The Committee Against Physician Assisted Suicide, which is opposing Question 2, had decided to return a $250,000 contribution from the American Family Association (AFA) -- but not a similar amount from the similarly gay-bashing American Principals Project (APP), and its chairman Sean Fieler.

I speculated that perhaps one factor for treating the two groups differently might have been that the Committee is essentially operating on behalf of the local Catholic diocese, and APP is Catholic-based, whereas AFA is Protestant. Just about all of the funding had come from Catholic institutions as of the beginning of September.

Joe Baerlein, who is representing the Committee, told me that he expected that I would see contributors coming from a variety of religions. But in fact, campaign-finance reports through October 1 show that virtually every dime continues to come from Catholics.

Of the $433,000 raised in that month, $250,000 came from the St. John's Seminary in Brighton, and $150,000 came from the Knights of Columbus. Another $20,000 came from the Sisters of Mercy in Missouri, and $10,000 from Catholic philanthorpist Frank Hanna of Georgia.

Fieler, incidentally, also gave $100,000 to another group opposing Question 2, Massachusetts Against Doctor Prescribed Suicide. That is more than a third of what that committee has raised.


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