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Action Fund Endorsement Policy

Note: Federal candidates should contact the national Action Fund office.

2016 ENDORSEMENT Policy

Introduction
The Planned Parenthood Central Coast Action Fund is an independent, separately incorporated 501(c) (4) non-profit, non-partisan advocacy organization affiliated with Planned Parenthood Central Coast. The Action Fund is dedicated to protecting and advocating for reproductive health access and reproductive freedom through educational activities and the promotion, endorsement, and recognition or candidates who support reproductive rights.

A. Electoral Activities Guidelines
Under federal law, a duly incorporated (c) (4) organization may devote up to 49% of its expenditures and activities toward electoral activities. Protecting reproductive freedom and access to reproductive health care through the election of candidates who fully support these issues is the primary goal of the Planned Parenthood Action Fund’s electoral activities. This Electoral Policy incorporates the legal requirements for (c) (4) organizations, the organizational requirements established by the Planned Parenthood Federation of America, and the non-partisan philosophy of the Action Fund.

The Action Fund’s electoral activities must be conducted independently of candidates and candidate committees. In accordance with laws governing independent expenditures, the Action Fund cannot coordinate its electoral activities with candidates or candidate committees. The Action Fund may decide to support a candidate whose position on reproductive health care access and rights is fully consistent with the mission of Planned Parenthood by giving an official endorsement or, alternatively, public recognition of the candidate’s 100% rating on Action Fund issues. Support may take the form of newspaper and on-line advertisements, postings on the Action Fund website, email notices, voter guides, and, in the case of an endorsement, monetary donations. In addition, the Action Fund may choose to oppose a candidate who undermines reproductive health care access and/or rights.

B. Criteria for 100% Rating
To be eligible for endorsement or recognition as a candidate with a 100% Rating on reproductive health issues, any candidate for elected or appointed office must at a minimum support:

1. The Roe v. Wade opinion and oppose any attempt to overturn Roe;

2. Public Funding of abortion services, prenatal care, family planning, and other reproductive health care services for all who are eligible;

3. The right of minors to confidential family planning, abortion, prenatal care, and sexually transmitted infection screening and treatment services;

4. Comprehensive, age-appropriate sexuality and HIV/AIDS education in public schools that is medically accurate and free of racial, ethnic, and gender bias;

5. The provision of, or referral for, reproductive health care services by any health care entity that receives public Funding for providing health care services;

6. The inclusion of all reproductive health care services, including abortion, in any health reform plan; and

7. The enactment of laws, and enforcement of existing laws, that protect reproductive health care providers, their staff and patients, and their families from the ongoing campaign of violence, intimidation, and harassment being waged against them.

C. Recognition of a Candidates’ 100% Rating as an Alternative to Endorsement
In order to encourage men and women who are supportive of reproductive health care access and rights to seek public office, the Action Fund has the option of publicly recognizing a candidates’ 100% Rating in a suitable manner.

To qualify for a 100% Rating from the Action Fund, a candidate must meet the supportive criteria listed above in section B “Criteria for 100% Rating”, and be a viable candidate.

D. Endorsements

Criteria for Endorsements:

To qualify for an endorsement, in addition to meeting the criteria for a 100% Rating, the candidate must:

a. Have engaged in specific activities which demonstrate a commitment to reproductive rights;

b. Articulate how he or she intends to strengthen or expand access to reproductive health care, as appropriate for the candidate’s office.

Other Endorsement Policies:

a. The Planned Parenthood Action Fund will endorse only one candidate for each open seat.

b. If two or more candidates for any given open seat received a 100% Rating, the Action Fund may decide not to endorse any candidate and, instead, communicate to voters the 100% Rating of each candidate.

c. Incumbents with 100% Rating seeking re-election in local elections no longer enjoy a presumption that they will be endorsed in their re-election bid. Such incumbents must demonstrate how, during their previous term(s) of office, they have actively advanced or strengthened the cause of reproductive freedom and access to reproductive health care.

d. Candidates who have taken a leadership role in or have actively advocated for reproductive freedom and access to reproductive health care will be given priority in the endorsement process.

e. Other factors to be considered include, but are not limited to:

i.          Whether the candidate will make reproductive rights and access to reproductive health care an issue in his or her campaign; and/or

ii.         Whether the Action Fund’s endorsement will be publicized in campaign literature.

 f. In some circumstances, the Action Fund may endorse a candidate who does not meet every criterion outlined above.

 g. The Action Fund recognizes that strong candidates who support reproductive rights are not limited to any one political party and will be non-partisan in its endorsements.

 E. Endorsement and Recognition Procedures

1. Candidates seeking the Planned Parenthood Action Fund’s endorsement or recognition are responsible for familiarizing themselves with the electoral policies available on request by mail or at http://www.ppcentralcoastaf.org/, for downloading or otherwise obtaining the questionnaires relevant to their particular race, and for filling out and submitting all required materials in a timely manner to the Planned Parenthood Action Fund for consideration. (All questionnaires used to determine endorsements or recognition are available on the Action Fund’s website.)

2. In order to obtain an early endorsement, a candidate must complete and return the application materials, have publicly declared their candidacy, and demonstrate how they have rendered extraordinary commitment to Planned Parenthood’s mission. The purpose of an early endorsement is to give an advantage in the race to an exceptionally qualified candidate who, if elected, will advance the cause of reproductive freedom and health care.

3. Action Fund endorsements and recognitions are issued for the current election cycle only and are revocable at any time. Previously endorsed or recognized candidates must apply for endorsement or recognition each time they run.

4. Candidates seeking the Action Fund’s endorsement may be personally interviewed, as determined by the Action Fund’s Electoral Committee.

5. Candidates’ responses to the supplemental questionnaire relating to campaign strategy, organization, etc. will be held in confidence. Responses to the primary questionnaire relating to the candidate’s positions on reproductive health care may be made public.

Candidates or their designated staff are encouraged to contact Julie Mickelberry, VP Planned Parenthood Central Coast Action Fund with questions at (805) 722-1508 or at julie.mickelberry@ppcentralcoast.org

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