The League of Women Voters seems a benign civic minded organization that simply puts on candidate forums. But those forums have a format that may be designed to be controlling and perhaps manipulative. The forums do not allow the open process of public questioning like a meeting where elected officials respond to questions that are designed to allow give and take until the questions are fully answered in a completely transparent fashion. The League controls the questions and thus the public’s perception of the process.
I have observed this type of process being commonly used by various leftist/liberal/progressive organizations. Based on their own literature, the League of Women Voters is demonstrably that type of organization according to their publication entitled, “Positions. League of Women Voters of the United States Impact on issues 2012-2014, A Guide to Public Policy” cited below. Summary of their advocacy positions includes:
Supported marriage of homosexuals, Partial Birth Abortion, public financing of federal elections, abolishment of the Electoral College, U.S. President using executive authority to control new or existing coal-fired power plants, is fully supporting Common Core State Standards, the Afffordable Care Act, amnesty for illegal immigrants, strong federal measures to limit accessibility of guns, and licensing of gun ownership.
Opposed photo ID voter identification laws, the right of healthcare providers having moral or religious objections to requirements of the Affordable Health Care Act, laws withholding federal dollars to abortion providers, the building of new coal-fired power plants, and a balanced budget amendment to the U.S. Constitution
When Cynthia Feland ran for the office of Judge for North Dakota’s South Central District I believed (and still do) her to have made numerous false statements in several legal proceedings. So, upon hearing that the Bismarck-Mandan League of Women’s Voters were to have a “Candidate Forum” I decided to ask a question of her and the other judgeship candidate. I was the very first person in the room where the forum was to take place. I gave my question to a member of the League. That question was primarily a verbatim quote from the North Dakota Rules of Professional Conduct for Attorneys, Rule 3.3 CANDOR TOWARD THE TRIBUNAL. The exact wording of that question was:
“Have you ever made a false statement of fact of law to a tribunal or failed to correct a false statement of material fact or law previously made to the tribunal”?
Very few people attended the forum and as I watched from the back of the room only a very few questions were provided to the forum’s by the audience. To my great surprise my question was not asked. After the forum I asked a different League member than the one that I had initially given my written question to saying, “I submitted a question that was not asked, how can that be”? She responded, “we thought it was too accusatory”.
Then it dawned on me. This was not like a town hall meeting, or a school board meeting, or a county commission meeting where if you have a question you walk up to the microphone, ask your question and if needs be ask following questions until your question is answered. Not only is this method the most interesting but obviously the most transparent.
At the League of Women Voters events, they choose what the public perceives. They choose the questions. The public has no way of knowing what questions were submitted nor by whom. Their methods obviously are the antithesis of transparency.
During the 2013 North Dakota Legislative Session I went to the March 3, 2013 League of Women Voters Legislative Forum. I had discussed this forum with at least half a dozen other individuals who attended that forum. I knew what questions would be submitted by seven people. These questions were all, in my opinion, quite well stated, specific, and entirely appropriate for this event. None of those questions were asked of the candidates.
Again, the League asked only the questions that they decided to ask. There was no direct questioning. There was no opportunity to dialog and have questions completely answered. The League controls the questions and thus, what the public perception.
What struck me particularly was that while several of the legislators at the forum were decidedly in support of protecting unborn children from elective extermination, several of the League of Women voter women facilitating the process had been supporting the right to kill unborn children. Collecting question from the audience was Renee Stromme of Bismarck who at the time was and still is the Executive Director of the North Dakota Women’s Network. Ms. Stromme was a constant provider of testimony in support of electively killing unborn children during the consideration of the several bills related to that phenomenon during the 2013 session.
This caused me to wonder, how could someone intimately involved in opposing the policy positions of many if not all of the legislators participating in the forum be involved in deciding what questions they would be asked? A little investigation resulted from this observation.
On The League of Women Voters of Bismarck-Mandan website is a statement that connects the League to the North Dakota Women’s Network. One of the Network board members is another prominent supporter of elective killing of unborn children, Amy Jacobson who is stated on the Network’s website as being the North Dakota Public Affairs Manager for abortion industry behemoth Planned Parenthood MN, ND, SD. The biography on that website says that, “One of Amy’s proudest achievements is co-founding WE Rise Women Empowered a women’s lobby day which works to demystify the legislative and electoral process of women”.
The North Dakota Women's Network claimed to be bringing 150 "citizen lobbyists" to Bismarck Sunday and Monday, March 10 and 11, 2013 in the days immediately prior to pro-life, anti-abortion legislative hearings. I was contacted by a couple of women who told me that they would be traveling to Bismarck with that group on that all expense paid lobbying trip and that Planned Parenthood would be paying. In fact when you access the online announcement from the North Dakota Women’s Network website you must click on “We Rise”. Clicking the “Register Here” link text directs one to the Planned Parenthood Action hosted site (http://www.ppaction.org/site/Calendar?id=104461&view=Detail). Those who register are told:
“Thank you for your RSVP to WE Rise: Women Empowered. One of our awesome volunteers will be in touch with you soon to inquire about travel and lodging needs”.
In 2011 the foray into legislation by WE Rise was similarly made by the offer that, “Transportation to attendees from across the state will be provided!” There was with this announcement a link to the Planned Parenthood Advocate sponsored website to download a travel and stipend application form Planned Parenthood using a link that is no longer active: http://www.plannedparenthoodadvocate.org/page/-/pdfs/We%20Rise%20Travel%20and%20Stipend%20Form.pdf
From an audit of the League of Women Voters US document it is stated that the League obtained the vast majority of their funding in the form of grants ($ 4,190,094 in 2012 and $ 4,837,024 in 2013). Often times non-profits organization will list on their website who their funding “Partners” or contributors are to thank them and to kind of advertise so that others might grant to an organization because the organization is funded by organization or individual that they like and respect. It has been my observation that groups like the League with such an obvious leftist/progressive/liberal pedigree rarely if ever make public who their big donors are. There is evidence that the League has obtained funding from Mr. Leftwing Suger Daddy (George Soros) and the significantly left of center Carnegie Corporation (see documentation below).
Do we know who funds The League of Women Voters of Bismarck-Mandan? Do we know why they do not conduct their sponsored forums in a manner that is fully transparent? Are they unable to construct some type of random selection of questions of like an election, have unaffiliated oversight for their selection of questions at their sponsored forums? If a candidate or legislator participates in a forum conducted by the League of Women Voters are they, by their participation, assisting to legitimize an organization that actively is involved in advocating the elective destruction of unborn babies? Are candidates running for public office being involved in a “setup” when participating in League sponsored events? Based on all of the evidence that I can find the answer to the last question is absolutely YES! If invited participants to League of Women Voters either refused to participate unless the questioning was entirely transparent, maybe we could have real impartation to the voting public. Imagine, transparency, impartation of knowledge to the voting public…..it will never happen as that is not the purpose.
Positions. League of Women Voters of the United States Impact on issues 2012-2014, A Guide to Public Policy
The LWV opposes voter identification laws, “voters were the first in the country to soundly reject a proposed constitutional amendment that would have required government-issue voter photo ID and eliminated Election Day Registration in future elections. The League and its partners were instrumental in securing this success for voters’ (page 8).
The LWV wants increased public financing of congressional and the presidential election (page 21).
The LWV supports abolishment of the Electoral College for election of the U.S. president (page 22).
The LWV “strongly opposed the passage of the so-called Partial Birth Abortion Act in 2003.”
The LWV has opposed the “religious or moral” objection to a health care service as demanded by the Affordable Care Act. (page27).
The LWV opposed legislation that would withhold Federal funding for family planning and reproductive health services (Title X) from organizations that provide abortions. (page 27).
The LWV “supports the creation of a permanent international tribunal, such as the International Criminal Court.” (page 34)
In 2008, the League called on Congress to enact legislation to significantly cut the greenhouse gas emissions which cause global warming and supported increased energy efficiency and a shift to a clean, renewable energy. The League called for a moratorium on the building of new coal-fired electric power plants and supported requirements for utilities to produce a significant percentage of electricity from renewable resources. (page 47)
“….in 2012, the League launched an initiative to urge the President to use his executive authority under the Clean Air Act to control carbon pollution from both new and existing power plants,” (page 48)
“Delegates at the 2010 Convention shared information about hydraulic fracturing, commonly referred to as “fracking,” a process by which high pressure water, sand and chemicals are pumped underground to fracture geologic formations in order to release natural gas. This process, as well as other fossil fuel extraction, poses a threat to water and other natural resources”. (page 49)
The LWV “supports legislation to permit same-gender couples to marry under civil law” (page 63).
The LWV is with the fully on board implementation of the Common Core State Standards (page 64).
The LWV opposes a constitutional amendment requiring a balanced Federal budget (page 67).
The LWV “celebrated success when the Affordable Care Act (ACA) was signed into law” (page 70).
The LWV supports amnesty for illegal immigrants, “The League supports a system for unauthorized immigrants already in the country to earn legal status, including citizenship” (page 72).
The LWV “supports strong federal measures to limit the accessibility and regulate the ownership of these weapons by private citizens. The League supports regulating firearms for consumer safety” (page 78).
The LWV “supports licensing procedures for gun ownership by private citizens to include a waiting period for background checks, personal identity verification, gun safety education and annual license renewal” (page 78).
ORGANIZATIONS FUNDED BY GEORGE SOROS AND HIS OPEN SOCIETY INSTITUTE
League of Women Voters Education Fund: The League supports taxpayer-funded abortion-on-demand; supports "motor-voter" registration, which allows anyone with a driver's license to become a voter, regardless of citizenship status; and supports tax hikes and socialized medicine.
THE CARNEGIE CORPORATION OF NEW YORK: FROM BUILDING LIBRARIES TO UNDERMINING AMERICAN SOCIETY
The Carnegie Corporation’s current president is Vartan Gregorian, who previously served as president of the New York Public Library and of Brown University. In 2010, WND.com reported that while at Brown, Gregorian served on the selection committee of the Annenberg Foundation, which funded activist Bill Ayers’s Chicago Annenberg Challenge with a $49.2 million, two-to-one matching challenge grant over five years. WND also reported Gregorian was “central” in Ayers’s recruitment of Barack Obama to serve as the project’s first chairman. In 2009, President Obama named Gregorian to the President’s Commission on White House Fellowships.
While the Carnegie Corporation undoubtedly supports many worthwhile humanitarian and educational causes, it also funds a variety of left-wing groups. According to DiscoverTheNetworks.org, past grant recipients include......League of Women Voters
GOD-LIKE JUDGES? A LEGAL GROUP THAT IS SURE IT’S BETTER THAN YOU
McClusky added that this dispute is closely related to the George Soros-funded effort to push “merit selection” for judges. The Soros-financed group Justice at Stake is pushing states to change their laws or constitutions in ways that would not only end judicial elections, but also take judicial selection away from elected representatives. Traditional ways of selecting judges would be replaced by an autonomous commission composed primarily of representatives from trial lawyer associations. Lest there be any question whether this kind of “merit selection” would in fact be deeply political, Justice at Stake has also been supported by such left-wing groups as People for the American Way Foundation (the group that invented “borking” of non-leftist judicial nominees in the 1980s), the American Bar Association Fund for Justice and Education, the League of Women Voters, and Planned Parenthood Federation of America.