Funding for Washington State Assisted Suicide Initiative

As of 11/1/08, the “Yes on I 1000” committee reported receipts of $4,856,732, more than $3.1 million of that from cash contributions made by assisted-suicide advocacy groups; Booth Gardner, his family and his legacy fund; and from Loren Parks (a self-described major contributor to the campaigns for Oregon’s assisted-suicide law).

In addition, the “Yes on 1 1000” committee accepted hundreds of thousands of dollars in foreign contributions,
Assisted-suicide groups also provided in-kind contributions (donated goods and/or services) and made pre-campaign expenditures in preparation for I-1000.

(During the same time period the “Coalition against Assisted Suicide” reported contributions totaling only $1,510,442.)


Cash Contributions from Assisted-Suicide Advocacy Groups, Gardner & Parks

ASSISTED SUICIDE ADVOCACY GROUPS, GARDNER & PARK CONTRIBUTIONS DATE REF # TOTAL
American Civil Liberties Union 09/18/08 100275235 $61,562
Compassion & Choices Action Network 10/06/08 100280080 $250,000
Compassion & Choices of California 10/23/08 LMC Form $5,000
Compassion & Choices of Idaho 03/03/08 1389831 $ 1,000
Compassion & Choices of Indiana 03/07/08 1139038 $ 100
Compassion & Choices of Iowa 09/04/08 100273168 $100
Compassion & Choices of Laguna 10/14/08 100280092 $500
Compassion & Choices of New York 03/31/08 1139789 $ 1,000
Compassion & Choices of No. Calif. 05/30/08 100255101 $ 1,000
Compassion & Choice of Orange 10/09/08 100277554 $1,000
Compassion & Choices of Washington 10/06/08 100280080 $150,000
Compassion & Choices of WA PAC 10/08/08 00277534 $626,500
Death with Dignity National Center 02/29/08 1134809 $21,870
Dying with Dignity; Victoria, Australia 09/30/08 100276106 $4,138
End-of-Life Choices CT, Inc. 10/01/08 100276106 $1,000
Euthanasia Research & Guidance Org 01/16/08 1121180 $3,500
Final Exit Network of Georgia 04/30/08 100251333 $1,000
Final Exit Network of Illinois 03/28/08 1139773 $ 260
Gardner, Booth 09/15/08 10027235 $470,000
Gardner, Booth – Legacy Committee 10/08/08 100277554 $27,000
Gardner, Booth – Family member #1* 02/14/08 100244408 $2,500
Gardner, Booth – Family member #2* 02/26/08 100244428 $2,500
Gardner, Booth – Family member #3* 09/18/08 100275235 $20,000
Gardner, Booth – Family member #4* 10/13/08 100280095 $250,000
Hemlock Society of Florida 10/27/08 LMC Form $1,000
Hemlock Society of New Jersey 08/15/08 100268427 $500
Hemlock Society of San Diego 10/02/08 100277536 $20,634
Oregon Death with Dignity PAC 10/10/08 100280097 $971,132
Parks, Loren ** 10/13/08 10020092 $275,000
TOTAL from assisted-suicide advocacy groups, and Booth Garner, his family and supporters. $3,169,796

 

* Family members of Booth Gardner who have contributed to the efforts to pass I-1000 include: Stephen Clapp, James Norton Clapp, Margaret Clapp and Linda Henry.

** Nevada multimillionaire Loren Parks told the Oregonian that he and George Soros were the biggest donors to the campaigns for assisted suicide in Oregon.


In-Kind Contributions from Assisted-Suicide Advocacy Groups

Since the I-1000 campaign began, through 10/28/08, the Portland based assisted-suicide advocacy group, Oregon Death with Dignity Political Action Fund, donated $991,118 in consulting, signature gathering, legal and staff services.
(Source:  Washington State Public Disclosure Commission, Schedule B for “Yes on I 1000,” reports dated 7/8/08, 7/11/08, 10/28/08.)

The Oregon Death with Dignity Political Action Fund was previously known as Oregon Right to Die (ORTD).  According to the Death with Dignity National Center (DDNC), the name was changed “so that ORTD could more easily combine its political strengths with DDNC.”
(Source:  Death with Dignity National Center web site, www.dwd.org)


Pre-campaign expenditures and activities by assisted-suicide group in preparation for Washington assisted-suicide proposal

Initiative 1000, the proposal to legalize assisted suicide in Washington State, did not spring from any desire of Washington residents to transform the crime of assisted suicide into a “medical treatment.” Rather, it was spawned by the Oregon-based Death with Dignity National Center, shown by the following quotations from that organization’s 2007 report.

 

 

“We have spent the last year actively researching and collecting data to determine the state which is most likely to adopt a Death with Dignity law. Through these efforts we have identified Washington as the state most likely…. We, at the Death with Dignity National Center, are proud to provide our political experience and expertise to these talented and committed people of Washington.”
[Death with Dignity National Center 2007 Report, p. 3]

 

“Campaigns, such as the one in Washington, take a great deal of time, effort, and money. In 2006-2007, we invested each of these resources in planning for a 2008 ballot initiative. We raised nearly $250,000 to provide seed money to the campaign, and we participated in extensive early research efforts.”
[Death with Dignity National Center 2007 Report, p. 3]

 

“Currently, we are actively participating in a coalition of groups in Washington state.”
[Death with Dignity National Center 2007 Report, p. 4]

 

“We are working with a coalition of local individuals from the State of Washington to put a Death with Dignity initiative on the ballot in 2008. The coalition is led by the popular former governor of Washington, Booth Gardner, who has taken a political and personal interest in the issue.”
[Death with Dignity National Center 2007 Report, p. 5]

 

“This next year, we will be directing our legal and political efforts, along with financial resources, to a coalition of groups working to expand end-of-life options for the terminally ill in the state of Washington…. [W]e have never had such great odds of success as we have in Washington in 2008. That is why we will be directing $1.5 million over the next year and a half to the efforts in Washington.”
[Death with Dignity National Center 2007 Report, p. 5]

 

“We believe that Washington’s proximity to Oregon and the state’s history of enacting policies through the initiative process make Washington the most likely place for a Death with Dignity law. Our organization is providing leadership, political strategy, and financial resources to this monumental effort.”
[Death with Dignity National Center 2007 Report, p. 5]

 

Entire report available at: http://www.deathwithdignity.org//documents/DDNC2007annualreport.pdf


Foreign contributions to I-1000 campaign

As noted in the above chart of funding from assisted-suicide advocacy groups, Dying with Dignity of Victoria, Australia which has campaigned for assisted suicide in that country donated over $4000 for the Washington State initiative.  In addition, Judy Sebba, a professor of education at the University of Suffix in Brighton, England, contributed $253,555 to the “Yes on I 1000” committee.


Washington More about Washington’s proposed assisted-suicide measure (I-1000).

Oregon Information about Oregon’s assisted-suicide law on which the Washington proposal is based.