Top Republican fundraiser Elliott Broidy resigned from his position as deputy finance chair for the Republican National Committee last week after The Wall Street Journal reported that President Trump’s personal attorney Michael Cohen had brokered a $1.6 million payment to quiet a woman who said Broidy impregnated her during an extramarital affair. Broidy admitted that he “offered to help her financially” as she terminated the pregnancy.
The hypocrisy of Broidy being a top fundraiser for a party that wants to make it a crime to have an abortion while paying off a woman to have an abortion is startling (if not particularly unusual). But while many politicians gave away the donations they had received from Broidy when he was convicted of bribery in 2009, it’s unclear whether any self-declared “pro-life” politicians plan to return his donations in wake of his most recent scandal.
Last year, many Democrats gave away donations they had received from producer Harvey Weinstein after Weinstein was accused of widespread sexual harassment and assault. While Broidy is not accused of being coercive or violent, one would think that his paying off of a woman to have an abortion would cross a line for opponents of abortion rights, who argue, after all, that the procedure should be illegal.
Here are some of the party and campaign committees who oppose abortion rights to whom Broidy has given sizeable contributions. Donation records were accessed by Right Wing Watch via Open Secrets.
Republican National Committee: $264,000
Records show that Broidy has given the Republican National Committee more than a quarter-million dollars since the beginning of 2017. During the 2016 Republican National Convention, the party laid out a platform that anti-abortion activists praised as the “most pro-life platform ever.”
National Republican Senatorial Committee: $33,900
Last summer, Broidy donated $33,900 to the National Republican Senatorial Committee, which is led by Sen. Cory Gardner of Colorado and Sen. Thom Tillis of North Carolina with the expressed mission of “strengthening the Republican Senate Majority and electing Republicans to the United States Senate.”
Gardner has consistently voted in favor of bills aimed at restricting abortion access and jailing abortion providers. When he was a member of the House, Gardner sponsored an anti-choice personhood bill and then lied about it when he was running for Senate.
As we wrote in 2014, “Tillis has said he would support a Personhood Amendment banning abortion in all cases and prohibiting common forms of birth control, and believes that states have the right to ban contraceptives.” When he was House speaker in North Carolina, he once added abortion restrictions to a motorcycle safety bill. More recently, Tillis voted in favor of a bill aimed at criminalizing abortions after 20 weeks of pregnancy.
Sen. John Cornyn (R-TX): $2,700
Cornyn received the maximum individual contribution amount of $2,700 from Broidy on May 12, 2017. Earlier this year, Coryn acted as a vocal supporter of legislation that sought to criminalize abortion procedures carried out beyond 20 weeks. Cornyn also co-filed a 2016 amicus brief to the Supreme Court in support of a Texas law that severely restricted access to abortion.
Sen. John Thune (R-SD): $2,700
Thune received the maximum individual donation amount of $2,700 from Broidy on May 22, 2017. Thune declares on his Senate website that he has “a 100 percent pro-life voting record and [has] consistently supported a ban on abortion with the exceptions of rape, incest, and endangerment to a mother’s life.”
Rep. Mimi Walters (R-CA): $2,700
Walters received the maximum individual donation amount of $2,700 from Broidy on July 14, 2017. Walters advocated for the establishment of a House committee investigating Planned Parenthood and has consistently voted with the agenda of anti-choice groups.
Sen. Tom Cotton (R-AR): $2,700
Cotton received the maximum individual contribution amount of $2,700 from Broidy on August 29, 2017. As a member of the House, Cotton co-sponsored “personhood” legislation that would criminalize all abortions and could even threaten some types of birth control.
Josh Mandel, Senate candidate in Ohio (R): $2,700
Broidy donated the maximum individual donation amount of $2,700 to Mandel’s campaign on September 19, 2017. Mandel reportedly signed a pledge with a Cincinnati anti-abortion group that he would oppose abortion in all circumstances, but later walked that pledge back to exclude scenarios that endanger the life of a pregnant woman.
Sen. Mitch McConnell (R-KY): $2,700
McConnell received the maximum individual donation amount of $2,700 from Broidy on September 30, 2017. McConnell has used his career in Congress to hinder the advancement of abortion rights and told the Kentucky Right to Life Association that abortion was “a national tragedy” and “a grave injustice.” Days later, he told March for Life demonstrators that “the Senate hears them.”
Rep. David Valadao (R-CA):$2,700
Valadao received the maximum individual contribution amount of $2,700 from Broidy on November 16, 2017. The anti-abortion group National Right to Life has given Valadao a 100 percent rating for his support of “pro-life” legislation. Valadao signed on to a letter January 27 that thanked President Trump and Vice President Pence for making appearances at the annual March for Life event and thanking Trump for “nominating pro-life justices to the U.S. Supreme Court.”
Rep. Kevin McCarthy (R-CA): $2,700
McCarthy, who serves as the House Majority Leader, received the maximum individual contribution amount of $2,700 from Broidy on November 16, 2017. Last year, McCarthy had boasted that House Republicans were poised to pass “pro-life” legislation. In a 2015 statement, McCarthy said of the House, “we will always fight to save as many children as possible.”
Rep. Dana Rohrabacher (R-CA): $2,700
Rep. Dana Rohrabacher received the maximum individual contribution amount of $2,700 from Broidy on November 16, 2017. The anti-abortion group National Right to Life has given Rohrabacher a 100 percent rating and he has been endorsed by the California Pro-Life Council.
Rep. Jeff Denham (R-CA): $2,700
Rep. Jeff Denham received the maximum individual contribution amount of $2,700 from Broidy on November 16, 2017. Denham reports himself to be “pro-life” and has co-sponsored “personhood” legislation. Denham has also supported legislation aimed at restricting access to abortion procedures, including the recent 20-week ban bill.
Darrel Issa (R-CA): $2,700
Issa received the maximum individual contribution amount of $2,700 from Broidy on November 16, 2017. Issa identifies himself as “pro-life” and has attempted to block federal funding for abortion procedures. Issa also voted in line to support the 20-week abortion ban bill.