John Klar, a candidate for governor of Vermont, has paid thousands of dollars to view communications between Vermont Attorney General TJ Donovan’s Office and Planned Parenthood during the passage of Vermont’s extreme abortion law last year.
According to his campaign website, Klar, who is an attorney, argues that Vermont “taxpayers have a right to know whether important elected officials violate ethics or campaign finance laws in close relationships with powerful Political Action Committees like Planned Parenthood’s.” Klar paid $3,244.28 to gain access to the correspondences, of which he raised $2,383.00 on GoFundMe, and the balance was given to him by Vermont Right to Life, a pro-life organization which is interested in reviewing the records as well. The State of Vermont charges for staff hours spent and equipment necessary to research and communicate public information.
In 2019, Vermont Gov. Phill Scott signed extreme abortion law H.57 into law, which was promoted by AG Donovan, who testified at the State House in support of the bill. Despite the fact that there were already no restrictions on abortion in the state, pro-abortion politicians pushed through the bill to ensure that abortion remains available at any point in pregnancy for any reason even if Roe v. Wade (the Supreme Court decision that legalized abortion throughout the U.S. in 1973) is overturned. The Vermont law even allows abortionists and abortion businesses the right to sue the State if they are prevented from starting a new abortion business in Vermont.
Vermont has also introduced Proposition 5, an amendment to the state constitution that would make abortion a right. The Attorney General’s Office has also promoted the passage of Proposition 5, which must pass votes in the Vermont House and Senate in 2020 before going to Vermont citizens for a final decision. Klar’s records request between Donovan and Planned Parenthood also includes communications regarding Proposition 5.
Donovan was honored by Planned Parenthood Vermont Action Fund Independent Expenditure Political Action Committee in October 2019 as a Choice Champion during their Sex, Politics & Cocktails event. He was selected as one of five Planned Parenthood honorees for his “dedication to protecting and advancing reproductive justice in Vermont.” With Gov. Scott, Donovan helped to secure $800,000 in state funding for the Planned Parenthood, to replace the federal Title X dollars that the corporation refused. After that decision was made, Vermont Daily asked the Scott administration who made the decision to give Planned Parenthood the money. The administration either didn’t reply or simply stated, “I don’t know.” Vermont Daily paid nearly $200 to view records on the Title X funding decision, but no data has been received, according to True North Reports.
“If they are public records, how many times must the public pay for them in order to see them? AG Donovan argues that he is saving taxpayers money, by charging taxpayers money,” said Klar. “In actuality, he is charging fees to prevent voters from obtaining the government transparency that Public Records Request laws were designed to provide. Mr. Donovan is much too cozy with Planned Parenthood – an Attorney General should be impartial on important public policy issues, not openly advocating for one side, as AG Donovan has so brazenly done. We will see what we discover.”
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