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Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883

Spin Control

Ad check: Union-funded flyers misstate Baumgartner’s positions

Claim: "Michael Baumgartner pledged to outlaw all abortions - and to not allow women and their families to decide what's best when facing serious medical complications in their pregnancies."

Source: Mailer from Healthy PAC, which is funded completely by Safety PAC, which is funded mostly by Service Employees International Union and Planned Parenthood. By diverting money like this, the true source of the money can be concealed on the mailers.

Truthfulness: False

Analysis: This mailer is similar to a few other mostly misleading mailers against Baumgartner paid for mostly by unions through tactics that allowed them to be anonymous on the ads.

This claim is attributed to a Spokesman-Review article about the Spokane County Republican Party platform and to Human Life of Washington. The platform, which was signed by Baumgartner, defines life as from "conception until natural death," but it does not specifically address if abortions should be allowed in cases when a woman's life is at risk. Human Life of Washington CEO Dan Kennedy said his organization, which endorsed Baumgartner, does not ask candidates about their position about making an exception in cases when a woman's life is in danger.

Baumgartner said he would support allowing exceptions in cases when the mother's life is at risk. He said he would not support making exceptions in cases of rape. (Marr supports abortion rights and says he agrees with the state's current laws related to abortion, which do not require minors to notify parents before receiving an abortion.)

Baumgartner added that he supports safety testing of children's products (a similar ad falsely implied he didn't. That mailer was paid for by Strong PAC, which is funded completely by CARE PAC, which is funded mostly by the Washington Federation of State Employees).

More Marr and Baumgartner ad fact checks are here and here.

And here's one from today's paper about false claims made by backers of Al French, who is running against Bonnie Mager for county commissioner.

Jonathan Brunt
Jonathan Brunt joined The Spokesman-Review in 2004. He is the government editor. He previously was a reporter who covered Spokane City Hall, Spokane County government and public safety.

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