Planned Parenthood in Vermont under public records scrutiny

By Guy Page

In separate actions, Vermont Daily, Vermont Right to Life and gubernatorial candidate John Klar have plunked down cash to pay the Vermont Attorney General’s Office for public records dealing with Planned Parenthood.

Last August, the Scott administration agreed to cover the $759,000 of federal family planning funding “lost” by Planned Parenthood when Vermont’s leading abortion provider refused to stop providing abortions — a condition of receiving the Title X grant enforced by the Trump administration. Vermont Daily asked Scott administration and legislative sources to tell who had made that decision and whether there was a paper trail. The only replies were “I don’t know” or no reply at all.

Bruce Parker/TNR

Planned Parenthood has 12 locations in Vermont, the most clinics per capita than any other state.

The State of Vermont now charges for staff time and equipment needed to research and convey public information. Vermont Daily in early December made its first and so far only public records request: “Please give me 2019 public records on State of Vermont funding of Planned Parenthood to replace federal Title X funding lost under Trump administration decision this year.” Feb. 3 Vermont Daily received this emailed response from Attorney General TJ Donovan’s Chief of Staff, Charity Clark: “Based on our searches, there are potentially over 100 responsive records, not counting attachments to emails. Using the Uniform Fee Schedule created by the Vermont Secretary of State, and subtracting 30 minutes of time as free, the cost estimate for responding to these records is $188.80. The check was sent promptly and cashed Feb. 21. To date no information has been received.

The following was published on the Klar 2020 campaign website yesterday:

Gubernatorial candidate John Klar has paid $3,244.28 to the Vermont Attorney General’s Office to view correspondence between that Office and Planned Parenthood during crucial legislative wrangling over the passage of Vermont’s notorious abortion law, H57. Also requested are documents relating to Proposal 5, a Constitutional amendment to protect abortion procedures up until birth in Vermont.

Klar, an attorney, was originally quoted a fee of $7,232.33 to view the records, but amended his Nov. 18 request to shorten the requested time frame and reduce costs. AG Donovan has defended the high fees charged by his office for copy requests, arguing he has a duty to save taxpayers money. Klar asserts 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 raised $2,383.00 of the copy fees through a gofundme effort; the balance of $861.28 was provided by Vermont Right to Life, a pro-life organization that also wishes to examine the requested records.

Klar argues that paying large sums for a “Public Records Request” is a travesty that mocks the very title under which he asked for these documents: “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. 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.”

Read more of Guy Page’s reports.

Image courtesy of Bruce Parker/TNR

9 thoughts on “Planned Parenthood in Vermont under public records scrutiny

  1. The Vermont Attorney General must have had an enormous amount of correspondence with Planned Parenthood to request a fee of over $7,000 to release Public Records information.

  2. Thank you True North Reports for this informative article. It is time for all media to report truthfully about Planned Parenthood. The media never fact checks Planned Parenthood’s lies. It was Planned Parenthood’s choice not to accept the Title X funds. I saw no reasons for Vermont to give Planned Parenthood taxpayer’s money to replace the money they refused to accept from the federal gov, We know most of the Vt. Legislators stand with Planned Parenthood. And we know Planned Parenthood has wormed its way into all aspects of Vermont ‘s government, our schools, colleges, hospitals ect…
    This doesn’t entitle Planned Parenthood to taxpayer’s money. Thank you John Klar, Guy Page and Vermont Right to Life for investigating the possible miss use of Vermont funds and Vermont officials.

  3. That’s rich. Condos is saving the state precious nickels and dimes over sharing supposed public information while another agency wastes over $750,000 with no accountability. Only in New York or California. It’s interesting to note that the states in the most fiscal trouble are run by Democrats and that includes our rino governor and the crowd in the legislature.

  4. Meanwhile back in voterland, Vermont’s sheep continue to vote for the people who steal their money, and their rights, and have no idea what they’re doing.

  5. To add further clarification to just one point in this well written article, let me add that it is important to understand that Planned Parenthood of Vermont rejected the federal Title X family planning funds because the pro-abortion organization did not want to comply with the one provision that has been a condition of receiving the federal family planning funding from its inception in the 1970’s – and that is that family planning services do not include abortion services – and if a recipient of the funding wishes to provide both, the services must be separated.

    However, PP of VT has always viewed abortion a method of family planning – their attitude is the reason PP refused to comply with Trump administration enforcement of that original condition of the federal family planning funding.

    Governor Scott stepped in to support Planned Parenthood’s view and replaced the federal money for Planned Parenthood’s abortion business with state funding – only now the funds are without regulations or rules – insuring that PP can continue their practice of providing abortion as a just another method of family planning at Vermont taxpayer expense.

    • Mary, can you explain how the PAC’s and Planned Parenthood of Vermont are tied/work together? How that might influence things? How is this financial sum fit in the big picture of their budgets and how it’s used?

  6. It would be interested to see an itemized listing for the fees being charged by the AG.

  7. Way to go!!!!!!

    When I ran for office, Planned Parenthood (some division) ask me to answer some questions and if I answered 100%, they could fund my campaign, I think $3,000. They sent this to all the candidates.

    Sending money to planned parenthood is nothing more than subsidizing the progressive/UN Nations NWO wing of the democratic party.

    So our state is funding people, with your tax money to tear down our state and country.

    Even without getting into your stance pro or against abortion, this is crony politics and nepotism to the highest degree. And as you can see, even when you ask they wont’ tell you or provide the paperwork they are supposed to by law. This is why we earned a D- in ethics, one of the lowest grades in the Nation!

    Huge Kudos to Guy Page, John Klar and Right to Life.

    PAC’s can’t vote, they aren’t people. It’s a fancy way to send unlimited money to buy elections. Just ask Mike Bloomberg, he bought the entire Democratic Party. If you are a Bernie supporter this may be a sore spot having been swindled 2x in a row.

    Corruption on either side cripples us. Republicans know we have shady folks on our side, it’s on both sides.

    Amazing work……this is only the tip of the ice berg for our state. WELL DONE!

  8. So you need to ” pay ” to look at public data in the AG’s office as a taxpayer you
    already paid for, sounds like a Ponzi scheme so you won’t ask for the data !!

    Why the high-cost paper not that expensive or could they be hiding something ??

    Nah, there Liberals we know they only deal in the truth……… yeah.

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