There seems to be a great deal of confusion during this campaign season about the various groups that have gotten involved, either financially or with endorsements, with the races set to finish on November 4th. This is particularly the case across Kentucky's House of Representative races – because this is the chamber of the legislature close to flipping control. The Democrats hold an increasingly smaller edge in the House, as districts in the West (and elsewhere) begin to support more conservative candidates.
One of the organizations that routinely weighs in on legislation, and lobbies for policies they believe in is the Kentucky Family Foundation. The Family Foundation is a policy shop that lobbies legislators on bills important to them and those who agree with the Foundation. The Family Foundation does not spend money on campaigns or candidates. The Family Foundation describes its Mission in part as follows:
The Family Foundation is Christ-centered in all that it pursues. This is their logo:
Unfortunately, in recent years, another organization has been created that does not lobby or advise on policy at all, but rather does spend money on campaigns and candidates. This group, known as the Kentucky Family Values PAC (Political Action Committee), is organized entirely differently and intentionally aims to influence elections (while claiming to support candidates and policies to stop that from being allowed). This group, which is certainly legally entitled to exist and function, is trying to blur the lines for unsuspecting voters. This group does not have a Christ-centered approach to anything and recites a number of vague policy points that sound pretty good, such as:
Ironically, the Kentucky Family Values PAC endorses pro-choice candidates and expressly guides voters to "Vote No" for pro-life candidates. "Give Kentuckians of all ages the opportunity..." unless they're still in their mother's womb. The PAC also endorses gambling and casino legislation, and has taken money from facilities like Kentucky Downs to support candidates who vote their way. While I disagree with gambling/casinos entirely, but I'm not faulting the PAC's existence. My objection (which is shared by a great many others) is that the PAC is going out of its way to confuse and obfuscate voters.
The organizers chose a name that sounds like the Kentucky Family Foundation's name. Of all the policies they do support (such as abortion and gambling/casinos) none of them are mentioned on their site or in their printed materials or in candidate-endosring radio spots. It's all poll-tested tag lines about "protecting families." The Family Foundation, on the other hand, clearly states its position on every issue it can (see here and check the righthand column of the page). The PAC doesn't mention gay marriage (which its endorsed candidates support), abortion (ditto) or gambling/casinos (ditto).
Finally, the Kentucky Family Values PAC made an interesting logo choice:
Now, scroll back up to the Kentucky Family Foundation logo. Completely different, right?
As if campaigns weren't already challenging enough in getting the truth (and often a very complex truth) communicated in to the public, and as if elected officials weren't already fighting voter apathy (and as if voters aren't fighting campaign mud slinging fatigue), we have to contend with groups who are intentionally muddying the water to hide the ball long enough for their side to win.
If you hear Kentucky Family Values PAC, and you think you like what you hear, just be sure you know the truth about what they are and what they are not.
I expect now for sure I'll be a target of theirs come 2016.