Exclusive: Planned Parenthood funding Astroturf pro-abortion lobbying in DC?

Denise Hunnell spotted this posting in the jobs section of Craigslist-Washington DC this morning:

**Stop the Assault on Women’s Reproductive Rights!**$335-$535/wk (Dupont)

Typos aside, this is shocking that the pro-abortion machine has become so desperate for real flesh-and-bone supporters and activists that they are willing to pay people to do what pro-lifers volunteer to do.

The fact that this group is called “Grassroots Campaigns” is quite ironic, considering they are in the business of paying people to “spontaneously” support their cause. In politics we have a word for paying people to fake real supporters: Astroturfing.

But wait, it gets more interesting: this Thursday is Pro-Choice Lobby Day in Washington DC. They promise to “provide training” to people who show up. That’s smart, especially if the people who are showing up are being paid to lobby and don’t know this issue. Maybe the RSVP list looked too thin to the organizers and they decided they needed a little shot in the arm.

But wait, it gets more interesting: could Planned Parenthood be behind this? The advertisement above was uploaded under the name “PP DC CL” (“Planned Parenthood DC?”).

More to the point, if you visit the Grassroots Campaigns website you will meet Allie Diffendal. Allie is their Washington DC canvassing director. Here’s part of her bio:

Tired of writing newspaper articles and academic papers about the world’s problems, [Allie] traded in her pen for a clipboard and hit D.C.’s streets to get passersby invested in practical solutions. In just two swift months, she championed gay rights for the American Civil Liberties Union, fought for affordable healthcare and women’s legal right to choose with Planned Parenthood Federation of America

That last organization looks awfully familiar. It turns out Grassroots Campaigns has organized (and presumably hired) “volunteers” for Planned Parenthood in the past.

So, let’s recap: Mere days before a major pro-abortion Congressional lobbying day in Washington DC, an organization that has worked with Planned Parenthood before posts an advertisement named “PP DC CL” in a local Craigslist job section to hire people willing to “fight the anti-choice Congress.”

In other words, this very well may be yet another example of our tax dollars at work paying for Planned Parenthood to pay people to … get us to pay them with more of our tax dollars.

Sounds like another great example for why we need to expose and DEFUND Planned Parenthood.



  • David

    Frankly, I don’t care if a organization pays for fake protestors or lobbies Congress. I think the problem is that we (as taxpayers) pay Planned Parenthood millions so that they can use the federal funds (or other funds freed up because of the federal subsidies) to lobby the governement and (possibly) pay fake protestors.

    With respect to the Catholic and Mormon Church, last I checked neither were getting $1 million per day from the federal government.

  • Jeff

    So there’s still no actual proof Planned Parenthood is paying for any of this, right? A file name and the fact that a liberal worked for a group of liberals?

    Just to be clear, Grassroots Campaigns is an organization that pays college students a pittance to solicit donations on the street. They profit off the notion that passionate young people will be willing to work for “important” causes for cheap. It’s a scummy business but how it gets spun into this wild conspiracy where PP is paying people to go lobby Congress is way beyond me. Assuming this ad IS related to the choice rally next week (which is a connection created by the author), it’s just good strategy– you have a group of people fired up about pro choice causes, you should have a bunch of people hanging around asking them for donations.

  • Katherine

    The “job” PP is hiring for are those annoying kids with a clipbaord that stand by the subway exit and ask you to give money to PP. I don’t care for that method of fundraising by just causes let alone PP.

    Of course, Speaker Boehner has already agreed to drop the PP language (offering as a trade off the federal prohibition on local tax dollars in one jurisdiction going to Medicaid abortions but allowing it in 55 other parts of the country), largely because the GOP elected to write the amendment in a rhetorical and unConstitutional way rather than as a serious piece of legislation.

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  • James D

    The Catholic Church spends millions of dollars a year on high priced congressional lobbyists (on efforts to deny job protection and civil rights to gays and lesbians mostly), so surely you don’t have an issue with that. Is the issue that they are “grassroots” lobbyists that are probably from working families and not high priced lobbyists that drive fancy cars?

    • Thomas Peters

      James D – where do you get this myth about “millions of dollars on high priced congressional lobbyists”? I’ve only met two “lobbyists” for the USCCB. They are family men on modest incomes, and they are very overworked. Do you actually have proof or do you just enjoy slandering people and clinging to illusions? I actually provide proof for all my claims.

      • Justin


        James D has been posting crypto-Catholic nonsense like this on your blog for a while now. His pro-sodomy and pro-baby murder ramblings are enough to make the blood of most faithful Catholics boil.

      • Bruce

        When James D is asked for proof for his hyperbolic statements, or asked for simple definitions, he always fails to do either. You might just be farting into the wind trying to engage him.

      • James D

        So the Catholic Church does in fact lobby legislators to support laws that deny job benefits, immigration rights, social security, inheritance, job protection, and protection from hate crimes to gays and lesbians? Is it somehow better in your mind that these are “overworked family men” that are working against gay and lesbian Americans?

      • Fran

        It’s common knowledge that the Catholic Church funnels millions of dollars a year into NOM and other advocacy groups which then petition lawmakers. These groups refuse to release their tax forms, so the amounts are hard to determine. However, we know that $42 Million dollars was spent on Proposition 8 and most of that came from the Mormon and Catholic Churches. This is all money that could be better spent elsewhere to actually help people.

        • Thomas Peters

          Fran – more money was spent by the anti-Prop 8 crowd, but that’s okay by you because it went to the side of the cause you side with. Your argument is senseless but if you followed the logic of it, pro-SSM orgs should not spend money that they know will force defenders of marriage to spend money upholding their view in turn. The argument about “wasted money” is actually a boomerang argument for your side. Try again.

        • Dennis

          But Fran, the Catholic Church and the Mormon Church are privately funded by their members. Planned Parenthood is forcibly funded by all citizens. Don’t you see the difference? If you don’t like what these churches fund then don’t donate to them. I heartily disagree with what PP does but I don’t have a choice over whether to pay for it or not. Your point is moot.

    • Warren

      Me thinks we have a troll in our midst. Sweeping generalizations and the inability to distinguished apples from oranges be the raison d’être of such surly beasts.

  • Bruce B.

    If Americans go voluntarily and without pay to lobby Congress they are acting as citizens and petitioning their government for redress of grievances.

    If they are paid agents are they not “lobbyists” in the strict sense, who need to be registered with the IRS? Could this be a violation of federal law, especially if a so-called “non-profit” like PP is behind it?

    • MikeM

      I’m sure that they can’t legally go in as citizens if they’re being paid by an activist group.

      Activist groups aren’t even supposed to tell citizens specifically what to say (though, of course, they can give “information” that “might be relevant,” which makes that whole issue fairly meaningless).

      As for the non-profit aspect, though, if they’re being sent by Planned Parenthood, they may be coming from PP Action, which is a 501(c)4 activist organization operating under the PP umbrella.



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