Right to Life of Michigan Political Action Committee Endorsement Criteria

The Right to Life of Michigan Political Action Committee (RLM-PAC) was established as the political action arm of Right to Life of Michigan with the express directive to endorse candidates for political office who, according to RLM-PAC bylaws and criteria, would be the best and most effective voice for the unborn. The RLM-PAC has long-established and proven endorsement criteria to make this all-important determination.

In making endorsement decisions, the RLM-PAC is well aware that its choices may not be popular with everyone. However, popularity is not an issue nor a mandated result; rather, endorsements are made based on the bylaws and criteria established by the RLM-PAC board over many years.

RLM-PAC endorsements are:

1. Non-Partisan - based not on a particular political party or a party platform but on an individual candidate's fulfillment of RLM-PAC endorsement criteria.

2. Based solely on RLM-PAC bylaws and criteria - endorsements are made by the RLM-PAC based on established criteria.

What are the major guidelines, procedures and criteria for endorsement?

  • Prolife - First and foremost, a candidate must be prolife with no exceptions other than life of the mother. A candidate must also complete a Candidate Questionnaire based on the elected office the candidate is seeking.

  • Incumbency - The RLM-PAC believes that a previously-endorsed prolife incumbent running for re- election to the same seat - who has consistently stood up for the unborn despite possible retribution - deserves the unwavering support of the PAC regardless of opponent. Therefore, the RLM-PAC will endorse the previously-endorsed prolife incumbent running for re-election provided that incumbent has maintained an acceptable prolife voting record since his/her last election and successfully completed a current questionnaire.

  • Open seats - When there is an "open seat" with no incumbent, the RLM-PAC will send candidate questionnaires to all major party candidates who file to run and offer a personal interview for possible endorsement.

  • Local PAC subcommittees - Local PAC subcommittees, made up of prolife, affiliate member volunteers who have completed PAC training classes, conduct candidate interviews. Following RLM-PAC bylaws and criteria, the subcommittee members make a recommendation to the state PAC board concerning endorsements.

  • Endorsement Recommendations - Because local RLM affiliates are not Political Action Committees and are prohibited by law from making endorsements, the local committees make endorsement recommendations to the state PAC board, which makes the final endorsement decision based upon the local recommendation.

  • Party affiliation - The RLM-PAC makes endorsements in both major political parties, although not in all districts or races.

  • Voter Party Preference - Voter preference and allegiance to a particular political party can be a factor in determining if the PAC will become involved in a particular district. Some districts are considered "safe" districts for either the Democratic or the Republican candidate. For example, if a political party makes up from 60-100% of the voters in a particular district, then any other party's candidate stands practically no chance of winning. It is very difficult in such districts to get voters to "cross-over" to vote for a candidate who represents that minority political party. Therefore, electability is taken into account when the local pac sub-committees make recommendations for endorsements. The RLM-PAC must look to use its limited resources effectively in those areas in which it can possibly make a difference in the outcome of a race.

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