Last month, Operation Rescue’s Troy Newman sent out a frantic fund-raising e-mail declaring his anti-abortion group “FLAT BROKE!!!” In all caps, Newman wrote that Operation Rescue was “$22,000 IN THE RED” and needed $43,000 in 10 days or “PLANNED PARENTHOOD COULD WEASEL OUT OF THESE 107 CHARGES.” How Planned Parenthood could “weasel” out of criminal charges brought by the nation’s leading abortion opponent – Johnson County District Attorney Phill Kline – wasn’t clear. We called Newman to find out.
How’d you get $22,000 in the red?
By overspending. We’re back in the positive now. I do the projects that are necessary and worry about the details later. We have enough money in our savings account to cover that, and so it isn’t a problem. But we need to replenish our war chest to get back in the fight.
So you had the money in savings?
My accountant called me and told me we were upside down, what should we do? I said take it out of the savings account.
What were some of the projects you were working on?
I just purchased another truth truck. It’s our 10th truck. We’re also helping to expose some dirty abortionists around the country and helping file reports against their medical records. We have our project against the Democratic National Convention in Denver. We’re also working on another lawsuit, which I can’t tell you [about]. We also have a series of radio ads that we’re scheduling. We also have television spots, which we’re producing. We’re also in the midst of our office remodel – the abortion clinic that we purchased and threw out the bums that were operating there.
So you aren’t in any danger of going under?
No, I trust God. We’ve always lived week-to-week. Sometimes, at best, month-to-month. But the Lord has always been faithful to supply all of our needs. The pro-life community has always been extremely generous in helping us meet all our goals and expectations. I’m not in debt in any way, other than our monthly obligation.
You wrote that you needed $43,000 or else Planned Parenthood could “weasel out” of the criminal charges. How could they weasel out of the charges?
They’re a strong lobbying group, and they have a lot of influence in Kansas politics, Kansas media, The Pitch even. And we’re going to combat that with our own media campaign and aggressive e-mail campaign. We’re not going to give them any wiggle room. They may attack the credibility of Phill Kline, but I think that his integrity is impeccable. And I believe it will be proven when the grand jury is seated, and they hand down even more indictments.
Your status as a charity was revoked in September 2006?
They say it was revoked. We gave it back. We had long debates with the IRS agent and attorneys, and they came to the opinion that I couldn’t say that John Kerry was a baby-killing hypocrite. In my mind, that’s called freedom of speech. But if you’re a non-profit, they say you can’t say that. So I said, take your 501(c)3 and put it some place where the sun doesn’t shine.
Has handing over that charity status hurt your ability to raise money?
No, I think it has helped us. We’re no longer silenced in any way. We tell the truth. Look, we’re broke. If you’d like to support our efforts, here’s where to send the money.
But you said you had that money in the savings account?
Where are you going with this? What does the letter say?
It says you’re broke.
Yeah. Do you take money out of your savings account, your retirement plan, your 401k or whatever because you need to pay your car payment? Only in an emergency, right? That’s exactly what it was. You have a savings account for emergencies only or for some other project. And so I had to divert funds from one project to pay our normal operating expenses.
What tripped me up was you saying you had the money, but the e-mail said you’re $22,000 in the red.
Right. We have our operating expenses, our normal operating income, and when that gets depleted to zero you either start bouncing checks or you scramble and you put the funds in there. And that’s what we had to do.
-- Justin Kendall