Missouri Right to Life Political Action Committee Endorsement Criteria
Missouri Right to Life Political Action Committee (MRL PAC) was established as the political action arm of Missouri Right to Life with the express directive to endorse candidates for political office who, according to MRL PAC bylaws and criteria, would be the best and most effective voice for the unborn. The MRL PAC has long-established and proven endorsement criteria to make this all-important determination.
MRL PAC strives to elect prolife candidates by supporting those candidates who meet the standards set by the MRL PAC and have the best chance of winning. This combination requires that we consider the unique dynamics and political realities of each race. Since it is impossible to predict all political circumstances, MRL PAC will exercise prudential judgment in the application of the endorsement criteria. MRL PAC can and will consider a withdrawal of an endorsement if a situation arises in which it feels that such action is warranted.
MRL PAC endorsements are:
- Non-Partisan - not based on a particular political party or a party platform but on an individual candidate’s fulfillment of MRL PAC endorsement criteria.
- Based solely on MRL PAC bylaws and criteria - endorsements are made by the MRL PAC based on established criteria.
What are the major guidelines, procedures and criteria for endorsement?
- Prolife - First and foremost, a candidate must be prolife. A candidate must complete an MRL PAC survey establishing in writing their position on abortion, euthanasia, human cloning, embryonic stem cell research, and other prolife issues that fall under the purview of MRL issues.
- Other Considerations - MRL-PAC may consider history of activism and involvement in prolife work for non-incumbents or challengers. Additionally, candidate interviews, public statements, and input from the district may be part of the endorsement process.
- Incumbency - The MRL PAC believes that an incumbent running for re-election to the same seat - who has consistently voted to protect innocent human life - deserves the unwavering support of the PAC regardless of opponent. Therefore, the MRL PAC will endorse the incumbent running for re-election provided that incumbent has maintained an acceptable prolife voting record.
- Voting record - When a candidate has held office, whether running for the same seat or a different seat, MRL PAC will consider up to a four-year voting record to determine a candidate’s eligibility for endorsement. The percentage of prolife votes required for endorsement is determined by MRL PAC.
- Surveys - The MRL PAC will send surveys to all major party candidates who file to run for office. A signed, completed, and satisfactory survey is required for MRL PAC endorsement.
- Party affiliation - The MRL 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 MRL PAC makes endorsements. The MRL PAC must look to use its resources effectively in those areas in which it can possibly make a difference in the outcome of a race.
- All Meet Criteria - In races where there is no prolife incumbent and where all candidates meet the MRL PAC endorsement criteria, the MRL PAC will do multiple endorsements.
- Dynamics of a race - In a race with two or more prolife candidates and one or more viable anti-life candidates, or viable candidates whose position is unknown, MRL PAC will likely endorse a single candidate in hopes of avoiding a split in the prolife vote. The political realities and circumstances of a political race will also be considered.
- Viability - MRL PAC will attempt to determine the viability of a candidate when considering an endorsement.
- Candidate ratings - MRL PAC will assign a rating to all candidates to give the best possible information to voters as to where a candidate is positioned on our issues. MRL PAC uses the following ratings:
100% - a perfect voting record for up to four years
PL - prolife positions on life issues as determined by the steps outlined above. For those who have held office, this includes a prolife voting record on the required votes.
M - mixed voting record or positions on prolife issues
AL - anti-life voting record or positions
NR - no response, incomplete response, or missing Missouri Right to Life PAC or National Right to Life PAC survey