By M.D. Kittle
MADISON — Gov. Tony Evers plans to issue $1 million in federal COVID relief funding to abortion provider Planned Parenthood of Wisconsin Inc.
It’s all part of more than $82 million in what the liberal governor is billing as “Equitable Recovery Grants.” It’s the kind of funding initiative that has raised questions about Evers’ spending of the approximately $4.5 billion in federal COVID aid — money he effectively has sole discretion over.
Republican lawmakers have accused Evers of using the pot of money like an unregulated re-election campaign slush fund. The Equitable fund targets the Democratic voters he’ll need if he has any hope of winning a second term in November.
“From Beloit to Lac du Flambeau, the organizations receiving these grants have been on the frontlines of providing support to communities that have seen disparate outcomes throughout this pandemic, both in health and economic well-being,” Evers said in a press release. He made stops last week to announce the windfall in Democratic Party strongholds Milwaukee, Madison, Appleton, Racine and La Crosse.
The Democrat has generously rewarded Planned Parenthood with federal taxpayer dollars at his command. As Empower Wisconsin first reported in November, one of every four federal COVID relief dollars (about $1.4 million) in a previous grant program had gone to Planned Parenthood clinics in the state, according to the Evers administration’s own tracking site.
That $10 million grant program for Wisconsin’s nonprofits was “aimed at providing economic stabilization” for groups that provide “critical services to Wisconsinites during the pandemic.” The program was funded through the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES Act) and the Coronavirus Relief Fund (CRF). part of the first $2 billion in federal pandemic funds Wisconsin has received.
“That’s ridiculous, especially when you look at what a sham health care provider Planned Parenthood is,” state Sen. Andre Jacque (R-De Pere) said last year. “Now they are using Tony Evers’ gifts as a further way to pad their bottom line.”
Reached for comment on the latest round of grant funding, Jacque said the “Evers money train continues.”
“It’s such a brazen political giveaway at this point I don’t know what else there is to say, other than Gov. Evers would rather give $1 million to the state’s largest abortionist as opposed to law enforcement or any number of ways he could be helping kids,” the senator said.
Recipients received notice of the grant awards last week. The Department of Administration still needs to “formalize a contractual commitment.”
“Grant awards are contingent upon successful negotiations and the State’s determination of its best interests,” the notice states.
Planned Parenthood has been a reliable source of campaign support for Evers and his fellow state Democrats. In 2018 and 2019, Planned Parenthood Advocates spent more than $700,0000 helping elect Evers, Lt. Gov. Mandela Barnes, Attorney General Josh Kaul and others.
Evers has vetoed several bills opposed by Planned Parenthood.