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Parent company Coachella donates money to anti-abortion group

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This story is published in collaboration with Popular Information, award-winning independent money and politics newsletter. Subscribe to receive the most important news as soon as it is published..

June 24, the day the Supreme Court annulled Rowe vs. WadeThe General Prosecutor’s Office of the Republic appealed to its supporters with an urgent request for money: “[E]the donation itself will help Republican Attorneys General fight the Democratic pro-abortion agenda and stand their ground for the rest of their lives.”

A few days later, on June 29, according to a filing with the IRS in July, Anschutz Corporation — a large holding company known to own live music giant AEG Presents, the parent company of several major festivals including Coachella — made a donation of $75 000 USD RAGA. The money from the Anschutz Corporation comes as the RAGA prepares for election season to appoint attorneys general who will enforce and defend anti-abortion laws in key states where abortion rights remain in limbo, such as Wisconsin, Michigan, Arizona , Ohio and USA. Florida.

Anschutz Corporation denies that it or its owner received, saw or knew of the RAGA fundraiser, noting in a statement to rolling stone that they have been donating to RAGA since 2014 and that “[a]Personal, Philip F. Anschutz believes in a woman’s right to choose and does not support abolition Caviar“.

RAGA’s opposition to abortion rights is well known. Mississippi Attorney General Lynn Fitch, a member of the RAGA, was responsible for the legal strategy to eliminate the constitutional right to abortion in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization, Supreme Court case overturning Caviar. In July 2021, 24 of 26 other RAGA members submitted an amicus report in support of Fitch. “The precedent of the abortion court is erroneous, inconsistent, uneven and unreliable,” wrote the Attorney General of the Republic. “Caviar as well as Casey should be cancelled.” (The only current RAGA members who did not sign the document were New Hampshire Attorney General John Formella, who took office in April 2021, and Virginia Attorney General Jason Miyares, elected after brief was signed.)

AEG Presents and its sister company Goldenvoice (which represents Coachella and Stagecoach) are just a couple of stars in the vast galaxy owned by the Anschutz Corporation. However, it is notable that Anschutz’s proceeds will be used by the RAGA to support these efforts, with a portion of that proceeds coming from ticket sales for concerts and festivals featuring major artists who have been highly critical of conservative attacks on reproductive rights.

After the draft conclusion Dobbs leaked back in May, at least 15 artists who performed at Coachella this year, including Billie Eilish, Megan T Stallion and Phoebe Bridgers, signed full-page ads in New York Times condemn the actions of the court. “Our ability to plan for our future and take control of our bodies depends on our ability to access sexual and reproductive health services, including abortion,” the artists said in the ad. “We won’t back down and we won’t turn back.”

After the actual decision was made, Harry Styles, another Coachella 2022 headliner, posted on Twitter that he was “devastated” by this decision. Eilish, who spoke at Glastonbury in the UK on the day the decision was announced, told the crowd: “Today is a very, very dark day for women in the US.” And Megan Thee Stallion also used her Glastonbury platform to proclaim, “And I want it on a fucking record that hot guys and hot girls don’t support this bullshit you’re all campaigning for. My body is my fucking choice.”

Other Coachella 2022 artists who spoke out Dobbs decisions or have supported selection efforts in the past include Maggie Rogers, Finneas, Arcade Fire and Kim Petras. In addition to Coachella, outspoken artist Maren Morris also performed at this year’s AEG/Goldenvoice Stagecoach country festival (Brandi Carlyle, who criticized Dobbs decision, Stagecoach was also supposed to play, but had to be canceled due to Covid-19). And politically minded bands like Halsey, Green Day, Dua Lipa, Charlie XCX, Youngbloodas well as Willow perform at the AEG Firefly Festival in Dover, Delaware in September.

Representatives for Styles, Eilish, Finneas, Megan Thee Stallion, Arcade Fire, Morris, Halsey, Carlile, Green Day, Dua Lipa, Charli XCX, Yungblud and Willow did not immediately respond to requests for comment; According to their representatives, Petras, Rogers and Bridgers were not available for comment.

In a statement to rolling stone, AEG responded as follows: “AEG, AEG Presents, Goldenvoice and its other subsidiaries, as one company, firmly support a woman’s right to choose. As the owner and producer of many of the most inclusive festivals and venues on the planet, we have taken steps to make our position clear. June 28, after the alarming rollover Rowe vs. Wade and with the full support of The Anschutz Corporation, we have informed all of our employees that we will cover travel and living expenses for women who need to leave their home state to receive reproductive health services, including abortion. We remain committed to choice, freedom and access to full reproductive health choices for women.”

Records show that in March 2022, Anschutz Corporation also contributed a total of $750,000 to the Senate Leadership Fund and the House Leadership Fund, supercomputers seeking to return Republican control of the House and Senate. Senator Mitch McConnell said that if his party regained control of Congress, he would consider a ban on abortion in the country.

That Anschutz Corporation donated $75,000 to the RAGA and more to other Republican committees should come as no surprise. The company, owned by 82-year-old billionaire Philip Anschutz, has attracted a lot of attention and notoriety in the past for donating to right-wing groups, although his representatives noted that he has also donated to many other groups and told rolling stone it does not “revise and endorse each of the positions” taken by these groups.

The Anschutz Corporation statement reads in full: “As a personal matter, Philip F. Anschutz believes in a woman’s right to choose and does not support abolition Caviar. Neither The Anschutz Corporation (TAC) nor Mr. Anschutz received, saw, or knew of the Republican General Attorneys Association (RAGA) fundraising based on the cancellation Rowe vs. Wade. TAC has been contributing to RAGA since at least 2014. No contributions to the RAGA by TAC or Mr. Anschutz were based on, informed or motivated by any position of the RAGA on Caviar or an abortion. Mr. Anschutz contributes to numerous organizations, usually for specific reasons. It does not review or endorse each of the positions taken by such organizations.”

AEG owner Philip Anschutz in 2017.

Sean Clark/Getty Images

In 2017, Anschutz came under fire after his foundation reportedly donated to anti-LGBTQ groups, including the Freedom Defense Alliance, the National Christian Foundation, and the Family Research Council. Anschutz denied allegations that he is anti-LGBTQ, calling the statements “fake news” and adding, “I unconditionally support the rights of all people, regardless of sexual orientation.”

At the time, Anschutz stated that he would stop funding any groups involved in anti-LGBTQ activities. And while contributions to the aforementioned groups did indeed stop, Pitchfork reported in 2018 that Anschutz still gave money to small organizations with a history of anti-LGBTQ statements and actions. Among them was the popular Christian youth ministry Young Life, which as of last year accepted LGBTQ youth but did not allow them to work as volunteers or employees. (After the Pitchfork report, Anschutz’s lawyer said: “We are proud of the progress we have made in this regard, but there is always room for improvement.”)

Like many corporations after Dobbs Last month, AEG pledged to cover travel and accommodation costs for employees whose access to reproductive health is at risk. “We understand that the issue of reproductive rights is very important to our employees, and we are committed to supporting you and your family with a healthcare system that continues to provide medical and prescription coverage for reproductive health services, including abortion,” the company wrote in an email. viewed rolling stone.

The upcoming elections in Wisconsin are a clear example of how critical the race for attorneys general will be in the post-conflict period.Caviar World. The state’s current CEO, Democrat Josh Kaul, said he “would not investigate or prosecute” anyone for violating the state’s 1849 anti-abortion law, which remained in effect but was not enforced after Caviar was adopted in 1973. Kaul also recently filed a lawsuit to block the ban after it was called out. Dobbs.

All three Republicans seeking to remove Kaul this November said they would enforce the state’s abortion ban if elected. And no matter who wins the Republican primary for AG next month, the General Association of Republican Attorneys will be ready to help, having already reserved $682,250 in TV ads for anti-Kaul commercials in October and November.


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