Below is a press release from our public policy partner, Family Council Action Committee, regarding a contribution it received exclusively for its campaign against Issue 1. As you may know, Family Council Action Committee is a separate organization from Family Council. We appreciate our friends across the state who are helping Family Council fight abortion, and do all the other good work we have always done. Contributions Family Council Action Committee receives to oppose Issue 1 do not help fund Family Council’s work fighting abortion, promoting religious liberty, defending marriage, or assisting home schoolers. Family Council needs your ongoing financial support to enable us to continue doing all the good work you have known us for over the past 30 years.
On Tuesday Family Council Action Committee announced it had received a gift of $75,000 from Little Rock attorneys Mike Rainwater and Bob Sexton to fight Issue One.
Family Council Action Committee Executive Director Jerry Cox said, “In March, we announced our Seven Point Plan for defeating Issue One. This donation helps us implement that plan. We plan to rally faith leaders, mobilize a statewide grassroots network, send direct mail, conduct speaking engagements, do media interviews, distribute voter’s guides, and get out the vote.”
Cox said the donation will help his group maximize its effectiveness in opposing Issue One. “This does not change our plan one bit, but it does enable us to do more of what we are already doing. We devised a seven point plan against Issue One that works with any amount of money. This gift will enable us to reach more people with the message that Issue One is bad tort reform that puts a dollar value on human life. As a pro-life organization we know that every human life is priceless.”
Mike Rainwater said, “As attorneys we believe Issue One is wrong for Arkansas for many reasons, but as Christians who believe in the importance of a Biblical worldview and as two men who are devoted to supporting efforts that align with and promote the Christian faith, we were especially touched and appreciative of the Family Council Action Committee’s work on this issue. As soon as we heard of their stance, we knew we had to be supportive.”
Cox said he has actively opposed proposals like Issue One for 15 years. “Family Council Action Committee has opposed this type of bad tort reform as far back as 2003. Over the past 30 years thousands of people have donated to our work. This is the latest in a long line of gifts from people who believe in our mission and want us to be successful.”
Cox said he wants to help Arkansans understand Issue One and its unintended consequences. “Issue One is a proposed state constitutional amendment referred to the ballot by the Arkansas General Assembly. If passed in November, it will change how injury lawsuits are handled by capping non-economic damages at $500,000, limiting attorney fees, and letting the legislature restrict the types of evidence that can be considered in injury lawsuits.
“Critics of the measure say it ties the hands of juries by limiting their ability to award damages for suffering in case of extreme abuse, neglect, or death in nursing homes and in other cases. Letting the legislature set the rules of evidence could create a situation where business interests persuade lawmakers to declare so much evidence off-limits that people who have been seriously injured or the family members of those who have been killed can’t muster enough admissible evidence to build a case against the perpetrator.”
Cox said his group has supported responsible tort reform measures and is ready to support new responsible measures, but believes Issue One simply goes too far. “There is good tort reform and there is bad tort reform. Issue One is bad tort reform, because it puts a dollar value on human life.”
Family Council Action Committee is a conservative 501(c) (4) organization based in Little Rock, Arkansas.
Jerry is the founder and president of Family Council. He began Family Council in 1989 after a successful effort to amend the Arkansas Constitution to prevent the use of public funds for abortions. He and his wife reside in Little Rock. They have four sons.