D18 NARAL Endorsement Controversy

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Natali Fani-Gonzalez, one of the challengers to the three incumbent delegates in District 18, was naturally thrilled to receive the following email from Maida Schifter’s email account with NARAL Pro-Choice Maryland on April 4th:

Dear Natali,

I would like to congratulate you on earning NARAL Pro-Choice Maryland’s PAC endorsement.  We are excited about your candidacy and look forward to working with you as we advance the agenda for reproductive rights in Maryland.

We will be issuing a press release and posting to social media about our endorsement on or about April 14 and at that time will also make available an NCPM ENDORSED logo for your use.  Our staff will be happy to answer any questions you or your campaign may have.

Thank you for your service.

Warmest regards,
Edward Terry
PAC Chair

Endorsements like these serve a number of valuable purposes. In strongly pro-choice districts like D18, it serves as an excellent imprimatur that the candidate is “right” on a set of issues important to voters. They are especially valuable for challengers as they further attest to the seriousness and often viability of a campaign–great for helping to attract additional support.

However, it apparently was not meant to be. NARAL Pro-Choice Maryland PAC Chair Edward Terry called to say that the letter had been mistakenly sent out by an intern. Here is Natali Fani-Gonzalez’s email response to that phone call which she sent yesterday on April 9th:

Hi Maida –
I have just received a phone call (8:24 pm) from your NARAL Pro-Choice Maryland PAC Chair Edward Terry.  He stated that you are an intern at NARAL Pro-Choice and that you mistakenly sent me an endorsement letter five days ago (your email below) on behalf of your organization. Moreover, I received a phone call from NARAL a few days before your endorsement announcement to further inquire about my answer with regards to the taboo of reproductive-rights within the Latino community. During the call, I was also informed that my answers to the questionnaire were great.Excited about the news, I announced your endorsement via Twitter and received lots of great feedback.However, Mr. Terry’s story is flawed:

2. I know that incumbents in D18 were disconcerted with the endorsement.
3. I know that a “serious organization” such as NARAL will never allow interns to distribute sensitive information such as political endorsements.

Over the past decade, I have been part of numerous Boards, including Goucher College, Emerge Maryland, the Maryland Latino Coalition for Justice, to name a few.Therefore, I would appreciate if you do not insult my intelligence with such frivolous rationalization.
The true story: you decided to take back my endorsement under external forces’ pressure.

Respectfully,
Natali Fani-Gonzalez