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February 22, 2013

Conservative Donor's Foundation Backs Liberal Groups

While Texas industrialist Harold Simmons gave millions of dollars last year to efforts to defeat President Obama, his family foundation has donated to Planned Parenthood and other groups and causes associated with the political left, according to the Center for Public Integrity.

While the billionaire head of Contran Corporation chairs the Dallas-based Harold Simmons Foundation, two of his daughters, Lisa Simmons and Serena Simmons Connelly, run its daily operations as president and vice president. Ms. Connelly has been a donor to Democratic candidates, while her father was among the leading contributors to Republican super PACs in 2012.

The foundation gave $600,000 to Planned Parenthood's North Texas affiliate in 2011, according to tax records, and has backed public broadcasting and an anti-death-penalty group. It has also supported an anti-abortion pregnancy-resource charity, along with hospitals and the arts in the Dallas area, and Mr. Simmons and his wife are major donors to Southern Methodist University.

Mr. Simmons, who rarely gives interviews, has expressed indifference on the abortion issue, once saying, "Let people make decisions on their own bodies."