Romney surrogate in NH claims that equal pay laws are “unnecessary”

See, this is what happens when you have young twerps running the show.  They say stupid things, not realizing that because they’re now surrogates for a presidential campaign, people actually pay attention to what they say.  Here’s the cloddish executive director of the New Hampshire GOP, Tory Mazzola, on why things like the Lilly Ledbetter law – which, lest anyone forget, arose out of a Supreme Court case in which a woman was refused the right to sue her employer even though she really was being paid less for the same work – are unnecessary.

That’s an unforced error, right there. And, for now, Mitt Romney owns it. He would do well to disavow it quickly, instead of offering mealy-mouthed non-answers like this one on whether he would have signed the law in the first place.

And now there is word, via email, that the NH Democratic party is jumping all over Mazzola’s gaffe:

Lilly Ledbetter, NH Democratic Leader Terie Norelli to Hold Press Conference Call, Respond to Romney Top NH Surrogate’s Opposition to Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act

Just days after Republican Presidential candidate Mitt Romney refused to say if he supports or would have signed the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act, a top Romney surrogate in New Hampshire did not shy away from opposing the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act….

Lilly Ledbetter
New Hampshire House Democratic Leader Terie Norelli

What: Press conference call responding to Romney’s top NH surrogate opposing the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act and accusing women of “unnecessarily” demanding fair pay for equal work

When: TODAY April 18, 2012 at 1:30 PM ET

Get ready for lots of this kind of thing in the months to come.

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6 Comments . Leave a comment below.
  1. Mazzola clearly said something dumb...

    …but are we to automatically assume that since Romney is the presumptive nominee that any chair/ED/spokesman of any state GOP is his surrogate? I’m not convinced its fair to expect Romney to answer for every dumb thing that every GOP operative says.

    • Ask Hilary Rosen

      While perhaps “surrogate” is a bit strong, it is nevertheless true that each state party chair (for either party) does, in fact, have a higher profile than folks with no formal relationship to the party. The fact that the presumptive nominee refused to answer inquiries about the issue in question makes the gaff more newsworthy — by not answering, he created a gap that Mr. Norelli was only too happy to fill.

      I think it’s perfectly reasonable that when the presumptive nominee ducks a question that other party officials answer (and Mr. Mazzola certainly is a “party official”), the media will pay attention to those party officials.

      This was a blunder, and the NH Democratic party is right to call attention to it.

  2. Free market!

    Get ready to hear some real, unbridled — um — Republicanism this summer. They can’t afford to alienate a single GOP vote, so they’ll tolerate almost anything from the fringes. Nothing short of outright racism will be condemned. Romney didn’t even call out Nugent yesterday,

  3. The interests of women and the interests of Anne Romney

    In families where the husband has a job outside the home and the wife works in the home as mother and homemaker, it is in the interest of such women for women to earn less than men: after all she is living off a man’s income and the more unfairly larger that income is the better for her.

    This crass calculation doesn’t hold, of course, for heterosexual, undivorced women who can’t afford this arrangement.

    • Current divorce law in Massachusetts reinforces this

      When an idyllic couple like Mitt and Ann Romney divorce in Massachusetts, the fact that she stayed home with the children while he “brought home the bacon” becomes “Mr. Romney was a distant and uninvolved father who is not qualified to have physical custody of the minor children.” The fact that this was a mutual choice made by both parties is immediately covered over by any competent divorce attorney that the mother hires.

      Once physical custody is awarded (almost always to the mother), then the mother receives 50% of the net (30% of gross) income of the father as child support. It is very much in the interests of child support recipients (almost all of whom are mothers) to preserve and extend the wage disparity between men and women — if women earn more, then they are less likely to stay home to begin with, and will receive lower child support payments after they divorce. The Court is loathe to
      assign imputed income to a mother with young children and eager to do the same to her ex-husband. It’s a classic “heads I win, tails you lose” game for the father.

      Every father should be on the front lines fighting for equal pay for women — few fathers expect to be “divorced fathers”, yet 50% of marriages end in divorce, and equal pay for women would significantly improve the life of divorced fathers.

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