As you may know, I suspect that the Baker campaign has deliberately been keeping Karyn Polito away from the microphone, seen but not heard. Polito’s recent guest column “Let’s go beyond pay equity” demonstrates why that probably remains a good strategy.
Polito begins by praising President Kennedy for signing the Equal Pay Act of 1963 and starting the process of closing the pay gap for women. But closing the pay gap isn’t actually where Polito thinks government’s focus should be. She opines:
Did you know that single mothers are three times more likely to be in poverty than other Massachusetts residents? That more than one-fourth of single mother families have incomes below the poverty line? That three out of four female-headed households in Massachusetts don’t earn enough to pay bills and raise their children?
Single-mom poverty. That’s something we all want to reduce, right? Except that Polito really isn’t any more concerned with single-mom poverty than she is with pay inequality. She proposes “increasing the state’s earned income tax credit – a tool economists agree effectively boosts the take-home pay of moms and low income wage earners. Increasing the Earned Income Tax Credit encourages work and puts money back in the pockets of the people who need it the most – hard working moms and dads left behind by eight years of one-party rule on Beacon Hill.”
Notice what she did here. Although Polito went on a length about poor single moms, she all of a sudden is talking about moms and dads.
It is important to remember at this point that Polito is a one note politician. With Gabriel Gomez it was “Navy Seal!”. With Polito it’s “small business owner!”. Somehow, her rhetoric always circles around to small business. Her present column was no exception. Pay inequality for women segues into poor single moms segues into moms and dads segues into … you guessed it, small business. She goes on to write:
My message is this: Let’s not limit the debate to adjusting the pay of women struggling to get by. We also need economic policies that unleash the amazing potential of Massachusetts women, combined with targeted relief from burdensome taxes will help struggling women today and ensure that their ranks thin year by year. We need a state government that treats the nearly 200,000 women small business owners as partners, not prey.
So really Karyn Polito is sounding concerned about the pay and poverty issues affecting women just long enough to use them as a seque into securing changes in the law that would benefit small business. As the article states, “Karyn Polito of Shrewsbury is a small business owner”.
Is anyone still surprised that the Baker campaign limits Polito’s exposure?