I saw this well-written piece recently posted on Facebook by Diane Danielson on the Women for Keating page and thought I would share it on BMG:
As the Democrats fear the loss of nearly a quarter of the 56 Democratic women in the house, the Republicans are celebrating what they believe is their Year of the Woman – the rise of Sarah Palin’s “Mama Grizzlies.” (http://www.time.com/time/politics/article/0,8599,2011782,00.html). As a strong supporter of electing women in both parties to better reflect the population they represent, I’m afraid that 2010 is more accurately the year of a few individual women and a collective step backward for all women.
The women who have gained support from the Republican establishment are not the moderate Republicans of days gone by, but women whose beliefs could undermine the accomplishments of the current group of women in the house.
Even if female GOP hopefuls like Sharron Angle in Nevada, Carly Fiorina in California and Kelly Ayotte in New Hampshire make it to the Senate, the elections will still quite likely bring a net loss of women in Congress.
But the impact will be more than just a gender numbers game: It could have broader implications for policy and the political culture of the Capitol in an era in which women have made a significant impact on the House and the Senate, ranging from passing legislation such as the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act to establishing a Democratic Women’s Working Group and holding key committee leadership positions.
Read more: http://www.politico.com/news/s…
What is most disturbing is that just as the Republican Party rallies around the “Year of Their Women,” they are focusing their financial and other support on a “Young Guns” program dedicated to identifying, recruiting, and mobilizing a new generation of conservative leaders.
Among the Young Guns in the 2010 class are one Nazi re-enactor (Richard Lott of Ohio) and nine candidates with a history of contempt, violence towards women, and wildly extreme policies towards women including Jeff Perry (MA-10) here in Massachusetts. From the DCCC:
A recent report about NRCC Young Gun Tom Ganley (OH-13) being sued by a potential campaign volunteer for attempted rape and sexual assault comes on the heels of recent reports about other highly NRCC touted Young Guns and candidates including Jeff Perry (MA-10), Scott DesJarlais (TN-04), Brad Zaun (IA-03), Dan Benishek (MI-01), David Rivera (FL-25), Keith Fimian (VA-11), Dan Debicella (CT-04), Dan Webster (FL-08)
“It sends women across the country a chilling message when House Republican leadership promotes the campaigns of their Republican recruits with allegations of attempted rape, sexual assault, restraining orders, and other violent behavior towards women,” said Jennifer Crider, DCCC spokesperson. “Our mothers, daughters, and sisters deserve better than Republican leadership that not only tolerates this contemptible behavior, but actively seeks out candidates like this and promotes them.”
Read more at: http://dccc.org/blog/entry/rep…
So, is it the really the Year of the Woman in politics? Not when you promote the candidacy of a few females while at the same time thumbing your nose at millions of women voters.
This is why we need to make this the year of the woman voter. While we may not have as many women candidates as we should for whom we can vote, I hope that at least one-half of our population will examine how the candidates stand on women’s issues.
For example, here in Massachusetts’ District 10, we have William Keating, a pro-choice politician with over 20 years history of actively advocating for women (http://www.billkeating2010.com/node/1129). He is running against the GOP’s “Young Gun” Jeff Perry, a pro-life candidate with a 20-year history that involves a strip search of teenage girls and VoteSmart ratings on Abortion and Women’s Issues far below those of the more moderate Senator Scott Brown to whom Perry is attempting to tie himself. (http://www.Votesmart.org/).
— Brown’s ratings on Abortion by NARAL in 2005 (50%)
— Perry’s ratings on Abortion by NARAL in 2005 (0%)
— Brown’s ratings on Women’s Issues by AAUW in 2009 (100%); NOW in 2002 (33%); NOW in 2001 (40%)
— Perry’s ratings on Women’s Issues by NOW in 2005 (14%)
Perry even makes Republicans queasy. Said former Republican candidate for Governor, Christy Mihos on the popular GOP site RedMassGroup.com: “More and more people I talk to who have daughters can not get over the Wareham issue. Independents are particularly turned off by this issue. Its not a liberal or a conservative issue. its fundamental—and its a considerable barrier to winning. My wife and daughter will not vote R in the 10th.” Read more at: http://bluemassgroup.com/diary…
It’s no surprise that even conservative independents like comedian Lenny Clarke, who helped elect Scott Brown, are supporting Bill Keating. http://www.youtube.com/user/Bi… I’m hoping more independent voters and women will step up in the next few weeks and show their support for candidates like Bill Keating who they can trust with issues that directly affect them.
I ask again, is this the Year of the Woman? Really? When Jeff Perry is the “chosen one” to represent the GOP in Massachusetts?
Registration to vote ends today at 5 pm. Please encourage a friend to register to vote and to join you on Nov. 2nd at the voting booth. If we can’t make this the true Year of the Women in politics, let’s at least make this the year of the woman voter.
Diane K. Danielson
Women for Bill Keating