Montana Women's Lobby
Candidates leave answers up to all-knowing 8 ball
Today the Bozeman Daily Chronicle published a letter to the editor from a local MWL member. I agree with her complaint that too many candidates refuse to respond to organizations requesting information about their positions on issues, especially women’s issues. Here’s the text of her letter:
I reviewed the Montana Women Vote Voter Guide 2012 to learn where candidates in local and statewide races stand on issues important to me. Ten candidates answered all questions and, in specific instances, gave additional written responses. Two wrote responses to at least one question. The others – Adams, Burnett, Field, Ponte, White, Daines, and Rehberg – did not respond to any questions (see the entire report at www.montanawomenvote.org).
Guessing that I am magically supposed to intuit where the non-responding candidates stand, I consulted a higher authority, my trusty 8 ball. Here are MWV’s questions (paraphrased to save space) and my Magic Orb’s answers:
Should government ensure that safety net programs are in place for those in need? MO: “Better not tell you now.”
Do you support health care and health insurance for all families? MO: “Very doubtful.”
Would you invest in family planning and contraceptives for women? MO: “Don’t count on it.”
Do you support a woman’s right to make her own reproductive choices? MO: “Reply hazy. Try again.”
Admittedly, there is a slim chance that my all-knowing 8 ball is wrong. But nobody should have to resort to magic to learn candidates’ positions on vital issues.
Corlann Gee Bush
NY Times Examines Voter Suppression Efforts
This week the New York Times published an investigative report on voter suppression efforts around the country. Claiming that conservatives groups are focusing on voter registration in swing states, the article, Looking, Very Closely, for Voter Fraud, reveals a disturbing pattern too often aimed at the poor, racial minorities, and students. This article, while long, deserves a careful reading by everyone.
Minority Members of House Committee Release Report on Anti-Woman Record of 112th Congress
A new report prepared by the Democratic staff of the Energy and Commerce Committee finds that since the beginning of the 112th Congress in January 2011, the Republican-controlled House has cast 55 votes for “anti-women” policies. These votes include policies that decrease women’s access to health care, restrict or roll back women’s access to legal abortion, block access to reproductive and maternal care services, and undermine or weaken environmental laws that protect pregnant women from toxic chemicals. These votes make up almost 5 percent of the legislative votes since January 2011, which constitutes an average of one anti-women vote for every week that the 112th Congress has been in session.
New Census Data Shows No Progress in Closing Wage Gap
This Wednesday, the U.S. Census Bureau released 2011 income data revealing that women continue to earn only 77 cents, on average, to every dollar men earn, virtually unchanged over the last decade. The numbers are worse for black and Hispanic women, who make an average of 64 cents and an average of 55 cents, respectively, for every dollar paid to white, non-Hispanic men.
Dear Mr. Akin, I Want You to Imagine…
Read a powerful response to Todd Akin’s rape remarks and later statements about having “misspoken” in today’s Huffington Post. Written by Eve Ensler, Tony award winning playwright, performer, and activist, it sums up the reactions of many women around the world.
Study Highlights What Raising the Minimum Wage Would Mean for Women
A new study from the Economic Policy Institute found that women would make up more than half of the workers affected by a raise in the federal minimum wage. Additionally, 70 percent of those affected would be families that make less than $60,000 a year. Currently, the federal minimum wage stands at $7.25/hour.
Voter ID Laws Pose Greater Risk to Women
Ten states have adopted voter identification laws that require voters to present a state-issued identification in order to receive a ballot in November. These voter ID laws may disproportionately prevent women from voting because women experience legal name changes more often due to marriage or divorce, which requires more frequent ID updates. Proponents of voter ID laws argue that citizens should already have qualifying IDs and requiring presentation of such IDs will help prevent voter fraud. However, there are very few, if any, recognized cases of voter fraud. Research indicates that voter ID laws are often intended to prevent eligible voters from voting rather than to combat infinitesimal voter fraud. Read how voter ID laws prevent women like 93-year old civil rights activist Viviette Applewhite from voting.
Predictions of Important 2012 Election Issues: Women and LGBT rights
In a recent blog, banker, author, and businessman Sanjay Sanghoee argues that candidate’s positions on gay rights and women’s rights will be salient and crucial in the upcoming elections. Sanghoee predicts voters will analyze candidate’s positions on issues like gay marriage and the gender pay gap as both moral and economic considerations, since the legalization of gay marriage has generated a positive economic impact of $259 million in New York City in the last year alone, and the gender pay gap can cost families $383,000 on average. Read his entire editorial here.
Latino Groups Push House of Representatives to Pass Inclusive VAWA
A coalition of Latino organizations sent a letter to House offices urging passage of the Senate version of VAWA, which includes provisions protecting immigrant victims of violence. The letter urges House members to “move forward on a VAWA that protects all communities that are vulnerable to abuse. This includes immigrants, the LGBT community, American Indian women, and students on college campuses.” The House version of VAWA excluded provisions regarding the aforementioned populations, and the coalition letter reprimanded House members, stating that “the current impasse benefits no one”.
Companies with Women on Board of Directors Perform Better
The Credit Suisse Research Institute has released a report that shows businesses with women on their boards outperformed comparably sized companies with all-male boards by 26 percent. The report found that gender-diverse boards performed better than their all-male counterparts specifically during times of economic volatility, while performing about the same during times of economic growth. Currently, 36 percent of U.S. companies have no women on their board of directors, and female CEOs make 69 cents for every dollar that a male CEO makes.