Tuesday, September 26, 2006

Is Emily's List a shero or a shill?

OK -- am I the only one that reads Ellen Malcolm's emails and cringes??? Does any one else wonder how a PAC puportedly aimed at electing and empowering women can rarely actually talk about it? How the facts are not only skewed to toot its own horn, but honed to urge members to forge ahead to generically elect Democrats -- as was noted in yesterday's missive ("Hirono Wins!") regarding EMILY's List-endorsed Mazie Hirono's razor-thin victory in HI02? Does anyone else see those messages as Democrat screeds more than a call for electing MORE women?

Ms. Malcolm described the former Hawaii Lt. Governor's victory as "impressive" -- failing to mention that it was by 833 votes, which many on the island found plenty troublesome even if there were nine primary opponents. And even if HI02 is currently Democrat, OPEN SEAT campaigns can be tricky. Nothing is assured regardless of Malcolm's words, but those words will keep the dollars flowing for Hirono and, of course, EMILY's LIST.

EMILY's List -- dedicated to electing pro-Choice women Democrats -- has so far spent nearly $24 million (on what exactly???) this election cycle, more than any other independent political action committee in the entire country, according to the Center for Responsive Politics. That's impressive, and I am quite sure that Howard Dean and Rahm Emmanuel and Charlie Shumer couldn't be more pleased.

But I am displeased. NOWHERE is yesterday's email does Ms. Malcolm mention anything about electing MORE women. NOWHERE in yesterday's email does she mention that a win by Hirono would amount to a pick-up for women in Congress. All she can talk about is "ensuring that Democrats hold this seat" and that "...we've made the entire Democratic Party stronger." This may be brilliant fund-raising -- tapping into the hopes of women (and men who think they are helping women) who want to see Democrats take over Congress -- but I think it's shameful pandering to and preservation of the current political status quo.

Is the election of MORE women so passe that we can't even talk about it? Or just a another tool to empower a political party that will do nothing special to help achieve equal representation in our lifetimes? Is EMILY'S LIST a shero or a shill? I'd love like you to think shero, but then comes another of those scary emails.

PS: As a lifelong Democrat, I certainly am not against electing Democrats per se -- but shouldn't those writing checks to EMILY'S LIST know that so much of the money is going to get women to vote for Democrats rather than directly benefitting women's campaigns? For that reason, I urge you to give DIRECTLY to those campaign, especially for OPEN SEATS -- just to be on the safe side!


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