Diane Sawyer reports on the milestone met this year as 20 women come to serve in the U.S. Senate, the most ever:
But we can do better and we should. The U.S. House of Representatives is the most diverse ever, in part because the Democratic Caucus is, for the first time ever, is more than 50% women and minorities.
Why does this matter? Some people can’t help but ask that question. Read this article from National Journal about the insane difficulty reauthorization of VAWA (Violence Against Women Act) is experiencing and note in particular:
The 113th Congress, which gets sworn in today, will be the most diverse in our nation’s history. It will include 19 new people of color, the first Hindu representative and the first Buddhist senator, the first openly gay congressman of color, the first openly bisexual congresswoman, the first openly gay senator, and more female members than ever before. It still doesn’t come close to accurately representing the country it will govern. But it’s better than what we had before—and where the 112th Congress failed, the 113th very well may succeed.
The women in the clip above also address the question of why it matters. Honestly, though? I’m tempted to just say, “Because.”
Well, when it came to talking Browns. Sort of. You’ll see. Here’s the blurb:
Guest Analyst: Kevin T. Jacques, Boynton D. Murch Chair in Finance at Baldwin Wallace University—Congress and the President managed to avoid the ‘fiscal cliff’ but the tax bill for most working Americans is going up. A deal that raises marginal tax rates on the highest wage earners also allows a payroll tax break to expire, affecting wage earners at all income levels. Also going up are taxes on business and investors. Without a deal marginal tax rates would have gone up for most workers. Still looming are new debates over the federal debt ceiling and discretionary spending.
Roundtable: Michael Heaton, columnist, The Plain Dealer; Jill Miller Zimon, blogger, Writes Like She Talks; Ned Whelan, Whelan Communications.
Fiscal Cliff—the panel continues discussion about the fallout from the fiscal cliff resolution on New Year’s Day.
Browns Seek New Field Management—the new ownership team is shopping for a head coach and a general manager after the house-cleaning that followed the end of another losing season. Team president Joe Banner is busy interviewing head coach candidates, including University of Oregon’s successful coach Chip Kelly and Ken Whisenhunt, who once lead the Arizona Cardinals to the Super Bowl.
Armed Teachers? Hundreds of Ohio teachers signed up for firearms training in the wake of the latest deadly school shooting that took 26 lives in Newtown, CT. The gun owners’ advocacy group Buckeye Firearms Association offered free training for teachers and administrators, with the first class expected in the spring. The Association’s president says interest has exceeded expectations.
On the Way Out for Good—The Plain Dealer’s Minister of Culture, Michael Heaton, writes that many cultural icons are headed for the ash heap of history. Among utilitarian items on their way out are wristwatches, replaced by a multitude of tools that tell time; alarm clocks, made redundant by cell phones that have built-in alarm functions and the local post office, a business model that’s quickly fading in a digital world.
From the very engaged, ever-active, nonpartisan The 2012 Project:
Women currently hold 73 House seats and 17 Senate seats and make up 17 percent of the US Congress. In this election, there are a record 163 women nominees for House and 18 for Senate. The 2012 Project’s campaign to hit “20 Percent in 2012″ requires women to hit 87 House seats and 20 Senate seats after Election Day.
To make the most educated guess, consult the 2012 Election Tracker. Predict how many women you think will win on Nov. 6th and be eligible to win fabulous prizes!!!
First prize: $250 Gift Card
Second prize: a Nespresso coffee machine from Nestlé
Third prize: Swag Bag from Lifetime Television
Contest deadline is Friday, November 2nd at 5:00 p.m. EST.
If you are into fantasy football, this might be for you. It is not as easy as it looks. You might also check out Real Clear Politics and FiveThirtyEight for an assist. Not sure if I’ll give it a try – need sometime to brew over it. What does your gut say – can we break the record?
Go Hoyas – he did so much better than me in undergrad ConLaw anyway; just received in the inbox. The one thing I keep noticing is how little knowledge of or respect for transparency and openness seems to be reflected in what the public records seem to show. How to protect what people didn’t want other people to know seems to have been the overriding interest in the process. Read Aaron Marshall’s piece from today’s front page above the fold Plain Dealer story for background.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: DECEMBER 13, 2011
Contact: Sarah Bender, House Democratic Communications (614) 466-9036
Rep. Murray Request Joint Investigation into Waste, Abuse and Fraud
Calls for Investigation into Secretive Map Drawing Processes
COLUMBUS – State Representative and Ranking Member of the Judiciary and Ethics Committee Dennis Murray (D-Sandusky) sent a letter to Inspector General Randall Meyer and Legislative Inspector General Tony Bledsoe requesting a joint investigation into potential waste, abuse, fraud, and violations of state sunshine and public records laws. This comes after the Ohio Campaign for Accountable Redistricting released a transparency report yesterday highlighting some of the misconduct in the redistricting and re-apportionment processes.
“The information in yesterday’s report revealed is absolutely appalling. I ask for a joint investigation today because I fear we are just beginning to lift the veil of secrecy that surrounds the congressional redistricting and re-apportionment processes,” Rep. Murray said. “My Democratic colleagues and I are deeply troubled at the wasteful spending of Ohioan’s tax dollars, and the violation of Ohio’s sunshine and public records laws.”
A copy of the letter can be seen below. Read more
I have no worries about my Congressional Rep., Marcia Fudge (D, OH-11) or U.S. Senator, Sherrod Brown, when it comes to the debt ceiling. But I did just write freshman Senator Rob Portman. You can too – just go here for Sen. Portman or here for how to reach all members of Congress.
Dear Senator Portman,
I have lived in Ohio for more than 20 years. I am engaged in my community and nationally when it comes to political issues and other causes. I have run for and won office (2009, Pepper Pike City Council, though I am not writing on behalf of my City at this time).
So I appreciate the need to govern and the demands of different constituencies.
I saw you on Andrea Mitchell’s 1pm show yesterday (Monday, 7/25) and I appreciate your calm affect. I am urging you to apply your calmness beyond just your affect and to the position of your Republican colleagues in the House and Senate: please demand, work toward and vote for either a clean debt ceiling increase now, or seek to construct with Sen. Reid what can be passed by the Senate, the House and signed by the President.
This is no time to care about or consider currying favor with the base of either political party, a number which pales in comparison to the total population of the United States, all of whom will suffer in some way – and some far more than others – should the U.S. be unable to cover its obligations.
Again, as a sitting city councilperson in a community that many would think should have no financial problems but sadly due to never thinking that even Pepper Pike cannot plan only for best case scenarios, I understand the passion with which different electeds come at the problems you’re facing.
But those of us outside the Beltway are begging for balance and to be heard. Please hear the needs of the multitudes who do not affiliate with any party and find a way to raise the debt ceiling as was done so many times while you yourself were at the OMB.
Very truly yours,
Jill Miller Zimon, JD, MSSA
Pepper Pike City Council Member
Here’s the announcement – please, spread the word and try to attend – NE Ohio is VERY likely to lose at least one of the two Congressional seats being subtracted from Ohio and three of our four women representatives (the three Democrats, all of whom are in districts north of Columbus – Betty Sutton, Marcia Fudge & Marcy Kaptur) in particular are very likely to be at risk. (The fourth female in the 18 member delegation – there are only four, don’t get me started – is Jean Schmidt who has her hands full with ethics violations investigation.)
HOUSE STATE GOVERNMENT AND ELECTIONS
SUBCOMMITTEE ON REDISTRICTING
SENATE SELECT COMMITTEE ON REDISTRICTING
REGIONAL CONGRESSIONAL REDISTRICTING HEARING
Thursday, July 21, 2011
9:00 am – 12:00 pm
Cleveland State University
Maxine Goodman Levin College of Urban Affairs – Atrium
Euclid & 17th Avenues
Cleveland, Ohio 44115
Rep. Matt Huffman (R-Lima), Chair of the House Subcommittee on Redistricting, and Sen. Keith Faber (R-Celina), Chair of the Senate Select Committee on Redistricting, are holding a series of joint hearings in July and August in order to receive public feedback on Congressional redistricting.
In Ohio, Congressional district plans are enacted by the General Assembly through the legislative process and codified in Ohio Revised Code 3521.01.
Due to declining population, two of Ohio’s current 18 Congressional districts will be eliminated.
All are welcomed and encouraged to attend this hearing to ensure the success of redistricting.
Also – if you think you can do as good or a better job than our state legislators in redrawing the congressional districts for Ohio, check out the Draw The Line contest here.
Watch the whole thing – it’s worth it, but at a minimum, watch from the 2:15 mark on:
Senator Shelby and others who were his allies did not want any consumer agency at all. And if it absolutely was the case politically that there had to be one, they wanted some weak agency that couldn’t get anything done. We had that fight and then we had a straight-up vote on it…That side lost…And here we stand, a year later with the minority saying ‘I don’t like how that came out. I think I have the capacity to stick a stick in the spokes, unless the majority will do what the minority wants it to do.’ That’s not how democracy works.
Sadly, very sadly, I know from experience exactly what that’s like.
In the Senate:
Lisa Murkowski (Alaska), Olympia Snowe and Susan Collins (both Maine) do not want to defund Planned Parenthood.
Newly elected Kelly Ayotte (New Hampshire) waffles when not emitting talking points so I construe that to be in favor of letting Planned Parenthood get defunded.
Kay Bailey Hutchison (Texas) – I can’t find anything from her on this but her voting record seems to indicate that she might allow it to be defunded.
Update on Hutchison: She’s a motivator behind a military troop funding through a governtment shutdown bill in the US Senate that appears to have at least 60 supporters, including other women and other Democrats. It does not appear that there is anything connected to Planned Parenthood in it.
In the House (all the women newby Republicans):
Kristi Noem (SD): will allow defunding of Planned Parenthood (“Noem said she believes the riders and the budget cuts are “intertwined” and that she supports them.”)
Nan Hayworth (NY): supports defunding Planned Parenthood
Vicky Hartzler, (MO): supports defunding Planned Parenthood
Martha Roby, (Alabama) and Sandy Adams (FL) appear to support defunding Planned Parenthood, reportedly agreeing that $61 billion in cuts for 2011 is reasonable (the reports right now are that there’s consensus on $38 billion between Sen. Harry Reid and Rep. John Boehner)
Renee Ellmers (NC): leading the way to defund Planned Parenthood
Jaime Herrera Beutler (WA): supports defunding Planned Parenthood
Update: Left out two women (thanks to the commenter who drew my attention to that!):
Ann Marie Buerkle (NY): supports defunding Planned Parenthood
Diane Black (TN): supports defunding Planned Parenthood
And the cost of renovating the space to which the House Parliamentarian will move is not even figured in yet. Politico has the details, which includes information that in 2007, when Nancy Pelosi came in, Democrats did look at taking care of the long-standing issue but decided that the cost was prohibitive.
Most fun quote:
“This is about respect for female members of the House,” said [Speaker-to-be-John Boehner's spokesman Michael] Steel.
In the best Amy Poehler voice, “Really? Really?“ Well – okay – great. I look forward to all the ways in which Boehner is going to show respect for female members of the House. Let the respect begin (especially as Aretha is ailing, very very sadly).
Anyone want to write up a Top Ten Ways To Show Respect For Female Members of the House list?
Go read for yourself. Absolute, total, complete and sociopathic hypocrites. You want to know what it is to run small cities and big federal government during a recession? You don’t effing spend money on new powder rooms and building a new parliamentarian’s office while denying an extension of unemployment benefits and demanding that nothing but tax cuts and budgets be discussed.
From today: “GOP Transition Team Eyes Cost Cuts:”
In the budget justifications submitted in February, the Architect of the Capitol and the Capitol Police requested 15 percent budget increases from fiscal 2010.
“This is a time when it’s pretty evident that people don’t want Congress spending money on itself,” the staffer said. “It’s a challenge, but at the end of the day, I think we’ll be able to do both. We’ll be able to reduce the cost of operations of Congress, but we’re going to put a lot of emphasis into figuring out how to do more with less.”
And from February 2010, from Fox News no less: “Watchdog Groups Slam Capitol Architect for $690 Million Budget Request”
Sandra Fabry, government affairs manager with Americans for Tax Reform, said that despite the need for repairs, “now is certainly not the time” for big-ticket budget requests.
“There is just no way that an increase of such proportions can be considered reasonable given the dire straits we’re in fiscally,” she said. “They’ve seen massive increases in funding in the past.”
The $602 million the office was budgeted for in 2010 marked a 14 percent increase over its $530 million amount from the year before.
The office has faced the ire of lawmakers over the years for blowing through money on the Capitol Visitor Center, a project that started in 2000. The project was delayed and bloated due to post-Sept. 11 security changes as well as other adjustments.
I want numbers – I want to know what Boehner is okaying as a budget for the powder room and for the new parliamentarian’s office.
UPDATE: And while those who want to say that Boehner is just doing a nice thing for women, I’m sure he’s praying that you’re ignoring his hardening anti-choice agenda.
I don’t care if you kid yourself, but no one is going to kid me.
UPDATEx2: And for anyone still wanting to do an eye-roll and ignore just how 100% political this is? Two things for ya:
Incoming Republican US Rep from Wisconsin and The Real Life dude, Sean Duffy’s wife fawning over Boehner letting her use the key to his bathroom at the House so she could breastfeed.
Item #2: Republican and US Rep Cathy McMorris Rodgers just had her second child yesterday. She was elected in 2005, had her first child while in office in 2007 and now is the first woman to give birth to two children while in office in the House.
This all started with the suggestion that Boehner would shutdown the breastfeeding room it took Nancy Pelosi to have set up.
Nothin’ but Boehner and politics as usual – something we know he knows a lot about.
UPDATEx3: If you’re a female, have you ever heard a noise in your car or in an appliance, and been told by a guy that either they didn’t hear it or there was nothing wrong, only for them to then experience the noise or the problem and THEN decide that something needed to be done about it? This whole situation with the need – the real need – for something to have been done a loooong time ago about the restrooms is that societal diminution playing out before our eyes. It’s just infuriating.
She’s not my U.S. Senator so maybe it’s easier for me to write this, but anyone who says this is going to have me listening to them:
“I will tell you, I am not one of those who wants Obama to fail,” Murkowski said. “If he does well, that means the country’s doing well. We don’t have time as a nation to spend all of what we do blocking. We have got to figure out how we get to a point where we can be sitting around the table and talking about these difficult problems and advancing some solutions.”
That we’re even calling speaking up this way as requiring courage should tell us something as well.
In the short clips at this CBS article about Murkowski’s interview with Katie Couric, Murkowski talks about needing to be there for all Alaskans – not just the ones that vote for her. I’ve been talking until I’m blue in the face lately about my concern that many electeds no longer even give lip service to this concept, let alone act on it. While there, you also can watch the portion of Katie Couric’s CBS interview in which Murkowski lauds Sarah Palin for her ability to connect with people but also critiques her for lacking “intellectual curiosity” and “leadership qualities.”
I completely agree with this:
“I want somebody that goes to bed at night and wakes up in the morning thinking about how we’re going to deal with our national security issues, how we’re going to deal with our economy, how we’re going to deal with providing better education or peace in the Middle East.”
As with Olympia Snowe, Susan Collins or Nancy Pelosi for that matter, these electeds reflect their voters, don’t pander to the screed of the hour and instead somehow manage to communicate an emphasis on being a public servant with political skill, and not on being a politician. Murkowski was criticized for her primary loss precisely because she wasn’t political enough. And Snowe is being targeted specifically because she builds bridges – those after her literally seek to blow up the figurative bridge between ideological approaches to common interests. Read more
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The e-mail said Tea Party Patriots had spent “in excess of a hundred thousand dollars flying in local Tea Party coordinators and arranging the facility for this meeting.” The Patriots mocked the event by Claremont, a California-based group that promotes a return to what it calls the founding principles of the nation; the Patriots said Claremont was being run by lobbyists and “members of The Ruling Class,” and noted that its keynote speaker was Bill Bennett, a former secretary of education and now a prominent pundit in Washington.
And then there is the retreat today led by FreedomWorks, the Washington group that has helped the Tea Party movement grow, and that is led by Dick Armey, a former Republican House majority leader, lobbyist, and, yes, D.C. insider. About 40 new House members are attending that orientation at the Inner Harbor Hyatt in Baltimore. FreedomWorks was providing new lawmakers with briefing books on policy. The general message from Mr. Armey was: don’t be co-opted by the Establishment. But lawmakers might be forgiven if the lines between establishment and antiestablishment are seeming increasingly unclear. [emphasis added]
They. Have. Noooooooo. Idea.
By Jill Miller Zimon at 4:52 pm November 12th, 2010 in Congress | Comments Off
People know they’re going to hit that, right? There’s little more amplification that can be done on the tactic of blamming the President for this, that and the other thing. It’s not just piling on, it’s making people turn away and tire. It’s fill in the blank headline time – who even bothers to read the articles when you see the variation on the same theme ad nauseum:
Just Google “blasts Obama.” You’ll see.
Combine all that with new research out from Pew that shows people are not all that excited, happy or eager to have as big an influx of red as we got last Tuesday, and you better believe that we’re soon approaching the point of diminishing marginal return on blasting our president. Read more
I’ve been telling people to jump on this observation band wagon for a while now but here again, on the front page of the New York Times, “To Congress With Mantra, Why Not Me?” You can read details about all of them at this NYT interactive tool. (Notice, by the way, that of the more than 30 shown, only three are women and one of those I’d hardly call a newcomer to politics, New Hampshire AG Kelly Ayotte – it’s an appointed position there, but still.) An excerpt:
The Tea Party movement, with its message of encouraging citizen-legislators, the broader anti-incumbent mood and the sheer amount of turnover — at least 60 House seats will change hands in January — combined to put into office doctors, small-business owners, a dentist, a pilot, a youth minister and a popular local pizza man, among others.
But my favorite most resonant graphs?
“This group will pose a real challenge to the leaders,” said Norman J. Ornstein, a scholar at the conservative-leaning American Enterprise Institute. “A lot of the members coming in believe what they’ve seen on television, that all you have to do is do the right thing and it will happen. And if it doesn’t, you bring the temple down around you. For them to accept the notion that you have to bite your tongue is going to be a challenge.”
However, at that time, Republicans had been out of power for decades, and there was little party structure or discipline to try to keep newcomers in line. Mr. Boehner, of Ohio, who was elected in 1990, became chairman of the House Republican Conference after the 1994 election, and saw firsthand how unruly newcomers and a lack of fealty to leadership can cause trouble. [emphasis added] Read more
BlogHer.com has a new feature called She v. Her. They asked me to write about why outgoing Speaker of the House, Nancy Pelosi, should stay on as minority leader. Emily Zanotti wrote about why Pelosi should step aside. You can read the arguments here.
Alas, my dream team of Michele Bachmann lining up against Pelosi is not to be. She checked out of the fight yesterday.
Has the time come? Some would probably say it’s long overdue, but on Monday, November 8, 2010 at 2:30PM EST/11:30AM PST, The 2012 Project will host a live telephone discussion about how to stop the backslide of women’s numbers in elected office at the federal and state levels. From today’s press release:
“Before Tuesday, we knew we had to address this problem. Now, we have to stop the backslide,” said Mary Hughes, founder and director of The 2012 Project. “The 2012 election is the best chance for women to reverse course and make big gains.”
To learn more about the unique opportunities of 2012 and this new strategy to elect more women, join us on a press conference call on Monday, Nov. 8th at 2:30 p.m. EST/11:30 a.m. PST. Speakers include [Debbie] Walsh, director of CAWP [Rutgers' Center for American Women in Politics]; Hughes, founder and director of The 2012 Project; and two of five faculty co-chairs of the campaign: Polly Baca, the first Latina elected to the Colorado State Senate and former vice chair of the DNC, and Jo Ann Davidson, first woman Speaker of the Ohio State House and former co-chair of the RNC. To RSVP for the call, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
According to the release, nearly 70 groups have signed on as partners for the project. They include familiar names such as the White House Project and EMILY’s List but also Republican Majority for Choice, National Organization of Black Elected Legislative Women and Maggie’s List/National Republican Women’s Network. You can view the full list here.
The 2012 Project has emphasized repeatedly that it is nonpartisan and that its role and mission exclude the endorsement of candidates and the support of any partisan agenda. As noted in Women’s eNews last month: Read more
Love her, hate her, demonize her, but U.S. Representative and outgoing Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi is running for Minority Leader. Yesterday morning I posted this entry about whether she should run (and I said yes). I made sure those I know who know those who should know read what I wrote.
There is a serious backlash about to be felt if those on the Hill do not realize that with women barely making gains, if any, at the federal level, and losing at the state legislatures, women will dig in and retrench and be back. And those who are already in positions that can be leveraged for leadership are seeking and should be expected to seek more and more visible roles to show that we don’t fade.
The end of men meme was a linkbait fiasco but the political courage to challenge the status quo and speak up only gets strengthened when we see one person and then another and another do it.
Sigh – it doesn’t even have to be this way. But when you write headlines like “Bachmann leadership bid adds drama” and show her getting makeup applied to her face – hello? Remember the whole Hillary Clinton The New Republic “hysteria” cover blow-up? We don’t have to take it and we’re not going to take it.
So take that. And good luck to Pelosi. She’s going to need it!
You don’t have to be a professional number cruncher to know that with so many seats in Congress swapping parties, it also means that we’ve swapped people who have been there and done that (aka incumbents) for people who’ve either never been there and done that, or have only been there and done that in local settings under local or state procedures.
In other words, freshman orientation for the 112th Congress and for new governors will probably be more like a hangover than a party, with the old hands being like the sober, designated drivers who retained clarity, agility and the wherewithal to do whatever they want with the still dizzy pledges.
I’m very pleased to read that Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi is not done fighting. I also don’t want her to be done leading – for the sake of all women who look to see where they can go. This country, in fact, not just women, need the visible presence of a woman at the uppermost positions of power in Congress now more than ever. If she listened to her own words here, I don’t know how she could not come away with the same answer to everyone’s question about what she will do.
[Update: This Politico article indicates that even with their gains - due in no small part to new women from their side, Republicans still look to limit the number of women in leadership to one.]
I’ve been staring at the numbers – including the huge overall loss of women in the state legislatures and feel strongly that it is critical to have as many women as possible in as high and as visible positions as possible. While I honestly don’t “know” that much about Speaker Pelosi, the respect she deserves for what she has had to deal with in the last four years is beyond question.
I understand that there are many ways to slice the overall loss of women in the U.S. House, but we must look long-term too and prepare for what we can reasonably hope will be increases again in 2012, looking down the road at who will be there and in what places when that happens. This issue is nonpartisan (consider the approach of The 2012 Project, including Ohio’s own Jo Ann Davidson) and yet I can’t find blog posts, opeds or articles about the continued if not increased need for the high visibility of women in the House, now more than ever.
So I’m writing one. Read more
You know, anytime now when I see something that involves a GOP candidate running for the first time for a House seat in Congress, I first wonder, “Is he a Young Gun?” I don’t have to worry too much about the womenz because there basically are no female Young Guns at this point. The Young Guns founders need to spend less time gunning and more time learning how to use teh Google.
Just in the last 24 hours:
Rich Iott – this is the military re-enactment hobbyist who is running against Marcy Kaptur – he’s been pulled from the Young Gun program but it’s not clear if it’s because he’s dissing Eric Cantor for dissing military re-enactment of Waffen soldiers or if it’s because of the re-enactment participation (apparently he’s also following Rand Paul’s lead re: indecision about the Civil Rights Act)
And now – Frank Guinta – don’t know him, never heard of him, until I read about his role in a 2009 bar brawl today.
But don’t take this from me – watch this early September clip from Morning Joe where even they note how few women are in the program and read a few other stories that unload on the Guns, including a well-known conservative blog that calls the program “feckless and corrupt”:
Gotta stop somewhere.