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Thursday, October 25, 2012

Why the Oregon "Women's Voters Guide" is Totally Bunk

Posted by Sarah Mirk on Thu, Oct 25, 2012 at 12:45 PM

Among the pile of political junk mail on your front porch might be the rather suspect Women's Voters Guide (pdf), a glossy pamphlet from conservative PAC the Oregon Transformation Project. I didn't get the mailer, but a couple people have sent it along to me, because it's bullshit.

Right off the bat, the mailer says, "Every election, campaigns seek out 'the women's vote,' as though we all vote in one big block. It would be insulting, if it weren't so naive. The truth is that women are as diverse in their voting patterns ad the state and nation are as a whole." Right. So, if female voters aren't a homogenous voting block, the only way a "women's voters guide" makes sense is if it keys out candidates who are strong on issues that specifically affect women—like abortion rights, equal pay, and birth control access. But who does the women's guide endorse for president? Mitt Romney, whose stance on abortion would outlaw 90 percent of procedures, who's against Obamacare (which expands free birth control to all insured women), and who supports allowing religious employers to ban birth control coverage from their insurance. If you're voting for president JUST based on "women's issues," the clear choice is Obama. The mailer also endorses several state politicians who have the backing of Oregon Right to Life, like state rep candidates Shawn Lindsay and Katie Eyre. Their "top pick" choice of Eyre doesn't mention anything about her push for the the "Unborn Infant Pain Relief Act" or her support of the state opting-out of federal funding for abortion coverage.

These endorsements makes it obvious that the Women's Voters Guide is a conservative mailer dressed up as bipartisan voting information. The women on the panel behind the mailer are described as two Republicans, two Democrats, and an independent. But in their bios, one of the Democrats says she's a fiscal conservative who "often leans Republican" and the other says she votes Republican locally, but Democrat nationally. Also, the "leaning Republican" Democrat, Rita Donnelly, has donated to the Oregon Republican Party and appears to have been reimbursed for expenses from the campaign to elect Manuel Castenada, a Republican running for the state house seat in Aloha.

If this mailer lands on your porch, recognize what it is: A voting guide penned by two Republicans, two pretty-much-Republicans, and one independent voter with the backing of a conservative political action group.

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