Total Recall: EMILY's List and Sen. Gillibrand make closing arguments in Wisconsin
Post by Jesse Russell on 8/5/2011 9:56am
The recalls in Wisconsin have been unprecedented for numerous reasons, but one that hasn't received much attention is the fact that women are running in five out of six of the recall races. The demographic population of Wisconsin shows men and women roughly evenly split, but in the State Senate only eight of the 33 Senators are women. In the recall races three progressive women are challenging three conservative men (with the other two challenging conservative women). If those seats are flipped that'll make the count 11 women in the State Senate or 33 percent of the Senate. Combining both chambers of the Wisconsin state legislature women only make up less than 23 percent of members.
Due to this the national organization, EMILY's List, has taken a unique interest in the state of Wisconsin. The organization's primary mission is to get progressive, pro-choice women elected to higher office. Politicians such as U.S. Reps. Tammy Baldwin and Gwen Moore and State Senator Lena Taylor have benefited from that support. What makes the recalls so unique for EMILY's List is it's the first time they've actually put boots on the ground in a campaign. In addition to those boots and ad buys via their Wisconsin Women Vote PAC, the organization also brought on a blogger to keep supporters updated on the situation in Wisconsin.
Also taking an interest in Wisconsin is New York Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand. Wisconsin's recall races have inspired Gillibrand to have her organization "Off the Sidelines" become involved. Off the Sidelines seeks "to make more women aware of the need to be involved in the decisions that affect their lives every day." The Senator wants to "let women know that their voice matters, to give them the resources to start to get more involved and tell the inspiring stories of women who already are."
Gillibrand wants to see more women elected, because the U.S. Senate is getting lonely. In a recent blog post Gillibrand pointed out these facts:
- I am one of just 17 women in the US Senate.
- Just 17% of all of Congress is made up of women.
- There are currently only 6 women governors in the US today.
- Less than 25% of state legislature seats are filled by women.
She added that because of the 2010 election "for the first time in decades, the number of women in Congress actually declined."
Gillibrand has put out a call nationally for help to get the progressive women running in the Wisconsin recall elections make it over the finish line. They are:
Nancy Nusbaum, former President of Wisconsin NARAL and former Mayor of DePere, WI, is running against Rob Cowles in WI-SD-02.
Sandy Pasch, a member of the Wisconsin state Assembly since 2008, is running against Alberta Darling in WI-SD-08.
Shelly Moore, a former high school teacher who was elected to the National Education Association (NEA) Board of Directors in 2005, is running against Sheila Harsdorf in WI-SD-10.
Jessica King, Deputy Mayor of Oshkosh, WI, is running against Randy Hopper in WI-SD-18.
Jennifer Shilling, a Wisconsin state Assemblywoman since 2000, is running against Dan Kapanke in WI-SD-32.
Wisconsin will likely continue to be of interest to Off the Sidelines and EMILY's List when Rep. Baldwin eventually announces she's running for U.S. Senator Herb Kohl's seat.
Below is the final video from EMILY's List for the recall campaigns.
Jesse was born and raised in Connecticut, began blogging in 1997, and moved to Madison in 2003. In 2005, he co-founded dane101 along with Kristian Knutson and Shane Wealti. In addition to helping nearly a dozen contributors run this website he's helped launch various events in the city including What's Your Damage?!, the MadPubQuiz of Awesomeness, the Fire Ball Masquerade, Dane101's Freakin' Halloweekend, and more.