Saturday, March 26, 2005

Put your money where your mouth is

I've got a great big post on gender and politics and the Democrat's "big tent" on the back burner right now, that I'll hopefully be posting soon.

In the meantime I have a favor, for all my progressive political readers, and especially to feminists of any gender, and the folks upset by the latest "no girls allowed in our bloggy sandbox" spat:

Can you help a sister out?

I've just put up an ad in the sidebar for Janet Oleszek. She's running for the Virginia House of Delegates in an primary right now. The first financial reporting deadline is the end of March, and your contributions would go a long way to help her out.

The good news is, unlike federal elections, there are no contribution limits in Virginia state politics. So if you want to go online and contribute $10,000--why bless your heart, go right ahead.

But, er, back in reality (because we are part of the reality-based community after all), if you have $5, $10, or $25 you can contribute--the price of a hamburger, the price of a movie, the price of a dinner out--your contribution will make a big difference.

Want to know why there aren't more women in politics? When you want to run, the powers that be check you out, check out how much your earn, check out how much money is in your *family* and who you know...and then decide if you can bring enough money to the game. So, at 74 cents on the dollar average wages, don't be surprised that more women can't buy our way into the game. It's a plutocracy, plain and simple.

Want to know how women win in politics? When we help each other out. I'm assuming most readers here are familiar with Emily's List--they raise money for pro-choice democratic women, largely from women donors, and by pooling women's resources to work on women's issues, Emily's List candidates consistently win. When women work together, we win. In fact, Emily's List takes its name from the old fundraising adage: Early Money Is Like Yeast--It Makes the Dough Rise. Part of how candidates get money later, is by raising money early. When women help out other women candidates early in an election cycle, that early fundraising momentum establishes the candidate's credibility (what I refer to as "buying the love of the state party), and means that other donors jump onto what they see as the bandwagon of a winning campaign. One more time, with feeling: "When women work together, we win. "

Want to know why our reproductive rights, our bodies, and our self-determination are used as political currency? Because we don't have enough women in government, plain and simple.

Want to do something about it? Contribute to Janet's campaign.

She's an agressive campaigner, she is a dedicated community leader, and she's a helluva good person. She's exactly who we need in Virginia politics.

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