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Before I get into the meat of the diary, you really need to check out Debra's web ad.

Ok on to the meat.

What happens when men face women who don't back down?  They start calling them pushy, aggressive and combative.  You see, in their world, a woman who is willing to go to the mattresses is a bitch.  In politics it becomes an attack line to try and keep a woman from being elected.  Debra Bowen is the only woman running for statewide office in California and she is being attacked for not being a pushover when it comes to protecting our right to vote.

We first saw this rear its ugly head in the SacBee editorial endorsement of McPherson.  They basically said she is smart, articulate but too "aggressive" to hold office.

Unfortunately, county registrars complain that her aggressive demeanor as chair of the Senate Elections, Reapportionment and Constitutional Amendment Committee has created tensions rather than building the collaboration and trust that are essential between state and county elections officials. Nonetheless, Bowen is a strong candidate and capable of doing a good job in this office.

Now the appointed incumbent Bruce McPherson is using similar language to attack Debra Bowen.  He issued a press release today (of course not posting it on his website) calling her all sorts of names.  Sallady gives us a taste:

Speaking of gender-loaded and sexist language, McPherson just put out a press release calling Bowen ... pushy. He quoted newspaper articles about her "aggressive demeanor" and "combative style" and "combative nature." Bowen "created tensions," while McPherson established "lines of communications and a cooperative spirit" with county elections officials.

McPherson's campaign is attempting to link Bowen, a state senator, to the aggressive and pushy former Secretary of State Kevin Shelley, who resigned in disgrace. You almost never see a campaign press release attacking someone's personality -- let alone that of one of the few women on the statewide ballot -- only because it could lead to retaliatory missives suggesting, perhaps, that someone is mildly dumb or doesn't put the toilet seat down.

This is disgraceful.

California...we cannot allow this man to be elected.  It will take all of us spreading the word about Debra for her to win.  McPherson has his crappy TV ads and Bowen has people power.  We brought her to a huge win in the primary, now we need to do the same in the general.  Pass on word to your social networks.  Forward on the YouTube.  Let's do this!

Originally posted to juls on Tue Oct 31, 2006 at 07:43 PM PST.


That web ad was

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| 18 votes | Vote | Results

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Comment Preferences

  •  I have (10+ / 0-)

    had this post in the bag for a couple days and was just on a conference call with Senator Bowen, in which she mentioned this. ya go.  Plus, that web ad really needs to be seen.


  •  Combative? (4+ / 0-)

    I've met Debra and found her to be smart, gracious, interested in hearing what people have to say... and extremely intelligent. competent and articulate.

    If she's "pushy", all I can say is: "Send More Pushy People to Sacramento!".

  •  yeah, it's been pretty sad... (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    juls, CA Amy, Snakes on a White House

    the depths he'll lower himself to.

    nice recap of the none too subtle "dog whistle" campaign to demonize debra bowen by using negative descriptors when associated with women.

    "When people think, Democrats win." - Bill Clinton

    by Todd Beeton on Tue Oct 31, 2006 at 08:35:33 PM PST

  •  agressive women are evil (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    CA Amy, Snakes on a White House

    according to the old fogies in the republican party.  women should be at home!  With Children!  Not trying to pass our laws.  My god what is next?  Lesbians that's what!  All women will become lesbians and be aggressive and combative.

    In reality, I want someone who is going to stand up for what is right.  If you want to call that combative or aggressive I think its an incorrect inference that its somehow wrong.  I think its courageous, brave, and bold.  

    Now is the time for bold leadership and I say it begins with Debra Bowen.

  •  Are Women Legislators Sinners? (6+ / 0-)

    Juls --

    Thanks for writing about this.  So many incidents come to mind -- but in my 14 years in the Legislature, I think "Aprongate" took the cake:

    "In response to a remark by a member of the Capitol Ministries that it was a “sin” for women with children to be in the Legislature, Senator Bowen led the 2004 “Aprongate” protest where legislators donned aprons and “scarlet M’s” to make the point that it’s possible to be a good mother and a lawmaker."

    That's The California List summary of Aprongate.  

    It wasn't just an isolated or casual comment -- it was the topic of a Bible study group held in the Capitol, complete with a treatise on why it was a sin for women with young children to serve in Sacramento.  

    It was outrageous -- and many of the good men of the Senate joined the women by donning aprons to protest.  You haven't seen anything until you've seen then President Pro Tempore John Burton presiding over the Senate in a floral apron.  I'll try to find a picture.

    -- Debra

    Debra Bowen for Secretary of State

    BTW, this is not a partisan issue -- both Republican and Democratic women have given birth while serving in the California Legislature.

    •  Ol' Bruce wants to run this into the gutter (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      kid oakland, highacidity, CA Amy

      or something.  What could he possibly gain from this?  I mean pushy? Is that a bad thing in politics? I think it'd be fair to call almost all politicians pushy, or at least the good ones.

      Calitics : the progressive Community blog for California.

      by UTBriancl on Tue Oct 31, 2006 at 09:28:28 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  I felt (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      kid oakland, highacidity, CA Amy

      it was my duty to not let this one pass unnoticed.  Chalk it up to a good liberal arts education and at least one Women's Studies class.

      Oh that picture must be priceless. lol

      Thanks for stopping by :)

    •  lesbians are people too (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      highacidity, CA Amy

      but seriously folks, is it really possible that in this day in age we have an actual candidate making comments like this?  I expect this from people like Drollinger and Fred Phelps and all the other right wing yahoo's out there - but now even McPherson??

      I've been living under the assumption that McPherson just didn't get it - hell I guess I was wrong - it isn't that he doesn't get it its that he's so out of touch with reality both here and on the slew of other issues that he's so misguided on that there is no hope of salvaging his dignity.  

      This guy'll say anything!  What's next?!  We got 7 days  - I can hardly wait!

      Contact Bruce here to ask him to stop insulting women.

      Work together to save the world.

      by Sarahkatheryn on Tue Oct 31, 2006 at 09:48:02 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  I did some (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      wu ming, highacidity, CA Amy

      googling and while I didnt find a picture, by way of my buddy Dan Ancona's post from 2004 I found this Sac Bee piece.  What a hoot:

      Bowen, D-Marina del Rey, went barefoot on the floor of the Senate, brought a toaster and other kitchen accessories to her desk there and sported the scarlet "M" for mother.

      "Today, I'll be serving up a billion dollars in savings in for PG&E customers, identity theft legislation, and power plant siting rules," she said, "along with bacon and eggs, getting my shopping list together and preparing to can."

  •  aggressive, vigilant, assertive (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    wu ming, highacidity, CA Amy

    a strong advocate.

    What aspect of these character traits would you NOT want to have in a Secretary of State?

    Sure, we want a conciliatory, retreating push-over to oversee our elections, and that's...Bruce McPherson?  Right.

    This is devious.  

    Something's really wrong here when our HE-man governor can call his opponents "girly-men" and now his SoS pulls this on his female opponent.

    Unfortunately, this needs more than the disinfectent of analysis: this is something that needs to be called out in a debate...or in a prominent op/ed in a newspaper.

    Kudos juls for highlighting this.

    k/o: 2006 politics and local blogs

    by kid oakland on Tue Oct 31, 2006 at 09:45:08 PM PST

  •  a fantastic ad (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    juls, Senator Debra Bowen

    for a fantastic candidate. the stakes are high for california, it is a pleasure to have such a tough and smart candidate in debra bowen. i blogged about it here as well, gotta spread the message that help is on the way, if we all stand up next tuesday.

    surf putah, your friendly neighborhood central valley samizdat

    by wu ming on Wed Nov 01, 2006 at 12:12:07 AM PST

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