Georgia Senate candidate Karen Handel, of Komen Foundation scandal fame, does not support the Paycheck Fairness Act. She really doesn't support it—and in making clear just how strongly she rejects the idea that the government should promote equal pay, she implies that she'd throw a whole lot of existing laws out the window, too.
LEBER: I wanted to get your views on the Paycheck Fairness Act that Congress has considered and whether it is necessary or an important priority for the government to be involved in?"None whatsoever." That's a sweeping statement that opens up a lot of new questions. As Rebecca Leber points out at ThinkProgress, the minimum wage is the federal government mandating salary and wages in the private sector, so Handel's "none whatsoever" suggests she'd get rid of the minimum wage altogether. And not just that. The Paycheck Fairness Act is intended to update and strengthen the Equal Pay Act of 1963, yet another federal law that mandates something about salary and wages in the private sector—specifically, that employers can't discriminate on the basis of sex.
HANDEL: The federal government has absolutely no business being involved in mandating salary and wages in the private sector. None whatsoever.
Since Handel's reasoning for opposing the Paycheck Fairness Act would apply to these existing laws, she should be forced to go on the record about them. She's on the record opposing a minimum wage increase, but does she think it should be abolished altogether? Does she think it should be legal for employers to discriminate against women? If she doesn't think the minimum wage and Equal Pay Act of 1963 should be abolished, then her reason for opposing the Paycheck Fairness Act isn't really that she thinks the federal government has "absolutely no business being involved in mandating salary and wages in the private sector," now is it? So Georgia voters really deserve to know which it is: Does Karen Handel think two popular laws (54 percent of Georgia voters support a $10 minimum wage) should be repealed? And if not, what's her real reason for opposing the Paycheck Fairness Act?