Dear EMILY’s List,
I am a registered Democrat and a pro-choice woman, and I appreciate the goal of your organization. I’ve even given you money in the past.
But here’s the thing, when I decide who will get my vote, it’s based on a lot more than whether or not my candidate has a penis. My thought process is considerably more complex, because, as I’m sure you’ll appreciate, we women are thoughtful, intelligent and educated and we want the best possible candidate regardless of sex, sexual orientation, religion, or any other discriminatory factor.
That’s why I was appalled to see that you’d endorsed a flawed candidate like Susan Bysiewicz in the U.S. Senate race. Perhaps you didn’t do your research or actually talk to people in Connecticut?
If you had, you might have learned of the candidate’s overweening ambition, well-known in these parts, which led her to make an ill-advised leap from running for governor (where she had a comfortable lead in the polls) to the attorney general’s race, without, apparently, checking to see if she met the legal requirements for the job (she didn’t). Having thus been shut out of the 2010 election as a candidate, then Secretary Bysiewicz did an awful job of handling a nail-biting governor’s race fraught with controversy, astounding this observer with her utter and complete tone-deafness by calling the race for Democrat Dannel Malloy before all the votes had been counted.
But, EMILY’s List, that’s just the top of the Bysiewicz iceberg, which you would known if you’d done just the slightest bit of research before giving her your endorsement.
Because there was also the matter of the “constituent database” Bysiewicz maintained on 36,000 citizens who had contacted her office, in which the former Secretary of the State kept detailed information, including race and ethnicity.
Mysteriously, no one knows quite how, despite the fact that only a few people had the password to the computer on which the database was kept, information from a 2006 Bysiewicz campaign computer was uploaded into this publicly funded database. And then in 2009, Bysiewicz’s 2010 campaign, Friends of Susan 2010, Inc. submitted a FOI request for the information held within the database and used this information for mailing campaign literature. Mrs. Bysiewicz testified under oath that she “was not involved in uploading this information into the state database and had no knowledge or information as to who did, ” according to the report produced by then Attorney General Richard Blumenthal’s office.
Yet in your endorsement, EMILY’s List, you called Bysiewicz “a strong voice for reform and transparency in government.” What?
Are you disturbed about your endorsement yet, EMILY’s List? No? Well, maybe this will convince you. It’s a story confirmed to me by a DTC chair. Instead of bowing out gracefully after the state Supreme Court ruled that she wasn’t actually qualified to run for AG, the candidate acted like someone straight from central casting for the movie “Mean Girls.” She encouraged a political neophyte to throw her hat into the ring at the convention, when it was clear that an immensely qualified candidate, George Jepsen, had the nomination all but locked up.
But Bysiewicz holds a really nasty grudge against Jepsen, so she did her best to let him know it.
As with the SOTS database, Bysiewicz denied any involvement of encouraging “Spoiler Candidate” to run, but those involved know straight from the erstwhile candidate that she did in fact do so. What’s more, Bysiewicz’s campaign staff was seen guiding “Spoiler Candidate” around the floor, in her quest to draw votes away from Jepsen.
And so, EMILY’s List, I have to ask you in the nicest possible way…what the heck were you thinking?
Sarah Darer Littman is a columnist for Hearst Newspapers and an award-winning novelist of books for teens. Long before the financial meltdown, she worked as a securities analyst and earned her MBA in Finance from the Stern School at NYU.