It was not surprising to read that U.S. Representative Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-Spokane) currently has so much more money to spend on campaigning than does her challenger, Democrat Rick Cowan.
However, it was a bit surprising to observe, recently, just how ill-informed and out-of-touch she is on women’s issues.
It was bad enough that McMorris Rodgers voted against the 2009 Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act. Last week, on national TV, she insisted the war on women is a “myth.” She also claimed there is no gender-based pay gap, suggesting the gap talk was a distraction created by Democrats, in contrast to "real issues" that should be paramount in voters' minds, like the national debt.
No pay gap? Really?
You would think she could have taken a minute or two to go online and get the facts before going on TV, spouting “myths.” Had she done so, she would have found that, according to the U.S. Census Bureau, in 2010, female workers (full-time, year-round) earned 77 cents for each dollar earned by male workers (full-time, year-round). An additional minute or two online and she would have found that in 2010, of 265 occupations surveyed, women earned less than men in 264 - the one being personal care and service.
And trying to pass off the national debt as something voters must address before anything else – like women workers getting shafted an average of over $400 every two weeks...
Say I’m a single mom and wait tables (breakfast/lunch) to support my family. If I could earn more money, maybe rising rents wouldn’t force us to move multiple times per year, my kids wouldn’t have to switch schools at least once each year, my son might not have to repeat 8th grade, go to school hungry, dodge bullets and/or drug dealers on the way to school, or do without his inhaler because the clinic has a wait list. The restaurant where I work does not hire women servers for the dinner shift. Too bad... because dinner servers earn two-to-three times what breakfast-and-lunch wait staff earn.
But McMorris Rodgers wants voters to focus on a hypothetical situation a decade or so into the future instead of demanding solutions to the very real crises that millions of people face right now.
Whether you live in Spokane or Seattle, a McMorris Rodgers win is likely to mean one more person in Congress voting against women’s interests, and going on TV with a lot of myths to justify those votes. Contact your friends and family in Spokane and the rest of the 5thdistrict; urge them to stop sending McMorris-Rodgers money and send her packing instead.