Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Ballard Supporters Take Issue with Women's Group Endorsement of Kennedy

The ghost-writing folks at Washington Street Politics decided to continue to use their blog as a forum to bash Melina Kennedy. It's one thing to bash policy and politics, but it's starting to get ridiculous.

They used yesterday's bash Melina moment to criticize her for being endorsed by Emily's List. The condescending tone in the post is what I find rather interesting. So that I don't misquote them, here's the full post.

Melina Kennedy was endorsed by Emily’s List today. Click here to read the full release.

We weren’t very surprised especially considering a line from the press release saying, “EMILY’s List’s Political Opportunity Program (POP) helps pro-choice Democratic women.”

Congratulations, Melina. You are the only woman in the race and, thus, their only choice.

You’re number one!

Well, the folks at WSP took the one line of the entire release out of context. Here it is from Emily's List.

EMILY's List, the nation's largest resource for women in politics today announced its endorsement of Melina Kennedy for Indianapolis Mayor.

"Melina Kennedy's dedication and service to the people of Indianapolis makes us proud to endorse her campaign," said EMILY's List Political Director Jonathan Parker. "As a small business owner, mother, and long-time Indiana resident, she understands the unique challenges facing the people of Indianapolis today. She has proven herself to be a fierce advocate for the community, and her work as the Deputy Mayor for Economic Development resulted in thousands of jobs, workforce development opportunities and growth for Indianapolis businesses."

Kennedy received an undergraduate degree, a J.D., and an M.S. in Environmental Science from Indiana University. She went on to work as a clerk for Indiana Supreme Court Justice Frank Sullivan and practiced environmental law as an attorney at the law firm of Johnson Smith. Her talent and work ethic caught the eye of former Mayor Bart Peterson, who recruited Kennedy to work on his mayoral campaign and then named her Deputy Mayor for Economic Development within his administration.

Kennedy's experience in bringing employment opportunities to Indianapolis will benefit the city and aide her as she tackles her number one issue: jobs. She has outlined a three-fold plan to once again kick-start Indianapolis's economy. First, work with local colleges and universities to drive innovation. Second, get rid of the bureaucratic red tape, and third, make small businesses a priority.

EMILY's List’s Political Opportunity Program (POP) helps pro-choice Democratic women run and win for state and local office. Since the program started in 2001, POP has helped elect hundreds of women across the country.

In the 2009-2010 cycle, EMILY's List raised more than $38.5 million to support its mission of recruiting and supporting women candidates, helping them build strong campaigns, and mobilizing women voters to turn out and vote. With a community of more than 600,000 members across the country, EMILY's List is one of the largest political action committees in the nation. Since its founding in 1985, EMILY's List has worked to elect 84 pro-choice Democratic women to the U.S. House, 16 to the U.S. Senate, nine governors, and hundreds of women to the state legislatures, state constitutional offices, and other key local offices. In the 2009-2010 cycle, EMILY's List had the largest number of members and donors in our 25 year history.

I'm guessing that these Ballard groupies are quick to criticize in this case because the thought of women mobilizing scares them. I predict that Kennedy will get support from not only women, but she will get support from a variety of demographic groups.

Critics point out that Ballard's Administration has had a problem with appointing women to high-level positions in the past, so one has to question why women would vote for him anyway. I can't imagine how supporters raising the gender issue helps the Mayor.

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