Democrats claim to have proof that top Michigan Republicans are planning to go after both the sex lives and the paychecks of women in the Wolverine State.
It’s the latest attempt by Michigan Democrats to rally their troops and more importantly the independent soldiers (voters) with less than 30 days to go before the Nov. 4 showdown (election).
This is not a new war. The Democrats’ Fort Sumter was the floor of the Michigan House of Representatives and the first shot was fired by state Rep. Lisa Brown June 13, 2012, when she hurled the word “vagina” at Republicans.
It came during debate over what the American Civil Liberties Union described as “Michigan’s War on Women Mega Bill.” The package included legislation to impose new regulations on abortion providers and ban all abortions after 20 weeks.
Brown was so vehemently opposed that she said, “Finally Mr. Speaker, I’m flattered that you’re all so interested in my vagina, but ‘no’ means ‘no.'”
She was banned from the floor of the Michigan House for saying “vagina,” and the war was on.
Fast-forward two years and three House GOP members, evidently on a kamikaze mission for the Republican Party, tweet out a photo of themselves reading fashion magazines on the floor of the House with the caption, “We understand women.”
Michigan Democrats in October 2014 described the state GOP’s strategy as a “hard-right extremist political agenda” that includes banning common forms of birth control and denying equal pay for women.
And Michigan Democrats said they can prove it with audio recordings of a group of top GOP Michigan legislators who are heard voicing support for “personhood” legislation that was defeated by Mississippi voters in 2011.
Republican state Sen. Patrick Colbeck is heard on the tape responding to a question about whether he would support legislation that mirrored the Mississippi personhood proposal.
“Oh yeah,” he said. “I would love anything we can do in that vein to get going.”
Republican Sen. Mike Green, in a separate recorded conversation with a citizen, voiced similar support for the personhood proposal, which would define life as beginning at the moment of fertilization and would make it a crime for women to use some forms of birth control.
Green is also heard dismissing pay inequality for women as a “misnomer,” and state Rep. Pat Somerville branded as “a terrible idea” pay equity legislation.
He said, “When you compare (pay) side by side they (women) actually get more than the men.”
When asked about Mississippi’s personhood amendment, Somerville said, “I believe that life begins at …inception.”
State House candidate Jason Sheppard said equal pay legislation “creates huge problems” and would actually discriminate against men.
“When you actually hear what these Republican men are saying in their own words at town halls, tea party events and coffee hours you can’t help but believe that rape insurance is just the tip of the iceberg for what’s to come,” said state Sen. Gretchen Whitmer, the Michigan Senate Democratic Party leader.
“This isn’t just about a few outliers saying dumb things that aren’t true. This is an agenda that threatens every working family in Michigan.”
Democrats also released a recording of state Rep. Peter Pettalia explaining he can’t understand why he and other Republicans are being portrayed as being “anti-women.”
No matter who is to blame for the war on women in Michigan, at least one Democrat, Rep. Gary Peters, appears to be winning it. The congressman from metro Detroit is cruising to the Nov. 4 finish line to replace retiring Sen. Carl Levin (D-Mich.) with at least 50 percent of the female vote in Michigan.
The latest Mitchell Research poll that was released Oct. 1 showed Peters had half the female vote in Michigan and 49 percent of the male vote.
Republican Terri Lynn Land can count on 40 percent of the ballots cast by Michigan men and only 33 percent of the votes cast by women, according to the Mitchell Research survey that gave Peters a 13-point lead over Land.
“Peters has broadened his lead with both men and women. Peters seems to be doing well across the board,” Steve Mitchell, the chief executive officer of Mitchell Research & Communications, said. “Two weeks ago we had him up by only two percent.”
It would be easy to blame Land’s failure to win over the female vote on the fact that she’s a Republican and the party has a huge problem with women.
While men tend to vote for GOPers, women do lean toward the Democratic Party.
But Republican Gov. Rick Snyder is taking both the female and male vote from his challenger, Democrat Mark Schauer.
The Mitchell survey showed Snyder with 45 percent of women, compared to 40 percent for Schauer, a 48-44 point lead among male voters, and a 4 point lead over Schauer overall.
“Governor Snyder’s lead has stabilized at around 4 percent to 5 percent, where it has been for most of September, after dipping down to a one percent lead in mid-July,” Mitchell said.
GOP candidates also lead the other two statewide races in Michigan, for secretary of state and attorney general, by four points, in the Mitchell Research survey.