As expected, a public forum being organized by the Democratic chair of the Federal Election Commission to discuss women in politics will host a slew of liberal Democratic panelists with no Republican in sight.
Last week, FEC chair Ann Ravel announced the May 12 forum which will be aimed at addressing the dearth of women in public office.
But critics slammed the announcement, arguing that the FEC’s mission is to regulate campaign spending, not get to the root of who chooses to run for office. The event announcement was also seen as playing favorites with its implicit preference for female candidates versus male candidates. Adding to that concern was that Ravel’s announcement came during the same week that Hillary Clinton announced her candidacy for president.
While Ravel, who came under scrutiny last year after she floated a proposal to regulate political speech on the internet, denies that any of the 10 forum panelists were chosen because of their ideology, those who have publicly stated their political preferences have almost exclusively supported Democrats and been highly critical of Republicans. (RELATED: Democratic FEC Chair Accused Of Playing Favorites With Forum Promoting Women In Politics)
Rebecca Traister, an editor at The New Republic, is a prime example.
A self-described “devoted Hillary Clinton supporter,” Traister will take part in the first of two sessions to be held next month.
Traister is no stranger to ideologically-charged forums about women in politics. In Sept. 2012 she sat on a panel at the University of Michigan entitled “The Republican War on Women.” According to Campus Reform, she referred to herself at the event as a “super brow burning feminist lefty pinko liberal lady.”
Another participant at next month’s event is Pace University law professor Darren Rosenblum. Rosenblum’s academic focus is on corporate governance and international gender equality, his university bio reads. And while he is seemingly interested in getting more women into public office, his enthusiasm does not extend to Carly Fiorina, the former Hewlett-Packard CEO who is considering a run for the GOP nomination.
The Republican field must have agreed to put Fiorina in the cabinet if she'd be an attack dog against Hillary. http://t.co/p32SZDdMba
— Darren Rosenblum (@DarrenRosenblum) April 14, 2015
Rosenblum also appears to hold a dim view of Republicans, citing a comment from conservative talk radio host Laura Ingraham to state that, “Everyday racism is what renders the Republican Party lily white.”
Adrienne Kimmell is another forum participant and Hillary Clinton fan. She serves as executive director at the Barbara Lee Family Foundation. Prior to that she worked for a number of Planned Parenthood affiliates.
The founder of the family foundation is Barbara F. Lee, a philanthropist whose focus is on helping women — virtually all Democrats — get elected to office. Lee’s personal website is currently soliciting donations for Clinton and includes a fundraising letter which reads, “Hillary Clinton is running for president because everyday Americans need a champion — and she wants to be that champion.”
One article written by Kimmell and posted to Lee’s website references the GOP with the headline: “Women Don’t Like The Party That Doesn’t Like Them.”
Kimmell also apparently idolizes Clinton, telling the blog “The Everygirl” that her mother and Clinton are the two women she would most like to have lunch with.
Victoria Budson is also a strong supporter of women in politics. But judging from her comments and her political contributions, that support extends only to Democratic women. The executive director of the Women and Public Policy Program at the Harvard Kennedy School of Government, Budson previously served on the Massachusetts Democratic State Committee and the Massachusetts Coalition for a Democratic Future.
“I think Hillary Clinton has consistently shown the American public that her judgement acumen, decision making and leadership are unparalleled,” Budson told U.S. News & World Report in 2013.
Marni Allen is the director of Political Parity, a nonpartisan group dedicated to electing more female governors and members of Congress.
While Political Parity does have Republican board members, the organization was founded by Hunt Alternatives, which was started by Swanee Hunt, President Bill Clinton’s ambassador to Austria.
Allen was also part of a group called “Women for Reich,” which supported former Clinton Labor Secretary Robert Reich’s campaign for Massachusetts governor.
Ravel told The Daily Caller that the panelists were not chosen because of their party affiliation.
“We selected participants for the FEC’s Women in Politics Forum because of their expertise and experience in this field with no regard to their political affiliation, if any,” she said.
Cleta Mitchell, a conservative election lawyer, called Ravel’s event “a deplorable misuse of taxpayer funds.”
“[Ravel] has to vote on complaints and procedures involving female candidates – does that mean she will disadvantage male candidates with female opponents to ‘help’ them ‘compete’?” Mitchell told TheDC through email.
“Campaign finance laws make it harder [for all] new candidates to break into the equation – not just females,” Mitchell continued, adding that “there is not one single person on this agenda who will talk about how the very laws that this wild-eyed liberal Democrat seeks to expand are the barriers to entry.”