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Female donors spend big in wake of Todd Akin’s rape comments

Sep 20, 2012

The women’s lobbying group Emily’s List collected $1.9 million in donations for the month of August for its Super PAC Women Vote!, according to a Federal Election Commission report filed yesterday. The Center for Responsive Politics noted that this is significant because there are not many females who are bid political donors.

According to OpenSecrets.org, Women Vote! has spent about $2.4 million in the 2012 election cycle, with “at least $1.4 million of it” coming last month.

OpenSecrets.org reports that:

The group’s independent expenditures are fairly evenly split between ads opposing Republican candidates (former Wisconsin Gov. Tommy Thompson, now running for that state’s Senate seat, was the biggest target) and those supporting nine female Democratic congressional candidates.

Can it be assumed that Todd Akin’s “legitimate rape” comments and the GOP’s anti-reproductive rights stance has well and truly inspired women to donate and spend in significant amounts? It would seem likely, but correlation doesn’t equal causality. That is, we cannot prove that this is so.

A lot of money has been spent on the Tammy Baldwin-Tommy Thompson Wisconsin Senate race. Baldwin is openly gay and is the very antithesis of the current brand of conservative politician. It goes without saying that her campaign would be a focus for female donors. Indeed, “through July, the single biggest source of cash for the organization was the Gay & Lesbian Victory Fund, and only two individual donors had written six figure checks, the largest for $250,000.” For the LGBT community, Baldwin is their great hope.

Nevertheless, Akin’s comments and the GOP’s reproductive rights tenor must have, on some level, inspired a number of women to donate; which is a good thing. We need more women in politics—women more enlightened than Michelle Bachmann and Sarah Palin. There are plenty of them out there, and it’s good to see that they’re trying to make their voices heard.

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