Sullivan, Treadwell vs. Women
You’d think a vote for the Violence Against Women Act would be a no-brainer. You’d think this because opposing violence against women should be as controversial a position as supporting the troops or enjoying apple pie.
If you live in Alaska, you’d really think this is an easy vote, because all three members of Alaska’s Congressional delegation—including Republicans Lisa Murkowski and Don Young—have supported the bill in the past.
Senator Murkowski has gone so far as to lobby House Republicans on reauthorizing the law, and has signed on to a bipartisan letter of support which reads in part as follows:
We should not let politics pick and choose which victims of abuse to help and which to ignore. Each previous reauthorization substantially improved the way VAWA addressed the changing needs of domestic violence victims by addressing challenges facing older victims, victims with disabilities, and other underserved groups.
So who would have a problem supporting this easy vote on a bipartisan no-brainer?
Why, the two leading candidates for the Republican nomination for our US Senate seat, it turns out.
Unbelievably, here’s what “Ohio Dan” Sullivan just told NBC’s Kasie Hunt when she asked him about the bill.
“Well I need to look at the whole act. One of the things I’ve done in my career is actually read legislation before I vote for it unlike most of the Senate Democrats like [Sen. Mark Begich] who clearly voted for Obamacare without reading it. I was —before I sued on Obamacare I sat down with a small team of attorneys and we read it!”
We see what you did there, Ohio Dan.
You take violence against women so seriously that when you’re asked about the signature bill addressing it, on which you’d have to vote as senator, you blow it off and immediately pivot onto your hackneyed Obamacare talking points. Nice.
One cannot imagine why female voters don’t feel like male Republican politicians take their concerns seriously.
Lt. Governor Mead Treadwell, for his part, played the parochial card:
“When Washington tries to impose solutions on a state without talking to people who live there, I think you’ve got a big problem.”
So Senators Murkowski and Begich and Congressman Young—all of whom, again, have supported the VAWA— haven’t “talked to people who live here?” Really. I wonder how our delegation feels about this implicit charge.
Furthermore, with rapes in Alaska occurring at triple the national average, we’re clearly doing less than a fantastic job addressing the issue on our own. Especially with Attorney General Dan Sullivan having been on the case. We do have those nice rubber wrist bands that say “Choose Respect” though. They seem to be working really well.
And while all of the shucking and jiving and pivoting on this issue in the GOP primary is extremely depressing, at least there is one general election candidate who is a stalwart, unequivocal vote for the Violence Against Women Act.
Ladies, you know what to do.