Women of the King campaign speak out

By Crystal Canney and Kay Rand, Special to the BDN
Posted April 27, 2012, at 2:36 p.m.

What does it take for a candidate to represent Maine women in the U.S. Senate? It takes someone who is thoughtful, intelligent, energetic and willing to put all of Maine’s interests first. Children’s issues, elderly issues, women’s issues, men’s issues and all the other interest groups we have yet to name, deserve to have their next U.S. senator working on their behalf.

As the women of the Angus King campaign (and there are 10 of us working with him), we know that we need someone in Washington who can work with all constituencies and parties without shutting people out.

We believe in Angus King because:

Angus King is pro choice, supports women’s reproductive rights, believes in equal pay for equal work, instituted the strongest child support collection policy in the country and created the children’s cabinet when he was governor.

He knows, as we do, that women’s issues include the deficit, the economy, student loan programs and a host of other issues.

Angus is married to one of the fiercest advocates for women’s issues we have ever known. Mary Herman is an outspoken champion on issues of importance to women and her work has been recognized around the country.

Some say if Angus wins we would lose a woman in the Senate; we suggest that if Angus wins, Maine changes from one advocate for a strong economy and support for families to another. Is it really about gender? Or is it about good policy decisions made fairly and thoughtfully?

If you believe that only women can represent women’s issues, does that mean only men can represent men’s issues? If that’s the case how will anyone ever get elected?

The King campaign is about the inability of Congress to move beyond its divisiveness to find reasonable compromises and address the critical issues of our day. The divisions between parties have stymied Congress. Divisions do not move us forward. If we spend our time arguing about parties or gender and focus on making points and not policy we lose the time and energy we need to resolve the issues facing everyone, men and women.

Women’s issues are in the headlines recently for good reasons. Women’s rights are being threatened in Congress with pending votes on the Violence Against Women Act and the constant challenges around reproductive rights and equal pay.

We as women care about these issues and know that Angus King will be a strong voice for us as women in Washington on these and every other issue.

No one person, man or woman can understand all of the concerns of 1.3 million people in Maine, but we know that Angus King has the experience, the compassion, the integrity and the vision to represent all Mainers fairly and honestly.

That’s why we, along with Marge Kilkelly, Gail Kezer, Katie Fellows, and Edie Smith, are working around the clock to put the best person in the US Senate.

We believe in him and believe a little independence goes a long way.

Crystal Canney is communications director and Kay Rand is campaign manager for Angus King’s U.S. Senate campaign.

http://bangordailynews.com/2012/04/27/opinion/women-of-the-king-campaign-speak-out/ printed on July 29, 2014