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Friday, May 13, 2011

League of Women Voters Chapter Pres Resigns In Protest of Anti-Scott Brown Ad

I posted earlier this week about the outrageous ad run against Scott Brown (R-MA) by the national League of Women Voters, depicting a child on a respirator and tying the condition to Brown's vote to strip the EPA of the ability to regulate carbon dioxide.

Putting aside what one thinks of the ad's substance, the ad signaled a complete disregard for the League's political neutrality.  In fact, the League long ago lost its neutrality, having made a national Board decision to engage in issue advocacy, but the public perception lived on.

Now the head of the Andover/North Andover chapter has resigned in protest (emphasis mine):

Dear Board of Directors:

It is sadly that I tender my resignation as president of the League of Women Voters of Andover/North Andover effective today [May 10]. Our local League is made up of such wonderful, dedicated people volunteering their time to educate the voters in our community. Over the 90-year history of the LWVANA the organization has become a respected partner in the community, however, recent actions by the national and state League of Women Voters have, in my opinion, muted the effectiveness of the League as a non-partisan voter service provider at all levels.

I do not agree with the direction in which the national and state Leagues seem to be headed and as a part of these larger organizations we are not able to control our reputation at the local level. I sincerely hope that there is a way for the League or another organization to continue the valued and important work that the LWVANA has done for our community for so many years. I wish it had not come to this, however, given my strong disagreement with the broader organization I cannot in good conscience continue to serve as president and as such I am resigning my position with the League and do not intend to renew my membership.

Kerri Ford
Ms. Ford is not alone in feeling betrayed by the national leadership.  Others in the local chapter also posted a statement of protest (including the person who took over as Acting President in place of Ms. Ford)(emphasis mine):
The League of Women Voters of Andover/North Andover (LWV-ANA) has been placed in the very difficult position of explaining the actions of League leadership at the state and national levels. Our local chapter of the League wants to go on record as strongly disagreeing with their decision to run ads singling out U.S. Senator Scott Brown for his vote in favor of the McConnell Amendment No. 183, limiting the powers of the Environmental Protection Agency.

The LWV-ANA was not made aware of these ads before they began airing. We have communicated our disagreement to the state and national League leadership.

The League of Women Voters was founded 90 years ago as a non-partisan political organization with two main functions: educating voters and studying issues of concern to our communities.

The dedicated members of our local League have worked very hard to provide Andover and North Andover citizens with access to accurate information about issues affecting our communities and encourage active participation in the democratic process.

We do not condone the ads being aired. Our local League will continue to discuss what further steps need to be taken to preserve our vital non-partisan role in the community.

Stefani Traina, Acting President
Heather McNeil, VP North Andover

Sandy Gleed, Chairperson
LWV of Andover/North Andover
In response to the controversy over the Brown ad, the national President of the League, Elizabeth McNamara stated:
“We are a nonpartisan organization, but we are political."
Fine, you have chosen your lot and you will be treated as such.  In so doing, you have thrown away almost a century of good will.

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  1. George Soros and the LWV

    League of Women Voters Education Fund - received from Open Society Institute $1,723,000

    "League of Women Voters Education Fund (DC) (www.lwv.org) OSI Contributions: $1.773 million between 2000 and 2009; $1.723 million earmarked for projects related to the judiciary. The vast majority of the OSI grants were provided to promote the importance of protecting a “fair and independent judiciary.” The grants provided in 2007-2008, totaling $330,000, changed slightly and are now aimed at “educating citizens about understanding and defending the system of checks and balances incorporated in the U.S. Constitution.” In 2009, the League received a $330,000 grant to promote “fair and impartial courts focusing particularly on the importance of ethnic, racial and gender diversity in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit.” Many of the affiliated state League of Women Voters groups are now pushing “merit selection” for state court judges and are also JAS partners. The printed materials related to the LWV's programs often note that funding for the materials was provided by the Open Society Institute."

    The American Justice Partnership

  2. Actually it looked like a nebulizer dispensing asthma medication. Ties in with their theme of the ad that dirty air is hurting kid's health.

    Of course, doctors don't know the cause of asthma but genetics & cigarette smoking play a big part, not air pollution caused by cars & factories. So the ad is not just unethical but misleading.

  3. I'm sad to see this happen. The LWV voters' guides used to be pretty useful. I can't say I thought they were ever completely objective, but I do think they tried their best.

    No more.

  4. "depicting a child on a respirator"

    Anyone remember this group opposing the efforts necessary to kill 53 million inconvenient Americans?

    Seems kind of strange to claim you are worried about children if you don't oppose abortion.

  5. I have to admit, this is funny:

    "We are a nonpartisan organization, but we are political."

    By definition, LWV has now become a partisan advocacy group since it is impossible to be a "non partisan advocacy group". How can you advocate without taking a side?

  6. Doesn't the LWV supply many of the elderly ladies who staff polling booths across the country on election day? If this is what their organization has become, I don't trust them to protect the integrity of the system.

  7. "Seems kind of strange to claim you are worried about children if you don't oppose abortion."

    Unless of course you don't buy into the idea that a blastocyst is a child. Then it makes absolutely perfect sense.

  8. When I first registered to vote it was through the LVW (my first vote was for Reagan).

    Then, last fall, at a debate between Melissa Bean (then inc. D), Joe Walsh (now inc. R), and Bill Scheuer (I) for the 8th district of Illinois the LWV rep got all upset because the audience (I was there) said the Pledge of Allegiance without her permission.

    Sometime between 1980 and today they totally lost it.

  9. Being political is not the same as being partisan. The League does not support any political party or candidate. Neither of the senators targeted is a candidate; although we can assume these politicians will run for re-election next year. (Politicians are always running for re-election.) The League has often held office holders accountable for their votes, going all the way back to votes in Congress for and against the 19th amendment. So this is nothing new.

  10. The League of Women Voters ... today's political equivalent of Get Smart's The League of Bald-Headed Men. Only more sinister.

  11. Don't get stuck on 'air pollution'. Carbon Dioxide is NOT a pollutant. It's harmless to people and animals. It is in fact PLANT FOOD.

    Certain groups (and they know who they are) are conflating CO2 with pollutants such as sulfur dioxide and soot in the minds of the voters. Do NOT let them get away with it.

  12. The last few years have been very eye opening for me, I used to be lifelong democrat until 2008. I started paying much closer attention to organizations like this, and just how leftist they have become yet claim they are nonpartisan. I am probably more tilted left than most on this blog who comment, but I consider myself independent minded, and I do support many right of center, conservative, especially limited govt positions.

    "In fact, the League long ago lost its neutrality, having made a national Board decision to engage in issue advocacy, but the public perception lived on."

    I doubt this is the case as much now a days, I have family members who were member of this organization, they left in 2009, I have donated to this legue of women's organization, my local chapter, but after seeing this display of complete hypocrasisy, its pretty clear to see they are nothing but an extension of the dem. party.

    and the response is hiliarios, so they claim they are nonpartisan yet they are political, so not are they at least honest, but they seem pretty stupid, they like NOW, all claim they are for women, etc, but its only liberal women, conservative, centerist women, well they can be thrown under the bus.

    Its pretty sad they don't recognize just how little credibility they have left and even their former supporters like me have seen through them. They will keep chugging along without having a clue that they have been exposed, but more and more people will see through them.

  13. It looks like this is all about "Global Warming" and the extra-constitutional power grab by the Obama Administration and his czars to regulate everything by fiat (two examples: where Boeing can build a plant and whether CO2 is a pollutant. OUR freedom is evaporating before our eyes).

    See, LWV is fair and balanced, they also went after a Dem, Claire McCaskill (D-Mo.).

    From DailyKos:

    "If she were a real Democrat, she would. But she's not. Not only has she co-sponsered a budget bill worse than Ryan's, see McCaskill More Dangerous than Ryan (w/ Update, Ezra Klein: "more extreme than Ryan"), but she also voted to gut EPA's power to regulate greenhouse gases. Yes, she favors climate change. No doubt she will soon be peddling climate change denial."

    "The League of Women Voters is launching a “seven-figure” TV ad campaign Friday in Massachusetts and Missouri to draw attention to votes cast this month by Sens. Scott Brown (R-Mass.) and Claire McCaskill (D-Mo.) regarding the reauthorization of the Clean Air Act.


    “Air pollution is a life or death issue,” Elisabeth MacNamara, national president of the League of Women Voters, said in a statement. “Senators Brown and McCaskill cast dangerous votes that put public health at risk.”


    Both voted on April 6 for an amendment authored by Sen. Jay Rockefeller (D-W.Va.) to suspend any action by the Environmental Protection Agency under the Clean Air Act regarding carbon dioxide or methane for two years, except in respect to auto emissions."


    "President Barack Obama would veto legislation suspending the EPA’s plans to write new climate change rules, a White House official said Friday.

    Coal-state Democrats, led by Sen. Jay Rockefeller (W. Va.), Reps. Rick Boucher (Va.) and Nick Rahall (W. Va), are trying to limit the federal government’s ability to control greenhouse gases from power plants."

    This is actually much worse than an just a political attack on Scott Brown.

  14. The main reason that the League of Women Voters can claim to be "non-partisan" is that their own political party (CP-USA) is rarely on the ballot.