Seattle's News Elixir

On the same day that former city council member Judy Nicastro, who was defeated by longtime newspaper columnist Jean Godden in 2003, announced she was endorsing Godden challenger Bobby Forch (a statement that's newsworthy in itself given that Nicastro now lives in Kirkland, making her a carpetbagger on her former political turf), the local chapter of the National Women's Political Caucus issued its endorsements.

What do the NWPC's endorsed candidates have in common? Every one is a woman. Instead of looking at candidates' qualifications for office, the women's group focuses on "encouraging more women to run" for office, regardless of whether their political affiliation actually promotes women's interests.

As a result, you get endorsements for people like Republican King County Council member Jane Hague and Bellevue City Council member Jennifer Robertson---both opponents of investments in things like Metro bus service and light rail to the Eastside, services that disproportionately benefit low-income women. The NWPC also endorsed Godden, who has loudly touted her feminist credentials, despite the fact that Godden came in to office by defeating Nicastro, the council's most outspoken feminist.

Gender representation matters; as Godden pointed out in a recent fundraising letter, titled "Let's Do It, Ladies!", the council used to have a solid female majority. However, it shouldn't trump things like voting records, political priorities, and an actual focus on issues that matter to women---things like domestic violence prevention (for which Nick Licata has been a tireless advocate) and expanded access to transit (something Jane Hague's two male opponents, but especially former Gregoire advisor Richard Mitchell, support).
Show Comments