Archive for Wednesday, February 8, 2006

Money an obstacle for female candidates

In KU visit, former presidential hopeful says fundraising puts women at disadvantage

February 8, 2006


A convoluted and corrupt campaign finance system is the biggest hurdle for women aspiring to the nation's highest political office, former presidential candidate Carol Moseley-Braun said Tuesday.

"It is a challenge to democracy that our methods of electing people are constructed in ways that keep a lot of people with talent out of the political arena," Moseley-Braun said at a news conference preceding her lecture Tuesday evening at the Dole Institute of Politics.

Moseley-Braun, the first black woman elected to the U.S. Senate, spent about five months in late 2003 running for the Democratic presidential nomination. She dropped out in January 2004 after her campaign failed to gather momentum.

A self-described "recovering politician," Moseley-Braun now has an organic food business.

Early campaign contributors tend to favor traditional candidates for the nation's top seat, Moseley-Braun said.

"Because I couldn't raise money, I was never perceived as a serious candidate by the pundits," she said. "That was as much as anything a commentary of the way the process works. It wasn't my campaign. I was certainly as qualified, if not more qualified, for the job than many of the guys who were running."

Overcome the fundraising hurdle, Moseley-Braun said, and the time is ripe for a woman to take the White House.

"I believe the tipping point has been reached," she said.

When will the United States have its first female president? With a wink and a smile, Carol Moseley-Braun answered "In my lifetime" Tuesday at the Dole Institute of Politics.

When will the United States have its first female president? With a wink and a smile, Carol Moseley-Braun answered "In my lifetime" Tuesday at the Dole Institute of Politics.

And some agree.

According to a 2005 poll conducted by Roper Public Affairs and commissioned by The White House Project, 79 percent of respondents reported being comfortable with the idea of a female U.S. president.

Marc Langston, head of KU Young Democrats, made a television advertisement promoting Hillary Clinton.

"Everything I say in the ad I do believe makes her a strong candidate," he said. "She knows how to balance her family and her commitment to public service."

But Langston, who is pondering which campaigns he might like to help, said he's not ready to join Clinton's camp or to consider her as a viable presidential candidate.

"There's a lot of cognitive dissonance against Hillary Clinton for various reasons," he said. "She's got a lot of negative press. Whether it's true or not, it's hard to overcome that negative press."

But Langston said he thinks female candidates have a shot at the presidency.

Karen Bentley, head of KU's College Republicans student group, said she expects to see a female president in the future. But gender won't be the driving issue, she said.

"I really do think it'll be a matter of policies rather than a matter of gender," she said.

The Dole Institute's "The First Woman President" series continues with a lecture by journalist Eleanor Clift at 7 p.m. Sunday. Pollsters Celinda Lake and Kellyanne Conway will visit at 7:30 p.m. Feb. 14. Former governors Jeanne Shaheen, D-N.H., and Jane Swift, R-Mass., will appear at 7:30 p.m. Feb. 28.

The latest additions to the program are two presidential campaign managers. Sen. John Kerry's campaign manager, Mary Beth Cahill, and Tom Daffron, who led Elizabeth Dole's 1999 bid, will speak at 7:30 p.m. Feb. 22.


Steve Jacob 12 years, 4 months ago

A good reason why she could not raise money...

"...For instance, in 1992 and 1993, according to documents obtained by News 2 Chicago, the IRS determined Braun and [Kgosie] Mathews spent nearly $70,000 in campaign money for clothes, mostly designed wear by Giorgio Armani, almost $64,000 in travel including trips to Hawaii, Europe and Africa, $18,000 in jewelry, $25,000 for 2 jeeps and $12,000 in stereo equipment. "

Mercat 12 years, 4 months ago

"More recently, it's been reported that the Internal Revenue Service found that Senator Carol Moseley-Braun may have converted campaign funds to personal funds and not paid taxes on them." Village Voice September 23 - 29, 1998.

"At the height of her 1992 campaign, it came to light that she and her siblings had split a $28,750 inheritance that should have been used to reimburse Medicaid for their mother's nursing home care.

Other problems included allegations that Kgosie Matthews, her 1992 campaign manager and fiance at the time, sexually harassed female campaign workers. As a senator, she visited the military dictator of Nigeria on a trip that had not been authorized or approved by the State Department. Violations of campaign-finance law and unaccounted-for spending led to a Federal Election commission audit of her campaign. The FEC found sloppy bookkeeping but did not penalize her." USA Today 2/19/2003.

The list goes on and on, just google her name and campaign finance violations.

Applied_Logic 12 years, 4 months ago

TOB - applying logic in the us, especially to government, who ever heard of such a thing?

Janet Lowther 12 years, 4 months ago

"It's government. It doesn't have to make sense."

badger 12 years, 4 months ago

Yeah, I have to say that for her to start talking about money, that may have been a tactical error.

She does have a lot of experience and information to offer, and I understand she's a great speaker. But I'm not sure that bringing in her own truncated campaign, which was beset by troubles and numerous allegations of various types of misconduct - and painting it as a failure to garner support because of her race and/or gender - was particularly effective.

Richard Heckler 12 years, 4 months ago

Federally funded campaigns would eliminate any discrimination toward race or gender.

Steve Jacob 12 years, 4 months ago

Federally funded campaigns :) Funny. But on the subject, Hilary Clinton in 2008 will raise so much money, she will opt-out of the federal matching funds. You watch.

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