Wednesday, October 17, 2012

I was wrong about Mitt last night!

As soon as Mitt come out with the story about asking for women and getting binders full last night, I told my son, "I bet this is a lie, but he's rolled out one that can't be fact-checked, so he'll get away with it." 
Thanks to this article from David Bernstein in the Boston Phoenix, I was shown up as totally wrong!

. . . in 2002 -- prior to the election, not even knowing yet whether it would be a Republican or Democratic administration -- a bipartisan group of women in Massachusetts formed MassGAP to address the problem of few women in senior leadership positions in state government. There were more than 40 organizations involved with the Massachusetts Women's Political Caucus (also bipartisan) as the lead sponsor.
They did the research and put together the binder full of women qualified for all the different cabinet positions, agency heads, and authorities and commissions. They presented this binder to Governor Romney when he was elected.

I have written about this before, in various contexts; tonight I've checked with several people directly involved in the MassGAP effort who confirm that this history as I've just presented it is correct -- and that Romney's claim tonight, that he asked for such a study, is false.

. . . according to MassGAP and MWPC, Romney did appoint 14 women out of his first 33 senior-level appointments, which is a reasonably impressive 42 percent. However,  . . . those were almost all to head departments and agencies that he didn't care about -- and in some cases, that he quite specifically wanted to not really do anything. None of the senior positions Romney cared about -- budget, business development, etc. -- went to women.
Secondly, a UMass-Boston study found that the percentage of senior-level appointed positions held by women actually declined throughout the Romney administration, from 30.0% prior to his taking office, to 29.7% in July 2004, to 27.6% near the end of his term in November 2006.
. . .
Third, note that in Romney's story as he tells it, this man who had led and consulted for businesses for 25 years didn't know any qualified women, or know where to find any qualified women. So what does that say?
Thank you, David.  I don't always enjoy being shown up, but when I do, I love humble pie, and I'm finding this one very delicious, indeed. Finger-lickin' good, as we say down here in the South. 

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