What leadership looks like.

Krystal Ball, is a 28 year old entrepreneur, software designer, and CPA running for Congress, In Virgina\'s 1st congressional district. She is also a wife, daughter and mother, and enduring an anonymous right wing attack designed to derail her campaign. She is also a role model, a leader and has become one of my favorite politicians.

After the attack on her, instead of ignoring it, she disregarded all advice that was given to her and attacked it head-on. I am glad she did, since it is one of the best responses to this kind of attack I have ever seen. Here is an

excerpt from her press release:

How did this happen? How did I end up with private photos of me at 22 with my ex-husband across the entire Internet, and in papers from London to New York to Boston? It’s not because people care about the Congressional race in the first district of Virginia or because of my positions on energy independence, school choice, marriage equality, or pro-growth environmentalism. Here’s what happened…

Politics is a nasty game. I knew that coming in. I thought I could take it. But the day that I bought my first radio ads, my opponent called the station and inquired as to the size of the advertising buy. Two hours later, these photos were released by a right-wing smear blog with close ties to my opponent. I don’t believe these pictures were posted with a desire to just embarrass me; they wanted me to feel like a whore. They wanted me to collapse in a ball of embarrassment and to hang my head in shame. After all, when you are a woman named Krystal Ball, 28 years old, running for Congress, well, you get the picture. Stripper. Porn star. I’ve heard them all. So, I sat in my husband’s arms and cried. I thought about my little girl. I couldn’t stand the idea that I had somehow damaged the cause of young women running for office. I couldn’t stand the idea that I might shame my family, my friends or my supporters in some way.

The tactic of making female politicians into whores is nothing new. In fact, it happened to Meg Whitman, one of the world’s most accomplished business women, just last week. It’s part of this whole idea that female sexuality and serious work are incompatible. But I realized that photos like the ones of me, and ones much racier, would end up coming into the public sphere when women of my generation run for office. And I knew that there could be no other answer to the question than this: Society has to accept that women of my generation have sexual lives that are going to leak into the public sphere. Sooner or later, this is a reality that has to be faced, or many young women in my generation will not be able to run for office.

As a father of a daughter, she is someone who I would want to be a role model for my girl. I plan on showing my support for her by giving a donation at Krystal Ball for Congress. Find her on Facebook, donate to her cause, and share her story. Lets reward her courage and lot let the cowards win!