Last Thursday evening, Republican Gov. Scott Walker signed a repeal of the Equal Pay Act into law without a public ceremony and without any fanfare, presumably to avoid public backlash over what amounts to a declaration of war against women in Wisconsin on the part of Gov. Walker. However, despite Gov. Walker’s best attempts to minimize public outcry to his attack on Wisconsin’s women, the reaction to Gov. Walker signing a number of bills that attack women’s’ rights into law has been consistently negative.
Earlier today Democratic State Reps. Kelda Roys and Chris Sinicki issued statements attacking Gov. Walker’s actions while also calling on Republican presidential frontrunner Mitt Romney, who hailed Gov. Walker as a “hero” and “man of courage,” to disavow Gov. Walker’s war on women.
“In recent weeks, Mitt Romney traveled across Wisconsin, hailing Gov. Scott Walker as a ‘hero’ and ‘a man of courage.’ With Governor Walker’s recent action to sign in secret the war on women bills, it is time for Mitt Romney to make it clear whether he still stands with Walker, or does he stand with women?
“Mitt Romney has been at the forefront of the war on women, with his repeated promises to defund Planned Parenthood, a critical provider of healthcare for millions of American women. But with Scott Walker repealing Wisconsin’s equal pay law, they’ve expanded the battlefield in their war on women – attacking working women who suffer pay discrimination. Does Mitt Romney join Governor Walker in that attack, or will he denounce this latest assault on the ability of women to be full and equal participants in economic life?”
On a press call this morning, Mitt Romney’s campaign was asked if Mitt Romney supports the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act, federal legislation that amended the Civil Rights Act of 1964 so that the 180-day statute of limitations for filing an equal-pay lawsuit regarding pay discrimination resets with each new discriminatory paycheck. The Romney campaign’s response to the question was, “We’ll get back to you on that.”
In response to the Romney campaign’s unwillingness (or inability) to give a definitive answer to the question of whether or not Mitt Romney supports the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act, Democratic State Rep. Chris Sinicki issued a statement calling on Romney’s campaign to provide a clear answer as to whether Romney supports equal pay for women.
“One week after Mitt Romney won the Wisconsin GOP Primary by wrapping his arms around extremist Scott Walker, who then signed the repeal of my bill to enforce Equal Pay for women, Romney’s staff couldn’t answer whether Romney supported equal pay for women on the national level,” said Sinicki. “Scott Walker signed a bill that would let employers who discriminate off the hook by eliminating the penalties for discrimination. Does Mitt Romney agree with Scott Walker’s elimination of these worker protections? Does Romney support Scott Walker’s elimination of protections that ensure economic fairness for women?”
I’m betting Mitt Romney’s campaign won’t ever “get back to” anyone about whether or not Mitt Romney supports women earning equal pay as their male counterparts, because Mitt Romney can’t dare to upset the Republican base (no doubt populated by folks who share Republican State Sen. Glenn Grothman’s sexist beliefs about equal pay for women) by supporting pay equality for women.