Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Planting Seeds in the Weeds of the Fall Elections

The General Election was held on November 2, 2010. We unfortunately lost many of the races that we had targeted, including that of the PA Senate Seat, which was won by Pat Toomey (R). Of the 22 targeted races, we won 5, lost 14, and 3 more are TOO CLOSE TO CALL!

What does this mean? More Tea Party legislators who oppose fairness and equality for women, people of color, immigrants, and lesbians, gays, bisexual and transgendered people. More efforts by a new, conservatively-empowered majority in both the Federal and State House of Representatives. Attempts at both the state and federal level to overturn health care reform for everyone and reverse reproductive rights for women. And we’ll see continued, if not even greater gridlock, on passing legislation that creates holes in our safety net here in PA and across the country.

That means that at least for the next two, if not more years, our garden of rights may become filled with weeds. Cracks in our canopy of safety are likely to appear. And we will need to plant more seeds in our efforts to ensure that the fruit of our work isn’t pulled out of this garden.

Meanwhile, Here’s How Our Candidates Faired

The following lists all of the races that we targeted and lets you know how each of our candidates faired in their individual races.

National NOW/PAC

U.S. Senate
  • JOE SESTAK (D) Lost
U.S. Congress
  • MANAN TREVEDI (D) 6th CD Lost
  • BRYAN LENTZ (D) 7th CD Lost
  • LOIS HERR (D) 16th CD Lost
  • DAN CONNOLLY (D) 18th CD Lost

Pennsylvania NOW PAC

The Pennsylvania NOW PAC makes endorsements for all statewide and local races. The PA NOW PAC has two levels of approval for candidates. "Endorsement" is the highest level of approval and is given only to those candidates who support all of our issues and will take a leadership position on those issues if elected. "Support" is given to those candidates who are good on most of our issues but have a problem with one or two; we believe that these candidates are significantly better than their opposition. “Endorsed” candidates names are CAPITALIZED and BOLDED. Candidates receiving “Support” have their names printed in upper and lower-case letters. The results of these races are as follows:

Pennsylvania Senate Endorsed Candidates
  • RUTH DAMSKER (D) 12th SD Lost
  • BILL WALLACE (D) 24th SD Lost 

Pennsylvania House of Representatives

  • STEVE SANTARSIARO (D) 31st HD TOO CLOSE TO CALL! Steve is leading by 189 votes as of 11:30 am November 3; they need to count the absentee ballots before declaring a winner.
  • TINA DAVIS (D) 141st HD TOO CLOSE TO CALL! Tina is leading by 241 votes as of 11:30 am November 3; they need to count the 500 +/- absentee ballots before declaring a winner.
  • BARBARA MCILLVAINE SMITH 156TH HD TOO CLOSE TO CALL! Barbara is trailing by 214 votes as of 11:30 am November 3. Barb hasn’t yet conceded. Hopefully she’ll pull this one out just like she did in the squeaker in 2006 when she won by 28 votes upon a recount.
  • GERALD PRICE (D) 4th HD Lost
  • SHARON BROWN (D) 28th HD Lost
  • GERALD E. POLICOFF (D) 41st HD Lost
  • JO ELLEN BOWMAN (D) 60th HD Lost
  • TREY CASIMIR (D) 85th HD Lost


  • Angela West (D) 87th HD Lost
  • Mark Painter (D) 146th HD Lost
  • Andrea Baptiste (D) 150th HD Lost

Even with These Large Loses (Weeds) and Limited Wins (Planted Seeds), We Can’t and Won’t Turn Back

We must continue to fight and stand up for our rights. Terry O’Neill, National President of NOW, put it this way in an article that appeared in the Huffington Post on November 2:
Throughout the history of the women's movement in this country, our progress has often been painfully slow. I've lost count of the number of women who have told me how frustrated they are when the changes they voted for mysteriously stall out in the legislative process, or are compromised away too quickly. I've felt that frustration myself over the past couple years….This is one of those times, when we must reach deep into ourselves and return again to the struggle for equality and justice.
We will continue to monitor attacks on women’s rights. We will continue to work for economic justice. We will continue to work towards ending discrimination no matter your gender, race, sexual orientation, disability, or gender identity. We will continue to advocate for ending violence against women and children.

So, “Don’t Agonize! Organize!”

Plant and grow our seeds of Equality for All
  • Join NOW
  • Get active in your local NOW Chapter; if there isn’t a local chapter in your area, start one! Email us at or call us at 814-280-2571 to find out how to contact or start a local NOW chapter in your community.
  • Make a donation (or a recurring monthly donation) to NOW! If you want to make a recurring donation, email our Treasurer, Pamela Macklin at  She'll send you the necessary paperwork to turn a one-time donation into a monthly donation.
  • Write letters to the editor about the issues that concern you.
  • And tell your federal and state legislators that you will be watching their federal-level or state-level votes.

We’ll continue to advocate for you. And with your advocacy, our efforts eventually will bear fruit. Thank you!

1 comment:

  1. My heartfelt thanks to all in PANOW who helped with my campaign.

    Tuesday's results showed we were not even close to beating Pitts this time. However, we forced Pitts to work as he has never worked before and spend record amounts to keep his seat. Never before has he spent so much time out in the district or on TV or on attack literature and internet material. He had to use every trick in his well-thumbed book and piles of corporate campaign money to win.

    I don't believe the results show the future, however, and the Democrats in this area will not be silenced in the long run. We have built, slowly but surely, the organization that has made us a force to be reckoned with in this district, and the district has become known nationally for its progressive ideals.

    I personally thank those of you in PANOW and in NOW nationally who worked with me and believed in our effort. Your financial support and your help with phone calling helped build a force for the future. The work has not been wasted and effort not lost.

    Now, as Joanne stated, we must deal with the right-wing pressures that will be on us immediately. Now more than ever we must be on guard to protect our rights and opportunities and continue our fight for economic justice.

    I am deeply grateful for your support.
    Lois Herr