Within the last two weeks, Barnes has turned his attention to women voters who will make up more than half of the electorate next Tuesday. In a series of television and radio ads, Barnes has taken Deal to task for his sponsorship of legislation that would have gutted Georgia’s rape shield law and for his repeated failure to support legislation that offered greater protection to battered women.
Then, something began to happen that neither Barnes nor his close confidants anticipated. A “Women. Against. Deal.” Facebook page popped up, and over the last three days has gone viral, attracting more than 20, 908 fans and growing by several hundred every hour. In public polling, Barnes already out-performs Deal among women voters, so an energized female electorate is very bad news for Nathan Deal and could make the difference in next Tuesday’s election.
What are women up in arms about?
From the first year he was in the state senate, when he voted against the protections for battered women, to the last year he was in Congress, Nathan Deal’s career is pock-marked with failure after failure to step up and protect women.
• From 1981 to 1988, Deal voted against FOUR domestic violence bills. On one occasion – he was THE ONLY member of the entire Georgia legislature to vote against a domestic violence bill.
• Deal also fought against the Georgia Domestic Violence Act that Roy Barnes sponsored. The bill allowed police officers to arrest a spouse suspected of abusing another spouse without a warrant. Deal opposed the bill because it would “violate the sanctity of the family.”
• In 1991, Deal wrote a bill that would dismantle Georgia’s rape shield. Deal’s bill would have allowed defense attorneys to put a rape victim on the stand and question what she was wearing at the time of the crime, and her past sexual and social history. In effect, it would have let defense attorneys suggest that a woman ASKED to be raped.
• Thousands of women, prosecutors and law enforcement officers protested Deal’s bill – eventually striking it down and keeping Georgia’s rape shield intact.
• Once Congressman Deal got to Washington, DC – one of his first acts was to vote against the Family Medical Leave Act. The bill allows employees to take time off of work for the birth or adoption of a child and to care for a seriously ill loved one.
• Deal also voted against the Violence Against Women Act in Congress – solidifying his resume as anti-women.
• During his time in Congress – Deal voted at least FOUR times against equal pay for women in the workplace. One of these votes was against he landmark legislation – the Lilly Ledbetter Act. Deal doesn’t want women to earn the same amount as men, thus, he voted SIX times to increase his own salary to the tune of $21,000.
Georgia women are asking one simple question: Congressman Deal has consistently voted against the interest of Georgia’s women, so why should we vote for him?
Amy Morton is Chair of Better Georgia, Inc. and a 20 year veteran of progressive politics in the Peach State. She previously chaired Georgia’s WIN List, was Vice Chair of Victory 2010, the Coordinated Campaign of the Democratic Party of Georgia and has consulted on multiple candidates and independent committees. A North Carolina native, Amy is a licensed marriage and family therapist and has her own practice in Macon, Georgia where she has lived for the last 28 years.