EMILY’s List ready to ante up for Boxer

The largest national advocacy and fundraising organization for pro-choice women seeking political office is ready to put ads on the air and boots on the ground for embattled U.S. Sen. Barbara Boxer, its president said this afternoon.

Stephanie SchriockEMILY’s List President Stephanie Schriock said the “California Women Vote!” independent expenditure program is going to take dead aim at Republican senatorial nominee Carly Fiorina.

“We’re still putting together resources but we intend to use direct mail, television advertising and online advertising,” she said, in order to “really outline what Carly Fiorina is about and the positions she’s taking. It’s important to make people know that Nov. 2 is a choice between someone who has been a champion for the state and another person who has tied herself to Sarah Palin.”

EMILY’s List (the name stands for Early Money Is Like Yeast, as in, “it makes the dough rise) last month launched a “Sarah Doesn’t Speak for Me” campaign “to provide real opportunities to fight back against the backwards looking and extremist agenda of Sarah Palin and her endorsed candidates.” That campaign rolled out its second Web video today:

Palin endorsed Fiorina before California’s GOP primary, enraging many supporters of Assemblyman Chuck DeVore who thought he better exemplified the former vice presidential nominee’s anti-establishment conservatism. Fiorina has called herself “proudly pro-life,” while Boxer supports abortion rights.

Schriock said Boxer “has done a fantastic job in the U.S. Senate for California and for the country,” and deserves EMILY’s List’s continued support. In addition to the independent expenditure spending, the group also will be launching a “Team EMILY” effort in California to put volunteers to work making pro-Boxer and get-out-the-vote calls.

Boxer needs all the help she can get. She admits she’s in the toughest re-election battle of her career, and the polls bear that out: an average of three polls taken since the start of this month show her 1.4 percentage points ahead of Fiorina, well within any of those polls’ margins of error – a statistical dead heat.

Schriock said Boxer’s in a tough spot because – atop the old political saw that the party in power loses seats in a midterm election – Californians “are still trying to fight their way out of this recession.”

“Our mission is to elect pro-choice Democratic women, and all three of those pieces are incredibly important to us,” she said, and although abortion rights are a key factor, it’s not the only one; Boxer and other candidates know the economy will trump social issues this fall. “That’s what the election is going to be about this year, as it should be.”

Schriock later today will keynote the fourth annual San Francisco Women’s Policy Summit, sponsored by the San Francisco Women’s Political Committee.

Founded in 1985, EMILY’s List in the 2007-08 election cycle raised more than $43 million to recruit and support women candidates, and to mobilize women voters to turn out and vote.

Josh Richman

Josh Richman covers state and national politics for the Bay Area News Group. A New York City native, he earned a bachelor’s degree in journalism from the University of Missouri and reported for the Express-Times of Easton, Pa. for five years before coming to the Oakland Tribune and ANG Newspapers in 1997. He is a frequent guest on KQED Channel 9’s “This Week in Northern California;” a proud father; an Eagle Scout; a somewhat skilled player of low-stakes poker; a rather good cook; a firm believer in the use of semicolons; and an unabashed political junkie who will never, EVER seek elected office.

  • RR, Uninvited Columnist

    EMILY has outlived its usefulness in many states, including our own. When two women vie for the same office, the Yeasties should clam up. Of course, if abortion trumps every other issue, then I should be disenfranchised along with the other males.

  • Elwood

    In Boxer’s case, I would say early money is like a yeast infection.

    Easy to acquire, hard to get rid of.