Senate Split 51-48 for Republicans after Landrieu Wins Seat in Louisiana
First-term Democratic Senator Mary Landrieu beat her Republican opponent, Suzanne Haik Terrell, by 52 to 48 percent in Louisiana’s runoff election on Saturday. Landrieu’s win came as a surprise to both sides, as Terrell had raised and spent considerably more money than Landrieu. In addition, Terrell had the advantage of a stump speech by President Bush that raised $1.3 million in the final week of the campaign, as well as access to his national database of donors. Just last week a a Republican official dubbed the Louisiana race “Operation Icing on the Cake.” Democrats were hopeful that this victory “proves the Democrats are alive and well,” as Senate Minority Leader Tom Daschle (D-SD) put it, according to the New York Times. The US Senate remains in the hands of the Republicans, with Senators split 51 Republican, 48 Democrat, and one Independent.
Analysts have attributed Landrieu’s win to a variety of factors. Key to her victory was African-American voter turnout. Landrieu herself said at a news conference this morning, “The soul of our party is the African American community, and they stood up,” according to the Washington Post. African-American voters had been critical of Landrieu, fearing that she was too conservative. However, some analysts said that attack ads by Republicans portraying Landrieu as very liberal may have provided some unexpected support from the black community, according to the Post. Landrieu also characterized her win as indicating growing antagonism toward President Bush, saying “[Louisiana voters] are very disappointed at what they are seeing coming out of the White House, and they just expressed that anger,” reported the Post.
Although both women support the right to abortion in the case of rape, incest, and to save the life of the mother, Terrell has said she favors an eventual ban on abortion in all cases, Kaisernetwork.org reports. Landrieu is more supportive of abortion rights, though she does support so-called “partial-birth” abortion bans.
Media Resources: Washington Post 12/9/02; New York Times 12/9/02; Kaisernetwork.org 12/6/02; Feminist Daily News Wire
10/13/2015 EEOC Launches Hollywood Gender Discrimination Probe - The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) has contacted several women directors in Hollywood in an effort to determine whether legal intervention is necessary to disrupt the industry's discriminatory hiring practices.
In a letter sent to some 50 women filmmakers, the EEOC - which is responsible for protecting individuals from employment discrimination based on sex, race, color, religion and national origin through enforcement of Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 - requested interviews with them to "learn more about the gender-related issues" women behind the camera face in both the film and television industries.
In May, following the release of a study by the San Diego State University Center for the Study of Women in Television in Film revealing only 7 percent of 2014's 250 top-grossing movies were helmed by women, the ACLU of Southern California and the national ACLU Women's Rights Project urged state and federal rights agencies to investigate Hollywood's failure to hire equal numbers of women. . . .
10/12/2015 Report Finds Texas' HB2 Increases Abortion Wait Times - A new report released by the University of Texas at Austin, Texas Policy Evaluation Project found patients seeking abortions in Texas have experienced an increase in wait times since the passage of HB2, the 2013 Texas omnibus anti-abortion bill that attempts to cut off abortion access by requiring abortion providers in the state to fulfill medically unnecessary ambulatory surgical center requirements and secure hospital admitting privileges.
More than half of 42 clinics providing abortion in Texas have been forced to shut their doors since HB2 passed two years ago, leading Texas women to wait up to 20 days for a first consult at one of the surviving 18 reproductive health clinics operating in the state, the second most populous in the nation. . . .
10/9/2015 Federal Judge Orders Anti-Abortion Group to Cede Footage to NAF - On Tuesday, a federal judge ruled that anti-abortion group Center for Medical Progress (CMP) and its leader David Daleidan must turn over all previously unreleased "sting" videos and outtakes of National Abortion Federation (NAF) meetings the group obtained surreptitiously as part of a smear campaign against the abortion provider.
U.S. . . .