EMILY's List, a progressive group dedicated to helping elect pro-choice Democratic women, is taking aim at candidates running in the 2010 midterm election cycle with the backing of ex-Alaska Governor Sarah Palin.
Going on the offensive, leaders of EMILY's List are set to launch "Sarah Doesn't Speak for Me" at a press conference on Capitol Hill Tuesday morning. According to the group, the goal of the initiative is to "fight back against the radical agenda" advocated by Palin and the numerous contenders she's endorsed across the country.
According to a Washington Post project tracking endorsements made by Palin this election season, the Alaska native has thrown her support behind thirty-four candidates to date. The politically-conservative group comprises 20 male and 14 female election hopefuls.
Despite the gender ratio, overwhelming attention has been paid to the "mama grizzlies," or pro-life women the conservative icon has promoted as "standing up and speaking out for common sense solutions."
Jessica Valenti argued in a recent Washington Post op-ed:
It's not a realization of the importance of women's rights that's inspired the change. It's strategy. Palin's sisterly speechifying is part of a larger conservative move to woo women by appropriating feminist language. Just as consumer culture tries to sell "Girls Gone Wild"-style sexism as "empowerment," conservatives are trying to sell anti-women policies shrouded in pro-women rhetoric.
And for EMILY's List, it's the Palin-backed female hopefuls that appear to be the group's prime target.
"Sarah Palin has predicted a rising tide of mothers and women voters will support her so-called "Mama Grizzly" candidates," explained the pro-choice organization. "We call upon women - and men! - to let their voices be heard and to reject Palin's reactionary candidates and backward-looking agenda."
In Georgia, while Palin-backed candidate Karen Handel lost in her campaign for the state's Republican nomination for Governor, avid support from the one-time Alaska leader was credited with helping Handel to finish first in a June primary that went into a runoff.
The political fate of Palin-endorsed candidates still competing in their respective races remains to be seen; however, with the unveiling of the "Sarah Doesn't Speak for Me" initiative by EMILY's List, it seems that the ex-Governor's seal of approval has the potential to come as both a blessing, as well as a curse, for this year's "mama-grizzly" contenders.
Here's a slideshow highlighting Palin-backed "mama-grizzlies" still actively running: