Republicans highlight progress in equality & prosperity for Maine women as liberal group attacks

Senator Stacey Guerin (left) and Senator Kim Rosen (right) are laying out the case that a number of indicators show Republican governance in Maine has paid off big for women.

AUGUSTA – Recently the Maine Women’s Lobby, a left-wing non-profit that is supposed to be forbidden from partisan election activity, sent mailers attacking several Republican Senators. They probably didn’t realize they were opening a door for Republicans to lay out their case for why the Republican approach to governing is best for women. But that’s what is happening.

In an op-ed in the Bangor Daily News, Senator Stacey Guerin took the Maine Women’s Lobby to task, saying, “Overall, the economy under Republican leadership has allowed women to exert their influence in ways not seen in any other state.

Guerin’s op-ed is titled by the BDN “A misleading picture from Maine Women’s Lobby mailers” but the message is actually very optimistic.

The “gender wage gap”, a statistical measure often cited and sometimes twisted by left-wing policy groups and politicians, actually improved for Maine women rate six times faster under Governor Paul LePage and Republicans than it did under Governor Baldacci.

Senator Guerin’s op-ed lays out the case for how Republicans have improved opportunity and prosperity for Maine women in a number of other areas, that Senate Republicans are also touting in graphics they are posting on social media.

Senator Kim Rosen of Bucksport penned an op-ed in the Ellsworth American that was titled “Maine women are prospering like never before” which makes similar points.

From 2012 until 2017, almost a quarter of the children in Maine that were living in poverty were lifted out. In just one year, almost 6,400 children were lifted out of poverty. That data is drawn from the Maine Children’s Alliance, a group that tracks child poverty data through an annual survey.

Women in business also have seen a boom in opportunity. From 2012 to 2018, income growth for women-owned businesses led the nation and Forbes says access to capital for women to start or grow businesses in Maine is second best in the nation.

Other areas where Maine is leading for women, Republicans say, is Wallethub’s ranking of Maine as the best state in the nation for women’s equality in the workplace and politics; U.S. News and World Report’s ranking Maine as the top state for gender parity; or the American Express report that says Maine’s employment vitality for women leads the nation.

Republicans are also pointing out that nation leading overall wage growth from 2012 to 2015 also made a big difference for Maine women, although it is not gender specific data.

There is no way for the Maine Women’s Lobby to recall the mailers that have now been the subject of such criticism for ignoring so many economic improvements in Maine but a scan of their recent statements suggests they are not disputing the facts as stated.

The group has only had a little bit to say about the kerfuffle, tweeting sarcastically at the Maine Senate GOP Twitter account about how the debate “brought a little visibility” to the issue.

The Maine Women’s Lobby was co-founded by current Governor Janet Mills back in 1978.

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