Monday, October 06, 2008

NOW does not endorse Palin

If you were worried that NOW (National Org for Women ) had lost its mind and was endorsing Gov. Palin, based on the fact that a woman named Shelly Mandell, identifying herself as the president of the LA NOW introduced Palin at a California event and heartily endorsed her -- well, you can relax. Or get pissed, pick your poison.

Shelly Mandell was acting on her own, apparently invoking her position in NOW to mislead people into thinking that the womens' organization endorsed Palin. NOW in NO WAY supports or endorses Palin.

Statement from CA NOW President, Patty Bellasalma:

A member and officer of the Los Angeles NOW chapter, Shelly Mandell, recently introduced Governor Sarah Palin at an event in Carson, California. Ms. Mandell was speaking as an individual and was not authorized to represent NOW, the NOW PAC or LA NOW in any capacity in connection with a federal candidate endorsement. As NOW President Kim Gandy said upon Palin’s selection , "Not every woman supports women's rights."

The use of Shelly Mandell’s Los Angeles NOW title was apparently intended to mislead the public, and indeed has resulted in local television outlets and internet reports misstating that LA NOW has “endorsed” Sarah Palin or that she has a record of supporting women’s rights. This in fact is not the case.

As President of California NOW and as a member and officer of Los Angeles NOW, I can assure you that there is no local or state affiliate of NOW, including LA NOW, which endorses or supports the McCain/Palin ticket. John McCain and Sarah Palin oppose many of the rights and freedoms we have fought for throughout NOW's 42 years, and we will not be pushed back to the days of back-alley abortions, forced pregnancies, and pay discrimination without remedy.

Shelly Mandel should be removed from her position of authority in the LA chapter. She certainly does not represent the organization's long and hard-fought gains for women.

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