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New Motto, Same Old Game

RECEIVED Mon., Sept. 9, 2013

Dear Editor,
    Although hypocrisy is, I suppose, too strong a word for it, I am surprised that I can still be disappointed in the primacy of insider politics over stated policy. It reminds me of a statement many years ago by a politically astute person: “When it comes to women, the Democrats are just as bad as the Republicans.”
    As a dedicated Democrat, I didn’t want to believe it then. Now, after those intervening years of political experience, I would fine-tune it: When it comes to sharing power with women, Democrats are just as reluctant as Republicans.
    “Stand with Texas Women” is the new rallying cry for Democrats this season. A more honest version would be “Stand with Texas Women Voters.” When it comes to women candidates, however, party politics still calls the shots.
    Here in Travis County, we have a pair of Democratic candidates running to head the county government as county judge [“Brown Lands Watson and Doggett,” News, Sept. 6]. One is a former six-year county commissioner, who also served for eight years as assistant county attorney. The other is a former Democratic Party county chair, who has also volunteered for numerous political candidates, but has never run for office. Can there be any confusion about which one is better qualified to be our county judge? So why do we see party heavies endorsing Sarah Eckhardt’s opponent, Andy Brown, instead of Sarah?
    EmilysList.org and the Texas version, AnniesList.com, exist to help women get elected to public office. But getting rid of the “smoke-filled back rooms,” where king-making and political paybacks are practiced, is no easy task.
    As a woman and informed voter who is paying attention to the race for Travis County judge, I am supporting my (former) commissioner Sarah Eckhardt. I am also feeling a sadly familiar sting of disappointment.
Margot Clarke
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