EMILY's List - the group that helps elect pro-choice Democratic women to office - is using Sarah Palin as a scare tactic, saying she's not even the worst out there for women.
The organization sent out an e-mail today saying: "If you think Sarah Palin and John McCain are radically out-of-step with mainstream America, just wait until you see some of the Republicans running against our progressive women candidates -- including one who's been called the 'Sarah Palin of Colorado.' They espouse the same fanatically anti-choice, right-wing policies. And they support the disastrous Bush agenda that has brought America to this tipping point."
The so-called "Sarah Palin of Colorado" is incumbent GOP Rep. Marilyn Musgrave, who represents the state's fourth congressional district. Musgrave is facing a fight from Betsy Markey, a former aide to Sen. Ken Salazar and federal worker in several agencies. Markey is also an entrepreneur who started her own computer security business, as well as a coffee and ice cream shop.
EMILY's List is on the attack, particularly after a "false and despicable attack" ad Musgrave launched against Markey.
The ad questions whether Markey used her position as a congressional staffer years ago to enrich her information technology company through no-bid government contracts. Musgrave also calls Markey "the ultimate Washington insider." In response, Markey on Tuesday filed a complaint with the Larimer County District Attorney's office about allegations made in the ad; an investigation will be launched.
EMILY's List said Musgrave's campaign manager's recent characterization of the candidate as the "Sarah Palin of Colorado" is a "desperate attempt to brighten Musgrave's tarnished image."
EMILY's List is also calling Musgrave "an anti-gay crusader who's been called both one of Congress' most corrupt members and one of its worst," although acknowledging she's picked up momentum recently. Recent polling shows Markey pulling even with Musgrave, who overwhelmingly won her last two elections.
Musgrave is a member of the Pro-life caucus in the U.S. House, and, according to her campaign Web site, is "committed to protecting the unborn, and has served as a staunch defender for the sanctity of human life." She's also an original sponsor of the constitutional amendment to protect marriage - that is, marriage between a man and a woman.
She, like many other Republicans, this election season, is putting some distance between herself and President Bush, with one ad saying: "In Congress, Marilyn stands for what's right, working with Democrats and Republicans to oppose the president's cuts to Medicare and veterans."
EMILY's List also is targeting House races in Illinois, Ohio, Arizona and Florida, as well as Senate races in New Hampshire and North Carolina, where female candidates are challenging Republican incumbents.
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