A month or so ago, Phil Bailey brought my attention to the fact that former Rep. Harriet Keyserling was trying to counter all the “first woman” buzz that Nikki Haley had by putting together a bipartisan “Women for Sheheen” committee.
As y’all know, it’s hard for me to identify with people who actively want to see someone of a particular gender, or race, or whatever, elected. To me, every candidate should be evaluated on the basis of his or her suitability without reference to such considerations. But I know lots of women across the political spectrum — women of good will — who do care about such things. They actually deeply identify with other women, something that is unimaginable for me (personally, I get no charge one way or the other from the successes or failures of other white guys qua white guys), but I have to acknowledge that they seem to be sincere about it.
So when Harriet sent me a letter on behalf of 100 women, I was interested — but I wanted to see the list of women. She said wait a bit, and she’d be able to give me a list — a much longer one.
So I waited. And now I have this:
Well, here it is. Not the 100 signers I hoped for, but over 500 from all across the state. And what a wonderful mix these women are: stay-at-home-moms, doctors, lawyers, ministers, artists, realtors, executives ,teachers, college professors, democrats, independents and Republicans.
I hope you will look over the list, find some friends from your town, then together find a way to spread the word. Talk to your newspaper editors, have a press conference, write letters, sign up others. Soon. Time is fleeting. To refresh your memory, I ‘ve attached my original letter. We have also created a website “Women for Sheheen” and solicit your input.
For further information, go to “Women for Sheheen” on Facebook to which 600 people have signed on. It was startedby Madeleine McGee who organized, in Charleston, a 90 women paying $90 to sponsor a Sheheen fundraiser in appreciation of his support of women, and in honor of the 90th anniversary of the women’s vote. 296 people attended and they raised $20,000. I hear women in other cities are planning similar events. Click here for the original letter.
Madeleine McGee* Kit Smith* Sally Huguley* Mary (Rab)Fleming Finlay* Page Miller*Susan Hilfer*Catherine Ceips* Patty Robinson*Leah Greenberg*Juliana W Weeks*Terri Hartley*Dr Catherine Anne Walsh*Ann Pincelli*Abbot Land Carnes*H Murchison*Catherine Rogers*Robin Copp*Jenny Rizo-Patron*Linda Ott*Jean Lindsey*Mary Ann McDow*Regina Carmel*Kate Bullard Adams*Eleanor Welling*Saundra Carr*Nancy Sargent*Virginia Nelson*Wilhemina Rhoe*Elizabeth Harris*Alice DuPre Jones*Judy Lineback* Lynn Teaque*Fay Brown*Katrina Sprott Riley*Shayna Hollander*JoAngela Edwins* Sara Castillo*Teri Hutson Salane*Suzanne Rhodes*Caroline Vreede*Anne Harmon*Jane Riley*Sandy Linning*Pat Symons*Barbara Lewis*Lolita Watson*Dr.Sissy Kinghorn*Julie Lonon*Gail Richardson*Sidney Thompson*Liz Wheeler*Lucy Waddell*Anne Beazley*Sally Powell*Claudia McCollough*Eleanor Hare*Lynn Robertson*Lenora K White*Cherie Mabrey*Dr Anne Osborne Kilpatrick*Barb Barham* Cary Lafaye*Carol Fishman*Lynn Baskin*Stacie Vulpen* Karen Hardy*Anne Wynn Johnson*Eleanor K Whitehead*Frances Mabry* Judy Kalb*Margit Resch*Katherine Nevin*Greta Little*Carol Ward*Jerue Richard*Laura Von Harten*Laura Williams*Cathy Tillman* Mariellen Schwentker*Caroline S Voight*Linda Hollandsworth*Beth Moon*Cathy Wilson*Elaine Nocks*Ann Timberlake*Sally Howard*Patricia Battey* Nancy Vinson*Carol Lucas*Kay Hanks*Dr. Paula Orr* Cathy Battle*Patti Knight Hilton*Johnnie Fulton*Doris Wilson*Priscilla Hagins*Joan Fensterstock*Barbara Burgess*Holley H Ulbrich*Dot Tunstall*Marion MacNeish*Amaryllis Duvall*Mary Noonan*Kelly Wilson*Beebe James*Caroline Rice*Joan Tumpson*Margaret Bell Hane*Lowndes Macdonald*Rev Elizabeth Wooldridge*Paula Jane Goldman* Karen Jamrose*Pam McAlpine* Geraldine Ingersoll*Judy Beazley*Katherine Hopkins*Loretta Warden*Caroline Jenkins*Barbara W Elow*Sandra O’Neal*Betts Bailey*Judith Waring*Virginia Koontz*Gail Touger*Mimi Wyche*Abbot L Carnes*Angela Viney*Marjorie Trifon*JeanneLove Ferguson*Billie Houghton*Pat Manix*Ellen Kochansky*Jan Collins*Kate L Landishaw*Heather Jarvis*Beatrice Bailey*Lesesne Hudson*Anne Knight Watson*Bert Bob*Evelyn Byatt*BettyJo Carson*Sue Olson*Barb Smith*Cary LaFaye*Julia Forster*Rev Joyce Cantrell*Carol Ervin*Barbara Young*Beverly J Hiller*Jo Ann Walker*Sally Knowles*Cynthia Bolter*Jane Smith Davis*Joy Pinson*Nancy Lewis Tuten*Hillary J McDonald*Lenora Price*NJ Nettles*Nancy Stockton*Martha D Greenway*Eileen Barrett*Anne B Macaluso*Grace Gifford*Katya Cohen*Kathy Belknap*Mary Bernsdorff*Libby Elbe*Catherine Malloy*Claudette Humphrey*Marjorie Spruill*Francie Markham*Krista Collins*Linda Gallicchio*Jane Freeman*Maittese Jasper*Betty Humphreys*Keller H Baron*Linda Combs*Carol Pappas*Ann Funderburk*Kay McCoy*Jill Halevi*Stephanie Hunt*Marguerite Archie-Hudson*Mimi Kinard*Edith T Chou*Heather McCalman*Dr Penny Travis*Barbara Scott*Courtney McDowell*Cathy Bennington Jenrette*Cassie Premo Steele*Lilla Folsom*Susan Gregory*Andrea Stoney*Patricia Maners*Amy Kinard*Judy Speights*Barbara Jackson*Judy Ingle*Carole Parrish-Loy*Tidal Trails*Kelly Draganov*Kay McCoy*Susan Shaffer*Elizabeth Sinkler*Gail Siegel Messerman*Liz J Patterson*Ellen S Steinberg*Gail Morrison*Karen Volquardsen*Maittese Lecque*Diane Fox*Linda York*Phyllis Miller Mayes*Fran Marscher*Holly Hook*Kristen Marshall Mattson*Polly Player*Linda K Combs*Giselle Wrenn*Ellen Reed*Linda Kapsil*Marie Meglen*Vida Miller*Pam Taub*Frances D Finney*Janet Marsh*Rubye Johnson*Jo White*Patrice Brown*Virginia Lacy*Sally Mitchell*Catherine Hammond*Diane Smock*Dallas Shealy*Patricia Berne Mizell*Harriet D Hancock*JanetDow Bailey*Josephyne Spruill*Elizabeth Hills*Holly Massey*Frances Heyward Gibbes*Kathy Folsom*Flo Rosse*Elizabeth Drewry*Katherine K Hines*Regina Moody*Marisa Sherard*Krista Ryba*Page Rogers*Elena Martinez-Vidal*Linda Gallicio*Catherine McCullough*Mary Louise Mims*Jill John*Kathy Belknap*Colleen Condon*Mary Jane Hassell*Natalie Kaufman*Dale Rosengarten*Amanda Payne*Della Jo Marshall*Marquerite Willis*Barbara Banus*Mateja Johnson*Clay Swaggart*Barbara Connelly*Sally Boyd*Margaret Feagin*Cappi Wilborn*Gayle Douglas*Mindy Johnson Saintsing*Ann Cotton*Audrey Shifflett*Gayle Douglas*Sylvia Echols*Helen Hicks*Allianne Duvall*Sally Boyd*Ann Stirling*Sheila Bickford*Rebecca Dobrasko*Becky Carr*Julie Tait*Diane Jerve*Alice Craighead*Norma Thompson*Betsey Grund*Eve Stacey*Pattie Robinson*Susan Pearlstine*Sandy Brooks Carr*Tina Forsthoefel*Linda Tarr-Whelan*Annie M Terry*Carol Dotterer*Kay K Chitty*Heather Ford*Terry Hussey*Cheryl Lopanik Paschal*Martha Boynton*Rebecca Thompson*Natalie Dupree*Marsha Millar*Lucie Eggleston*Sue Inman*Dana Gencarelli*Libby Law*Diane Salane*Diane DeAngelis*Keller Cushing Freeman*Louise Bevan*Lucy Griffith*Mollie Fair*Dorothy Mungo* Dr J Kay Keels*Ellen Jean Capalbo*Ellen Graber Sinderman*Helen B Hicks*Lynn Nordenberg* Susan Biteyward*Helen H Farmer* Mary Sue McDaniel*Grace Dennis*Ellen Read*Sarah Smith Graham*Lauren Michalski*Cheri Crowley*Bailey Symington*Elaine Camp*Suzanne Galloway*Paula Gibbs*Jamee Haley*Gloria Douglass*Joanne Harper*Sheila Wertimer*Nancy Gilley*Kathryn Symington*Nan Johnson*Sandie Merriam*Rev Karin Bascom Culp*Evin Evans*Phyllis Martin*June Lee*Jenny Rone*Joyce Kaufman*Cynthia Gilliam*Stephanie Edwards*Libby Bernandin*Elise Evans*Alicia Mendicino*Sallie Duell*Susan Breslin*Lori Christopher Glenn*Susan Mathis*Mary Rose Randall *Betty Commanday*Diane Smith*Bonnie Gruetzmacher*Lucy Gordon*Karen Jones*Lucy Rollin*Susie Glenn*Karen Durand*Eleanor Evans*Toni White*Joyce Trogden*Drucilla Brookshire*Cynthia Smith*Brooke Caldwell*Sue Graber*Jean Denman*Polly Dunford*Diane Salane*Rheta Geddings DiNovo*Julie Dingle Swanson*Dot Gnann*Martha Hatfield*Melissa Herring*Laura Keenan*Mitzi Ganelin*Bonnie Smith*Sally Hare*Mary Rogers*Anna Griswold*Carolyn Means*Mary Hipp*Elaine Epstein*Beverly Guerre*Judi Murphy*Mimi Greenberger*Kathy Handel*Mary Ann Burgeson*Carlanna Hendrick*Barbara Kelley*Roxanne Cheney*Helena Fox*Janneke Vreede-Schaay*Gloria Bell*Valerie Bunch Hollinger*Toni White*Virginia Rone*Lynn Hanson*Nancy Jarema*Ann B Smith*Kate Heald*Jennifer Philips*Harriet Smartt*Diane S. Hirsch*Francee Levin*Susan Mathis*Cary Caines*Cam Patterson*Maria Kendall*Carol Plexico*Catherine Hammond*Lynne Ravenel*Stephanie Billioux*Jeanne Garane*Patricia Battey*Susan Hester*Carolyn Bishop-McLeod*Dr. Anne Osborne Kilpatrick*Michelle Shain*Olga Caballero*Cindi Boiter*Vickie Eslinger*Mary Elizabeth Blanchard*Chris Kenney*Helen LaFitte*Susan Shirley*Susan Hogue*Margaret Willis*Nancy Bloodgood*Glenda Owens*Jane Morlan*Nancy Tuten* Barbara Pinkerton*Lisa Rentz*Cassandra Fralix*Cecelia Byers*Patricia Barnes*Valerie Hollinger*Beverly McClanahan*Monica Boucher-Romano*Barbara Bettini*Anne Arrington*Sej Harman*Barbara James*Barbara Kelly*Barbara Burgess*Aleksandra Cahuhan*Liz Key*Coleen H Yates*Beth W Moore*Bee K Brown* Mary Burkett*Barbara Young*Beverly Hiller*Charlene Gardner* Renate Moore*Pamela Meadows*Mary Bundrick*Bootsie Terry*Gwendolyn Brown*Wanda Meade*Mary Bryan*Marian Brilliant*Brooke A McMurray*Katherine Brown*Susu Ravenel*Patricia Agner*Catherine McCullough*Amanda McNulty*Nancy Cave*Ashley Brown*Wendy Brown*Cary LaFaye*Laura Gates*Joan Rubenstein*Janet Swigler*Evadna Kronquist*Kathy McLeod*Louise A Allen*Joan McGee*Marsha Beazley*Margaret Glover Bruce*Virginia S Moe*Meg McLean*Lucinda Shirley*Grace Rice*Lil Mood*Andrena Ray*Teresa Bruce*Terry Murray*Elaine Fredendall*Cornelia McGhee*Betsey Carter*Edna Anderson*Jane Frederick*Sidney Heyward*Ann Dibble*Dottie Ashley*Carol Ervin*Jane McGee-Davis*Liz Carroll*JoAnne Liles*Martha Bryan*Carole Moore*Kathryn Rhyne*Audrey Shifflett*Marilyn Summers*Mimi McNeish*Kay F. Bodenheimer*Susan T. Julavits, Shirley Henderson* Helen H. Farmer*Dr. Alice McGill*Ethel Sims*Dr. Joann B. Morton*Cynthia Rosengren*Cynthia Setnicka*Linda G Sosbee*Betty Huntley*Bernadette Scott*Bonnie Dumas*Beth-Keyserling Kramer*Marilyn Shaw*Dr. Julia Lipovsky*Eva Dior*Cynthia B Carpenter*Sharon Smith-Matthews*Russell Holliday*Rachel Hodges*Eleanor Spicer*Barbara Warley*Catherine Campbell*Ellie Setser*Jennifer Parker*Connie McKeown*Marianne Currie*Francis Allison Close*Anne Springs Close*Caren Ross*Anne Frances Bleecker*Marianne Currie
Yep, there are a lot of Democrats on that list. But there are some Republicans, too. And some who might be nonpartisan like me, and those are the ones I care most about. After all, we independents are the ones who decide general elections. And independent women would seem to be more susceptible to the “let’s elect a woman!” mania that would lead the Identity Politics-oriented to disregard qualifications and vote for Nikki.
But I have to say that while it’s great that Harriet has gone to the considerable trouble of recruiting this list, I’m not sure how indicative it is of Sheheen’s strength.
Harriet is like me in this respect: Her list of acquaintances, and the acquaintances of her acquaintances, are likely to be highly engaged voters, whatever their political orientation. If only people who are highly knowledgeable about these two candidates voted, of course Sheheen would win in a walk. The more anyone knows about Nikki and Vincent, the less inclined one is to take a chance on Nikki.
Unfortunately, the overwhelming majority of voters are not that engaged. They are more likely to vote according to party (and this is Republicans’ year), or on some fleeting glimpse of mass media (and Nikki was on the cover of Newsweek).
So it’s great that these 500 or 600 women are backing Vincent. But he needs many, many times that. And most of the ones he needs are hard to reach, by any means. The latest Rasmussen poll showed us that they just aren’t paying attention.
By the way, here is Harriet’s original letter:
Subject: Letter from former State Rep. Harriet Keyserling
Women Supporting Vincent Sheheen for Governor
Dear Friends and Colleagues:
I’m writing on behalf of a bi-partisan group of women who have long
hoped to see a qualified woman governor of South Carolina. Alas,
Nikki Haley is not that woman.
We support Vincent Sheheen for governor. He will lead us responsibly
to improved educational achievement, protection of our natural
resources and more and better jobs.
How legislators vote best demonstrates their priorities. We are
alarmed that Haley voted to sustain Governor Mark Sanford’s budget
vetoes, which, if passed, wouldhave irreparably harmed the very
agencies South Carolina needs to attract new industries and provide a
future for our children.
Haley was one of the few legislators who voted for Sanford’s budget vetoes
• K-12 Education – Extensive funding cuts to textbooks, buses, and
the prestigious Schools for Math and Science, and Arts and Humanities.
• Higher Education - Across-the-board cuts for all universities, which
already had less state support and higher tuitions than any other
Southern state; ending Clemson’s extension programs for farmers and
• Cultural Agencies – Crippling cuts to the State Museum; the State
Library, which services local libraries; the State Arts Commission,
which supplies grants for arts in our schools and local programs; ETV;
and the Department of Archives and History, which preserves our
• Health Services – Severe cuts to state services for diabetes,
hypertension, infectious diseases, rural hospitals and community
Haley abstained from voting on other vetoes her colleagues overrode
almost unanimously: Technical Education (106-0), Ethics Commission
(102-2)), Airports, (105-1) and Aid to County Governments, (97-9).
In contrast, Vincent Sheheen voted against these vetoes; the budget
sent to the Governor by the legislature was balanced, the money was in
hand, no taxes were raised. If Sanford and Haley had prevailed,
unemployment would have increased by thousands, and the infrastructure
for education, the economy and the humanities would have been weakened
for years to come.
2. INEFFECTIVE LEADERSHIP
• In Haley’s six years in the House, she sponsored only one bill that
passed (relating to cosmetology).
• Haley chose confrontation to pursue her primary campaign issue of
transparency in government. Rather than reaching for compromise, Haley
traveled statewidewith Governor Sanford, campaigning against leaders
in her own party, garnering publicity for her own campaign. This kind
of leadership style would continue the present gridlock and stagnation
for years to come.
Haley was removed by the Republican leadership from the powerful
Labor, Commerce and Industry Committees, which she had hoped to chair,
because of these issues and more.
In contrast, Sheheen has led bi-partisan reforms, including tax reform
and restructuring state government for more efficiency. Sheheen also
led the successful floor fight for the Conservation Bank. The South
Carolina Chamber of Commerce endorsed him, noting his ability to work
with others, as did the Conservation Voters of South Carolina for his
outstanding environmental record.
3. STAND ON PUBLIC EDUCATION
• Haley did not attend one meeting or subcommittee meeting in 2010 as
a member of the Education Committee, where policy is molded,
indicating her disinterest in our public schools and colleges.
• Haley vigorously supports vouchers and tax credits for private schools.
In contrast, Sheheen strongly supports public education following the
tradition of his mother, a teacher in the public schools for 30 years.
He strongly opposes diverting public funds to vouchers for private
• Haley calls for transparency with mandatory roll call votes, but
personally avoids it. According to Sen. Larry Martin (R.), Chairman
of the Senate Rules Committee (The State, June 24), Haley could easily
have asked for roll call votes on any sections of the budget, but she
• Haley would not release her e-mails, although every other government
official, including the governor, must legally do so if requested.
Although the Legislature exempted itself from the law, there is no
reason Haleycould not do so if she wished.
• Haley did not declare on her legislative ethics statement the
$40,500 consulting fee that was paid to her by a private company to
“make contacts” for them.
In contrast, Sheheen has released ten years of tax records and his
For all these reasons, we support Sheheen. We hope to have 100 women
sign on to this message, which we will spread across the state before
Election Day by Internet and in the media. We hope you will be one of
Please forward this to five or more friends.