Argus Leader Reporter Dana Ferguson had an article late last week posing the question “Why don’t more women run for office in South Dakota?” She explored a variety of reasons, and in one instance, one female officeholder (Kristi Noem) offered a glimpse of the ugly side of why women don’t run:
And even when women can strike the right combination, they run up against some who aren’t willing to consider them as a candidate solely because of their gender.
“There’ve certainly been individuals along the way that have said or done things that made me realize that maybe I didn’t have the right body parts to ever get their support,” Noem said.
Unfortunately, it’s pretty easy to watch that attitude roll out in real-time, as it has been doing in this years’ Sioux Falls School Board race.
Sioux Falls blogger Scott Ehrisman, who has also dubbed himself ‘Detroit Lewis,’ has a long history of attacking people he doesn’t like, such as last year when he called Sioux Falls police “piggies” and claimed they stuff themselves on free meals.
And last night he was no different as he attacked Sioux Falls School Board Candidate Cynthia Mickelson on the basis of her gender as an “old house wife Republican,” and added teachers to his hate list for good measure:
In one of the most bizarre moves I have ever seen a teacher union association pull, they are rumored to have endorsed a well known Republican for school board. It’s not like she is just some regular old house wife Republican, she is married to a staunch Republican lawmaker who is anti-union and anti-organized labor.
It’s almost an insult to teachers that this person is running, than they endorse her? Baffling! The half-penny sales tax only passed because the chicken-shit Democrats voted for it also.
Also, teachers typically are not big on voting, and take into account that a large percentage of them can’t vote because they live outside district.
In the past, Ehrisman had previously come out as a strong supporter of candidate Randy Dobberpuhl, who is running in the race, which might go a long way to explain some of his bias. Unfortunately, that bias has expressed itself in misogynistic comments which bring Ferguson’s article to life, as Ehrisman works trying to minimize and belittle Mickelson’s candidacy as one of an “old house wife.”
It’s not the first time he made such a dismissive comment about a female candidate being in the race. As when the seat opened up, Ehrisman had offered a backhanded comment:
Either way, Doug Morrison has decided to NOT run for another term, so it will be an open seat. While no one has formerly announced, I guess the Tuthill Fairies have been in high gear to replace Doug with a ‘McKennan Park Mommy’.
Read that here. And after Mickelson entered the race, he also added this poke at her…
I encourage Cynthia to run on her qualifications instead of her husband’s connections.
Deriding a female candidate as an “old house wife” or a “McKennan Park Mommy,” or trying to claim that she’s running on “her husband’s connections” seems to be going beyond what most would consider legitimate political differences into making one question if Ehrisman just has a thing against mothers in general, or dislikes all women who run for office?
It also make you wonder if he’s bothered to even research Cynthia Mickelson’s qualifications:
I don’t think there’s any doubts about Mickelson’s qualifications. Except for those who have a permanent membership with to the “he-man woman haters” club.
If Ehrisman’s attacks on Mickelson weren’t enough, he also had to add a backhanded comment about how “teachers typically are not big on voting.”
“Teachers typically are not big on voting?” Did he really say that? I’m not sure if he’s intentionally playing the fool, or if it’s an ingrained character defect. Just in case you actually might believe his insult to teachers…
Do teachers vote at high rates compared with average citizens? The answer is clearly yes, ….. Teachers who live in their districts were from two to seven times more likely to vote than other citizens were.
Why do teachers turn out at such high rates? The answer may well be that they have an occupational self-interest other citizens don’t have. But this claim needs to be tested, for there is clearly a plausible alternative: that teachers are not only better educated and more middle class than the average citizen, but also more public spirited, more committed to public education, and thus more likely to vote in school-board elections regardless of their personal stakes.
The best response to what is utter trash is to urge Sioux Falls residents, as well as the hundreds of teachers in the District who WILL vote, to go out and show Mr. Ehrisman that he is wrong, wrong, WRONG!
And to cast your ballot for an attorney, grant writer, professor, community service board member, and yes, an involved mother who wants to give back to her community.