Thursday, July 18, 2013

How the Campaign Slut got her Name

Political "junkies"

People often ask me why the name of this blog is "Campaign Slut."  Why not Campaign Junkie? they ask  After all we've all heard people call themselves political "junkies." But that is not a word I embrace.  It is a word that carries a meaning hard to divorce from its original context.  A junkie is someone strung out on junk. Dope. Smack. Heroin.

That's just so down. Can you think of one connotation of he word "junkie" that is not sordid, depraved, sick, and just grody? It means addicted. As in powerless in the face of their dependency. To hard drugs. That make you sick. And can kill you.

Besides political junkies are so serious.  And I wanted to have some fun with my site.

What's in a name?

Slut is a word that is applied to others, women, as a word of judgment on behavior or perceived behavior. Usually it describes sexual promiscuousness, but also it describes the perception of sexual promiscuousness, or even the state of one's dress. "She is such a slut." "She" may be a girl who dresses in short skirts and stiletto heels, sports piercings and tats, stands with an attitude.

And that attitude, saucy tilt of head, hip thrust forward, maybe just dancing with an excess of enthusiasm, is what makes some people label her a slut, with all the sexual undertones that word implies.
Hey, this could be a 14 year old virgin we are talking about, and what business is it of yours anyway?

Sluts Unite!

To many men, a slut is someone asking to be raped.  Plain and simple.  Because women finally got fed up with being considered fair game for uncontrolled male libido just because they looked, talked, walked or danced with some sass, they started strutting their slutness in public to protest the idea that women who were groped or raped were "asking for it."

But it wasn't always thus.  A 2011 BBC article traced the word from the 15th century meaning of "dirty" or "slovenly" to a more playful and affectionate use in the 17th century to the pejorative it is generally thought of today.

"Slut Walks"

So "Slut walks" started to reclaim the word and take the sting out of it and defang the notion that the way a woman appears defines who she is and what men have the right to do to her. And now they are a regular happening around the world, promoting an active feminism among mostly younger women in DC, SF, France, India and many other far flung places on the globe.
This is a good thing, bringing younger women into the feminist movement is political. 

Sluts vote

Not just a statement about rape, Slut Walks now promote women's rights, civil rights, voting rights and invite women to participate no matter how they dress.  Got sass?  You can make a difference.  You can Rock the Slut Vote.

Campaign Slut

So, when I was casting about for a name for my new blog that would describe my relationship with politics, the phrase Campaign Slut jumped into my mind - I have a playful, affectionate, unbridled, lustful, joyous and altogether sassy relationship with politics. I am a campaign slut.  That doesn't make me less professional, serious or effective.

It just means I have a little attitude, but hey, I'm no junkie.

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Speed Campaigning

Attention pro-choice women and men:

Running for office this year or thinking about it in the future?  Working with a candidate or just interested in local politics in the Bay Area?  If so, join the Marin Women's Political Action Committee for a round of Speed Campaigning on August 19th.  This group of feisty women will host an evening of candidate training from 5:30-8:30 complete with good food and a no-host bar.  

You can meet the candidates; the candidates can meet you and we will fire our tips at you all.  

A quick look at some winning campaign materials, website advice, getting the press to sit up and pay attention and raise money fast!

Also, a look back by a successful candidate; what worked and what didn't work for her.

See you all on August 19th. Full information here:


Invites you to a Candidate Training and Dinner

Monday, August 19th, 2013    5:30 pm – 8:30

The Club at McInnis     350 Smith Ranch Road    San Rafael, Ca.  

Mix and mingle  No host bar:  5:30-6

Dinner at 6:00      Program 6:30

6:30-6:40 Introductions and announcements - Michele Barni, President, MWPAC

 6:40–7:00 - Nuts and Bolts for the Local Candidate – Dotty LeMieux, GreenDog Campaigns

7:00-7:20 - Fundraising 101 – Annie Eagan, Annie Eagan Consulting

7:20-7:40 - Maximizing your Web Presence – Lise Stampfli, GreenDog Campaigns

7:40-8:00 - Getting that Coveted Press Endorsement – Jason Walsh, Pacific Sun

8:00-8:20 - My Experience as a Candidate – Mary Sylla, Ross Valley Sanitary District


Buffet Dinner included

Mail check to MWPAC  PO Box 113, Kentfield, CA 94914 or RSVP or more information at or 897-1224

Sunday, July 14, 2013

Justice in America? Part Two

And now we turn to the story of an abused woman who got twenty years for firing warning shots in her house.  Court calls it attempted murder. No Stand Your Ground for this Florida mom:

Fla. mom gets 20 years for firing warning shots

Marissa Alexander of Jacksonville, Fla., received a 20-years prison sentence, Friday, May 11, 2012, for firing warning shots against her allegedly abusive husband. The judge rejected a defense under Florida's "Stand Your Ground" law.
Marissa Alexander of Jacksonville, Fla., received a 20-years prison sentence, Friday, May 11, 2012, for firing warning shots against her allegedly abusive husband. The judge rejected a defense under Florida's "Stand Your Ground" law. / WETV

(CBS News) JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - A Florida woman who fired warning shots against her allegedly abusive husband has been sentenced to 20 years in prison.
Marissa Alexander of Jacksonville had said the state's "Stand Your Ground" law should apply to her because she was defending herself against her allegedly abusive husband when she fired warning shots inside her home in August 2010. She told police it was to escape a brutal beating by her husband, against whom she had already taken out a protective order.
CBS Affiliate WETV reports that Circuit Court Judge James Daniel handed down the sentence Friday.

Under Florida's mandatory minimum sentencing requirements Alexander could receive a lesser sentence, even though she has never been in trouble with the law before. Judge Daniel said the law did not allow for extenuating or mitigating circumstances to reduce the sentence below the 20-year minimum.

"I really was crying in there," Marissa's 11-year-old daughter told WETV. "I didn't want to cry in court, but I just really feel hurt. I don't think this should have been happening."

Alexander was convicted of attempted murder after she rejected a plea deal for a three-year prison sentence. She said she did not believe she did anything wrong. She was recently denied a new trial after appealing to the judge to reconsider her case based on Florida's controversial "Stand Your Ground" law. The law states that the victim of a crime does not have to attempt to run for safety and can immediately retaliate in self-defense.
Alexander's attorney said she was clearly defending herself and should not have to spend the next two decades behind bars.

Alexander's case has drawn support from domestic abuse advocates - and comparison to the case of neighborhood watch volunteer George Zimmerman, who has claimed a "Stand Your Ground" defense in his fatal shooting of Florida teenager Trayvon Martin.

Justice in America?

This is reprinted from - We Come from the Future

Read or just look at the chart. Tells all.

George Zimmerman has been found not guilty of murdering the unarmed teenager Trayvon Martin in Florida. Many Americans were not shocked. And there's a good reason why. Hard data shows that recent U.S. laws make it easy for blacks to be gunned down without anyone being found guilty of murder.
Last year, PBS Frontline published a fascinating analysis of how murder convictions have been affected by "Stand Your Ground" laws, which expand the reach of self-defense laws that protected Zimmerman. The study was conducted by John Roman, a senior analyst at Urban Institute’s Justice Policy Center who had previously conducted studies on the statistical relationships between race and homicide in the United States.
As an interesting aside, it's worth noting that the Supreme Court of the United States ruled in 1987 that a defendant cannot use statistical evidence in court to prove racial bias when it comes to death sentences. Mull that over as you read.
At FRONTLINE’s request, Roman analyzed the pool of 43,500 homicides by race in states with Stand Your Ground laws and those without them. Because he wanted to control for multiple variables — the races of the victim and the shooter, whether they were strangers, whether they involved a firearm and whether the murders were in Stand Your Ground states — Roman used a technique known as regression analysis, which is a statistical tool to analyze the relationship between different pieces of data.
Using this analysis, Roman found that a greater number of homicides were found justified in Stand Your Ground states in all racial combinations, a result he believes is because those states yielded more killings overall.
Roman also found that Stand Your Ground laws tend to track the existing racial disparities in homicide convictions across the U.S. — with one significant exception: Whites who kill blacks in Stand Your Ground states are far more likely to be found justified in their killings. In non-Stand Your Ground states, whites are 250 percent more likely to be found justified in killing a black person than a white person who kills another white person; in Stand Your Ground states, that number jumps to 354 percent.
You can see the breakdown of the killings in the chart below. The figures represent the percentage likelihood that the deaths will be found justifiable compared to white-on-white killings, which was the baseline Roman used for comparison:
Disturbing chart shows rise in “justified killings” of blacks in U.S.