A reproductive rights super-PAC called Women Vote! is seeing a boost in donations from a group that's generally underrepresented in the great vote-purchasing telethon that is the American democratic process: women. Thanks to the emphasis certain politicians have placed on reproductive rights this election cycle, female mega-donors are starting to throw their financial weight around a little bit, dropping huge sums of money in the super-PAC kitty.
According to Mother Jones, a pretty significant gender gap persists in political donations, with men accounting for 70 percent of donors so far during the 2012 cycle. However, some very wealthy women are starting to make it rain, as the kids say, all over the political landscape. EMILY's List, a political action committee dedicated to electing pro-choice women and affiliated with Women Vote!, told Mother Jones that women such as Barbara Stiefel, a Florida philanthropist who'd previously donated $1 million to the Obama-supporting super-PAC Priorities USA, wrote a $250,000 check to Women Vote!, and Laura Ricketts, a co-owner of the Chicago Cubs, gave $200,000. Meanwhile, New York philanthropist Shelley Rubin gave $150,000 in August, and two other women, Mitzi Henderson and Barbara Fish Lee, gave a cool $100,000 each.
In addition to donations from wealthy individuals, Women Vote! notched several big hauls from progressive organizations like the Gay & Lesbian Victory Fund and America Votes, which gave $325,000 and $151,000 respectively. A big catalyst behind this sudden burst of funding has been, according to EMILY's List, that many women are starting to realize, as the election draws nigh upon us, that many GOP candidates are totally deadpan, pencils-for-trick-or-treaters serious about curtailing reproductive freedom. Said EMILY's List president Stephanie Schriock,
Finding out that Republicans want to roll back the clock that far for women has been a shock-and folks are absolutely waking up to the need to have more Democratic women in government at every level.
It's like Sigourney Weaver's been telling everyone — "Business as usual isn't working. A female's needed to stir things up, get our country moving again. This stalemate in Washington can be broken by a woman."