NRSC: How many 2014 Democratic incumbents have gender pay-equity gaps?

Earlier today, Glenn Kessler predicted that Democrats would find the 77-cent lie too irresistible to jettison. Perhaps a dose of their own medicine might cure them. The National Republican Senatorial Committee did a little research into how Senate Democrat incumbents running in 2014 do on the issue that has been tailor-made for their “war on women” campaign strategies. Five 2014 Democratic contenders for the Senate come up short — even shorter than the White House, and two of them fall below the 77-cent line:


It turns out President Obama isn’t the only hypocritical Democrat, in fact Senate Democrats have their own problems when it comes to equal pay.  We pulled the official payroll records of various offices and calculated the average pay for men and women in each office for the most recent 6 month period available. Since some employees only worked a portion of the six month period, we calculated how much each person was paid per day in order to give an accurate representation.  Here’s what we found:

  • Mark Udall pays women 91 cents for every dollar that a man makes.
  • Mary Landrieu pays women 88 cents for every dollar that a man makes.
  • Mark Begich pays women 82 cents for every dollar that a man makes.
  • Mark Warner pays women 75 cents for every dollar that a man makes.
  • Gary Peters pays women 67 cents for every dollar that a man makes.

That means on average, these five Democrats on the ballot in battleground states pay women in their office 79 cents for every dollar made by a male employee.  All Republicans support equal pay for equal work, regardless of gender or race for working families, mothers, fathers, sisters, and brothers. Democrats, on the other hand, don’t practice what they preach.  They’re hypocrites.

Assuming this is accurate, only Landrieu and Udall even make it to the White House’s level of failure on the issue [see update below]. Warner (D-VA) pays less than the 77-cent bogus metric derided by the White House (using their same calculation), while House Democrat Gary Peters — who has declared his candidacy for the retiring Carl Levin’s Senate seat — falls a full ten cents below the national average.


The answer to this is, just as it is in the rest of the country, that men and women have different priorities and desires in the marketplace. Nia-Malika Henderson wonders when the White House will get embarrassed enough to use that in their own defense:

The White House also casts itself as a model of transparency, which is what the Paycheck Fairness Act would mandate for other employers.  Yet, it will be hard for the White House and Democrats to maintain the bully pulpit on this, given their own record, where, according to Munoz in an interview on MSNBC’s “All In With Chris Hayes,” women are “over-represented in entry level positions” in the White House.

Women in the same job as men in the White House do earn the same thing, yet why aren’t there more senior level women in the White House? It’s a question that has dogged this White House for some time, and is again at the forefront and finds administration officials now walking a bit of a tight rope as they try to draw a bright line with Republicans on this issue.

And now Democrats are walking that same tight rope.

Five of them are now, certainly. Nate Beeler skewers the White House on its dishonesty and hypocrisy in his editorial cartoon for the Columbus Dispatch:



Yesterday, Ted Cruz took a shot at Obama’s “war on women” rhetoric by pointing out that the real war on women has come from Obama’s own economic policies:


“The answer is not to pass a trial lawyer bonanza,” Cruz argues, and Democrats know it won’t pass anyway. They just want political attention — but in this case, they got a little more scrutiny than they apparently expected.

Update: The NRSC updated Udall’s average to 91 cents, which I have adjusted as well as one sentence in the paragraph that follows.

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