This is what happens to dissenters in NOW

October 7, 2008 | NeW Staff

Shelly Mandell, President of the Los Angeles Chapter of the National Organization for Women (NOW), introduced  Gov. Sarah Palin over the weekend in California. 

According to the abc news story, Mandell said she is “proud to support Sarah Palin, a woman who will fight for women’s rights … a woman who will, Lord knows, shake things up.”

Mandell also said, “America, this is what a feminist looks like.”

She was not speaking on behalf of NOW, but “as an individual, as a woman’s rights activist for 30 years who has worked for all those years to see this day.”  NOW has come out swinging. 

Read part of the statement from California NOW President, Patty Bellasalma.

“A member and officer of the Los Angeles NOW chapter, Shelly Mandell, recently introduced Governor Sarah Palin at an event in Carson, California. Ms. Mandell was speaking as an individual and was not authorized to represent NOW, the NOW PAC or LA NOW in any capacity in connection with a federal candidate endorsement. As NOW President Kim Gandy said upon Palin’s selection , ‘Not every woman supports women’s rights.’

The use of Shelly Mandell’s Los Angeles NOW title was apparently intended to mislead the public, and indeed has resulted in local television outlets and internet reports misstating that LA NOW has ‘endorsed’ Sarah Palin or that she has a record of supporting women’s rights. This in fact is not the case.

As President of California NOW and as a member and officer of Los Angeles NOW, I can assure you that there is no local or state affiliate of NOW, including LA NOW, which endorses or supports the McCain/Palin ticket. John McCain and Sarah Palin oppose many of the rights and freedoms we have fought for throughout NOW’s 42 years, and we will not be pushed back to the days of back-alley abortions, forced pregnancies, and pay discrimination without remedy. “

They do not tolerate dissent.  The NOW PAC has endorsed Obama-Biden, so it looks like NOW refuses to let any of its members support anyone else.  Tolerance?  Diversity?   In NeW, we have members who are Democrats, Republicans, Independents and undecided.   It is a bit insulting to women that NOW distances itself so much from this voice of dissent within its ranks.  We can thinking people.

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