Emily’s List, the Washington-based group that works to elect pro-choice Democratic women, is stepping up its involvement in the intra-party showdown to succeed Democratic Rep. Janice Hahn of San Pedro.
Last week, the organization threw its weight behind Democratic City Councilwoman Nanette Barragán of Hermosa Beach. On Friday, the group turned its attention to her opponent, state Sen. Isadore Hall, D-Compton, calling him out for not voting on a bill to ensure men and women are paid equally.
An Emily’s List graphic shows the May 26 floor vote in which Senate Bill 358 passed 38-0, with Hall the only vote not recorded. An official with Gov. Jerry Brown’s office said Wednesday, Women’s Equality Day, that the governor planned to sign the bill when it reaches his desk.
Rachel Thomas, an Emily’s List spokeswoman, called the announcement a step forward for women here who would be guaranteed greater economic stability.
“While every single other Democratic and Republican senator made it a priority to vote for this groundbreaking legislation that will help women and families, Senator Isadore Hall was absent,” Thomas said.
“There is no excuse for skipping out on an opportunity to stand up for women and families in California by failing to vote for the strongest equal pay protections in the country. Californians deserve an explanation as to why Senator Hall was absent and where his priorities truly lie.”
Dave Jacobson, a spokesman for Hall’s congressional campaign, said the senator missed out on voting for the bill because he was stranded at Los Angeles International Airport “due to consecutive flight delays. “And as a result, (Hall) was excused,” Jacobson wrote in an email.
He noted that Hall strongly supports Senate Bill 358, noting his co-sponsorship of the legislation. Jacobson also pointed to several related bills backed by Hall, along with endorsements from Patricia Bellasalma, immediate past president of the California chapter of the National Organization for Women, the national group itself, and Democratic Reps. Hahn, Julia Brownley, Norma Torres and many others.
In a statement responding to Emily’s List, Bellasalma and current president Jerilyn Stapleton of NOW in California said “sometimes the best feminist is a man and in this race that man is Isadore Hall.”
“To be honest – we normally don’t do this – but we could no longer keep this frustration to ourselves – too much is at stake,” the pair wrote in response. “I am utterly disappointed that such a respected women’s organization like EMILY’s List would proactively work to distort the record of a leader like Senator Hall, who has dedicated much of his career to make a more just and fair system, including ensuring women and girls equality and intersectional gender equity.”