May 20, 2018

This week on To The Contrary with Bonnie Erbe, our panelists discuss women candidates taking over the primaries, how child care and paid family leave is funded, and the death penalty.

On the panel this week joining host Bonnie Erbe is: Lara Brown, Associate Professor, George Washington University; Rina Shah, Republican Strategist; Julie Gunlock, Senior Fellow, Independent Women’s Forum; Atima Omara, President Emeritus, Young Democrats of America

Click read more to see what they had to say!

Women in Politics

Women win big in the primaries so far, but will they be able to win against incumbents in the general election?

  • Atima Omara: “You can look at states where women representation is higher and the focus on the economy, healthcare, childcare, things that affect families moreso increase.”

  • Julie Gunlock: “So often we say ‘women aren’t represented, women aren’t equal in this country’, but women also have a lot of choices in this country and may just choose not to run for office.”

  • Lara Brown: “It’s really important to understand how partisan this is. At some level we’re never going to reach parity until Republicans actually field candidates and have success with candidates in the same way Democrats have.”

    • “[Women] vote their party before they vote their gender.”

  • Rina Shah: “I don’t think it’s going to be another year of the woman because I think voters are starting to see pass gender now. I’m encouraged by that and I wouldn’t say it’s disappointing on either side of aisle.”


  • Childcare

    Why women being able to write off childcare as a campaign expense is being called a “game changer.”

    • Atima Omara: “ I think it will allow younger families especially those who don’t have careers that are so financially successful that they can dole out to a nanny and...not miss that dollar and allow more younger families of a more diverse economic background to get more involved in politics.”

    • Julie Gunlock:  “American women are twice as likely as European women to get into middle management and higher executive positions. Part of it is because of those mandated, very very generous leave policies, which really may put women at a disadvantage.”

    • Bonnie Erbe: “Why wasn’t there a tax break for this in the tax reform that the President passed and Congress signed?”

    • Lara Brown: “ There is wide consensus across the aisle that paid family leave needs to be a policy. So the real fight is how? And I think this is where having a lot of women actually in politics can make a difference.”

    • Rina Shah: “Paid parental leave and all the issues that come with running for office such as needing money for childcare, these are very important issues to take us into really a new frontier in American politics because children are, of course we know, sort of the bedrock of our society and how we raise them up will sort of dictate how we’re seen as (a) modern society.

    • Death Penalty

      Support for capital punishment is going down, but many states still use this practice.

      • Atima Omara:  “There should be other ways for restorative justice that is not killing people.”

      • Julie Gunlock: “People are really starting to feel uneasy with the idea that we put people to death and yet we have major problems with the justice system that really, we don’t have solutions to.”

      • Bonnie Erbe: “I thought if you valued life, you would value it in all its forms and that’s changing.”

      • Lara Brown:“It is important to realize that Democrats are really the one’s driving the majority of change around the death penalty because Democrats are the one’s who’ve moved away from being in the sort of Clinton parlance, tough on crime and in that 1990s mindset.”

      • Rina Shah: “(Virginians Against The Death Penalty) last year were pivotal in encouraging Gov. Terry McAuliffe to get Ivan Teleguz an inmate off death row in Virginia.I was proud to be a part of that and I see in that group there are a lot of pro-life people because they really see it matching up. This is against our principles.”

      • Furonda Brasfield:  “I most certainly see the death penalty being abolished, not only in the state of Arkansas, but throughout the country in my lifetime. I think that there will be a solid case that goes to the Supreme Court, and I think that it will be decided on 8th amendment grounds that the death penalty is cruel and unusual punishment.”


      Be sure to tune in this week for more discussion! Click here to check your local listings.