Views on Women: Representative Peter Roskam’s and Mine Differ Profoundly

Congressional candidate Leslie Coolidge's view's on women differ significantly from those of her opponent. Coolidge again calls for a debate with Rep. Roskam so that voters will know their choices.


Several weeks ago, I issued an invitation to Representative Roskam to join me in a series of debates about the issues.  Voters deserve to hear us both because the contrast between our views and the policies we are likely to pursue is quite dramatic.  Those differences are especially stark when it comes to the issues that many women care about.

On Sunday, August 26, we celebrated Women's Equality Day. It commemorates the passage of the 19th Amendment which gave women the right to vote.  Now, 92 years later, extreme politicians like Peter Roskam have embraced an agenda and molded a party platform that would send women's rights back to the 19th century -- chipping away, piece by piece, at a woman's right to choose, a woman's right to decide her own healthcare needs without government interference, and a woman's right to equal pay for equal work.

Instead of trying to get Americans back to work in keeping with his party's "jobs, jobs, jobs" campaign rhetoric during the 2010 election, Peter Roskam has used his leadership position in Congress to oversee bill after bill to restrict women's rights. Mr. Roskam has voted for Amendment 95 to HR 1 to defund Planned Parenthood. He was a co-sponsor and voted for HR 3 which initially included the now infamous "forcible rape" language.

More significantly, Mr, Roskam has voted 33 times to repeal the Affordable Care Act (“Obamacare”).  There is no bigger women’s issue than making health care affordable for all, particularly children, so that families do not have to suffer without treatment or go bankrupt if a child or adult falls ill.  This was movingly demonstrated by Stacey Lihn, a mother who praised the Affordable Care Act at the Democratic National Convention.  Its provisions will  prevent her young daughter, who has congenital heart disease, from being denied treatment by her insurance company because she will soon pass her ‘lifetime cap’ on insurance benefits.  Under Obamacare, lifetime caps are prohibited, and Stacy Lihn’s daughter can’t be denied coverage she needs to get treatment.

In the area of equal pay, Mr. Roskam voted against the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act of 2007 and 2009. He voted against the Paycheck Fairness Act of 2008 and 2009 hich revised the Equal Pay Act to include remedies for and enforcement against sex discrimination in the payment of wages.

I can only conclude from these votes that Mr. Roskam does not believe that women are competent to handle their own lives and decisions about their bodies.  What will he want to take away from women next – the vote?  In fact, yes.  He voted for an amendment to HR 5326 that would prevent the Justice Department from spending funds to overturn any of the voter ID laws that have the effect, in some states, of taking away the vote from elderly women who tend not to have government-issued IDs.  That amendment passed.

What’s next on your agenda for women if you are re-elected, Mr. Roskam?  We’ll never know for sure unless you agree to debate me.

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Frank Reiss September 17, 2012 at 12:55 PM
The bottom line is a debate should and needs to happen, no matter what our opinions are. This needs to happen in front of as many of voters as possible, so all can determine who they want to vote for. If Mr. Roskam doesn’t want to debate either he is hiding something or he is afraid of going one on one with Leslie Coolidge
Jenny September 17, 2012 at 12:58 PM
Leslie: I'm a 40-something woman. Speaking of control.... get the government out of controlling wages. Let the wage market control the wage market. You think a business doesn't want to keep and reward the very best talent? Talent makes them money. Any business who doesn't operate on this principle will be out of business anyway-- you won't have to worry about regulating them. (But, then you'd have nothing to do.)
McCloud September 17, 2012 at 01:06 PM
It's the typical either or scenario used by politicians. We could never have had unlimited lifetime health benefits without Obamacare. So we can expect enormous taxes, fees and penalties should this monstrocity not get repealed. Reason number 12 to explain why unemployment is so high and there are more folks living on the taxpayer dime. Christianity?
Gardengal58 September 17, 2012 at 02:16 PM
This so-called "attack on women's rights" or "war on women" is so much manufactured b.s. and I'm shocked at the number of women who are sucked in by the rhetoric. I thought we were smarter than that. As a conservative woman, I've never felt that anyone was telling me what to do with my body, or taking away my rights. I can do anything I want, but the rest of the world doesn't have to foot the bill. And that's the issue. I don't want to pay for someone else's birth control pills, abortion, or whatever. It's called PERSONAL RESPONSIBILITY. Roskam is my candidate because he has the brains and judgement to make the right decisions for this country.
John Mihas September 17, 2012 at 02:30 PM
Agreed, If Roskam was the challenger he would be crying foul. We need term limits for all politicians.
Paul September 17, 2012 at 03:12 PM
Leslie, your not going to get anywhere with teabaggers. Far right wing nut jobs that really are afraid of the truth. Feel sorry for them all.
Ray September 17, 2012 at 03:50 PM
Well, some teabaggers aren't afraid of the truth - they just don't care. And the example of the girl with the heart condition? They'd prefer the alternative, and tend to ignore such examples. "Out of luck? Tough Luck!"
Paul September 17, 2012 at 04:02 PM
Ray, well said. It is really sad. My wife is a professional in the insurance business and has done quite well for herself, but she is probably paid 10 to15 thousand less than her counterpart male co worker in the same position. These right wingers want to go back to the days before roe vs wade when quacks performed abortions. I would het more out of talking to a tree stump then half these folks. They still think GW bush was the greates thing since sliced bread. LMBCO.
JanS September 17, 2012 at 04:26 PM
For those on the "Left" what is your definition of "too far right"? And why do you always descend to ridicule and name calling? And then claim to be the tolerant ones. Really?
D Bunting September 17, 2012 at 04:49 PM
The only good Obamacare will bring is to force Insurance companies to cover Pre-existing conditions and to help with other women's standard health issues that Insurance won't cover. Insurance companies are part of the reason this country is so messed up. But this will cost all Americans in the long run. We will either be taxed or we will lose the best doctors to the 1% as private practitioners, or both. Candidates from both sides of the fence are going to screw us and don't doubt that for a minute. I don't believe in abortion, but I do believe a person has that choice and they will always have to make peace with that choice, no matter what the reason. Making insurance mandatory is bad enough but to then not to fully enforce the people who don't have it is even worse. Every government social program is BROKEN!! and this won't be any different. Healthcare is the #1 program with the highest fraud rate on all sides including the doctors. As far as equal pay for women, what stops any person for asking for more money or stops an employer from giving it? Where is the government going to help on this issue? Go picket Corporate America or join a Union. I agree that if you are fully qualified and someone less qualified makes more than you then you need to change something. You Need to change something! Women have come a long way and I doubt Roskam can change that. There are many women in very high positions, just look at your current status.
Frank Reiss September 17, 2012 at 04:53 PM
I grew up in a Republican household so I was Republican for most of my adult life. I don’t recognize these people that call themselves Republican, they lie, driven by their pledge with the Citizen United (We all now is really Greedy Citizen United) and their primary objection is stopping President Obama from a second term not the Health of the United States. I never heard so many lies by politicians as Mitt and Paul. The one that really bothers me is the trickle down theory the biggest economic lie in the History of the US, how corporations are job creators-wrong there job fillers. Demand creates jobs -companies fills them, supply and demand. We need to build up our lower and middle class being they are ninety nine percent of demand. How is giving tax break to the one- percent of the wealthiest people or companies is going to make the lower and middle class buy more products? American Corporations has an excess of 10 trillion dollars in liquid reserves right now and I don’t see more jobs being created. We need the old Republican Party to come back that use to have integrity and truths.
Paul September 17, 2012 at 04:57 PM
Jan, anyone associated with the teaparty is way out there. We might as well go back to the 1800's. Just my opinion. Anyway, my sincere apology for the nut job comments. I am also not on the left. I am down the middle. While I am a registered democrat, does not mean I agree for there stance on everything. I like to think of myself as one who follows fdr,jfk and lbj. One of the many problems these days with politics and both parties is no one knows how to meet down the middle and thus nothing ever gets done. Anyway, soory for offending everyone here, even mccloud.
JanS September 17, 2012 at 05:41 PM
Sounds to me like you are believing the media lies. For a real economic education, look up Thomas Sowell or Milton Friedman. The central planning that has been tried for the last 3 (or is it 5) years (it started under Bush when Pelosi and Reid took over congress) ... has lead to the worse economy ever. People who lost their jobs, then lose their healthcare (if they had it) and perhaps their house and their self-esteem. The only solution is to grow the economy - the opposite of what is now happening.
Dan F. September 17, 2012 at 05:52 PM
Ms. Coolidge if your views differ from Roskam, then: You are AGAINST equal pay for equal work, You are AGAINST paid parental leave. You are AGAINST giving all employees with educational and career advancement opportunities You are AGAINST allowing nursing mothers being able to use breast pumps at work. You are AGAINST strengthen family financial stability and preparing young Americans for educational success. These are all things Peter Roskam is FOR, has actively supported in Congress, and practices day to day. Working Mother consistently rates him as Best of Congress for his practices and policy supporting women, children, and families.
Dan F. September 17, 2012 at 05:59 PM
PS. Ms. Coolidge you never responded to whether you actively participated in creating illegal tax-avoidance schemes for the very wealthy while at KPMG, or whether you were oblivious to the systemic criminal activity going on all around you. Please explain.
JanS September 17, 2012 at 06:23 PM
"Although the big word on the left is 'compassion,' the big agenda on the left is dependency. The more people who are dependent on government handouts, the more votes the left can depend on for an ever-expanding welfare state. Optimistic Republicans who say that widespread unemployment and record numbers of people on food stamps hurt President Obama's reelection chances are overlooking the fact that people who are dependent on government are more likely to vote for politicians who are giving them handouts. President Franklin D. Roosevelt understood that, back during the Great Depression of the 1930s. He was reelected in a landslide after his first term, during which unemployment was in double digits every single month, and in some months was over 20 percent. The time is long overdue for optimistic Republicans to understand what FDR understood long ago, and what Barack Obama clearly understands today. Dependency pays off in votes -- unless somebody alerts the taxpayers who get stuck with the bill." --economist Thomas Sowell
JanS September 17, 2012 at 06:27 PM
Paul, Have you ever been to a Tea Party meeting? Ever met a Tea Party activist? Or is your opinion based on the news media - which has an agenda. Each Tea Party group is an independent group that is part of the nationwide Tea Party movement. The Tea Parties are a non-partisan, grassroots movement that spontaneously began in 2009 in response to the United States government over taxing, over regulating and losing sight of the fact that it serves at the will of "we the people". Our core values are Fiscal Responsibility, Constitutionally Limited Government, and Free Markets. So which of these core values do find objectionable?
McCloud September 17, 2012 at 06:33 PM
As I've mentioned before, so called "rich" people buy things like houses, cars, boats, planes, clothes, food, etc. and spend more money on them than, for example, a "poor" person. Therefore, this is according to Moodys, the top 5% account for nearly 40% of consumer outlays. So, just by thinking something does not make it so. Raising taxes on the top 5% or 10% or even anyone, lowers consumption, demand, GDP, investment and employment. It is really not all that hard to figure out, but there are those types out there who would prefer to label me as extreme, as the guy they voted for continues to set records for bleak economic numbers.
Paul September 17, 2012 at 06:36 PM
Jan, the media lies? I see, it lies to benefit democrats?. HEHEHEHE. I mean no disrespect, but the 10 trillion that the republicans put on the books prior to obama was not all welfare. I don't know, not really a math expert, but do not think the 16 trillion defecit is due to welfare and handouts. Just my opinion. Jan, Romney has no plan. If he does, he is not saying what it is. I know what it is. If he is elected and you and your family make more than 100,000 or so, no more mortgage deductions on the taxes so he and his elitest pig friends don't have to pay more. Whens ole mitt going to release more of his tax returns? Whats he hiding? You or someone elese mentioned reid and pelosi, Found 3 more that are more useless then those 2. Boehner, Cantor and mcconnel. There main mission the last 4 years was to vote everything down and stall everything. The 3 stooges.
McCloud September 17, 2012 at 07:49 PM
I thought I warned you already about how your comments make me embarassed for you.
McCloud September 17, 2012 at 10:39 PM
Pandering for votes by dividing us Americans into groups sounds very much like what we have now. Why would we want more of it?
McCloud September 17, 2012 at 11:35 PM
I'd have to say it is extreme to call yourself a Christian and support even the concept of human butcher shops tearing out human life from a mother's body, destroying it and disposing of it, and calling it a woman's right to choose.
Nathan West September 18, 2012 at 03:08 AM
McCloud, no one is pro-abortion. Everyone hates the very idea, especially women who have had one. The vast majority of women do not consider abortion lightly, either. The choice is always an agonizing one. However, the political argument is whether the GOVERNMENT has a right to tell women what to do with their bodies. You tea partiers are small-government extremists on every issue except this one. Why not fight to make abortion even more rare than it is now by making contraceptives widely available? Oh, right. You want the government preventing that, too.
McCloud September 18, 2012 at 10:22 AM
So you are saying the political argument allows the immorality of the act to somehow become a moral act? Or it's ok because everyone hates the very idea, but go ahead anyway?
Paul September 18, 2012 at 12:57 PM
Mccloud, get a job!!! Sorry ole boy, I am embarrased for you. You are missing another point about the abortions because you are who you are. You once told me to google and now I am telling you to google. History on abortions. See, you right wing nut jobs think that by outlawing abortions that will stop abortions!! Again, proof that your IQ is quite subpar.
McCloud September 18, 2012 at 06:50 PM
Jan, one of my favorite quotes from Friedman, "A society that puts equality before freedom will get neither. A society that puts freedom before equality will get a high degree of both.”
McCloud September 19, 2012 at 12:27 AM
Hey Leslie, with all that time on your hands, since you will not be debating Roskam, I suggest reading some of Milton Friedman's quotes about capitalism. You may even be able to see some you tube video of this great man.
Lead Follow or Get Out of the Way September 24, 2012 at 01:06 PM
Thank you for saying that JanS. The nasty name-calling and cries of intolerance and racism have gone beyond the pale in this election. The pot is constantly calling the kettle black and they don't even realize they're doing it.
Dan F. September 24, 2012 at 01:25 PM
She's not getting anywhere by avoiding answering the question about her time at KPMG. Ms. Coolidge, did you actively participate in setting up illegal tax shelters for your rich clients? Or were you ignorant of the criminal activity going on all around you? http://www.irs.gov/uac/KPMG-to-Pay-$456-Million-for-Criminal-Violations
Dan F. September 24, 2012 at 01:28 PM
All it takes is for congress to disallow exclusions for preexisting conditions in individual policies JUST AS THEY HAVE FOR GROUP POLICIES. You don't need 2,400 pages of new government agencies and rules to do that,


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