Rich white dudes will spend a billion dollars in upcoming elections, still ‘meh’ about equal pay for women

News reports from Politico and others show that a cast of conspicuously color-coordinated (read: white) conservative characters including the likes of Karl Rove and the Koch Brothers are pledging a billion dollar shadow campaign to defeat the President. That’s billion with a b!!!

The $1 billion in outside money is in addition to the traditional party apparatus – the Romney campaign and the Republican National Committee – which together intend to raise at least $800 million. Which means that Steve Benen was right when he said that Obama would be facing “a far-right wall of at least $1.8 billion between now and Election Day. To say this is without precedent in a major democracy is a dramatic understatement.”

In the meantime, as we initially reported last month, the Romney camp has refused since April to answer when asked if he supports the Lilly Ledbetter Act, which helps ensure women get paid fairly (more info here, and an exclusive Feministing interview with Lily Ledbetter herself here). Now, as reported by Think Progress among others, it’s not just that Romney isn’t coming out about paycheck fairness – it’s that after five requests he’s refusing to even comment on it:

“Despite repeated media inquiries from a conservative-leaning newspaper, Mitt Romney remains stubbornly silent on the Paycheck Fairness Act, a bill that would bring up to date the 70s-era Fair Pay Law.

Congressional Democrats are gearing up for another legislative effort to ensure that women and men receive equal pay for equal work and are renewing their push for the Paycheck Fairness Act. But as with many ongoing political fights, Romney is not taking a decisive position.

Romney was originally unclear about his position on another fair pay bill, the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act and he has not spoken about this specific legislation — despite repeated requests for comment from the Washington Times:

His campaign didn’t respond to five messages left over the past week seeking his stance on the Paycheck Fairness Act. In April, when he was fending off questions about his stance on women’s compensation, his campaign would only say he “supports pay equity” but would not say any more about the new legislation.”

I mean….I suppose if I had a cadre of money men backing my every move in exchange for the promise of conservative, pro-business policies, I wouldn’t bother to comment on equal pay for others either.

Brooklyn, NY

Lori Adelman started blogging with Feministing in 2008, and now runs partnerships and strategy as a co-Executive Director. She is also the Director of Youth Engagement at Women Deliver, where she promotes meaningful youth engagement in international development efforts, including through running the award-winning Women Deliver Young Leaders Program. Lori was formerly the Director of Global Communications at Planned Parenthood Federation of America, and has also worked at the United Nations Foundation on the Secretary-General's flagship Every Woman Every Child initiative, and at the International Women’s Health Coalition and Human Rights Watch. As a leading voice on women’s rights issues, Lori frequently consults, speaks and publishes on feminism, activism and movement-building. A graduate of Harvard University, Lori has been named to The Root 100 list of the most influential African Americans in the United States, and to Forbes Magazine‘s list of the “30 Under 30” successful mediamakers. She lives in Brooklyn, NY.

Lori Adelman is an Executive Director of Feministing in charge of Partnerships.

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