The Denver Post
October 17, 2012
Like so many other Colorado Republicans, Debbie Brown watched in agony in 2010 as Senate candidate Ken Buck lost in a year that rewarded Republicans nationwide.
That Christmas, while her husband drove the family cross country from Centennial to see relatives in Tennessee, Brown sat in the passenger seat and wrote copious notes dissecting the election.
What she concluded was that Buck, the GOP nominee, didn't know how to discuss women's issues. And Republicans didn't seem to know how to come to Buck's defense as Democrats painted him as "too extreme for Colorado." Suburban women narrowly handed Democrat Michael Bennet a victory.
On that holiday road trip, the Colorado Women's Alliance was conceived. Unveiled a few months later, the group focuses on women's issues, particularly from an economic viewpoint. Other organizations formed, including My Purse Politics and I Am Created Equal.
Now the network of conservative Colorado women hopes to prevent Democrats from winning the 2012 election by Democrats' painting Republicans as Neanderthals engaged in a war on women. They've enlisted dozens of entrepreneurial women fluent in a variety of topics, from health care to education to federal deficit spending. They've been aggressive and capable in reaching out to media outlets, posting on blogs and using social media to get their message out.
A key goal? Not to let topics such as birth control overshadow the economy.
"War on purses"
Democrats such as Sens. Morgan Carroll of Aurora and Angela Giron of Pueblo say there is a war on women, which can be reflected in health care policies. Republicans are the ones who talk about birth control, they say, but they never mention men's health issues.
"The 'war on women' is really a distraction from the tangible 'war on women's purses,' " countered Molly Vogt, director of My Purse Politics, a group formed to highlight how new taxes, new regulations and job losses affect women.
Monica Owens, the director of "The Women for Mitt Coalition," which is working to get Republican Mitt Romney elected president, believes Democrats are talking about a war on women to avoid talking about the economy.
She oversees "Women's Wednesdays," which features different speakers and events. A week ago, so many women showed up to write postcards to other women voters that they finished more than 1,000 cards in 20 minutes. Owens had expected the letter-writing to last from 6 to 10 p.m.
Republican women believe their efforts are paying off.
Romney has taken a one-point lead over President Obama in Colorado, according to the latest Denver Post poll, although Romney's edge is well within the poll's margin of error.
Romney has overtaken Obama in several polls, including a USA Today/Gallup survey that found swing-state female voters "much more engaged in the election and increasingly concerned about the deficit and debt."
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