Louisiana board allows campaign fund spending on child care

February 15, 2019 - 5:53 pm

(WWL.com) - The Louisiana Ethics Board has reversed a November decision to bar a Baton Rouge woman who was running for office from using campaign funds to pay for childcare expenses. There was significant public outcry over the decision, due to the board previously allowing men the same right.

Political Consultant Mary Patricia Wray, who spoke at the hearing today, says she’s glad they’ve reversed the decision, but…

“Simply ignoring prior decisions, even though they are allowed to ignore prior precedent, really does not bode well for the signal that they were sending to women across the state.”

Women’s advocates have called the November decision sexist, but The Board defended the prior ruling by stating that the men who were allowed to use the funds for that reason were granted that right by a board composed of different members than the current one.

Women’s advocates have pointed out that the previous decision appeared to be sexist, and puts a significant barrier in the way of middle class moms who would like to seek public office. Wray says barring moms from using those funds would likely have dissuaded many from even trying to run.

“Put one more obstacle in front of a woman who is considering running for office, and it could be a critical tipping point that makes her decision one not to run.”

Wray celebrated the decision, saying it’s another step towards clearing a backlog of cultural and political policies designed to keep women out of politics.

“It is very important across state government, and across federal government, that we start removing those made up, false, contrived barriers so that women can starting making the decision to run.

Comments ()