Join the NO NO Sisterhood!

I voted in the Democratic run-off yesterday in Louisiana. I did something that I haven’t done for a long time.  I went down the list of candidates for judgeships and the various other races and voted for all the women. Something tells me I wasn’t alone in this when I heard second congressional district candidate Helena Moreno’s speech after she placed second after $Bill Jefferson and ahead of five well known black male politicians vying for the position.  She had a lot of cross-over vote here in a city where the politics of race is pervasive.  She’s a latina and has been frequently labelled  as “that little white girl” in the race.  Her cross-over vote came from black women. This year may yet be known as the REAL year of the woman when a female awakening turns the tide against misogyny and sexism. Our mantra could be something to the effect of “We’re bitter, we vote, get out of office!”

Helena Moreno  has been in New Orleans about 8 years. She quit her job as a news anchor in March to run for office.  As a journalist, she was frequently out on the beat looking for corruption and places where things don’t quite work for people. Since this is New Orleans, Moreno never ran out of material. Moreno also lived through Hurricane Katrina and learned its lessons well.

While she does have great name recognition and quite a presence, she is considered the underdog in this race because of the politics of racial identity. That is unless the politics of being a woman in what has arguably been a brutal year for women creates a NO NO sisterhood.  That is what I want to see: a movement where all women stand up together and say “NO, he didn’t!”  I hope this year we just don’t wag our fingers and speak our indignation then vote for folks who promise to be marginally less worse on the issues we care about.  In the No NO Sisterhood, we vote our interests and write checks to support women’s campaigns to ensure our voices our heard and acted on.  I’m thinking we should adopt that old women’s fist raised in the symbol of woman with a slight change.  The middle finger should be raised to the media and politicians who practice the politics of beating up on women.

During the primary, Moreno had a number of typical dirty tricks pulled on her–including the usual things like hiring Robo phone calls that say you’re from her campaign at all hours and times of day to harass folks and turn them off.  She also became the victim of a whisper campaign that went more public.  During a televised debate an exchange between Moreno and State Rep. Cedric Richmond turned into a shouting match.  Richmond is currently fighting against a suspension of his law license for using a nonprimary residence to run for a city council seat.  This exchange happened shortly after Moreno called him out on the pending case. Here’s the script as reported by the Times Picayune.

“Would everyone up here, Miss Moreno specifically, would you be willing to submit to a random drug test?” Richmond asked, noting that many job applicants face such screening
The nasty confrontation ended with Moreno, stung by what she called Richmond’s outrageous “suggestion” that she uses drugs, marching out of WDSU-TV’s downtown New Orleans’ studios and into a nearby clinic, where she voluntarily submitted to a drug test.

She quickly delivered the results — a clean reading — to The Times-Picayune.

There’s been a lot of interesting coverage of this race, and as Ms. Moreno takes on $Bill Jefferson, it is bound to get a whole lot more interesting.  That is why I am asking you to not only follow what happens, but to help Helena.  She’s running in New Orleans and in Louisiana.  Politics down here are not only interesting, but can be very brutal.

Here’s her website:  Moreno for Congress

Please join me at the NO NO Sisterhood at Act Blue to support Helena Moreno and other fine women candidates. 

No No Sisterhood

I think this year has taught us that we cannot rely on many of the current members of the DNC to protect our interests.  We need to send some more women to congress, now.

(Cross-posted at the Confluence)

15 Comments on “Join the NO NO Sisterhood!”

  1. ea says:

    Reposted (and edited) from downstairs:

    Did it feel powerful? Any sense of guilt–for doing it or waiting so long to do it?

    Thank you, fellow citizen, for participating.

  2. HT says:

    Kat, if I lived ther I would vote for the best candidate, in this case the one without the Y chromosome. I wish all the best to Ms Moreno and hope she wins. (We share a derivative of a first name. I hope she’s much more saavy than I have been)/
    30%? We comprise more than 50% of the population, and while I agree that 30% is a great goal, isn’t it time for the female (why are we fe – males?) part of the population to take control of their lives and those of their children.?
    Alas, I won’t live long enough to see that happen, but for my daughter’s sake (and my son’s) I am hoping it will happen sooner rather than later. Keep up the good fight, and keep on writing.

  3. lascalawag says:

    After centuries of white hegemony, New Orleans had a short period of black political leadership. We are now in an era of ethnic cleansing and NOLA now has a white majority city council, white majority school board, and a white district attorney will be elected. Congratulations. U are almost there. By supporting Moreno in the primary, u supported turning back the clock to the days of Jim Crow and are in support of an all white Louisiana congressional delegation like we had for generations. In two years u get the chance to elect a white mayor. You need to take a real hard look at your white supremacist values and behavior and the their consequences. Or maybe u just need to keep your sheet clean. Your faux feminism is disgusting.

  4. dakinikat says:

    well, i’m only going to answer that with this from the Gambit: just a small amount of Jefferson’s legacy here in New Orleans. I don’t consider voting for Helena Moreno to be ethnic cleansing, I consider it a sensible way to get rid of a corrupt poltician. I voted for Karen last time. Last time I checked, she was black.

    From the New Orleans Gambit:

    Two years ago, after sensational FBI raids on his homes and offices and the discovery of $90,000 in marked bills in his freezer, Jefferson turned political wisdom on its ear by defeating state Rep. Karen Carter Peterson in the runoff….

    Since his stunning re-election in 2006, Jefferson has suffered a string of political setbacks:
    • Last November, his daughter, former state Rep. Jalila Jefferson, lost a bid for the state Senate seat that launched her father’s political career in 1979.
    • His brother Mose and sister Betty Jefferson likewise face federal corruption charges for allegedly bilking government-fed nonprofits that the Jefferson family controls. Betty’s daughter, Angela Coleman, also is charged.
    • Mose Jefferson faces separate federal bribery charges for allegedly paying off an Orleans Parish School Board member. Mose has been Bill Jefferson’s on-the-ground political muscle for years and is considered one of the best campaign operatives in the state. He is scheduled to stand trial in the bribery case in October — in the midst of his brother’s re-election campaign.

    • The congressman’s youngest sibling, Brenda Jefferson, has admitted to misprision of a felony in the nonprofit skimming case and has agreed to cooperate with the feds.
    • Last October, Jefferson’s hand-picked district attorney, Eddie Jordan, resigned in disgrace after losing a federal civil rights case that cost the taxpayers more than $3.5 million in judgments and interest — and after running the office into the ground through sheer incompetence. The office controls dozens of unclassified jobs (read: campaign “volunteers”) that are no longer beholden to Jefferson.
    • Earlier this year, Jefferson lost his hold on the Orleans Parish Democratic Executive Committee, which controls oodles of campaign cash and marshals an army of volunteers in presidential election years. In the past, Jefferson tapped the committee’s resources to build and sustain his local political machine. Now, the committee is led by James Gray, his former law partner and the father of state Sen. Cheryl Gray, who defeated Jalila Jefferson last fall.
    • His colleagues in Washington stripped him of his seat on the powerful House Ways and Means Committee. Loss of that seat undercuts Jefferson’s ability to raise campaign funds.
    • Jefferson himself is scheduled to stand trial in northern Virginia on federal corruption charges on Dec. 2, exactly four weeks after the Nov. 4 general election for Congress.

  5. lascalawag says:

    I chose another candidate because in the postk environment, Jeff has been unable to perform his obligations to us in the Rebuild.
    U had four other choices. U chose the candidate who when asked to differentiate herself from the other candidates, did not say “i am woman”; she said she was not Black. She was clear. And u chose the candidate who Jeff wanted u to vote for because that increases the probability that Jeff gets reelected; u went for what we call in NOLA the ‘okeydoke.’
    BTW, “a white majority city council, white majority school board, and a white district attorney” is what the hockey moms would call a ‘hat trick.’

  6. dakinikat says:

    How is voting for a Latina playing into the hands of the KKK exactly?

    I had issues with the other candidates. Cedric Richmond is about to get his law license revoked for lying on an application to run for city council. James Carter seems to be a nice guy but hasn’t distinguished himself yet in the City Council. I’d like to see him put a few more years in and maybe try for mayor. Lee has had issues with some slush fund behavior. Carter and Smith had no chance whatsoever. Plus Smith is linked to Ray who has not been good for this city. Carter was also known around this district for asking for ownership stakes in businesses in order to carry out certain duties as city council member.

    I whole heartedly worked for Karen Carter last time. I donated to her, worked for her, and put signs every where. My state senator Derrick Shepard threw her to the wolves to try to get a chance to run this time. We can see exactly how well that worked for him, Yes?

    I’m willing to give Helena a chance and it’s not based on the color of her skin. Believe me. It’s based on wanting to see some outsider for a change because we need help very badly and cannot get it with Jefferson. I think we need to get over the politics of racial profiling here. Are you sayiing that only a black candidate can represent the interests of black people or can understand them? We have a diverse city and we need diverse representation based on competence and some degree of confidence that our money is going to go the folks that need it and not to line the pockets of any political elite.

    And I wouldn’t know what a hockey mom would do anymore than I what it’s called to stack a city council–one way or the other.

  7. Helen says:

    Hello dakinikat,
    sorry to be approaching you in this way but I’m a radio producer working on World Have Your Say, a discussion programe on the BBC World Service. You can visit us here:

    Today we’re hosting a discussion based on Sarah Palin’s comment that there’s a place reserved in hell for women who don’t support other women. We’re asking: Are women their own worst enemy?

    If you’re interested in participating the debate I’d be grateful if you could drop me an email at

    Thanks, and have a nice day!

  8. Ben Kilpatrick says:

    Just voting for women is the same as just voting for the black guy, or the republican guy, or or or

    And it’s about as smart a move as all of those.

  9. mgreenwood says:

    I’ve been looking for a quote that sums all of this up, I’m gonna go for this one:

    A vote is like a rifle: its usefulness depends upon the character of the user.
    Theodore Roosevelt (1858 – 1919)

    Voting is anonymous for a reason because it’s your choice, and as long as it’s an informed one, then it’s the right one.

  10. dakinikat says:

    Ben: it was a protest vote, protest votes have a logic all their own

  11. Ben Kilpatrick says:

    Understandable, but what makes your protest vote not a jumping out of the frying pan and into the fire vote?

  12. dakinikat says:

    I’m working for Helena Moreno, I’ve offered to help her, and I’m fundraising for her … that’s the difference

  13. “The middle finger should be raised to the media and politicians who practice the politics of beating up on women.”

    Question: Does this include Sarah Palin? She isn’t being beaten up because she is a woman. She’s being beaten up because she can’t answer an open ended follow up question.

    According to your logic, if you’ll permit me, the media should do what with her exactly? Allow her to say, or not say, what ever she wants without reporting it because she is a woman? Should they not ask her questions in the first place? We knew nothing about her, other than she was a female republican governor. This logic says that this was enough to be vice president?

    The more locally you apply this theorem, the more directly you personally will feel its results. So I wish you luck with your judges and local political nominees. Let us know how it goes.

  14. dakinikat says:

    It is perfectly fair to point out Palin’s mangled sentence structure and Alaskacentric world view. I think we can do that without calling her a “fuzzy bunny” and other names that belittle her as a woman.

    She was obviously a choice to make the republican base happy and get the evangelicals and social conservatives to the polls. She also had the potential of cross over appeal to Catholics and women that had supported Hillary and were not going to support Obama.

    She has been a mayor, albeit of a small town. She is also a very popular governor. She brings some executive decision-making experience to the table that none of the other candidates do. This gives her a decidedly non-Washinton perspective and appeal. She certainly plays that up also.

    As far as her experience, I’d say it’s minimal for higher office. I also feel that Senator Obama’s experience is minimal for higher office. That being said, I feel a lot more comfortable with a person with minimal experience being vice president than being president.

    For all his personal charm, Senator Obama is some one who has spent his life in jobs during which he’s shown no accomplishments. He appears to hope from one part time job to another based on getting bored and needing more attention. We know he went to Harvard, however, he was a legacy so getting in is no a big deal for him. Also, Harvard is the hardest school to flunk out of … we also know he did not make editor of Harvard Review the usual way. He also did not use it as a forum for publication or platform for a clerkship with a judge. He went to work for an organization with socialist and anarachist roots. As i’ve said, I have lived within a mile of ACORN new orleans and know them well. I’d never even MET an real anarchist before, let alone a group of them, until I became familiar with ACORN. I did have a few Marxists in class with in a comparative economics class as an undergraduate but we all basically laughed at them because one of them was such a Che knockoff as to dress like him. (He was a foreign student from somewhere in SA). The other was a black american that clearly was looking for Black Panther street cred. To me, Obama’s associations with these folks far more worries me than Sarah Palin’s mooseshooting from helicopters. I dunno, maybe I’m odd…

  15. I’m not going to dissuade you from the view that Obama has less real world experience than John McCain, partly because I agree with you. There is a difference between Obama and Palin however, and it’s not a matter of executive experience. Palin has “executive experience” in a state that she inherited with unprecedented economic surpluses. It makes the job of governing considerably easier. But that is beside the point.

    The real difference between Obama and Palin is how they came to find themselves on the national platform. I know I’m entering choppy water here as you don’t accept the premise, but Obama won the democratic primary. Even if you don’t want to accept the premise that he did it fairly (although I think the ice broke on that one a while ago), he still garnered millions of votes and the unbridled support of his former adversary, Hillary Clinton. He won the most contentious primary in history and is the democratic nominee. Barrack Obama has gone through the ultimate vetting process. Now, you can talk all you want about numbers and Indiana and Florida and Michigan and whatever else it is you think he and the Democratic Party did to “steal” the election from Hillary Clinton, but … it doesn’t matter. And if you don’t believe me, then ask Hillary Clinton. Obama won with the help of millions supporters. Millions of people want this man to be president and have voted/will vote for him. If they don’t, then he will lose. And that’s the way it is.

    Palin was appointed. She was chosen. No one has had any say on Governor Palin’s nomination to the vice president, except for one man. John McCain. John McCain will be the oldest man ever elected to the office of president and the first presidential choice he made was effectively a gimmick. His motto is “Put Country First,” and the first presidential decision he made was a political gimmick that was designed to get him into office without any regard towards what would happen if the unthinkable occurs. This woman is not ready to be president. She is not ready to be president, not because she is a she. She is not ready to be president because her lack of foreign policy knowledge is breathtaking. Period. It’s not Palin I have a problem with though, it’s what the pick of Palin as a vice presidential pick says about John McCain. Frankly, he should be ashamed.

    As far as ACORN … I am not intimately familiar with the group except from what I hear on T.V. and have read on their website. This may sound uninformed, but I would submit that the group as it was in inner city Chicago during Obama’s time there is not the same as it is in New Orleans, where there is a very real and legitimate view that the government fundamentally failed, especially in regard to the lower income residents of that city, which is who ACORN is purporting to help. I would also imagine they are far from the only group to hold that view in that area.

    Could you please go into further detail, or point me in the direction of sources as to the claim that Obama was not appointed as editor of the Harvard review through “normal process.” I’m curious about this.

    Thanks for responding.