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Reverse-Engineering the 2012 Campaign

Emails Sent on June 5, 2012

Obama for America
12:07 p.m. ET
Sign my letter to Romney

This morning, I posted a direct letter to Governor Romney asking him to

show some leadership on an issue that matters to millions of women and

their families: equal pay for equal work.

So far, he has refused to say where he stands on legislation that would

finally help make pay equity a reality.

When his advisers were first asked whether he supports the Lilly Ledbetter

Fair Pay Act -- silence.

When the Washington Times asked his campaign five times last week whether


That's not leadership.

And with women making 77 cents for every dollar paid to men, this is

clearly a law our nation needs.

If you agree, please add your name to mine right now -- cosign the letter

and ask Governor Romney to show some leadership.

I went nearly 20 years being paid less than male coworkers while doing the

exact same job -- until someone slipped an anonymous note in my locker to

try to make things right. When President Obama heard my story, he fought

for my right to be treated fairly, and the first bill he signed into law as

president was the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act. That law ensures that his

daughters, and millions of young women coming up through the workforce,

will be able to fight back if they are disrespected like I was.

And it's not just women who suffer -- countless families are also hurt when

women are forced to do more with less.

The Senate voted earlier today on the Paycheck Fairness Act. It would have

made it easier for women to learn if they're being discriminated against,

and would have protected workers from being fired for sharing information

about their pay. Mitt Romney stood silent while his party defeated this

important bill. On an issue as crucial as this, we deserve to know where

Governor Romney stands.

Cosign my letter -- it's included below -- and call on Governor Romney to

stand up to the extreme voices in his party:


Thank you,


Governor Romney,

It's time to speak up.

I'm writing to ask you to stand up to your fellow Republicans, show you're

worthy of the leadership you're asking the American people to entrust you

with, and let us know where you stand on legislation that will help finally

make pay equity a reality.

I'm writing you directly because so far, your leadership has been so

lacking that it appears those closest to you don't know where you stand,


In April, your advisers were asked whether you support the law that bears

my name and empowers women to fight back when we're cheated out of equal

pay. They responded with silence.

In May, the Washington Times asked your campaign five times whether you

support the Paycheck Fairness Act, a bill that goes further to ensure equal

pay for equal work. Again, silence.

Now, in June, as Washington Republicans continue to oppose this commonsense

law, you continue to hide.

Your campaign will say only that you support the concept of pay equity, but

that you wouldn't change any laws to actually enforce it. That's like

saying you're for staying dry but wouldn't use an umbrella in a rainstorm.

Women are getting soaked, Gov. Romney, and staying silent when a solution

is at hand isn't leadership -- it's an insult and a cop-out.

If the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act was a step in the right direction, the

Paycheck Fairness Act is a giant leap forward. The first gave us recourse

to sue no matter when we learn that we've been paid unfairly -- a right we

often didn't have until President Obama made it the first bill he signed.

The second will make it easier for women to learn if they're being

discriminated against in the first place. It gives businesses incentives to

do what's right and protects workers from being fired for sharing

information about their pay. It closes loopholes and makes discrimination

harder to hide, which makes it harder to commit.

You talk often about your unique understanding of the economy. I'm

troubled, though, that you don't seem to understand the consequences of pay

inequality. It's not just about a paycheck and it's not just a women's

issue -- it's a family issue. Women make just 77 cents for every dollar a

man earns, which adds up to hundreds of thousands of dollars in lost

earnings over years of hard work. More women are becoming breadwinners in

their families, and unjustly lower wages mean we have less to spend in our

communities to support the economy. The overtime pay, Social Security, and

pensions we earn are based on our wages, so unfair pay today hurts us now

and weakens our retirement security later. I learned that lesson the hard


It's 2012. Women are not worth less than men, and no one should get paid

less for doing the same job just because she is a woman.

Will you stand up for women, stand up to your fellow Republicans and stand

on the right side of history? Will you finally say aloud that you support

efforts to stop pay discrimination before it starts? We're listening.


Lilly Ledbetter

Paid for by Obama for America

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