Photo Credit: Heather Busby
Over two hundred people poured into Scholz Garten in Austin this morning to see Wendy Davis speak about the equal pay issue that has plagued the Republican candidate for Governor and current Attorney General Greg Abbott for weeks now.
“Why do you think it's ok to pay women in your office less than men when they do the same work?” Davis asked.
Of course Davis is referring to the breaking news story last week by the San Antonio Express News, that revealed that female assistant AGs earn approximately $6,000 less than male assistant AGs despite doing similar if not the same work.
Abbott has fumbled this equal pay issue a couple of times. When a woman representing a large Republican PAC went on local news, she stumbled and said, “women are too busy” to concern themselves with equal pay, while the Executive Director of the Republican Party in Texas, Beth Cubriel encouraged women to simply become “better negotiators.”
Abbott finally had to come out and say that if he were Governor he would be forced to veto the Texas version of the Fair Pay Act, but of course, Abbott himself hasn't said this, a spokesperson for his campaign did.
Davis continued to press Abbott saying that he should “act like a Texan and speak for himself.”
Read more about the background of this equal pay issue, and why it continues to cause problems for Republicans.Wendy Davis sponsored the Texas version of the Lily Ledbetter Fair Pay Act this past legislative session before her epic filibuster this summer. The bill passed both chambers with bipartisan votes, yet despite the broad bipartisan support, the bill was vetoed by Governor Rick Perry.
Wendy Davis, being no stranger to standing firm and tall on this issue gave this statement at the rally today:
“I have a message for Greg Abbott today: Stop hiding behind your staff members. Stop hiding behind your surrogates. This Texas gal is calling you out,” said Davis. “Act like a Texan and answer this question for yourself: what on earth is going on at your Attorney General's office? Why do you think it's ok to pay women in your office less than men when they do the same work?”
According to the Davis campaign Abbott has not directly answered a single question about his stance on equal pay since March 9th, and has not personally explained why some in his office are paid less than their coworkers for doing the same job.
The Davis Campaign also pointed out that as Attorney General for 12 years, Abbott has fought against equal pay for equal work in court, yet has accepted a 62% taxpayer funded raise for himself.
Abbott needs to realize that he can't hide behind this issue for much longer before more and more Texans begin to realize that equal pay for equal work should be non-negotiable in the 21st century.