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Virginia Women's "Strike Force" Condemns Speaker Howell for "Demeaning Rhetoric" Towards Women

by: lowkell

Fri Apr 13, 2012 at 08:13:38 AM EDT

I just received the following press release from the Virginia Women's Strike Force. By the way, the reason THIS story matters is that Bill Howell is the Speaker of the House of Virginia - a powerful, high-ranking position of authority. This is in stark contrast to some random political operative who made a comment about Ann Romney. The former IS news. The latter is NOT news. Guess which one the idiot/corporate media mostly ran with? Duhhhhhhhhhhh.


...The Women's Strike Force condemns Speaker Howell's demeaning and condescending rhetoric aimed at Anna Scholl, executive director of ProgressVA.  During an exchange captured on video, Scholl questioned Howell's dissatisfaction with a ProgressVA report. As usual, Speaker Howell's offensive attitude towards women surfaced.  Howell's remark to Scholl that "I guess I'm not speaking in little enough words for you to understand" is demonstrative of the legislature's outrageously offensive attacks on women's rights.

The Women's Strike Force applauds Scholl's response to Howell, Scholl responded "I'm a smart girl, actually. I went to the University of Virginia; I benefited from public education; I think words with multiple syllables would be just fine for me."

Republican Katherine Waddell, a former Virginia Delegate and President of Women's Strike Force is deeply disappointed by Howell's language towards Scholl, "The Speaker's actions are simply a continuation of the rude conduct toward women displayed on the floor of the House of Delegates during the 2012 Session. It is absolutely inexcusable that he would address Anna Scholl in such a patronizing  manner but does indeed show how deeply rooted the good old boy network still is in the Virginia legislature."

Leslie Byrne, the first woman elected to Congress in Virginia, agrees that "Howell's disdain for women was evident throughout the General Assembly session. Whether it is forced ultrasounds, 'personhood' bills that endanger contraception or demeaning words to women who would dare question his lackluster answers, the result is the same, a lack of respect for women."  

lowkell :: Virginia Women's "Strike Force" Condemns Speaker Howell for "Demeaning Rhetoric" Towards Women
Rebecca Geller, Executive Director of Women's Strike Force is dismayed by Speaker Howell's attitude toward Scholl.  "It is outrageous for Speaker Howell to speak to Scholl in such an offensive way.  Once again, the right-wing ideologues leading the Virginia Republican Party show their disparaging attitude towards women."

The Women's Strike Force is a bipartisan coalition of Virginia activists who have created a new political action committee (PAC) raising money to recruit and support candidates to defeat any elected official who supported the "personhood" or mandatory, unnecessary ultrasound legislation in the Virginia General Assembly.  

The Women's Strike Force encourages all supporters to go online at and make a donation to help defeat the lawmakers who support these overly invasive bills.  Please follow The Women's Strike Force at or

The Women's Strike Force is led by an impressive leadership team from every corner of the Commonwealth:

Robin Abbott, Former Virginia Delegate, Newport News, President
Katherine Waddell, Former Independent Virginia Delegate, Richmond, Treasurer
Leslie Byrne, First Woman Elected to Congress in Virginia, Fairfax
Kris Amundson, Former Virginia Delegate, Mt. Vernon
Margi Vanderhye, Former Virginia Delegate, McLean
Paula Miller, Former Virginia Delegate, Norfolk
Mame Reiley, DNC Women's Caucus Chair, Alexandria
Catherine Read, Candidate for City of Fairfax City Council
Steven Cochran, Blacksburg
Cynthia Neff, Charlottesville
Vivian Paige, Norfolk
Teresa Champion, Springfield
Kate Goodyear, Fairfax

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Speaker Howell apologizes to Anna Scholl (0.00 / 0)
Statement of Speaker William J. Howell Following Remarks at Yesterday's ALEC Press Conference

RICHMOND, VA - Speaker of the Virginia House of Delegates William J. Howell (R - Stafford) issued the following statement this afternoon:

"Yesterday, I attended a news conference and joined with members of the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) to highlight a new report, "Rich States, Poor States." With Virginia ranking third according to the ALEC-Laffer State Economic Competitiveness Index, the report details how Virginia is outperforming nearly every other state in the nation based on a wide variety of economic competitiveness issues, including taxes, labor costs and regulations," said Howell.

"After the news conference, I responded to a series of questions from Anna Scholl, Executive Director of ProgressVA, in a manner that was not consistent with my own standards of civility or reflective of the way I believe discussions over public policy disagreements should be conducted. I have since called Ms. Scholl and offered my sincere and heartfelt apology for my comments to her."

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