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The Politics of Inclusion for Women

July 10, 1994

* I read with tired amusement Eileen Padberg's latest rantings that "women" are excluded from Orange County politics by a male chauvinist conspiracy headed by the chief hobgoblin in Padberg's demonology, (Orange County Republican Central Committee Chairman) Tom Fuentes. What nonsense! If Padberg bothered to read the Republican Party of Orange County Central Committee's roster of members, she'd discover that not only are the majority of them women, but that the first vice chairman is also a woman (Dr. Jo Ellen Allen, and the county GOP's crucial and effective precinct operation has been headed for years by party Treasurer Marcia Gilchrist--another woman!

Padberg might also recall that the same Orange County Republicans she demonizes helped elect (state) Sen. Marian Bergeson and Assemblywoman Doris Allen, and that many, if not most, Orange County legislative staffers like myself are women. She might remember that the good and decent Tom Fuentes' predecessor, Lois Lundberg, was chairman for eight years. However, I guess none of us count, because according to Ms. Padberg, we don't qualify politically as "women" unless one is single-mindedly devoted to legalized abortion; we're instead viewed as a backward species of throw-back "sub-women."

Conservative women like me who are pro-life and embrace traditional Republican positions are inconvenient and embarrassing to pinched fanatics like Eileen Padberg because they are well aware that we--not they--represent the mainstream of Orange County Republican women. Eileen Padberg's fervent support for liberal Democrat supervisorial candidate Linda Moulton Patterson is proof that she's the one standing firmly outside the Republican Party.

LAURA MAHAN

Orange

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