* Former Rep. Robert K. Dornan coined the phrase "lesbian spear-chucker" to describe women who opposed his candidacy. He came up with that label in 1992 when he was challenged in the Republican primary by retired Judge Judith Ryan. Dornan lumped together under this label all the women who volunteered for Judge Ryan's campaign, including myself, my mother and my sister. We still think it hilarious to ask each other, "Got your spear ready?"
In 1992, the scare tactic Dornan used wasn't illegal aliens voting, it was rabid feminist activism. We were mostly white and mostly native citizens, yet still we terrified him. The power of our activism was awesome. We were not able to unseat Bombastic Bob that year, but we softened him up for Loretta Sanchez in 1996. Many of us also worked as volunteers for the Sanchez campaign.
By 1996, Dornan's focus had shifted from feminists to illegal aliens, so we were mostly ignored in his vitriolic fund-raising letters. We were still a strong force, though, hurling just as many spears as before. One incident I recall that time around was Dornan's refusal to refer to Sanchez as Sanchez. He insisted on calling her "Mrs. Brixey," her husband's name. So, feminism was at least a small blip on his paranoid radar screen.
In the rematch with Sanchez this year, Dornan has again conjured up the specter of illegal aliens voting by [suggesting] that "poll watchers" be posted at voting sites. And again this year, feminists, along with women's and citizens groups from across the political spectrum, will be out in force to support Sanchez's reelection bid. It will be especially satisfying to have yet another opportunity to defeat Dornan.