tv Recruiting Female Republican Candidates Politcal Action Committee Launch... CSPAN February 5, 2019 4:59pm-7:00pm EST
address live from the house chamber beginning at 9:00 p.m. eastern on c-span, followed by the democratic response by former georgia gubernatorial candidate stacey abrams. the state of the union, live tonight at 9:00 eastern on c-span, c-span.org or listen with the free c-span radio app. >> thursday, the house ways and means committee will hold a hearing to discuss legislative proposals related to presidential and vice presidential tax returns. live coverage begins at 2:00 p.m. eastern here on c-span3. >> now, how to recruit and elect republican women to congress. we'll hear from house members, female political experts and former campaign staffers. they spoke at event to launch a political action committee headed by elise stefanik. this is about two hours.
>> thanks, everyone. i'm glad to see the crowd is still here. we have some amazing panels before we clous out our launch day. i'm excited to introduce our fourth panel. shhh. great, thank you. that's a trick i learned from kevin mccarthy. our fourth panel is the operatives behind the scenes. as i was putting together this panel, i thought about who are the best and brightest when it comes to our operatives, both on the communications piece, campaign managers, strategists. and all of these have worked for and worked with women elected officials and women candidates. and they're just the top of their field. so moderating the panel is liesl hickey, partner at assent media
and former executive director of the nrcc. we're so excited to have you. also joining us on the panel is ashley o'connor, managing partner of strategic partners and media. come on up, ashley. parker poling, who we're very excited is serving as the executive director of the nrcc this cycle. i also have to note, parker is from saratoga county, which i represent in my district, so very excited to have her here today. cam savage, our brave male operative who is joining us on this panel. who has worked for some amazing women republican candidates that we have heard from earlier today. and ashlee strong, who is the former national spokeswoman and senior adviser to speaker paul ryan. give her a warm welcome. i just want to say, ashlee took a day off from skiing in montana to come back here, so we're very excited to have her.
leisl, i'll turn it over to you. >> thank you, elise, and thank you for the opportunity to be here. this is terrific. and we're obviously so excited that you're taking this big challenge on. i mean, just right here at the civic success. great way to kick it off. congratulations. this is a killer panel of people. i'm very excited to moderate this. so first off, i think just big picture thinking, what each of you think is the biggest challenge facing republican women who were thinking about running in 2020. anyone want to take that first one? cam, i bet you've got something good here. >> sure. thanks. thrilled to be here. you know, every election is different, every campaign is different. so thinking about this, really, i think the biggest challenge depending on your campaign, but there are some things that are sort of uniformly challenging for women candidates. i worked for a lot of women candidates going back 20 years.
a couple come to mind that i think are worth pointing out. one, too often, women automatically get pegged as being a moderate candidate or more moderate than they are. sometimes that's a real disadvantage. a recent survey that i thought was interesting, i'm going to go to the notes here, so apologize for looking down, but they surveyed 1500 people nationwide, and only 48% of people said they were entirely comfortable with a female secretary of defense. and only 51% of people said they were entirely comfortable with a female president. one in five said they had a concern that women would not be tough enough to handle issues like terrorism. so this is a challenge across the board. you cannot start with this kind of a deficit and not be prepared to address it. those are things that all women deal with. good thing is they also asked about 14 specific issues.
and i thought this was interesting. on 13 of those 14, people said uniformly that women were more prepared to deal with those issues, things like handling the economy, dealing with the deficit, things like honesty, ethics, standing up for your principles, being a role model. women outscored men in all of those categories with one exception, that's handling defense issues, and it was pretty lopsided on that one. these are the kind of things women have to be prepared to address at the outset of a campaign. can't ignore them. have to have a plan to deal with them at the outset. >> thank you. i also think one thing that women are going to need to overcome in 2020, republican women, is dispelling this notion of republicans are anti-women. you know, we have seen this war on women. the playbook is thrown cycle after cycle after cycle. it will be coming again. and really making sure you're talking to the suburban women, independent women, and making
sure they understand that the republican party is not anti-women like the narrative that's going to be out there. it's kind of for that issue. >> yeah, and you just came off governor hogan's very successful campaign. i think you guys, i mean, obviously, you guys did that very well. are there some strategies there you would advice people or best practices you guys used you can pass along? >> sure. i think first of all, we were helped by the fact that governor hogan is a fantastic candidate and had a great record to stand behind. but to me, one of the key parts to that campaign was that we remained authentic to who he was. we really listened to what he wanted to be talking about, what people in the community thought about him. we used a lot of testimonials because he was this great governor that reached across all party lines. and we really took the time to
make sure those stories were getting out there, both through advertising, digital, television, radio. and i think that's really important, is making sure that your story is out there and making sure that you're remaining kind of authentic and engaged with the community. >> parker? >> i think a big challenge, not just for women candidates, as a house person, i think our big challenge is going to be breaking through the clutter of -- between the presidential and you know, higher ticket races. i think it's going to be tough to break through and get oxygen. i will say just anecdotally, obviously, not a great cycle in terms of win/loss record, but it feels like some women have awakened or are awakened by that, looking at the results and saying i'm a republican. i want to step up. i mean, we have already sent a
bunch of women candidates over to elise to meet with, and those are people who are coming to us. so it may be just darkest before the dawn. >> ashlee. >> sure, mine is similar to parker's in the sense of the 2020 cycle. it's obvious that will dominate the news cycle and that's my focus, obviously. i think the challenge for republican women, democrat women, democrat men and women, you know, across the board, all candidates, are going to have a challenge in breaking through and defining who they are. and i think defining who you are early will isolate you from the crazies that may or may not come on either side of the aisle in 2020 and having principles, as parker said, and policies that you stand for and a reputation that you can be known for is important to help insulate you from whatever may come your way from the top of the ticket on either side of the ticket.
i think that's important and a challenge, but something that our candidates can easily do if they get ahead of the cycle, as elise and others have often done in many of these cycles in the past. >> one of the things i found exciting watching campaigns and women who are running across the country, they weren't kind of going with a standard, like, this is how a woman should run. they were running how they felt they should run and best tell their story. i honestly think that elise sort of was blazing trails with this when you guys were doing her media, ashley, when she ran several cycles ago, and we really saw that. i point out congresswoman carol miller. i loved her ad. take the bull out of congress. it was so her. back to your staying authentic is so important. how do you think women can really make races their own? do you have good advice for that? >> sure. it's my experience that women are running for a reason. and i think to make sure that
race is your own, you need to sit down and let everybody know why you are running. and then ask the question, how do i win. so often, i hear with candidates, how am i going to win? why am i running? so you know, women come to the table with this passion for why they want to do this. and that needs to drive your campaign. and i think you need to let everybody on your team know what that is. and make sure that doesn't ever get away from you. i think staying very driven with your message, your reasons for running, from the announcement, throughout the campaign, all the way to your closing arguments before election day and asking for the vote is very key in keeping that race as your own. and the other thing i would say is push back on your team when you need to. say you're not listening to me. i think that's really important to give women candidates that permission to say this is your
race. and it's okay to say, you know, that's not what i want to do, or that's not how i feel, and make sure your team is listening to you, because they work for you. >> yeah, that's great advice. parker, obviously, there were democrats had a lot of success this cycle, and a lot of women got elected on the other side. what do you think led to their success, and are there some takeaways from their success that we can implement on our side? >> yeah, i think obviously historically, they had the wind at their back, right? you can't ignore that in the average loss for a president's party in his first midterm is 32 seats. so we -- our candidates were at a disadvantage and theirs were at an advantage to begin with, but beyond that, i really think they did a good job of finding blank slate candidates with, you know, without a lot to attack. and i do think they did a good
job of supporting their female candidates. you hear just anecdotally, their female candidates had text chains together where they were supporting each other, helping each other. they have emily's list, the women's donor network that they have. it's really extraordinary. and i think we can learn from that and try and do our best to replicate if not sort of leapfrog their method. >> cam, too, i think what i was struck by was how their stories really went viral. like we saw that with a woman who ran in texas and obviously the woman who ran against andy barr in kentucky. are there ways that our republican women could, you know, as they think about putting together their campaign and their launches and as they're starting to tell their story, what sort of advice would you give them? >> the first thing i would say is this a great opportunity for our party.
traditionally, candidates work their way up through the state legislature where women are vastly underrepresented already in america, our side of the aisle, anyway. so we have less of those opportunities. those women were successful because they had unique stories. a great opportunity for us to go out and find people with unique backgrounds. if we do that, i think there will be creative ways to tell those stories. when we do that, we collectively need to understand that people with unique backgrounds are going to have unique ways of running their campaigns, and we can't demand sort of the same deliverables we always demand of these candidates. who has the most name i.d.? someone who is new and has a unique background, one of my favorite candidates from last cycle is here today. she flied strykers. she's been deployed nine times since 9/11. people say you don't have name i.d. that's the whole flipping point. you know, like, let's figure it
out. let's help. and you mentioned emily's list. the most important thing about emily's list to me is the e stands for early. we need to do these things very early in the cycle, to give people a chance. we can't just hope that really good women make it to the final two weeks of their primary and then we say, yep, we're all for you now. we gotta make some bad bets. let's go out and bet on a bunch of people. we're going to make some mistakes, screw some up, some aren't going to win, but let's make some bad bets. >> i heard a couple democratic women say they weren't asking for permission to run. to your point. and they had different kind of experience. maybe they had not been elected prior, but they weren't asking for permission. i think that is something, as we think about our candidates going forward, they don't need to ask for permission. they need to get in, build a good campaign. obviously, you mentioned a few here, and that's, we have seen a lot of success with people doing that. so we have two ashleys.
how do you think republican women grab the attention of young undecided voters? obviously, there are millennial women are going to be very important. not just now but in cycles to come. how can we attract millennials? >> that's a great question. as a millennial woman on the upper end of the millennial scale, for too long, we haven't shown up. and i think it's a matter of showing up. it's a matter of meeting people where they are and what that could mean on the national level is different obviously than it would mean at the district level or if you're, you know, a state senate or whatever else at the more local level. i'll take, for example, the national level. i participated in an interview with the skimm. carly and danielle are fantastic people. i didn't know them before and going in, i wasn't exactly sure what to expect from women's
outlet that's more mainstream. i had countless people e-mailing me and texting me, people i didn't know direct messaging me saying there's someone like me. and we can't underestimate how much there are people out there who want to be involved, who are conservative, who are women, who are millennials, and who have never seen someone or who don't have people in their friend circle who are like them. and i think the more we normalize this idea, the more we embrace that there are people like us, and we're willing to go and talk to those people and go out front and stay what we stand for and not be afraid and not be shy, not be timid, is important. at the local level, for candidates who are trying to reach these millennial women who may or may not be involved already, listening. i think going and listening and having conversations in coffee shops, having conversations wherever people are gathering,
higher education institutions, wherever that may be, going and spending your time having coffee or having conversations with people goes so far, just putting yourself out there and being vulnerable and being relatable, i think is something that the democrats do better than we do. i think they show up. they're vulnerable. they make themselves available, and they seem like humans. we need to do that more often. and that's a pretty simple thing. but i think that it's something that for one reason or another, whether it's fear, whether it's indifference, whether it's prioritizing other things, we're not showing up enough. and we're not having those human interactions and those conversations, and we're not reaching these people and we're leaving a lot out there when we really ought to be seizing this ground. and there's people out there who believe in what we believe in. we ought to be talking with them and listening to them. >> so i think one of the biggest
problems we're having in terms of getting more women through primaries, that's a real challenge for the party, and obviously, that's a key reason why elise is here. and cam, you worked on a lot of republican primaries, and you had some success, but i know sometimes it's been really difficult. so what is, you know, what do you think are the best ways to get women through primaries? what do we need to do more of collectively as a party and what's advice you can give to women who are running? >> i think a lot of times, i can say this 20 years of working with candidates of all kinds, it seems to me that women are a little more hesitant sometimes to get involved in a primary situation. >> as in candidates? >> as candidates, first and foremost. the first thing we need to do is encourage those folks and say do you think you're the best candidate? is this something you really want to do? do you think you'll do a better job?
then go do it. we need to say, look, no sure things. you accept the fact you don't control everything in this process. but if you really believe that you're the best candidate, let's go do it. we have to flood the zone. we need more candidates running, first and foremost. the second thing is, we need them running in seats we can win. no moral victories here. we shouldn't pat ourselves on the back for candidates that have no chance of being successful. and the last thing is i think, you know, again, money is important. i always say that money is not the most important thing in a campaign, but that options are. the problem with that is that options almost always cost money. so we have to support these people financially early and often. and give them the tools they need to win in those campaigns. the last thing i'll say is, there are a lot of groups, sort of outside groups in this town and around the country, who get involved in primaries. i was recently reviewed the
statistics of one prominent group that is interested ipfiscal issues. and over the last 14 years, they have endorsed 155 candidates, and all but nine have been men. and this is essentially a group that supports men. one of those women was sharron angle twice, i think. i might have double counted that. my point is, there have to be entities like this who are willing to be a backstop. i mean, they don't have to be. but we're all here talking about a crisis. so if we're going to figure that out, there have to be some people who are willing to say we're willing to put our money where our mouth is and help these folks because there are essentially groups on the other side doing the opposite. >> anybody else? i think what you said earlier was people have to be willing to take bets. and sometimes we're going to come up short, but many times we won't, but we have to actually get in there and make the bet, and early. i know emily's list, that's
something they're really known for, being able to go and get in early and provide support. >> and back to your original point, if people knew that there was something like that that existed, it would be much easier to get quality candidates to make that commitment. it's very difficult to say, you run a great campaign, and then this group is going to come in and spend millions of dollars and say terrible things about you and you're probably going to lose. i'm pretty good at a pitch. i'm pretty good candidate recruiter. that's a hard thing to overcome. >> absolutely is. anybody else have reaction to that question? >> sure, i think it's not enough for d.c. groups to be involved in primaries. i think that it's one thing to have the support of d.c. smart, talented people, but you have to have that local support, and that's critical. so figuring out a way, i don't have an answer particularly on this issue, but i think that's the challenge that we face, is identifying those county chairs, identifying the local officials on the ground who are the ones
licking envelopes and doing the hard work, making sure you have their support and that they're going to embrace someone who is breaking up sort of the boys club as it might be. and i think that's something we need to have a larger conversation about, is how do we infiltrate, so to speak, at the local level, and how do people who maybe don't have a story or are unknowns or have been a doctor or mechanic or some other type of job and not involved as a volunteer their whole life in the local pocket rooms, how do we get those people involved at the local level and how do we get them to be supported by those influential local people. >> anybody else? so ashley, what main policy issue do you think women should focus on in the next election, and do you think they should focus on big policy issues or more local issues running a more
localized campaign? we saw what the democrats ran on this past time. i think that added to their success somewhat, but are there some key issues that you think are good for women candidates to be talking about? >> well, parker, i think of all my panelists here, had brought up the fact that the top of the ticket is going to be a challenge for women, republican women that are running. and i think that democrats are going to want to nationalize this as much as they can. so first i would say focus on the policies and the issues that matter to your voters. you know, ashlee mentioned listening. i think going and listening to the people in your community and listening to what's on their mind and understanding what's affecting their lives and how you can help make a change for the better, i think the more you can listen and learn and make those issues local, and really try to avoid this nationalizing
that's going to happen, is important. and then i also think a little bit of who you are and why you're uniquely qualified determines the issues and the policy that you're going to be focusing on. so keep the policies both about what you're uniquely qualified on as well as making sure you're keeping it tied to the community that you're running in, hoping to represent. >> i always found there are a lot of issues that may not be top of mind for voters, but when there's a candidate who is really passionate about it, it quickly does become top of the mind about it, telling your own story. so even some of the issues you see in the top one or two or three in the survey, those might not be the ones that are going to resonate most because those aren't the ones they're most comfortable talking about or are passionate about. >> absolutely. so often, it's like let's look at the survey and see what matters. but if you're not comfortable with it and you're not really
authentic and being open and honest about, you know, why it matters to you, then all you're doing is regurgitating talking points. i think that can really hurt any candida candidate, and certainly republican women who running. i think authenticity is key. i really do. >> anyone else on that? >> i think some of what we're going to tell our candidates, male and female, is yes, local, and we're going to have a contrast between some of the new democrats that have joined the house whose policies are really extreme. and yes, we have our, you know, divisive figures in our party, but we now also have something to push back with as well. >> great point. >> i wanted to jump aup here because i have a question i wanted to ask leisl. she was executive director of the nrcc when i ran, and she's seen a lot of successful women
candidates get through primaries and general election in all types of districts. so i wanted to ask you, you have seen hundreds of candidates. you have seen candidates that have run and won in primaries and general elections. why is it so important to support women candidates, and what strength do they bring to the table as candidates? i know that's a broad question, and each candidate is individual, but i'm curious about just what your reflection is because you have multiple cycles to reflect on. >> i think the party has a crisis, clearly, with republican women candidates. but we also have a crisis with republican women voters. and they kind of go hand in hand in many ways. i think that we have a great opportunity to win back a lot of mostly suburban, but a lot of women voters across the country because our ideas, they believe in. and i think women candidates many times have a great story to tell, and the way -- what i
found, not just with you, but with others, that the willingness to want to get things done, that is a very high priority for voters. especially women voters. so i think the sort of candidates i think did really well, that i saw over the years, they were able to communicate that kind of message. they're coming here to make washington work. they're here to solve problems. they're focused on their district. they're delivering. your gorgeous ad that ashlee produced the last cycle told that story. it's when you're very focused on, you know, what the mission actually is, that's what's so important to voters. i think it was mostly women candidates had just a very unique perspective on that and were able to communicate that in a way because, you know, i think our mind thinks like that in many ways. >> i want to tie what you said and ask both ashley and parker. ashley and parker i have worked
with extensively on the official side. parker was one of the top staffers on the house floor for republicans when we were in the majority. she was able to see how important it was to have strong women leaders in our conference. and ashley, of course, headed up communications and was the national spokesperson for speaker of the house paul ryan. so i want to ask the two of you, when we get women candidates elected, how do they add to our conference? why are they an asset when it comes to governing? parker, i'll start with you. >> i was nodding because like women candidates, i have found women members want to get stuff done. and they are, i think, a little more willing to work across the aisle. more willing to compromise. more willing to see the forest for the trees. i mean, you know, i worked primarily in the whip operation in which we had to corral members. and i'm not saying that women just did whatever leadership
wanted, but i found that women were more likely to listen, more likely to consider the arguments, and less likely to be completely idealogically inflexib inflexible. and if you looked at the count of who did my boss have to talk to on the floor, i think women were probably underrepresented in the difficult member caucus. >> ashlee, from a communications perspective, why is it so important, and i know paul ryan at the beginning of this event, i talked about that earl ainvestment. i will never forget when i first ran for congress, the first member check that i got, and i didn't even know i was going to get it, paul ryan sent a max-out check to my first, you know, little fund-raiser i had that was by far the biggest donation i received at that fund-raiser. paul has been very supportive of women's voices, but you as his spokesperson, why was that important for governing? >> i think in this heating time in the media cycle that we have where everyone is shouting back and forth, and it's a level 10
all the time, americans and i think particularly women at home, want just reasonable conversations. they want to have a dialogue. they want to have, to parker's point, they want to get things done. i think when you're talking about messaging and the rhetorical aspect of getting thing done, having civil discourse is incredibly important. we're not just wallflowers here, but we can have dialogue with one another. i think women do that particularly well. it's not a knock on our male members. i think we have hundreds of articulate male members, but we need 100 articulate female members. by and large, women have the ability to come into an interview, to come to stakeout, to speak on any issue with authority, but with reason and with the ability to clearly, articulately state what we believe and what we're trying to get done. i think that message just is a welcome one to people at home. i know if you just focus group
your family, focus group your mom. talk to your sister at home who may not be in politics. i think you'll hear this. i can't watch cable because so much back and forth and so much yelling. i think by and large, women bring a civility to the discourse that is needed right now. >> and my final question, again, i want to thank liesl for moderating, but she's really one of the experts and one of the top operatives in the country. what are the best pieces of advice you give to candidates? because we have some perspective candidates in the audience today. >> i'm going to steal from cam, actually, and say do not hesitate. don't wait. i think there's a lot, especially with women candidates, they want to be asked. don't wait to be asked. don't worry that, you know, you weren't the state senator or you weren't supposedly next in line. do not hesitate. don't wait to be asked. go for it. especially now. we have great opportunity. i think that the party, voters,
it's so ripe for having more women candidates. don't hesitate. tell your own story. don't feel like you have to run a campaign like a guy ran or tv ads like a guy ran. run your own campaign. tell your own story, stick to who you are. and find things you're passionate about and be passionate about them and don't be afraid if they're not what you think is the issue of the day, but go grab things and run with them. >> great. let's give this panel a big round of applause. and for any young women who are thinking about running, this is a great group you should go to for advice. great resources. parker poling is the executive director of the nrcc this cycle who we're working with very closely. go reach out to her if you're interested in running. thanks, everybody.
>> i hope you're getting a lot out of it. we have a lot of great speakers. this next panel -- shhh. it still works. amazing. thank you, kevin mccarthy. this next panel is really important. each of these women's organizations have been on the front end of recruiting women to run for office and supporting them, really early on. i had the opportunity to work with all of these organizations. moderating this panel is julie richio, director of government regulatory affairs and public policy at price water house cooper. thanks for coming. and our panelists, julie conway,
who we all know, executive director of view pac, come on up, julie. view stands for value intellecting women pac. it's often the first check to women who raise their hands to run. we have sarah curran, who is the d.c. co-chair of maverick pac. come on up, sarah. rebecca schuller, who is executive director of winning for women pac. and tiffany waddell, who is chair of right now women pac. thank you. first, i would just like to thank congresswoman stefanik for inviting me here today to help moderate today's panel. this is a critical group of panelists because these are the workhorses representing the organizations that are providing the infrastructure and most importantly the financial resources for those women who are looking to run for federal
office and most importantly to help them be successful in their efforts. so i'm fortunate to represent our firm, which very much plays bipartisanly and wants to see more women elected across the board at all levels of government. i personally have had the opportunity, though, to work with a number of today's panelists on elise's effort today to engage, elevate, and elect republican women. so let's first -- i want to kick off our panel this afternoon by letting each of our panelists today go through and share with you each a little bit of the history of their organization and their mission. so why don't we start first with julie conway and view pac. >> thanks. first of all, it's so awesome to be here today, to see so many people excited about this mission. i think all of us on the stage, we spend so much time working passionately to help republican women and see so many other people excited about what elise is trying to do and what all of
our organizations have been trying to do is really awesome. it was a tough cycle, as everyone knows, but this gives us the hope and energy to get back on the horse. as elise said, i am julie conway. i had the pleasure of being the executive director of view pac. we're just over 20 years old. started in 1997. throughout the years, we have pretty much officially, unofficially been the political arm of all the republican women in the house and senate. in fact, there's not a single woman currently on either side of the house or senate that was not completely supported by view pac from the get-go. this cycle, we did $130,000 to republican women in primaries. which is a lot, but not nearly the amount the democrats were able to put together. we probably would have been able to do more, except we also had to give $120,000 to our incumbent female republican
women because of all the competitive races we had that we normally don't have. but we could see the writing on the wall, and we started the cycle six down. we knew it would be battle all the way across. so view pac, one of the things that makes us unique is we have no litmus test. we want you to be the best candidate in the district where you're running. we quantity you to be credible, viable, and historically, when we get involved, we get totally involved. and we have sort of served the role of being the good housekeeping seal of approval. if we give you a check, it means you're not a lunatic and you have a chance to win in november and that when you get here, you'll be a good part of the team and that we're proud to put our money behind you, and it lets everyone else know you can be safe and confident in putting your money behind these candidates. we had a great cycle in terms of the amount of money we were able to spend. unfortunately, the results were not where we wanted them to be. between our hard dollars to incumbents and candidates in primaries and the general, and leadership pac in what we were
able to raise directly for these candidates, we're not a conduit, we were about $1.5 million. >> thank you. >> well, i'm sarah curran. i'm the d.c. co-chair for maverick pac, and we're thrilled to be here to support elise stefanik, maverick pac is the top finance network for young conservative professionals in the country. we support candidates, our conservative candidates in causes and in short, we are the young bundlers and donors of america. so we are -- or we were started by a group of texans including ted cruz in 2005. this is right off the heels of the bush re-elect campaign. this was an offchute of the 40 and under bundler level. george p. bush was a former chair, but right now, we're chaired by morgan ortegas, who is somewhere around here. last cycle, we contributed
$170,000 in hard dollars to conservative candidates, and among our members, we also raised an additional $750,000. so while we're not an i.e., we don't run ads on behalf of candidates, we go directly to campaigns and of those dollars, this is a lot of new donors. it's all young money, and we really see ourselves as a turn key bundler solution to activate nationwide. >> terrific. let's turn to rebecca. >> thank you so much. i would like to thank congresswoman stefanik. there's a need to support our women and support them early. running for women, we're so thrilled to be a part of this and work with our peers up here and also with the congresswoman to make this happen. running for women, a new kid on the block up here. we launched a little over a year ago to complement the efforts going on to support our women candidates and particularly at that early stage, which is
something we'll be very focused on this cycle. we have two major components. we're the brain trust of women you'll hear from on the next panel, annie dickerson, who saw that women didn't have access to there resources that their peers, their male peers had. so she came up with an idea where we could go in and really support women candidates with access to donor networks and others to make sure they had those resources at a time that was critically important to get them through primaries and general elections. we have added two new things, i think, to the world. one thing we're building out a nationwide network of membership. we just hit our 320,000 member mark across the country, so again, i think really feeding into the narrative that people do care about republican women and there's energy to be harn s harnessed and something we work every day to find and get out there and activate them. the other thing we do as a c-4 organization, i'm here with our pac, which is connected to our c-4, but our c-4, that is
building up the membership, is also doing issuevocacy campaigns. we heard impressive nns. we were able to support general policy that can help our women and our party in general by spending about $1.2 million across the country and hopefully in active areas. that's what we're focused on. sort of lending to the critical point of making sure that the resources are going to women before that primary so we can actually see them get through and have a great shot of getting through the general as well. >> great. and then tiffany with right now women pac. >> good afternoon, everyone. my name is tiffany waddell. i'm currently serving as the pac chair. i want to thank congresswoman stefanik for organizing this. women's pac is a completely volunteer organization. we are totally focused on electing qualified republican women to run for federal office. we focus on really three kind of
key areas. recruitment of younger women, so we're mainly focused on the recruitment of women under the age of 40. to building a culture of political giving. making it affordable for those women in their 20s and their 30s to be part of the political process. and then three, building your own personal network. our organization is divided into two aspects. we have our founding members which are women under 40, and we have our advisers members or women over 40. at our events, it's a great opportunity for mentorship between both parties. >> we have heard from a number of the congresswomen today who have come before you in the earlier panels, and one message that resonated was these pacs supported each of them when they were running for the first time, and maybe some cases the second time, and sometimes it took two runs for them to be successful,
but view pac was there. can you talk, julie, a little bit about why securing that first view pac check and endorsement is so critical and why is that really important? >> you know, there's a little bit of a chicken and the egg. everybody wants to support the best candidate in the primary. often, you don't know who the best candidate is until the week before the primary. if you don't help the woman early on, they don't stand a chance, because money follows money. getting that first check is critically important. like i said, it's a good housekeeping seal of approval. we don't support all republican women. not because they're not all qualified or viable, but if they're running in a d-plus 37 district, thank goodness they're running and it's happy, great to have them out there, but we try to put our money into candidates that if more money follows them, they will become the good candidates we know they can be. and the other thing that our check does, it sends a signal,
and we don't give a check the first time we meet a candidate. we kick the tires. spend time, talk through the issues, and we want to make sure they have the networks that they need to be successful. some candidates come in, and this is exceptionally true for female candidates versus male candidates. susan collins used to tell a story where she was running the first time, and the guy that was running against her, she would swear he would say he had foreign policy experience because he drove a toyota. and women don't do that. women want to make sure that know the answer to every question before it's asked. and they can't always take that leap of faith because we're always the ones questioned. and don't want to get caught up on something they might not know everything about. so we give them that encouragement. we also serve as a resource for women to reach out. when martha mcsally ran the first time, she spent her entire career as an air force colonel
flying into the battle zone. she didn't know everything about financial services and, you know, wall street. so there are things, understandably, that she was not going to be an expert on. and happily, our network, we were able to provide her with some of the resources that, you know, this is how this works. this is what you need to know about whatever issue it happens to be. now that we have more and more diverse women stepping forward to run, the expectation that they know everything about everything is silly. so to be able to give them that support network, i think it's been something really important that we have been able to do. >> that's awesome, julie. you should be commended for your efforts. resources for these women candidates and women who are sitting incombnlts in the house, in the senate, but also if you're a business sitting here today, you know, remember, view pac and these other outside groups today, you can utilize them as resources for your own decision and investment decisions. so now i'll turn to tiffany. right now, women pac, as she mentioned to you earlier, they're investing in trying to
build an infrastructure of younger professionals to invest and support republican women. tiffany, can you tell us a little bit more about how your strategy and what you're doing to grow that base over the recent years? >> yeah, so right now, women's pac has worked very hard over the last three election cycles to grow our organization. most of our recruitment efforts have really been peer to peer. and most of our fund-raising efforts have been event driven. i think over the last three cycles, we have gained credibility as an organization with the success of our candidates. we work really hard at recruiting not only women but also men to our organization. and i think, you know, as julie mentioned, we very much pride ourselves on helping qualified candidates early on in their cycle. we are excited about giving early feed money. often times we see women having to run multiple times before they get a victory and a win.
so we want to be there with them early on. >> thank you. and sarah, i know your organization is also, as you mentioned, very focused on younger professionals and supporting and engaging this group. can you tell us a little bit about this coalition that your organization has formed and how mav pac is supporting that coalition. >> absolutely. so mav pac is a young professional organization. that's not to say there's an age limit on anyone who wants to give money to our pac. but we're focused primarily on young professionals and we have a variety of coalitions we have set up to help recruit and activate young people all over the country. the most successful of that being our mavericks womens program. and so it was started in an effort to achieve gender parity amongst our ranks and i'm happy to say that we're totally on target to hit that this cycle. that being said, of the leadership positions we have,
from the national board to our local chapters, 60% of those leadership positions are made up of women or diverse individuals. and we are so proud of that, and by providing those leadership opportunities and acclimating younger women to raising money and bundling for candidates, it really empowers them to have a seat at the table and to have -- to be in those conversations. and so maverick pac is a membership pac. we have annual dues that are between $300, $5,000. and one of the cool things we do as members, we nominate and vote for the candidates we want our money to vote to. the more women we have as members, the more say women have in where the dollars are going. diane black did an interview recently, and i want to talk about it. she was talking about the difficulties raising money as a
female candidate, and one of her tactics to get a check from a big dollar male donor was to invite his wife to the meeting. now, i see maverick women as an avenue to change that. i see the future in this scenario played out a little differently. the husband, who is not even asked to the meeting because the woman is the major donor writing the check. [ applause ] yes. so with that in mind, i did want to just lay out some of the outputs from the last cycle that were particularly interesting. so of the candidates we contributed to, 25% were women. and 31% of the dollars that went out went to women candidates. why is that? well, we have been talking about it a lot today. unfortunately, not a lot of -- there weren't enough women candidates for us to support in the general. and we gave 31% of the money because we do a really studious job of making sure we're
investing into races that are targeted races, and it's not a surprise that democrats are always coming after female republican candidates to knock out of the field. so with that in mind, the message really here is women need our help. maverick pac has been proud to be there to support women in the past. we're going to support women candidates in the future, and with the e-pac efforts that are launching today, we're excited to support even more female candidates in the cycles to come. >> thanks, sarah. so this next question i would like to pose to all of the panelists today. you know, throughout your time working and promoting republican women, you have probably seen a number of obstacles that these women have faced, but can you share with us, just what do you see as the biggest obstacle sitting in front of those republican women running for election in federal office? do you want to start, julie, since you're -- >> all right, we'll go with
rebecca. >> i'll throw it out there that i think it's money. i think it's early money. i know, it's a bold call. you know, again, sort of the complement what sarah was hoping that that small dollar donor network, that network were building through c4 is creating a small dollar dollar donor network thatwe really see come to fruition in this next cycle. to complement some of the larger dollar efforts that hopefully gets our women money earlier. we start to see that through the small dollar thing that the democrats, frankly, have had so much success with as well. we, that's something i think is incredibly important but kind of to go along with that, the resources are out there. you know, every woman sitting on this panel, you know, has an organization that happen help our candidates and while it's not enough, we clearly need more, you know, i think also one thing i would ask of everyone in the room is to help get the word out that these resources are there because i think it's an incredibly tough
thing. i'm incredibly proud of every woman who chooses to submit her name to jump into this race that it is. we're here. we're here to help. we can ask you all to help us, let our candidates know that we're here and they're going have the support to get the critical resources. >> go ahead. >> answer and i'll ask the final question. go ahead. >> this is something the democrats have done a lot better than we have historically is letting potential candidates know what they need to do to become actual candidates. you know, a lot of people will think, you know, maybe i could do that, but who do i call, what do i do? i don't know. how are you supposed to know if you've never done it before. democrats are so good at that. rebecca and i are alwaysthe token republicans on random panels. e were on the panel one day. the woman from emily's list said that they had 300,000 women go through their website who were interested not in
giving but in running. >> wow. >> they had a place to go. and they went there and they got the information they needed. obviously, not all them ran, but as things turned out, a lot of them did, and so they knew where to go and how to find the help. and i think that's one of the things i'm most excited about with elise's effort is to set up a formal place to go and i think that you're going to have it on your website, sort of a, you know, where to start. on our site, it's been word of mouth. you know, they knew their congressman back home or their uncle or their mayor. something. it's been, like, 18 bank shots to get to the right person and if we eliminate those obstacles, i think we're going to be a lot more successful. >> i'll jump in and say i think one of the biggest hurdles for women is timing. what's the right time to run? what's the right time to run when it's kind of the work/family balance? often times, men just kind of jump right in. so i think one of the things that each one of you in this audience could help us with here on the panel is you all
know women, so pick two or three women that you think would make great leaders, that would make great elected officials, and encourage them to run. they're going to need to hear this multiple times and it might not be this year, this cycle, that they decide to run, but be a sounding board for them and encourage them to run because that's the confidence they need to go ahead and make the decision, yes, i want to be a candidate and, yes, i want to be a member of congress. >> great. so i will close this out with a comment and then a question for all the panelists and julie, you can answer the question, too. so, first the comment, julie conway from v.i.e.w. pac brought up a really important point. we found over the course of previous cycles that when you meet with a woman candidate, it would sort of be word of mouth that we would say, oh, i heard of this great candidate who's running in this particular district. and because we all know one another, we would send an e- mail, pick up the phone. we're trying to normalize that
so there's a roadmap for female candidates who have the courage to raise their hand, step into the arena, instead ofthis word of mouth, informal way of providing theeing these resources. each of these organizations can make a commitment to support that candidate with hard dollars and knows other people and individual donors who can support them. so that's a really important point, julie. that was my comment. my question for the panel is, each of you have met with many, many candidates over time. in addition to the money, what is another important metric that we should be looking for that you've seen in successful candidates? and the reason why i'm asking that, so you know the context, is we're really going to try to help candidate development. help them meet those metrics and be very transparent about it. do i start with you julie? go ahead. >> first, i'll just say from a business perspective which is where i come, you know, not only can you raise the money, right, which is what you
alluded to, but from a business perspective, do you know and understand the issues that my business cares about before congress and before regulators? so that educational, information point, that is really, really critical. just like when you're running any campaign, that keep it local, it's also know who your businesses are in your district that you would be representing if you won. so that's critical, but just building that network, i think one thing that elise has done which is really great, is she has -- she has now put the member in the house, a face with the program that's going to be so successful in elevating and engaging and electing women, whereas we have a number of those groups that many of them have been doing it for years but. now elise is taking this to the next level by engaging these groups before you today and united together taking this to the next level. but also relying on the rest of your male counterparts in congress to help you elevate
your calls and what you're hoping to do and will be critical in helping you be successful this cycle. >> i would highlight two points. one, i love when a candidate knows what they don't know. because sometimes, well, because we're women, so you get to that point so you think you know everything because otherwise you would not have made the effort to begin with. i met with a candidate yesterday and i asked her, you know, straight-up she told me the passionate reason she wanted to run and all the rest. i said, you know, what don't you know? what are you worried about? she said, i'm not a good public speaker. oh, my god, that's so fixable. you know, like, thank god, it wasn't that my husband served five years in prison and kids -- you know, that is fixable. these are problems that we can help you with early on. we can help with that. when i meet with candidates in d.c. is to explain to them that they could be an absolute rock star. you're still not going to raise a lot of money out of d.c. you're a candidate, you're not on the top of the list. a lot of people think d.c. is
the magic money action. you've got toraise money at home. you know, the bigger network you have at home, the more likely you are to raise money in d.c. and there are a handful of our groups then, you know, elise now that she's up and running and a couple other brave groups that will get in primaries that the guys don't hurry up and write checks and even our female women don't do it. there's a lot of women to support until you get to the candidates. the more successful they are at home, when we meet them, you know, three months out from the primary, they've got it all taken care of and become the front-running candidate so stop coming to d.c. >> similar. i want to see someone who's excited about running for office. not so much timid like i finally did it, here i am, what do i do? i want to see the energy, but i also want to see the sobering reality of knowing how much hard work is ahead of them. how can you know what you don't know? there's so much that goes into running especially for a
federal race, especially in today's political environment. so someone who's open to really sit down with a good team and work and work and work. >> i think at rightnow for women, we want to see two things, a path for a person who fits that district. it that's something we as a party need to make it known to the public. it's hard to do what every woman who's jumped in has done. you have to be able to start the tough questions and have the gumption to do it. i laude you all. it's amazing. >> the answer i'd like to hear from candidates is why they want to run, why they're passionate about running. it amazes me, right now women's pac sits down with candidates , they give me a list of what's on their resume or people they know but don't give me a true
reason why they want torun, why they want to come to capitol hill, what difference they want to make. answering that initial question, yourself, then being able to deliver that message in your elevator speech is a great first step that i'd like to see more often. >> well, thank you to each of you who have really led the effort and really have been at the front end of tackling this crisis, and supporting women candidates, understanding the value of that early dollar is the most important investment you can make. and i look forward to partnering with you as we head into the 2020 cycle and beyond. thank you, julie, for moderating. >> thank you. [ applause ]. >> we're running a little early which i know everyone has a busy day. i appreciate you staying here. we have one panel and one keynote speaker. thisnext panel is actually the panel i'm most excited about. these are women who have the
courage to run for office in a very tough cycle. and we're hoping to hear from them their lessons learned about what we can do better in future cycles. each one of these women have extraordinary personal stories. and moderating that panel is a very good friend of mine, one of my earliest supporters and still one of my probably the most enthusiastic supporter is any dickerson. some on come on that. annie has beensupporter of so many republican women candidates and annie will with be very proud. this event in two weeks raised $250,000. so, early investment. yes. our next panelist is elaine houchin. she ran for congress in indiana's ninth district . welcome.
i am a big fan. carol miller, she was a candidate, now she's a congresswoman. i'm excited to have you here today, carol, and we're excited to have you as part of the republican conference. ashley nickloes who ran for congress in tennessee's second district. ashley is alieutenant colonel in the united states air force and tennessee national guard. and we can learn a lot from her experience. give her a round of applause. and tiffany shedd who was also one of my favorite candidates this last cycle, she's an attorney and ran for congress in arizona's 1st district. thank you for making the trip out here, tiffany, ashley, and air erin and carol, thank you for staying later today to participate in this. annie, i'll turn it over to you. >> awesome. well, everybody, let's get excited. you know, look, let's bend and stretch and everything we need to do to make sure we're awake and alert to really be able to
congratulate elise on a magnificent day. and i love how you begin it and how you're ending it. we're at a crisis and sometimes you kind of have to go to the bottom. it's sort of like alcoholism, you know, you need to be really sort of laying on the street and not knowing that you were there for three days before you really know you have a problem. sadly, it took an election like we just had where some of our very dear friends had to leave office and some very new dear friends were not able to get in. so we're going to talk about money, the dirty word. words. and, you know, if money is the mother's milk of politics, the question i have is, why do we all hate to fund raise so much?
it's really tough. i think a lot of these candidates realized early on just what a difficulty it was, what a barrier it was to entry to get out of primaries. and the excellent panel we just had with julie, rebecca schuller, who's the executive director of the organization i founded, winning for women, which all of us are really just wanting to grow the pool of excellence and the voice of women. so today we're going to talk about -- i'm just going to do a show of hands really quickly. with our panelists. how many of you found that raising money was among the most -- the biggest issues of your entire campaign? okay. how many of you were out-raised
by your primary opponents? carol was the one who got through her primary. all right. so i think that sort of lays a little bit of a predicate for knowing how big of an issue this is for our women to get out of primaries and for our women to be running against other womenwho aren't as qualified maybe and against men in a primary. elise way back when in 2013 when you and i first met up, you were against a male self- funder and everybody said, you know, by the way, they were not only telling elise not to get into the race, they were telling those of us who were donors and fundraisers, a lot of you in this room will remember, no need to get in that, we've got a really good
self-funder, it will cost us less. well, that male self-funder would have not gotten out of the general and we wouldn't have this great seat in the upstate region in new york. so elise is really the model. so i need to put my glasses on. so we're going to begin with our latest congresswoman, carol miller. we're so excited, but what a lonely looking photograph. i mean, is that not going to sear in the memories of each and every one of us? it wasn't enough for the few members of congress we had prior to this to be in a sea of blue suits and in every photograph and every agenda and every time there was a microphone, so many of the male candidates, so few of our
women, catherine mcmorris rogers famously poking her head out and saying i'm here, too. these photographs have been pretty icky for a lot of years and, carol, you're the latest member and we're so glad to have you there, but it's got to be a little lonely. and you in your going into the general, you had act blue, just doing enormous destruction. they are able to raise a lot of money and quickly. they have a big database. all they have to do is press buttons. they don't have to do the hard work of going out there with every one of their candidates, beto o'rourke raising $37 million in one month. and you had act blue against you. and the candidate that you beat in the general who, by the way, the losing candidate in the general is running for president, he thinks.
how bizarre is that. tell us about thismountain and sea of money that comes out of nowhere and how hard it is to go from a state delegate and the kind of money you need to raise per state and local race. how difficult is it now to run for federal office? >> well, it is. i spent 12 years in the legislature and my husband used to tease me because i'd send out a letter and all this money would just come to the house. and he said, you aren't even having to make phone calls. and i said, well, i always raised enough to win. running for federal office is entirely different. and i can remember in the summer my opponent raised in one month what you would raise in a good quarter. it's very difficult for women to remove themselves from the fundraising as a personal
thing. it's easy to raise money for the pta or for the museum or for the symphony or for a project for children. it's very easy to call someone up and say, we need this money for that. it's a whole different story when you're calling someone up and saying will you give me money for my campaign? you have to make that step beyond and it's very hard for women because we do have that emotional component into who we are and we can't think otherwise. but it is more of a business type of venture. you have to understand that you will get people that put you off and you will get people that give you less than they gave the male, in my situation, my former congressman, if i called someone that he had
received $2,000 for, i might get $1,000. and so i had to work twice as hard to raise the same amount of money. and it's just a fact. and you have a list of people and names and you call and you call and you call. and, you know, people don't like to be rejected. it's like making a cold call as a salesperson. but if you have the fire in your belly and you know why you're going and what you're trying to do, you can go, make it over that hurdle. does that help a little? >> yeah. a lot of you may not realize that carol miller and her husband are also bison farmers, and one of her -- >> we are. >> her motto was, "i'm running to take the bull out of politics." i love that. so the real quick question is, did you? >> i think i need some wading boots.
>> yeah, exactly. >> it's great. let's go over to erin. erin, you were also in office. you were a state senator. one of the things you may not realize about her, she had defeated to win her state senate district a 26-year democrat incumbent. that's an amazing thing to do and not easy. and you were running in the todd young open seat when he left to go to the senate. so tell us about how was it on your end, you know, you're raising money locally. now you're sort of having to open up your race more statewide. and hoping against hope maybe somebody will notice me nationally. tell us how the journey was. >> it was a very eye-opening journey. i really appreciate carol's
comments because i felt the same way but i couldn't quite put words to it in in terms of it's very easy toask for money for causes but when you're making fund-raising calls and asking for it for your own campaigns, it's a very awkward thing. i think particularly for women to do. speaking from my own experience. when i ran for the state senate, i know we've heard a lot today about helping women in primaries. i did raise the most money out of both candidates in my primary for state senate which gave me the opportunity then to challenge the 26-year incumbent. but i was running against someone who was in the senate primary retired and self- funding. and i had to quit my job to run for the state senate. i went to the powers that be, if you will, party wise, and i made this argument that if you
want to see the demographics of the republican party change, you have to support women in primaries. the answer i got was, go see if the women will help you. which i did, which i did, and they did. i had lots of women support in terms of dollars from statewide elected officials, from their endorsements, from opening doors for me, and that was a big -- that was a big deal to have that support. and i managed to raise the funds necessary to defeat my opponent in the primary and go on to win the general election. fast forward to the congressional campaign, i felt like it was deja vu all over again. i was the only woman in a four- way primary, and fundraising was difficult. you make the calls. lots and lots and lots of calls. and you find that you get, you know, maybe not as much money
as a counterpart in those asks. i got to the point where i had raised more money than todd young raised for his primary and i thought, my goodness, i might have a shot at this and i ran against a self-funder who i had raised $517,000 and he self- funded to the tune of $3.5 million. that's just not going to work. if i had early money, if i had early support, then i may have been able to make up that difference in terms of the hard work that i put in, in terms of the name i.d. that i had as a member of the general assembly, but i cannot stress enough the importance of having that early, early money and supporting women in the primary. that, i think, is where we're going to make a really big difference and hats off to elise. my favorite, favorite thing that i've seen on twitter recently is i didn't ask
permission. right? and i love that. thank you for standing up and saying that's okay. we don't have to ask permission. i really -- really love that. and that gives me some hope. but it's hard when you're running for state senate, there aren't -- in indiana, there weren't limits and when you have limits, then you can get that $2,700 at a time. that's very difficult. and it's a huge challenge. it can be overcome, though, for women if we support each other in primaries and we have that early help. >> you know, i love that you referenced that, you know, our candidates and elise who certainly have done that. you just got to take charge. you got to own your space and you -- saying i'm not asking for permission, you know, that was a game changer, right? and it was, like, doing a little nikki haleying. i don't get confused.
it's right. we don't get confused and we're not asking for permission, period, you know? i mean, it's -- so i'm glad that you referenced that. let's go over to tiffany. so, tiffany, you were running in arizona 1 and a lot of people don't realize that district and they don't realize what you used to do. she was a cotton and wheat farmer. like, wow. all right. and lawyer and mom and, and, and. we all get this. tell us a little bit what it's like because we really don't talk about this enough. when you're running in an urban district or a suburban district, you know, there's often access to, you know, a number of donors. we know who they are. you go rural and it's a new ball game. tell us about it. >> it absolutely is. i was very honored to have more
in-district donors than out of district something to the tune of about 80% but i also ran in the largest rural district in the united states that's not an entire state like wyoming. and, you know, i had so many people behind me, but it's a poor district. it's rural. and so we had to break into d.c. money, phoenix money, out of state money, and kind of get into what we called in our campaign those echo chambers. and hard dollars early made a lot of difference. my hard dollars came from my community. people that had never voted in a primary, people that registered to vote because i was running, people that had never written a check. some of them wrote max checks. but that being said, it was such an expensive race and then when i came to d.c. and i met with the nrcc, they kind of make sure you're not nuts. you have to go through and meet different people, but i have to
say, you know, elise was the first to reach out and i was walking down the street in d.c. and i thought it was a telemarketer. i almost didn't answer because this new york cell phone comes across and she says, i'm here to help you, and our districts are similar, and they are. they're border states. just a lot -- she had more snow. but anyway, and i have to say, the people that took the chance early were the women's groups. it was winning for women. julie conway and v.i.e.w. pac, she doesn't just give you a check. she beats the bushes for you. right now, women, most of the women congressmen at the time had written checks out of their own pacs and what not.that was great, but because i didn't have a political background, i'd been an attorney, i'd written water policy, i farm, i had quite a bit in my own hometown, but to get the name i.d. in time for a primary takes a
lot of hard dollars early and it really is true, you almost break into littlegroups of donors where if one person writes you a check, then you get ten. but you have to -- there's just such a hurdle and you have to prove that you're -- you have to work twice as hard to prove you're qualified for the office. you know, i had things said like, you know, what do you know about legislation in the law? well, the only one running with a j.d. you know, that's kind of what we do. or, you know, who's going to take care of your children? >> i got that, too. >> and i'm thinking, their father? i don't know. like, the things that you don't get asked. i was running against a male candidate with five kids under the age of 9. oh, he's a great dad. what are you doing with your children? and they're fine. the children survived. but i think that, you know, a lot of times i would call donors in, you know, phoenix is our big metropolitan area.
they would say, well, i'm supporting the candidate in my district, you're not going to be my congresswoman. and i would have to say, no, i'm going to be everybody's congresswoman. you know, get over that hurdle. and a lot just wouldn't donate or put fundraisers on because i wasn't in that district, but my district was so big, so spread out, so diverse and, frankly, poor, and i don't think we want a situation where poor districts don't get representation. so, anyway, i can't say enough for the women here and elise, thank you for just being bold. be bold. >> you know, you raise a really important point that i want to bring up with everybody, and i'm going to go over to you, ashlee, first, on it, is do the democrats have such a different culture and standard for their women than the gop? and by that i mean something that you went to earlier.
a lot of you in quiet, in private, we all kind of chat with each other. how many of you, a show of hands , have been asked by men or women inthe gop, constituent types, that have said, what about your kids and they're young and -- okay, right. and it's -- right. and, look, the democrats aren't running into that as much and they've got a lot of noise with emily's list and others and they don't just put up with it. they shut that stuff down like pronto, right? so we've got them really good. you know, better late than never. we have all found our voice and found really good leadership in elise and others that are in here. and it's really incumbent upon
us. not just women, but men to find their voice. but i would love, ashlee, i mean, look it, you got into your race late because you had a deployment. you know, serving your country. so you're not only serving your country, but you have young kids. so you caused this cultural disruption with some of your constituencies, it blew their brains out. wait a minute, you're serving in war, you're qualified, you're competent, you have kids. you really ought to be staying at home. so, i mean, you kind of blew the brains off of, you know, some, you know, generationally concerned gop members. talk about that. >> well, one of the things -- in fact, i'm an auntie the first day i was off orders back from my deployment, so that was a really neat experience. thank you, elise. i'm just going to say it.
bad ass. she just steps out there and does it. unafraid. i often live by alone and unafraid. thank you for also being alone and unafraid. if we look at, and it's been noted before about different panels, democratic women who are running often times get the democrat vote because of their gender. republican women look at a candidate and they want to see a qualified candidate. i think that's first and foremost . a woman running doesn't draw the same women votes on the republican side. so we really have to address, i believe, making sure that we have very qualified candidates also for women. i was in a race of seven. so i was running against six men. i made sure in my messaging that i was saying i'm the most qualified candidate. i'm not running as the woman.
but as we moved forward, just real quick, i'm the only female pilot in my squadron. when i first got into my squadron, my call sign, we give each other call signs and they're kind of stupid. my call sign was quota, okay? it's since been changed, but i'm still the quota. right? and it doesn't matter if i greezed on every landing during deployment. that one landing i made that was bad, that's what you're remembered for as a woman. the guys can make crappy landings all day long. that's not brought up. so we really have to make sure we're putting forward extremely qualified candidates also. yeah, i would like to add, i'm sure all of these women understand, i'm much nicer to telemarketers now because of all the phone calls i had to make. so, but, you know, we've got a long road and you've got -- you
can't be ten times better. you've got to be 100 times better. just so you can prove yourself because when i first introduced myself, it was, oh, hey, little honey, it's nice that you joined the race, what do you do? and when i said, i was a military combat aviator, that's when they said, oh, okay, so you are qualified as a woman. so that whole qualification issue whereas a man can just say, i'm running. okay, dude, you know, this is great. when we don't get that same courtesy. so you've got to be ready to stand out there, get your message, know your why. you have to be passionate about your why. and be unafraid. >> yeah. julie, i can't help but laugh about the story a man running in a race saying, i drove a toyota. i'm a foreign policy expert. and a woman going, oh, gee, i only have a ph.d. and served in the army and raised four kids successfully, blah, blah, blah, am i really
ready? you know, so i think it's incumbent on all of us and pushing women out of their comfort zone. and carol, we want to hear more about you and it's such a wonderful success story because we now want the 2020 class of women that are running to emulate you and win like you. i do want to ask a question to the group before we have you sort of wrap it up. do we have a little bit of a, not just a woman problem in the suburbs, but do we have, like, a women donor problem? if you look at the numbers from this last election cycle, i don't know if you all noticed this,but the democratic women candidates received from democratic women donors $159 million.
all right? okay? okay. emily's list fielded 71 women, raised $110 million for them, and won with 34. and it was a heck of a year for them. okay? but $159 million of that money going toward the women candidates was from their women. our women, okay, on our side, republican women, gave republican women candidates only $19 million. and they gave more to men which means that they're writing checks and they're writing it to a man and not to as many women. so we really have our work cut out for us. so i throw that out to the group, and carol, i want to begin with you. of lessons that you've learned and how do we start squeezing a little bit money more out of
the women out there because we know there are a lot of republican women donors. >> that's kind of a difficult question. a lot of it depends upon the women that you know. you know, if you know professional women, their pocketbook will be a little bit larger and you have to concentrate on them. i am in a differentposition. i waited until i raised my children before running for office. so a lot of my friends are in the position of thinking about retirement. and that's a whole different kettle of fish because they're out of town a lot. and so you have fund raisers, i had laura trump come in, karen pence came in, and we concentrated on women in the last month which was very good
and they were very excited to know that they were coming to town and they were very glad to come to the luncheon. so i think the most important thing is that you have the fire in your belly for what you want to do and you have to communicate that to both men and women. i never tried to keyhole myself because having run for office, you know, for 12 years, i already had an established name and that was very helpful. but that was only in 1 1/2 counties and now i was running in 18 counties. so i looked at it that i needed to make new, good friends in the other 16 counties so that they knew they had a genuine candidate who was familiar with the issues, but i also kind of
used my values as a woman and my values in raising my family as part of who i am so that they really understood who they were going to vote for. and i worked very hard meeting people because i think that's the most important part. and when you run for public office, you are also exposing your entire family to all kinds of criticism. so that's why i talk about the fire in the belly. it's got to really mean a lot to you if you're going to run for office. and as women, you need to be very aware of those women who are willing to step forward because if you are strong enough like elise who you -- this is what i'm going to do and it's very important to me. when you sell that message, other women will notice. but i don't think it's a one size it's all.
women multitask all thetime. when you're talking about raising your children, i always felt like i had at least seven plates up in the air so it wasn't difficult for me to do this job for a while, you had the kids, you packed the lunch, you did the laundry. i managed apartments, i took care of buffalo. if i could wrestle with buffalo, and sometimes it's really kind of interesting, you have to have the strength to put your message forward and make the ask. but at the end of the day this is our country. and most americans feel so strongly and if you let them know that you want to be the one that will represent them and how much you care about making the country better and
better, because there's always going to be something wrong -- we're all people. and so there's always going to be something you don't like. but if you're willing to try to make it better and you get that message across, people will be naturally attracted to you. does that answer you at all? >> absolutely. i saw every woman in here nodding your head as you said juggling seven to ten to a million balls. >> you do. >> i wanted to ask a final question to our candidates who had the courage to raise their hand to run but despite the fact that i believe they were some of the most qualified candidates we had on the ballot came up short. we do have perspective candidates in the audience who attended today. many who i've spoken to already who are going to run. what did you wish -- sorry, let me think about how to ask this.
what advice would you give first and what do you wish you knew then that you do now? >> if i could quickly before i answer that, i want to make one point about your question that you just asked and that is, are we doing a good job of engaging women donors. i want to thankelise, susan brooks and i hate to make a list of people because i'm going to leave people off, ann wagner, i could name many, many female members of congress that came out of the woodwork to help me, v.i.e.w. pac, women's pac, main street women, aoa -- yes. aoa network. winning for women. all of these groups came out of the woodwork to support me.
i had about 32% of my donors were women and i made calls to men for these -- and this is a complication i think that we don't touch on. i made calls to men for money and they would say, you need to talk to my wife. i don't know if they're saying that question to -- if a male candidate calls them if they say, she's got the checkbook, you're going to have to talk to my wife. i did have that. but at those moments, you can't be afraid to go ahead and make that second call. you have to do it. and they didn't always donate. a no today is not necessarily a no tomorrow. so i just wanted to make that point that we don't often talk about that female candidates have a double challenge. we have to work harder. we have to maybe not make as much of the ask and then again there's maybe another out.
lessons or advice? reach out to every personthat you can think of that can help support a campaign financially and don't be afraid to make the ask. i cannot emphasize enough the importance of having early dollars and i think the sooner the better in terms of getting on your fund-raising plan. that is very important. and i can't thank the ladies who supported me enough for that. >> and the second part of my question, what do you wish you knew as a first-time congressional candidate? >> what do i wish i knew? i think i learned a lot about the image that we have as female candidates.
and so i think if i had to -- i wish i knew, i didn't learn some of these things about voters particularly gop women voters until after the campaign gets going. and so i think i wish i had a better knowledge of how those decisions are being made and i'm looking at kristen anderson and polling data and, et cetera, i think that would have been very helpful to me, lessons learned, things that i wish i knew, is how particularly gop women are making that decision and how my candidacy in particular might speak to that. >> great. ashlee, what advice would you give to candidates for congress and then the second question, same thing? >> so for me, personally, what i learned the most from my campaign is, you've got to know
your why and believe in your why. if you don't have a good why, then you shouldn't be running. you've got to really believe in it and live in it and that's when you're moving forward, even if you lose, you will not regret it because you lived your why. that's okay in the end. so many people fail, but they failed because they tried. do you want to stay there and continue to wallow in i could have done this, i should have done this? no, live your why, okay, and never regret it. i wish i had had more time. my deployment cut into it, but that's okay. god gave me a certain amount of time and we did the best we could with it. so be ready for the bumps. but it's okay if you know your why, okay? and have a good game plan and have your time. and sometimes drinking a beer before you start making those
fund-raising calls does help, just saying. >> tiffany, close it out. >> well, you know, what i wish i had known was that it really does in a lot of ways come down to money, hard money, early. and i had a lot of trouble with fundraising calls and a good friend of mine who actually maxed, she said, hang up and call me again, i don't like the way you asked. she said you asked like you're begging. you are going to be a great congresswoman and we're getting a good deal by giving you money. now hang up and call me back and say that. and as you go through and you get better at it, my goal in the money raising calls was to get to no because instead of backing off, maybe or i'll think about it, at least i'm going to get to no.
but hopefully i get a yes and get some money but i'm not leaving you alone until you're like, no, quit calling me crazy lady. and i think the other thing if i was going to give advice is be bold. you know once you start to run and you've got staff, people, everybody kind of handling you and telling you what to do, i wish i had been more bold. i was, but i wouldhave been a little bit more less diplomatic. and i would have been more bold about pushing all my qualifications and not being, well, let's let our actions speak for our words because the men don't do that. and i would have been more bold when i thought something was worth being bold for instead of putting it in a peacemaker way of putting it, it would have been more bold. and i think as women, a lot of
times we are trained to smooth things out and to be the peacemaker. but sometimes that's beautiful being a woman running for office, but sometimes we need to be bad ass and kick some butt. so for those of you running, be yourself, know your why, have a glass of wine before you make your calls, i learned that from a congresswoman who i won't out, and do your best. at the end of the day you won't regret it because you will make so many new friends. you'll learn so much and even though i lost, i'm in a platform that i still am working for the people i care about, the issues i care about in rural arizona because that was my why, those people didn't have a voice and this podium that you get, win or lose, gives them a voice through you. >> well, these are -- this is a panel of women that deserves a
huge round of applause because they actually ran for congress, put their name on the ballot, and that takes courage. so thank you, everyone, thank you, annie, for moderating. thank you to all of you who traveled from out of town. we appreciate it. we are transitioning to our final speaker who will be our keynote speaker this evening. i'm excited to introduce this amazing, amazing young womanwho ran for congress in a district that really only came online late in the election cycle. so one of the missions of e-pac is to elevate our women candidates by telling their extraordinary personal stories and sharing their amazing backgrounds with the public and i believe firmly that it should not just be democratic women who are covered extensively in the media and in glossy
women's magazines, we have to make surethat republican women are represented and featured as well. our keynote speaker bravely raised her hand and stepped into the arena in 2018. and we've talked a lot today about how some candidates need to be asked or need convincing to run for office. i found that some of the best candidates are those that self- recruit and have the fire in the belly and the determination to take that risk and run for office. elizabeth heng is one of those candidates that self-recruited and came to me. she did not need convincing to run and she had the courage and conviction to run for congress but she ran a great campaign. she ran for congress in california's 16th congressional district where she surprised everyone with how close she came in her campaign against jim costa. you need to remember in california, primary day is not like new york. primary day in california is
top two regardless of party and she came within six points of this powerful democratic incumbent. she brought this sleeper race online as we headed into the general election. i chose her to speak today not just because of her campaign but use of herextraordinary personal story which i want you to watch with her video that went viral. so queue the ad. >> in cambodia, under kimmer rouge meant a likely death. they approached my father and in order to save his life, he said he was about to be married. they asked him to whom. he pointed to the prettiest girl that he saw having never
spoken to her before. the soldiers approached her and she said yes. they got married the very next day. 41 years later, they're still the happiest couple i know. great things can come from great adversity. fresno's home, but america's booming economy never made it to our district. empty buildings, homeless people, our congressional district is one of the very poorest in america. for 14 years we've been represented in congress by a nice man, jim costa. but so little has changed. look around. this is what we can still expect to see 14 years from now unless we plan for a better future. when we were young, my mother
picked up coins off the floor at the mall to buy us a happy meal when we did well in school. they worked long, long hours at the local grocery store they still run. all that they made, they saved for our education. >> elizabeth is the hardest working student i have had in my 33 year teaching career and she's the first sunny side high school graduate to earn her way into stanford university. >> studying at stanford wasn't enough. elizabeth was also elected student body president. next came an mba from yale. she spent time on the staff of ed royce in washington. learning most of the time in d.c., nothing happens, nothing. we've given jim costa 14 years to bring us a better life. has it worked?
in those same 14 years, elizabeth heng excelled in high school, graduated stanford, was elected student body president there, got her mba from yale, learned what's wrong from d.c., helped her brother start a business and then turned her attention towards making our lives better. same 14 years. which person is most likely to improve our future? >> i'm 33. i have the energy and drive to bring us a better future. not just talk about it. do it. break the law down and restore our water infrastructure, reform immigration the right way. improve our education system so more of us can go to great schools. everyone told me that i'd never go to stanford or yale or work for congress. just like they tell you that our homes and our cities will never get better.
everyone is wrong. great things can come from great adversity. >> i'm elizabeth heng and i approve this message. >> so i am very proud to introduce the 33-year-old daughter of cambodian refugees, former hill staffer, accomplished entrepreneur, and congressional candidate, elizabeth hang. >> hello, there. i'm so excited to be here and thank you so much for having me here today. i remember vividly the day i
decided to run for congress. it was january 20th, 2018, a year ago. i was watching c-span as the clock struck midnight and our government shut down again. i do find it kind of fitting that i'm here again today. and at that moment as a former hill staffer, i knew personally this was all for campaign votes, fund-raising, jockeying and winning over the media and frankly i was disgusted. i left the hill six months prior to that because i was sick and tired of the political bickering, the finger-pointing that was going on here in washington, d.c. i was tired of watching my generations future being mortgaged, i was tired of complaining about the future of our country and watching the core principles crumble before my very eyes. and at that moment, i knew i couldn't just stand around on the sidelines anymore and i
needed to stop making excuses because what was i waiting for? was i looking for another degree. did i need more experience? so i decided that night to pull papers and launch my campaign for congress. that was honestly the hardest part of the whole race for me if i look back now. it was getting myself emotionally and ready to say, i'm doing this. then the fun began. i quickly learned who my friends were, who my friends were not. the media, my opponent, random people pointed to everything that was wrong with me that i didn't realize was wrong with me. and it ranged from the color blouse i wore that was the wrong color to, you know, for
people questioning my intelligence or morality because i was a republican. on the campaign, there are so many donor calls to be made, fund raisers to be planned and i still had to knock on at least 50 doors a day to make sure that people knew who i was. and i really understood the issues impacting the community. i went on national news circuit because the ad that you just saw was banned by facebook at one point and censored. and so i had to work on that also and in between doing all this, i needed to make sure that i slept, i ate and i was still taking care of myself and i have to give it to you, congresswoman, when i was a hill staffer and when i was working on a campaign, i thought i could do this. i now give you guys so much more respect than i ever did when i was here. it's hard because you are putting everything on the line. i am so proud of the race we ran
. by the end we had the best ads and incredible team. we raised 1.2 megan dollars in eight months and put this race on the mapmap. i can't stress enough for those of you who want to run how important it is to build the right team in the beginning. here the least amount of money, and get fundraising commitments to write checks earlier, rather than later, because as a first- time candidate, you know, and i've always been very conservative with money. in august, when you're planning for what you need, finish off the rest of your campaign, and you realize that you need to raise half $1 million in september in order to get there so you can place your advise. it's terrifying that you're going to actually be able to do that. we, fortunately were able to do that, but it was so much better
to get it earlier, rather than later. and being, when i decided to run for office again one day, being intentional and planning with the right team is critical to getting a campaign. it's the best shot at winning, and going up against an incumbent isn't easy, but it's doable. and i believe that it is necessary. my opponent has been representing the district both locally and federally for 40 years. to give you an idea, that is since when jimmy carter was still president. when i look around, it was depressing, and people weren't dreaming anymore. there is something fundamentally un-american about that statement. and, you know there's something on america about that statement and i'm not okay just watching the status quo. so running for congress, i truly learned how much of a bubble i was living in when i
was in washington dc. because growing up, didn't realize that having helicopters fly over my house with searchlights twice a week, that shouldn't be normal. nothing has changed. i believe, and still believe that we can do better. i didn't understand the power of my voice until i decided to speak up. we need new ideas to shape our countries future and i believe that women will leave that future. when half of a country is republican, and 25 percent of the country are republican women, it boggles my mind that we only have 13 women representing us in congress. and i'm thankful we have the congresswoman taking up the lead in that effort. i believe that we are at this crisis. and there's a saying in dc, if
you're not at the table, you are on the menu. well, i'm not interested in being an option for other people to pick and choose my future, or any of your futures. so, this election motivated me more than ever, and i will do whatever it takes to build a pipeline for women, young people, our future to be successful in politics so that more of us can take a seat at the table. so, i want to take you, congresswoman stefanik for taking the lead in addressing this issue. coming to dc as a candidate, it isn't easy, and i know how the circuit works. you were the first elected email to take an interest into my race and provided me guidance and support when it seemed as if the whole world was against me. so, i want to thank you for being an example of our future there. we need more women leaders to develop deliver our message of wanting a freer, more
prosperous country, where the government's role is to make our lives easier, not harder. we need to hold to our core values of providing people with the best shot at accomplishing their american dream opportunity. and i'm going to fight for our country's future so that one day, little girls around the country can have plenty of role models like elise here. and sit and dream, i'm going to run this country one day. so what i want to end with is, that i hope that all of you here in this room and watching, that you join me and continued to support congresswoman stefanik 's effort with e-pac to make sure that those little girls one day are going to have enough role models to run this world one day. thank you. [ applause ]
>> thank you elizabeth we are so proud of you and your story is just extraordinary. thank you for making the trip from california. thank you to everyone for attending today's event. i know it was a lot of panels with a lot of great speakers. but as i said, your help help us exceed our goal our initial goal was $100,000 we successfully raised $250,000 a angst again to samsung, david and jennifer are hosting. thank you to our panelists, and i also want to name all the members who supported this, because it's both men and women members, susan brooks, tom emmer, drew ferguson, trey gaudi, kevin mccarthy, mark wayne molen, martha roby, steve scalise, fred upton ann wagner, greg walton and jackie milewski. so thank you to everyone. we look forward to staying in touch as we develop this program and announce our slate of 2020 republican female candidates. thank you. [ applause ]
>> we are going to do a short media availability with congresswoman stefanik , so if all the press could come gather up towards the stage, that would be great. thank you. thursday, the house ways and means committee will hold a hearing to discuss legislative proposals related to presidential and vice presidential tax returns. live coverage begins at 2 p.m. here on c-span 3. over the last year, the world has seen what we always knew. that no people on earth are so fearless or daring or determined as americans. and if there is a mountain, we
climb it. if there is a frontier, we cross it. if there is a challenge, we tame it. if there is an opportunity, we sees it. so let's begin tonight by recognizing that the state of our union is strong, because our people are strong. [ applause ]? [ cheers and applause ]. >> the state of the union first postponed because of the government shutdown will now take place tonight. watch as president trump delivers his state of the union address, live from the house chamber beginning at 9 pm eastern on c-span followed by the democratic response by former george or gubernatorial candidate stacy abrams. the state of the union, like tonight at 9 eastern on c- span, c-span.org, or listen with the free c-span radio app. it seemed to be happening
every week, that somebody either a famous person or even an ordinary one on the street was getting subjected to social media condemnation. they found themselves in the middle of a shame tornado or some kind of disc behavior. out of genuine misbehavior or perceived misbehavior and these pylons were just much bigger than they had ever been at any time in human history, because of the internet. helen andrews, managing editor of the washington examiner magazine experienced online shaming. she is our guest sunday on q&a at 8 pm eastern. >> was a tough decision to write this essay. because it brought back what was really very troubling at almost a traumatic experience in my own life. but the hidden event was actually a headline that i read in the new york times about a man who had committed suicide in a parked car in the west village and not been found for
seven days. and that this poor fellow had, well, the worst moment of his life was when he threw a sandwich at a server at mcdonald's for giving him the wrong order. and she turned out to be pregnant and this funny little story made the local newspapers. but it was at the top of his google search for the rest of his life from then on after it happened in two 2013. he couldn't get a job because anytime anybody google his name this funny story came up and any prospective employer said oh, i don't want to hire him during sandwiches at pregnant server. helen andrews on online shaming study night on c-span's q&a. advocates for highway and auto safety unveiled their annual report on state highway safety laws calling for a stricter requirements for car seats, teenage drivers, mobile phones and repeat dr