Effort aims to get conservative women to the polls

Listen up, conservative ladies.

There's an effort to get 1 million more of you -- in Texas and nationwide -- to the polls this November.

A conservative group called The Kitchen Cabinet, founded by a Los Angeles media consultant and mother of three, says it's time for conservative women to have a bigger voice in government and is trying to get more of them involved in the political process to help sway the November elections.

"This effort honors the 90th anniversary of the 19th Amendment granting women the right to vote," Kitchen Cabinet founder Sonja Eddings Brown said in a statement. "By uniting 21st-century women, the nation's largest interest group, we can elect leaders who will return our nation to economic greatness."

Brown, a former ABC News producer, said women -- like most voters -- are driven by concerns about their families' economic futures.

The group plans to help fiscally conservative women register to vote, stay informed on national issues and connect electronically with other women's political groups. If the group can reach 100,000 women online, it hopes that those women can organize 1 million women to vote in November.

Former Texas Republican Chairwoman Cathie Adams said she's glad there's a new effort to motivate voters to go to the polls.

"All effort to bring all people out to be informed voters, I'm supportive of it," said Adams, of Dallas. "But any effort that goes out to voters should be for men and women alike. ... I don't need to be segmented [as a woman]."

Organizers say they borrowed the group's name from "Kitchen Cabinets" of backroom advisers to presidents ranging from Andrew Jackson to Ronald Reagan.

"There are 2 million wives who are the sole supporters of their households right now in America because their husbands are out of work," the group says. "Not only are they rocking the cradles of the world and carrying water in their communities, they're a big part of the economic engine of the country now. Women want to have more of a voice in Washington now and they don't have it."

Tarrant County Democratic Women's Club President Lynn Johnson countered that women have historically voted more for Democrats.

"It is a proven fact that when women vote, Democrats win," she said. "I find nothing wrong in being conservative, but that is not where this is going. It is beyond conservative to be restrictive and oppressive. It boils down to, 'If you do not look and talk and think as I do, then you are wrong.'"

Johnson also questioned whether the group's name might be a turnoff to some women.

"The name Kitchen Cabinet as applied to an effort to get women to vote implies that the kitchen is where these women will be found," she said. "I believe there are a great many Republican women who would resent that implication since they are among the executives and business owners in many corporations and small businesses in this country and employ many, many people."


Anna M. Tinsley, 817-390-7610