The idea is simple: Equal work deserves equal pay regardless of gender.
It was simple for Terry McAuliffe yesterday when he rolled out a proposal to make sure that Virginia is a place where women who work just as hard as their male counterparts earn an equal salary, and not 78 cents on the dollar as is currently the case in Virginia.
It should be simple for any candidate who recognizes the fundamental importance of treating men and women equally in the work place.
But it's not so simple for the Republican ticket this year. Yesterday, when asked to respond to McAuliffe's proposal to increase penalties for employers who pay male workers more than females who do equal work, Cuccinelli's campaign "did not indicate whether the attorney general supports McAuliffe's plan," and sought to change the subject instead.
Cuccinelli's refusal to support equal pay is bad enough, but he is also running hand-in-hand with a candidate for Lieutenant Governor who has been openly hostile to the idea. E.W. Jackson has attacked the idea viciously, calling it "subtle sexism" and saying paying women equally for equal work would "add nothing to the dignity and equality of women."
DPVA Executive Director Lauren Harmon responded to the Republican ticket's stance on pay equity saying, "There are many issues on which people of different political persuasions can have honest disagreements. Paying women equally for equal work should not be one of them.
"Ken Cuccinelli and E.W. Jackson have built careers on the idea that they know what's better for Virginia women than we do. Fighting constitutional health care rights, attempting to block access to birth control and refusing to support equal pay for equal work may satisfy their extreme ideological agenda, but would take women's rights in the Commonwealth backward."