My skin isn’t thick enough to endure criticism trailblazers like Harris, Pelosi, Gandhi, Meir, and Thatcher have had to suffer; but I have been inspired to follow in their footsteps, in my own ways. As Harris told Marie Claire magazine, “I want [young] women to know, you are powerful and your voice matters." Amen, Sisters. Amen.
There is a lot at stake in the January 5th runoff elections for Georgia’s two senate seats. No surprise, both sides are launching expansive ground games and spending hundreds of millions of dollars on these campaigns. Incumbent Republican Senator Kelly Loeffler alone is reportedly spending $20 million of her own money.
Political ads, filled with mudslinging and false accusations, abound. Once again, voters are scratching their heads, wondering what’s true. To assist election-fatigued Georgia voters and well-meaning volunteers, TMM will publish profiles on all four Democratic and Republican candidates. We begin with Loeffler, who is in a runoff against Reverend Raphael Warnock (D-GA), Senior Pastor at Atlanta’s Ebenezer Baptist Church, formerly led by Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
Early Life, Education and Career
- Born in 1970 in Bloomington, IL. Raised on her family’s corn and soybean farm. Undergraduate degree and MBA from Midwestern schools.
- In 2002, joined Intercontinental Exchange (parent company of NY Stock Exchange), in investor relations. Two years later, married the company’s CEO, Jeff Sprecher.
- Helped Intercontinental Exchange establish and market offshore a credit default swap clearinghouse in the Cayman Islands, as an offshore tax haven, in 2009 – allowing the biggest banks to avoid paying taxes on repatriation of income. Left Intercontinental Exchange to accept U.S. Senate seat in January, 2020; awarded over $9 million in financial assets by the company (as reported by Wikipedia).
- Appointed by Governor Brian Kemp (R-GA) to fill Senate seat vacated by Johnny Isakson (R-GA).
- Chosen because Kemp wanted candidate who would grow Georgia Republicans’ – and his own – electoral base, particularly suburban women. (VOX)
- Described as “a political novice with deep pockets”. (Atlanta Journal-Constitution)
- Political philosophy: “Senator Loeffler, one of the richest people in Congress, came to office as a political moderate. But in today’s Republican Party, that didn’t last long.” (The New York Times)
- Calls herself the most conservative Republican in the Senate. Husband Jeff Sprecher gave $1 million to Trump 2020 reelection super-PAC.
- Post-election accusation: “After the November 2020 election, Loeffler and fellow senator David Perdue claimed without evidence that there had been ‘failures’ in the election, and called for the resignation of Georgia’s Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger, a fellow Republican.” (Wikipedia)
- Political motivation: “Loeffler repeated Trump’s baseless claims of fraud because she wanted the support of Trump and his core voters in the January runoff”. (Politico)
Positions on Critical Issues
- Supports repeal of the Affordable Care Act.
- Opposes abortion and says she will vote for anti-abortion legislation.
- Received “A” rating from NRA; opposes assault-weapons bans and red-flag-laws.
- Personal energy interests: “Loeffler’s husband, Jeff Sprecher, was developing power plants in the late 1990s before he formed Intercontinental Exchange, for trading energy commodities online. The company took off after Enron collapsed.” (Inside Climate News)
WNBA and Black Lives Matter Movement
- Played high-school basketball; in 2011, became co-owner of the Atlanta Dream, a Women’s National Basketball Association team.
- Described as “the archenemy of her own basketball team.” (Washington Post)
- Players’ complaints: “Loeffler drew criticism from WNBA players earlier this year for objecting to the league’s promotion of Black Lives Matter… Loeffler penned a letter to WNBA commissioner Cathy Engelbert in July arguing that the league was being too political by painting ‘Black Lives Matter’ on the courts… Players called on the league to force her out as co-owner of the Dream.” (ESPN)
Setting the Record Straight
Fact Checkers at Atlanta’s NBC affiliate, 11 Alive, have been diligently helping viewers sort out fact from attack-ad fiction. Some of their findings:
- Accusation: Sold stocks after private COVID-19 briefing.
- Fact: Senate Ethics Committee investigation found no evidence she violated any laws or Senate rules.
- Accusation: Solicited campaign contributions while within a Senate building.
- Fact: This claim is true.
Based on Kelly Loeffler’s record, Moderates can assess whose interests she represents in Congress. With suburban women a primary demographic target for this runoff election, TMM wonders whether election-weary GA women will vote for Loeffler simply because she looks and acts like them – and against Warnock because her attack ads effectively portray him as dangerous.
But do women voters realize that voting for Loeffler may, in fact, be voting against the interests of working families?
Georgia voters, make a plan and vote on (or before) January 5. Our country is depending on you.
Laurentine Nicoletto, TMM Staff writer
Images: Google Images
Loeffler (Featured Image): Vanity Fair
Warnock and Loeffler: Albany Herald
Loeffler and Sprecher: CBS News
Kemp and Loeffler: Atlanta Journal-Constitution
Loeffler and Trump: Wikipedia
Loeffler at WNBA game: Atlanta Journal-Constitution