Nancy Brinker may have stepped down from her position as Komen CEO, but former supporters want to ensure she won't be doing any backseat driving.
After Brinker announced she would retain her position on the breast cancer charity's board of directors and chair of its executive committee, the pressure started to mount for her to not only step down, but to step aside. Completely.
Eve Ellis, a former board member who called on Brinker to resign in February, has now launched a Change.org petition asking Brinker to "relinquish power." The petition reads:
"In the interest of the underserved women with breast cancer, in the interest of finding cures for breast cancer, in the interest of women's health, we urge Nancy Brinker to step aside and let Susan G. Komen for the Cure reclaim its public trust."
Andrea Rader, Komen's headquarters communication director, told the Chronicle of Philanthropy that she had heard about the petition, but the organization did not "have any reaction to it."
Ellis, a financial advisor who sits on the board of Ms. Foundation for Women, a social justice policy organization, calls for new leadership and implores Brinker to recognize that, for the sake of breast cancer research funding, she disassociate herself with Komen altogether.
Brinker told the Wall Street Journal last week that the leadership shakeup was unrelated to the controversy early this year when the largest breast cancer charity in the world cut funding for Planned Parenthood and later reversed the decision.
"I apologized to everyone," she told the Journal. "I think we all made mistakes and we addressed them and we're through that and we're moving on."
The Change.org petition points out that fundraising is down at local affiliates, citing canceled fundraising events in New York and cutbacks on open office days in Arizona.
In the meantime, a new study from the National Breast Cancer Coalition reveals that the fight against breast cancer has lagged and that the public perception of breast cancer research progress is misguided. (h/t Daily Beast). The report attributed the misguidance, in part, to the fact that the media have been consumed by the Komen firestorm.
“During the past year, women’s health issues, including breast cancer, were embroiled in controversy," the report notes. "The nature and extent of the fallout, both on political support for women’s health issues, and on fundraising around breast cancer and other women’s issues, remains to be seen."
99 Problems (JAY-Z)
Eric Fehrnstrom, senior campaign adviser for Mitt Romney, <a href="http://thinkprogress.org/politics/2012/06/03/494238/fehrnstrom-shiny-objects-women/" target="_hplink">said on Sunday</a> that issues pertaining to women's reproductive rights, such as abortion and birth control, were "shiny objects" meant to distract voters from the real issues. "Mitt Romney is pro-life," he told ABC's George Stephanopoulos. "He'll govern as a pro-life president, but you're going to see the Democrats use all sorts of shiny objects to distract people's attention from the Obama performance on the economy. This is not a social issue election."
The Senate will vote Thursday on the Paycheck Fairness Act, which would expand and strengthen the Equal Pay Act of 1963 and make it illegal for employers to punish women for bringing up pay disparity issues. Dana Perino, a Fox News contributor and former press secretary for President George W. Bush, <a href="http://www.rawstory.com/rs/2012/04/30/perino-equal-pay-issue-is-a-distraction-for-just-48-hours/" target="_hplink">called the equal pay issue</a> "a distraction" from the country's real financial problems last week. "Well, it's just yet another distraction of dealing with the major financial issues that the country should be dealing with," Perino said. "This is not a job creator."
Just My Imagination (The Temptations)
Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.), whose home state's legislature recently defunded Planned Parenthood and voted to pass a bill that would allow employers to deny women birth control coverage, <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/04/26/john-mccain-war-on-women_n_1455591.html" target="_hplink">delivered a floor speech</a> in which he insisted that the war on women is something imaginary for Democrats to "sputter about." "My friends, this supposed 'War on Women' or the use of similarly outlandish rhetoric by partisan operatives has two purposes, and both are purely political in their purpose and effect: The first is to distract citizens from real issues that really matter and the second is to give talking heads something to sputter about when they appear on cable television," he said.
Butterfly Fly Away (Miley & Billy Ray Cyrus)
Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus tried to trivialize concerns about the legislative "war on women" by comparing it to a "war on caterpillars." "If the Democrats said we had a war on caterpillars and every mainstream media outlet talked about the fact that Republicans have a war on caterpillars, then we'd have problems with caterpillars," Priebus <a href="http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2012-04-05/priebus-says-gender-battle-as-fictonal-as-caterpillar-war.html" target="_hplink">said in an April interview</a> on Bloomberg Television. "It's a fiction."
Distraction (Angels And Airwaves)
Missouri U.S. Senate candidate Sarah Steelman (R) took heat from her opponents in May when she contended that Democratic lawmakers' focus on the reauthorization of the Violence Against Women Act was "a distraction" from the issues they should be dealing with instead. "I think it's unfortunate that the Democrats have made a political football out of this thing, which I think is what they keep doing to distract from real problems that are facing our nation," she said in an interview with St. Louis Public Radio.
We Don't Care (Kanye West)
South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley (R) defended the Republican Party in April for going after insurance coverage for contraception by arguing that women don't actually care about contraception. "Women don't care about contraception," she said on ABC's The View. "They care about jobs and the economy and raising their families and all those other things."