ATLANTA – Women supporters of David Perdue and Michelle Nunn held separate rallies at the Georgia Capitol Monday in an escalating war to win the female vote in this fall’s U.S. Senate campaign.
Each group called on the opposing camp to provide details about alleged job discrimination.
A handful of Republican politicians got a jump on Nunn’s rally by holding theirs for Perdue first. They distributed a letter they had signed asking Nunn to release details about complaints filed by two workers at the Points of Light Foundation while she was its president.
“The only way for Georgians to know the truth is for you to voluntarily release this information,” the letter said. “Why haven’t you done so already?”
Ironically, the existence of the two complaints became public through a memo Nunn’s own campaign consultants wrote that was accidently posted online. Since the complaints didn’t result in a lawsuit, the foundation can keep the specifics confidential.
Several of the Republican women carried their posters to the park where the Nunn rally was starting and delivered the letter to the Democrat’s campaign manager, Jeff DiSantis, who took it but declined to comment to reporters.
State Sen. Nan Orrock, D-Atlanta, said Republicans were using the complaints as an attempt to draw the focus from Perdue’s opposition to the federal Paycheck Fairness Act, which his spokeswoman says he believes is unnecessary because the law already requires it.
“I think it’s a smokescreen to deflect from the fact that David Perdue has got a very clear record on this issue as a CEO in the private sector,” Orrock said.
That record, she said, was a $19 million settlement by Dollar General of a class-action lawsuit by 2,000 women store managers who claimed they were paid less than male counterparts in violation of federal law. The women worked at the company from 2006-12, and Perdue was its CEO from ’03-07.
Asked about that at the Perdue rally, state Rep. Lynne Riley, R-Johns Creek, downplayed his responsibility for the pay differences.
“The facts are not in evidence that David Perdue had any involvement in that situation,” she said.
Perdue wasn’t named personally in the lawsuit, and his campaign notes that the company never admitted any wrongdoing. His spokeswoman says he supports equal pay for equal work.
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