The conservative Independent Women’s Forum certainly isn’t shy about picking fights with the National Organization for Women and other liberal feminist groups. “Memo to NOW: Be Afraid, Be Very Afraid,” reads a statement by forum President Nancy M. Pfotenhauer, announcing her group’s effort aimed at “combating feminist judicial activism and campus indoctrination.” In an interview, Pfotenhauer said the annual budget of the 11-year-old forum is expected to double from its historic average of $1.3 million. She said the forum would use the infusion of money to hire more personnel, to mount a stronger presence in court battles, to develop additional campus chapters, to launch a new Web site providing daily reporting and commentary, and to fund other programs.
As the forum sees it, liberal feminist groups “have been smart” in recent years about avoiding legislative fights and instead have focused on advancing their agenda through the courts and in colleges and universities.
Now, Pfotenhauer said, the forum is launching a counterattack in those arenas. “We have the resources to do it,” she said. “We are going to have a cat fight in the courts, and a cat fight on campuses.” -Robert Gettlin
Interest Groups (excerpted from National Journal)
Deborah Perry had to leave the country to find her calling: a semester in London turned her on to politics. Now the 36-year-old author and political commentator has signed on with the Independent Women’s Forum as a senior fellow. She’ll work on issues involving women in the workplace, in the international arena, and in pop culture. Perry’s early employers included then-Sen. Connie Mack, R-Fla., Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, R-Fla., and the U.S. Agency for International Development. She worked as a lobbyist until she got the call that launched her new career: It came from the Republican National Committee, asking her to be a GOP speaker. Perry marked her literary debut last year. She authored a book with political rival Julianne Malveaux about the common policy issues that concern women of all political stripes. Perry recalled that in her first meeting with Malveaux on MSNBC, the polite tone lasted just seconds before the claws came out. But, she said, “producers thought we were so great together, they kept booking us on shows.” A year later, the two women decided to look past their disagreements and they discovered, Perry said, that “we had a lot more in common than we realized.”