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Posted on Mon, Oct 22, 2012 : 2:59 p.m.

GOP regent candidates take issue with university event 'The Republican War on Women?'

By Kellie Woodhouse

A GOP candidate for University of Michigan regent has been outspoken in his criticism of a school-sponsored event that he says has a clear liberal bias.

The event —The Republican War on Women?— "is part two of a two part series exploring the topic of gender in the current election," U-M spokeswoman Kelly Cunningham told

"The name was chosen because the phrase 'Republican war on women' is widespread among popular culture," she continued. "Panelists are going to explore the climate in which such an assertion as 'war on women' could be made in the media."

Cunningham said the event is nonpartisan.

Rob Steele, an Ypsilanti Republican candidate for U-M's governing board, thinks otherwise.

"A cursory look at the original poster clearly shows the political intent of the conference sponsors. Public funds should not be used to sponsor partisan political events," he asserted, saying that if elected he would work to eliminate such events.

Michigan Capitol Confidential, a news website operated by The Mackinac Center for Public Policy, criticized the event, saying the conference panel and moderator each has Democratic leanings. Cunningham said the political affiliations of the participants weren't considered when they were selected.

The event was originally titled "The Republican War on Women" in an email sent to U-M students and faculty in early October. But when the university received complaints about the title, event organizers generated a new poster that included a question mark. They stopped distributing the old poster.


Rob Steele

Ryan J. Stanton |

"The issue isn't with the content per-se, the issue was how it was titled and sent to the public, as a declaration," Steele said. "There's a second issue having to do with academic integrity and the exchange of ideas. Clearly in that panel there was not going to be any exchange of ideas, there was just going to be one set of ideas."

Steele, a cardiologist, said he doesn't think top U-M administrators knew about the event title, but said if he were on the board he would advocate for "better oversight on these press releases."

Steele's remarks come shortly before the Nov. 6 general election and raise the question: How involved should a regent be in university programming?

Cunningham said regents don't usually "get into that level of detail" when it comes to university programming.

In an earlier interview with, Steele said he would be hands-on if elected to the Board of Regents.

"The regents set the policy, they hire the executive to execute the policy. The policies are the regents’ policies, not the executives’," he told Ann last week.

Fellow Republican candidate Dan Horning said that while regents shouldn't micromanage university operations, "when the violations clearly step over the line it's important that the regents step in."

Horning, who made headlines during his first term as a regent 2001 when he criticized a U-M class titled "How to be Gay," called the event title "troublesome" and said there should be a more politically diverse group of panelists. He said the event was "clearly" partisan and violated U-M guidelines and called Cunningham's statements otherwise "ludicrous."

Democratic candidates for regent Shauna Ryder Diggs and Mark Bernsein could not be immediately reached via phone for comment.

The event is hosted by the Institute for Research on Women and Gender and takes place at 4 p.m. Monday in the Hatcher Graduate Library.

Kellie Woodhouse covers higher education for Reach her at or 734-623-4602 and follow her on twitter.



Fri, Oct 26, 2012 : 4:10 a.m.

It's actually the Republicans that want to protect women by not allowing the abortion providers in the lucrative abortion industry to take advantage of them when they're in a vulnerable state of mind and feeling a sense of urgency to do something that might cause them much future pain, anguish and regret. Republicans are not the ones manipulating women into thinking that abortion is their only "real choice" for unplanned/unwanted pregnancies. They aren't the one's selling a "service" through deception and hiding the facts about their fetus, that it's not just a blob of tissue, it's a living, developing human being, and it has intrinsic value in and of itself, regardless of whether it's wanted by it's mother or not. Rather, it's republicans that are letting women know the truth about their developing fetus and about abortion including the risks, while offering them alternatives such as both open and closed adoptions, providing private and family counseling for younger women, connecting women in need with agencies for financial assistance, etc.


Thu, Oct 25, 2012 : 1:11 a.m.

The head of the College Republicans was utterly incoherent during Q&A portion of the event. She wanted protection for her pro-life stance .... duh! Is anyone taking away your rights? And then there was this guy who went on talk about the fact that "he enjoyed his wife very much ...". That was the point I had to leave .... All in all, these people did/do not understand the nature of academic, intellectual, informed discourse. They were party hacks while the people on the stage were thoughtful people -- you might disagree with them, absolutely, but then you should engage the arguments. As for the people who were in there, but shoot off their mouth: get an intellectual life!

Ron Granger

Wed, Oct 24, 2012 : 11:35 p.m.

"I've struggled with it myself for a long time, but I came to realize that life is that gift from God," said Mourdock, the state's treasurer. "And, I think, even when life begins in that horrible situation of rape, that it is something that God intended to happen." Yeah, sure. No war on women here.


Wed, Oct 24, 2012 : 3:13 p.m.

I'd normally agree with the GOP and candidate Steele on this general point; UofM is a pretty liberal place, and it would be great if more THOUGHTFUL conservative viewpoints could be presented to them from time-to-time. Unfortunately, the GOP "Brand" (Norquist term) hasn't been very thoughtful lately, esp. about women's issues. Part of their "Brand" includes Todd Akin and Richard Mourdock, who call's a pregnancy due to rape "God's Will". I'm sure I'm biased, but I'm trying to find Democrats that say this sort of thing. Usually they don't. Mostly they just find ways to justify spending your money (library millage) but frankly, the GOP has been doing alot of that too. Anyway, given the pronouncements of Akin and Mourdock, unfortunately, the event name had some legitimacy. Did anyone go?


Tue, Oct 23, 2012 : 8:08 p.m.

Wow .... a Regent Candidate wanting to micro-manage Academic Content ? This is dangerous territory ! Regents are not educators and are not elected to manage or influence academia content to suit their own political beliefs, but should encourage discussion of relevant cultural topics. Unbelievable

John S. Armbruster

Tue, Oct 23, 2012 : 3:44 p.m.

Let's have a second presentation, "Obamacare, road to economic disaster". This way everyone can be equally offended.


Thu, Oct 25, 2012 : 3:24 p.m.

The Tea Party has polluted what used to be the GOP. That kind of extremism has no place in politics on the local or national stage

John S. Armbruster

Wed, Oct 24, 2012 : 8:27 p.m.

KMS, I appreciate the difficulty. I will usually vote conservativly but that is not all that likely this year. Too many Republicans running for office are way too off the wall.


Wed, Oct 24, 2012 : 6:41 p.m.

John: Actually I nearly always vote conservatively. Although with the likes of Ann Coulter, Todd Akin, and Rob is sometimes embarrassing to be a Republican. I do however, like Rick Snyder.

John S. Armbruster

Wed, Oct 24, 2012 : 3:54 p.m.

I want to thank the liberal commenters for proving my point. This is political and not educational. Tax dollars should not be used. I love progressives who advocate free speech as long as you agree with them.


Tue, Oct 23, 2012 : 7:20 p.m.

And perhaps Steele can host a Republican Women's forum and invite University of Michigan alumna Ann Coulter to speak. She called Obama a retard after the debate last night. A class act, that one....

Superior Twp voter

Tue, Oct 23, 2012 : 2:47 p.m.

Sickening. Not a penny of my tax money should go to U of M.


Tue, Oct 23, 2012 : 2:21 p.m.

@Kellie Woodhouse "Steele's remarks come shortly before the Nov. 6 general election and beg the question: How involved should a regent be in university programming?" The phrase "beg the question" does not mean to raise a question. It means to say something is true based on the statement itself. It is a form of logical fallacy.

Bryan Ellinger

Tue, Oct 23, 2012 : 9:17 p.m.

That's the original meaning. Here we have a case of a shift in language where the original meaning is overwhelmed by more common (ignorant?), modern usage. C'est la vie.

Elijah Shalis

Tue, Oct 23, 2012 : 1 p.m.

Wow so many comments. It is amazing to see how many old school males there are that read this site and are knuckle draggers.


Tue, Oct 23, 2012 : 12:26 p.m.

Prior to this article, I was, frankly, not much aware of the candidates for regent. Furthermore, I don't much care for the term "Republican War on Women." However, I find it disturbing that Steele is so intolerant of diverse views that he says he would work to stop such programs if elected. Let's hope he is not. Any candidate who plans to censor groups that don't share his own views is not fit to be regent.

Unusual Suspect

Tue, Oct 23, 2012 : 11:59 a.m.

"Republican war on women" is an invented boogeyman and is simply a euphemism for, "Pay no attention to that dismal record behind the curtain!"


Tue, Oct 23, 2012 : 12:16 p.m.

Sorry, but the people "behind the curtain" (and in the bedroom spying) are not democrats or independents. They are the "transvaginal" Bobs and the "legitimate rape" Akins that seem to believe that men know better than women what women's bodies are all about. It is the people who want to de-fund Planned Parenthood that serves so many women (issue is that they are "poor women", I guess, and if you are on the right, why would you want to help the poor?). "Big Brother" is watching from behind the curtain and he ain't no democrat!


Tue, Oct 23, 2012 : 11:55 a.m.

The need for Repubs to control and censure is alive and well "Steele, a cardiologist, said he doesn't think top U-M administrators knew about the event title, but said if he were on the board he would advocate for "better oversight on these press releases." So if you do not agree, instead of allowing it to come to debate, censor it before it gets there. These guys are scary!


Tue, Oct 23, 2012 : 11:20 a.m.


Jay Thomas

Tue, Oct 23, 2012 : 10:46 a.m.

How the heck can an event titled "The Republican War on Women" also be non partisan? Simply preposterous... BTW: Both the White House and democrats in Congress were found to be paying women less than men after inventing this issue for the 2012 campaign. That's why some have taken to calling the House minority leader, Nancy Paylousy.


Tue, Oct 23, 2012 : 6:47 a.m.

And just who was it that politicized human reproduction in the first place? Seems to me: there's still plenty of truth to the idea we must fight anyone who tries to use government (and laws) to force us to do only as they like and approve. Let's set this thing straight: the question of whether a zygote is "a living human" isn't even within the realm of political (or pseudo moralist) competence. There is NO evidence whatever that an abortion is either "good" or "evil." That's all in the heads of ideologues who truly believe their ideology has all the answers. Hence: the current (low) state of American political "thought" (ha-ha!). The Republican element here is determined to avoid having the question THEY raised brought up for discussion. So it's fair to conclude that Republican policy is against questioning any of their so-called "beliefs." If this is a country where individual rights are dominant over government intervention: then the question is already answered and closed. Neither political party (and no political party) should ever be allowed to use entirely speculative moralist arguments to achieve a political agenda. Rather, all political parties should be held legally responsible if they subvert truth, facts, honesty and rationality. The firt priority of every American should be truthfulness and honesty, otherwise this country will fall.


Tue, Oct 23, 2012 : 6:10 a.m.

Sure it's "partisan" just like the "fair and balanced" Fox News act. ;-) We remember Joseph Goebbels' response to Churchill's criticism of Nazi Germany - he declared Great Britain to be a war mongering nation. Sound familiar? RE: "A GOP candidate for University of Michigan regent has been outspoken in his criticism of a school-sponsored event that he says has a clear liberal bias." Not so long ago, we had a GOP member from the Michigan Atty. General's office campaigning against U of M's Student Body President because (it was alleged) that young man was a homosexual who was leading a gay campaign to take over U of M. Something about the Republicans' tendency to always managing to find a monster under the bed kinda creeps me out. If U of M is so bad, why don't these "righteous" conservative types all move to Greenville, SC and join the gang at Bob Jones University? I'm sure they'd find things a lot less scary there. ;-)


Tue, Oct 23, 2012 : 10:59 p.m.

Godwin's law, friend...

Ron Granger

Tue, Oct 23, 2012 : 1:14 p.m.

"We remember Joseph Goebbels' response to Churchill's" I believe it is spelled Joseph Gopbbels.

martini man

Tue, Oct 23, 2012 : 3:23 a.m.

How about the liberal war on children ???...Hundreds of thousands killed by abortion each year ...yet the liberals look on it as a sacred right . Almost a heroic act. Ya gotta luv dem ol Librools .All knowing , all caring , all controlling.


Tue, Oct 23, 2012 : 12:08 p.m.

liberal war on children...oh please Hannity give it a rest!


Tue, Oct 23, 2012 : 3:09 a.m.

The only war on women I see is from the Lefts (democrats) who must think women are too stupid to know of or care about any other topic than (free) birth control and abortions. That somehow the fear of being (somehow magically) forced into being barefoot and pregnant is more important than the economy, debt and everyother issue there could be. The democrats know, an informed woman is much less likely to vote for them.


Wed, Oct 24, 2012 : 12:40 p.m.

Keep those women barefoot and pregnant! (and in the kitchen of course)!


Tue, Oct 23, 2012 : 6:13 a.m.

And the Republicans know: a misinformed woman is far more likely to vote for them. :)


Tue, Oct 23, 2012 : 1:31 a.m.

Rob Steele has my vote!

Angry Moderate

Tue, Oct 23, 2012 : midnight

Terri, what makes you think it would have turned out the same way if these attentive citizens hadn't brought the issue to light, and gotten the name of the event changed?

average joe

Mon, Oct 22, 2012 : 11:52 p.m.

In 2009 & 2010, the democrats had complete control in Washington. If there is such a thing as a war on women, then why didn't the democrats do something to stop the carnage? Sounds more like a talking point that only becomes important PRE-election, but somehow get's put on a shelf after election day so it can be used again every two years. The U of M should not be promoting this one-sided "debate".

martini man

Tue, Oct 23, 2012 : 3:26 a.m.

The Uof M is promoting a one sided debate because the U of M is a liberal university controlled by ultra liberals. It's what they are and who they are.


Tue, Oct 23, 2012 : 12:15 a.m.

WRING. This is the GOP fantasy. The Right wingers had a fillibuster on most issues. The Dems had a super majority for about 49 days/ Al Franken was not sworn in until July 7th 2009 and Ted Kennedy died on August 25, 2009

Ron Granger

Mon, Oct 22, 2012 : 11:44 p.m.

The official Republican party platform includes support for "personhood" laws that define human life as beginning at the moment of conception. Many interpret that law as a way to block birth control using "the pill". The pill can prevent a fertilized egg from attaching to the wall of the uterus. Many think it is all about controlling women's vaginas. Even the word apparently makes some Republicans uncomfortable.

Ron Granger

Tue, Oct 23, 2012 : 1:11 p.m.


average joe

Mon, Oct 22, 2012 : 11:52 p.m.

Who is "many"?

Billy Bob Schwartz

Mon, Oct 22, 2012 : 11:29 p.m.

"Mark Bernsein" Oops. Your omitted a t. Bernstein.


Mon, Oct 22, 2012 : 10:46 p.m.

This lecture series is about as surprising as the article yesterday about the loud planes flying over Michigan Stadium. It's the University of Michigan for pete's sake. This is exactly the kind of lecture you would expect to see there if you have been anywhere near campus in the last few decades. It's a provocative title intended to draw a large audience of like-minded individuals. It is not a University-sponsored course for which credit is given so the Regents should have nothing to do with it. Personally, I think it'll be a yawner because the panelists will be trying to prove their points to people who already agree with them. The solution to the "problem" of people talking about something you disagree with is not to try and prevent them from having their discussion. You can create your own discussion instead. You can ignore them. But instead, Mr. Steele wants to complain that other people have differing opinions from him. Perhaps Mr. Steele believes he can change the University of Michigan into a conservative think tank. Or, more likely, he is just grandstanding like any other politician to try and get votes.

Roger Stutesman

Mon, Oct 22, 2012 : 10:21 p.m.

Since Rob Steele's party is against evolution and global warming, is he also going to protest when science departments put on panels that deal with those issues? Additionally, since his party has as one of its leaders a man who believes that a woman who is raped cannot get pregnant and numerous leaders who want to restrict women's rights to birth control, would he also protest if a panel discussion were held in which these topics were discussed? As regent would he only permit public discussions to be held at U of M if the topic and format gave advantage to the Republican Party?


Mon, Oct 22, 2012 : 10:21 p.m., please remove the question mark for your headline. The accompanying poster announcing this event does not contain it. The poster, (sans ?, but with the cute little target) coupled with the incredible "balance" of the panel members listed, is a definite indication of where this gab fest is heading...


Mon, Oct 22, 2012 : 10:12 p.m.

Doesn't matter whch party does it, the University could lose it's 501c status as a non-profit, which means if they do, they will have to start paying property taxes and become a private school for violating campaign election laws. It's pretty bad when an institution of higher learning becomes so political that this is put in jeopardy and the person responsible should be terminated.


Tue, Oct 23, 2012 : 1:51 a.m.

bubba: how do you figure that a lecture on one topic is violating election laws? This is not a debate between candidates running for office!


Tue, Oct 23, 2012 : 1:46 a.m.

Bubba: The University won't lose it's nonprofit status over a lecture series.

average joe

Mon, Oct 22, 2012 : 11:40 p.m.

I am also wondering if the u/m is violating those pesky (probably enacted by republicans....) campaign election laws.

Great Lakes Lady

Mon, Oct 22, 2012 : 10:10 p.m.

This "War on Women" verbiage is nothing more than Democratic party deviation tactics...... imaginary "boogey man's gonna getcha" scare tactics..... geared towards women who seemingly are not concerned about the economic ramifications of the policies of these last four years. The Dems don't want you to take note of the broken promises of the last four years....nor the multitude of women who have fallen deeper into poverty.....the lies about the assassination in Benghazi, Libya, etc.....


Mon, Oct 22, 2012 : 10:36 p.m.

Well said, Great Lakes Lady!


Mon, Oct 22, 2012 : 9:55 p.m.

It is important for voters to know the beliefs of candidates for regents of the U. of M. One reason is that U. of M. staff benefits could be at stake if a regent against non-traditional significant others redefines who is eligible for benefits. I think Rob Steele has expressed his views about banning equal rights for partners of the same gender. While this could be an assault on men and women, the emphasis on women is warranted because the U. of M. is the only major place that doesn't interfere between patient and doctor when it comes to women's health care. With the disappearance of independence of so many community hospitals, the public policy statement of St. Joe's (available on-line) emphasizes that they don't prescribe nor dispense contraception. Though regents would need major support at the U. of M., the fight would take away emphasis from other policy matters, such as controlling tuition costs.

Ron Granger

Mon, Oct 22, 2012 : 9:41 p.m.

' Steele ... said if he were on the board he would advocate for "better oversight on these press releases." ' Steele has apparently not read the formal GOP Platform. Apparently he is unfamiliar with the efforts to block access to birth control, including the pill. In Steele's ideal world, University students and faculty are not able to publish articles and author headlines like big boys and girls. They must submit to oversight by people who "know better" than them. In his world, an administrative body will apparently be created to approve speech that is acceptable. Yes, Mr. Steele. Please investigate the University for this troublesome speech. Maybe you can hold hearings before Congress, and declare your "Republican War on Free Speech".


Tue, Oct 23, 2012 : 1:08 p.m.

Stephen, given what birth control costs without insurance, most women would no longer have access to it if their insurance didn't cover it. You can call that "silliness" but it is the truth for many women. Would vasectomies still be covered?

Stephen Landes

Mon, Oct 22, 2012 : 10:23 p.m.

Wow, Ron. First, there is no attempt to restrict access to birth control including the pill. There is an open, unresolved issues of whether or not businesses and organizations should be required by law to fund such access through the insurance programs they offer their employees. No one has suggested that the pill should not be available to any adult who wants to use it. All of this silliness was created by an out-of-the-blue question by George Stephanopolis in an interview earlier in the year and by a phony "press conference" with Sandra Fluke. As for freedom of speech, we need to preserve a difference between a University sponsored event and an interest-group sponsored event. If the University wants an event to explore whether or not there is a war on women then they should not use either political party's name in the title or description: they are well within their rights to hold an event asking the question "Is there a war on women?" If the U of M student Democrats want to have a political meeting titled "Republican War on Women" that would, in my opinion, be fine. It would also be fine for student Republicans to hold their own meeting in opposition. As for a war on free speech I suggest you ask Democrats about that tactic.


Mon, Oct 22, 2012 : 9:23 p.m.

Of course there`s a war on women ! From nitMitt saying he`ll "get rid of Planned Parenthood", to Clod Aiken saying raped women can`t get pregnant while inventing the term "legitimate rape", to many states making abortion harder and harder to access, to the Catlic` church`s obession against birth control (Catholic unwritten dogma: No penis, no power)..etc, etc


Mon, Oct 22, 2012 : 10:32 p.m.

Too true! Romney wants to end Roe vs Wade!!


Mon, Oct 22, 2012 : 9:10 p.m.

Whether the event is aimed at Republicans or not, or if it is aimed at getting out the Democratic vote or not - I don't care. What I do care about is a panel like this used to have both sides of the question on the agenda, so that the people who attended had a chance to hear both sides, sometimes one side was a token attendee, but at least both sides were represented. More and more I find that the UofM has 1 sided panels and does not even try for balance. This is sad, since as a premiere university that wants to have a diverse set of students and opinions, providing only one side takes away from that goal. I would love to see the UofM take on more topics that matter with balanced panels of speakers and open to the public.


Tue, Oct 23, 2012 : 4:47 p.m.

Terri Eagen-Torkko- And the optics of a different group holding a rebuttal panel for the UofM would be even worse than they are now. As it is, this series, mostly because of timing and lack of balance, has caused some people to write off a great university. With the strong push for diversity, I would expect that the UofM would want to have every side of a debate at the table, especially this close to a major election that is tight, so as to not cause this kind of an outcry. I suspect the logo for the series will end up being used by the right edge fringe against the UofM in the future. Also not good for the UofM. We only get to a compromises if both sides talk to and listen to the other side. Right now this series seems like more of the "I only want to talk to my side" that has split the country apart. Which is too bad for all. We need to compromise and heal the divide in this country.

Terri Eagen-Torkko

Tue, Oct 23, 2012 : 1:06 p.m.

Don, there's nothing stopping anyone from hosting a "rebuttal" panel.


Tue, Oct 23, 2012 : 11:51 a.m.

Terri Eagen-Torkko - No more parts to the series, no rebuttal to the panel that is happening right before the election. Too bad, it makes the series to a paranoid outsider look less balanced and educational and more political. I miss the more balanced debates that the UofM used to have where both sides were given a chance to speak and be heard. Not always did the audience listen, but at least the optics were balanced.

Terri Eagen-Torkko

Tue, Oct 23, 2012 : 2:56 a.m.

Don, are you asking why A2 dot com didn't mention that the event was part of a series? I have no idea. There are no more events scheduled as part of this series.


Tue, Oct 23, 2012 : 12:37 a.m.

Terri Eagen-Torkko- And will a third panel on the Democrats happen before the election with people who are unhappy with their positions? That would seem fair to me. OBTW - why was this not part of the original article? How come the UofM did not make this known to the author of the article? Or did Ann Arbor.Com decide this was not news worthy?


Tue, Oct 23, 2012 : 12:35 a.m.

averagejoe: So what if it's a one-sided program? That's one of the greatest things about the First Amendment. Groups are not constitutionally required to present both sides of an argument. I actually think "war on women" is an unnecessarily inflammatory term and I think DonBee is spot on when he calls for more balanced, 2-sided forums. Nevertheless, this group has a right to present any kind of program they want. I find Steele's opposition offensive and am surprised he would take such a stance when he is trying to get elected.

Terri Eagen-Torkko

Mon, Oct 22, 2012 : 11:43 p.m.

DonBee, the panel was designed to give space for feminists' marginalized voices to be heard. The Institute for Research on Women and Gender hosted this panel as the second in a series--the first one was "Democrats, Republicans and the Politics of Gender," which touched on similar themes through the lens of political science. This evening's panelists considered how the "Republican war on women" is played out in the media in this election cycle--all three panelists are feminist journalists. As a whole, the University does an excellent job, IMO, of presenting differing opinions via campus events.

average joe

Mon, Oct 22, 2012 : 11:34 p.m.

KMS- I don't see how people see this as "attacking free speech." I think the problem Steele sees is the promotion of a one sided program by the u/m.


Mon, Oct 22, 2012 : 9:30 p.m.

Good points...there's probably fewer and fewer balanced forums of the type you suggest in these politically divisive times. However, there is nothing stopping Steele or anyone else to offer up a "How Republican Policies Benefit Women" forum. I find it offensive that he is trying to curtail any form of free speech. My daughter, a first time voter, student at the U, and president of a large on-campus organization, has just posted this story on her Facebook page and already it is blowing up with comments. A bad move for Steele, I think, to take this anti-free speech position so close to the election.


Mon, Oct 22, 2012 : 9:02 p.m.

Let's be honest the whole "War on Women" thing was concocted by the DNC to distract from economic issues. Think their vaunted Lily Ledbetter Act, which is a boon for trial lawyers, but doesn't actually fix pay discrimination (which is already illegal). Or there obsession with the 77 cents to a dollar wage gap, which is based on goofy numbers. Or of course the old and tired "Republicans are going to bring women back to the dark ages" which they claim every election, yet has never happened. If there's anyone who's been conductin a "War on Women", it's Barack Obama and the Dems, who support sub-standard safety protection in abortion clincis, think women can only think with their vagina instead of their brain, and whose economic policies have taken countless women out of the workplace and into the unemployment line.

Jaime Magiera

Mon, Oct 22, 2012 : 11:50 p.m.

Sully, I would argue the opposite. The Republicans denying the war on women and pointing to the economy is an attempt to nullify an important social issue.

Terri Eagen-Torkko

Mon, Oct 22, 2012 : 11:39 p.m.

Sully, you're wrong. The "War on Women" turn of phrase is from the title of a 1996 book written by a Republican woman who was bemoaning how conservative her party was becoming. You know how I learned that? I attended the event. If you had, you'd know that none of the things you mention in your post have anything to do with what happened at the panel.


Mon, Oct 22, 2012 : 8:57 p.m.

In the last year, a number of prominent conservatives have been on campus to speak - to name a few: Herman Cain, Margaret Spellings (Bush Ed Secretary), Eric Cantor, etc. To pretend that there is no representation of the conservative viewpoint on campus is just ignoring the truth. There are hundreds of visiting speakers & panels happening on campus every day. How exactly is this regental candidate going to be more "hands on". Crazy.

Rick Stevens

Mon, Oct 22, 2012 : 8:41 p.m.

Hey Rob -- how about your party's stance on evolution, climate change, etc. You're fine with that? I guess then you're anti-science and probably don't care much about education. And shouldn't be a regent.


Mon, Oct 22, 2012 : 8:58 p.m.

Dont forget the Republican platform plank in Texas to ban the teaching of critical thinking in Texas schools.


Mon, Oct 22, 2012 : 8:40 p.m.

OK so what are the women fighting for, if your going to make a statement at least expound on it. I hate when you keep me guessing and make me think republicans do not want women around or have signed some declaration against them.


Mon, Oct 22, 2012 : 8:25 p.m.

Geez, what about Freedom of Assembly? Isn't there something about the right to peaceably assemble for political speech in the First Amendment? Not a fan of Steele trying to stop a University gathering. I will have to look closer at the candidates for regent and I will be forwarding this article to my daughter, a student at the U, and encourage her to spread the word about Steele.


Tue, Oct 23, 2012 : 12:08 p.m.

indymama: well, then how would you interpret this? I see a campus group exercising their right of free speech to present a program and a candidate, with a different point of view, wants to stop them. Regardless, we all have one vote to use as we please. However, most people are not aware of candidates for the more obscure offices as regent. I will pass this article along through social media as I think people should know that Steele is not tolerant of diverse views.


Tue, Oct 23, 2012 : 4:14 a.m.

kms: Be sure you haver your facts straight!!! before you start " to spread the word...." because you have interpreted this in the wrong way!!!

average joe

Mon, Oct 22, 2012 : 11:30 p.m.

Spread anything you wish as long as it's accurate. I believe the major problem that Steele has with this is that it appears to be, and/or is sponsored atleast in part by the U of M.


Mon, Oct 22, 2012 : 8:17 p.m.

Looks like Rob Steele is sporting a Shemp Hannity haircut.

Tom Todd

Mon, Oct 22, 2012 : 11:40 p.m.

2 WARS on credit, billions for banks,billions for haliburton,tax cuts for the wealthy and super huge blame the unions tactics.

Blue Marker

Mon, Oct 22, 2012 : 8:35 p.m.

He cuts his own.


Mon, Oct 22, 2012 : 8:32 p.m.

Right. As I recall not too long ago the primary method Republicans used for determining their presidential votes was the "guy I'd like to have a beer with" standard. And we all know how swell that worked out.


Mon, Oct 22, 2012 : 8:23 p.m.

Is how your vote is decided? Gotta be a democrat then.


Mon, Oct 22, 2012 : 8:05 p.m.

I am interested to know what "The War on Women" is? Could someone please provide specific data to help me to understand this war being waged on American women. I feel like women are so blessed in this great country of ours .Thank you in advance.


Wed, Oct 24, 2012 : 1:18 p.m.

Chimay, I didn't complain about "all the children receiving food and shelter on the government's dime" Actually I would happily pay for these children to have a shot at life. They are living and I am thankful their mom chose life. I think we have a moral obligation to help the poor and should provide free care to them including birth control. But, "The War On Women" is about free birth control for all regardless of income. This I disagree with. Also, I believe a lot more effort should go toward helping poor woman obtain gainful employment, skills so they can eventually contribute to their own birth control and needs. I don't believe Planned Parenthood is the appropriate place to receive birth control. It is like going to the candy store owned by the local dentist. I don't belive anything is free. The Affordable Care Act will provide federal subsidies to private health plans for abortion according to this federal law abortions are labeled medical services. Michigan has not restricted insurance coverage for abortions in the upcoming insurance exchanges. " I feel that the greatest destroyer of peace today is abortion, because it is a war against the child, a direct killing of the innocent child, murder by the mother herself." - Mother Teresa "And if we can accept that a mother can kill her own child, how can we tell other people not to kill one another?" - Mother Teresa


Wed, Oct 24, 2012 : 2:07 a.m.

So, thankfulmom, access to birth control shouldn't be an option unless it is medically necessary and terminating a pregnancy is wrong? Don't complain then about all of the children out there receiving food and shelter on the government's dime. The bottom line is that birth control is not affordable for many women in this country, including those who have full-time jobs. Government funding that goes to places like Planned Parenthood pays for sex education, exams, and prescription birth control - never abortion - and saves this country millions, if not billions, of dollars a year in prenatal care, health care, and food/cash assistance. Do everyone a favor: research the issues yourself, don't ask people on this forum to do it for you. Researching it yourself means that you can come to your own conclusion, not someone else's, assuming your research comes from a variety of sources.

dirty irish

Tue, Oct 23, 2012 : 11:14 p.m.

@thankfulmom: you don't pay for my health insurance, therefore, you do not pay for my prescription meds.


Tue, Oct 23, 2012 : 2:33 p.m.

grimmk, I suppose it depends on what your view of access to healthcare is. My view is paying for your birth control pills is healthcare if it is for a medical condition such as endometiosis. However, I do not believe society should pay for your birth control if it is not medically necessary. I am interested if you also believe condom use should be paid for, if not is it a "War on Men?" As far as abortion, there are many people who believe in the sanctity of life. We believe abortion is murder, plain and simple. I don't understand how you think it is appropriate to ask for us to pay for you to murder your child. In this country it is legal to murder your child, and if you can live with yourself it can't be stopped. But please pay for this atrocity yourself.

Laura Jones

Mon, Oct 22, 2012 : 11:15 p.m.

Also include the tirade by rush Limbaugh about women's birth control. The GOP opposes health care benefits including covered birth control. Women's pay inequity is an issue - although the Ledbetter act may not be the way to address it. Mitt's answer to women in the work place is to give women more flex time, which I guess means he thinks all women who work have kids and need more time off.


Mon, Oct 22, 2012 : 10:30 p.m.

The war on woman is about restricting access to birth control and abortions. Restricting our access to healthcare is appalling. Also most women pay more in healthcare expenses. Yet men can have easy acess to ED meds. Women are being told what they can and cannot do to their bodies.


Mon, Oct 22, 2012 : 9:24 p.m.

Thank you, leaguebus for taking the time to respond with actual data. I am not well informed regarding The Lily Ledbetter Fair Pay for Women Act, but I'm interested in becoming informed. The women leading this forum may want to consult Mary Sue Coleman for advice regarding how to make more money than 77% of men in the same job.


Mon, Oct 22, 2012 : 8:55 p.m.

Voting down the Lily Ledbetter Fair Pay for Women Act is one part of the Republican War on Women. Women make 77% of what men make at the same jobs, why wouldn't the Republicans be behind this bill?


Mon, Oct 22, 2012 : 8:45 p.m.

I'm sure thanlfulmom was being sarcastic!


Mon, Oct 22, 2012 : 8:26 p.m.

Or go to the rally. I'm sure it will be explained.


Mon, Oct 22, 2012 : 8:08 p.m.

Read the following link.


Mon, Oct 22, 2012 : 8:04 p.m.

I used to work in the same department as Rob Steele and always found him to be cocky, demeaning, and just generally mean towards other employees especially the women who worked there. I feel that he is your typical Republican, anti women. It seems like from this article that he wants to control free speech on campus which is very scary and can lead down a slippery slope that Rob Steele would love to go down.


Thu, Oct 25, 2012 : 3:19 p.m.

D Miles...David or Darrell?


Tue, Oct 23, 2012 : 8:47 p.m.

D Miles...and I'm just saying....perhaps this doctor feels the same way about you that you do about him...despite your gender? So what you are saying is this doctor is a follower of misogyny? Have you ever had the opportunity to relay that opinion to this person? I am not a Republican, they are way too liberal for my liking...


Tue, Oct 23, 2012 : 2:23 p.m.

"Pat" - "rick", or "ricia" ? BTW, cocky, demeaning and just generally mean, sums up a lot of doctors, at least according to the nurses I know.


Mon, Oct 22, 2012 : 8:23 p.m.

DJM- My "real name" is Pat Jenkins and I am great at my job despite my gender. What is your "real name"?


Mon, Oct 22, 2012 : 8:14 p.m.

Gee goblue7182...funny you don't use your real name but can make remarks about someone...perhaps Dr. Steele found you to be an incompetent caregiver regardless of your gender....

David Cahill

Mon, Oct 22, 2012 : 7:50 p.m.

The Republican war on women has led to one of the largest polling gender gaps between Obama and Romney in history. The truth hurts, doesn't it, Republicans?


Tue, Oct 23, 2012 : 4:05 a.m.

Hey Chase, some of us use birth control for health concerns other than preventing pregnancy. I need it for a medical issue, and without insurance, the generic version of mine costs $70.

Chase Ingersoll

Tue, Oct 23, 2012 : 3:30 a.m.

Chase wins again. Birth control, and protect from STD's Walmart $6.47 and no prescription required: See, you just have to make sure that it was rational thought that predicated the political biases, rather than only accepting facts that agree with your feelings.

Unusual Suspect

Tue, Oct 23, 2012 : 1:17 a.m.

Using David Cahill's "logic," I can say that the left is waging a war on white males, since the polling shows a discrepancy in that area.


Tue, Oct 23, 2012 : 12:01 a.m.

Chase proves again why the GOP has no clue about women's health. He assumes the pill costs $10 per month at Walk Mart It is EXACTLY that attitude that has earned the GOP their deserved reputation of having a War on Women.

Terri Eagen-Torkko

Mon, Oct 22, 2012 : 11:35 p.m.

Chase, ten bucks doesn't cover birth control. If you take a pill, you need a prescription, which requires health care visits as well as ongoing visits with an hcp. You also assume that all birth control is one kind of pill, I think, right? There are many different kinds of pills and they're at many different price points.

Laura Jones

Mon, Oct 22, 2012 : 11:11 p.m.

I agree Sunset and kms. Chase, you are incorrect, you cannot get all birth control for $10 at Walmart.

Chase Ingersoll

Mon, Oct 22, 2012 : 10:54 p.m.

Dude: Check the latest polls. Obama was so miserable on the economy that the gender gap has disappeared as the women calculated that with a better job market, they could buy their own birth control pills for $10 per month at Walmart.


Mon, Oct 22, 2012 : 8:40 p.m.

you're right Macabre Sunset...Romney would have my vote if he still had the same position on social issues as he did when he was governor. I am conservative when it comes to fiscal issues but can't stomach the conservative approach when it comes to the social issues.


Mon, Oct 22, 2012 : 8:25 p.m.

That would merely expose his pandering. He'll do or say anything to anyone if he thinks it will win him votes.

Macabre Sunset

Mon, Oct 22, 2012 : 7:59 p.m.

I don't think we've ever had an election where the divide between the candidate was perceived as greater between their social policies and their economic policies. IMO, Romney is making a huge mistake by catering to the right-wing demand of a "pro-life" candidate. He could put this election away tomorrow if he reverted to his position when he ran in Massachusetts.


Mon, Oct 22, 2012 : 7:45 p.m.

"Steele, a cardiologist, [del].. he were on the board he would advocate for 'better oversight on these press releases.' And there lies the GOP approach to "Freedom of Speech" and "Expression" in an educational environment.


Tue, Oct 23, 2012 : 11:04 a.m.

Simply put, if Steele can't tolerate a discussion panel with views other than his own, he is not fit to be regent.


Mon, Oct 22, 2012 : 7:43 p.m.

You have my vote Rob.


Mon, Oct 22, 2012 : 7:42 p.m.

The "Republican War on Women" started in the Republican majority of Congress and has been enacted in far too many state legislative bodies, including a particularly ugly drive in Michigan. Remember the "vagina" episode. I find it reprehensible that some Republicans are chosing to deny their party's stance and behaviors regarding women's rights and are then attacking those who really do want to explore and learn about the issues that are confronting our country today which includes the role of women in our society. This candidate for a regents position is apparently so knotted up with partisan mindsets that it would appear very difficult for him to fulfill his responsibilities in an impartial and responsible way.

Nancy Shiffler

Tue, Oct 23, 2012 : 4:52 p.m.

Actually, the phrase "The Republican War on Women" comes from a book title from 1996.


Mon, Oct 22, 2012 : 11:36 p.m.

And don't forget the "binder women".

Laura Jones

Mon, Oct 22, 2012 : 11:06 p.m.

I am a Republican and you are correct. You have to be blind as a woman not to see we have suddenly become an issue this election on things I had believed long settled. Doesn't mean I like Democrats - but on this issue, it is quite so. You forgot Rush Limbaugh's attack on the woman who testified in front of congress, Mitt's answer to pay inequity and the GOP in congress saying birth control should not be a universal benefit - but Viagra is.


Mon, Oct 22, 2012 : 7:40 p.m.

I am shocked that anyone would suggest that a university is left-leaning (sarcasm intended)


Tue, Oct 23, 2012 : 1:15 p.m.

Well, universities do have the highest concentration of educated people than any other institution. So it's really not that surprising.


Mon, Oct 22, 2012 : 7:38 p.m.

How about the "Democrat War on the Family?"


Tue, Oct 23, 2012 : 12:09 p.m.

When you don't have facts...just make stuff up! FAUX news has taught you well

Macabre Sunset

Mon, Oct 22, 2012 : 7:37 p.m.

Interesting that there's so much coverage of the Ivory Tower War on Conservatives. They must provide good doughnuts.

Top Cat

Mon, Oct 22, 2012 : 7:37 p.m.

The Left is getting increasingly shrill and desperate as they watch Obama sink. This isn't fooling anyone.

Unusual Suspect

Tue, Oct 23, 2012 : 1:15 a.m.

It's extremely relevant because it's one of the several lies they're telling to make people scared.


Mon, Oct 22, 2012 : 8:23 p.m.

Irrelevant to this discussion.


Mon, Oct 22, 2012 : 7:37 p.m.

I wonder if he would object to one called "The Democrats Socialist War on America"...


Tue, Oct 23, 2012 : 1:13 p.m.

Yeah, a Socialist War.... A war in which children are educated in socialist schools. A war in which planes fly in socialist skies. A war in which you drive on socialist roads to get to work and are protected by socialist firefighters and police. A brutal war this is indeed!


Mon, Oct 22, 2012 : 7:31 p.m.

"Steele, a cardiologist, said he doesn't think top U-M administrators knew about the event title, but said if he were on the board he would advocate for 'better oversight on these press releases.' Fellow Republican candidate Dan Horning said that while regents shouldn't micromanage university operations, 'when the violations clearly step over the line it's important that the regents step in.'" Would the same statement be made if it had been related to the Democratic party? Are these candidates saying they now want to control free speech?


Mon, Oct 22, 2012 : 7:28 p.m.

The war on Women is being waged a long way from these shores. When a young Pakistani girl stands up for the rights of Women (girls) to be educated and gets shot in the head for those beliefs, there's your true war on Women.

sun runner

Wed, Oct 24, 2012 : 5:44 p.m.

I pay for my own health care. So much for "everybody else." Am I still serving my own "selfish interests"?

Unusual Suspect

Tue, Oct 23, 2012 : 2:19 p.m.

No, Sun, but expecting everybody else to buy it for you is.


Tue, Oct 23, 2012 : 1:11 p.m.

@ Unusual Can you name an instance where women are telling men they should be denied coverage for a medical condition? Or is it just men doing that to women?


Tue, Oct 23, 2012 : 1:10 p.m.

@Unusual YOU'RE the reason this event is called the "Republican War on Women" and your politics are the reason it's happening. Thanks, we Libs appreciate it!

sun runner

Tue, Oct 23, 2012 : 12:50 p.m.

So...a woman's desire to control her reproductive health and decisions is a "selfish interest"?

Unusual Suspect

Tue, Oct 23, 2012 : 11:58 a.m.

Some plans over it, some don't. Go shopping for the plan that covers what you want. If you want everybody to have the same thing and no competition, go east about 40 miles. You can have it right now. But don't ruin this country for everybody else just for your own selfish interests.

Laura Jones

Tue, Oct 23, 2012 : 1:31 a.m.

Unusual Suspect - if your medications are covered, then so should everyones. Why make a pointed exception for a drug for women's health? It is not only used as birth control. It is not the same as ibuprofen, which you can purchase over the counter.


Tue, Oct 23, 2012 : 1:22 a.m.

Laura, I disagree. Violence against women and children in the US is a very real issue. Even more than those pesky glass ceilings.

Unusual Suspect

Tue, Oct 23, 2012 : 1:14 a.m.

I buy my own Ibuprofen. You buy your own birth control.

Laura Jones

Mon, Oct 22, 2012 : 11:01 p.m.

That's true. Here it is confined to less horrifying issues like pay inequity, no coverage for birth control and that pesky glass ceiling. Much more livable, but none the less disappointing.

Dog Guy

Mon, Oct 22, 2012 : 7:21 p.m.

"The name was chosen because the phrase 'Republican war on women' is widespread among popular culture," I've never heard it, but I don't listen to NPR.


Tue, Oct 23, 2012 : 1:07 p.m.

Oh, come on "Angry" You pick on Jesse Jackson and then claim you are a moderate? How about some Republican/Conservative pastors that don't follow that rule? Any come to mind?

Terri Eagen-Torkko

Tue, Oct 23, 2012 : 2:52 a.m.

Angry Moderate, it wouldn't have been the same. There would have been no one campaigning. The event didn't surprise me--they covered the topics and issues that we expected them to cover (I say "we" because I am the event manager at the Institute for Research on Women and Gender). I think the only thing that really surprised me was an audience member's comparison of birth control and toothpaste. I didn't see that coming.

Angry Moderate

Tue, Oct 23, 2012 : 12:03 a.m.

johnnya2 - last time I checked, the Pope was not a U.S. citizen, nor did he have tax-exempt status in the U.S. I'm pretty sure that he doesn't have to follow the same rules as U of M. Jerry Falwell is dead, so good luck getting him to pay back taxes.

Angry Moderate

Tue, Oct 23, 2012 : 12:01 a.m.

Terri, what makes you think it would have turned out the same way if these attentive citizens hadn't brought the issue to light, and gotten the name of the event changed?


Mon, Oct 22, 2012 : 11:58 p.m.

"although "Reverends" like Jesse Jackson ignore that rule too" Pat Robertson, Jerry Falwell and the Pope have done far more than Jesse Jackson. Jacksons group is NOT a church, it is the rainbow coalition. Just because he IS a reverend does not mean he can not have other jobs. Of course, i would check to see the non-profit status of Liberty U and also of Pat Robertson and his 700 club.

Terri Eagen-Torkko

Mon, Oct 22, 2012 : 11:30 p.m.

I attended the event. The only person who campaigned was the woman challenging John Dingell for his seat.

Angry Moderate

Mon, Oct 22, 2012 : 10:31 p.m.

Ron Granger - yes, you are correct--when they are using taxpayer money and the resources of taxpayer-funded institutions, they must follow the rules. Just like churches that are not allowed to promote political candidates as part of their non-profit status (although "Reverends" like Jesse Jackson ignore that rule too).

Ron Granger

Mon, Oct 22, 2012 : 9:37 p.m.

' Steele ... said if he were on the board he would advocate for "better oversight on these press releases." ' Steele has apparently not read the formal GOP Platform. Apparently he is unfamiliar with the efforts to block access to birth control, including the pill. In Steele's ideal world, University students and faculty are not able to publish articles and author headlines like big boys and girls. They must submit to oversight by people who "know better" than them. In his world, an administrative body will apparently be created to approve speech that is acceptable. Yes, Mr. Steele. Please investigate the University for this troublesome speech. Maybe you can hold hearings before Congress, and declare your "Republican War on Free Speech".

Terri Eagen-Torkko

Mon, Oct 22, 2012 : 8:28 p.m.

There are 183,000,000 matches via Google search.


Mon, Oct 22, 2012 : 8:08 p.m.

Something tells me you've heard "The War on Christmas" many, many times though.


Mon, Oct 22, 2012 : 7:37 p.m.

*shrug* Your loss.