U.S. Politics

Meet the three women of color who were just elected into the U.S. Senate

Meet the three women of color who were just elected into the U.S. Senate

Image Credit: Getty Images


One silver lining of the election night on Tuesday is the amount of women of color in the U.S. Senate quadrupled with three big wins in California, Illinois and Nevada.

There is only one woman of color currently serving in the U.S. Senate, according to Vox, and her name is Mazie Hirono. In November 2012, Hirono made a milestone for becoming the first woman elected senator for Hawaii and the only Asian-American female senator. Hirono is Japanese-American.

That all changed on Tuesday when Rep. Tammy Duckworth (D-Ill.), California Attorney General Kamala Harris (D-CA), and former Nevada Attorney General Catherine Cortez Masto (D-NV) were elected to the U.S. Senate.

Here’s what you need to know about these groundbreaking women:

Tammy Duckworth

Meet the three women of color who were just elected into the U.S. Senate
Tammy Duckworth is also the first member of Congress born in Thailand.
Source: J. Scott Applewhite/AP

On Tuesday, Duckworth became the first Asian-American woman elected as a U.S. Senator for Illinois. In 2013, Duckworth became the first disabled woman elected to the House of Representatives. Duckworth served in the House of Representatives for Illinois’s 8th congressional district for three years.

Prior to becoming a public official, she also worked at the Department of Veteran Affairs and served in the U.S. Army as a commissioned officers where she flew combat helicopters. The senator-elect lost two of her legs during a combat mission in the 2003 Iraq War and damaged her right arm.

Duckworth was born in Thailand to an American father, who was a U.S. veteran, and a Thai-Chinese mother. While her father worked for the United Nations, Duckworth moved around the world and picked up Thai and Indonesian.

Kamala Harris

Meet the three women of color who were just elected into the U.S. Senate
Harris is the second African-American women elected into the U.S. Senate.
Source: Eric Risberg/AP

On Tuesday, Harris is also the second African-American woman elected into the U.S. Senate, where she will represent the state of California. She is a woman of many firsts — the first female, first African-American, first Indian-American and first Asian-American attorney general of California.

Harris was born in Oakland, California, to an Indian-American mother, who is a breast cancer specialist, and Jamaican-American father, a professor at Stanford University. Harris went to Howard University for her undergraduate degree and earned her Juris Doctorate at the University of California, Hastings College of Law.

Catherine Cortez Masto

Meet the three women of color who were just elected into the U.S. Senate
Catherine Cortez Masto will be the first Latina elected into U.S. Senate.
Source: John Locher/AP

When she takes her oath in early 2017, Masto will be the first Latina elected into the U.S. Senate. She served as the attorney general of Nevada for eight years between 2007 to 2015.

Masto graduated from the University of Nevada, Reno, with a Bachelor’s degree in business administration and the earned her Juris Doctor at Gonzaga University School of Law. She was born in Nevada to a Mexican-American father and Italian-American mother.

Sarah Harvard

Rep. Joe Walsh

Joe Walsh Obamacare Opposition Prompts Tea Party Favorite To Suggest People ‘Break The Law’

Joe Walsh Obamacare

You did in fact lose your bid for re-election Mr. Walsh.  Perhaps you need to gather your marbles and go home.  Game over for you, sir.

Incendiary rhetoric only make you and your party look uh…”out of touch” with reality.

The Huffington Post

Former Rep. Joe Walsh (R-Ill.), a staunch opponent of the Affordable Care Act, suggested people “defy and or break the law and engage in civil disobedience” in response to Obamacare restrictions or new gun laws.

“We may have to shed blood every couple hundred years to preserve our freedoms,” Walsh told supporters at a rally, according to Chicago’s DNAinfo.

Walsh also criticized conservatives who don’t “understand we’re at war [with progressives.]” DNAinfo reports:

Walsh said there is a battle between the old values of freedom against the new emphasis on government control. “These two Americas are having it out,” he said, adding it was the old, traditional conception of America against the new, progressive America.

“I do want to go back,” he said.

Although he talked tough politically, saying, “We have no Republican Party in this state — none,” he added, “I’m not there yet with a third-party movement.”

He also said, “Don’t yet give up on the Republican Party.”

During his time in Congress, Walsh continually expressed opposition to the Affordable Care Act, once saying he “would have voted to repeal ObamaCare” once a month if he were the House Speaker. Walsh spent two years in Congress before being defeatedby Democratic challenger Tammy Duckworth in November.

Walsh isn’t the only tea party favorite to have a strong opposition to Obamacare. Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-Minn.) filed the first bill of the new legislative session “to repeal Obamacare in its entirety.”

Rep. Joe Walsh · Tammy Duckworth

Duckworth rips Walsh over ‘dress’ attack: Mostly I’ve worn one color – camouflage

Tammy Duckworth in Rolling Meadows Illinois debate

Rep. Joe Walsh may be in for a rude awakening on Election Day…

The Raw Story

In a debate stunt gone wrong on Tuesday night, incumbent Congressman Rep. Joe Walsh (R-IL) attacked his Democratic challenger, Iraq War veteran Tammy Duckworth, by showing a photo of Duckworth choosing her dress for the 2012 Democratic National Convention, which she neatly turned around by calling attention to her military service.

At the rambunctious debate in Rolling Meadows, Illinois, Walsh accused Duckworth of being a DC-Beltway insider candidate.

According to Talking Points Memo, Walsh said, “And I think darn near everybody in this audience is sick and tired — and I’ll say with a smile — of Republicans and Democrats, elected officials, who seem to poll test every syllable of every word that they utter, because they’re so afraid of offending people and losing votes.  You’re seeing the perfect example of that up here on this stage. Tammy Duckworth will not say a thing that David Axelrod and her advisers won’t let her say.”

He then held up a photo of Duckworth picking out a dress in order to attack her for the apparent sin of wanting to wear something nice on national television.

“I was marching in a parade in Schaumburg (IL), Sunday, two days before the Democratic convention,” he said, “when Tammy Duckworth was on a stage down in Charlotte (NC) — if you can look at the picture — picking out a dress for her speech Tuesday night.”

Duckworth responded in her own statement, saying, “And yes, I do sometimes look at the clothes that I wear, but for most of my adult life, I’ve worn one color — it’s called camouflage.”

Walsh is engaged in a fierce battle with Duckworth for Chicago’s 8th District.  Earlier this year, Walsh claimed that Duckworth, who lost both legs when her helicopter was shot down in Iraq, was not a “true hero” in the sense that she has talked about her service in Iraq as part of her campaign.  According to Walsh, “Our true heroes, the men and women who served us, it’s the last thing in the world they talk about. That’s why we are so indebted and in awe of what they have done.”

Duckworth responded in the debate, “My opponent has attempted to criticize me for talking about my military service. But I served — and he didn’t, so you’ll forgive me if I talk about it a little bit now — because I think it’s important. My military service is key to understanding who I am as a person. It is at the core of my life of service to this nation. You know, when you’re part of a unit, it’s not about the individual, it’s about the mission and banding together to get things done.”

TPM reports that “A survey from mid-September conducted by Democratic firm Public Policy Polling, commissioned by the League of Conservation Voters, showed Duckworth leading Walsh by a margin of 52 percent to 38 percent.”

Watch the video…

Rep. Joe Walsh

Joe Walsh: Democrats Want Hispanics, African Americans ‘Dependent On Government’

Joe Walsh

This guy and Alan West are the biggest buffoons in the GOP…

The Huffington Post

Rep. Joe Walsh (R-Ill.) made another controversial remark last week, telling constituents that Democrats want Hispanics to be dependent on government — and claiming that African Americans already are.

“The Democratic Party promises groups of people everything,” Walsh, a conservative freshman from suburban Chicago, said during a Schaumburg, Ill., speech caught on video provided by CREDO SuperPAC, an anti-tea party group. “They want the Hispanic vote, they want Hispanics to be dependent on government, just like they got African Americans dependent on government. That’s their game.”

Walsh goes on to say that civil rights activist Jesse Jackson “would be out of work if [African Americans] weren’t dependent on government.”

Walsh was elected in 2010, part of a wave of tea party-backed candidates elected to the House of Representatives that year. His district in the northern Chicago suburbs is a key target for Democrats this year. The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee is putting its weight behind his opponent, Tammy Duckworth, as part of a “Red to Blue” effort to take back the House, the DCCC chairman, Rep. Steve Israel (D-N.Y.) said in March.

Walsh has a flair for the dramatic in his speeches, and last week’s was no different. He began to speak loudly, telling his constituents he gets “wound up” for them. “I am scared. I really am scared, Patrick, that we’re past the point — we have so many people now dependent on government, so many people want handouts,” he said.

Walsh also has a history of controversial remarks about race — and plenty of other issues. He said in April that Obama was elected because he’s black, telling constituents at another town hall that electing the first African American president “made us feel good about [our]self.”

He came under fire for comments to Politico in March about Duckworth, a veteran who lost both of her legs and part of an arm while serving in Iraq:

“I have so much respect for what she did in the fact that she sacrificed her body for this country,” said Walsh, simultaneously lowering his voice as he leaned forward before pausing for dramatic effect. “Ehhh. Now let’s move on.”

Watch Walsh’s remarks on Hispanics and African Americans below, or view a longer video of the town hall meeting here.