Former State Treasurer Sarah Steelman, a Republican now hoping to unseat Sen. Claire McCaskill (D-MO), said recently that she was unfamiliar with the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA), the landmark anti-domestic violence legislation whose re-authorization is now stalled in the Senate.
Senate Republicans are objecting to re-upping the 1994 law, which has already been extended several times, because of amendments that would extend protections for Native American women, gay victims, and others.
A video released today by the Missouri Democratic Party shows a man asking Steelman about VAWA at a campaign event. Steelman replies, “I’m not sure what that is because I’m not serving right now.” He asks again, “You haven’t really heard about it?” And she confirms, “No, not really.” Watch it:
Caitlin Legacki, a spokeswoman for the Missouri Democratic Party, told Inside Missouri Politics that the exchange “underscores how ill-equipped she is to serve in public office.”
For her part, Steelman said in a statement: “Of course I am for stopping violence against women.” But she accused Senate Democrats of making the bill a “political football” and said she would would look at “an improved version” of the bill advanced by Republicans.