Kendall Hicks has been endorsed by Capital Women, the Women’s Political Action Committee of the Capital Region, in the race for Saratoga Springs Public Safety Commissioner.
Their Facebook About page states:
CapitalWomen is a political action committee that works to get progressive candidates elected to state and local positions. We are based in the Capital District of NYS. We work on electoral and issues campaigns and organize for change.
It seems odd on a number of levels that they have endorsed Mr. Hicks.
One would assume that a group that is involved in encouraging and supporting women running for office would have been interested in at least interviewing Mr. Hicks’ female opponent, Robin Dalton, before making an endorsement. They did not.
They apparently were also not concerned that Mr. Hicks’ had been the subject of a police report involving an assault on a woman. Although charges were dropped against Mr. Hicks, the police report contains some disturbing details and raises some unanswered questions.
Capital Women–Who Are They?
Sources in Albany tell me Capital Women is primarily the creation of Libby Post.
Ms. Post runs a consulting firm that focuses on working with political campaigns. Some readers may recognize her name from the WAMC morning show The Roundtable where she is a regular panelist along with Alan Chartock. It is worth noting that it is possible that the candidates Capital Women endorse and contribute to may use Ms. Post’s consulting firm.
Neither the website nor the Facebook page for Capital Women gives any information about the organization’s structure. JoAnn Smith and Kathryn Allen are identified as Team Members on the Facebook “About” page and are described as “managing” Capital Women. Under contact information, Joanne Cole is identified as the Women’s Ministry Director. She has a page on the site where she writes “Gathering together and building community with others is God’s design and we are committed to providing opportunities for women to connect and grow with God and with one another.” She continues, “We believe in the great potential of every woman and together we can make our church and community a better place. ” What she means by “our” church is not explained.
While Ms. Post’s name does not appear on the Facebook page or website of Capital Women, she was featured along with Joanne Yepsen and Tara Gaston in a March 1, 2018, feature Spectrum News did on the expansion of the group into Saratoga County. After Ms. Yepsen and Ms. Post discussed the need to support progressive candidates in Saratoga County, the interviewer turned to Ms. Gaston who described how important this group had been in her successful campaign for Saratoga County Supervisor. Readers of this blog may remember that in a recent post Ms. Gaston, in sharp contrast to Capital Women, announced she was withdrawing her support from Mr. Hicks
Ms. Yepsen has been an important supporter of Mr. Hicks from the beginning of his campaign. She and Ellen Egger-Aimone, Hicks’ campaign manager, accompanied Mr. Hicks when he met with the previous chair of the city Democratic Committee to explore their endorsement which did not happen. The current Democratic Committee has declined to endorse him and passed a resolution supporting the #MeToo movement.
Capital Women has now endorsed two candidates in the upcoming Saratoga Springs elections, Kendall Hicks for Commissioner of Public Safety and Patty Morrison who is running for Finance Commissioner and is also supported by Ms. Yepsen. As in the case of Robin Dalton, Capital Women never interviewed Patty Morrison’s opponent, incumbent Michele Madigan. Capital Women gave Ms. Morrison $1,000 in her race in the Democratic primary against Ms. Madigan.
While Capital Women have an online application for endorsements and contributions, there is little to describe who decides endorsements and how candidates are selected and funded. Capital Women’s opaque endorsement process seems to be more about who you know than who is best qualified.