In a bit of news that seems unlikely to help the GOP’s latest efforts to attract women, Texas Republicans have added yet another offense to their “Inappropriate Things Said to Women” laundry list. On April 1 — sadly not as an April Fool’s Day joke — Shaun Nowacki, the comptroller for political consulting group Blakemore & Associates, registered a new political action committee called “Boats ‘N Hoes PAC” with the Texas Ethics Commission. The fun lasted for all of 17 days.
The outrageous moniker is most likely a reference to the 2008 film Step Brothers, which features a music video for a song of the same name. Regardless of its origin, however, the name is clearly political malpractice, and does nothing for the GOP’s supposed attempts to attract the female vote. Soon after the San Antonio Express-News reported the PAC’s existence, Texas Democratic Party Deputy Communications Director Lisa Paul released a statement that drew attention to the GOP’s “pattern of disrespect” for women, despite its claims of wanting to reach out. Said Paul:
There’s no defending the use of a derogatory and offensive term like ‘hoes.’ How can women possibly take the GOP rebranding effort seriously? Their consistent contempt towards women is simply unforgivable.
From 1991 to 2004, Blakemore & Associates — which describes itself as providing “political consulting and fundraising services for Republicans” — advised Texas attorney general Greg Abbott on eight previous campaigns. The firm is currently working with state Senator Dan Patrick’s (R) campaign for lieutenant governor. Abbott, who is running for governor, was quick to distance himself from the PAC; his spokesman Matt Hirsch released a statement calling the name “reprehensible” and assuring voters that “Greg Abbott denounces any person or entity that uses such offensive language.”
Even so, Abbott’s opponent, Wendy Davis, who trails him by 14 points according to the latest poll of the race, was quick to go on the offensive against the absurd PAC. Davis’ spokeswoman, Rebecca Acuña, pointed to his campaign stops with “an admitted sexual predator of underage girls” — a reference to Ted Nugent — and his reliance on the advice of Charles Murray, whose controversial book Real Education has garnered significant criticism regarding his stance that women and minorities are intellectually inferior. (Ironically, the book’s name is misspelled as “Read Education” in Abbott’s pre-kindergarten education plan.)
Considering these allies, Acuña suggested that “Greg Abbott’s consultants are clearly taking their cues from Abbott himself,” and went on to say, “The language used by Greg Abbott’s consultants is offensive to every Texas mother and daughter — and the men who love them — and has no place in politics.”
Davis needs to make up serious ground in the next few months before the November 4 election, and her campaign clearly hopes that this latest faux pas will help her close Abbott’s 8-point lead among women.
Craig McDonald, the director of Texans for Public Justice — a nonprofit that monitors political funds — called the PAC’s name “tasteless,” and said, “It would be hard to imagine what kind of candidate would accept their support.”
No candidate has, nor will any candidates have, the opportunity to do so. The PAC — which has yet to file any fundraising reports — will be shut down on Thursday, according to The Texas Tribune. It seems that at the very least, the GOP knows when it’s gone too far.
Regardless, the short-lived “Boats ‘N Hoes PAC” has certainly solidified its place on The Week‘s list of “annoyingly ridiculous SuperPAC names,” alongside such greatest hits as “Just Drink The Koolaid” and “The Dump Him Project.”
Photo: The Texas Tribune via Flickr