Tradeswomen of Missouri are fed up with Josh Hawley

Plus, the deep conservative ties to a recent anti-reparations lawsuit.

A coalition of Missouri tradeswomen have signed an open letter denouncing Sen. Josh Hawley’s (R-MO) backing of controversial NFL kicker Harrison Butker. Last month, Butker made statements during a commencement speech saying he would “guess that the majority of [women in the audience] are most excited about your marriage and the children you will bring into this world.” 

Shortly after the backlash to Butker’s remarks, Hawley made a post to X where he said he was “Never more proud to call Harrison Butker my friend.” 

But now, 55 working women in Hawley’s homestate are denouncing his support. “It’d be one thing if it was just a speech, because at the end of the day, Harrison Butker has a right to say and believe what he wants,” the group's statement read. 

“But the problem for us is this — Josh Hawley has taken this obsession with controlling how women live to elected office,” the statement continued. “Hawley voted against the Pregnant Workers Fairness Act. He’s attacked No-Fault Divorce laws. He cut overtime pay for more than 200,000 Missouri workers, including women who provide their families’ only source of income.” 

This is not the first time that Hawley’s “pro-worker conservatism” has flown in the face of his actual record. During last fall’s United Auto Workers (UAW) strike, Hawley feigned support for the disgruntled laborers — even calling himself “pro-worker.” 

Yet campaign finance disclosures revealed that Hawley received $25,000 in PAC money from General Motors, Ford and Toyota during his 2018 Senate campaign. 

A recent lawsuit being filed against the city of Evanston, Ill.,  which sought to provide reparations for Black residents displaced by racist housing policies, is being spearheaded by the conservative legal activist group Judicial Watch. 

In a press release, the group announced they were leading a class action lawsuit which challenges “on Equal Protection grounds Defendant City of Evanston’s use of race as an eligibility requirement for a program that makes $25,000 payments to residents and direct descendants of residents of the city five-plus decades if not more than a century ago.” 

“Plaintiffs seek a judgment declaring Defendant’s use of race to be unconstitutional,” the statement continued. 

Judicial Watch may not be a household name, but their activism has been connected with a variety of well-known Republican bugbears. In particular, Judicial Watch has been preoccupied with conspiracies surrounding former President Bill Clinton and former Secretary Hilary Clinton. This has included falsely blaming the couple for the deaths of associates like Vince Foster and Seth Rich, claims that the Clinton Foundation used charity funds for their daughters wedding and filing Freedom of Information Acts regarding Hilary Clinton’s private email server. 

The group, led by the pro-Trump conservative Tom Fitton, has also become deeply involved with litigating voter fraud in the 2016 and 2020 elections. Additionally, research by the Journal of Qualitative Description found that Fitton was one of the key players in spreading disinformation about the 2020 election. Fitton, according to Democracy Docket, also “claimed, without evidence, that Democrats were secretly planning to delay the election tally until Jan. 21, 2021 in order to allow former House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D–Calif.) to become acting president.”

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Jamie Larson