Morgan Lamandre is a Louisiana attorney and mother of two with political aspirations. She is running for the Louisiana State House Of Representatives. Currently, she and her husband both work full time. Her kids are at school during the day and go to aftercare. But, Lamandre has come across a new problem. While campaigning, she will need someone to look after her kids on the weekends.
Lamandre decided to ask the elections board if she could use a portion of her campaign funds to pay for the childcare services that would not be necessary if she weren't running for office. Her request was denied by a 5-2 vote. The denial of the claim said that childcare expenses are not an acceptable expense. Lamandre said the denial proves there is "veiled sexism" in politics. Lamandre was told that "childcare...should come before public office or anything else." She was also told that her "primary responsibility is caring for her child" and she should not make the choice to run for office if it will impact her ability to care for her kids. The board also questioned how Lamandre would be able to do her job with two young children.
People were quick to point out what they found to be sexist and hypocritical on Twitter. JP Morrell, a Louisiana State Senator, shared a picture of his daughter sitting with him on the Senate floor saying, "Due to my wife being in Nursing School, my kids were underfoot EVERYWHERE during last session. Having kids doesn't 'disqualify' you from serving when we're constantly making decisions [a]ffecting families w/ small kids." Lamandre also shared her views on the decision, echoing claims of hypocrisy and sexism.
Lamandre's tweet points out that male politicians have had their childcare expenses approved in the past. She also shared that despite the claim that running for office deprioritizes her children "family is [her] number one priority, and since politics affects them [she's] decided the best way to represent our values is to have a seat at the table." Despite these difficulties, Morgan Lamandre is continuing with her campaign. She believes that her situation proves that there is still inequality between men and women and politics and she will continue to fight against the uneven playing field.
What do you think? Should she be allowed to use her campaign funds to pay for childcare? Or, is the election board right to say that her priority should be childcare? Let us know your thoughts in the comments!