In an exercise in intersectionality, California Gov. Gavin Newsom on Sunday said he will be appointing EMILY’s List President Laphonza Butler of Maryland to fill the seat of the late Sen. Dianne Feinstein of California. Butler is not only black and female, she is lesbian, checking three valuable demographic boxes for Newsom, whom many believe to be eyeing the presidency in 2024, should President Joe Biden falter.
Newsom had earlier said he would appoint a black woman to the seat, if Feinstein was unable to finish her term in office. She died Friday.
EMILY’s List is a fundraising machine that helps elect Democrat women who support abortion. Rep. Mary Peltola of Alaska is one of the beneficiaries of the Fund, having received thousands of dollars from the independent expenditure group in 2022.
EMILY’s List says that since its founding in 1985 it has raised over $700 million to elect Democrat women who support abortion, and it has recruited, trained, and supported candidates that share the abortion-on-demand values of the organization.
Butler was an adviser to Vice President Kamala Harris before becoming the president of EMILY’s List. She was the head of SEIU Local 2015, a union representing more than 325,000 nursing home and home-care workers throughout California. She was on the University of California Board of Regents and was director for public policy and campaigns at Airbnb, where she would have crossed paths with Alaska Democrat political strategist John Henry Heckendorn, of Ship Creek Group, who worked for the CEO of Airbnb during that same period.
She served as a board member for the National Children’s Defense Fund, BLACK PAC, and the Bay Area Economic Council Institute. Butler was a director for the Board of Governors of the Los Angeles branch of the Federal Reserve System. She received a BA in Political Science from Jackson State University.
Although Butler lives in Maryland, according to her EMILYs List biography, she will have to reregister to vote in California in order to represent the state.