Loser of the Week: Steve Southerland’s “He-Man Women Haters Club” fundraiser

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U.S. Rep. Steve Southerland is proving he is not necessarily a friend of “the ladies.”

As uncovered by reporter Kate Nocera of BuzzFeed, in March, organizers held a fundraiser for the Panama City Republican that was advertised as a meeting of a “small group of concerned men.”

Attendees were instructed to tell the “misses not to wait up,” because the “after dinner whiskey and cigars will be smooth, and the issues to discuss are many.”

No women need apply there.

“Good men sitting around discussing & solving political & social problems over fine food & drink date back to the 12th Century with King Arthur’s Round Table,” the invite continued. You know, the enlightened age.

What makes Southerland this week’s leading contender for Loser of the Week is that he is running for another term in Florida’s 2nd Congressional District against Democrat Gwen Graham, one of “the misses” not welcome at the fundraiser.

Graham, daughter of former governor and U.S. Sen. Bob Graham, was presumably was not invited to Southerland’s “He-Man Women Haters Club” event.

In an email response to BuzzFeed, Southerland campaign manager Luke Strickland said that any extra attention paid to the private, men’s only event is “laughable.”

For Republicans, who are desperately trying to shed the image of being the party of “old white men,” Southerland’s gaffe is certainly is no laughing matter.

Peter Schorsch is the President of Extensive Enterprises and is the publisher of some of Florida’s most influential new media websites, including SaintPetersBlog.com, FloridaPolitics.com, ContextFlorida.com, and Sunburn, the morning read of what’s hot in Florida politics. SaintPetersBlog has for three years running been ranked by the Washington Post as the best state-based blog in Florida. In addition to his publishing efforts, Peter is a political consultant to several of the state’s largest governmental affairs and public relations firms. Peter lives in St. Petersburg with his wife, Michelle, and their daughter, Ella.