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ICYMI: Begich Supports Pay Equity for Women

KTVA: “No sign of women getting paid less for performing the same role”


ANCHORAGE — Senator Mark Begich joined Alaska women and equal pay supporters at the YWCA in Anchorage to discuss the importance of equal pay for women and his support for the Paycheck Fairness Act, a bill that would put tough safeguards in place to end pay discrimination for women.

Begich is the only candidate in Alaska’s Senate race that supports equal pay for equal work and opposes all forms of discrimination.

An investigative report from KTVA Channel 11 found ads being run by Outside groups misleading and reported “there is no sign of” Begich paying his female staff less.

Outside groups - including those backed by Karl Rove and the billionaire Koch brothers - supporting Dan Sullivan have spent over $4 million already and are set to spend another $12 million in the next few months.

Read the full story here and below:

Begich responds to pay equality criticism

By Kate McPherson 6:58 AM August 26, 2023

ANCHORAGE – Creating conditions in the workplace that make it easier for women to fight for equal pay continues to be a political divider.

Republicans are trying to use the equal pay issue against Sen. Mark Begich, who’s running for re-election in November. Republican heavyweight Karl Rove is behind a group that put out the latest ad attacking Begich; aiming to leave the viewer with the impression that Begich is against equal pay for women and claiming he doesn’t pay his female staffers fairly.

Begich says, in some cases, the opposite is true.

“My legislative correspondents, my legislative aids — job to job, class to class — in those two, for example, women make more money,” Begich said after addressing a crowd at the YWCA in Anchorage on the issues of equal pay for equal work and raising the minimum wage in Alaska.

A list of around 57 Begich staffers and their salaries shows no clear indication that women are paid more than men performing the same role. It’s also not clear how much experience staff members have; a factor which might influence how much someone is paid.

“They just make this stuff up, they use whatever data points they want to make their point,” said Begich, referring to the people behind the ad.

Begich said the figure in the attack ad looks like it’s derived from adding up all of the women’s salaries and all of the men’s salaries, but doesn’t take into account the actual job description — for example the chief of staff, who is male and gets paid upwards of $76,000 for the senior role.

“Almost 70 percent of my workforce are women, when you compare job class to job class in some cases we are paying women 108 percent — more than men.”

The latest ad against Begich also urges the viewer to tell him to support a piece of legislation that is supposed to end pay discrimination. Begich’s campaign said this bill is just a watered down version of the Paycheck Fairness Act. While Begich supported that measure, it fell six votes short of passing in the U.S. Senate in April.

The Paycheck Fairness Act can be reconsidered. The legislation would enhance penalties for employers who intentionally discriminate against female workers.