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One Memphis Resident Who’s Taking Her Name Off Emily’s List

Last week in our [pages][1], we reported on an historic campaign win by Memphis politician Steve Cohen, who is now the Democratic nominee for Congress from Tennessee’s ninth district.

Cohen, a longtime Tennessee state senator, is the first white candidate in three decades to win the backing of the Democratic voters in the ninth district, which is 60 % African-American. His race and religion were frequent targets for attack throughout the primary campaign, with one other candidate, Julian Bolton, going so far as to tell the Memphis Commercial Appeal that Cohen wants to join the Congressional Black Caucus solely to lobby its members on behalf of Israel.

“He thinks he’s going to go in there and trick the CBC,” Bolton told the newspaper. “He thinks they’d be honored to have him. The only reason he wants to join is that he wants to get money for Israel.”

Now, one of Cohen’s greatest critics – the political action committee Emily’s List – may be getting some payback. Known for supporting “progressive,” pro-choice female candidates, Emily’s List backed candidate Nikki Tinker in the ninth district primary, and in the process, mischaracterized Cohen’s record, according to some of his supporters.

One of them, Memphis resident Dale Engelberg, turned out to be a longtime donor to Emily’s List. She doesn’t have any children, and had the group listed as one of three beneficiaries on all of her financial and insurance accounts.

But no more, she told the Forward: “I plan on withdrawing them as my beneficiary on all of my funds and writing them a little note giving the reasons why.”

Engelberg said she is not upset that Emily’s List backed Tinker, but that it used what she called “Karl Rovian” tactics in smearing Cohen.

[1]: minority-district/


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