Sandra Fluke ‘Strongly Considering’ Run for Henry Waxman’s Seat

The lawyer Rush Limbaugh once called a ‘slut’ is reportedly mulling a congressional campaign.

Sandra Fluke, here a third-year law student at Georgetown University, testifies during a hearing before the House Democratic Steering and Policy Committee in February 2012.
National Journal
Marina Koren
Add to Briefcase
Marina Koren
Jan. 30, 2014, 11:27 a.m.

When Henry Wax­man was elec­ted to the House of Rep­res­ent­at­ives, he was 35 years old. Now, at 74, the con­gress­man says he’s ready to pass the torch.

“After 40 years in Con­gress, it’s time for someone else to have the chance to make his or her mark, ideally someone who is young enough to make the long-term com­mit­ment that’s re­quired for real le­gis­lat­ive suc­cess,” he said in a state­ment an­noun­cing his re­tire­ment Thursday.

Just a few hours after news of Wax­man’s de­par­ture broke, a po­ten­tial (and young) can­did­ate has spoken up: Sandra Fluke.

“I’m flattered that I’m be­ing dis­cussed as a po­ten­tial can­did­ate,” Fluke, 32, told KP­CC, a Cali­for­nia ra­dio sta­tion. “A num­ber of folks I re­spect very deeply have reached out today and en­cour­aged me to run. I am strongly con­sid­er­ing run­ning.”

Her name should ring a bell. Two years ago, in Feb­ru­ary, Fluke was barred from testi­fy­ing at a House Over­sight and Gov­ern­ment Re­form Com­mit­tee hear­ing about con­tra­cep­tion. Chair­man Dar­rell Issa said that be­cause Fluke was not a mem­ber of the clergy, she could not ap­pear on the ul­ti­mately all-male pan­el, which was sup­posed to dis­cuss con­tra­cep­tion in re­la­tion to re­li­gious free­dom.

So House Demo­crats con­vened an un­of­fi­cial hear­ing them­selves. Fluke, then a third-year law stu­dent at Geor­getown, spoke in sup­port of the Af­ford­able Care Act’s re­quire­ment that in­sur­ance com­pan­ies cov­er con­tra­cept­ives like birth con­trol.

A few days later, con­ser­vat­ive ra­dio host Rush Limbaugh called her a “slut” on his show.

“What does it say about the col­lege co-ed Susan Fluke [sic] who goes be­fore a con­gres­sion­al com­mit­tee and es­sen­tially says that she must be paid to have sex — what does that make her? It makes her a slut, right?” Limbaugh said. “It makes her a pros­ti­tute. She wants to be paid to have sex. She’s hav­ing so much sex she can’t af­ford the con­tra­cep­tion. She wants you and me and the tax­pay­ers to pay her to have sex.”

In March, a spokes­man for House Speak­er John Boehner, un­der pres­sure from Demo­crat­ic law­makers and con­sid­er­able pub­lic out­cry, said Limbaugh’s com­ments were “in­ap­pro­pri­ate.” Limbaugh even­tu­ally apo­lo­gized for his “word choices.”

Fluke has plenty of time to think about a run, and she’s not the only one. Steve Lopez at the Los Angeles Times sus­pects that Zev Yaroslavsky, a long­time Wax­man polit­ic­al ally who sits on the Los Angeles County Board of Su­per­visors, will soon be vy­ing for Wax­man’s open seat. Bobby Shriver and Sheila Kuehl, who are run­ning to re­place Yaroslavsky on the board, could jump in­to the race, too.

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