Former Reporter Recalls Phyllis Schlafly

Sep 6, 2016

Phyllis Schlafly
Credit CREDIT (GAGE SKIDMORE)

The outspoken conservative activist Phyllis Schlafly has passed away.  She was 92 and died at her home in St Louis Monday. 

Schlafly was a vocal leader on the far right for decades.  In the 1970's,  she led a fight against the Equal Rights Amendment.  A lot of that centered on Illinois and played out at the statehouse.  Taylor Pensoneau had a front row seat as a state government reporter. 

"She literally, in my opinion more than anyone else, was responsible for derailing the ERA," Pensoneau said.  That position and many others led to the strong feelings people have about Schlafly.

"There was no middle ground with Phyllis and she knew that.  In aggressively promoting her causes, she took no prisoners," he said.  

But the former reporter found her a fascinating subject.  Personable, smart and committed to the cause. But she viewed the media as unfair.  "She felt the bulk of the media was against her.  She viewed many newspapers and reporters as philosophical enemies," Pensoneau said.