HRC Members Prepare Weekend Canvass in New York Prior to Rapidly Approaching Elections

The following is from HRC Field Fellow Errin E. Doyle

With only eighteen days until the New York state Senate general election, the stamina surrounding Tim Kennedy’s candidacy in the 58th district is increasing.  The energy continues to grow. New and old faces show up daily to help phone bank and canvass the doors of fellow western New Yorkers, deliver literature and yard signs and assist in the numerous other facets of Kennedy’s campaign.  There is a strong HRC presence that helps steer the campaign’s progress, making everyone on board feel like a family.

Thanks to the fact that the Buffalo Bills had the weekend off this Sunday, the opportunity to run a huge canvass on Sunday presented itself. (In Buffalo, there is nothing more sacred than when the Bills play Sunday; it is the only time we don’t engage in voter contact.) I’ve been working alongside fellow HRC member Nicole Jowsey to coordinate volunteers and prepare for a weekend of voter contact for Kennedy, a fair-minded proponent of equality and our endorsed candidate for the New York state Senate.  With the pressure building as voting day approaches, there is much work and excitement in getting Kennedy’s message for change out to voters in his district.

If you’re in the western New York area and interested in meeting other HRC members and volunteering on a strong, pro-equality campaign, please contact Regional Field Organizer David Contreras Turley at 202.330.3790 for more information.


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—  John Wright

Approaching next week’s vote on the Defense bill: Where the votes are — or should be

Kerry Eleveld spoke to Servicemember United’s Alex Nicholson about the upcoming vote on the Defense Authorization — looking at where the votes are. It’s expected that John McCain will continue to filibuster the Defense Authorization legislation.
Majority Leader Harry Reid will file cloture on Thursday, meaning there will be a key vote early next week to end the filibuster — probably on Tuesday. The big question is whether the rest of the GOP caucus will join with McCain. Nicholson provided some intel:

Although some Democratic senators, such as Jim Webb of Virginia, might break with their party and support the filibuster, some Republican senators could help compensate for the deficit.

Sen. Richard Lugar of Indiana has already indicated he would not support a filibuster; Sen. Susan Collins of Maine voted for the repeal measure in the Senate Armed Services Committee and is a good candidate to also break with her party. Other GOP senators who might vote to break the filibuster include Olympia Snowe of Maine and Judd Gregg of New Hampshire.

Nicholson noted that no Democratic senator has given a strong indication to date that he or she would join a Republican filibuster.

What’s less clear is what might happen if the bill reaches the Senate floor, where amendments might be offered to strike the repeal language or to expand the terms of the certification process beyond the president, Defense secretary, and chairman of the Joint Chiefs to also include the service chiefs of the Army, Navy, Air Force, and Marines. Either measure would require 51 votes to pass.

But Nicholson said there’s still an element of the unknown in any calculation at this point.

“A lot of the vote estimations really come from pre-recess intelligence,” he said, noting that senators just returned to Washington Monday. “I don’t think any organization has gotten a feel for how the August recess has impacted members positions on this issue.”

As I mentioned yesterday, Senator Scott Brown (R-MA) also announced he won’t filibuster the Defense bill over DADT. And, he voted for the Defense Authorization bill in Committee.

The best thing to do: Call your Senators. Both of them: 202-224-3121.




AMERICAblog Gay

—  John Wright