One of the targets on the Senate Armed Services Committee, Ben Nelson (D-NE), is planning to vote against the repeal legislation. Chris Johnson got the scoop:
A key U.S. senator has told the Blade that he opposes repealing “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” at this time.
In a brief exchange on Capitol Hill, Sen. Ben Nelson (D-Neb.) said Tuesday he would vote against an effort next week to overturn the law. He said he wants to adhere to guidance from Defense Secretary Robert Gates and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Adm. Michael Mullen on holding off on repeal.
Asked whether he would vote in favor of a repeal measure, Nelson replied, “No, I want to follow with the advice and the suggestions of Secretary of Defense Gates to have the study that is underway right now before we make that final decision — because it’s not a question of ‘whether,’ it’s a question of ‘how.’”
This is why that notorious April 30th “I don’t want repeal this year” letter from Secretary Gates is a problem. The White House needs to fix it.
And, for the record, Ben Nelson really is an embarrassment. Earlier this year, AMERICAblog broke the story that the DNC spent over $500,000 on behalf of Nelson following his vote on health care reform last December. That money was provided to the Nebraska Democratic Party to run ads on behalf of Nelson. Apparently, the gays haven’t ponied up enough money to secure Nelson’s vote. He’s a very expensive date.