‘OPERATION RENEWED ENGAGEMENT’: Gay vets and allies are on the Hill pushing for DADT vote

UPDATE @ 5:33 PM: Just got this update from Alex Nicholson:

Jim Webb needs more work, as in calls, emails, more calls, and even more calls… and visits tomorrow!! [Webb's website is here. His phone number is 202-224-4024]

For two days in a row now, our advocates have run into our opposition on the hill. They’re out there working it too, so we need as much help as possible tomorrow.

So, the haters are on the Hill. If you are in the DC area or can get here, details on how to join the lobbying effort can be found here._________

Servicemembers United is conducting “OPERATION RENEWED ENGAGEMENT” on Capitol Hill. The lobbying effort, which started yesterday and will continue through tomorrow, will hit 71 Senate offices. Via press release, we got this update:

“Despite the ongoing snow storm in Washington, DC right now, gay veterans and allies are storming the Hill for a second day in a row to demand that the Senate finish the job on ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell’ before leaving for the holidays,” said Alexander Nicholson, Executive Director of Servicemembers United and the Servicemembers United Action Fund. “The fact that these advocates are braving the snow to fight for what they believe in should demonstrate that we will not accept any excuses from lawmakers for failing to get this done, including bad weather or time running out.”

I just talked to Alex who reports that Senators Claire McCaskill (D-MO), Mark Warner (D-VA) and Tim Johnson (D-SD) have joined as cosponsors of the DADT bill, which brings the total to 50. We’ll get more updates from him later today.

Alex is right: There are no excuses. And, while time is running out, there is time for the Senate to vote for the DADT bill.

As noted below, earlier today, Robert Gibbs said we have the votes to pass the DADT bill, adding “there’s an effort to get his done if we have time to do it.”

The message from SU and its allies is pretty clear: Make the time to do it.


On October 27, 2010, Joe was one of five bloggers who interviewed President Obama. Joe is a DC-based political consultant with over twenty-five years of experience at both the state and federal level. Joe has managed political operations and legislative efforts for both candidates and issues-based organizations. For seven years, he was the Director of State Legislation at Handgun Control, Inc. He served as that organization's first Political Director during the 2000 cycle. Joe is a graduate of the University of Maine School of Law. In addition, he has a Masters in Public Administration from Lehigh University and received his B.A. from the University of New Hampshire. Joe also has a fun dog, Petey, a worthy successor to Boomer, who got Joe through eight years of Bush and Cheney. Joe likes to think he is a world class athlete having finished the 2005 Chicago Marathon in the time of 4:10. He has completed six other marathons as well -- and is still determined to break the four hour mark.

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