Archive for the 'House of Reprensentatives' Category

Voting Rights March A Huge Success - Thousands Rally in the Rain!

Monday, April 16th, 2007
Voting Rights March

Despite the wind, cold, and rain thousands of people showed up today to march and demand a vote for the District of Columbia in the House of Represenatatives. We heard from Mayor Fenty, Chairman Gray, and Delegate Norton - all of whom gave fantastic speeches on the issue in front of a very enthusiastic crowd. The weather cut short the time for eloquent remarks that would have been made by the Shadow Delegation, but I’m not one to have people stand in the rain.

Afterward we had a nice reception in the Dirksen Senate Office Building hosted by Senator Lieberman. I used to intern for him back in 1989, so of course he remembered all the great work I did stuffing envelopes and answering phones. (Just kidding…but I did hang up on his wife in the first hour of my internship. Way to hit the ground running in DC!).

Senator Lieberman has been a huge champion on this issue and I know his leadership in the Senate will get this bill to the desk of the President. And if he doesn’t sign it, we’ll take to the streets again and march the other way on Pennsylvania Ave!

A tip of the hat to DC Vote and all their coalition partners in running such a smooth event. The people came out in force today, and it will make a difference.

Updated: Here is the Post article on the event:
Getting Out to Get a Vote
(PHOTO: IntangableArts)

Not All Republicans Are Bad

Friday, March 30th, 2007

I’ve been beating up on some House Republicans the last few days after the delay in passing the DC Voting Rights Act in the House. I would like to take this opportunity to point out for the record that not all members the GOP are plotting to deny DC the vote, and in fact some are actively fighting for us.

The first good-guy is Jack Kemp. This former Congressman, cabinet secretary, and vice-presidential candidate has been a steadfast supporter of DC voting rights. He recently published an article on entitled “Shortsighted House GOP would deny D.C. residents the vote“. In this article he states:

The Republicans in the House, as well as advisers to the president - by threatening a veto - are in danger not only of indifference to district citizens, but in fact they’re showing disdain for a city predominantly governed and populated by people of color. This can be interpreted as racially insensitive at best and racially prejudiced at worst. Either way, it’s really dumb politics because the party of Lincoln, Douglass, Grant, Eisenhower and Bush 41, among others, is sacrificing its civil rights soul for a mess of political pottage.

Jack Kemp is a respected leader in the conservative movement, so I hope these words will change some minds.

I also wanted to point out the the DC Republican Party has been out front on this bill and is working the issue with members of their own party in Congress. Here is a section of a press release they recently put out:

“We are going to fight for voting rights, because we are the party of Abraham Lincoln,” said Robert Kabel, Chairman of the D.C. Republican Party. “This is a bill written by a Republican Congressman, and it is the bi-partisan solution to a historic injustice. The American citizens of the District of Columbia pay their taxes, fight for their country and deserve equal rights.”

You can read the full press release here.

And lastly, I have to once again give a shout-out to Indiana Congressman Mike Pence for supporting this bill in committee. He didn’t have to that, there was really nothing in it for him, and it took guts to break ranks with his party to cast that vote.

If only there were more Republicans who embraced the whole “party of Lincoln” idea as more than a talking point…

Letter to the Editor in Gohmert’s District

Thursday, March 29th, 2007

I spent some time last night at the DC Voting Rights Happy Hour at the 18th Street Lounge. It was a great event put together by DC Vote and DCist, there was a lot of engery in the room and anticpation for the march on April 16th.

I met Mike Licht, who told me he wrote a letter to the Panola Watchman in Representative Louie Gohmert’s District thanking him for taking on the job of being the District’s representative. I thought that was a brillant idea, and even better. . . .it got published! The letter is pasted below. If you’d like to send your own letter, email it to: [email protected]

Mike’s letter is as follows, and it’s starting to get some traction on Texas blogs:


To the People of Carthage:

We who live in the District of Columbia appreciate your generosity in sharing your congressman, Louie Gohmert, with us.

Mr. Gohmert recently said that we, the Federal Income Tax-paying residents of DC, don’t need a vote of our own in the U.S. Congress because “. . . Washington, D.C. is . . . the only city in the entire country that every Senator and every Member of Congress has a vested interest in seeing that it works properly, that water works, sewer works, and no other city in America has that” (Congressional Record-House, March 22, 2007, H2845).

DC residents will now contact Mr. Gohmert about problems with our schools, roads, traffic, sewers, trash services and other local Washington, DC issues.

We are glad that Mr. Gohmert has been able to solve all these urban problems in your fine city. The DC population is 572,059, a bit smaller than the whole population of the 1st Congressional District, but with Mr. Gohmert’s energy and urban expertise, I’m sure your requests to his office will be answered as promptly as ever.

Mike Licht
Washington, DC

Can You Make Two Phone Calls Today?

Tuesday, March 27th, 2007

In case you haven’t heard by now, last week a few Republican Congressmen temporarily blocked the progress of the DC Voting Rights Act on the House floor using a rarely implemented parliamentary procedure. Representatives Lamar Smith (R-TX), Patrick McHenry (R-NC) and Louie Gohmert (R-TX) attempted to amend the DC Voting Rights Act by adding a section that would eliminate DC’s gun control laws. It was a pathetic attempt to not only deny over a half million people voting representation in Congress, but to also re-write our local laws to their liking.

This is only a minor setback. The bill will return to the House floor!

Can you please take a minute and make two phone calls to help with this effort? I need you to call both Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Majority Leader Steny Hoyer. Both have been champions on this issue and we need to thank them for their leadership in this fight. They also need to hear from people that this bill needs to brought back to the House floor this week before the upcoming recess.

Their phone numbers are below:

Speaker Pelosi: (202) 225-0100

Majority Leader Hoyer: (202) 225-3130

Please make the following points on your phone call:

* You are calling in regards to the DC Voting Rights Act
* You are very appreciative of their leadership on this issue
* You are urging the House leadership to bring the bill back to a floor vote this week.

Please take a few minutes and make the call today. These offices need to hear from people like you to get this bill back to the House floor. After you make your calls, please forward this email to others who would be supportive of this effort.

Don’t forget to tell your friends and co-workers about

Guns for Votes

Thursday, March 22nd, 2007

I saw this go down live, and now this came over the AP Wire:

Legislation to give the District of Columbia voting representation in the House stalled short of passage Thursday when Republicans unexpectedly injected the volatile issue of gun control into the debate.

Apparently fearful they might lose control of the proceedings, Democrats decided to postpone action on the voting rights measure, which had appeared to be moving methodically toward passage.

Seems that Representative Lamar Smith (R-TX) has thrown a wrench into the plans by motioning to recommit with instructions. His idea is that if you are for District Voting Rights, then you have to be for repealing the District’s handgun ban as well.

No word on when this is going back to the floor….I’ll post more when I know.

Here is a link to the Post article on this:

I really hope he didn’t get the idea from the District’s own lawyers who argued the 2nd amendment doesn’t apply to the District because it’s not a state. (Talk about a mixed message when we are going for voting rights the same week!).

Also, I thought Rep. Al Green from Texas had the best speech of the day….noting that there were two camps on Constitutional issues like the Dredd Scott case, Plessy v Ferguson, and Brown v Board of Education. The question is, as he stated, what side are you on?

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