Archive for the 'Tom Davis' Category

Senate Holds Hearing on DC Voting Rights Bill

Wednesday, May 16th, 2007

Yesterday there was a hearing in Lieberman’s Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee. For anyone who follows this stuff, it was your standard fare. A lot of the same testimony from the same people.

I really liked Norton’s testimony. This is woman was definately not going through the motions. She even brought up the Colbert Report’s joke about her and Tom Davis having an affair. (Here’s the clip from the show.) Jack Kemp was awesome yesterday, and I think he will play a key role in getting the fence sitting Republicans to side with the bill.

I wanted to hear how GOP Senators Collins, Warner, and Coleman were going come down on the bill, but alas that did not happen. I was especially curious about Collins as Lieberman endorsed her and is raising money for her - much to the chagrin of the blogosphere.

Liberman says they’ll be a mark-up sometime after Memorial Day recess. Stay tuned…

(Note: Metroblogging DC is having a contest for a caption for the photo above. More details here.)

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

DC Voting Rights Act Passes House Oversight and Reform Committee

Tuesday, March 13th, 2007

Great day on the Hill as the DC Voting Rights Act (H.R. 1433) was passed out of the House Oversight and Reform Committee today by a vote of 24-5.

There were a number of amendments that were offered - the most entertaining one was by Representative Lynn Westmoreland. He attempted to amend the bill to read that if the partisan balance of a Democratic member from the District and a Republican member from Utah did not materialize, then the bill was null and void. Chairman Waxman wisely pointed out the United States Congress should not be in any position to tell people who what party they need to vote for. (Of course that amendement went nowhere, and I think Representative Westmoreland was just trying to make some sort of point )

Tomorrow there is a hearing in the Judiciary Committee at 10:00am in 2141 Rayburn. And then a mark-up on Thursday. It’s going to be an historic week!

Additional Reading:

Chairman Waxman’s Opening Statement

Opening Statement of Ranking Member Tom Davis

Washington Post Article:
D.C. Could Get First Full Vote in House

Lack of Interest on Voting Rights

Sunday, March 11th, 2007

Mary Beth Sheridan at the Post writes an article today about how, although the cause now has momentum, there seems to be a lack of intense in-the-streets interest in the cause.

Movement for Voting Rights Gains Ground, Loses Interest

She lays out a number of reasons why this is the case, from the fact that we have a powerful delegate in the House to how expanded home rule has toned down the sense of subjugation when a few white guys in Congress really did rule over the District. Remember, we didn’t even have an elected mayor or city council, or a delegate in the House until the 70’s. So the struggles for statehood were much more intense that they are now.

The point I liked the best was made by Mike Beard, an activist who was involved in the fight in the 70’s. He said the movement this time is:

“much more politically astute than we were in those days,”

I think that’s true. We have a Delegate who knows Capitol Hill, we have direct lobbying, issue advertising, and grassroots pressure on members. It’s no longer just throwing tea bags in the Potomac (or starting Olympic teams) and expecting change. This time we’re playing the “Washington game”, and it’s showing results.

Let’s show everyone that there is grassroots activist support out there by marching on April 16th. Go to to find out more and to RSVP.

DC Voting Rights on NPR

Tuesday, February 13th, 2007

This was on NPR yesterday. Here is the blurb from their web site:

Prospects for D.C. Voting Rights Take a Hit
Advocates for Washington, D.C., voting rights thought they had it made when Democrats took over Congress. A deal giving Utah one more red-state congressman seemed likely to allow the blue district a voting representative. But that has changed. Lisa Nurnberger of member station WAMU reports. (Listen here)

The story brings up a few lingering issues regarding the bill, namely the extra electorial vote that Utah would get in the 2008 election.

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