Articles tagged with: Lisa Murkowski
– by Caleb Pritt
Don Young is a good person to meet and to visit with. I would love the opportunity to go fishing with him sometime if he ever offered, though I doubt he would. But Young is getting Old for Alaska.
Now before you think this is an attempt by a young man to use Don Young’s thirty-eight years in Congress against him, it’s not. It’s the fact that his votes are so out of line with Alaska and Alaska’s best interest, something he likes to say he represents. Don Young has reverted more and more to voting the Republican Party line, rather than voting for Alaska’s line, for the future.
Today, Don Young joined a band of reactionary Republicans in voting to repeal the Healthcare Reform that ALREADY passed the House before. This was a moment where a senior “indpendent-minded” Republican could have said, “We need to focus on the issues before us, not what is behind us.” Instead, Don Young chose the party politics of Washington, D.C. over Alaska’s best interest. He says the bill was unconstitutional, yet why didn’t he do anything when it was decided the first time? Theres plenty of parlimentary tricks he could have employed. Even at that, he could have split the provisions of the bill and voted against the Individual Mandates and yet still voted for providing health care to those with preexisting conditions. He could have added a rider to provide more funding for rural and for native health care efforts. Instead, Don Young disappointed Alaska and turned his back on Alaska by playing the Washington, D.C. game.
Awhile back, there was a move to alleviate the American taxpayer of the tax-dollar draining provision known as Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell, a provision that has wasted hundreds of millions of taxpayer dollars. Don Young claims he’s a friend and advocate for taxpayers but rather than using that as justification to remove DADT, he voted against repeal. In fact, Lisa Murkowski could look past her partisan label and partisan leanings to do the right thing, but Don Young who talks Alaska when running for re-election every two years, par for the course votes Washington, D.C. politics once safely back in office.
Don Young has built up a mystique of invincibility to some of the political prognisticators and the press. But my question as a constitutent of the Congressman is who do you represent: Alaska or the Republican Party? This past November, a plurality of Alaska voters said no to partisan politics and yes to those who place Alaska first in the U.S. Senate. In fact, 2/3rd’s did this if you combine Murkowski & McAdam’s votes over the very partisan Miller. So the question must be asked, is Alaska not getting too old to deal with Young?
Congressman, you can’t go forward by going back. Alaska has always moved forward. I suggest it’s time to start doing that again or come home and let another Alaskan go forward with Alaska, not back with party politics!
Alaskans Together for Equality sent a message to their members and supporters following the senate’s historic vote to repeal the Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell policy on Saturday. Alaskans Together is the statewide LGBT advocacy group for Alaska.
Just over an hour ago the Senate by a vote of 65 to 31 repealed the discriminatory “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy. Today’s vote allows lesbian, gay and bisexual people the ability to serve openly and honestly in our military. It’s a wonderful step forward in our fight for full civil equality. We are extremely pleased to report that both Sen. Murkowski and Sen. Begich voted in favor of the repeal!
Your efforts made a big difference! This repeal couldn’t have happened without you and your calls and emails.
Please take a moment in the next few days to call and email both Sen. Murkowski and Sen. Begich and thank them for their vote to repeal DADT. It is great to have two Senators that believe in fairness and equality in our military.
Email or Phone: 202.224.6665
Email or Phone: 202.224.3004
Please thank Sen. Murkowski and Sen. Begich for representing all Alaskans with their vote to repeal DADT today. Our military has become even stronger with today’s vote.
Also, be aware there is still work to be done for the implementation of a full repeal of DADT. There is a 60-day waiting period, during which soldiers can still be discharged under the policy. We will post on our blog in the coming days when we have more details.
With all of our continuing efforts we are confident that we will have more victories to celebrate in 2011 on our road to achieving full civil equality in Alaska.
Let’s enjoy today’s victory.
Also, three Anchorage-based gay service members were interviewed by KTVA about the effects of the DADT policy and why repeal is necessary. The local troops are members of OutServe, a national network of gay and lesbian active-duty service members. (The clip was posted earlier this week, before Congress passed the stand-alone DADT repeal measure.)
“Senator Murkowski will vote in favor of DADT cloture on Saturday morning. She will also vote to repeal DADT when it comes to a vote on Monday.”
“Sen. Murkowski will support a stand-alone repeal of the DADT law. With the tax package out of the way, and legislation to fund the government on a glide path to passage, Sen. Murkowski will vote to move to DADT when it is brought to the floor.”
Please call Sen. Murkowski today, thank her for supporting all of our troops and remind her to vote for S 4023, the repeal of Don’t Ask Don’t Tell, this session: 202-224-6665 (DC office) or 877-829-6030 (AK office).
The Pentagon Working Group’s comprehensive report on gays/lesbians in the military and the possible repeal of Don’t Ask Don’t Tell will be released today.
A friend who has spoken with Sen. Lisa Murkowski told me that she’d directly said to him, “We’re going to fight for your issues.” But as shown in comments broadcast last night on Anchorage’s CBS affiliate, KTVA Channel 11, the closest she’s able to come in public to saying what she said privately to my friend is more along the lines of, “I’m not going to fight you on your issues.”
Comments made by Sen. Lisa Murkowski to MSNBC’s Chris Hayes last night show it’s still important to keep the pressure on her with regard to repeal of Don’t Ask Don’t Tell. Meanwhile, Rachel Maddow and The Daily Show’s Jon Stewart take down Sen. John McCain.
A message from Tony Wagner of the Human Rights Campaign, who was in Alaska this past week:
Thank you all for your insight into the LGBT community in Alaska and the political lay of the land. It’s been a pleasure. I wanted to send an update with the latest info regarding DADT repeal and where we stand.
It looks like the leaked information about the positive outcome from the Pentagon’s implementation study is having a good effect on wavering legislators and the possibility of repealing DADT this year is gaining momentum. That said, we still have a long ways to go. Congress will return for their lame duck session starting on Monday and we want to send members, including Sen. Murkowski, a strong message that the National Defense Authorization Act should be debated and passed during the lame duck, with the repeal language intact. So we’re asking folks to call Sen. Murkowski and Sen. Begich on Monday or Tuesday THIS WEEK and deliver this message:
“Hi, my name’s [NAME] and I live in [TOWN]. I support all our servicemembers and they deserve to have the National Defense Authorization Act passed this year with funding for our troops, pay increases and the repeal of Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell included. I urge Sen. Murkowski/Sen. Begich to vote for cloture and final passage of this bill.”
877-829-6030 (toll free)
Sen. Mark Begich
877-501-6275 (toll free)
With so much at stake and so little time to get the job done, this is really an all hands on deck moment. If possible, please send this message to your lists, post to your facebook pages, blogs, etc. The alert pasted below is draft text of a national alert (separated by state) HRC will be launching on Monday. With all of us pitching in and working together, we can have the impact needed to move the ball forward and repeal DADT this year.
Thank you again and I look forward to continuing our work together for advancing equality here in Alaska and around the country.
Western Regional Field Director | Human Rights Campaign
1640 Rhode Island Ave, NW | Washington, DC 20009
202.772.3888 (o) | 202.459.3298 (c)
firstname.lastname@example.org | www.hrc.org
Here’s the draft of the national alert being issued tomorrow, referred to in Tony’s letter:
The push to repeal “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” has reached a fever pitch. And this week could make or break it.
Years of work could boil down to what happens this week. The Senate’s “lame duck” session began yesterday – our last, best hope to end the discrimination this year.
When the new Congress shows up in January, the House will be under staunchly anti-LGBT leadership. We have no time to waste.
Today, as we launch full-page newspaper ads across the country, we need tens of thousands of supporters to back up those ads by telling every single senator to end the discrimination NOW!
Call both your senators now – Sen. Lisa Murkowski at (202) 224-6665 and Sen. Mark Begich at (202) 224-3004 – and tell them “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” must end BEFORE you leave and the new Congress takes over.
The last time the repeal of “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” came up for a vote in the Senate, Sen. John McCain led Republicans in a filibuster of the national defense spending bill that contains the repeal. They blocked it from an up-or-down vote – even though nearly 8 in 10 Americans now favor repealing the law.
Before time runs out, we need Senate Democrats to bring the defense bill to the floor and we need Republicans to stop threatening to derail the entire thing – including critical military equipment and pay raises – just to keep this discriminatory law on the books.
Is it just me, or is it completely absurd that Senate Republicans would hold troops’ funding hostage, just so they can ensure that lesbian and gay soldiers have to keep lying or be fired?
The ads we’re launching today call out this hypocrisy for what it is: bigotry masked as patriotism.
It’s critical that every single senator hears from us today. Even if your senators are already with us on this issue they need to know that their constituents have their backs as they stand up for what’s right.
And no matter where your senators stand, speaking out today sends a bold message: It’s going to take a lot more than a few anti-gay leaders in Congress to make us give up this fight. As long as injustice is written into our laws, we will not rest.
Call Sen. Lisa Murkowski at (202) 224-6665 and Sen. Mark Begich at (202) 224-3004 and tell them to act this week.
Momentum for repeal is high. President Obama has called on the Senate to act during this short session – an important first step of the many needed for him to fulfill the pledge he made in the State of the Union to end this law. Secretary of Defense Robert Gates and military chaplains are also speaking out.
Still, repealing this law is no easy task. But if brave men and women are willing to risk their lives while hiding who they are, we must be unafraid to fail – and always, unceasingly, unafraid to fight.
Never giving up,
Today is Veteran’s Day. Throughout the country, Americans are joining together to express their appreciation for the service and sacrifice of American veterans.
Let us include in the number the innumerable gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender veterans who have served us and our nation, all too often only to be “thanked” by being forcibly discharged under the draconian policies of Don’t Ask Don’t Tell and the discriminatory policies which preceded it.
Thank you, LGBT veterans, for your service. We do not forget you.
This Veterans Day, the Servicemembers Legal Defense Network is launching a special video to recognize the contributions of our patriots — past and present, LGBT and straight. Watch it now and visit www.sldn.org to find out how you can honor all our service members by helping us repeal the discriminatory “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” law.
And now, a message from Alaskans Together:
With the elections behind us and everyone talking about what’s going to happen next year in Congress, it’s easy to forget that the work of the current Congress is not yet finished. The U.S. House voted earlier this year to repeal the discriminatory “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” law as part of the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA). But we still need the Senate to take action before the year ends.
Sen. Lisa Murkowski has the opportunity to prove again that she represents ALL Alaskans. In 2009, she voted for the NDAA, which included the Matthew Shepard/James Byrd Jr. Hate Crimes Prevention Act. Now, in 2010, she can again vote for that same bill which funds our military and will also repeal “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell.”
In anticipation that the US Senate will revisit this issue during the “lame duck” session of Congress before the end of the year, Alaskans Together For Equality, Inc., the ACLU of Alaska, the Human Rights Campaign and Servicemembers Legal Defense Network are joining forces to mobilize support for the bill, and HRC is sending Regional Field Director Tony Wagner to the state to help coordinate the effort.
Tony arrived on November 9th in Anchorage and will remain in the state until November 16th. While on the ground, he will need the support of all those who believe in equality to apply the needed pressure to convince Sen. Murkowski that passing this legislation this year is the right thing to do. To help us with our efforts, you can email Tony directly at Tony.Wagner@hrc.org or contact Alaskans Together at email@example.com.
Tony, board members from Alaskans Together for Equality, Inc. and representatives from the ACLU of Alaska will also be available to meet and speak with equality supporters about our efforts during two meet and greets.
Thursday, November 11th | 5:30 – 7 p.m.
Residence of Pete Pinney | 814 6th Ave. | Fairbanks
Friday, November 12th | 7 – 8 p.m.
Mad Myrna’s | 530 E. 5th Ave. | Anchorage
Please come and welcome Tony to Alaska!
After you call and write your e-mail, please forward this message or tell your friends and family what is at stake and ask them to contact Sen. Lisa Murkowski too.