Down to the Wire
Armando is reporting at DKos that the Gang of 14 (according to Ed Henry at CNN) will be voting as a block to prevent a filibuster due to their decision that extraordinary circumstances do not exist on this nomination. More information in Armando’s DKos diary here. Am currently trying to chase down more information on this for everyone here. The Gang of 14 includes:
REPUBLICANS * John S. McCain III, Arizona * Lindsey O. Graham, South Carolina * John Warner, Virginia * Olympia Snowe, Maine * Susan M. Collins, Maine * R. Michael DeWine, Ohio * Lincoln Chafee, Rhode Island
DEMOCRATS * Joseph I. Lieberman, Connecticut * Robert C. Byrd, West Virginia * E. Benjamin Nelson, Nebraska * Mary Landrieu, Louisiana * Daniel Inouye, Hawaii * Mark Pryor, Arkansas * Ken Salazar, Colorado
Here are phone numbers for Senate offices for Senators who either haven’t announced a position or who are still a little shaky — or who haven’t spoken about how they will vote on cloture.
Blanche Lambert Lincoln (D- AR), 202-224-4843
Joseph I. Lieberman (D- CT), 202-224-4041
Thomas R. Carper (D- DE), 202-224-2441
Daniel K. Inouye (D- HI), 202-224-3934
Tom Harkin (D- IA), 202-224-3254 (Says he will abstain on cloture — if Harkin is your Senator, tell him thank you. Carrots are as important as sticks.)
Evan Bayh (D- IN), 202-224-5623
Barbara A. Mikulski (D- MD), 202-224-4654
Carl Levin (D- MI), 202-224-6221
Mark Dayton (D- MN), 202-224-3244
Max Baucus (D- MT), 202-224-2651
Frank Lautenberg (D- NJ), 202-224-3224
Jeff Bingaman (D- NM), 202-224-5521
Jack Reed (D- RI), 202-224-4642
Maria Cantwell (D- WA), 202-224-3441
Patty Murray (D- WA), 202-224-2621
Herb Kohl (D- WI), 202-224-5653
John D. Rockefeller, IV (D- WV), 202-224-6472
Robert C. Byrd (D-WV), 202-224-3954
James M. Jeffords (I- VT), 202-224-5141
Bill Nelson (D- FL), 202-224-5274
Daniel K. Akaka (D- HI), 202-224-6361
Mary Landrieu (D- LA), 202-224-5824
Byron L. Dorgan (D- ND), 202-224-2551
Olympia Snowe (R- ME), 202-224-5344
Sen. Lincoln Chafee announced today that he will vote against Alito — so this is now a bi-partisan vote against this Supreme Court nominee. Additionally, a commenter (Los Diablo) on DKos reports that Sen. Harkin will "abstain" on the cloture vote, which is good news because Frist must have 60 firm "yes" votes. Every little bit helps — and all the calls and faxes have been moving the mountain a little bit.
Debbie Stabenow (D-MI) speaking currently about the Alito nomination. She says that Alito has an extreme record and will vote against him.
Please, if you call be polite but explain your position and why it is important to you. Staffers are swamped today, and a little courtesy goes a long, long way with them. Remember, even if they don’t feel they can vote "no" on cloture — a "present" vote or an "abstain" vote will do the job just as well. Please mention this when you call.
Let me know if there are numbers or Senators you think should be added to the list. A big thank you to Georgia10 at DKos for compiling the original list. Until we get firm confirmation on the Gang of 14 issue, the work is not finished. I’ll let you know when I hear something solid.
UPDATE: Gang, I am getting very conflicting information on the Gang of 14 story from Ed Henry. What I’m hearing is that they aren’t meeting until 3:30 pm today and that the Dems in the group are split on how they will vote — which means that cloture is still very much up in the air. I’m beginning to smell a GOP story plant with Ed Henry at CNN (Oh, shocker! I know…). So, to the phones and the fax machines — if they are resorting to story planting, they are nervous. And that makes me smile. Nothing like a little grassroots action to scare the bejeesus out of the folks who thought they could pop the champagne a little early, eh? Here’s hoping…
photo: Dan Brady