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Down to the Wire

1238664937_4d7dc8aace_m.jpgArmando 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

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Christy Hardin Smith

Christy Hardin Smith

Christy is a "recovering" attorney, who earned her undergraduate degree at Smith College, in American Studies and Government, concentrating in American Foreign Policy. She then went on to graduate studies at the University of Pennsylvania in the field of political science and international relations/security studies, before attending law school at the College of Law at West Virginia University, where she was Associate Editor of the Law Review. Christy was a partner in her own firm for several years, where she practiced in a number of areas including criminal defense, child abuse and neglect representation, domestic law, civil litigation, and she was an attorney for a small municipality, before switching hats to become a state prosecutor. Christy has extensive trial experience, and has worked for years both in and out of the court system to improve the lives of at risk children.

Email: reddhedd AT firedoglake DOT com