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Action Email Against Eliminating Franken Rape Amendment Names Senate Staffer

In a show of how sophisticated online activism has become, an email deployed by NOW asks members to call a staffer on the Senate Appropriations Committee to ensure an amendment written by Al Franken isn’t stripped from the defense authorization bill in Congress.

The amendment, which would ban the federal government from doing business with contractors who use binding arbitration to block lawsuits from rape victims, has been rumored to be stripped by defense appropriations subcommittee chair Daniel Inouye (D-HI) after complaints by the defense industry who want to use mandatory binding arbitration clauses to indemnify themselves from practically any on-the-job actions. Instead of having their readers call Inouye’s office, NOW instead counsels to call the staffer in charge of defense appropriations directly.

Sen. Al Franken’s (D-Minn.) amendment to a defense appropriations bill pending in Congress restores women’s rights to jury trials when employed by a company with a government contract. This amendment is in jeopardy, thanks to the lobbying of Appropriations Committee Chair Sen. Daniel Inouye (D -Hawaii) by deep-pocketed defense contractors […]

Please call the office of the Defense Subcommittee of the Appropriations Committee NOW before it’s too late. The staff member who is handling this issue is Nicole DiResta, and her direct line is 202-224-3506. Make sure to leave a message if you reach voice mail. If Ms. DiResta’s voice mail fills up, the main number is 202-224-6688.
Please note: Sen. Inouye’s name is pronounced “In-uh-way.”

Multiple calls to Ms. DiResta’s office yielded voice mail.

I cannot think of another circumstance when a Capitol staffer was targeted in an email action instead of a more public figure like a politician. The institutional memory and experience of NOW certainly makes them more knowledgeable on the subject and able to channel their message to the right person.

UPDATE: Per reader oldtree, the staffer, Nicole DiResta, “says the story is false, that Inouye has publicly stated he is for the bill and has no intention of stopping it. She says the stories are incorrect.” It is true that Inouye voted for the Franken amendment on the Senate floor. In my opinion, the more attention paid to this issue, the less likelihood that any stripping of the measure will occur.

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David Dayen

David Dayen