UPDATE: Joe Solmonese's reaction to Dan Choi's protest. It's below the fold.
A reader had this hit her inbox today…(I added yesterday's ironic photo, as you might have noticed).
Allowing for that passing snark, as an exercise in economies of scale, Blenders, do you think giving $150K to HRC will most effectively move repeal of DADT back on the radar?
If not HRC, do you have suggestions on where else that $150K could go that would put the needed pressure on the White House and Congress to get it done? After all, b*tching is one thing, coming up with viable alternatives is another.
The goal is simple: Repeal “Don't Ask, Don't Tell” this year.
We know it won't be long before all of Washington gets caught up in the coming midterm elections.
That's why we're focused on putting the pressure on Congress and the Obama administration NOW.
We need to raise $150,000 before March 31 to go as big as we can.
It's clear – the best chance to repeal “Don't Ask, Don't Tell” is right here, right now.
Now that health care reform has passed we have a real window of opportunity to end “Don't Ask, Don't Tell” before members of Congress turn their attention to getting re-elected this fall.
That's why HRC has decided to ramp up its campaign to put every ounce of pressure we can on Congress and the Obama administration RIGHT NOW.
In one week, we're going to battle with the resources we have – and the next few days, with your help, will dictate how big we can go.
We want to raise $150,000 by March 31 so we know we'll have the resources to go all out.
If everyone does their part, that breaks down to 42 donations from Minneapolis. Will you make the first?
Now is the time to become an HRC member, —.
Our top military leaders have come forward to lead the charge. But the ultimate power to end this law lies with Congress and President Obama.
So far HRC activists have made over 190,000 phone calls and emails to members of Congress and sent more than 1,300 letters to editors of papers in targeted areas. And the hard work is paying off!
As of today, we have 191 representatives on board with repeal, and 25 senators signed on to the bill that was released a few weeks ago. Winning is within reach – we're only a few dozen cosponsors away from victory in both chambers – we can't let up now!
Winning this year is going to take everything from boots on the ground in key legislative districts to hard-hitting media work, to strategic grassroots “storming” Capitol Hill. And through it all, we'll be helping thousands of gay and straight veterans to speak out.
It's a tough fight, and our right-wing opponents are willing to do whatever it takes to bring any progress toward equality to a halt.
In the end, this is about a whole lot more than votes in Congress. It's a fight for the basic humanity of the men and women who serve our country. I'm not sure anyone needs more motivation than that.
Thanks for your help.
– Joe Solmonese
After my time in DC a couple of days ago, one of the primary feelings I had was frustration. We have so many advocacy groups, including ones specifically related to the military (SLDN, SU and several others) working on repeal efforts, yet despite all the money and bright minds, why are we seemingly behind the eight-ball in terms of setting a fire under the posteriors of Congress and the President?
It just seems that many of our groups rarely work together well, likely because of territoriality and –dare I say it — egos, that muck it all up.
You might recall that the Blend featured an effort coordinated across the blogosphere by Media Matters to dispel the disinformation out there about DADT. It worked with the groups to give a unified presence and backing to Myths and falsehoods on Don't Ask, Don't Tell, and in a joint press release, look at the unity back in February:
Today, after Media Matters for America released a comprehensive review of the myths and falsehoods media conservatives have pushed in their efforts to prevent a repeal of the Don't Ask, Don't Tell (DADT) law, a coalition of leading organizations and activists joined together to issue an open letter to the news media demanding that reports on DADT remain accurate and fair.
Media Matters' President Eric Burns joins AMERICAblog's John Aravosis, Courage Campaign's Rick Jacobs, GLAAD's Jarrett T. Barrios, Human Rights Campaign's Joe Solmonese, Knights Out's Becky Kanis, National Center for Lesbian Rights' Kate Kendell, National Gay and Lesbian Task Force's Rea Carey, National Security Network's Heather Hurlburt, Servicemembers Legal Defense Network's Aubrey Sarvis, Servicemembers United's Alex Nicholson, Truman National Security Project's Rachel Kleinfeld, VoteVets' Jon Soltz, and Lt. Dan Choi, US Army Infantry Officer and Arabic Linguist in signing on to the following letter…
Dan Choi told Newsweek that groups like HRC “do not represent us if all you are looking for is a ladder to elite society.” He also said there's a “deep schism” in the gay movement over strategy and tactics. What's HRC's response to this?
Joe Solmonese: Any healthy and diverse social movement will have a diversity of voices and opinions. Individuals and groups will take different approaches based on their ideology, life experience and other sincerely and deeply held beliefs about the political process. This is not indicative of a schism, but rather a sign of vibrant engagement.
…DC Agenda: Dan Choi and others have suggested that mainstream LGBT groups like HRC are too accommodating to the White House and congressional Democratic leaders on issues like ENDA and DADT. What is HRC's current count of U.S. senators on an up or down vote on ENDA right now? Can you release a list of which of the 17 Democratic senators who are not ENDA c
o-sponsors will vote for or against ENDA?
Solmonese: There has been understandable frustration in the community at the pace of progress at advancing some of the pieces of key legislation that are important to the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community. We continue to press the president and Congress to live up to the promises they made to advance real, substantive equality for LGBT Americans. It is critical that everyone in the LGBT community and our allies engage in this effort.
All senators (or House members) who are not co-sponsors of ENDA, DADT or other LGBT bills are pursued as key votes needed in order to pass pro-equality legislation.