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Albert Kaufman

Moveon's call to action on this subject:

Dear MoveOn Member,

During the next few weeks, the integrity of our democracy might well lie in the hands of Oregon voters. The radical Republican bid to seize absolute power to appoint extreme judges (using a parliamentary maneuver known as the "nuclear option") is nearing a final showdown in the Senate.

Democrats are standing united, but to win we must secure at least 6 votes from moderate Republicans. In the end, it will all probably come down to one final swing vote—and that vote may well come from Senator Gordon Smith.

Senator Smith is under intense pressure from the Republican leadership, and needs to hear from you today. We've set a national one-day goal of 25,000 calls, but participation in Oregon is extremely important. If you call today, your voice will combine with thousands of others to have a huge impact. Please call right now:

Senator Gordon Smith
DC Phone: 202-224-3753

Then tell us you've called and track our progress towards 25,000, by clicking here:

You don't need to be an expert to call. You can just give a short statement to whomever answers (or the voicemail): such as, "Hello. I live in Oregon, and I would like to urge Senator Smith to oppose the 'nuclear option' to eliminate the right to filibuster judicial nominations. I believe in fair judges, and checks and balances. Thank you very much." It's easy, quick, and really, really important.

After you report your call through the link above, you'll also find a message to forward to your friends—an important way to spread the word in Oregon and help us hit 25,000 calls.

In the last 2 weeks we have seen some powerful examples of why Senate Democratic Leader Harry Reid calls this "the most important issue I've ever dealt with."

In the tragic case of Terri Schiavo, we saw congressional Republicans in a hysterical rush to override the courts and score political points. House Republican leader Tom DeLay threatened retribution against the judges who upheld the law. And Republican Senator John Cornyn suggested that violence against judges—like the recent murder in Atlanta—might be understandable as frustration provoked by the judges' "political decisions."

Why all this rage? Because radical Republicans are waging an all out war to impose their extreme views on the rest of us-and our free, fair courts are standing in their way.

Their "nuclear option" is a parliamentary maneuver to eliminate the centuries-old right to filibuster (carry on extended debate), placing absolute power to stack the courts in the hands of one party for the first time in history. They could launch the "nuclear option" at any time, but we can defeat it with at least 51 votes from broad-minded Senators from both parties—which is why Senator Smith is so crucial.

The good news is that nationally, the tide is turning our direction. Last month, MoveOn members blanketed the nation with over 18,000 letters to the editor, submitted to nearly every sizable newspaper in the country.[1] This week, we joined our allies on the steps of the Supreme Court to present Senate leaders with over 1 million signatures opposing the "nuclear option."

While national support is important, it's the targeted work in key states like Oregon that will make or break this fight. Please take this crucial opportunity to show Senator Smith that his constituents are engaged on this issue, and he will be held accountable for his decision.

Please take a minute and call right now:

Senator Gordon Smith
DC Phone: 202-224-3753

Then let us know you've called and track our progress by clicking here.

Thanks for all that you do,

–Ben Brandzel, and the whole MoveOn PAC Team   April 8, 2005

[1] Just to give you an idea of the size of your accomplishment, in one week MoveOn members sent letters to 2,864 different newspapers, including:

98% of daily newspapers with a circulation of 20,000 or more
93% of daily newspapers with a circulation of 10,000 or more
81% of weekly newspapers with a circulation of 20,000 or more

Not authorized by any candidate or candidate's committee.


Smith is definitely a target Senator. I'm assuming Lincoln Chaffee and other Northeast Republicans are as well. It'll be interesting to see how this turns out since it's such a critical issue.


My experience talking to Smith's office about judges is that the most effective thing is to bring up how Clinton judges were treated and then say
"2 words: Ann Aiken".

For those who do not know, she's an Oregonian who was a Clinton nominee who waited a LONG time before being confirmed.
Usually saying that name reminds people (unless they are new in Smith's office) that Oregonians remember how Clinton nominees were treated and Republicans have a lot of gall to complain given how they behaved when Clinton was president.
If Republicans want to be the party of one set of rules for them and another for others, then so be it. But don't try to tell us this is about principle. It is about power!


Of course it's all about power. I wonder if they're thinking that if they get enough of it, the Dems will never be in power again and thus don't need to worry about getting rid of the filibuster.

Before I voiced my opinion when calling Smith's office, I simply wanted to know what the Senator's views were, but had a hard time getting an answer.

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