OFA Volunteers Deliver 582,000 Petitions to Senator Susan Collins Urging Repeal of ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell’

(image via twitter)

Moments ago, Organizing for America delivered more than a half million petitions urging repeal of 'DADT' to Senator Susan Collins of Maine, whose demands regarding debate and amendments on the Defense bill have thus far been the sticking point to a vote moving forward.

Greg Sargent at the Plum Line says Harry Reid has not yet responded to Susan Collins' offer of a15 amendments. The implications of this are not immediately clear, but certainly not positive, writes Sargent:

Guess what: Reid has yet to respond to her offer, according to a spokesperson for Collins. "As of this morning, Senator Collins has not received a response from the Majority Leader," the spokesman, Kevin Kelley, tells me.

This is potentially bad news. Word is that the Senate may vote today on the defense authorization bill containing DADT repeal. It seems likely that if Collins' every demand isn't met, she's prepared to stop the defense authorization bill from proceeding, and other moderate Republicans who generally support repeal may also vote No.


The Senate being the hall of mirrors that it is, we can't be too sure what these latest developments mean. Perhaps Reid has simply decided to call Collins's bluff by holding the vote now without responding to her latest offer, in the belief that she's not negotiating in good faith and needs to be forced to vote and show her cards. But if Reid doesn't meet Collins's demands, it seems likely that repeal will fail.

Of course, in the Senate, things can always rapidly change, so all this could be moot within the next hour. More when I learn it.

The Human Rights Campaign is warning not to rush the vote:

Fred Sainz, a spokesman for Human Rights Campaign, said in a statement, “If senators move forward with a vote on NDAA before a deal has been solidified, the vote will fail and all key players will share the responsibility.”

To follow news on 'DADT', check out our HUB. And "LIKE" it to follow updates on Facebook.


  1. says

    It’s Obama’s fault we’re here, but it will be Collins’s fault if this fails at this point; she’s asking for 15 amendments and 4 days (not so unreasonable) but underemphasized is the fact that she also demands the debate happen AFTER that tax vote. It might be impossible to make that happen, and she knows it, so if Reid just brings it up now, it might be because he sees she isn’t negotiating in good faith—no matter what LIEberman says.

  2. mstrozfckslv@yahoo.com says

    how many of those signatures are Mainers?

    nice thought, but unless there are a ton of her constituents who signed the petition her aids will just toss it in the trash and she will never see it

  3. Anthony says

    What happens if/when the vote passes? How are they going to reconcile the NDAA Senate bill with the House bill? That takes an average of 75 days. No way that will be done by January. I don’t see how it’s not all but dead.

  4. LincolnLounger says

    No matter how much many of you hate Republicans, Susan Collins has integrity and doesn’t play games.

  5. says

    Bullshit, Lounger! Collins has shown she has NO integrity BY playing games; both in September when she fell in line like a trained seal behind McConnell’s plan to KILL a repeal vote by PRETENDING it was just about a “fair process,” and, NOW, running HER OWN con.

    “Four days”???? In “Lame Duck Time,” that’s like four weeks. The clock doesn’t stop each time she rolls out another demand to be Senate Prom Queen. It keeps ticking away, winding down to January 4th, the absolute last day any vote on any outstanding bill can be taken.

    And in that time, DEFAUTH must not only pass once in the Senate, but TWICE—the second, albeit mostly pro forma, would be AFTER it goes into “joint conference committee” to be “reconciled” with the House version. That process takes days of its own, and, itself, requires a vote of both houses’ conferees before it can be “reported out” and voted on their floors that second time. The conference process gives McShame ANOTHER opportunity to try to run out the clock with stalling.

    So, NO, do NOT build any statues to this self-important banshee putting Party above the principle of equality for gay service members she’s claimed for years to want.

  6. Hawthorne says

    The parliamentary maneuvers and rules in the Senate are infuriating. Why can so much legislation be held up by so few Senators? Can’t the Senate’s procedures be streamlined and simplified so that they favor a very simple goal – getting things done – instead of giving those in the majority AND in the minority opportunities to stall things at will? I’m not talking about advantage-Republicans or advantage-Democrats, I’m talking about GETTING WORK DONE for someone they always invoke in their comments – THE AMERICAN PEOPLE.

  7. Patric says

    “No matter how much many of you hate Republicans, Susan Collins has integrity and doesn’t play games.” Please, you are nothing if not predictable.

    In addition to the points Michael made, Collins refused to take a position on the ultimately successful efforts to take away rights from lesbian and gay Mainers last year through Prop. 1, presumably placing a higher priority then on her standing with the conservative base of the Maine Republican Party, as she places higher priority this week on tax cuts for millionaires and on her standing with Mitch McConnell and John McCain, than she does on equality for gay people. What integrity! http://www.zimbio.com/Senator+Susan+Collins+of+Maine/articles/vRX47rJ_7VL/Maine+Senators+Stay+Quiet+Marriage+Ballot and http://gay.americablog.com/2009/08/senator-susan-collins-r-me-wont-take.html

    I wouldn’t want to interfere with your constant need to be an apologist for Republicans, though.

  8. LincolnLounger says

    First of all, there is NO significant conservative base of the Maine Republican Party.

    Harry Reid has shown time and again that he is not serious about passing the repeal of DADT. When given the opportunity to allow a vote on a “clean” bill, he ties the DREAM Act or other bullshit to it in order to put moderate Republicans in impossible situations.

    Our “Fierce Advocate” and his veto-proof Democrat majorities could have taken care of this a long time ago if they were serious. Obama is a phoney and the Democrats will invite the professional gays of HRC, etc., to a White House reception and all will be right with the gay community being further marginalized by the Democrat Party.

  9. Patric says

    “First of all, there is NO significant conservative base of the Maine Republican Party.” Seriously?? Wow, I’ve recognized that you’re an apologist for the Republican Party but I seriously had no idea that you are that woefully misinformed. Try bringing yourself up to speed: http://www.mainepolitics.net/content/maine-republicans-adopt-tea-party-platform AND http://www.pamshouseblend.com/diary/16094/maine-republican-platform-is-now-permanently-teastained AND http://www.csmonitor.com/USA/Politics/2010/0510/Tea-party-backed-platform-sails-through-Maine-GOP-convention AND http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2010/05/11/maine-gop-platform-hijack_n_571565.html

    63% of Maine Republicans would prefer a more conservative alternative to Snowe in ’12, not surprising that “moderates” make up only 30% of the party in Maine and that it is “dominated by conservatives”. http://politicalwire.com/archives/2010/09/13/snowe_faces_problems_at_home.html The incoming teabagger Republican governor is a whack job who not only opposes civil unions but supports repeal of the state’s non-discrimination law. http://irregulartimes.com/index.php/archives/2010/07/23/fact-check-yes-paul-lepage-wants-to-overturn-the-maine-human-rights-act/ I am amazed at the astounding ignorance of the suggestion that “there is NO significant conservative base of the Maine Republican Party”, even coming from you. If you want to daily defend Republicans on this site, you should at least take it upon yourself to meet some minimum standard of being informed.

    Hardly surprised that you would refer to the DREAM Act, a very worthy piece of legislation, as “bullshit” or offer it as yet another excuse for why allegedly “moderate” Republicans have time and again voted against repeal of DADT. The facts are, though, that Susan Collins has not been citing the DREAM Act as the reason for her prior votes against repeal or refusal to commit to voting for cloture at this point. She has been citing her concern that tax cuts for millionaires be passed first and that Senate Republicans be entitled to an amendment process which could effectively kill hopes of passage for repeal. Nice try, though.

    “Veto-proof Democrat[ic] majorities”? That doesn’t even make any sense. Perhaps what you meant to suggest was “filibuster-proof majorities” since there’s no significant prospect that the President would veto a defense bill including conditional DADT repeal. If so, the point is that the President does not have a filibuster proof majority on this issue (and never has, even for the narrow window of time when Dems and Dem-aligned independents held 60 seats, since we wouldn’t have had the vote of at least Mark Pryor at that time). So, again you’re just revealing how woefully misinformed you are. We can all debate about whether some of the strategies employed to pursue repeal have been as effective as they could have been or not but, at the end of the day, conditional repeal was passed in the House, with only nine of 229 votes for repeal coming from Republicans (a record you can be proud of!!), and while 57 of 58 Dem Senators have either already voted for repeal or, in the case of Mark Pryor, committed to vote for cloture when the bill is next voted upon, not a single Republican U.S. Senator has either yet voted for repeal or committed to vote for cloture when the bill is next voted upon. The problem is Democrats, though!

    Still stunned by the degree of your ignorance regarding the Maine Republican Party! Check out the platform they adopted earlier this year here: http://www.mainepolitics.net/sites/default/files/Maine_GOP_platform.pdf