Dr. Jillian T. Weiss

Most ENDA Bang for your Buck: Indiana's Lugar, Bayh, Buyer, Donnelly, Ellsworth, and Visclosky

Filed By Dr. Jillian T. Weiss | August 07, 2009 10:30 AM | comments

Filed in: Politics, Politics
Tags: Brad Ellsworth, Employment Non-Discrimination Act, ENDA, Evan Bayh, Indiana, Joe Donnelly, Lugar, Senate

Here's the biggest bang for your buck on the fight to win ENDA, America: Indiana. These are the Legislators of the Day. Call them today!

After an extensive analysis of who's who and what's what on ENDA, I've organized the legislative priorities to win ENDA. Number one standout: Indiana. (The rest are listed, with my reasoning, at the end of this post.)

Because some Blue Dog Democrats in the Senate will probably vote against ENDA, we're going to need some Senate Republicans who are fair-minded to vote for job equality. In addition, the public support of a few more Representatives in the House is also needed. Indiana delivers a fair-minded Senate Republican, Senator Lugar, a Senate Blue Dog Democrat, Sen. Bayh, and four House members -- that is if you, the public, can persuade them to vote in favor of ENDA.

Please contact the legislators listed below today to ask for their support on ENDA, S1584 in the U.S. Senate, HR 3017 in the U.S. House of Representatives.

Call Now! Operators Are Standing Bayh!

Sen. Richard G. Lugar (R) 812-465-6313

Sen. Evan Bayh (D) 812-218-2317

Rep. Peter J. Visclosky (D-01) 219-795-1844 Rep. Joe Donnelly (D-02) 202-225-3915 574-288-2780 202-225-6798 http://donnelly.house.gov/issue_subscribe.shtml

Rep. Steve Buyer (R-04) 202-225-5037 812-277-9590 202-225-2267

Rep. Brad Ellsworth (D-08) 812-465-6484

What Are Our Legislative Priorities?

I think our legislative priorities ought to be on Senate because that's where the fight is likely to be the closest. At the same time, we still need some more votes in the House. Thus, the most bang for our buck is in those states where we can move two Senators to the yes column, as well as several House members. Based on the information in the Facebook Inclusive ENDA spreadsheets for the Senate and the House, here are the legislators I believe are most open to being educated by the electorate after Indiana:

There are two Senators here who are persuadable: Sen. Bill Nelson and Mel Martinez. While Nelson is generally favorable to LGBT issues, he has indicated to our Facebook Inclusive ENDA members who called him that he is as yet undecided. Martinez is less favorable, but he has indicated that he is undecided, and he did not vote against the hate crimes bill (he did not vote at all). There are three House members who appear to be on the fence here: Rep. Allen. Boyd, Rep. Lincoln Diaz-Balart, and Rep. Mario Diaz-Balart. Boyd, a Democrat, abstained from the ENDA vote in 2007, but he voted for hate crimes in 2007 and 2009. The Diaz-Balart brothers, both Republicans, voted for ENDA in 2007 and for the hate crimes bills in both 2007 and 2009.

Sen. George Voinovich, Reps. Steve Austria and Pat Tiberi. Senator Voinovitch, a Republican, indicated in July that he was undecided. However, he has cosponsored a previous bill that included sexual orientation and gender identity language, and his assumed support for ENDA has even been decried by some conservatives. Rep. Steve Austria, a Republican, is considered a social conservative, and he voted no on the hate crimes bill. However, according to Wikipedia, his district ordinarily votes in moderate Republicans. There is nothing substantive to indicate where he stands on ENDA, and I am not ready to throw in the towel on Rep. Austria. Rep. Tiberi, a Republican, also voted no on hate crimes bills in 07 and 09, but he voted yes on ENDA in 2007. Swing state politics is likely to defy expectations, so I am hopeful about Rep. Tiberi also.

There are four more states that I've tagged as important to watch, but I've run out of time this morning, so I won't bore you with the details. Stay tuned, however, to be bored out of your skull with my arcane analysis in future posts. Here's the other four:

ND: Sen. Kent Conrad and Sen. Byron Dorgan, Rep. Earl Pomeroy

MT: Sen. Max Baucus and Sen. Jon Tester

AR: Sen. Mark Pryor and Rep. Vic Snyder

CO: Sen. Michael Bennet and Rep. Mike Coffman

Please get on the phone now and call your Indiana legislators!

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If I may, you should add an inquiry for those Senators who indicate opposition to ENDA whether they will support a filibuster when the bill comes up for a vote. Some may oppose the bill but will not automatically support a filibuster.

I presume you don't mention Indiana US Rep. Baron Hill (D-IN-09) because he is already a solid YES vote?

P.S. Why are they called "Blue Dog" Democrats instead of "Red Dog" Democrats? It would seem that it would be the mainstream Democrats that we would call true "Blue" ... go figure!

Yes, that's exactly right. I think the key to winning ENDA is getting smart and getting targeted. The "just go call your Congressmember" approach is highly non-motivating. I have heard that the origin of the Blue Dog name is that conservative Democrats felt they had been choked blue by the liberal Yellow Dog Democrats. It's on Wikipedia.

Senator Mel Martinez has, since the writing of this post, announced his resignation from the Senate, effective at the end of August. The appointment by Gov. Crist of a temporary replacement will be of great importance. Martinez was no great friend of the LGBT community, and hopefully the replacement will understand the importance of job equality to our principles and our economy.