Sent: Thursday, December 01, 2005 6:01 PM
Subject: Making a difference
Today I made an appointment to meet with Republican Senator Gordon Smith's State Director on behalf of Cindy Sheehan and the Not One More campaign. (Couldn't get an appointment with the Senator himself but I am surprised that his office agreed to the meeting at all.) The appointment is set for Tuesday, December 6th and will be attended by myself, Katie Heald and Linda Wiener from Code Pink Portland and Grant Remington and Chris Knight from Veterans for Peace Chapter 72.
We will be asking the Senator to tell us what the is noble cause that has cost 2,110 American soldiers lives, how many more lives are we as a country willing to sacrifice, how many more is the Senator personally willing to sacrifice and what is the Senator doing specifically to bring our soldiers home.
I hope to be meeting with Senator Wyden at some point in the very near future to ask him the same questions. Hopefully, if we stay in the faces of our elected officials, they will get the idea that the majority of the American public is opposed to this illegal and immoral war.
We met with Kerry Timchuk, Senator Gordon's State Director. At the start of the meeting after we got through with introductions and pleasantries, I told him we were there to ask the Senator specific questions. I told him that I was surprised that they agreed to meet with us at all. He told us that the Senator and his staff are always happy to meet with constituents regardless of party affiliation or whether or not he agrees on an issue. I told him that we had four questions and that if he was unable to respond on behalf of the Senator that we would like a written response. He seemed to think that was a good idea. I asked him the four questions and gave them to him in written form. We continued to talk about the war and he told us that after the December 15th (or 16th) elections that the Senator will expect to see a draw down of troops, or, at the very least, a plan for a draw down.
I couldn't really get a sense of where the Senator stands on the war in Iraq. I know he voted to give bush the authority to go to war, blah, blah, blah, but I just don't know where he is today on the issue. Smith doesn't always tow the party line. I guess we'll find out soon.
It has to be a good thing to put a face on the peace movement for these guys. They need to see that we aren't a bunch of anarchists or radical hippies. We are reasonably normal, albeit of above average intelligence, everyday sort of folk. We are their next door neighbors whose kids go to school with their kids. And we want this war over sooner rather than later.
He did mention that the Senator knows what it's like to lose a child, though under very different circumstances, so I think he at least gets that. We talked about the funerals the Senator has gone to and how our Governor has gone to every funeral of every Oregonian killed in Iraq, somewhere around 30 funerals.
I'll let you know when we get our response. I am very interested in hearing what this republican Senator has to say.
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