Update from Sarah Jane, October 2, 2018: Ok, first, the good news.
Yesterday, Senator Jeff Flake was in Boston to appear at a Forbes magazine event. Lots of folks came together at City Hall Plaza, around 10 am, on a weekday, to protest the Kavanaugh nomination. See the October 1 tweet from the Boston Globe:
Protesters began converging shortly on Boston City Hall Plaza before 10 a.m., where Arizona Senator Jeff Flake, a key figure in the nomination battle, was slated to appear later in the day as part of the Forbes Under 30 Summit.
Here’s a link to the story (which is behind a paywall):
This article from the Guardian states that 1,500 people managed to appear at short notice, on a weekday morning. Alexandra Ocasio-Cortez got there too, and spoke, as did House of Representatives candidate Ayanna Pressley.
Quotes from Flake in the article point to more good news:
Flake told a crowd of young entrepreneurs attending a Forbes “Under 30” business summit that his staff is in contact with White House counsel to make sure the investigation into accusations of sexual assault against Kavanaugh is “up to standard”.
Despite White House assurances of an unrestricted investigation, there have been complaints about limited time and scope for the FBI to investigate allegations by California professor Dr Christine Blasey Ford that Kavanaugh attempted to rape her in high school, and allegations by two other women of sexual misconduct.
“We ought to have more information, not less,” he said. He called Ford’s testimony before the Senate judiciary committee last Thursday “compelling and credible”.
After initial confusion and back-and-forthing on the matter, reporters at the New York Times confirmed that the White House removed at least some restrictions on the FBI investigation of Kavanaugh’s background, provided it stuck to the no-more-than-a-week timeline. From Peter Baker (@PeterBakerNYT), early yesterday afternoon:
Breaking: White House authorizes FBI to expand its abbreviated investigation into sexual misconduct allegations against Kavanaugh by interviewing anyone it deems necessary as long the review is finished by the end of the week.
Full NYT story:
Celeste Pewter (@Celeste_Pewter) retweeted this yesterday, saying:
Public pressure definitely helped. Keep it up, all. And please continue to call your Senators.
Important to add: the article doesn’t fully clarify where Julie Swetnick’s allegation stands at the moment, or any relevant examinations into Kavanaugh’s drinking. Let’s make sure we continue to push on these two issues – they continue to be critical to all of this.
Later on, after urging us to support endangered incumbent Democratic Senators, she tweeted:
IMPORTANT: McConnell confirmed the vote on Kavanaugh is this week. This is not a surprise; it was basically confirmed last week, especially with the procedural vote. But confirmation confirms we are quickly running out of time. Call your Senators.
She also retweeted a statement from Democratic West Virginia Senator Joe Manchin, which indicated that he would ‘continue to listen to all West Virginians’ and would make his decision ‘based on the facts,’ followed by a sympathetic statement about survivors of sexual assault.
Also, if you live in or near Washington, D.C., a rally dubbed Brett Kava-NAH, Just Say No will take place Thursday, October 4, at 7 pm EST. Location is TBD. Several celebrities have committed to appear. Bookmark the link below and watch for updated info:
Last bit of good news worth noting: It’s October 2. That means SCOTUS is back in session, and Kavanaugh is not on the bench. At least not as I type this. Stay firm and focused, and perhaps we can ensure that he never joins that bench.
The answer, as always, is to call, and urge friends and family to call.
If you have not called your Senators yet, now is the time. If you’ve called before, call again.
Only call your own Senators. Urge your friends and family members to call their Senators.
And yes, you have to pick up the phone and call, and I’m serious about only calling your own Senators.
Be polite. Always, be polite. Practice what you want to say before you say it. Get it right, master your emotions, then call.
This is as serious as it’s ever been, people. Only a large, loud outcry from us has a chance of stopping this nomination.
Please honor the bravery of Dr Christine Blasey Ford by making those calls, and then urge friends and family to do the same.
To stay on top of things, check the Twitter feeds of @Celeste_Pewter for news on what you can do; @ICalledMyReps to see others acting alongside you; and @BenWikler for news about potential protests.
Here is Celeste Pewter’s general script for all Senators. Please check her feed, @Celeste_Pewter, for the freshest, most up-to-date scripts. Please tweet about your calling experiences to #ICalledMyReps, noting full voice-mail boxes and whether and how readily the office staff picks up the phone.
Because GOP Senate Leader Mitch McConnell made at least one public appeal to move Collins in his direction, and because Collins reportedly asked the FBI to include the Swetnick allegations in the re-opened probe (Swetnick is Michael Avenatti’s client), Celeste Pewter retweeted her script for Collins, saying:
Maine pals – call and support this request [of Collins’s, to include Swetnick] . Reiterate to her if this doesn’t happen, she HAS to vote no.
Here is the Collins script. Again, if you’re not from Maine, DO NOT CALL. Instead, recruit friends and family in Maine to call.
Lastly, let me repeat: All of this has been exhausting and enraging. While Flake successfully demanding an extension of no more than one week to let the FBI do additional work on Kavanaugh’s background check is a good thing, Kavanaugh could still get confirmed.
Continue to call every day, and continue to urge friends and family to do so. But please start mentally preparing yourself for the possibility that Kavanaugh proceeds.
You can show love for Celeste Pewter in many ways.
You can follow her on Twitter: @Celeste_Pewter
You can tweet about calling your Senators, using the #ICalledMyReps hashtag.
You can follow @ICalledMyReps on Twitter.
You can adopt a vulnerable incumbent Democratic Senator by checking out The Road to 2018, an organization Pewter created. Read about it here:
You can follow The Road to 2018 on Twitter: @Roadto18
And you can subscribe to her peerless newsletter, It’s Time to Fight: