Tho Who’s Who of Not-Nice-Nominees This Week:
We have a lot of work to do, and sometimes it can get a little overwhelming. So we decided to break it down into a weekly schedule. If you have already worked out your own schedule, feel free to be engaged in a way that works for you!
This week we plan on reaching out to our Senators about some of the Cabinet nominees. We intend to ask them not to approve the nomination of DeVos as Secretary of Education, and not to approve the nomination of Jeff Session as Attorney General.
DeVos has no Education experience as either a teacher or administrator, neither she nor her children has ever attended public schools, her views are very against public schools, and she is in favor of doing away with public schools in favor of privatized (read: pay to attend) religious schools. She has said that she sees her ideas of educational reform as a way to “advance the Kingdom of God”, which is explicitly unconstitutional. Being religious is well within a person’s rights, but we need to remember that separation of church and state is a crucial part of our democracy, and setting up systems to favor one set of beliefs above another is unconstitutional. Additionally, this woman is a billionaire who has no understanding of what a public education means to some families, and she is working to take that system away.
Sessions was actually denied a Federal Judgeship during the Reagan administration because he was too racist. Just to repeat, he was denied a position in the Reagan administration for being too racist. By a Republican subcommittee. He harassed a black colleague, calling him “boy” and making remarks about how the Klu Klux Klan were “Ok” except for “using marijuana”. He also has stated that he believes that the NAACP and ACLU are “un-American” and “Communist-inspired”, and that they “force civil rights down the throats of people”. He would be an incredibly dangerous person to have as Attorney General.
So, he is generally a not nice person, who uses terms like “race-traitor” to talk about white people who associate with black people. But, if you need a laugh, remember, his full name is actually, for real, Jefferson Beauregard Sessions III. Also, he served on the committee who will be considering him, and since he is, shall we say, not nice, he didn’t make a lot of friends, and we’re likely to make some headway with our campaign to keep him from being confirmed, because they already know what kind of person he is, so we just need to be vocal.
What are we going to do about it?
Before going before the Senate, these nominees are voted on in subcommittees. So we’re going to write letters, postcards, or even make phone calls to the members of the subcommittees that will be considering these folks. Also, if some of the committee members are from your state, take some time to remind them that you are their constituent and they work for you!
DeVos, Secretary of Education Nominee :
Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions
428 Senate Dirksen Office Building, Washington, DC 20510
Republicans by Rank:
- Lamar Alexander (TN)
- Michael B. Enzi (WY)
- Richard Burr (NC)
- Johnny Isakson (GA)
- Rand Paul (KY)
- Susan Collins (ME)
- Lisa Murkowski (AK)
- Mark Kirk (IL)
- Tim Scott (SC)
- Orrin Hatch (UT)
- Pat Roberts (KS)
- Bill Cassidy, M.D. (LA)
Democrats by Rank:
- Patty Murray (WA)
- Barbara Mikulski (MD)
- Bernie Sanders (VT)
- Robert P. Casey, Jr (PA)
- Al Franken (MN)
- Michael F. Bennet (CO)
- Sheldon Whitehouse (RI)
- Tammy Baldwin (WI)
- Christopher S. Murphy (CT)
- Elizabeth Warren (MA)
Sessions, Attorney General Nominee:
United States Senate Committee on the Judiciary
224 Dirksen Senate Office Building, Washington, D.C. 20510-6050
Republicans by Rank:
Democrats by Rank:
The ranking Republicans and Democrats for each committee might be a good place to start if you only have little bit of time, or if you see any Senators from your state be sure to reach out to them as well! Write or call and make sure your voice is heard!
Make sure to check out our guides on how to effectively correspond with your Representatives, and maybe even throw a holiday-themed postcard party with friends and family! Organizing and activism doesn’t have to be hard, even during the holidays. Do as much as you feel like you can, and be sure to take time to recharge afterward!