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States Respond to Bush's Escalation Plan

Yesterday, state legislators from across America joined with U.S. Senator Ted Kennedy, Progressive States, and our partners at MoveOn, the Women Legislators' Lobby, and Americans Against Escalation in Iraq to discuss the power (.wav format) of states to play a key role in preventing President George W. Bush's disastrous escalation proposal.

Senator Kennedy drew a parallel between the minimum wage ”“ which was increased by voters in six states last fall and in statehouses across the country last year ”“ and the Iraq war in noting the ability of states to put opposition to the escalation on Congress’s front burner.

Kennedy is sponsoring legislation in the U.S. Senate to require that the Bush Administration seek Congressional authority for any escalation.

Conference call participants encouraged legislators to introduce resolutions opposing the escalation and supporting Congressional intervention to prevent it.

Also on the conference call was Steve Doherty, co-chair of Progressive States and former minority leader of the Montana Senate. He noted the many times in his legislative career when the Montana Legislature had chosen to speak out on issues of international importance -- and of the continued importance of state legislators as leaders on these issues. Rep. Garnet Coleman of Texas and Sen. Nan Grogan Orrock of Georgia spoke of the interest that they had seen in the issue from their colleagues and constituents.

The Progressive States Network is now working with legislators across the country to get resolutions introduced and passed across the country. In addition, we have launched an online action tool that allows voters to contact their legislators asking them to take action on this critical issue. The public outcry so far has been palpable.

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