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600K Signatures Sent to Sen. Collins

600K Signatures Sent to Sen. Collins


Petitions with nearly 600,000 signatures were delivered to Maine senator Susan Collins, urging her to support the repeal of "don't ask, don't tell." Iraq war veteran Saif Khan, retired Army physician Col. William Cline, and Brad Reichard, the spouse of a West Point graduate, delivered the petitions Thursday to Collins's office on behalf of Organizing for America.

Collins has become an integral part of the Senate's plan to vote on the defense authorization spending bill, which includes an amendment to repeal the military's ban on openly gay and lesbian troops. On Wednesday evening Senate majority leader Harry Reid postponed a vote on the bill in the full Senate. The postponement came after an afternoon of negotiations in which independent senator Joe Lieberman served as a de facto intermediary between Reid and Collins, who supports the repeal of "don't ask, don't tell" but wants a "fair and open" process for the defense authorization bill.

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