Manchester , NH – With the U.S. House of Representatives scheduled to pass the Stem Cell Research Enhancement Act on Thursday with it headed to the President’s desk for a promised veto, all eyes are focused on U.S. Senator John Sununu (R-NH) who represents the most likely 67th vote in the Senate in favor of overriding such a veto. Americans United for Change, along with concerned citizen in New Hampshire, launched a six figure, month-long campaign last month to convince Senator Sununu, the only member of Congress from New Hampshire who opposes stem cell research, to reverse course, support stem cell research and provide he deciding vote in the Senate to override President Bush’s planned veto.
As a significant newspaper and radio ad buy targeting Sununu continues to make waves in NewHampshire this week ( Click here tohear new radio ad ‘Imagine’ Click here to seeaccompanying newspaper ad), a major grassroots effort is underway to pressure Senator Sununu to do the right thing and advance potential cures for debilitating diseases and spinal cord injuries by supporting stem cell research. With President Bush set to veto the Stem Cell EnhancementAct as early as this weekend, New Hampshire citizens, and folks from across the country eager for to find cures for a host of debilitating diseases, will be flooding Senator Sununu’s offices in New Hampshire and in Washington with phone calls, emails and letters urging the Senator to stand up for cures and to stand up to President Bush on behalf of his constituents. In New Hampshire, candlelight vigils, letter writing gatherings, and protests are planned in the next few days to draw attention to Senator Sununu and his role as the deciding vote on whether or not the President’s veto of legislation to expand federally funded stem cell research will be overturned in the U.S.Senate.
“We are not letting up on Senator Sununu – this issue is too important to too many people not to go the distance to convince him to do the right thing and support stem cell research. We will compliment our paid advertising effort with grassroots outreach to medical professionals and victims of debilitating injuries and diseases and we will make our presence felt on the ground just like we are on the air,” said Michael Brunelle, of Americans United for Change in New Hampshire. “We're going to have these folks and other concerned citizens visit the Senator's offices, conduct press events and vigils and go door to door if necessary to turn up the heat on Senator Sununu and appeal to his head, his heart and, frankly, his own political self interests to do the right thing. We are also reaching out to stem cell advocates around the country to make sure they know that Senator Sununu holds the vote for a cure in his hands.”
The Democratic leadership in the U.S. Senate reportedly believes they have 66 votes to override the President’s veto of S.5 – the Stem Cell Research Enhancement Act. Senate insiders believe that John Sununu is the most likely 67thvote to override, pointing out that: 1) Senator Sununu, who is up for reelection in 2008, is the only Member of the New Hampshire congressional delegation who does not support expanding federally funded stem cell research; 2) the Senator has bucked his own party leadership in the past; and 3) the Senator’s opposition to stem cell research is out of step with the vast majority of people in NewHampshire and members of his own state party. In fact, New Hampshire Republicans supportstem cell research by a 2-to-1 margin, according to a January 2007 SurveyUSA poll.
Americans United for Change is a non-profit, non-partisan 501c4 issue-advocacyorganization perhaps best known for leading the fight to beat back President Bush’s terribly misguided proposal to privatize Social Security back in 2005. Last month, Americans United launched a $100,000television ad campaign in New Hampshire calling on Senator Sununu to bring a safe and responsible end to the war in Iraq.