Guess what? According to the Washington Post in Kansas Greg Orman, the Independent candidate running against Republican Senator Pat Roberts, has raised Roberts’ vote (against) on the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD) and his treatment of Senator Bob Dole. Orman said, “…he [Roberts] voted against a U.N. treaty banning discrimination against people with disabilities, despite Dole’s personal plea. He threw Bob Dole under the bus on the U.N. treaty on disabilities….”
The Rasmussen Reports poll (September 19th) has Orman five points ahead of Roberts. Chad Taylor, the Democrat candidate, dropped out of the Senate race. The Roberts-Orman match up is being closely watched because of the question of who will control the Senate, come January 2015. Orman, who has said he will caucus with the majority in the Senate if elected, could be in a powerful position. If control of the Senate comes down to one member, that is. The Republicans need a gain of six seats, or five plus Orman. Democrats, over all have been gaining strength in the last week (see www.realclearpolitics.com), so who controls the Senate in 2015-2016 could come down to a nail-biting end.
This means the CRPD has made it into political prime time. We didn’t bring it up, a candidate did, and it made it into a front-page story in the Washington Post. We need to see more press/media coverage. We need to play a role in making that happen. If Orman saw the value in mentioning Robert’s position on the CRPD, other candidates in other Senate races may see the value too. That is, if we bring it to their attention at candidate forums and town hall meetings, as well as through their press offices.
Four things to remember: First, we have leverage now that we won’t have after the elections on November 4th. Second, the CRPD is not a trivial, single topic issue – it is about how millions of people with disabilities, their families, and advocates are viewed and treated by society. Third, the U.S. standing with regard to credibility on human rights is precarious, and needs a push in the right direction. Fourth, in order to build momentum, we need to go public about what we do and learn by using social media (i.e., Twitter, #CRPD).
Please choose to be politically active right now and urge all Senators and candidates to state their position on the CRPD and to urge Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid to hold a vote on the CRPD.