Read a Pacific Northwest, liberal perspective on world, national, and local politics. From majestic Redmond, Washington - the Northwest Progressive Institute Official Blog.

Monday, September 17, 2007

Mr. Hegdahl Goes to the Other Washington

Yesterday afternoon, I arrived in our nation's capitol after an uneventful flight from Seattle for a VoteVets event with veterans from across the country.

I participated in a fun evening gathering at the Arlington McCormick and Schmick's, which was highlighted by a pep talk and some advice for the 40 OEF/OIF veterans by retired general and former presidential candidate Wesley Clark.

VoteVets flew dozens of veterans into town for a two day training and lobbying effort to support the troops by advocating for an end to the Iraq occupation (and preventing a possible invasion of Iran).

The featured speaker at today's training (during the luncheon) was Paul Begala, political consultant, commentator and former advisor to President Bill Clinton. It was a very casual but entertaining lecture on messaging.

Tonight we had a happy hour meet-and-greet with several members of Congress including: Joe Sestak (PA-07), Patrick Murphy (PA-08), Tim Walz (MN-01), John Hall (NY-19), Dave Loebsack (IA-02), Shelley Berkley (NV-01) and Albio Sires (NJ-13).

The food and the company were outstanding. It was wonderful meeting our representatives and getting real face time with many of the leaders that veterans rely on to make well informed decisions.

Tomorrow's schedule includes a grand finale, during which we will assemble for a press conference (a time and place has not been finalized yet) with members of both houses. We will demonstrate that Iraq veterans stand firmly with our Democratic leadership in our united wish for an end to an unjust war - and to return our military's focus to actually fighting terrorism where it exists rather than continuing to perpetuate a conflict that creates it.

I will post a follow-up on my return Wednesday.

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