Sen. Murray declines to knock "Betray Us" ad
Sen. Patty Murray, a Democrat, joined presidential candidates Hillary Clinton, D-N. Y., and Chris Dodd, D-Conn., in the 25-vote Senate minority...
Seattle Times Washington bureau
WASHINGTON — Sen. Patty Murray, a Democrat, joined presidential candidates Hillary Clinton, D-N.Y., and Chris Dodd, D-Conn., in the 25-vote Senate minority that declined to condemn a recent anti-war ad by Moveon.org.
The ad, which ran in The New York Times on Sept. 10, referred to the U.S. commander in Iraq, Gen. David Petraeus, as "General Betray Us."
On Thursday, Republican senators voiced outrage and pushed forward a nonbinding resolution denouncing it. Sen. Barack Obama, D-Ill., also a presidential contender, skipped the vote. Sen. Maria Cantwell, a Democrat, was out sick that day.
Murray did vote for a different resolution that condemned all attack ads, including that by Moveon.org and two from 2004 and 2002 that targeted Sen. John Kerry, D-Mass., and former Sen. Max Cleland, D-Georgia, both Vietnam veterans.
That resolution won a 50-47 plurality, but under threats of Republican filibuster, it needed 60 votes to pass.
Murray's in the middle of a fight involving Mexico, the White House and the Teamsters.
Last week she voted for an amendment that temporarily shuts down a program, supported by the Bush administration, that allows Mexican long-haul truckers to drive farther in the U.S.
It passed overwhelmingly on Sept. 11, 75-23.
Murray has opposed the idea, which was approved in 1994 as part of the North American Free Trade Agreement. Congress has never permitted the trial program to begin, citing potential safety hazards and different licensing standards.
Late on the evening of Sept. 6, the Transportation Department gave the OK to allow the program to start, prompting an outburst the next day by CNN's Lou Dobbs.
A couple of days later, Sen. Byron Dorgan, D-N.D., and Arlen Specter, R-Pa., introduced an amendment blocking the program.
The amendment was attached to the Transportation Appropriations bill, which Murray controls.
The Bush administration is expected to try another run at the matter.
The Mexican trucking proposal is opposed by several highway-safety groups, the Sierra Club, the American Trucking Association and the Teamsters union. The House passed a bill to stop the program 411-3 in May.
On Thursday, the Senate passed a $1 billion anti-gang bill, co-sponsored by Cantwell, that would assist areas especially prone to gang violence and target at-risk youth for gang intervention and prevention initiatives.
Gang violence has increased in parts of Spokane, Yakima and Tacoma, Cantwell said in a statement, adding that the bill would strengthen punishment for gang-related crimes.
Alicia Mundy: 202-662-7457 or firstname.lastname@example.org
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