Here's a link to a New York Times article on the subject:
The e-mail from the advocacy group (which at the moment I am not naming, but given just the teeniest additional push, I'd happily call out by name) wanted me to contact my Senators by phone to tell them no don't do it, and was happy that someone had put a hold on the nomination. At this point in the political process, I have a knee jerk negative response to holds. Seriously, holds on everyone so you can get more pork? A hole on a deputy trade slot because Canada banned candy flavored tobacco. Seriously?
I was prepared to hear that the person nominated was awful, altho what that might mean in the world of autism advocacy is a little tough to imagine, given that so few autism advocates are willing to come right out and point at Lovaas and start apologizing and separating the therapies practiced today from what he advocated under a similar set of names. But no, Ne'eman is, from my perspective, the perfect nominee: he's got Asperger's (soon to be officially renamed high functioning autism or whatever), he's all about neurodiversity, support, assistance, etc. He recognizes the creepy scariness that is the prospect of genetic identification of autism and autism spectrum disorders. Please, please, please don't genocide my people!
From a tactical perspective, the advocacy group's e-mail isn't great -- it doesn't point to an interactive find-your-senator thing; it supplied _all_ of the Senators contact info in DC. Not even the local office numbers. *shrug* Not like I need to do that. I can find Senate contact info on my own, and I sent my e-mail to Kerry and Brown (*cringe*) urging them to push this up to a vote and then support the nomination. Had I _not_ received e-mail from the advocacy group, it is uncertain whether I would have noticed this happening in time to do anything about it.
Ya gotta be careful with that advocacy e-mail. ;-)
Like neurodiversity? Creeped out by the people who think autism should be eliminated entirely, by genetic testing if necessary? Contact your Senator and say you support the Ne'eman nomination. Alternatively, you could go with what that e-mail wanted me to do, which is contact a Senator and urge them to stop the nomination. Small 'd' democracy in action.