In May, ThinkProgress guest blogger Joe Sonka — who maintains his own blog at Barefoot and Progressive — broke the story that Kentucky GOP Senate candidate Rand Paul opposes the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). Today, the 20th anniversary of the ADA’s passage into law, Paul decided to skip a local event commemorating the landmark legislation:
“What a shame it is 20 years after the passage of the Americans with Disabilities Act, we would have a major candidate for the United States Senate stand up, stand up and say that he is against the Americans with Disabilities Act,” [Jack] Conway, the state’s attorney general [and Democratic Senate nominee], said to loud cheers from a crowd in the Capitol Rotunda who were observing the legislation’s anniversary, …
Pamela Roark-Glisson, executive director of the ADA Action Network of Kentucky and director of Independence Place, a center in Lexington for disabled persons to live independently, said both candidates were invited to the Capitol event but the Paul campaign never replied.
Instead, Paul’s priority of the day is his campaign’s $1,000-per-attendee fundraiser with former Florida governor Jeb Bush (R). The Huffington Post’s Sam Stein notes the irony of Bush appearing on the anniversary of “a signature piece of domestic legisation” signed by Bush’s father, former president George H.W. Bush:
ADA, which made it illegal for employers to discriminate against the disabled, was a signature piece of domestic legislation for Jeb’s father, former president George H.W. Bush, and not merely because Congress forced it down his throat. The 41st president pledged his commitment to the bill starting with his acceptance speech at the Republican Convention. “I am going to do whatever it takes to make sure the disabled are included in the mainstream,” he said.
Indeed, when the legislation was celebrating its 19th anniversary, last year, the elder Bush put out a statement, congratulating President Obama “for taking some time today” to commemorate its significance.
Barefoot and Progressive reports that “labor, civil rights, disability and community activists” protested the Bush fundraiser this afternoon.
The House of Representatives is honoring the ADA anniversary by having Rep. Jim Langevin (D-RI) become the first member in a wheelchair to preside over the chamber.