Thursday, June 26, 2008

On Wisconsin!

Wisconsin's favorite Feingold is joining forces with fellow Senator Chris Dodd (D-CT) in promising to 1) add an amendment stripping telecom immunity from the FISA bill if the Senate proceeds to the legislation and 2) filibuster if necessary.

He may not be perfect (who is?), but gosh darn do I like Russ Feingold, and I'm proud to have him representing my state.

Sadly, for many of the other senators, it will take a great groundswell of support from their constituents (that's us) for this action to get them on board. Too many Democrats and Republicans are either strangely for telecom immunity or just too cowed to openly oppose it.

Urge your senators to get on board with the Feingold-Dodd decision. Get on the horn now!

This has and will continue to be an uphill battle. There's a lot of money on the line, both for the telecoms and the politicians to whom they've been contributing quite a bit of cash. Unsurprisingly:
In March, the House passed an amendment that rejected retroactive immunity. But last week, 94 Democrats who supported the March amendment voted to support the compromise FISA legislation, which includes a provision that could let telecom companies that cooperated with the government’s warrantless electronic surveillance off the hook.

The 94 Democrats who changed their positions received on average $8,359 in contributions from Verizon, AT&T and Sprint from January, 2005, to March, 2008, according to the analysis by MAPLight, a nonpartisan organization that tracks the connection between campaign contributions and legislative outcomes.
Who knows what the numbers on senators are.

Even Sen. Obama is supporting the"compromise" bill, seemingly forgetting that he once pledged to oppose immunity. That's disappointing, to say the least. There's probably an argument to be made that Feingold isn't running for president, Obama is, and one's decisions invariably changes in that situation. But you know what? Screw that. One of the main reasons I suspect people are so drawn to Obama's campaign is that he's been so right-on about changing the way politics-as-usual goes down in Washington. Caving in to this so-called "compromise" - with nothing more than a "I don't like it, but I promise to deal with it later" statement to stave off criticism, is a slap in the face to his supporters.

Thank goodness for Feingold, at least, who can almost always be counted up to stand up for what's right even when it's not popular.

1 comment:

Compassionate Badger said...

hopefully Senator Feingold and Senator Dodd can filibuster this legislation to death.

The Lost Albatross