YOUR BLUE AMERICA DOLLARS AT WORK-- TRYING TO SAVE THE CONSTITUTION
Very few issues have touched the readers of DWT with a greater sense of urgency than the debate over warrantless wiretaps and retroactive immunity (FISA). Basically it is a debate over whether we are a nation ruled by laws or by men. Together with the other Blue America bloggers at Crooks & Liars, Firedoglake, Digby's Hullabaloo and Salon (Glenn), we were able to reach enough concerned citizens to raise over $340,000 in the last couple of weeks. Today I opened a letter from Barbara in Schenectady, New York. I didn't know if I should cry or cheer. In either case, I felt a sense of pride for my connection with Barbara:
"Enclosed is my personal check for $25.00 to support the FISA campaign. These are my personal funds. I am a secretary, currently unemployed.
Almost 6,000 people have donated so far and we have run TV, radio, and newspaper ads in Chris Carney's Pennsylvania district, newspaper ads and patch-thru calls explaining to Steny Hoyer's constituents (and colleagues) his odious role in this massive betrayal of Democracy. Tomorrow we are running the following full page ad in the Washington Post and the day after we will explain our efforts to hold John Barrow (GA-12) accountable for his outrageously anti-American votes.
Click on the ad to read it
One of the most inspiring Blue America candidates, Dennis Shulman from northern New Jersey is running for Congress against the last of the far right extremists in the Northeast United States, Scott Garrett. Garrett, of course, is an enthusiastic supporter of warrantless wiretaps against Americans and loves the idea of retroactive immunity for his campaign donors. Dennis sent us this statement today:
"The House of Representatives, with the support of Republican Scott Garrett, recently passed a bill that would grant President Bush and future administrations unprecedented powers to spy on American citizens without a warrant or review by any judge or court. The new law would also let our nation's largest telecom companies off the hook for knowingly violating the law and releasing their customers' private information at the behest of George Bush.
"Our constitutional right to protection against unsupervised searches was written into our Bill of Rights for good reason by Founders whom we rightly celebrate.
"Neither President Bush nor Scott Garrett are as wise as James Madison.
"It is unfortunate that it appears that the telecom industry has managed to falsely conflate its quest for retroactive immunity for lawbreaking with the issue of national security. The Founding Fathers understood that our safety as a nation depended on our being a nation of laws. Retroactive immunity undermines the rule of law, and therefore undermines our principles and security as a nation.
"The President, his advisers, and his rubber stamps in Congress, including Scott Garrett, have demonstrated a pattern of disregard for the laws of the United States. This bill not only immunizes telecom companies from lawsuits, but it would also block the American people from ever knowing the full extent of the Bush Administration's illegal behavior.
"I urge my fellow Democrats in the Senate to vote against this unnecessary and deeply troubling law.
"I believe that Congress must protect the rights of citizens and the laws of our country from career politicians in Washington too willing to cave to special interests and endanger the fundamental rights that we, as Americans, hold so dear."
Wednesday the Senate votes. Chris Dodd, Russ Feingold, Ron Wyden, Ben Cardin are leading the uphill battle to defeat this bill. You have two senators; consider calling them and telling them this is a line in the sand and that you won't vote for them if they vote to chip away at the Constitution. It's easy; use this tool your Blue America dollars paid to develop: