Tuesday, October 14, 2014

The CIA Wouldn't Try To Undermine Mark Udall's Reelection... Would They?


In 2006, Blue America backed Tom Udall, a congressman from New Mexico when he ran for the Senate. He was an excellent congressman and he's been a good, solid, progressive senator. We didn't back his less progressive cousin, Mark Udall, a congressman from Colorado running the same year, also for the Senate. We weren't against him and we hoped he'd been right-wing extremist Bob Schaffer-- which he did, 1,230,994 (53%) to 990,755 (42%). 3 weeks from today, both are up for reelection. Tom doesn't have much of a contest against Republican Allen Weh. It's unlikely Weh will even crack 40%. The most current poll, by YouGov for CBS, shows Udall leading 53-35%. According to ProgressivePunch, the 2013-14 session shows Tom Udall with a spectacular crucial vote score of 94.94, the same score as Bernie Sanders and Jeff Merkely.

His cousin Mark hasn't done badly either. His crucial vote score for the 2013-14 session is 80.77, just above Jon Tester (D-MT) and just under Tim Kaine (D-VA), a moderate voting record for a Democrat in a swing state. His polling is much-closer and, although he is running against a bizarre far right lunatic, Cory Gardner, this is a neck and neck race Udall could actually lose. That latest YouGov poll for CBS shows him with 48% to Gardner's 45%. Other polls-- albeit less dependable ones-- have shown Gardner ahead. As of the last FEC filing deadline (June 30), Udall had $5,733,007 cash-on-hand and Gardner had $3,441,574 cash-on-hand. Right-wing groups have thrown $11,392,484 in a relentless broadcast smear campaign against Udall, Rove throwing in another $1,511,685 this week (to bring the Crossroads total to $5,581,832. The Chamber of Commerce put up $3,403,275 for Gardner ($801,183 last week) and the NRA kicked in $2,680,390 while the NRA SuperPAC put in another $469,553. Another Rove front group, the Crossroads SuperPac kicked in over a quarter million so far... and counting. About $35 million has been spent by outside groups in the race so far.

Blue America isn't involved in either race-- not in New Mexico because Tom Udall pretty much has it in the bag and not in Colorado because Mark Udall is a decent moderate and Blue America supports progressives, not moderates. We thought about it though. That's because on one issue we care about a lot Mark has been way ahead of almost any other senator: constitutionally guaranteed privacy. When the CIA and NSA are caught lying and cheating most senators run for cover; in fact, almost all members of Congress run for cover. But not Mark Udall. His responses to the illegal domestic spying scandals have been the best in the entire Senate. A member of the Senate Intelligence Committee, Udall was the first out of the box suggesting CIA Director John Brennan be held accountable for his criminal behavior. Resignation or firing, he said, is a good first step.
"After being briefed on the CIA Inspector General report today, I have no choice but to call for the resignation of CIA Director John Brennan. The CIA unconstitutionally spied on Congress by hacking into Senate Intelligence Committee computers. This grave misconduct not only is illegal, but it violates the U.S. Constitution’s requirement of separation of powers. These offenses, along with other errors in judgment by some at the CIA, demonstrate a tremendous failure of leadership, and there must be consequences.

"The CIA needs to acknowledge its wrongdoing and correct the public record in a timely, forthright manner-- and that simply hasn't occurred under John Brennan's leadership. Such an acknowledgment is necessary, whether we're talking about spying on Senate computers or about correcting misleading and inaccurate information about the CIA's detention and interrogation program. An internal CIA accountability board review isn't enough."
If you don't think the CIA and other arms of the National Intelligence State are looking for ways to replace Udall with a compliant, low-grade little twerp like Gardner, you haven't been paying any attention. The CIA will stop at nothing to further its own ends... nothing at all.

Elizabeth Warren is on her way to Colorado to help rally progressives for Udall. "In Colorado," she wrote yesterday, "one poll shows Mark Udall up by three points, and another shows him down by six to extreme conservative Cory Gardner. I'm going to Colorado to remind everyone that this election is about whose side you stand on, and Mark Udall stands with women and families... I'm doing what I can to talk to people about why this election is so important, but it takes a lot of us pulling together." She didn't bring up Udall's battle with the spy agencies as one of the reasons she's going to help. But she knows. I hope someone starts talking about it in Colorado. It's probably an issue that would resonate there in a big way. Even Fox News seems to think Udall's leadership on this is admirable.

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At 5:33 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

The CIA is a corporation-sized criminal drug-running operation. OF COURSE they will act to ensure that their profit stream doesn't get severed!


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