Tim Walz is the only candidate from the netroots page that ended up a Bush Dog, voting for both the blank check bill in April and the FISA extension in August. Now the Foundation for the Defense of Democracies is running ads in his district attacking him for not voting for retroactive immunity for telecom companies. Here's his response.
"This ad is reckless with our national security. Implying that America's surveillance against terrorists is crippled is a lie. What's worse, this group has encouraged terrorists to think our country's surveillance system is weak, when nothing could be further from the truth. Why on earth would any group go on television and claim that America's intelligence agencies can't do their job?"
As a result of recent court rulings, special-interest lobbying groups like this one now have the ability to raise and spend unlimited amountsof money to say whatever they want through paid advertising to advance their political agenda. "
This lobbying group's so-called 'issue ad' is a new low," added Walz. "Citizens in southern Minnesota aren't fooled by this fear-mongering but they do deserve to know who is behind this shadowy organization and where they are from."
Prior to this Congressional recess, Walz urged the President and Congressional leaders on both sides of the aisle to stay in Washington and reach an agreement to permanently modernize the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA), properly balancing the government's intelligence gathering needs with safeguarding the very liberties that millions of Americans have fought and died for.
"As a 24 year veteran of the National Guard, I understand better than this group that this is a dangerous world," concluded Walz. "My message to those terrorists who seek to do our country harm is: We still have the tools in place to intercept and disrupt what you may be planning --and we can act lightning fast -- because there is no disagreement in our country about protecting the America people."
There's plenty of wiggle room in there to let Walz wiggle out and vote for retroactive immunity. But if he doesn't, I'm inclined to remove him from Bush Dog status. Calling a right-wing group like the Foundation for the Defense of Democracies a pack of liars is pretty strong stuff. And if he doesn't go along with immunity, then that is enough to make up for the August vote.
(Incidentally, Democratic superdelegate Donna Brazile and Democratic Congressmen Eliot Engel and Jim Marshall are on the advisory board of the FDD. They should strongly consider resigning.)
UPDATE: In the comments there are a variety of people arguing that Walz should never have been on there in the first place. The standards for being a Bush Dog are very clear. One, the member voted for war funding without restrictions for Bush. Two, the member voted for the FISA extension to authorize Bush increased spying power. Walz voted for both of these, therefore he is a strong enabler of George Bush. It is Congressmen like Tim Walz that keep the war in Iraq going, period. So those of you who are whining, and yes, it is whining, that he does not deserve to be on there are simply susceptible to a cult of personality and unwilling to hold him accountable for the moral cripple he has chosen to be in the House.
Tim Sackton pointed out that he voted against the PAA extension, which was a priority for people who wanted to defeat retroactive immunity. So this guy's a Bush dog through and through until he shows himself differently.