Presidential Candidates Speak Out on FISA

by: Tim Tagaris

Wed Jan 23, 2008 at 17:49

First of all, thanks to Matt, Mike and Chris for tolerating my bigfooting of their blog today, and in advance for tomorrow.

That said, I've been going back and forth about whether to post candidate statements on FISA.  Honestly, absent some sort of action, they mean quite little to nothing. 

Are their press people trying to push the issue into the traditional media?  Are they using their positions of influence to secure the votes of their endorsers in the Senate?

Most importantly, will they take the 1 hour and 26 minute flight tomorrow night from South Carolina into DCA?  I mean, there is a good chance a filibuster goes late into the evening, well after campaign events.  Dodd cannot speak forever, he is going to need Senators to relieve him for twenty minutes at a time by asking questions that allow him to take a break.

In my mind, that is *supporting a filibuster*.

Anyway, here are the candidates latest statements on the FISA and the filibuster.


In Washington today, telecom lobbyists have launched a full-court press to win retroactive immunity for their illegal eavesdropping on American citizens.  Granting retroactive immunity will let corporate law-breakers off the hook and hamstring efforts to learn the truth about Bush's illegal spying program.

"It's time for Senate Democrats to show a little backbone and stand up to George W. Bush and the corporate lobbyists.  They should do everything in their power -- including joining Senator Dodd's efforts to filibuster this legislation -- to stop retroactive immunity.  The Constitution should not be for sale at any price."


"I strongly oppose retroactive immunity in the FISA bill. No one should get a free pass to violate the basic civil liberties of the American people - not the president of the United States, and not the telecommunications companies that fell in line with his warrantless surveillance program [… T]hat is why I am proud to stand with Sen. Dodd and a grassroots movement of Americans who are standing up for our civil liberties and the rule of law."

I haven't seen a statement for Clinton, but she "reaffirmed to [Markos] the senator's opposition to telco amnesty, and her support for a filibuster, if necessary."

So, there it is. Thoughts?  What does "support a filibuster" mean to you?

Tim Tagaris :: Presidential Candidates Speak Out on FISA

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Words Are Not Enough IMO (4.00 / 4)
If they are proud to stand with Senator Dodd, then let them actually stand with him in D.C. and fight for this.

I am so sick of meaningless words.


That's right (4.00 / 1)
Standing with Dodd means I should see video footage of you standing next to Dodd on the Senate floor.

[ Parent ]
Support means (0.00 / 0)
enjoy a cigar on Venice Beach this week.

No calls please until Feb 6.

Michael Bloomberg, prince of corporate welfare

[ Parent ]
Game changer (4.00 / 1)
Whoever of the two--Obama or Clinton--decides to finally show some damn spine will either become the front runner again or seal the deal, respectively.  I can honestly see this as a litmus test for whether they would succeed in the general election.

I honestly don't know if either of them is brave enough to be politically savvy (one could even say "safe" since this is an extremely unpopular bill amongst Dems).  They're both tied to telecom lobbyists so I just don't see it happening.

If Clinton is actually worried about a divisive party this would most certainly help.  Oddly, I think she needs to do this more than she does because (as of now) she has more to possibly lose than he does.  He's struggling somewhat in the primaries, while she, the likely nominee, could lose the presidency considering the press and blog narratives that has framed her candidacy.

Typo: *He*-- not "she" (0.00 / 0)
"Oddly, I think she needs to do this more than he does because (as of now) she has more to possibly lose than he does."

[ Parent ]
Tim please (0.00 / 0)
what's the best way, during a campaign and all, to get our message across to Barack and John Edwards?

I know lots of people who'd like to chime in on this, but is there a good email address?  How can I (or anyone else) get an  email or phone message to them quickly on this matter?

If they're not on there CSPAN(2,3) taking their turn to speak, (0.00 / 0)
... then they're not really supporting the filibuster, are they? It's true.

Missing in Action: The House of Representatives (0.00 / 0)
The Netroots is engaging in a strategic blunder here.  All of our eggs are in the Chris Dodd basket (As far as I can see).

The House already passed a debatably decent verison of a FISA bill without immunity.  That is the stake in the ground, and what would really help Dodd now, is statements from Reyes, Rangel, the Progressive Caucus and (faint hope of this) Pelosi against immunity.

If the House looks set to shoot down a conference bill with immunity, or the House Conferees are against even allowing it to enter the conference bill, Dodd's position becomes much stronger.  Even if we just get it to the point where the conference bill would only pass with overwhelming Republican support, the optics will shame Pelosi somewhat. 

The progressive engine is not firing on all cylinders here.


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