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Why Did 94 House Dems Change Votes on FISA? Money.

Why Did 94 House Democrats Change Their Votes on FISA?
(A: Money)

Politico
June 25, 2008

In March, the House passed an amendment that rejected retroactive immunity for telecoms that assisted the NSA in illegal wiretapping. Most of us have wondered what happened to change the minds of 94 Democrats. What happened between June 20 and March 14 to change 94 Democratic hearts and minds?

The answer might well be simple: money. Could it be that simple?

MAPLight.org has published a breakdown of contributions received from Telco PACS by the 94 Dems who experienced the change of heart. [Maplight.org is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit, nonpartisan organization based in Berkeley, California. Its search engine at MAPLight.org illuminates the connection between Money And Politics (MAP) via an unprecedented database of campaign contributions and legislative outcomes.’]

Here’s the bottom line:

Verizon, AT&T, and Sprint gave PAC contributions averaging:

$8,359 to each Democrat who changed their position to support immunity for Telcos (94 Dems)
$4,987 to each Democrat who remained opposed to immunity for Telcos (116 Dems)

88 percent of the Dems who changed to supporting immunity (83 Dems
of the 94) received PAC contributions from Verizon, AT&T, or Sprint
during the last three years (Jan. 2005-Mar. 2008). ( MAPLight.org)

Of course the average amount received is a bit misleading. A few of the very prominent Dems who changed their votes took a lot more than $8000. According to this website,

Nancy Pelosi [CA], Speaker of the House, allegedly received $24,500.

Steny Hoyer [MD] allegedly received $29,000.

James Clyburn [SC] allegedly received $29,500.

Rahm Emanuel [IL] allegedly received $28,000.

Frederick Boucher [VA] allegedly received $27,500.

Gregory Meeks [NY] allegedly received $26,000.

You can see the complete list here.

I guess with campaign finance laws in the state they’re in, we can’t expect them to turn down free money. I would like to believe that there are other reasons why they supported the current incarnation of FISA. I wish I could think of some.

Read Full Article Here

 

HR 6304 – A Bill To Abolish the 4th Amendment

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MIJdmePn4lY

 

Hatch compares FISA critics to those ‘who wear tin foil hats and think 9/11 was an inside job.’

Think Progress
June 26, 2008

Speaking today on the Senate floor in favor of the Foreign Service Intelligence Act legislation, Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-UT) compared critics of the bill — which include Sens. Harry Reid (D-NV), Chris Dodd (D-CT), and Barbara Boxer (D-CA), among others — to deluded conspiracy theorists. Hatch mocked the what he called “onerous oversight provisions” included in the bill, and said those who raise the specter of unchecked executive wiretapping power “feed the delusions of those who wear tin foil hats around their house and think that 9/11 was an inside job.”

Those “onerous” oversight provisions Hatch maligns? A ban on “reverse targeting” of Americans and a new requirement of probable cause for surveillance of Americans abroad.

UpdateLate this afternoon, the Senate voted 80-15 to invoke cloture on the FISA bill. Ian Welsh at FDL writes that this “was the real vote” and applauds the 15 senators who “voted for the Bill of Rights.”

Why Obama supports FISA: His fundraising firm takes money from AT&T
http://mparent7777-1.livejournal.com/649045.html

Obama: Immunity not that important. Won’t support filibuster
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bPljokDWERg

Whistleblower: Spy Bill Will Create Police State
http://blog.wired.com/27bstroke6/2008/06/att-whistleblow.html

Report: FISA vote may be delayed until July
http://thehill.com/leading-the-news..il-after-july-recess-2008-06-26.html

Obama Adviser On FISA: We’ll Trust The Inspector General To Prevent Surveillance Abuses
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/m.s.-b..-well-trust_b_108904.html

The Real FISA Vote Passes 80 to 15 With the Presidential Nominees Passing
http://firedoglake.com/2008/06/2..e-presidential-nominees-passing/

Ron Paul: The FISA bill clearly violates the Fourth Amendment
http://www.house.gov/paul/congrec/congrec2008/cr062008h.htm

 


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