September 20, 2006
Arlen Specter Replies to a Constituent
By James Wilson
Arlen Specter (R-PA) is not exactly our favorite Senator right now. He "sold out" to White House demands in crafting the National Security Surveillance Act. As Ryan Singel of Wired News describes it,
Specter's bill concedes the government's right to wiretap Americans without warrants, and allows the U.S. Attorney General to authorize, on his own, dragnet surveillance of Americans so long as the stated purpose of the surveillance is to monitor suspected terrorists or spies.
The bill got out of committee this week by a 10-8 vote, and is expected to face the full Senate next week. has feared this bill for months, and you can tell your Senator to oppose it by clicking to our No Warrant, No Search campaign. On top of this, Specter is showing amazing contempt for the democratic process and for the American people. As Singel reports,
Specter has moved to have his bill voted upon next week by voice vote, called a unanimous consent motion, according to the ACLU's Graves. Such a procedure would leave no record of who voted for or against the bill.
How convenient: Senators who don't even have the guts to stand up and be counted can now vote for the de facto repeal of the Fourth Amendment. Specter's contempt for us normal folks is also on display in his response to one of our Downsizers:
Thank you for your email. We will be responding soon.
Except, according to our correspondent, they never do.
I receive a large volume of E-mails, phone calls, faxes and letters every week from concerned citizens like yourself.
In other words, Quit bothering me!
By following these simple steps, you will help me respond to your concerns in a more prompt and efficient manner.
What follows in the response is a list of phone numbers relevant to specific contituent services. But these are not relevant to the issue at hand, which is contacting the Senator to express one's views. If you're a Downsizer in Pennsylvania or anywhere else, don't let this discourage you. Just because your petitions aren't responded to doesn't mean they aren't being read. They are - and the more we persist, the more Congress will come around to our point of view. They won't have a choice.
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