Call on Sen. Evan Bayh to Vote for No Immunity for Telecoms and Restoration of Civil Liberties in Pending FISA Legislation

Please consider calling Indiana Senator Evan Bayh’s office before Monday afternoon, and demanding that he REFUSE TO VOTE FOR CLOTURE as moved by the obstructionist Republicans in the Senate. They have done this to try and force a vote to pass the FISA bill that includes immunity for telecoms, furthering the cover-up of illegal spying by the Bush administration, and in fact goes farther than ever in permitting illegal spying on all electronic communications, even domestically, by American citizens.

Bayh’s office numbers are here:
Sen. Evan Bayh Contact Information at

Note that I tried to call again today, and his Washington phone rang 36 TIMES, I counted, with no one answering, and no voice mail, nada. This is NOT the first time I have experienced this trying to call Bayh’s office when the heat is on him, by the way. The same thing happened yesterday, after I had called twice, and tried to call a third time.

Indiana’s Sen. Evan Bayh was one of the handful of Democrats who voted Thursday to table the version of the bill that would DID NOT CONTAIN the immunity clauses, and which DID contain clauses safe-guarding the civil liberties of American citizens. His vote helped that motion pass with the exact number it needed, 60. If he had voted the other way, the Senate would not be debating that bill, which tries to uncover the illegal actions of the telecoms, and tries to protect our civil liberties.

Evan Bayh needs to hear that his vote was wrong, and the he must vote Monday AGAINST the Motion for Cloture demanded by the Republicans.

This from Glenn Greenwald, Glenn Greenwald, You can read the entire column, followed by a previous column that goes into great depth on this critical legislation, on his home page today.

The pro-immunity, pro-warrantless eavesdropping Democrats: Rockefeller, Pryor, Inouye, McCaskill, Landrieu, Salazar, Nelson (FL), Nelson (NE), Mikulski, Carper, Bayh, and Johnson. Neither Clinton nor Obama bothered to show up for any of this.

There was some significant, and apparently unexpected, obstructionism on the part of Republicans this afternoon, whereby they blocked votes on any of the pending amendments and then filed a Motion for Cloture (i.e., to force a vote on the Senate Intelligence Committee bill as is), the vote on which will occur on Monday at 4:30 p.m. Supposedly, the obstructionism angered Reid and other Democrats and now Reid will not only support Dodd’s filibuster but urge his caucus to do so as well.

I’m still trying to understand exactly what occurred procedurally and what the implications are, but for now, both Marcy Wheeler and McJoan have good explanations. The essence is that 36 Democrats already voted against the SIC bill (and in favor of the Judiciary Committee bill). To sustain a filibuster, they need 41 Senators who refuse to vote for cloture — meaning they would need to convert 3 Democrats who voted for the SIC bill, plus Obama and Clinton (who are scheduled to be in DC on Monday for the State of the Union address). This is where Obama and Clinton’s leadership could really make a genuine difference

Here is an explanation of the parliamentary maneuvering going on over this, by a former member of Sen. Chris Dodd’s campaign committee. Sen. Dodd is leading the fight in the Senate, along with Sen. Feinstein, trying to preserve the Constitution and our civil liberties:
Now! We might have a showdown – by: Tim Tagaris


Author: Ron