a citizen’s journal by Thomas Nephew

Support Russ Feingold now

Posted by Thomas Nephew on 5th October 2010

The following is a proposed email pitch to “Get FISA Right” supporters.
[UPDATE: a collaborative draft based on this is underway at Get FISA Right’s “wetpaint” site.]


Senator Russ Feingold — the Senate’s champion of civil liberties and the rule of law — is facing a tough reelection campaign in Wisconsin.  Recent polling results suggest the election hangs in the balance; some recent polls have Feingold behind, but Russ is optimistic, citing internal polls showing a dead heat.  His opponent Ron Johnson’s chief strength is that he’s a plastics millionaire who can bankroll his own campaign juggernaut.  Politically, well… in Jim Hightower’s words, if [Johnson] were any dumber, we’d have to water him.”

Goal Thermometer

As a supporter of getting FISA right again, and of repealing the PATRIOT Act, we probably don’t have to tell you Russ Feingold is our best ally in the Senate. National security / human rights advocates have had to develop separate scenarios for the post-election period, depending on whether or not he stays in.  One has told me: “Even if Democrats hold the Senate, if Russ Feingold is not among them, the dynamic (and the White House, internalizing the message that “civil liberties don’t sell”) will tack demonstrably to the right.

It’s absolutely  critical we help him out as much as we can. So we’ve set up a fundraising page — Get FISA Right With Russ Feingold —  where “Get FISA Right” supporters (and anyone else) can contribute to his campaign.

What has Russ done for us, for civil liberties, for the America we want?  You name it, he’s fought for it — often having to “wage war with my own leadership …to get that opportunity.”

Stand with Feingold — support Russ now!

  • Russ Feingold was the only senator to vote against the PATRIOT Act, presciently warning, “I am also very troubled by the broad expansion of government power under the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act, known as FISA. […] ….the government can apparently go on a fishing expedition and collect information on virtually anyone. All it has to allege in order to get an order for these records from the court is that the information is sought for an investigation of international terrorism or clandestine intelligence gathering. That’s it. …”

    Fight the PATRIOT Act — support Russ now!

  • Senator Feingold’s principled stand against the PATRIOT Act gained him allies in the effort to block the Military Commissions Act in 2006. Speaking in opposition, Feingold said : “Under this legislation, some individuals, at the designation of the executive branch alone, could be picked up, even in the United States, and held indefinitely without trial and without any access whatsoever to the courts. …why would we turn our back on hundreds of years of history and our nation’s commitment to liberty — particularly when there is no good reason to do so?”

    Restore the rule of law — support Russ now!

  • Senator Feingold has worked with President Obama when he can, but has called Obama to account when he must.  Feingold produced recommendations doubling as a scorecard for evaluating Obama’s performance on the rule of law in his first hundred days in office.  The senator was among the first to criticize the Obama administration’s overuse of state secrets privileges — giving the Obama administration Grade: D | Status: Troubling”

    Hold the White House accountable no matter what — support Russ now!

  • And of course, Senator Feingold was at the forefront in fighting against the FISA Amendment Act ratifying lawbreaking by the Bush administration, joining Senator Dodd in proposing an amendment to keep the telecom companies on the hook for assisting illegal surveillance. Feingold:“…even as the administration sought and obtained broad new authorities to collect communications of Americans, the administration refused to even consider when it might be violating the Constitution.    If the administration can’t assure us that they respect the Constitution, Congress needs to step in.”

    For real checks on executive power — support Russ now!

In an era of lockstep Republicans and pusillanimous Democrats, Senator Feingold stands out as one of the few politicians on Capitol Hill to stand up for what’s right, no matter who disagrees with him.

It’s our turn: stand up for Russ now!

Thank you in advance!

Thomas Nephew for “Get FISA Right”.

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Civil Liberties

Posted by Thomas Nephew on 25th September 2010

Posted in | Comments Off on Civil Liberties


Posted by Thomas Nephew on 14th February 2009

(… a.k.a. Get FISA Right)

Where to pitch in



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We’re Number 5! We’re Number 5!

Posted by Thomas Nephew on 16th January 2009

Top Ten List
(photo link); click here for the list.
Originally uploaded by Thomas Nephew

The “Ideas for Change” contest / idea run-off / social networking experiment run by ended yesterday at 5 p.m. — and “Get FISA Right, repeal the PATRIOT Act, and restore our civil liberties” was among the top 10 vote-getters.  Our fifth place finish — woo-hoo! — earned a place in the listing to the right at a press conference today.  In addition, pledges that

Over the next week we will be working with nonprofit sponsors for each idea, including 1Sky, Healthcare-NOW!, and The Peace Alliance, to craft national campaigns around each idea.’s Ben Rattray said part of the idea will be to have activists document the unfolding of the campaign themselves, using “Flip” video cameras provided for the purpose.

I’ll allow myself another “w00t!” about this, since I was part of an interesting (and surprisingly intense) “Get FISA Right” vote-hunting operation masterminded by veteran social networker and FISA activist Jon Pincus: contacting facebook groups, sending personal emails, collecting endorsements, and the like.

All of that was helpful, no doubt, but probably the single most helpful things for us had to do with alliances with other groups — first and foremost, it seemed to me, the venerable site.  After a straw poll indicated strong support among “Get FISA Righters”, we and co-promoted the “Get FISA Right” and “Appoint a Special Prosecutor” ideas.  In the event, this alliance and similar ones with “DREAM” and GLBT marriage equality activists may well have kept the FISA reform/PATRIOT repeal vote total in the top 10.  Unfortunately, the “Special Prosecutor” idea fell just short, although it remains posted at the same page in a second tier of ideas garnering 2500 votes or more.

Having said all this, I freely acknowledge I don’t know exactly what it’s all worth; I think the main message it sends is that the FISA issue is still very much alive and kicking among the “netroots.” In other cases, though, the message was “there are way more of us than you dreamed of,” for example in the case of a strongly supported call to “Save Small Business From the CPSIA,” the heartfelt wish of thousands of toy makers and other craftspeople blindsided by new federal product testing requirements after the Chinese tainted toy scandal of a year ago. press conference announcing press conference, National Press Club
in downtown DC, 1/16/09. The press conference
was held to announce the top 10 vote getters in
the “Ideas for Change” event.
Originally uploaded by Thomas Nephew

In his introductory remarks, founder Ben Rattray hit many of the right notes in emphasizing how new groups can come together online at sites like, and be empowered to find a voice and their own strength in numbers.  Somewhat oddly, the event then featured a high-powered panel (Joe Trippi of Howard Dean fame; Chris Hughes the phenom) talking at the crowd, rather than highlighting any of the social networking activists who had attracted the “656,991 votes for 7,847 ideas,” or asking what worked and what didn’t.

Nor was much time wasted on discussing the various  so-called “niche” ideas — to use the somewhat unfortunate term Rattray repeated a few times. There’s nothing really “niche” about any of the top ten ideas: sustainable economydrug policysmall business survival … a secretary and department of peace …  health carehigher education for the children of immigrants … marriage equalitycivil liberties … more health caregreen, non-carbon-based energy grid.

To be sure, I had to leave before the question and answer period, and meanwhile Trippi, Hughes, and the other panelists had plenty of the right experience and plenty of worthwhile things to say.  But the event seemed to illustrate how the medium of social networking is sometimes a little more top-down than advertised, and how it can sometimes seem more important to its practitioners than the messages it’s being used to convey and amplify.

But those are quibbles.  It was good to prove civil liberties, privacy rights, and rule of law have a lot of committed supporters; it was educational to see what brought out the greatest numbers and best organizing elsewhere, and it was great of to provide a place for all of that to happen.  Thanks, very much.

UPDATE, 1/17: Be sure to visit a similar effort at the Obama transition team’s “” web site: Get FISA Right, repeal the PATRIOT Act and restore our civil liberties.  The deadline for voting is Sunday, January 18, at 6 pm.

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Ideas for change: Get FISA Right, repeal the PATRIOT Act

Posted by Thomas Nephew on 5th January 2009’s “Ideas for Change in America” competition is trying to get the Obama administration’s attention — and is likely to succeed:

“The Ideas for Change in America competition was created in response to Barack Obama’s call for increased citizen involvement in government. The final round of voting began on January 5 and is comprised of the top 3 rated ideas from each of the 30 issues in the first round of the competition, which collectively received more than 250,000 votes.

The top 10 rated ideas from the final round will be presented to the Obama administration on January 16th at an event at the National Press Club in Washington, DC, co-hosted by the Case Foundation. At the event we will also announce the launch of a national advocacy campaign behind each idea in collaboration with our nonprofit partners to turn each idea into actual policy.

The idea “Get FISA Right, repeal the PATRIOT Act, and restore our civil liberties” is among the ideas competing for the final ten slots, with the following introduction:

FISA and the PATRIOT Act strike at the core of our Fourth and First Amendment Rights and institutionalize a surveillance society — and  FISA’s telecom immunity clause mocks the rule of law by not holding telecom companies accountable for any illegal actions.  Beginning the new Administration and Congress by focusing on these issues sends one of the clearest signals possible that that the new government is committed to ending the abuses of the last eight years and restoring our civil liberties.

For some specific ideas on rolling back the FISA Amendment Act and “Protect America Act,” see:

You can vote for “Get FISA Right, repeal the PATRIOT Act” using the embedded widget below (most readers will need to register with a username and password first).  Voting ends January 15, and you get 10 votes to spread around to this and other good ideas.

As Jon Pincus writes in an associated blog post Turning the page on FISA:

The coming year will present a unique opportunity for a broad-based activism campaign to restore our civil liberties and begin rolling back key pillars of the national surveillance state institutionalized by the Bush Administration and Congress over the last eight years. By first pressuring President Obama to follow through in the first 100 days on his campaign promises to uphold the rule of law and protect Americans’ rights and privacy, and then gearing up for a 50-state strategy to pressure the House and Senate to repeal the PATRIOT Act and reform FISA, we can turn the page on this shameful chapter in our country’s history.

UPDATE, 1/7: The “Ideas for Change” voting process can be confusing; here are step by step instructions.
1/9: “Specific ideas” bullet list added.  Other worthy ideas to vote for:

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FISA in the Bush years — a timeline

Posted by Thomas Nephew on 25th December 2008

I happen to really enjoy the “Bourne” movie series.  “Identity,” “Supremacy,” and “Ultimatum” are all action-packed, how-will-he-get-out-of-this-one thrillers packing a nicely subversive message: our country’s national security apparatus can be ruthless, lethal, and beholden to nothing beyond its own purposes. Between waterboarding, secret detention sites, and more, that doesn’t seem too far off any more, of course.

No; it’s when the time came to beat American Spooks Gone Wrong that the newest, hippest spy movie franchise on the block just couldn’t keep pace with reality.  Instead, the screenwriters and producers imagined that just faxing the media some documents would win the day. By the time “Ultimatum” came out in 2007, of course, that was clearly not the case, and when I first watched Joan Allen’s whistleblower dial up an unnamed fax recipient, it was all I could do not to yell “My god, no — not the New York Times!” in the theater where I was watching.   In the movie, the supposedly inevitable publication, national scandal, congressional hearings, and perp walks for the bad guys all seemed and seem more fantastical and unrealistic than any number of Bourne-on-five fight scenes could.

The sickening torture and abuse revelations of the Bush years, and the lies that led to a hideously costly war are low standards against which all other scandals pale.  In a certain cold perspective, though, these are (for the most part) “merely” stories about what we are willing to do to other people, far away and out of sight.

By contrast, the NSA warrantless surveillance story is an instructive test case about what we’re willing to do to our very own democracy, rule of law,  and civil liberties when we feel threatened.  Actions in defiance of settled law; a “dare you to mention it” coverup; a newspaper’s decision not to publish a story its reporters had painstakingly assembled; an election “accountability moment” that wasn’t; a legislative branch by turns unwilling, unable, or unwilling and unable to safeguard its prerogatives and the liberties of its people, a judiciary reduced to a spectator’s role; a key campaign pledge abandoned, and over it all, a persistent fog of lies from president to editor to Congress to intelligence agency.  And under it all, a public by turns confused about and uninterested in which of its seemingly esoteric “rights” were being frittered away.

I’ve perhaps telegraphed my conclusion already, but here it is more plainly: while there are a few heroes in the story, this is a test case that our country has failed so far, often in spectacular, bipartisan fashion.

Ever since I saw Lichtblau and Risen — the New York Times reporters who broke the story in December 2005 — speaking to a local group about Lichtblau’s excellent book “Bush’s Law,” I’ve grown fascinated (OK, maybe obsessed) with trying to figure out just what happened, just how badly we failed at preserving the rights our country was supposed to be designed to protect, and just how hard it will be to ever succeed in the country we actually have.

As my resource and yours, I’ve now compiled a fairly detailed timeline in spreadsheet form: “FISA in the Bush years: a timeline of abuses and failures by the executive branch, the media, and Congress.” The timeline juxtaposes information from multiple sources, and links to supporting online documents; whenever possible, I’ve used exact dates, but I’ve estimated the dates and sequencing of many of the catalogued events (such dates are italicized in the spreadsheet).

This effort has a few things going for it, I think. First, it is now reasonably comprehensive, and may be the best reference work of its kind on the web. Second, it’s selected with a view to some of the narratives described above. Third, it remains a work in progress, with your input warmly welcomed. There’s nothing that will be new to everyone about the timeline, but I think even people who’ve followed the story closely may find it valuable. Mainly, I hope that by reminding ourselves of the whole story, we will also see just how the story worked to our disadvantage so far — and maybe how to change the story in the months and years ahead.

In my next post in this series, I’ll look at the New York Times and how it handled its latter-day Watergate. Grab some popcorn, and come along for the ride.

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Better Democrats

Posted by Thomas Nephew on 23rd October 2008

Most readers probably know that there’s an easy, centralized way to contribute to campaigns of specific Democrats — “ActBlue.” Some blog supersites have set up lists of candidates they approve of in special ActBlue fundraising campaigns; for example, “firedoglake” has “Accountability Now,” and “Daily Kos” has “orangetoblue.”

The one I like right now is called simply Better Democrats,” and it’s a project of the “OpenLeft” blog run by Matt Stoller et al.  The reason I like it is that I ran across Matt Stoller’s interview of Georgia Senate candidate Jim Martin, in which the Georgia Democrat pleasantly surprised me:

Question: Do you have a position on FISA and government wiretapping?

Jim Martin
: The threat of terrorism is real and the government should take all necessary measures to protect us. While I support the overall aims of the recent FISA bill, the inclusion of a provision granting amnesty to telecom providers who permitted the government to listen in on the conversations of Americans without a warrant troubles me. Because I do not believe that the government should craft policy that permits law breaking, I would not have supported the FISA bill that included telecom immunity. […]

Question: Do you think that Congress should investigate potential criminal activity within the Bush administration after he leaves office, or should Congress choose to ignore them and work on legislation going forward?

Jim Martin: Congress has an awful lot to do in order to get this economy working for the middle class again, and that would be my first priority. That said, laws are meaningless if not applied and applied fairly. If there is reason to believe that Bush Administration officials broke the law, they should be investigated and punished if found guilty just like anyone else.

These and other good answers — plus, it must be admitted, the prospect of kicking Saxby Chambliss’s worthless ass out of the Senate — convinced OpenLeft community members to support adding Martin to the “Better Democrats” list.

Note the name, and make no mistake — if you want a “Absolutely Perfect Democrats” ActBlue list, you’ll need to keep looking.  For example, Martin severely disappointed GLBT Georgians this summer with his opposition to same-sex marriage, though he supports the repeal of “don’t ask don’t tell,” and other affirmations of gay rights.

Even on FISA, I don’t think Martin is pitch-perfect; for my part, I don’t even support the overall aims of the recent FISA bill, not when they include shortcuts around the probable cause principle of the Fourth Amendment.  But to the extent that Martin “gets it” that telecom immunity permitted lawbreaking retroactively, he may eventually get it that the FISA bill permits ongoing Constitution- and Bill of Rights-breaking as well.

So Martin is a “Better Democrat” in my book, and I recognize many of the names on the “Better Democrats” list as well:

  • Darcy Burner (WA-8), author of “A Responsible Plan to End the War in Iraq” — which includes provisions for giving plaintiffs status to sue if they believe warrantless electronic surveillance is threatening their First Amendment rights.
  • Sam Bennett (PA-15), co-endorser of “Responsible Plan”;
  • Jeff Merkley (OR), who called out Obama for voting for the FISA Amendment Act.
  • Al Franken (MN), who made his opposition to the Iraq war the center of his campaign with effective, hard hitting ads like this one.
  • Dennis Shulman (NJ-5), who wrote on his web site after the FISA Amendment Act passed in the House: ““The House of Representatives, with the support of Republican Scott Garrett, recently passed a bill that would grant President Bush and future administrations unprecedented powers to spy on American citizens without a warrant or review by any judge or court. The new law would also let our nation’s largest telecom companies off the hook for knowingly violating the law and releasing their customers’ private information at the behest of George Bush.

I’ve been flogging the “Better Democrats” idea via facebook and myBarackObama “Get FISA Right” groups, and thought I ought to mention it here as well.  Matt Stoller was nice enough to add a “Get FISA Right” tag (the “?refcode=GetFISARight” at the end of the URL), which makes it possible to track the subtotal gathered via all the various links sharing that tag, like this one.

So if you can spare a few bucks, but want to make sure they go not just to any old Democrat the DCCC wants to spend money on, but to ones you want to spend money on, here’s a place to do just that.  Click the link: ActBlue – Better Democrats.  Thanks.

UPDATE, 10/23: Shulman point added.

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*Every* day is Constitution Day

Posted by Thomas Nephew on 19th September 2008

I helped get a mass mailing out the door on Wednesday, to members of the facebook and “Get FISA Right” groups.  The full text is here or here; from the mailing:

…This election needs to be about more than lipstick, hockey moms, and Blackberries. It’s time to talk about the Constitution and how the two candidates propose to undo the damage of the past eight years.We’re contacting editorial boards across the country asking that they:

  • urge presidential candidates to present their views on constitutional issues on September 17 — and for the rest of the campaign
  • prepare editorials on restoring the rule of law to the next administration and Congress
  • report on and analyze how the candidates would exert their executive authority as President. (Charlie Savage and the Boston Globe did this late last year; it’s time for a remake.)

In addition, we believe it is critical that the televised presidential debates pose questions about constitutional issues like warrantless electronic surveillance, torture, abrogation of habeas corpus, and how to restore our Constitution.

Again, we need your help — in two ways.

1. Please take a moment to write and send a *short* letter (best no more than 4 sentences!) to the editor of your local newspaper, putting these demands in your own words. We wouldn’t be “Get FISA Right” if we didn’t hope you’d mention rolling back the infamous FISA Amendment Act, but these letters will really have more impact if we don’t provide a canned script for you to follow.

If you don’t know your local paper’s letter to the editor email address, use this tool to find ones in your area. (Please don’t send the same letter to multiple newspapers, though.)

2. Help us with our op-ed piece. Collaborative writing — of open letters, blog posts, ad scripts — has always been one of Get FISA Right’s strengths; and with the media attention we’ve gotten so far, we think we’ve got a good shot at getting this op-ed piece placed. Please join in here. […]

The conception and execution of this was interesting; the American Freedom Campaign held a press conference last Friday that a couple of us from “Get FISA Right” attended.  The editorial board outreach effort was AFC’s, and we thought we’d see if we could lend a hand by encouraging a fairly large base of support (about 23,000 people on myBarackObama, and another 2,300 on facebook) to support that with letters to the editor.  The drafting process took place on a “wiki” site (the same one being used for the op-ed piece), which makes it easy to see how a document has changed as different authors add to or subtract from it, and makes collaboration possible even when writers are literally on opposite sides of the country.

Anyhow.  There are plenty of other initiatives going on about constitutional, rule of law, civil liberties and human rights issues this campaign season.  A selection:

Meanwhile, as “Get FISA Right” superactivist Jon Pincus writes, it seems like one of the biggest barriers we face is a deep unwillingness to cover these issues by the media, matched by a general reluctance among politicians to talk about them.  Slate’s Dahlia Lithwick, a rare exception, wrote about this in “It’s the Constitution, Stupid“:

Maybe I live in a teensy little rarefied bubble, in which a handful of constitutional law professors, tetchy libertarians, and paranoid bloggers have been tearing their eyebrows out for the past seven years over the president’s use of the “war on terror” to run his tanks over great swaths of the Constitution and much of the Bill of Rights. Maybe I overestimate American concern that their president likes to eavesdrop on their phone calls and root through their library records. Yet Jane Mayer’s book The Dark Side is on the best-seller list. Sixty-one percent of Americans oppose warrantless wiretapping. And both presidential candidates have recognized Guantanamo for the international disaster it is. So clearly somebody cares about the loss of civil liberties in America. It’s just that nobody wants to talk about it.

Jon concludes:

Like a lot of people, I believe that this election’s a choice between restoring the Constitution and continuing down the path to fascism and a police state.  Okay, maybe that’s not the most pressing issue to everybody … but it certainly seems worth talking about.

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“Get FISA Right” fights back in St. Paul

Posted by Thomas Nephew on 2nd September 2008

I’m proud to have been a small part of this: we have a total of 9 “Get FISA Right” ads scheduled to air in Minneapolis/St.Paul during the Republican convention this week, including at least four on FOX News network — two are scheduled for daytime hours (9am-4pm) on September 3, two for evening hours (7-12pm) the same day.

Though another set of ads being aired are more partisan, the ones I helped place are more non-partisan — without being in denial about how the FISA Amendment Act came to pass:

For 200 years, the Fourth Amendment protected us from unreasonable searches and seizures.
On July 9, all the Republican Senators voted to allow the government to listen to your phone calls and read your email without a warrant.
We’re building a new movement that puts our Constitution above politics.
Don’t let American freedom die. Join us at

“Get FISA Right” was originally formed as response by Obama supporters to Barack Obama’s disappointing “yes” vote on the FISA Amendment Act — breaking his pledge to oppose any bill featuring telecom immunity.  As disappointing as that was, though, a great deal of the blame goes to the administration that proposed the FISA Amendment Act and the lockstep Republican Party that unanimously supported it.*  Neither party can be let off the hook for the FISA Amendment Act; we need to be building support wherever we can find it to roll back that and other infringements of our civil liberties.

Moreover, given the crackdown underway in St. Paul (see prior post), “Get FISA Right” ads may be the closest encounter Republican conventioneers have with the Constitution and free speech.  As I wrote last week, it’s “a way to take a stand for the Constitution and the Bill of Rights that GOP convention-goers can’t avoid: on their TV sets.”

It’s high time, too. The Bush era assault on the 4th Amendment is threatening to become an everyday feature of the political landscape.  The right against unreasonable search and seizure is also under siege by state, local, and federal police in Minnesota, as a  Joint “Terrorism” Task Force has intimidated, searched, and arrested people, and relieved of them of their laptops, video cameras, and the like, all on far-fetched suspicions of “intent to riot” and even of “fire code violations.”

FISA and the Fourth Amendment may seem like an abstraction to some people, but what’s happening in St. Paul isn’t abstract at all.  Those are your freedoms they’re trampling on.  These ads are one way to insist that’s not OK with us.

* McCain, though absent for the vote, made clear he supported the bill.

NOTE: For other blog reactions to the ad campaign, visit this Get FISA Right wiki page (and please add your own entry!)
UPDATE, 9/2: Ari Melber, Washington Independent: Liberals Storm GOP Hotels in St. Paul
UPDATE, 9/3: Nick Juliano, Raw Story: Anti-FISA group targets GOP airwaves in St. Paul

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GOP convention “Get FISA Right” ad

Posted by Thomas Nephew on 25th August 2008

The group is at it again, offering a new way for regular citizens — for instance, people who don’t need staff help to count their homes — to have a direct impact on the politics of civil liberties: individual sponsorships of cable TV ads, targeted at the Republican Convention. Thanks to, you can run an ad on all major cable news channels in the Minneapolis/St. Paul area between September 1 and 4 for $103 during daytime hours (9am-4pm), and as little as $324 during evening hours. More information about how you can help get the ad on TV is at

GetFISARight‘s first ad featured a tombstone for the Constitution. The new ad stars the Constitution as the main player, with the visual featuring a pan over founding documents. One version of the ad takes aim at Republican Senators, who voted unanimously to extend the powers of government to listen to Americans’ phone calls and read their emails without a warrant; another highlights John McCain’s strong endorsement of the Bush Administration’s wiretapping policies over the last eight years.

It takes 48 hours from purchase to airtime, so don’t delay. Here’s a way to take a stand for the Constitution and the Bill of Rights that GOP convention-goers can’t avoid: on their TV sets. Please visit today!

CROSSPOSTED to American Street, DailyKos. SEE ALSO: GetFISARight organizer Jon Pincus’s post on this: “Senate Republicans voted unanimously for the FISA Amendments Act — and (except for Specter) in favor of telecom immunity as well. A majority of Democrats voted against FAA, and only five supported telecom immunity. So there are clearly significant differences between the parties.” Julian Sanchez (Ars Technica): “Get FISA Right turns crowdsourced guns on McCain:“…the group seems to have calculated that they’re more likely to exert influence from within than by taking a “pox on both houses” approach.”

UPDATE, 8/26: WELCOME, “Sideshow” readers! Because I really want outclicks (and pledges, of course), I hope you’ll also click here just to take in the very interesting “” mini-pledge drive model we’re using; you may want to give it a try yourself sometime. The pledges are void if the pledge drive goal isn’t reached.

FURTHER UPDATE, 8/26: I’m informed that the “” model should only be used for informational, issue-advocacy ads. These are the so-called “FISA Tombstone” and “FISA Constitution 1” ads. “FISA Constitution 2” (“John McCain would do the same” — the one above) could be considered a political ad expressly advocating the defeat of a candidate; we’re advised to be cautious and not do any group “” purchases for this ad. So I won’t, and pledges will go to the “Constitution 1” ad.
If you’ve got the money, though, individual purchases of the “Constitution 2” ad — you,, and $100+ — are strongly encouraged.

UPDATE, 8/29: A total of at least 8 ads have been purchased and will air in the Minneapolis/St. Paul area during the GOP convention.

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