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Pay no attention to the people behind the curtain

Wednesday, December 21, 2005

I continue to be a shameless whore for Russ Feingold

A week or ten days ago, I did an interview with Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reporter Greg Borowski for a story he's doing on blogs, blogging, and elections, looking ahead to 2006's key races. I talked a little bit about the difference between candidates who treat bloggers like press by dumping release after release into our inboxes and the candidates who actually turn to us for advice and such. Obviously, I prefer the latter.

Russ Feingold is one of the former. If I don't get an email from Russ on any given day, I worry that my connection is down. However, when the man is right, the man is right. The P.A.T.R.I.O.T. Act revision is dead:
Statement of U.S. Senator Russ Feingold On the Latest Regarding Patriot Act Reauthorization

Today is a victory for the American people and the bipartisan group of Senators who have been fighting against efforts to extend the Patriot Act permanently without protecting the rights of law-abiding citizens. I am pleased that the Republican leadership backed down from their irresponsible threat to let the Patriot Act expire and agreed to a 6-month extension of the provisions that would have sunset at the end of this year. This will allow more time to finally agree on a bill that protects our rights and freedoms while preserving important tools for fighting terrorism. Those of us who stood up to demand modest and reasonable protections of our liberties never wanted to stop Patriot Act reauthorization. We just want to get it right this time around.

We could have avoided these last-minute negotiations if the House had just adopted the Senate version of the Patriot Act that passed unanimously earlier this year. As we move forward, I hope that the Republican leadership in the Senate and the administration will continue down the path they started on tonight so that we don't find ourselves in this same situation 6 months from now. One thing is clear--what happened in the Senate over the past few weeks shows that this conference report is dead.

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