We only need seven votes to stop the NSA’s meta-data sweeps of our e-mail and phone calls. Imagine my chagrin when I discovered those seven votes among the progressive Democratic members of the Illinois delegation, every one of whom I’ve supported financially and as a volunteer and several of whom I know personally.
So I did what any writer does: I wrote. If you’re represented by Bustos, Duckworth, Foster, Kelly, Quigley, Schneider or Schakowsky–or any other progressive Democrat who voted “Nay” on civil liberties–you might consider giving them a piece of your mind. Despite how little I have to spare, I did, as follows:
Dear Congressman/woman Whomever:
I am writing to express my concern about your vote on the Amash Amendment.
As a supporter of, and donor to, your Congressional campaign, I was very disappointed to see your vote against the amendment, which would have stopped the National Security Agency from collecting meta-data on the phone calls and e-mails of American citizens. I’m sure Illinois legislators were under particular pressure from the White House and the Democratic leadership to support the NSA’s claim to power under the Patriot Act, but what the Agency argues it’s permitted to do goes far beyond any legitimate security concerns and is a complete violation of civil liberties.
Only seven votes stand between the current situation of Panopticon state surveillance and a return to the values and requirements of the Fourth Amendment. Every one of those votes is available from the Illinois delegation. Please consider joining Congressmen Rush and Davis in standing up for our rights: probably every other member who voted “no” is susceptible to change if you would lead the way.
I urge you to reverse your position the next time the amendment (or something containing its provisions) is presented to the House of Representatives. Thanks for your consideration.