The Only Eight Senators Who Think Extending The Patriot Act Deserves More Discussion

from the way-too-small-a-list dept

Tragically, this list is way too small, but as expected, the Senate has moved much closer to extending some controversial spying provisions of the Patriot Act, without any modifications or new oversight. As we noted when the "deal" was brokered, the Senate leadership (of both parties) hoped to avoid having to actually debate the issue, and the Senate has now voted to skip over any such debate by an overwhelming margin: 74-8. Only eight Senators voted against this move, and they deserve to be highlighted for actually standing up for American principles against over aggressive government surveillance:
  • Max Baucus (Montana)
  • Mark Begich (Alaska)
  • Dean Heller (Nevada)
  • Jeff Merkley (Oregon)
  • Lisa Murkowski (Alaska)
  • Rand Paul (Kentucky)
  • Bernie Sanders (Vermont)
  • Jon Tester (Montana)
It's really unfortunate that this list is so small. While it does appear that some who voted in favor of cloture are still going to try to introduce amendments that might limit the extensions (but not the overall clauses), it's a real shame that so many of our elected officials don't seem to want to even bother discussing what's at stake.


Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

  •  
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    Brian Schroth (profile), May 24th, 2011 @ 7:26am

    So who were the 18 Senators too cowardly to attend the vote?

     

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      Any Mouse (profile), May 24th, 2011 @ 10:13am

      Re:

      Lamar Alexander (TN)
      Michael Bennet (CO)
      Roy Blunt (MO)
      Scott Brown (MA)
      Sherrod Brown (OH)
      Thad Cochran (MS)
      Bob Corker (TN)
      Richard Durbin (IL)
      Lindsey Graham (SC)
      James Inhofe (OK)
      Mike Lee (UT)
      Claire McCaskill (MO)
      Mark Pryor (AR)
      James Risch (ID)
      Marco Rubio (FL)
      Richard Shelby (AL)
      David Vitter (LA)
      Sheldon Whitehouse (RI)

       

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    Chris ODonnell (profile), May 24th, 2011 @ 7:34am

    You have to love an issue that has Rand Paul and Bernie Sanders voting on the same side! If you are curious, the list above is 4 Democrats, 3 Republicans, and 1 Socialist.

     

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      Jay (profile), May 24th, 2011 @ 7:49am

      Re:

      There's still a Socialist party?!

      Wow... Next thing you know, there will be an Objectivist party in the works.

      *Thinks about the Tea Party*

      Oh, wait...

       

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      Mike Masnick (profile), May 24th, 2011 @ 7:54am

      Re:

      You have to love an issue that has Rand Paul and Bernie Sanders voting on the same side! If you are curious, the list above is 4 Democrats, 3 Republicans, and 1 Socialist

      Once again, we discover that civil liberties is not a partisan issue...

       

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        Anonymous Coward, May 24th, 2011 @ 9:38am

        Re: Re:

        Clearly. Both of my Senators voted for this, 1 Rep and 1 Dem. And they'll try and spin it as a bi-partisan action.

        "Stop trampling my rights... Oh, both sides came together to trample my rights as one? Well that makes it all better."

         

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      el_segfaulto (profile), May 24th, 2011 @ 8:21am

      Re:

      It's hard to believe that my state's Dean Heller is on that list. I never liked the man, but now I don't know what to think anymore!

       

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    Killer_Tofu (profile), May 24th, 2011 @ 7:53am

    Wyden?

    I am rather surprised that Senator Wyden isn't on that list. Quite surprised really.

     

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      Ron Rezendes (profile), May 24th, 2011 @ 8:36am

      Re: Wyden?

      That's the first name I looked for and I am just as surprised, if not disappointed.

       

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      Almost Anonymous (profile), May 24th, 2011 @ 8:59am

      Re: Wyden?

      Same. Quickly scanned list, quickly puzzled by missing name.

       

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      Checker, May 24th, 2011 @ 1:52pm

      Re: Wyden?

      Wyden is actually one of the guys leading the fight against the Patriot Act. He's argued that we need to actually debate it and not just keep passing extension after extension so clearly he didn't want to vote against debating the bill --- that was the subject of last nights vote. We can be sure he will have amendments to rein in the government and will vote against renewing the law also

       

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      BearGriz72 (profile), May 24th, 2011 @ 9:08pm

      Re: Wyden?

      DITTO, Ditto, & ditto. What happened to Wyden? At least Jeff Merkley stood up to it.

       

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    Kevin (profile), May 24th, 2011 @ 7:57am

    +1 Against (sorta)

    Especially in light of the "18 senators too cowardly to attend" comment above, I think it's only fair to point out that Sen. Mike Lee (R-UT) also said he would have voted no, but was prevented from attending the vote by inclement weather. Still, that would have put it at a measly 4 Rep., 4 Dem., & 1 "Socialist". (Yes, there is a socialist party, btw, but Bernie Sanders is listed as an Independent.)

     

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      Jay (profile), May 24th, 2011 @ 8:02am

      Re: +1 Against (sorta)

      That's odd... Why are all third parties merely listed as "independent?"

      What happens if they gain significant traction to become an actual third party?

      HOW does a party become a viable option to Republican or Democrat?

       

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        Anonymous Coward, May 24th, 2011 @ 8:24am

        Re: Re: +1 Against (sorta)

        They don't. And that's the way the parties in power like it.

         

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        Anonymous Coward, May 24th, 2011 @ 8:39am

        Re: Re: +1 Against (sorta)

        Of course the real 3rd party is the Libertarians. If enough people cared about their rights they would be Libertarians. But the US is full of retarded sheep that can't see that neither the Republicans or Democrats care about them. They care about who's lining their pockets and wipe their asses with the Constitution.

         

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          Anonymous Coward, May 24th, 2011 @ 8:39pm

          Re: Re: Re: +1 Against (sorta)

          I can't tell if this a troll or a real Libertarian.

          On the other hand, what would the difference be between the two? ;)

           

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            Anonymous Coward, May 25th, 2011 @ 11:26am

            Re: Re: Re: Re: +1 Against (sorta)

            A real libertarian would be a friend to Techdirt-type readers. Libertarians generally would NOT approve of more copyright regulation

             

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        DCX2, May 24th, 2011 @ 9:34am

        Re: Re: +1 Against (sorta)

        There is no way to make a viable third party. The third party leeches votes away from one of the first two parties, weakening that party so that the other one wins. The smart people know this and avoid "wasting their vote".

        The solution is that we need fourth parties. If we simultaneously fracture Republicans and Democrats, then folks might not feel like they're wasting their vote anymore.

        It's more possible than you might think. Consider all the conservatives who hate Republicans and all the liberals who hate Democrats.

         

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        hothmonster, May 24th, 2011 @ 10:54am

        Re: Re: +1 Against (sorta)

        A party can become a real party by having a canidate receive a certain percentage of votes, I forget the number. After that they are an official party and receive the same money/benefits of a real party.

        The closest a party has ever got was the green party with the nader/leduke ticket, they were only a percentage or two off. I would give you better numbers but I'm on my cell

         

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          Dale Sheldon-Hess, May 24th, 2011 @ 7:12pm

          Re: Re: Re: +1 Against (sorta)

          You talking about federal funding for presidential races.

          The rules for congress are completely different, and vary by state.

           

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          HothMonster, May 25th, 2011 @ 9:35am

          Re: Re: Re: +1 Against (sorta)

          "In 2000, Nader and his running mate Winona LaDuke received 2,883,105 votes, for 2.74 percent of the popular vote (third place overall),[52] missing the 5 percent needed to qualify the Green Party for federally distributed public funding in the next election, yet qualifying the Greens for ballot status in many states."

          from Nader's Wiki

           

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        Colin, May 25th, 2011 @ 2:59pm

        Re: Re: +1 Against (sorta)

        Take down the two-headed corporate party

         

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    DCX2, May 24th, 2011 @ 7:58am

    Disgusting

    So much for democracy.

     

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    E. Zachary Knight (profile), May 24th, 2011 @ 8:01am

    This makes two

    This makes two letters I have written to my senators in as many days. Senator Tom Coburn of Oklahoma voted for this measure. Senator James Inhofe did not vote.

    I hope that they get the idea that the privacy and due process rights granted by the Constitution are not something that can be tossed to the wind. I hope they realize that the people of this nation will not allow this to continue indefinitely.

     

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    Spaceman Spiff (profile), May 24th, 2011 @ 8:38am

    We get what we deserve

    Well, we elected them. We are getting what we deserve. If we want representatives who have our interests forefront in their minds and efforts, then we need to elect new ones that will do that! Caveat voter!

     

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    Insider, May 24th, 2011 @ 8:46am

    No compromises

    You can't compromise security VS liberty.
    We are supposed to be defending freedoms.
    If you take those freedoms to insure security, there is nothing worth living or dying for.
    If the people in government CAN NOT keep us safe WHILE keeping us free, they are the wrong people for the job. PERIOD.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, May 24th, 2011 @ 8:52am

    My guy didn't even vote. Lame.

     

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    monkyyy, May 24th, 2011 @ 10:17am

    its been a long time since my senator (hatch) wasnt on a list of shame

    one in a row NEW RECORD

     

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    CN, May 24th, 2011 @ 3:34pm

    Misnaming to mislead...

    I think it would help if the act were named properly, instead of some positive spin marketing b-s.

    Why is it even the "Patriot Act" in the first place? (To mislead, and make opposition seem anti-american scum, obviously.) Should be the "Big Brother's Watching You Act", or something like that.

     

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      Angry Puppy (profile), May 24th, 2011 @ 4:43pm

      Re: Misnaming to mislead...

      I remember the first time I heard the title "Patriot Act". My first thought was: "Oh boy! They're going to strip every civil liberty won in the past 200 years in one day in the name of patriotism." And they did. It's the most un-American thing a US government ever did.

      Osama may have gotten himself executed but he did destroy an important part of America and so he did get a partial victory. I can only hope that since the US government is not willing to give up the total power they stole from the US people in order to make the defeat of Bin Laden complete the death of America's boogie man will result in new found courage to make the politicians rescind an act that had no real effect on terrorism but a profound effect on Americanism.

       

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        Anonymous Coward, May 24th, 2011 @ 6:48pm

        Re: Re: Misnaming to mislead...

        Osama didn't get himself Executed, he got himself Assassinated. Our government didn't have the guts to take him in and have a real trial. And now our government is just going to say that the murder of Osama has made a bunch of psychos come out and that they (be our government) need to terrorize us even more.

         

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        hegemon13, May 25th, 2011 @ 5:46am

        Re: Re: Misnaming to mislead...

        Well, not the most unamerican. FDR sending Japanese people to prison camps was pretty heinous. The creation of the Federal Reserve, the founding of the CIA, and the Wickard vs. Filburn decision all notch a bit higher on the scale of destroying liberty and expanding authoritarian federal government. But, yeah, the Patriot act is up there.

         

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    lincko, May 24th, 2011 @ 6:50pm

    unpatriotic act

    Thanks to the eight Senators that voted against this tyrannical bill. Hang in there we will see if we can ellect some new people that speak for the people as you do.I wrote my senator Mrs hutchinson to vote against it.She replied that she would vote for it becuse the people demand it.LOL.I wrote back to ask which group of people would that be?The DHS,FBI God bless whats left of our once great nation

     

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    Anonymous Coward, May 24th, 2011 @ 11:22pm

    I hope Ron Paul becomes president (but I won't hold my breath, though that's not the kinda language I should be using right now if I want him to win).

    Regardless, please Vote for Ron Paul.

     

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    David Bennett, May 26th, 2011 @ 9:52pm

    Sanders & Paul

    Rand actually sounded thoughtful and definitely is correct. I actually was surprised at that. I learned from the comments made here that we have people that don't seem to have a clue about how our government works. Regarding socialism. Where do you think Highways come from? The tooth fairy? ALL government services including water, sewer, police, fire departments are paid with tax revenue. That's socialism folks. I suppose some of you think that the United States being the ONLY Industrialized country without universal health care is something to be proud of but guess what? The rest of the industrialized nations are laughing at us for the ignorant attitude of far too many shills for Wall Street and the Insurance companies. Bernie Sanders cares more about your freedom than you do.

     

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    Kosta Demos, May 27th, 2011 @ 8:28am

    Odd

    I'm surprised Al Franken wasn't front and center on this. Open Tech and Civil Liberties are both pet issues of his - and he ain't shy about forcing inconvenient testimony down the throats of his recalcitrant senate brethren (and sistren).

     

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