by Joe Scarry
The Chicago Committee to Defend the Bill of Rights will convene a conference on surveillance on Saturday, October 19. It seems like a perfect time to ask: what are our Illinois members of Congress doing to protect their constituents from government surveillance.
A good place to start is the recent vote in the House of Representatives to curtail NSA surveillance — the Amash Conyers Amendment, advanced shortly after the Snowden revelations. Below is the voting record of Illinois representatives . . . together with the Twitter addresses of those reps.
VOTED AGAINST the amendment to limit NSA spying (or not voting)
2nd District – Robin Kelly: @RepRobinKelly
3rd District – Dan Lipinski: @RepLipinski
4th District – Luis Gutierrez: @LuisGutierrez
5th District – Mike Quigley: @RepMikeQuigley
6th District – Peter Roskam: @PeterRoskam
8th District – Tammy Duckworth: @RepDuckworth
9th District – Jan Schakowsky: @janschakowsky
10th District – Brad Schneider: @RepSchneider
11th District – Bill Foster: @RepBillFoster
12th District – Bill Enyart: @RepBillEnyart
15th District – John Shimkus: @RepShimkus
16th District – Adam Kinzinger: @repkinzinger
17th District – Cheri Bustos: NOT ON TWITTER!
18th District – Aaron Schock: @repaaronschock
VOTED IN FAVOR of the amendment to limit NSA spying
(See vote roll call.)
It’s important to point out how close that vote was: 205 to 217. Those “no” votes hurt!
It’s not clear if the House will take the issue of surveillance up again any time soon. Perhaps we need to let our representatives know that we want to see action on this in 2014. Before November . . . .
I’m sure I’ll have more to say on this subject after attending the CCDBR surveillance conference — NO PLACE TO HIDE: THE RISE OF THE SURVEILLANCE STATE AND ITS THREAT TO THE BILL OF RIGHTS — on October 19.
One issue that has a key place in the midterm elections, I believe, is surveillance. With each passing day, I am hearing more and more people say that the surveillance issue is something that a wide spectrum of people are deeply upset about. That includes people on the right as well as people on the left — people who don’t usually talk with each other, much less work together for positive change!
Isn’t now a moment when, instead of falling back into our existing habits of trying to change America’s war-making ways, we should put our recent experience under a microscope? And ask what we can learn from this experience? Can we make 2014 the year that we sort the wheat from the chaff in Congress? And get the control over war and peace back into our own hands?
People in Illinois made it clear they didn’t want an attack on Syria. Based on what I was able to detect, some representatives in Congress were listening, and some weren’t: