Press Release

Released: June 20, 2008

Jim Dean: Will Speaker Pelosi show the leadership to do the right thing?

BURLINGTON, VT, our nations largest progressive political action community, this morning sent a message to its over 725,000 members asking them to call Speaker Nancy Pelosi to demand that she does not let the so-called FISA compromise bill come to a vote. DFA has been at the lead of efforts to block retroactive immunity for the telecommunications companies that participated in President Bushs program of illegal wiretapping on Americans.

Listen, this bill is a sham, said Jim Dean, Chair of Democracy for America. The question is: will Speaker Pelosi show the leadership to do the right thing and stop this bill?

In November of 2007, Sen. Harry Reid was forced, after his office received thousands of calls from Democracy for America members, to pull a FISA bill that included retroactive immunity from Senate consideration.

In the days before this years State of the Union address, DFA members funded a full-page New York Times ad that called on Senators Clinton and Obama to show leadership, return to Washington, and support the filibuster in opposition to this attempt at retroactive immunity. Again, retroactive immunity was defeated after the Senate failed to garner enough votes to block a filibuster.

And, in March, Democracy for America targeted House Intelligence Committee Chairman Silvestre Reyes. Rep. Reyes had indicated he was open to compromise on retroactive immunity. After thousands of calls to his offices in El Paso and Washington and a full-page ad in his districts largest paper, Rep. Reyes though better of compromise. Rep. Reyes stood with Speaker Pelosi and his committee produced a bill that did not contain retroactive immunity.

DFA members have stopped the Bush administration from giving telecom companies a get-out-of-jail-free card before and, now, they will do it again, said Arshad Hasan, Executive Director of Democracy for America.

The folks who put this compromise together

Sen. Rockefeller (WV), Sen. Bond (MO), House Majority Leader Hoyer (MD), and House Minority Whip Blunt (MO)

are on the wrong side of American values, said Daniel I. Medress, Communications Director of Democracy for America. It is a betrayal of the fundamental ideals of our country. These guys need to decide whether they are on the side of the American people or President Bush.

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