Yesterday, Blue America launched a call tool to help you get in touch with Senators regarding the FISA bill.

As I said yesterday, we’ve launched this tool in support of the Dodd-Feingold-Leahy Amendment to strip telecom immunity from the bill.  If we can get the 50 vote threshold on that amendment, the thought is that will be a "poison pill" for the Bush Administration in terms of signing the bill.  That’s why the call tool also gives us the ability to track voting possibilities based on what you ascertain during the call.

But, obviously, if that amendment vote fails, we need to be prepared in terms of the series of votes that will follow.  

We want a NO vote on final cloture and a NO vote on the bill.   Just like the Roberts and Alito votes, and so many others the last few years, that cloture vote is important — and telling.  And we will be watching every single vote like a hawk — your Senators need to know that.

We want Senators to stand up and lead on the issue of civil liberties — because the rule of law shouldn’t just be a convenient throw-away to elected members of Congress.

We also launched a tool yesterday to help you track activity and elected official public appearances in your area.  The hope is that it will help you organize action in your neighborhood and to connect with other folks who want to do the same.

Thanks to several readers — MsMolly in particular was incredibly helpful — I have much more scheduling information to input over the next hour.  So check back throughout the day, and plan some patriotic action over the Fourth of July.  Signsleaflets or more, anyone?   (If you do leaflets in your neighborhood, be sure to drop one off at a local office for your Senator.  I’m sure they’d appreciated the read.)

We’ve been told repeatedly by Hill staffers that face to face, in-person contact is the most effective way to get the attention of elected officials on an issue.  The more people we have out and about over the July 4th holiday, the better.  Please consider some contact with your Senators to ask them to stand up for the rule of law.  Your action could really make a difference.

Also, thought folks would like to know — the FISA group on the Obama website is now the largest group there, with more folks joining daily.  If you’d like to join, you can do so here.

If you have some FISA action planned, please let us know what you are doing in the comments.  Also, let us know how the calls are going.  And if you have any other ideas for action, do share.  The vote on the FISA bill and amendments are scheduled to begin on July 8th — so we need to keep the pressure going strong until that last vote is cast.  Now, let’s get to work… 

Christy Hardin Smith

Christy Hardin Smith

Christy is a "recovering" attorney, who earned her undergraduate degree at Smith College, in American Studies and Government, concentrating in American Foreign Policy. She then went on to graduate studies at the University of Pennsylvania in the field of political science and international relations/security studies, before attending law school at the College of Law at West Virginia University, where she was Associate Editor of the Law Review. Christy was a partner in her own firm for several years, where she practiced in a number of areas including criminal defense, child abuse and neglect representation, domestic law, civil litigation, and she was an attorney for a small municipality, before switching hats to become a state prosecutor. Christy has extensive trial experience, and has worked for years both in and out of the court system to improve the lives of at risk children.

Email: reddhedd AT firedoglake DOT com