December 17th, 2007
04:00 PM ET
10 years ago

Dodd out of Iowa for Senate filibuster

Dodd left Iowa for Capitol Hill Monday.

WASHINGTON (CNN) - With just weeks until the pivotal Iowa caucuses, presidential candidate and Democratic Sen. Chris Dodd has abandoned the Hawkeye State to lead a filibuster against a controversial measure that would give special legal protections to the telecom industry.

“Given the choice of having to cancel a bunch of meetings in Iowa or being at [the Capitol], obviously politically with 14 or 15 days to go you don’t have to have a Ph.D. in political science to know where you’d rather be,” he told reporters Monday.

Dodd, who is registering in the low single digits in Iowa, received a major fundraising boost two months ago when he first announced his intention to filibuster the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act.

The Connecticut Democrat has criticized the proposed renewal of government spying powers, insisting it gives too much power to secret agencies and lets large telecommunications firms off the hook for handing over reams of private data on American phone calls and e-mails.

Under the measure being considered this week, telecom firms would be given legal immunity from invasion of privacy lawsuits that result from the release of this information to government officials.

“Why not your medical records the next time? Why not your financial records the next time?” Dodd asked in a fiery Capitol news conference. “When do you put your foot down? When do you say enough is enough?”

For now, Dodd is in the minority on the issue. The bill he opposes easily cleared a procedural hurdle on Monday.

That has not stopped his campaign from using the issue against three of his Democratic presidential rivals, noting that sitting Sens. Joe Biden of Delaware, Hillary Clinton of New York and Barack Obama of Illinois had all earlier pledged to stand with Dodd when the legislation came up for consideration by the Senate.

“I’m still hoping these candidates would come back,” Dodd said Monday. “It would raise the temperature on this issue.”

The final vote on the measure is expected later this week.

- CNN's Lisa Desjardins and Rebecca Sinderbrand

Filed under: Chris Dodd • Iowa
soundoff (29 Responses)
  1. Jed in Texas

    Thank you Chris and dont believe the polls,they are fixed just like all the voting machines will be!!

    December 18, 2007 02:58 am at 2:58 am |
  2. Bill, San Diego, Ca

    Nice going Mr. Dodd. I appreciate you putting your fight for our rights first. It is too bad that no one else on either side of the aisle is doing the same.

    December 18, 2007 02:26 pm at 2:26 pm |
  3. Jams O'Donnel , free born man of the USA

    What are you all afraid of? The government will catch you contacting you foriegn drug supplier or your sick porn source.
    Posted By Mark, B’ham. Al. : December 18, 2007 1:54 am

    We are afraid of losing our freedoms. Our forefathers must be spinning in their graves at opinions like this. Thomas Paine, Patrick Henry, Alexander Hamilton. These men would slap your face and call you out to duel if you said this to their faces. Countless men have died for these freedoms. Comments like these are the most unAmerican things I have ever heard. You don't care about your privacy? Move to China. This is the USA.

    December 18, 2007 02:42 pm at 2:42 pm |
  4. Raman, Plano TX

    :Mark, B’ham. Al:

    "THe real reason any of these democrat lawyer/lawmakers have to not want to give immiunity to the communications companies trying to prevent another 9/11"

    The issue here Mark is by providing immunity to Telecom companies, the lawmakers would set a bad precedent.

    Telecom companies are service providers. Service providers are governed by laws and ethics. In this case Telecom companies broke the law and just like any law breaking entity they should be subjected to the due process of law. Sen. Chris Dodd is definitely doing the right thing by making these companies accountable for their actions.

    The issue here is not the fact that Telecom companies used the technologies to eavesdrop, the issue is Telecom companies by their action are sending out a message that they are either above law or are not accountable to US regulatory authorities.

    December 18, 2007 04:12 pm at 4:12 pm |
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