What’s the ask? Who are we asking?

We’ll be kicking off a social media activism campaign this weekend — on Twitter, Facebook, Organizing for America, and the blogosphere — to support the JUSTICE Act.  Just which politicians should we target?  What should our “ask” be?

The short-term focus is the Senate Judiciary Committee, where Leahy’s bill is getting marked up in the Senate Judiciary Committee on Thursday.  We’ve consistently gotten input at this point that the top priority at this point is to focus on the Democrats, asking them to amend Leahy’s bill to add the reforms from JUSTICE that are not currently in the Leahy bill.

Should we choose a short list of members, and if so who?  For example,  Kohl is a known wild card, Klobuchar and Kaufman have no record on these issues and we don’t know where they’ll go, Leahy and Cardin co-sponsored the more timid reform bill, Specter is facing a tough primary challenge …  How to prioritize? Or do we have the resources to go broad from the beginning?

While less vital, it would also be valuable to ask all Senate Demorcratss, Independents and even centrist Republicans to cosponsor the JUSTICE Act with Feingold, Durbin, et. al.  which will assist in getting support for JUSTICE-y amendments to Leahy.  Do we want to consider this as well?

And then there’s the question of what we’re asking for — at a high level, and the details.  One possible slogan is “Support the JUSTICE Act”.  Other thoughts?

As for the details, here are several specific provisions we want Senators to lift from the JUSTICE bill:

  • heightening the standard for and limiting the scope of NSLs,
  • reforming the John Doe roving wiretaps provision
  • allowing the “lone wolf” wiretapping provision to expire.
  • JUSTICE’s amendments to the FISA Amendments Act, especially the amendments 1) prohibiting bulk collection of international communications, 2) strengthening the requirements for government “minimization” of the communications it collects, and 3) repealing the telecom immunity provision.

How to frame this succinctly?

Suggestions welcome!  We’ll also be discussing this on tonight’s conference call — see http://get-fisa-right.wetpaint.com/page/September+24+Organizing+call for details.



3 Responses to What’s the ask? Who are we asking?

  1. harrywaisbren says:

    I think that regardless of which politicians we target, it will be our media strategy that will give this whole effort a major jump start.

    It is much more difficult for a politician to ignore a new media campaign if the mainstream media inserts it into the village dialogue. This is also necessary just to achieve a more proper level of coverage, as conventional media might yawn at this story beyond churning out conservative PR through stenography journalism. However, they very often obsess about democrats vs. democrats story line—-as they did in our campaign last summer.

    So my main input on these questions is doing whatever we think is best for building up the most positive narrative for us to insert into the political media landscape.

  2. JimB. says:

    First, every one of us should target their own Senators. We all have two. Call them both… regardless of who they are, which party or what their current position is. I’ve only called 1 of mine, so far. Don’t yet know how to contact Paul Kirk. I also called my Representative, to prepare her for when it gets to the House.

    I’m less sure of the next step, but it should be as visible, especially in the mainstream as we can make it. We have to get it into the national dialog.

  3. pbruckart says:

    Regarding a slogan, I’m playing catch up and wasn’t able to participate in last night’s conference call. Please disregard this comment if you folks have already picked a slogan, but I think simple, catchy slogans are effective. I would suggest “Act for Justice.”

    Patrick Bruckart

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