This is a new local blog for Florida's sixth Congressional district and watching the actions of Cliff Stearns, the Republican representative who misserves us in Washington. If you are interested in posting at The Case Against Cliff, drop me a line at with some idea of your Democratic and/or progressive credentials and I'll add you as a blogger.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Paid Shill for Telecoms?

An ad campaign being unleashed next week against Blue Dog Democrat Chris Carney of Pennsylvania easily could apply to Bush rubber-stamper Cliff Stearns. The ad campaign takes on Carney for his support of the Bush Administration position on retroactive immunity for telecommunications companies in FISA revision legislation, and points out the large contributions from telecommunications companies that Carney has received.

A look at the database reveals that Cliff's top two contributors in the current campaign cycle, at $10,000 each, are AT&T and the National Cable and Telecommunications Association, while telephone utilities have contributed $27,000 in total. Cliff clearly is a darling to the telecommunications industry, as seen in this press release from his website:
WASHINGTON, APRIL 7, 2008 - The Telecommunications Industry Association (TIA) is presenting its "Spirit of Innovation" Award to Rep. Cliff Stearns (R-FL) at the group's Ninth Annual Spring Policy Summit in Washington, D.C. Stearns is the Republican Leader on the House Telecommunications and the Internet Subcommittee. In addition to receiving the award, Stearns will provide the keynote address to the TIA membership at 8:00 AM on Tuesday, April 8th in the Atrium Hall of the Ronald Reagan Building. The TIA membership represents the information, communications, and entertainment industry.

Of course, the "innovation" that Cliff is trying to bring in this case is nothing more than retroactive immunity for illegal spying on American citizens. Watch the ad against Carney and realize that it applies to Cliff just as well:

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