This week, a bipartisan piece of legislation that would have banned the NSA’s practice of collecting phone records without a warrant–the “Amash amendement” was defeated narrowly in the House of Representatives, 217-205. How did Philly vote? Bob Brady and Chaka Fattah voted “yes,” along with a host of other liberal Democrats and libertarian Republicans. (Republican Justin Amash, the amendment’s sponsor, was elected in the 2010 Tea Party wave.) Gubernatorial candidate Allyson Schwartz, who has a more progressive reputation than party boss Brady, however, voted no. Here’s her explanation.
I strongly believe that we must aggressively intercept terrorists’ communications, track their whereabouts, disrupt their plans and eliminate threats. I opposed Rep. Amash’s amendment because it did not achieve the critical balance between national security and civil liberties.
She let down many of her progressive supporters with the vote, but I’m not sure Schwartz is really on Obama and the NSA’s side here. Remember, she’s running for governor of a culturally conservative state, half of which is probably convinced she’s a abortion-loving radical feminist monster anyways. If (and when) she gets the party nomination, I don’t see a lot of Democrats refusing to vote for her because she’s pro-spying. [CP]