No surprises here:
In an analysis released Tuesday, Maplight.org, a nonprofit campaign finance watchdog group, found that lawmakers voting Friday in support of the wiretap deal averaged roughly twice the donations from the nation’s leading telecoms—Verizon, Sprint and AT&T—over the last three years as those voting against it.Still time to call your senator.
The figures might not have raised eyebrows except that the proposal contained a gift for the industry, effectively granting retroactive legal immunity to the telecoms that enabled the Bush administration’s warrantless eavesdropping program. The immunity provision—blasted by civil libertarians for putting industry concerns above Fourth Amendment rights against search and seizure—rescues the companies from the roughly 40 lawsuits pending against them. Some money-in-politics watchdogs say the connection between the contributions and votes is no accident.