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Director of National Intelligence James Clapper testifies before a Senate (Select) Intelligence hearing on
Like I've said before, keep your eye on underdog Jay Stamper (D. SC) in his bid to unseat Senator Lindsey Graham (R. SC) who is already facing three Tea Party challengers.  Stamper is a Libertarian-leaning Democrat who has been highly critical of Senator Graham's support for the NSA domestic surveillance program.  Today, Stamper not only remained consistent with his campaign message on civil liberties but also went one step further.  Here's the e-mail I received from his campaign:
Jay Stamper, the Democrat seeking to replace Senator Lindsey Graham in 2014, today responded to Thursday’s Washington Post report that the NSA violates privacy rules and laws thousands of times every year.

Stamper made the following statement in response to the report:

Yesterday, the Washington Post contradicted claims made by President Obama and Senator Lindsey Graham that the NSA does not spy on Americans. We now have every reason to believe that the NSA regularly sweeps up communications of average U.S. citizens and saves the communications in searchable databases.

This violation of our constitutionally guaranteed civil rights should concern every American, regardless of their party affiliation.

Unfortunately, despite the public outcry, administration officials continue to mislead the American people without facing appropriate consequences.

In March, Director of National Intelligence James Clapper lied under oath to Congress when he denied that the NSA collects data on ‘millions or hundreds of millions of Americans.' Clapper should have resigned immediately. I call on him to resign now.

The continuous stream of misleading information from the government makes it obvious that we cannot rely on the NSA to police itself. Congress must investigate NSA surveillance practices and take immediate action to significantly reform the agency.

I like that Stamper is continuing to make Graham's support for the NSA a campaign issue.  He's already being attacked by Tea Party challenger Nancy Mace (R. SC) on this issue but it remains unclear if Mace can unseat Graham by going after him on that issue.  But the guy might have a shot at beating Graham because he's just the right amount of crazy for the Tea Party:

South Carolina state Sen. Lee Bright (R), who will take on Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) in the state's primary in 2014, called Graham a "community organizer for the Muslim Brotherhood" on Tuesday.

In a conference call with supporters, Bright charged Graham with not paying enough attention to the people of South Carolina. "During the [congressional] recess, when I would hope that he would be around folks in South Carolina, getting their feelings on so many issues that affect their lives, he has instead chosen to take his time to be a community organizer for the Muslim Brotherhood, and that concerns me," Bright said, according to The State.

When asked for a response to the accusation, Graham's campaign sent out a statement highlighting the South Carolina senator's conservatism. "Lindsey Graham has a proven track record of protecting our conservative values and fighting for South Carolina. He was ranked in the top 5 budget cutters in the Senate by the National Taxpayer's Union Foundation, called an 'ACU Conservative' with a 92 score by the American Conservative Union, recognized as the Pro-life Legislator of the Year by SC Citizens for Life, awarded the highest honor given by the Enlisted Association of the National Guard for supporting our military, and maintains an 'A' rating from the National Rifle Association," Graham spokesman Tate Zeigler wrote. - Huffington Post, 8/14/13


It's too early to say if Stamper will benefit from a nasty GOP primary but he's a candidate who deserves our attention and support.  If you want to get involved with Stamper's campaign you can do so here:

And if you want to donate to his campaign, you can do so here:

Originally posted to pdc on Fri Aug 16, 2013 at 05:00 PM PDT.

Also republished by Knowledge Democrats and The Democratic Wing of the Democratic Party.

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