In the midst of recent national controversy surrounding government surveillance of the public, a recent Freedom of Information Act request to the Nebraska State Patrol has exposed evidence that TransCanada provided trainings to federal agents and local Nebraska police to suppress nonviolent activists protesting the Keystone XL tar sands pipeline by arresting them on “anti-terrorism statutes.” The presentation slides, obtained by grassroots landowner advocacy group Bold Nebraska, target Tar Sands Blockade activists by name.
“This is clear evidence of the collusion between TransCanada and the federal government assisting local police to unlawfully monitor and harass political protestors,” said Lauren Regan, legal coordinator for Tar Sands Blockade and executive director of the Civil Liberties Defense Center. “These documents expose the truth that the government is giving the nod to unlawful corporate spying. By slinging false allegations against peaceful activists in this presentation, TransCanada puts them at risk of unwarranted prosecution.”
The largely symbolic vote demonstrated the deep GOP opposition to the bill, but all day political observers expected it to put Democratic divisions over the President’s approach to bolstering the economy into sharp relief as well. In the end, two Democratic senators, Sens. Ben Nelson (D-NE) and Jon Tester (D-MT) voted with Republicans to continue the filibuster.
With Democrats like Ben Nelson, who needs Republicans? The way Majority Leader Reid lets Nelson and Leiberman go scot free with all of the transgressions they’ve commit against their reputed caucus makes Reid look flaccid and inept.
Sen. Ben Nelson (NE - D) is still a target of mine. The more that you look at Nelson, the more you see a career politician who does the best he can to stay under the radar. The current attempt to reform the nation’s health care system has made it too hot for Nelson act like a mole.
Try as he might to whitewash it, Nelson has sat on his hand(s) and got many concessions from other Democrats; while it’s been widely reported that Nelson pushed a very hard anti-choice line, it’s barely made a ripple that Nelson got a very lucrative concession benefiting political cronies back home on the plains. Never mind platitudes spoken by other members of congress, pundits and others that have knowingly been near a microphone and uttered the phrase free market, this has been proven to be red meat for partisan operatives who, by all appearances, are beyond the control of their corporate masters.
While I know of no way how the (working) poor will benefit by this reform package that the U.S. Senate will probably vote on tomorrow, I hope that Nebraska is satisfied with the bacon that Nelson brought home to his cronies, if not constituents.