We've included the campaign's supporting documentation after the jump. This is one of the strongest ads we've seen from Sen. Udall so far this year, on what is considered to be one of his best campaign issues. The message of "taking on Presidents Bush and Obama" is resonant not just with independent voters, but Democrats who are unhappy with what they regard as failed campaign promises by President Barack Obama to rein in intelligence abuses that began under President George W. Bush.
If we have any criticism, it's that this ad maybe should have been up a couple of weeks ago.
SEN. MARK UDALL: Mass collection of our phone and internet records started under a Republican President, continued under a Democratic one. I won't tolerate it.
VOICEOVER: One of the last real mavericks of the Senate.
REPORTER: Colorado's US Senator Mark Udall calling for the resignation of the CIA Director.
UDALL: This is an invasion of privacy.
VOICEOVER: Taking on Presidents Bush and Obama. The Denver Post praises Mark Udall's crusade against our own government spying on Americans.
UDALL: I'm Mark Udall. As Coloradans, our rights include the freedom to be left alone. And that's why I approve this message.
UDALL CALLED ONE OF THE LAST “REAL MAVERICKS” OF THE SENATE
HEADLINE: “The Last Real Mavericks of the Senate” [The Week, 10/9/14]
Durango Herald: “Udall Has Been Consistent In His Position On Security, But In This Case, His Stance Could Pit Him Against The Obama Administration.” In June 2013, the Durango Herald reported that “Udall has been consistent in his position on security, but in this case, his stance could pit him against the Obama administration.” [Durango Herald, 6/15/2013]
Denver Post Editorial: “Udall Has Been Dogged In His Efforts To Call Attention To The” NSA And Privacy Issues. In July 2013, the Denver Post editorialized that “Colorado's Sen. Mark Udall has been dogged in his efforts to call attention to the issue. As a member of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, Udall knows things he cannot speak of publicly, but has worked the angles to highlight problems. … Slowly, a picture is coming into focus of a government that has taken liberties with our liberty under the guise of keeping the nation safe from terrorists. It is time for a conversation about whether the government's legal authority to spy on its own citizens should be ratcheted back.” [Denver Post, Editorial, 7/8/2013]
New York Times Editorial: Udall Has Raised Warnings About The Overbroad Interpretation Of The Patriot Act, “Stunning Use Of The Act Shows, Once Again, Why It Needs To Be Sharply Curtailed If Not Repealed.” In June 2013, the New York Times editorialized that “We are not questioning the legality under the Patriot Act of the court order disclosed by The Guardian. But we strongly object to using that power in this manner. It is the very sort of thing against which Mr. Obama once railed, when he said in 2007 that the Bush administration’s surveillance policy ‘puts forward a false choice between the liberties we cherish and the security we provide.’ Two Democrats on the Senate Intelligence Committee, Senator Ron Wyden of Oregon and Senator Mark Udall of Colorado, have raised warnings about the government’s overbroad interpretation of its surveillance powers… Stunning use of the act shows, once again, why it needs to be sharply curtailed if not repealed. ” [New York Times, Editorial, 6/6/2013]
HEADLINE: “Udall calls for resignation of CIA director in Senate spying scandal” [Denver Post, 7/31/2014]
Denver Post: “In A Major Shot To The Administration, U.S. Sen. Mark Udall On Thursday Demanded The Resignation Of Cia Director John Brennan In Response To A New Watchdog Report” In July 2014 the Denver Post reported that “In a major shot to the administration, U.S. Sen. Mark Udall on Thursday demanded the resignation of CIA Director John Brennan in response to a new watchdog report that concluded that CIA officers improperly accessed computer files and records used by the Senate Intelligence Committee. Udall, D-Colo., called for his dismissal after a classified briefing Thursday on the report, which was prepared by the CIA's inspector general. Afterward, he said reports that CIA officers had spied on the Senate as it looked at the agency's interrogation tactics were the latest example of the ‘tremendous failure of leadership’ at the U.S. spy agency. Udall is a member of the Intelligence Committee. ‘After being briefed on the CIA Inspector General report today, I have no choice but to call for the resignation of CIA Director John Brennan,’ Udall said in a statement. ‘The CIA unconstitutionally spied on Congress by hacking into Senate Intelligence Committee computers. This grave misconduct not only is illegal, but it violates the U.S. Constitution's requirement of separation of powers.’” [Denver Post, 7/31/2014]
Denver Post Editorial: Udall “Right” To Call For Brennan’s Resignation. In July 2014, the Denver Post editorialized that “Colorado's Mark Udall, a Senate Democrat and a member of the intelligence committee, was the first to call for Brennan's resignation. He also said the administration should appoint special counsel to investigate potential criminal activity. He's right on both points.” [Denver Post, Editorial, 7/31/2014]
Udall And Wyden Called “Two Notable Exception[s]” To Politically Expedient “Democratic Two-Facedness On Civil Liberties.” In June 2013, Buzzfeed reported that “The very topic of Democratic two-facedness on civil liberties is one of the most important issues that [Glen] Greenwald has covered. Many of those Dems — including the sitting President Barack Obama, Senator Carl Levin, and Sec. State John Kerry — have now become the stewards and enhancers of programs that appear to dwarf any of the spying scandals that broke during the Bush years, the very same scandals they used as wedge issues to win elections in the Congressional elections 2006 and the presidential primary of 2007-2008. …There are two notable exception [sic] to this rule are Senator Ron Wyden, from Oregon, and Sen. Mark Udall from Colorado, who had seemed to be fighting a largely lonely, frustrating battle against Obama’s national security state. As Mark Udall told the Denver Post yesterday: ‘[I] did everything short of leaking classified information’ to stop it. … Outside of Washington, D.C., the frustration that Wyden and Udall have felt has been exponentially magnified. Transparency supporters, whistleblowers, and investigative reporters, especially those writers who have aggressively pursued the connections between the corporate defense industry and federal and local authorities involved in domestic surveillance, have been viciously attacked by the Obama administration and its allies in the FBI and DOJ.” [Buzzfeed, 6/7/2013]
Udall Called “An Absolute Bulldog” On Government Transparency When It Comes To The NSA. In June 2013, Charles P. Pierce wrote in Esquire: “Senator Mark Udall of Colorado has been an absolute bulldog on the issue of whether or not ‘Trust Us, We're The Good Guys’ is a sufficient defense of the National Security Agency's construction of an American surveillance state.” [Esquire, Charles P. Pierce column, 6/26/2013]
Udall Called “Serious-Minded Western Democrat.” In June 2013, the New York Times reported “Late Wednesday, the secret was exposed, bringing to light the scale of government collection of communication information in the name of national security that Mr. Wyden and another serious-minded Western Democrat — Mark Udall of Colorado — have been hinting at for years.” [New York Times, 6/6/2013]
Udall Called A “Powerful” Senator And “Civil Libertarian.” In June 2012, the Wired Magazine wrote “The surveillance experts at the National Security Agency won’t tell two powerful United States Senators how many Americans have had their communications picked up by the agency as part of its sweeping new counterterrorism powers. The reason: it would violate your privacy to say so. That claim comes in a short letter sent Monday to civil libertarian Senators Ron Wyden and Mark Udall. The two members of the Senate’s intelligence oversight committee asked the NSA a simple question last month: under the broad powers granted in 2008′s expansion of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act, how many persons inside the United States have been spied upon by the NSA?” [Wired, 6/18/2012]
Wyden And Udall “Have Issued Cryptic Warnings For The Last Two Years That The Obama Administration Has Engaged In Widespread Surveillance Of Americans.” In June 2013, Forbes reported “In fact, the Verizon order may be just a glimpse of a much larger surveillance program. It’s unclear whether other carriers, not to mention Internet giants like Google, Microsoft and Facebook, have been caught up in similar domestic surveillance, or how long that surveillance has been taking place. But as the Guardian notes, Senators Ron Wyden and Mark Udall have issued cryptic warnings for the last two years that the Obama administration has engaged in widespread surveillance of Americans.” [Forbes, 6/5/2013]
HEADLINE: “Lawmakers confront Obama on NSA” [The Hill, 1/10/2014]
HEADLINE: “Presidential Task Force Recommends Overhaul of NSA Surveillance Tactics” [Wall Street Journal, 12/12/2013]
Udall Met With Obama Over NSA: “He Said He Would Announce Reforms And Restructurings And Other Changes That He Thought Were Needed.” In January 2014, The Hill reported that “Lawmakers say momentum is growing to curb the National Security Agency’s controversial metadata program after meeting with President Obama at the White House Thursday. Obama declined to endorse any specific reforms during the private session with 16 Senate and House lawmakers but acknowledged the agency’s surveillance programs would have to undergo reform. During a 1 1/2 hourlong meeting, Democratic senators zeroed in the on the controversial program that has allowed the intelligence agency to collect data on millions of domestic phone calls. … ‘He said he would announce reforms and restructurings and other changes that he thought were needed,’ Udall said. Udall is pushing hardest for reforms to Section 215 of the Patriot Act, which authorizes the NSA to collect bulk data on phone calls made within the United States.” [The Hill, 1/10/2014]
Former Sen. Hart: Udall’s Stand Against NSA “Shows Courage… It Demonstrates A Willingness To Stand Up To Authority, Including Your Own Administration Of Your Own Party, Plus The Institution Of The Senate.” In March 2015, Politico reported “Colorado Sen. Mark Udall, an Intelligence Committee member, is trying to use his outspoken critiques of NSA to appeal to western voters in his tight reelection race this November. A recent Udall campaign email to supporters included a note that he’d been pushing on the issue ‘long before it became a national debate last summer.’ ‘It’s a fight for the independents, most of whom are on any measure suspicious of intrusive government,’ said former Sen. Gary Hart, a Colorado Democrat who served on a landmark Senate panel in 1975 that investigated government intelligence abuses. Udall’s stance questioning the NSA ‘shows courage,’ Hart added. ‘It demonstrates a willingness to stand up to authority, including your own administration of your own party, plus the institution of the Senate and to take a stand very few are willing to take.’” [Politico, 3/9/2014]
Hughes: Udall And Wyden “Have Been Raising Sharp Questions” About NSA Surveillance. In June 2013, the Statesman Journal’s Dick Hughes wrote an op-ed stating that Sen. Ron “Wyden serves on the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, where he is privy to classified briefings … but is barred from revealing what he learns. Still, he and fellow Democratic Sen. Mark Udall of Colorado have been raising sharp questions. In 2011 they said Americans would be shocked if Americans knew how widely the Obama administration was using its espionage powers under the USA PATRIOT Act.” [Statesman Journal, Dick Hughes op-ed, 6/19/2013]
Dezzutti: “Senator Mark Udall May Be The Leading Example Of Another Potential Problem For The Obama Administration.” In June 2013, CBS4’s Dominic Dezzutti wrote an op-ed stating “The fact that Senator Mark Udall’s scathing letter accusing the NSA of lying about how well the privacy of Americans is protected is evidence that the story is not going away. Let’s be honest, as Americans, we do not have the longest attention spans. However egregious, the NSA scandal had a shot to slip to the backburner in many minds across the country. But that simply cannot happen if every day we are reminded how this one man is escaping the long arm of the law around the world. Senator Mark Udall may be the leading example of another potential problem for the Obama administration. As the search for Snowden continues and stays in the headlines, many Democratic lawmakers, especially those facing re-election next fall, are finding that the right side of this issue for voters is the wrong side of the issue for the President.” [CBS4 Denver, Dominic Dezzutti op-ed, 6/25/2013]
HEADLINE: “Two Senators Release Smackdown Regarding Effectiveness Of NSA Domestic Surveillance Programs” [Business Insider, 7/4/2013]
HEADLINE: “Official spying explanations can't be trusted, Udall says” [Aspen Business Journal, 7/3/2013]
Udall And Wyden Warned Against “Back-Door Search Loophole” Created By Obama Administration In 2011. In September 2013, the Washington Post reported that “The court’s expansion of authority went largely unnoticed when the opinion was released, but it formed the basis for cryptic warnings last year by a pair of Democratic senators, Ron Wyden (Ore.) and Mark Udall (Colo.), that the administration had a ‘back-door search loophole’ that enabled the NSA to scour intercepted communications for those of Americans. They introduced legislation to require a warrant, but they were barred by classification rules from disclosing the court’s authorization or whether the NSA was already conducting such searches. ‘The [surveillance] Court documents declassified recently show that in late 2011 the court authorized the NSA to conduct warrantless searches of individual Americans’ communications using an authority intended to target only foreigners,’ Wyden said in a statement to The Washington Post. ‘Our intelligence agencies need the authority to target the communications of foreigners, but for government agencies to deliberately read the e-mails or listen to the phone calls of individual Americans, the Constitution requires a warrant.’” [Washington Post, 9/7/2013]
Udall And Wyden Pushed Administration To Shut Down Internet Collection Program. In July 2013, the New York Times reported that “When the existence of a vast Internet surveillance program run by the National Security Agency was disclosed last month, Obama administration officials quickly took credit for having shuttered the effort in 2011. But two Democratic senators who have been longtime critics of the N.S.A.’s domestic surveillance operations are now challenging the administration’s version of events, and say the program was abandoned only after they repeatedly questioned its usefulness and criticized its impact on the privacy of American citizens. In a lengthy statement issued late Tuesday, Senators Ron Wyden of Oregon and Mark Udall of Colorado said the Internet surveillance was discontinued only after administration officials were unable to provide evidence to them, in closed-door hearings in 2011, that the program was useful.” [New York Times, 7/3/2013]
Internet Data Collection Program Started Under Bush And Was Continued By Obama Administration. In July 2013, the New York Times reported that “In their letter on Tuesday, Mr. Wyden and Mr. Udall said that before the Internet data collection program was discontinued, American intelligence officials had repeatedly exaggerated its value in classified statements made both to Congress and to a secret court that oversees national security surveillance. The Internet surveillance program was originally part of a Bush administration program that included the warrantless wiretapping of the phone calls of Americans. But in 2004, the legality of the Internet data collection program so concerned top Justice Department officials that it led to a showdown between the department and White House officials in the hospital room of ailing Attorney General John Ashcroft. After the confrontation the program was briefly stopped, then resumed under a new legal framework. It continued into the Obama administration.” [New York Times, 7/3/2013]
Udall And Wyden Helped Stop Bulk Email Records Collection After It Was Proven Ineffective. In July 2013, Senator Wyden’s office issued a release stating: “U. S. Senators Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) and Mark Udall (D-Colo.), both members of the Senate Intelligence Committee, released the following statement regarding the recent disclosure by intelligence officials that the NSA operated a bulk email records collection program under the authority of the Patriot Act until 2011. This program is distinct from the internet-related collection carried out under section 702 of the FISA Amendments Act (which involves the PRISM computer system). ‘We are quite familiar with the bulk email records collection program that operated under the USA Patriot Act and has now been confirmed by senior intelligence officials. We were very concerned about this program’s impact on Americans’ civil liberties and privacy rights, and we spent a significant portion of 2011 pressing intelligence officials to provide evidence of its effectiveness. They were unable to do so, and the program was shut down that year.’” [Wyden press release, 7/2/2013]
NSA Illegally Collected Thousands Of Americans’ Emails Before FISA Court Halted Program. In August 2013, The Guardian reported “The secretive court that oversees surveillance programs found in 2011 that the National Security Agency illegally collected tens of thousands of emails between Americans in violation of the fourth amendment to the US constitution. The foreign intelligence surveillance (Fisa) court ruling stemmed from what intelligence officials told reporters on Wednesday was a complex technical problem, not an intentional violation of American civil liberties. In his 86-page opinion, declassified on Wednesday, Judge John Bates wrote that the government informed the court that the ‘volume and nature of the information it has been collecting is fundamentally different from what the court had been led to believe’. The ruling is one of three documents released in response to a Freedom of Information Act request by the Electronic Frontier Foundation, and comes amid growing public and congressional concern over the scope of NSA surveillance programs.” [The Guardian, 8/21/2013]
LONG RECORD OF OPPOSING THE PATRIOT ACT AND FIGHTING THE NSA
HEADLINE: “Udall: Quit collecting Americans’ phone records” [Grand Junction Daily Sentinel, 7/31/2013]
HEADLINE: “Democrats demand Obama 'end the bulk collection of phone records'” [The Hill, 7/30/2013]
HEADLINE “Wyden, Udall: Clapper Failed to Justify NSA Phone Data Collection” [Roll Call, 7/26/2013]
HEADLINE: “NSA fact sheet pulled after being challenged by Sen. Mark Udall” [Denver Post, 6/25/2013]
Grand Junction Daily Sentinel Editorial: “Udall Has Been A Fierce Critic Of The” NSA Program. In July 2013, the Grand Junction Daily Sentinel editorialized that “Sen. Ron Wyden, D-Ore., was tough. ‘These statements gave the public a false impression of how these authorities were actually being interpreted.’ Congressman Mick Mulvaney, R-S.C., was harsh. ‘If the administration has a policy to lie to Congress about classified materials in unclassified hearings, then you have to ask yourself what value the hearings have and whether or not anyone else is doing it.’ Congressman Jerry Nadler, D-N.Y., was spot-on. ‘The national security state has grown so that any administration is now not upfront with Congress. It’s an imbalance that’s grown in our government, and one that we have to cleanse.’ Our own Sen. Mark Udall has been a fierce critic of the program, too. But will this tough talk serve any real purpose? Will these leaders aggressively work to enact bills that limit the scope of the NSA’s spy program, or will they merely introduce bills and issue press releases? Will critics of the spy program demand accountability from those in the Obama administration? Heads should roll in the administration. Sen. Udall and others should demand it.” [Grand Junction Daily Sentinel, Editorial, 7/11/2013]
Boulder Daily Camera Editorial: “We Agree” With Udall That “Once The American People Understand How This Law Has Been Interpreted, I Am Certain They Will Join Me In Pushing To Immediately Change It.” In June 2013, the Boulder Daily Camera editorialized “‘The government's collection of millions of Americans' phone records is the type of surveillance I have long said would shock the public if they knew about it,’ said U.S. Sen. Mark Udall, D-Colo. He added: ‘The American people need to know how the president interprets his authorities under the Patriot Act, and I expect the president to uphold his commitment to transparency in the State of the Union address and his recent national-security speech. Once the American people understand how this law has been interpreted, I am certain they will join me in pushing to immediately change it.’ We agree. Let's keep this conversation going, and demand the Obama administration to be more transparent about the Patriot Act and how it is being applied to millions of us.” [Boulder Daily Camera, Editorial, 6/7/2013]
Udall Voted Against Extending The PATRIOT Act. In May 2011, Senator Udall voted against a motion to invoke cloture (thus limiting debate) on the Reid, D-Nev., motion to concur in the House amendment with a Reid substitute amendment no. 347 that would extend through June 1, 2015, three provisions of the anti-terrorism law known as the Patriot Act. [CQ Floor Votes; Senate Vote #81, 5/26/11]
HEADLINE: “Patriot Act use alarms Udall: The senator votes against extending some provisions because they are ‘ripe for abuse.’” [Denver Post, 5/27/2011]
Udall Was In Notable Minority Opposing Extension Of Patriot Act: Process Was “Rushed, And I Believe We've Done A Disservice To The American People By Not Having A Fuller And More Open Debate About These Provisions.” In May 2011, the Denver Post reported that “Colorado Sen. Mark Udall voted Thursday against extending several provisions of the Patriot Act, citing a ‘potential for abuse’ and chiding fellow Democrats for not allowing more debate. ‘The process … has been rushed, and I believe we've done a disservice to the American people by not having a fuller and more open debate about these provisions,’ Udall said on the Senate floor. The provisions approved for a four-year extension give the government power to conduct roving wiretaps and to search business records to investigate terrorism. Another allows for tracking people without known ties to terrorist groups. The extension passed by a vote of 72-23, with Sen. Michael Bennet, D-Colo., voting in favor. Later, the House passed it 250-153. Colorado's Democratic representatives voted against the measure, as did Republican Rep. Scott Tipton. The state's other Republican House members voted for it.” [Denver Post, 5/27/2011]
Udall Called On Obama Admin To Disclose How It Interprets The Patriot Act. In May 2011, the AP reported on the Patriot Act extension “Two U.S. senators are calling on the Obama administration to disclose how it interprets the Patriot Act as an extension of the act nears a vote in Congress. Colorado Democrat Mark Udall and Oregon Democrat Ron Wyden say these are dangerous times, but they believe the administration can disclose its interpretation of the law without disclosing methods.” [AP, 5/24/2011]
Montrose Daily Press Editorial: “Liberty Is Not A Partisan Issue, And Common Sense Shouldn’t Be, Either… That Body Should Have Passed The Amendments Udall And Wyden Proposed.” In June 2011, the Montrose Daily Press editorialized “Liberty is not a partisan issue, and common sense shouldn’t be, either. Congress should have taken the time to fully debate the act’s more problematic provisions. That body should have passed the amendments Udall and Wyden proposed. These would have required the government to show a nexus to terrorism when seeking a court order for business records; required that roving wiretaps be confined to specific targets and locations, and that Congress be notified before surveillance of suspected ‘lone wolves’ begins. (Lone wolves are non-citizen targets with no known connection to a terrorist group or foreign government.) Yet as usual, these reasonable steps fell to fear-mongering, grandstanding and presidential agenda. For now at least, We the People are in the dark about how the very law used to spy on us is applied.” [Montrose Daily Press, Editorial, 6/3/2011]
Udall Opposed Patriot Act Reauthorization. In 2005, Udall voted against legislation to reauthorize the USA Patriot Act. The bill passed 251-174. [HR 3199, Vote 627, 12/14/05]
Udall Voted Against Making PATRIOT Act Permanent. In 2005, Udall voted against legislation to make 14 of the 16 provisions of the PATRIOT Act scheduled to expire permanent and extend for 10 years the remaining two provisions — access to business and other records and roving wiretaps. The bill permanently extended provisions that expand law enforcement’s power to investigate suspected terrorists. As amended, the bill would require the Justice Department to report to Congress on the development and use of data-mining technology by federal departments and agencies. The bill passed 257-171. [HR 3199, Vote 414, 7/21/05]
Udall Voted Against The Original PATRIOT Act. In 2001, Udall voted against the Patriot Act, which expanded law enforcement’s power to investigate suspected terrorists. Among many provisions, the bill: Allowed disclosure of wiretap information among certain government officials, authorize limited disclosure of secret grand jury information to certain government officials, and authorize the Attorney General to detain foreigners suspected of ties to terrorism; Expanded the number of crimes considered terrorist acts and increases the punishment for committing them; Allowed nationwide jurisdiction for search warrants and electronic surveillance devices, including legal expansion of those devices to e-mail and Internet; Authorized the use of roving wiretaps, in which officials get orders that allow them to tap whatever telephone a person uses instead of one telephone at a time; Relaxed rules to allow the FBI and intelligence officials to share grand jury and wiretap information more easily. The bill passed 357-66. [AP, 10/25/01; HR 3162, Vote 398, 10/24/01]