If al Qaeda strikes Capitol Hill, you can thank two South Florida members of Congress for skipping town before extending vital surveillance legislation.
That's the message of an attack ad funded by a counter-terrorism group that describes itself as a non-partisan, though the the blitz targets 15 of the most vulnerable Democrats in Congress, including Ron Klein of Boca Raton and Tim Mahoney of Palm Beach Gardens.
House Democrats objected to a provision in the legislation that gives legal immunity to telecommunications companies that provided private data to the Bush administration after the Sept. 11 attacks. Without the extension, the government will be able to continue monitoring approved targets, but probable cause would be needed to spy on new suspects.
"The ad is misleading,'' Klein said. "There is nothing hampering intelligence efforts in this country.''
Here's Mahoney's response, which he turned into a fundraising appeal: Download i_am_under_attack_by_a_shadowy_special_interest_group_who_is_practicing_the_politics_of_division.doc
Here's the ad by Defense of Democracies: