Last night at about 7.30 PM I got three or four emails from some of our conservative allies in the fight for greater transparency in Congress. Independently, all of them wanted to pass along talking points that they received from (get this!) an anonymous Republican Hill source who claimed that the secret hold on the Senate's electronic filing bill wasn't a "secret hold" but, well, an anonymous objection to bringing the bill up by unanimous consent. In our mind, a hold is a hold is a hold, unless you want to debate what the definition of "is" is.
Looks like the Washington Post agrees with Sunlight's definition of a secret hold. See their editorial (You gotta' love their headline: "Sen. Ima Luddite (R)" and a column. Check out the NYTimes Blog, The Hill, and the SF Examiner for more support for our position.
And David All — one of the folks who passed on the Republican talking points last night — gets right to the bottom of it.
Now let's get back to work to finding out who placed the hold. Thus far we know that 39 of them aren't blocking this bill. Here's the current tally and the phone numbers for the rest of the Senators. Call the rest of them today.
Or maybe Senator Lamar Alexander would simply return Sunlight's phone calls with the answer to the question.
Special note: Senator Trent Lott's comments in the Hill are quite telling."I don't have any problem with electronic filing, but I'm not necessarily interested in making it easier for the press to do their work."