Secret hold. Secret objection. Whatever you call it there is no reason for some anonymous Senator to secretly block any bill, let alone a bill that increases transparency. As Ellen said, “a hold is a hold is a hold, unless you want to debate what the definition of "is" is.” Instapundit agrees. But thanks to you, we’re getting closer to figuring out which Senator is anonymously blocking this bill. Currently we’ve crossed 56 Senators off of our list, 29 Republicans and 27 Democrats. We still need you to call your Senators and find out who the anonymous Senator is. Let’s finish this today!
Some of you have sent in comments from your interactions with your Senator’s staff that rival Sen. Trent Lott’s comments in today’s Hill article. Let’s do a round-up of what you’ve found so far.
Sen. Bob Bennett’s office believes that a secret hold is “private information” and therefore they “could not find out” who the anonymous Senator is. Staffers at Sen. Richard Burr’s office held a similar view of anonymity by stating “that a hold on a bill is a procedural matter within the Senate and is not a public matter.” The staffer refused to answer any questions about the secret hold. (Moments ago, they decided to respond that Sen. Burr is not the Senator in question.) Sen. David Vitter’s office also stated that they had no idea who the Senator was saying, “that’s what anonymous means.” I’ve also heard that the Senate uses the tradition of the “pinky swear” to ensure that double-super secret anonymous hold objections aren’t discussed outside of the World’s Oldest Deliberative Body.
Sen. Mike Crapo’s office doesn’t believe that there is any hold at all. How does this staffer know? Well, there’s no hold listed on Thomas. The only problem: Thomas doesn’t list holds. You’ll have to do better than that.
We got great help yesterday from Liz Mair at GOPPROGRESS in crossing names off of our list. Unfortunately, she now seems to believe that this is some giant Democratic conspiracy to make Republicans look bad or something. She should probably check these posts by Mark Tapscott, David All, and the National Journal’s Danny Glover if she needs to properly understand how their thinking has changed and how the anonymous Republican talking points were nothing more than spin. (Clarification: Mark Tapscott never changed his thinking. He has been making the same great points from his first post, and he was the first blogger on the Right to post about this. Sorry to confuse.)
Despite this kind of stonewalling, most of the Senate offices that have been contacted have been helpful and we even received a direct denial through e-mail from Sen. Mary Landrieu’s office. Keep it up! You’re putting pressure on the Senate to finally pass this bill after seven years.
Some friendly advice for Senators denying that an anonymous hold even exists: listen to David All and get a blog!