Boucher Collected Thousands From Telecom PAC, Switched Phone VoteBoucher's explanation for his sudden reversal is about as pathetic as one could imagine (but will be sufficient for the nitwits who keep voting him back into office):
By Neil H. Simon, Media General News Service
Washington – Southwest Virginia Congressman Rick Boucher received $25,000 from telephone companies that he voted last week to legally protect under the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act.
Boucher, D-9th, was one of 94 House Democrats who reversed course last week in support of the telephone companies.
He was the fourth-highest telecom recipient among the 94 Democrats. The top was South Carolina Rep. James Clyburn, who has received $29,500 from the AT&T, Verizon and Sprint political action committees since 2005, according to an analysis by the campaign finance watchdog group, MAPLight.org.
Clyburn and Boucher were among House members who voted in March to block legal protection for the phone companies that helped the government eavesdrop on customers under a warrantless wiretapping program that gained speed after the 9/11 terrorist attacks.
Then, on June 20, Clyburn, Boucher and 92 other House Democrats switched positions and voted for a compromise surveillance bill that included effective immunity for the companies. (link)
"The money 'does nothing,' Boucher said. Indeed, he said his position hasn’t changed, despite his vote.
'I remain opposed to providing immunity to the telephone companies that cooperated with the administration in the warrantless surveillance activities,' he said."
In other words: "I oppose that which I voted in favor of. That pile of cash had nothing to do with it."