SOPA / PIPA News: Senator Amy Klobuchar (D-MN) sends robo-reply to my NO ON SOPA/PIPA letter



This morning, I received what looks like a robo-response email from Senator Amy Klobuchar (D-MN) in response to a letter I sent two days ago urging her to vote NO on SOPA and NO on PIPA.

I appreciate the prompt reply from her staff (and the robot responder in her office), but unfortunately it appears from her email that BOTH senators from my state, Minnesota, are still using language that supports the interests behind both bills.

We made ourselves known to the world and Congress…
I guess we need to turn the volume up even higher.

Here’s the text of the letter
SENATOR AMY KLOBUCHAR sent me this morning:

January 20, 2012

Dear Jonathan:

Thank you for contacting me about the Protect IP Act. I appreciate hearing from you and especially appreciate hearing the concerns you have raised.

On January 20th, 2012, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid announced an indefinite postponement of the scheduled Senate vote on the Protect IP Act.  As Congress continues to consider this issue, please know that I will work to make sure your concerns are addressed.

The internet has dramatically altered the manner in which we communicate, conduct business, seek entertainment and find information.  It is vital to ensure that online innovation and openness are preserved so the American people can continue to freely to express themselves and pursue personal and economic endeavors over the internet.

It is also important that foreign criminals not be allowed to steal the property of others without consequence.  The pirating of intellectual property is not a victimless crime.  Rather, it threatens the jobs and livelihoods of millions of middle class American workers and businesses.  However, we must seek ways to protect people from online piracy, particularly foreign piracy, without limiting web-based innovation or a free exchange of ideas.

Again, thank you for taking the time to contact me.  One of the most important parts of my job is listening to what the people of Minnesota have to say to me.  I am here in our nation’s capital to do the public’s business and to serve the people of our state.  I hope you will contact me again about matters of concern to you.


Amy Klobuchar

United States Senator




Want to STOP SOPA / STOP PIPA? Use these tools and be involved.


The STOP SOPA / NO on SOPA / NO on PIPA movement has become an unprecedented online show of solidarity, demonstrating to Congress that individuals working together are just as influential as well-funded corporate interests when we put our minds to it.

If you know about SOPA or PIPA but don’t know how you can make a difference, or want to learn why the SOPA and PIPA legislation is bad for online innovation and fundamental First Amendment freedom of expression by users like you, I’ve put together this post with information and links to help you BE INFORMED and GET INVOLVED:


Summary courtesy
This bill would establish a system for taking down websites that the Justice Department determines to be dedicated to copyright infringment.

The DoJ or the copyright owner would be able to commence a legal action against any site they deem to have “only limited purpose or use other than infringement,” and the DoJ would be allowed to demand that search engines, social networking sites and domain name services block access to the targeted site. It would also make unauthorized web streaming of copyrighted content a felony with a possible penalty up to five years in prison. This bill combines two separate Senate bills — S.968 and S.978 — into one big House bill.



  • Automatically send your US Senators and US Representative an email
    This site automatically drafts a NO ON SOPA email for you to customize, looks up your representatives in Congress based on your Zip Code, and sends everything off with a single click in a shockingly short amount of time. Courtesy of

  • Complete the Take Action Checklist to Stop Censorship
    This resource has many action-items to help us stay involved, and is updated as new opportunities to act become available.
  • Add the following banners to your Twitter pic: 
    “STOP SOPA”:
  • Join and follow the STOP SOPA group on Google+ 
    There are many groups and resources dedicated to stopping SOPA around the web; this is one available on Google+ that has members with excellent information, up-to-the-minute news and diverse resources for virtually every aspect of NO on SOPA, NO on PIPA and the ensuing debate…
  • Be active on social networks like Google+, Twitter and Facebook:
    Post links to articles, resources and general information to let people in your social network know that you oppose SOPA. Include hashtags: #nosopa #stopsopa #nopipa #sopa #pipa in Twitter messages, Google+ posts and other stuff you share online. Let friends and family know about NO on SOPA, and let them know how they can help STOP SOPA & STOP PIPA.

STOP SOPA: An Open Letter to Senator Al Franken


This is a letter I sent to Senator Al Franken on 12 January 2012. I live in Minnesota, the state for which Franken is a senator. In 2008, I was a campaign activist for Al Franken’s senate campaign, operating volunteer call operations on behalf of his campaign and canvassing door-to-door to solicit votes on his behalf.

In this letter, I am asking Senator Franken to withdraw his support for the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA). 

Senator Franken,

My name is Jonathan Bates. In 2008 I was precinct captain at the DFL caucus in Upper Lowry Hill in Minneapolis, and from the day following our success in securing your nomination as Minnesota’s DFL candidate for Senate, my fiance and I were tireless in working to ensure that you would become our senator.

Why did we sacrifice all of those hours hosting ‘cell phone parties’ to shore up support for your campaign during the general election? What led us to participate in your campaign at a level far more passionately than we had previously?

Because the constant that came through in all your books, in your Air America radio show, and during your campaign, was integrity and a disdain for those who parsed or finessed the facts. You told us that you would go to Washington not only with your moral compass intact, but with the intent of continuing the mission of Paul Wellstone.

Senator Franken, with all due respect: in light of your recent support for SOPA, PIPA and your bizarre willingness to allow pizza to be substituted for vegetables in our public school lunchrooms, I’m seeing less of Paul Wellstone’s vision and integrity and more of Norm Coleman’s politics-as-usual being channeled through your actions as our senator.

Even from a thousand-plus miles away, I cannot imagine the toxic and difficult environment you must work in every day; I realize the GOP has made it their stated mission to prevent Democrats from achieving anything in Washington, and being at the center of the ‘Storm of No’ must be disheartening at best.

Nonetheless, you are a leader and you are our senator. Your election was a mutual contract based on a promise you made to stand up for what was right, do what best served all Minnesotans, and demonstrate that decent and good people *can* go to Washington without falling prey to corruption, cynicism, apathy or greed.

Remember Paul Wellstone, Senator Franken. Think what he would do, then go to the Senate floor and withdraw your support for SOPA and PIPA.

If your conscience tells you Paul would have differed on other policy matters as well, know that there are thousands of Minnesotans who will support you for doing what you know to be the morally and just thing to do.

Your constituent, respectfully,

Jonathan Bates