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Politics Notebook: Heinrich says NSA legislation not good enough

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — Sen. Martin Heinrich charges in a New York Times opinion piece this week that proposed Senate legislation intended to oversee the National Security Agency’s bulk collection of Americans’ phone records doesn’t go far enough.

The article was co-written with Democratic Sens. Ron Wyden of Oregon and Mark Udall of Colorado.

The senators, all members of the Senate Intelligence Committee, said the NSA oversight bill recently adopted by the committee over their objections misses the mark and preserves “business as usual” for the NSA domestic surveillance programs.

“Congress has a crucial opportunity to reassert constitutionally guaranteed liberties by reforming the NSA’s overbroad collection of Americans’ personal data. But the Intelligence Committee bill squanders this chance,” the senators wrote.

The group argued that the NSA should have access to telephone data in cases in which a suspected terrorist is identified, but otherwise should not have access to bulk records of Americans’ cellphone use.

“Rather than adopt our legislation, the Intelligence Committee chose to codify excessively broad domestic surveillance authorities,” the op-ed said.

Running for Lt. Gov.: The field for the 2014 Democratic lieutenant governor nomination has opened up, with two candidates announcing plans to run.

Debra Haaland, a former Obama campaign Native American vote director and Democratic Party organizer, said she’s running to put her experience connecting with voters to work to benefit the state.

“I wouldn’t be doing it if I didn’t think the Democrats could win” the 2014 governor’s race, Haaland said.

Also announcing plans to run for lieutenant governor was Marie Q. Julienne, a University of New Mexico Ph.D. student and researcher studying education institutional structure.

She announced through a Facebook page but did not return a request for an interview.

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