Friday, December 16, 2005

Ashdown: No on PATRIOT

In a press release issued by his campaign, Pete Ashdown said that he would have voted "no" on the renewal of the PATRIOT Act, if given the chance.

“I oppose reauthorization of the PATRIOT Act in the form now presented to the Senate. The provisions of the PATRIOT Act which increased communication and efficiency between law enforcement agencies are fine and I have no argument with. What I take issue is the stripping of privacy between the citizen and the state. Much of what the PATRIOT Act does is side-step the Fourth Amendment. I believe the citizen should be opaque and the state should be transparent, not the other way around.

“Specifically, I support the portions of the Act which increase funding for first responders and facilitate their inter-agency communications. We must ensure that law enforcement can legally coordinate activities to protect Americans. I strongly oppose components of the PATRIOT Act that continue to violate our Constitutionally-protected freedoms. Individual privacy, as specifically assured by the Fourth Amendment, covers our 'persons, houses, papers, and effects' and abuses of the PATRIOT Act have shown that this right has not been respected.

He also takes a jab at his opposition, Senator Orrin Hatch:

“Senator Hatch's assertion that failure to renew would enable and encourage terror is an example of the divisive, fear-based politics that I am trying to fight against. Arguments about the effectiveness or ineffectiveness of legislation should be based on facts and research, not an attempt to frighten opponents into submission.

“As a Senator, I would fight to implement the recommendations of the 9/11 Commission, which they recently gave two 'D' grades to the Government in this area. I would propose and fund the creation of a Privacy and Civil Liberties Oversight Board. Senator Hatch, as a member of the Judiciary committee with all of his powers, has failed to act on the President's nominations of a chair and vice-chair of this board, let alone fund its creation. As part of that board's creation, I would support intensive Congressional oversight and the creation of guidelines for government protection of personal information.”

I agree with Pete. If you do to, drop him some $$$.


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