Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Blocking the Real ID in PA. A call to action and update

The Real ID is a seed of an idea on the federal level that has been knocked around for some time. It is getting beat up in a few other states where privacy and liberty matters. The battle in PA is now in full swing. The Federal Real ID program is bad news and should not be accepted.
PA Daily Report September 25, 2007

Yesterday was a GOOD day! The rally went well, and the majority of those present for the speeches came into the building to learn the ropes of practical political action. As a group, we met with a number of the "power broker"staffers (McCall's office, DeWeese's office, and others).

One of the rally attendees, a constituent of Rep. John Payne, helped us make an interesting discovery. Rep. Payne has consistently introduced legislation to UNTIE the Social inSecurity Number from all PA licenses (hunting, professional, etc.). I plan to make a proposal to him that he incorporate a simple statement as an amendment to Rep. Rohrer's bill to accomplish that goal! In this way, two VERY important items can fall under the scope of "identification" situations covered.

There is yet another meeting at 11 am today. Rep. Rohrer's staffer arranged a pow-wow between me and Curt Meyers. Curt is the Deputy Secretary of Safety Administration in the Transportation Department (tied to PENNDOT). In South Carolina, the DOT's administrator was a critical cog in the wheel, bringing the Executive Department to bear on the legislature in subcommittee hearings on Real ID. If we can get the Governor's staff to come down against implementing Real ID, it will go a LONG way to helping get 1351 unglued from the committee. We hope to have at least one PA Senate Staffer in that meeting, with another strategy to be having the Senate introduce a companion bill there.

The next day we have arranged a meeting with the Speaker of the House, to try to get 1351 on the agenda.

To help us, PLEASE make a phone call or two! Priority #1 MUST be to get to House leadership. Chairman Thomas (717-772-9854) (Intergovernmental Affairs Committee) needs to hear from YOU! Call in, and request that HB 1351 be put on the committee agenda ASAP. Request (if you can make it) to be contacted to testify at this hearing.

Call Rep. DeWeese (Majority Leader) asking for 1351 to be put on the committee calendar (717-783-3797). The same message should come in to Majority Whip Keith McCall (717-783-1375).

We are also going to be trying to get more people on-board as CO-Sponsors. These include Karen Beyer (Veteran's Caucus chair)(717-783-1673); Keith Gillespie (on the subcommittee involved)(717-705-7167); and Scott Hutchinson (717-783-8188). We met with these people today, and they seem somewhat amenable. A few choice calls would help. If you are a VETERAN, call Rep. Beyer to have her make this bill an issue for veterans! (Vets should also become a part of the NVCCA at www.nvcca.net -- forward that info to any veterans you know!)

(Since Jim and I started working, a number of new sponsors have come onto the bill. We want to increase the number by the end of this week by an additional 10+)

There is much more that happened on the first day of the reunited legislature, and only so much time for me to write it all up and still be able to keep going.

YOU are a critical part of our operations. Your calls greatly increase our value when we are actually in the capitol, meeting with these people. Call YOUR rep. and have them CO-SPONSOR HB 1351! More sponsors mean more pressure on leadership to "run the bill." Every voice on this bill becomes a louder and louder SCREAM from the public that it should be a TOP PRIORITY of the legislative agenda. While they pass item after item dedicating a road to some dead person, the living are going to be living with REAL ID, unless we slam the door on it NOW!

We are throwing everything we have into this effort. There are hundreds of people receiving these e-mail alerts. Hundreds of calls from YOU make our work all the more likely to succeed. PLEASE MAKE SOME CALLS, and encourage your church groups, business associates, and neighbors to do likewise. Post these messages onto political blogs, meet-up groups, etc. and continue bringing others into the battle. Sportsmen's groups, jewish/religious, and others will support our efforts when they KNOW ABOUT THEM! We can't be everywhere. But we are in Harrisburg. Your support is critical.
The above email was from Aaron of NVCCA from Restore The Republic 4 E. Ogden Ave #126 Westmont, IL 60559.

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