Monday, October 22, 2007

The Real ID Act is NOTHING that I support, either

I do not like the Real ID. That fight is brewing in PA now. Some great work is being done by a few experts in recent weeks.

Are you in favor of the federal government collecting, maintaining and sharing your personal and sensitive information both domestically and internationally?

This should be a rhetorical question, but unfortunately, it is not. The Real ID act would require that sensitive information be transmitted to a centralized database, and even shared with MEXICO and Canada as part of a new treaty! This information is not simply numbers and letters. Real ID paves the technology way for personal, financial, medical, and even biometric (retina scans, high resolution photography, DNA, etc.) information to be attached to this new federalized driver's license!

How many times in the recent past have there been stories telling us how a government agency allowed sensitive, personal information to be stolen?

This is being billed as an effort to stop terrorism. Let me ask you this. How many times have criminals made sure to follow the letter of the law before committing a crime?

Real ID can only serve to codify and control the citizens of this nation. Speaking as a Pennsylvanian , it should be the sworn duty of all Pennsylvania legislators, in upholding the oath they swore to Pennsylvania Constitution, to oppose this legislation to the utmost. Speaking as an American and a Veteran, this bill is an affront to everyone who shed even a drop of blood for this country and is a direct violation of the Bill of Rights.

Rep. Sam Rohrer introduced a bill, HB1351, that says, in no uncertain terms, that Pennsylvania will not abide by such draconian federal tactics and will take no part in Real ID.

Now the Chairman of the Intergovernmental Affairs Committee does not feel that the House is intelligent enough to decide this for themselves and will not release the bill to the floor . In fact, Rep. Thomas issued a memorandum asking for co-sponsorship of "a resolution urging the federal government to make changes to the Real ID act in order to reduce the cost of this unfunded mandate on the Commonwealth and all other states required to implement the act."

Frankly, I am disgusted with the thought that this man could stab Pennsylvania in the back by reducing our rights and our privacy to dollars and cents.

Every legislator in the House and Senate of this state should bring every effort to bear in forcing Rep. Thomas to allow HB1351 to the floor so that we can live freely as our Founding Fathers intended.

If they are to live up to their oath of office, every legislator, (including Rep. Thomas), must oppose any measure that will pave the way for Real ID, such as Mr. Thomas' 'just make it cheaper' option.

This is not about money; it is not about whining over 'unfunded mandates'. This is about preserving the shred of liberty that we have left as Americans and as Pennsylvanians.

Our legislators are supposed to be servants of the people. We need to let them know that "We The People" need them now.

Jim Comptonm AFTF Pennsylvania State Coordinator

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