Zeese Urges Senator Sarbanes to Join Filibuster of Patriot Act

Today, U.S. Senate candidate Kevin Zeese urged Senator Paul Sarbanes to join Sen. Russell Feingold (D-WI) in threatening to filibuster the agreement on the renewal of the Patriot Act.

“This agreement undermines basic constitutional rights of Freedom of Speech and Freedom of Assembly by making it illegal to carry an unauthorized sign at the Democrat or Republican Convention or at an event where the President of Vice President is speaking. What does carrying a political sign have to do with preventing terrorism?” asked Kevin Zeese. “There is no question that if I were in the Senate I would be participating in a filibuster to protect the U.S. Constitution.”

In the letter Zeese writes: “The Constitution says: “Congress shall make no law” abridging freedom of speech, and assembly. Where is the exception for demonstrations at political conventions and in front of the president and vice president in the Constitution. It seems to me those should be areas especially protected for political speech. These provisions seemed designed to prevent political speech and allow the two parties and the President to ensure that they can manipulate public opinion by not allowing people to criticize them at high profile events.”

Zeese is also critical of the law giving authority to police officers — the Secret Service — to further limit speech by defining an event as a “national security event.” The letter says this “a legislative function and should require elected officials to vote on the record . . . not something that can be decided by a police officer who does not have to answer to the voters.”

Zeese is also critical of provisions that allow the un-American practice of secret searches of private residences, snooping into financial records and retrieving information about what books people read. Zeese concludes “This law is misnamed the Patriot Act it should be called the un-American Traitor Act as it undermines the freedoms that make the United States great.”

Senator Sarbanes has announced his retirement is in his final term as a U.S. Senator. Kevin Zeese is running independent of the two old parties and seeking the nomination of the Populist, Green and Libertarian Parties. His campaign committee includes Democrats, Republican, Independents and new party voters. He is running on a platform of Peace, Justice, Democracy and Prosperity. One of his campaign planks is the protection of the Constitution and repeal of the Patriot Act.

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December 13, 2005

Senator Paul Sarbanes
309 Hart Building
United States Senate
Washington, DC 20510
Via fax: (202) 224-1651

Dear Senator Sarbanes:

On November 18, 2005 I wrote to you requesting that you filibuster the Patriot Act. That letter is enclosed with this fax.

I am writing to renew my request. The Patriot Act II contains new provisions that should make it unacceptable to anyone who supports Freedom of Speech and Freedom of Association. The right to free speech is shrinking in the United States. Under Section 602 of the Patriot Act II dissent at political events is under serious attack. Section 602 of the Conference Committee’s version of Patriot Act makes holding an un-authorized sign at a Democratic or Republican National Convention, a Presidential or Vice Presidential appearance, and any other event designated by the Secret Service as a “national special security event” a felony punishable by a year imprisonment.

What does holding a sign have to do with national security? The Constitution says: “Congress shall make no law” abridging freedom of speech, and assembly. Where is the exception for demonstrations at political conventions and in front of the president and vice president in the Constitution. It seems to me those should be areas especially protected for political speech. These provisions seemed designed to prevent political speech and allow the two parties and the President to ensure that they can manipulate public opinion by not allowing people to criticize them at high profile events.

Further, why is the Congress giving the authority to unelected officers of the Secret Service the power to limit political speech? Certainly this is a legislative function and should require elected officials to vote on the record. Limitations on free speech should not be something that can be decided by a police officer who does not have to answer to the voters.

Finally, the conference committee version continues to allow the un-American practice of secret searches of private residences, snooping into financial records and retrieving information about what books people read. This law is misnamed the Patriot Act it should be called the un-American Traitor Act as it undermines the freedoms that make the United States great.

I am writing to once again request that you filibuster the conference committee version of the Patriot Act. It is an unacceptable affront to the U.S. Constitution and values Americans hold dear.

Sincerely,

Kevin Zeese
U.S. Senate Candidate
301-257-3847

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November 18, 2005

Senator Paul Sarbanes
309 Hart Building
United States Senate
Washington, DC 20510
via fax: 202-224-1651

Dear Senator Sarbanes:

I am writing to urge you to join Sen. Russell Feingold (D-WI) in threatening to filibuster the tentative agreement on the renewal of the Patriot Act. Please stand up for the U.S. Constitution to this serious erosion of the Constitution. Do not leave the Constitution crippled on your watch.

The agreement does not go far enough in protecting basic American rights. It continues to allow secret searches of private homes. Indeed, it eliminated the very modest provisions of the Senate version that required ‘sneak and peek’ searches to reported to the target within 7 to 30 days. Further, the agreement does not require judicial review of searches of financial, medical, library, school and other records. The current version of the Patriot Act should be unacceptable to anyone who believes in the U.S. Constitution.

In addition, making permanent 14 of the 16 provisions of the law that are set to expire at the end of the year removes Congressional oversight. The remaining two provisions — related to government demands for records from businesses and libraries and its use of roving wiretaps — would only be reconsidered in seven years, as would a separate provision directed against people suspected of being “lone wolf” terrorists. Making provisions permanent and not allowing reconsideration of others for seven years gives too much power to the Department of Justice. Legislative oversight of these radical changes in law needs to be constant.

Too often in our history we have reacted to exaggerated fears by undermining what makes the United States special in the world. Individual rights protected by the Constitution are basic to our system of government. Expanding the powers of government in times of fear diminishes the balance between individual rights and limited government. Correcting these mistakes is often a long, painstaking process. The time to prevent erosion of rights is before the erode.

Sincerely,

Kevin Zeese
Independent Candidate for U.S. Senate
301-257-3847

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4 Comments
  1. “making it illegal to carry an unauthorized sign at the Democrat or Republican Convention or at an event where the President of Vice President is speaking.”

    That is pretty outrageous. I hope this POS act doesn’t pass.

  2. To call the Patriot Act a “piece of shit” would be insulting to any self-respecting turd I’ve ever seen.

  3. Whats next… outlawing lemonaid stands? Welcome to the New World Order’s police state. The Illuminati is out in full force and we are in the midst of Marital Law. What’s the world going to be like for our children? This dumbing down of our society allows the govenerment to shove the UNpatriot Act down our throats. Our children are in danger of living without any freedoms aside from the ones issues by the government.

  4. oops! sorry about the type-o…should read “issued by the government” not “issues by the government”.