IL-06: Voting for the Patriot Act Compromise Bill
by michael in chicago, Fri Feb 24, 2006 at 12:02:40 PM EST
This just came through one of the groups I'm on. I think it's safe to say that most of us reading this oppose the renewal of the Patriot Act. So where do the candidates in IL-06 stand:
The three candidates in the Democratic Party primary election for the 6th Congressional District were recently interview by the *DailyHerald in an endorsement session. All three were asked if they would have voted in favor of the compromise bill reauthorizing the Patriot Act.
Lindy Scott answered first: Because Democrats are in the minority, from a practical perspective, the compromise bill was probably the best deal that the Democrats could get, he said. He said he was still concerned about privacy issues and would push to ensure greater protections in the future, but he would have voted for the compromise bill.
Christine Cegelis said she agreed with Sen. Russ Feingold, the American Civil Liberties Union, the American Library Association, and others who opposed the reauthorization as embodied in the compromise bill. "I would have voted no. Period," she said. She also said that one of the problems with U.S. intelligence gathering is that agencies "have too much information -- they're overloaded with information" and their computer systems can't effectively process it all or coordinate it between agencies.
Tammy Duckworth said she, too, had reservations about privacy issues, but she would have voted for the bill and then would push for additional changes in the future. She also noted, however, that if information derived from electronic eavesdropping or other forms of intelligence gathering would have prevented 9/11 or "saved the life of a single soldier," that benefit would outweigh privacy concerns.
Cegelis agrees with Feingold, the ACLU and the ALA, and would have "voted no. Period." Duckworth said she would have voted for it, and sees value in trading privacy rights off for government eavesdropping's benefits. Scott thought the bill was the best we could do and would have voted for it.
Is there any question which candidate is the true progressive, the one that would fight for Democratic principles, stand up for us, and that we should support in this race?