I recently paid a visit to Sen. Bill Frist’s VOLPAC blog because he announced the ill-advised re-authorization of the PATRIOT Act in the Senate. You can certainly make up your own minds as to whether the permanent re-authorization of PATRIOT was a good idea (I happen to strongly disfavor re-authorization of any provision of that act that does not sunset), but I have to wonder how the CD 8 candidates would vote for the bill in its present form as it heads to the House, if they could vote on it?
We don’t have to wonder much about how one candidate, Dwight Leister, would vote. It seems pretty clear from his comment on Frist’s blog that he supports the re-authorization:
"As a Democratic Candidate for Congress in Arizona’s 8th District I
support the "Features" that the Patriot Act gives to Law Enforcement
agencies in Southeastern Arizona as we fight the War on terror by
Securing our Borders and enabling our Border Sheriffs to have access to
Dwight D. Leister:Chair
T.Mae Leister: First Vice Treasurer
I am somewhat familiar with the PATRIOT Act, and I am not aware of any portions that are of use in enforcing our immigration laws, nor am I aware of any funding coming our way from passage of the PATRIOT Act. Perhaps Mr. Leister could enlighten us as to what those "features" are? I am also curious as to whether there are any "features" of this bill that Mr. Leister does not support?
As he apparently reads this blog at times, I would invite him to clarify his position in a comment, or by contacting me directly, if he prefers. I can’t imagine that the unqualified sobriquet "Supporter of the USA PATRIOT Act" is the best foot to put forward with CD 8’s Democratic primary voters. But what do I know? He’s the candidate for Congress.
Mr. Leister responds on the flip…
On my desk next to my computer is a copy of "THE PHOENIX ELECTRONIC
COMMUNICATION,"marked "SECRET," FEDERAL BUREAU OF INVESTIGATION, dated
07/10/2001 to Counterterrorism in The New York Office.
This transmission outlines the 911 hijackers and their efforts while
training at a facility less than five miles from my home in Oro Valley
, Arizona. I never want to see Law Enforcement unable to communicate
anything with one another as was outlined in the 911 Commission Report.
The Patriot Act took away the walls , but nothing has changed in the
very F.B.I. District where it all began! Therefore local Law
Enforcement is on its own to get it right the next time we are taken by
surprize, as I can honestly say no F.B.I. Office will communicate with
any Border Patrol Office, Sheriff,Police, or any first responder
anything it is investigating. Numerous calls of sighted terrorists have
gone uninvestigated because it does not meet the threashold of the
F.B.I, or The Justice Department because it is understaffed.
I would never forgive myself if elected to Congress that on a Monday
morning as I flew back to Washington D.C. to represent my Congressional
District 8; enroute the Pilot would exit from the cockpit and walk to
my seat to inform me that a "Dirty Bomb," just exploded somewhere in my
District, later to find that removal of a warrant due to Civil
Liberties of a terrorist trumphed National Security.
I do not like whom Iam seeing coming into Arizona at this time that
are not looking for jobs; anyone who plays politics, as a good cop bad
cop in the eyes of the voters on this issue is just as guilty as any
terrorist. Elected or not I will hold the next attacker and the lack of
enforcing of the laws already on the books on the same level of