DownsizeDC.org
August 5, 2008
Chertoff threatens governor, governor threatens Chertoff
By Jim Babka
Quote of the Day:

“Do you want our government to have the ability to track where you went, how you went, how you got there and when you got home? It would be naïve for someone to think this information will not be abused in the future. Virtually every decade these kinds of files have been used to violate people’s privacy.”
-- Brian Schweitzer, Governor of Montana

Subject: Chertoff threatens governor, governor threatens Chertoff

We knew that the state of Montana was resisting the REAL ID Act, but we just learned some of the details of that resistance. The story is so good we had to share it, in case you hadn't heard . . .

Brian Schweitzer, the governor of Montana, wrote a letter to Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff. The letter informed Chertoff that Montana would not be complying with the REAL ID Act. Our quote of the day supplies one of the reasons for Governor Schweitzer's rebellion. In response to the letter . . .

Secretary Chertoff called Governor Schweitzer and threatened him. Chertoff told Schweitzer that Montana residents would be banned from airplanes, or subjected to severe, time-consuming inspections at airports.

The Governor countered with his own threat, “How about we both go on 60 Minutes a few days after the DHS starts patting down Montana driver’s license-holders who are trying to get on the planes and both of us can tell our side of the story.”

Chertoff didn't like that suggestion. He said, “I see the problem. We need to get this fixed.”

So far, the "fix" involves granting Montana and all other rebellious states an extension of the deadline for complying with the REAL ID Act. But the real fix is to repeal REAL ID.

Have you protested to your elected representatives that the Secretary of Homeland Security has been threatening the citizens of states that don't comply with REAL ID? If not, please do so. You can mention the Chertoff-Schweitzer exchange in your personal comments. Ask Congress to repeal the REAL ID Act. You can send your message here.

If you've sent a REAL ID Act message recently, consider sending another "I am not afraid" message. We have a lot of new people who probably aren't familiar with our "I am not afraid" campaign. You can check it out here.

Please also consider making a donation to further our work. You can do so here.

Thank you for being a part of the growing Downsize DC army.

Jim Babka
President
DownsizeDC.org, Inc.
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