19 July 2007

Taking Sides

It's hard to type out something you hear delivered with a unique accent. Here's my try: As Alvin York (portrayed by Gary Cooper) would say - "Yer eethir FER us, or ahGIN us."
Congressional Democrats today failed to include a provision in homeland security legislation that would protect the public from being sued for reporting suspicious behavior that may lead to a terrorist attack, according to House Republican leaders.

"This is a slap in the face of good citizens who do their patriotic duty and come forward, and it caves in to radical Islamists," said Rep. Peter T. King, New York Republican and ranking member of the House Homeland Security Committee.

"Democrats are trying to find any technical excuse to keep immunity out of the language of the bill to protect citizens, who in good faith, report suspicious activity
to police or law enforcement," Mr. King said. "I don't see how you can have a homeland security bill without protecting people who come forward to report suspicious activity."

Florida Rep. Adam Putnam, chairman of the House Republican Conference, said failure to enact the provision will hold "the threat of endless litigation over the heads of the American people. Democrats are discouraging citizens from reporting suspicious behavior.
It doesn't take much wondering where my, uh, represetative stands on this one. She thinks homeland security means giant earmarks for labor and human serivces. I'll be gleefully working for her opponent next time 'round.

UPDATE - Amy saw a last-minute opportunity to get right on this one and she took it, happily.
Klobuchar's vote was one of the three that seemed to sink John Doe. But on Monday, she told me that she had decided to support the measure. "It came up in the middle of the night, attached to an unrelated bill," she said. "I was thinking about a case I had in Bloomington as [Hennepin] county attorney. A security guard reported a series of fires set by a 'Middle Eastern man,' but police discovered he had set the fires himself. I wanted to make sure that the [immunity provision] had exceptions that would preserve the right to sue under such circumstances." After the late-night vote, Klobuchar talked to Sen. Joe Lieberman, I-Conn., a cochairman of the committee and a supporter of the John Doe provision. He alleviated her concerns, she said.

Pretty weak foundation for opposition in the first place, but I'm glad she came around.

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