Archive for the ‘Maine’ Category

BTC — Maine has tread a rocky road to success and compromise towards resolving Real ID compliance and State boundaries. Rep. Ben Chipman, a freshman elected on an Independent ticket, used Maine’s legislative history and his experience on a local People’s Veto initiative to gain support and sponsorship for An Act To Protect the Privacy of Maine Residents under the Driver’s license Laws [LD-1068]. The bill has been recently re-worked to include an Amendment; which united partisan interests and gained a nod from the Governor.

Rep. Chipman discusses the bill, the Amendment, the legislative priorities for LD-1068 and Maine’s conflicted history with Real ID.

SEE ALSO: MCLU, “Real ID repeal.. For real this time, No..Really.”

c/o Maine News Updates

AUGUSTA — Privacy versus law enforcement concerns will be weighed when a bill comes up restricting uses of traffic surveillance cameras in Maine.

Sen. Dennis Damon’s proposal would prohibit the use of such cameras to collect data that could be used to identify a vehicle or individual. The proposal adds automated license plate recognition systems to the list of regulated surveillance.

The South Portland Police Department last month became the first in the state to launch a license plate surveillance system, which uses cameras mounted on top of a cruiser to search for stolen vehicles and traffic violators.

The bill goes today before the Transportation Committee, which Damon co-chairs. The Trenton Democrat says its aim is to protect individuals’ privacy.

BTC- Anyone up for a game of KICK THE CAN?

FLORIDA: Part time residents must assume the chipped position

New part-time residents must release their out-of-state driver licenses if they want to get a Florida license.

Most states insist new residents turn in their out-of-state license and get a new license.

However, part-time residents in Florida aren’t required to get a Florida driver license unless they want a job within the state or they want to put their children in the public school system. Those who fall into that category need to get a Florida driver license within 30 days.

Many residents hadn’t heard of the legislative changes but upon learning about it, North Naples resident Anita Panaccion, 59, said it’s a good idea.

The legislative change may reduce the chance of someone using his or her dual license as a form of fraud.

The Real ID Act imposes certain security, authentication and issuance procedures and standards for state driver licenses and ID cards. The requirement established new national standards for state-issued driver licenses and ID cards.

So far, 30 states, including Florida, have met or are in the process of meeting minimum security requirements for issuing state driver licenses. It used to be that a part-time Florida resident could come here, apply for a driver license and receive one that is valid in Florida only. That meant they could keep the license of their home state and use their Florida license while in this state.

The Real ID Act was put in place to increase security and reduce fraud. Initially approved in 2005, the government delayed its implementation until this year.

In Collier County, there are 9,696 licenses categorized as “Valid in Florida Only.” Of those license holders in Collier County, 8,318 have addresses in Naples.

Those who previously were issued licenses that still are valid in Florida can continue to use them until they expire.


“In all of my time in the Senate, I have never seen so much on our plate for a December session. It is very frustrating that the Senate has not yet taken up the Pass ID legislation that we reported out of committee last summer.” – Maine Senator, Susan Collins. “There is no doubt this is controversial,” she said. “There are members who favor the original Real ID Act and members that want to repeal the Real ID act outright.”

Rep. Chellie Pingree, D-Maine, said she has not decided whether to endorse the Pass ID proposal. She said while it is an improvement over the existing law, it has a lot of critics and she is unsure whether the House would deal with the bill even if the Senate passed the measure.

“This has been very controversial, and it certainly is in Maine,” she said. “But we don’t want to see the consequences of the Real ID law taking effect and seeing long lines at the Jetport.”

Under existing law, a Maine driver’s license will not be sufficient to prove a person’s identity to board an airplane after the first of the year. Pingree said some in Congress may push for a delay in the existing law to provide the time to work out legislation that is acceptable.

Maine is one of 14 states that have a law saying the state will not comply with the Real ID law. Secretary of State Matt Dunlap is among those in the state who oppose the existing law and the Pass ID alternative. He said the existing law and the proposed measure have serious flaws.

CHARLESTON, W.Va.–Time is running out for states across the nation to comply with federal legislation passed in 2005 known as the REAL ID Act, which requires all states to start issuing more secure driver’s licenses by the end of this year.
Residents living in states that don’t meet the mandate could be prohibited from boarding commercial aircraft or entering federal facilities and nuclear power plants starting in January.

Officials with the state Department of Transportation say West Virginia will not be in full compliance with REAL ID by the end of the year but expect to be eligible for an extension that will push their deadline until May 2011.

“We’re really ahead of the game as far as meeting some of the requirements and we continue to be proactive to stay abreast,” said Steven Dale, assistant to the state commissioner of motor vehicles.

West Virginia is far from the only state struggling with the deadline imposed by REAL ID. The National Governor’s Association estimates that as many as 36 states will not be able to meet the federal requirements by the end of this year

BTC – Those watching for Real ID news are going to see an uptick in the amount of State and national coverage of the PASS ID Act, immigration and Real ID.

Hang on to your hats – this is going to get very political.

Has Government Gone Too Far? A Closer Look at Real ID

c/oWBAI [Maine]

In 2007, Maine was the first state in the nation to reject the federal real id act. The legislature voted in favor of a resolution to refuse the law, which was passed in 2005 by congress. Today, Maine is complying with the federal law, but at what expense to mainers?

Tonight, we continue our report on: Maine, the way life should be – but has government gone too far?

TV5’s Central Maine bureau chief Adrienne Bennett joins us now with more on that.

Real i-d is a matter of national security – that’s the federal government’s view.

But, can government successfully protect everyone?

“It is impossible for the government to ensure that everyone is who they say they are.”

As executive director of the Maine Civil Liberties Union, Shenna Bellows believes equal protection and privacy, are fundamentals which ensure freedom for everyone.

Bellows says the feds stepped over a line to set an example, unfairly targeting Mainers when state officials said they would not comply with real id.

Shenna Bellows: “Unfortunately, I think that the real id debate has been characterized by a lot of politics. Maine was the first state to opt out because of the privacy and cost concerns and then the federal government under the Bush administration punished Maine by saying if you don’t implement these real id requirements, you won’t be able to get on planes. Why Hawaii wasn’t subject to the same requirements than the state of Maine is really beyond me. It’s something that I don’t understand.”

Responding to the single most devastating act of terrorism on U.S. soil, the September 11 attacks prompted Congress to pass measures that many argue aren’t working.

Real id was created with the intention to protect Americans.

However, Maine Secretary of State Matthew Dunlap encouraged state legislators to pass the law which allowed Maine to refuse to take part.

Adrienne Bennett: “Can government, in your opinion successfully protect everyone?

Matt Dunlap: “No, absolutely not. I think we’re fools to say that we can.”

Matt Dunlap: “You can’t take non-secure documents like birth certificates, which are public record. If you know the person’s name, you can go down to vital records and get a certified copy of their birth certificates. Social security numbers aren’t terribly secure. When you take all these non-secure elements and you put them together, you’re not necessarily building a secure document. “

Adrienne Bennett: “So identity doesn’t equal security?”

Matt Dunlap: “No, not at all. In fact, one of the arguments has been to the contrary. When you put all this information in one place, you make it easier for identity thieves and terrorists.”

Today, Maine along with every other state, is dealing with shifting deadlines and undefined requirements to be in full compliance with real id, a law that’s been in play for four years. There’s new legislation on the table in Washington to convert real id to pass id before the years end.

Matt Dunlap: “It’s not real clear how much different this is going to be from real id. With all these changes swirling around, it’s very difficult for anybody to keep on top of what the latest developments are.”

Pass id is short for – providing for additional security in states’ identification”.

Over the summer department of homeland security secretary janet Napolitano met with U.S. governors calling on congress to act quickly to pass the legislation, citing the bill’s privacy protection provisions, reduced costs and greater flexibility for states, all of which they say would enable standards to be implemented a year ahead of current real id deadline of 2017.

BTC – Today, Maine’s Governor Baldacci caved on compromise to endorse the PASS Act. I can reasonably see DHS Senate Committee Member and PASS Act author, Susan Collins, a Maine Senator, breathing down Baldacci’s neck with this message:

“…today, we mark the fifth anniversary of the release of the 9-11 Commission Report. In examining how terrorists were able to attack America, the Commission found that all but one of the 19 terrorists used drivers licenses to board the planes that were used as weapons in the attacks that killed 3,600 people.
The commissioners recognized that easily obtained drivers licenses, were a security vulnerability, stating, for terrorists, travel documents are as important as weapons.”
You see, Sue Collins, follows the DHS bible of the 9-11 Commissions Report.
She eagerly pointed out in the reevaluation hearing for Real ID one week ago that the 9-11 Commission Report makes drivers licenses weapons because the report sayeth so. Not because there was any law in 2001 to provide identity to fly in the U.S. or identity screening at airports. Not because the hijackers were all here on temporary Visas. Not because there is massive internal fraud in the federal immigration system. Not because the government was warned about these hijackers and their plans before the September 11th attacks. It was because the report said licenses are dangerous weapons if they belonged to the wrong person.
The absurdity here is that YOU must constantly bear the burden of proof for authorities, based on what’s convenient for them. Not because you are a terrorist. It’s because you MIGHT be. So we now slip into the psychological realm of pre-emptive chaos where no one is who they are, unless the U.S. government can decide who you are. I have had enough.
I should stop now. I could write a book. In fact many people have. In fact, David Ray Griffin did write an entire book, 9-11 Comissions Report: Omissions & Distortions. His book is about the lies and inconsistencies present in the darkened excuse to scrape away our personal freedoms, known as the 9-11 Commisssion Report.

So, here’s to 5 years of mass murder, over 5,000 soldiers dead, thousands more casulaties, corporate collusion, torture, lies, The Patriot Act, Guantanamo Bay, warrantless domestic surveillance, World Trade Center 7, TSA bullying and big fat paychecks for today’s oil barons. The documentaries and books are still being written.
The U.S. surveillance industrial complex wants more mileage out of their 9-11 Carte Blanche card. They haven’t squeezed us for all they can get. Even though this Real ID business was on the bottom of the stack, a can kicked down the road; it is now cutting in line ahead of disaster relief for what could be the next Katrina. States must still pay in the PASS Act.
Unacceptable, Maine. Raise your standards. When you cave to bullying and lies, it becomes a way of life.

Some in Legislature say they will attempt to repeal Real ID requirements

Now opponents are hoping to repeal parts of the law. And they’re hoping the change to a Democratic presidential administration will result in changes to the national law, known as Real ID.

“It really centers around what I see as an erosion of our freedom, our liberties,” said state Sen. Dennis Damon, D-Trenton, who is submitting legislation to change the state law. “The supposed safety benefit coming out of this does not balance out with the loss of who we are, and our freedoms.”

Under the Maine law, applicants for driver’s licenses must prove they are they are state residents and that they are in the country legally. [MORE]