Archive for the ‘South Carolina’ Category

COLUMBIA, S.C. — With tax collections tanking and jobless rates at record highs, state legislators hundreds of miles from Washington have found an easy way to appeal to conservative voters: Bash the federal government.

Lawmakers in 44 states have introduced measures warning Congress not to trample states’ rights and dozens of other resolutions opposing the government on issues including gun control and health care.
Their efforts play to people angry with the status quo. A recent Pew Research Center poll found high anti-incumbent sentiment among voters ahead of the November congressional elections.

“The closer you are to elections, you see legislators with more backbone,” said Michael Boldin of the California-based Tenth Amendment Center, a nonpartisan think tank named for the constitutional amendment that specifies any power not granted to the federal government is reserved for the states. “I’m sure there’s a lot of grandstanding.”

No states are likely to secede from the union, but they could derail or delay federal legislation the way they have by balking at a national identification program billed as a way to fight terrorism and identity theft. Most states still aren’t complying with the Real ID law passed in 2005.

In conservative South Carolina, Republican House Majority Leader Kenny Bingham said his caucus made standing up to the federal government a top priority this year.

“I hear it at church, at the barber shop: ‘You guys need to stand up.’ The issue of federal intrusion is a John Doe issue,” he said. “This is a yes-point for us. They’re mad. They’re upset. They expect us to respond.”

That response included passing a resolution to assert the state’s rights under several constitutional amendments. It says South Carolina’s attorney general will sue if Congress passes mandates the state deems unconstitutional, and that no state agency will follow them while a decision is pending.

“To say public reaction and being vocal doesn’t have any influence is ludicrous,” Bingham said. “That’s how you enact change in a civilized society.” :::MORE HERE:::

Read more at the Washington Examiner: http://www.washingtonexaminer.com/nation/dont-tread-on-me-state-lawmakers-curry-conservative-favor-with-anti-washington-measures-84717827.html#ixzz0fxwGwaqY

South Carolina is wading into a couple of divisive liberty vs. safety debates.

One is the issue of whether motorists should be allowed to send texts while driving; the other is whether the state should adopt federal REAL ID standards for driver’s licenses.

Will the state’s traditional hostility to infringement on personal liberties — think of how long it’s taken for smoking bans to take hold, or about how there is no helmet law for adult motorcyclists — carry the day?

Or will the state’s moralistic streak — the one that condones infringements on liberty in terms of gay marriage, blue laws and abortion — win out?

The texting issue has come up because several bills introduced in the State House would ban drivers from the practice, which has been shown in studies to cause distraction.

The REAL ID issue is one that has been around for awhile but has come up again because Gov. Sanford is asking the federal Department of Homeland Security to give South Carolina a pass on the adoption of REAL ID, which passed Congress in 2005 but has lagged in implementation. The adoption of REAL ID involves new security requirements for state driver’s licenses.

REAL ID is seen by the feds as a necessary tool for law enforcement and, more specifically, combatting terrorist plots. Some states, South Carolina among them, have criticized the law as an infringement on personal privacy, not to mention an expensive unfunded mandate.

WHAT DO YOU THINK?


South Carolina’s political culture is one of hostility to many federal initiatives. Is the governor right to take a stand on this, or is he grandstanding?

And what about texting while driving? It’s been proven to cause distraction, but is it worse than other driver habits? And if a law passed, would Sanford veto it like he vetoed an ATV safety bill?

What’s your take? What do you think our state WILL do, and what do you think we SHOULD do on these issues?

A trend to push conservative civil libertarians towards Democratic representation is evolving for challengers of the national identity agenda. The trend affects states who endorse the surveillance industrial complex and whose interests create competition among Republicans maintaining career partisan allegiances. Opposing the Real ID card program has an ability to create division amongst Republicans, the weaker party among Legislative, Judicial and Executive branches.

North Carolina identity activist Jim Palmer of NCard.info was asked by Rep. Mitch Gillespie (R) to seek support on the anti-Real ID effort from state level Democrats.

“Mitch Gillespie is so unconcerned, he is willing let all of our personal and private data be put into a centralized database including our biometric facial features that can and will be hacked. Since 2005, over 263 million personal records have been breached,” said Palmer whose back and forth with Rep. Gillespie resulted in his dropping the issue via e-mail.

Gillespie’s retort was telling about the balances of power currently dominated by Democrats.

“This thinking shows you don’t understand anything about the political process. I will remove you from my contacts. You need to contact Sen. Queen in the future, ” said Gillespie, who later quailed ” ..maybe a democrat will get elected.”

The fight to secure drivers licenses in North Carolina has been visceral. There are at least 2 North Carolina grassroots organizations that are single issue focused on Real ID and identity surveillance. It does seem like the North Carolina Democrats took up opposition to the national ID issue so that any worthwhile legislative effort would be sure to drop dead. Earlier this year, Rep. Cole adopted NCard’s trusts, stringing them along. In the end Cole was found stalling, using his “support” as a placeholder for representation during the legislative session.
Economic development dominates legislative concerns in a state with one of the highest unemployment rates of the nation. An immigration reform carrot holds less sway with North Carolina’s citizens than it would in a border state like Texas, where an Enhanced Drivers License seems more pragmatic. Economic leverage from banking interests and local unemployment rates propel the difference.


BIOMETRICS, IDENTITY FRAUD & LOCAL MOTOR VEHICLE DIVISIONS

Palmer claims national financial pressures have created a spike of internal DMV fraud. Fraudulent activity may seem like a way to pay down debts and stay afloat in a time of high unemployment for some.

As the economy worsens, DMV employees around the country are getting tempted from offers of $250 – $1500 for a fake id. Some have gone as far as changing the information on an existing license such as image, height and weight. So much for biometrics helping in cases like that and it opens the door for those named on the license for id theft,”says Palmer.

Biometrics and drivers license divisions seem to have a simpatico relationship. Some claim biometrics actually help stop immigrant identity fraud. However, those opposed to the current Real ID program believe border fence and corrupt anti-immigration advocates are creating false solutions to real problems in order to keep the broken system in place. The benefits of dirt-cheap wage labor, without the fuss of human rights or health insurance benefits, maintains local profitability for businesses. The same businesses who rely on current immigration trends to just stay afloat. If that makes the Western Hemisphere Travel Initiative’s demand for pro-biometrics propaganda look good, that’s what gets in the mainstream news.

With so much to lose, key political challengers become targets for media hit pieces.

TROUBLED CHAMPIONS IN THE CAROLINAS

While Anti-Real ID representation is getting the cold shoulder from some state level Republicans, transpartisan national champions of the anti-Real ID effort appear to have been targeted for smears in the Carolinas.

North Carolina Senator John Edwards (D) opposed the national ID card program. After a presidential bid in 2008, it became apparent he had more power in Washington and nationally than the local bankster cronies running North Carolina. It is no accident that he has been weakened politically by media sharks who continue to call up an outed affair.

For those with open eyes – politicians are known to have numerous dalliances, sometimes deviant sex, with anyone from prostitutes to government aides if they allow self delusion to set in. Sexual indiscretion and power are potent cocktails for anyone who assumes a lot of responsibility. The stage is perpetually set for political entrapment. When it’s no longer expedient to keep each other’s secrets, indiscretion is political capital. Threat of ruin is a threat of force.

As part of the 2008 post-election coverage, the press refreshed Edwards’ outed affair as news. Edwards became the target for a media campaign feeding frenzy. It is our assessment that the North Carolina Senator provoked a political enemy enough to convene with a smear campaign. If the only obstacle to material compliance in North Carolina on a federal ID card program was Senator John Edwards, opponents might have found a way to ground him.

The problem with politicians today is they have no moral high ground left. They do what they want, have political opponents assassinated, employ lawyers to uphold thinly veiled double standards between themselves and the public and allow the corporations to shot call in their offices. Even the idealists believe U.S. politicians are little more than mobsters with a good haircut. It’s low living at the highest levels of power. This is why every 2-4 years you have a chance to elect someone different.

Case in point, Jim Palmer asserted that North Carolinians who care about their identity have an opportunity to elect someone who stands strong on the issues other than Mitch Gillespie regardless of party.

In 2009, extramarital affairs do not oust people from elected positions. What does oust the “monogamy-challenged” is public funding of private indiscretion and further entrapment by the press. This is currently consistent with the media beating conservative Governor Mark Sanford is sustaining after the outing of his affair. At last report, Sanford had returned the money.
Smear campaigns are the last line of fire before all out floor skirmishes take place over controversial issues, such as national identity. We, the people, have representation from elected officials who are corruptable, human and sometimes too politically weak to take up the charge. If there is no one left qualified to represent us, the dedicated must persist in finding someone who will represent them.

North Carolina private identity advocate Jim Palmer is doing just that.

“[It’s been] another Session with Mitch [Gillespie] ignoring the voice of We the People. Perhaps he won’t be reelected. My fingers are crossed. My emails are being sent out across the district.”

Gov. Mark Sanford has done so much for South Carolina. He managed to block the police-state Real ID program that the feds tried to force upon us. He has saved the taxpayers millions and millions of dollars. He has fought the jaded, vampiric, destructive, irresponsible majority in the Legislature. For these reasons and others, Gov. Sanford should remain in office to serve out the term that the people of South Carolina elected him to serve.

Also, whoever stole Mark Sanford’s personal emails and whoever publishes those emails are scum. I am assuming that there will be investigations into possible criminality in regard to the theft and publishing of these emails, as well as investigations into the political motivations behind these offensive actions. I would also encourage Gov. Sanford to take whatever legal action he so desires regarding these vile and reckless invasions of his privacy.

Mark Syverson
Columbia

This proposal is one more step away from the Founding Fathers’ vision of a limited federal government. Our greatest homeland security is liberty, and the Founding Fathers believed our greatest threat to liberty was a central government grown too powerful. Accordingly, they set up checks on federal power by vesting authority at the individual and state levels.

REAL ID disrupts this delicate balance of power in two ways. First, it turns the Founders’ logic on its head by forcing states to act as agents for the federal government in creating a national ID card for federal purposes. Needing a REAL ID to board a plane or enter a federal building would also change the balance of power in something as seemingly insignificant as a visit to a member of Congress.

             — Gov. Mark Sanford, “Real ID Side Effects,” Washington Times, April 14, 2008.  

BTC Opinion
The picture that sits atop every current headline that posts on this blog is one of Governor Mark Sanford surrounded by those opposed to Real ID legislation. It is representational of his committment to State boundaries over federal ID policy, using the 10th Amendment.
Lately, South Carolina has not been doing the best it can.  The State’s point of compromise is cooperation on the incorporation and use of biometric software and identifiers in their license programs.
Mark Sanford has done good work for the people of South Carolina and for the Anti-Real ID movement, who still need him.  Truth and humanity are often more interesting than the worst pulp fiction.  His contribution to the Anti-Real ID effort is still needed.  He is one of the few Governor’s with any backbone where Real ID has been concerned.  As he hurts, we hurt; because we need him to represent us and to help us go against the run on privacy, identity security and the Bill of Rights compromised in both the Real ID Act and the PASS Act.  He has the power to do it.  The only real question is: after stepping up to have his heart and guts ripped out by the media, when can he come back to work?
Don’t quit on us, Mark.  Come back to work and help us.  We need you.  You’re what we’ve got.

HEAD TO HEAD: South Carolina Braces Against Real ID 3-31-08
BeatTheChip.org w/ special thanks to Eric Ward of Columbia’s Free Times

COLUMBIA, SC – The South Carolina governor’s office released a five page letter with rationale for not filing a Real ID extension to the Department of Homeland Securities by today’s deadline.

“At the end of the day, I’m duty-bound to uphold the laws of our state, which right now say we can’t comply with Real ID,” Gov. Sanford said.

“That being said, I do fall into the camp that believes Real ID is poor public policy for any number of reasons, and we have some real questions as to whether the benefits in terms of security outweigh the costs in terms of time and money. We think the state legislature did the right thing last year when it said no to Real ID, and I’m going to keep working with Homeland Security and with other governors to keep this law from negatively impacting our state.”

Those following Real ID have eagerly awaited a response from the South Carolina governor’s office, as one of the last states holding out to file an extension deadline to implement Real ID. In a statement released this morning, the South Carolina governor asked that their state’s constituents not be treated any differently from states who have laws that prevent Real ID from being implemented, like Alaska and New Hampshire.

HOLDING THEIR BREATH:
Maine and South Carolina

RADIO NEWSCAST on Spychips with Katherine Albrecht 3-29-08

DHS determined non-compliant states will be inconvenienced after May 11th, 2008 boarding airlines and entering federal buildings with their current state ID’s. To date, not a single state is able comply with Real ID standards issued by the Department of Homeland Security or are logistically prepared to meet the requirements by the May 11th deadline this year. This substantiated the need to issue a state extension plan with a deadline of MONDAY, March 31, 2008.

Montana is now considered “compliant” by the DHS, based on a statement from the Montana governor’s office after a face-off earlier this week. The Montana Governor stood up for citizens to be exempted from hassles at federal buildings and airports saying of his contest letter to DHS,

“I sent them a horse and if they want to call it a zebra, that’s up to them,” Schweitzer said. “They can call it whatever they want, and it wasn’t a love letter.”

New Hampshire Reaches DHS Compromise 3-27-08
some update c/o AP

New Hampshire (NH) hoped to be exempted based on the first issue of their letter which the DHS rejected, finding the letter not to be “legally acceptable”. The second letter yielded way to for its citizens passage into federal Bbuildings and airlines without discrimination.

“I am pleased that the federal government has recognized that the citizens of New Hampshire should not be singled out, and that it will not impose Real ID requirements here beginning in May,” Gov. Lynch said.

“We have a law that prohibits New Hampshire from taking part in this burdensome system. New Hampshire, along with many other states has raised legitimate questions about the costs and privacy issues associated with Real ID. Congress must listen to the very real concerns of states and citizens, and re-think the entire Real ID program, ” said Lynch is a press statement yesterday.

SOUTH CAROLINA UPDATE 3-28-08
c/o cooperation from TheState, BeatTheChip.org

Columbia, SC- According to the South Carolina’s (SC) Governor’s office, meetings to decide on the extension status of Real ID been ongoing. The decision on the direction for South Carolina will more than likely be released on Monday. Unlike Montana, Maine and New Hampshire, no letter was issued from their offices with requests to spare constituents hassles at both federal buildings and airlines. The governor’s office said their priorities addressing Real ID for locals are: funding, convenience, and privacy. Priviously this week the SC attorney’s general’s office held off on a potential lawsuit to sue feds over the act, saying it was “too soon to sue the Federal Government”.

Area news sources indicated from the frequency of the types of meetings with the governor’s office, funding may be the heaviest weighted issue for the state. Public officials gave comment that South Carolina does not have a “stellar record on privacy” with direct regards to their licenses. Allthough, sources cite that the state is holding firm to their story that current licenses meet Real ID requirements.

MAINE UPDATE 3-28-08
BeatTheChip.org

Augusta, ME- 9:22 am EST, Maine’s governor was meeting internally to discuss Real ID. Maine had released a letter very similar to Montana’ to exempt citizens concerned about privacy, travel hassles and the costs.

The Attorney General’s office expresed concern that there would not be enough time between January, 12 2008, now and May 11th, 2008 to get passports for air travel from state-to-state.

“Maine has made tremendous progress in improving our driver’s license, and our State has made it clear that we do not support REAL ID,” Governor Baldacci said. “But I also felt it was necessary to send this letter to the Department of Homeland Security. I do not want to see Maine people used as a political pawn in a dispute between federal and state authorities. Come May 11, Mainers should be able to travel without extra security or unnecessary delays. To target them would be unfair.”

Governor Baldacci also said Wednesday that there is an alternative to REAL ID.

“Maine Rep. Tom Allen has submitted bipartisan legislation that would repeal REAL ID and replace it with a process that will improve national security without placing an enormous financial burden on states or compromising civil liberties,” Governor Baldacci said. “There is an alternative to the path we’re on. I hope Congress and the President will take it.”

Rep. Allen’s bill, H.R. 1117, re-establishes a negotiated rulemaking process involving all stakeholders to develop standards for state driver’s licenses. Maine was engaged in this process, which was working before its repeal by the REAL ID Act.

More News:
(AP)- People over 50 are getting exemption from presenting a Real ID compliant card by 2014, but will need to provide a Real- ID compliant license by 2017.