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.
Archive for the ‘South Carolina’ Category
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.
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?
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
(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.