Kevin Cramer has accused me of making false claims about his voting record. I reject the notion that any of my claims are false or misleading.
Mr. Cramer said his vote last year for the USA FREEDOM ACT “ended this bulk collection process” of U.S. citizens phone metadata, thereby reducing government surveillance. The facts are that the act still allows the government access to phone companies’ data without a warrant. To me, that’s hardly a reduction in government surveillance as Mr. Cramer claims.
Further, Mr. Cramer’s memory must be short. Recently, on June 16th, he voted against the Massie Amendment (#1204) to the DOD appropriations bill, which sought to prohibit warrantless searches of databases for the communications of U.S. persons. It also contained a provision to prohibit the government from forcing private firms to create backdoors into their encryption protocols. Rep. Justin Amash of Michigan broke it down by stating a “vote for the amendment upheld the 4th Amendment while a vote against it meant government can search Americans without probable cause and a warrant.”
Now let’s address the detention of U.S. citizens without charge or trial. In response to my claims, Mr. Cramer wrote “ever since the 2012 NDAA, Congress has provided additional assurance that access to a court for habeas corpus is available to U.S. citizens and those arrested in the U.S.” Again, it might just be me, but I don’t feel comfortable at all with this legislation’s sad attempt at restoring constitutional rights after they have been violated.
Perhaps similar concerns are why many members of Congress have consistently voted against the NDAA year after year, including GOP Presidential candidate Sen.Ted Cruz, who has voted against it each year since he took office. Here’s what Mr. Cruz had to say about his vote against the 2016 NDAA- “I could not vote for this legislation because I made a promise when I was elected to office that I would not vote for an NDAA that continued to allow the President to violate the constitutional rights of American citizens by indefinitely detaining them without due process.”
But you know what, why bicker about this vote and that vote, he said, she said, blah, blah, blah? I’m sure Kevin and I could go back and forth on this for days. Let’s cut to the chase.
The bottom line is that unlike Mr. Cramer, I don’t believe it’s a proper function of the government to take away ANY rights in the name of “security”, much like we are seeing with recent proposed gun legislation. If the federal government, with trillions of dollars of spending for a multitude of departments to “keep us safe” can’t perform that task without shattering our rights granted by the constitution, they are indeed doing it wrong. Very wrong. Our 2nd, 4th, and 5th Amendment rights have been under attack lately and it needs to stop.
Here’s my offer to the voters of North Dakota: If elected, I hereby pledge that if given the opportunity, I will vote to repeal any legislation entirely, that violates individual rights granted by the Constitution, along with voting NO on any new legislation that does the same.
I challenge Rep. Cramer to join me in this pledge.