Senate Bill Would Allow Feds to Read YOUR E-mails Without a Warrant

November 20, 2012 at 12:35 pm (Big Brother, Democrat, E-Mail, Internet, Patrick Leahy, Privacy, Senate)

Well, this isn’t frightening at all. 

A proposed law scheduled for a vote next week in the Senate was originally written with the intent of increasing American’s e-mail privacy.  A rewrite however, driven by complaints in law enforcement, has increased government access to your e-mails and other digital media.

Via CNET: 

A Senate proposal touted as protecting Americans’ e-mail privacy has been quietly rewritten, giving government agencies more surveillance power than they possess under current law.

CNET has learned that Patrick Leahy, the influential Democratic chairman of the Senate Judiciary committee, has dramatically reshaped his legislation in response to law enforcement concerns. A vote on his bill, which now authorizes warrantless access to Americans’ e-mail, is scheduled for next week.

Leahy’s rewritten bill would allow more than 22 agencies — including the Securities and Exchange Commission and the Federal Communications Commission — to access Americans’ e-mail, Google Docs files, Facebook wall posts, and Twitter direct messages without a search warrant. It also would give the FBI and Homeland Security more authority, in some circumstances, to gain full access to Internet accounts without notifying either the owner or a judge.

DailyTech calls the move a ‘bait and switch’, essentially charging Leahy with calling for a vote on a bill that is completely different from its original intent.

The irony here is that in 2008, Leahy was accusing the Bush administration of abusing their power regarding warrantless wiretaps, referring to the administration as “little children playing with matches”.

Looks like Leahy now has a lighter in his hands.  Will the Senate put out the fire next week?

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Poll Worker Tells U.S. Senate Candidate She Has to Vote Democrat All the Way Down the Ballot

November 6, 2012 at 11:28 am (Democrat, New York, New York City, Poll Worker, Republican, Senate, Wendy Long)

A pretty disturbing report coming out of U.S. Senate candidate, Wendy Long’s campaign.  Apparently, a poll worker reviewed Long’s ballot and told her it would be rejected because she didn’t “fill in every space”.

When Long countered that you can indeed leave some sections of the ballot blank, the poll worker again indicated her ballot would be rejected.

Long correctly informed the worker that forcing a voter to vote in every race, would essentially result in that person being forced to vote for candidates they do not want.

The poll worker even went so far as to suggest Long should mark the Democratic line all the way down.

Here is a letter released by Long:

“This morning when I went to vote, a poll worker who was at the scanner, studied my private ballot and proceeded to tell me that it was rejected because I did not ‘fill in every space.’ She then proceeded to indicate that I should mark the Democratic line all the way down.   

The poll worker said, ‘you have to fill in all of THESE, all the way down,” indicating the whole line at the far left of the ballot, saying ‘you can’t leave any blank.'” 

I said, “I’m sorry, but that just can’t be the case …. that would force me to vote for people I don’t want to vote for.”  She insisted again, that every office had to be filled out or the ballot would be rejected. And I said again “I don’t want to vote for those people!”

I protested again and said that I wanted to feed my ballot into the scanner as I had filled it out. She eventually relented  saying ‘well you can TRY it’  — meaning she would allow me to put it in the scanner.   

It obviously worked. 

I had just remarked to all the poll workers, before I filled in my ballot, that we were all very fortunate to have heat and water and electricity. 

It is heartbreaking, especially in these trying times for New York City with thousands of voters displaced from their homes and their polling locations, that poll workers would behave in this way, and through intent or ignorance, work to distort the outcome of an election and violate an individual’s right to vote for whomever he or she chooses. 

I urge all voters to know your rights when you vote. 

You can ask for help in how to operate the scanner, but your ballot is private and cannot and should not be inspected. 

You do not have to vote in every office, or fill in every oval.  Vote only for the candidates whom YOU want to vote for. 

Finally, question authority – poll workers are there to help you to vote, not to tell you how vote.  If one crosses the line, contact the Attorney General’s Office or your local Board of Elections.”

Poll workers shouldn’t be trying to persuade anybody to vote in a certain manner, but it is even more absurd when you try to coax a Republican candidate for office to vote straight Democrat.

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Claire McCaskill: The Recession Isn’t All Bad Because It Means Less Emissions … Or Something

October 16, 2012 at 3:25 pm (Cap and Trade, Claire McCaskill, Emissions, Missouri, Recession, Senate, Todd Akin)

Face, meet palm.

According to the very warped mind of a cap and trade zealot like Claire McCaskill (h/t Gateway Pundit), less jobs = less manufacturing = less emissions … and that’s a good thing!

What is that saying … you can’t fix stupid?

Transcript of her statement:

“Well, the good news is our emissions are way down because of the recession. [Laughter] We are…I mean you know really if you want to find a silver lining in the cloud, the number that we were looking for we are well, well above where the emissions would have been assuming for purposes of discussion that cap and trade was passed a few years ago because we have had such a real drop in manufacturing output. Now I didn’t mean really good news, I meant that it was… [Laughter] I was being sarcastic again in the context, but emissions are way down because of unfortunately the lack of economic activity that we have had in the last couple of years.”

The Todd Akin campaign team responded:

“It is never good news when twenty-three million Americas are looking for work,” said Rick Tyler, senior advisor to the Akin campaign. “This is the real Claire McCaskill–one who puts the liberal agenda ahead of the jobs and prosperity of millions of Americans. McCaskill’s own businesses are getting millions in taxpayer dollars while one in six Missourians is living under the poverty line. Missouri cannot afford another six years with liberal Claire McCaskill making herself rich while celebrating the fact that others are out of work.”

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Fact Checkers: Gillibrand Kills Jobs

October 15, 2012 at 3:37 pm (Democrat and Chronicle, Job Killer, Kirsten Gillibrand, National Horizon, New York, Senate, Welch Allyn, Wendy Long)


The Democrat and Chronicle has reviewed several political ads in New York for accuracy, one of which was the recent National Horizon super PAC ad that Kirsten Gillibrand’s lawyers tried to have censored.

The ad hammers Kirsten Gillibrand for her support of President Obama’s Affordable Care Act which contains numerous hidden taxes, including a medical device tax which has eliminated hundreds of jobs already in New York.

Rather than countering the facts contained in the ad, Team Gillibrand has decided to focus on the text of statements in the ad, which to them resemble newspaper headlines.

As a result, attorneys representing Ms. Gillibrand sent letters to TV station executives demanding that the ads be pulled for being ‘misleading and deceptive’.

Turns out there was a reason her lawyers wanted that ad pulled – it was true.

According to the D&C:

In “Job Killer,” outside group National Horizon attacks U.S. Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand, claiming she cost New York jobs. We looked at the basic facts behind this ad, and they are true.

 Today the New York GOP released the following statement:

The respected Rochester Democrat and Chronicle just confirmed what most New Yorkers already know: Kirsten Gillibrand is bad for jobs. Kirsten’s campaign rhetoric touts her support for the manufacturing industry in Upstate New York, but according to the Rochester newspaper: “Gillibrand voted for the 2010 Affordable Care Act to overhaul the nation’s health care system. That legislation included as a revenue source a 2.3 percent federal excise tax to be paid by manufacturers and importers of certain medical devices.”

The paper described how Kirsten’s rubber-stamping of the Pelosi-Reid agenda has already cost some New Yorkers their jobs:  “Upstate medical device manufacturer Welch Allyn, based on Skaneateles Falls, described the medical device tax as ‘onerous’ in a September news release in which the company announced a corporate restructuring that will result on the layoff of 10 percent of its workforce over three years.”

New Yorkers are hungry for real, independent leadership in Washington, not the partisan gridlock that comes from blind loyalty to party leaders.  And on Election Day, New Yorkers have that leadership again when we send Wendy Long to the US Senate.

Gillibrand and the Affordable Care Act are indeed costing jobs in New York, there is no doubt.  But isn’t trying to take the focus off of the facts, and placing it on frivolous censorship attempts, in itself a ‘misleading and deceptive’ act?

Thankfully, the D&C has seen through the smokescreen, letting New Yorkers know that Wendy Long is the one honest candidate in this campaign, and Kirsten Gillibrand is simply diverting their attention from the facts.

Here is the ad for those who may have missed it:

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FreedomWorks PAC Endorses Wendy Long in the New York Senate Race

September 25, 2012 at 12:02 pm (FreedomWorks PAC, Kirsten Gillibrand, Max Pappas, New York, Senate, Wendy Long)

FreedomWorks PAC endorsed Wendy Long in the New York Senate race today following in-depth discussions with Long, and a detailed look at her record. FreedomWorks PAC believes Wendy Long is the clear choice for voters who support free markets, fiscal responsibility, and constitutionally-limited government.

Wendy Long has an established record of public service as an aide for two U.S Senators and a clerk for the U.S. Appeals Court and the Supreme Court. She also had a distinguished career in the private and non-profit sectors, working her way up to partner at a prominent New York law firm and helping to build the Judicial Crisis Network, which educates the public about the proper Constitutional role of the courts.

FreedomWorks PAC Executive Director Max Pappas commented, “Wendy Long is a Constitutional law expert who understands fully why we must limit the size and scope of the federal government.  She understands that the quickest way to a healthy, growing economy is to free individuals and small businesses from excessive meddling by government bureaucrats and tax collectors.”

“In contrast, Senator Gillibrand has been a rubber stamp for President Obama’s big-government agenda, voting for the government takeover of health care, the failed stimulus program, and the President’s unsustainable levels of spending. Wendy Long will fight for lasting economic recovery and job creation, and will be a consistent vote for responsible spending reforms.”

FreedomWorks PAC has also endorsed the following U.S. Senate candidates in this election cycle: Jeff Flake (Arizona), Connie Mack (Florida), Ted Cruz (Texas), Richard Mourdock (Indiana), Tom Smith (Pennsylvania), George Allen (Virginia), Dan Bongino (Maryland) and Josh Mandel (Ohio).

FreedomWorks PAC is a grassroots service center to a community of over 2 million activists nationwide dedicated to fighting for lower taxes, less government, and more freedom in every Congressional district in America.  For more information about the PAC, please visit http://www.FreedomWorksPAC.org, or contact Executive Director Max Pappas at Max.Pappas@FreedomWorks.org.

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Conservative Party Chairman Blasts Speaker Boehner For Ignoring New York Senate Race

September 1, 2012 at 10:53 am (Chris Gibson, Conservatives, John Boehner, John Cornyn, Kirsten Gillibrand, Mike Long, National Republican Senatorial Committee, New York, NRSC, NY-20, Senate, Wendy Long)

Earlier in the week, Speaker of the House John Boehner slighted Wendy Long in her bid to upset Kirsten Gillibrand for Senate in New York’s 20th congressional district.

During a speech at a breakfast for New York delegates on Wednesday, Boehner spoke of the challenges that House GOP candidates faced in “orphan districts” in Illinois, California, and New York. Of those districts, which include Long’s, Boehner claimed there is “no significant Senate race underway.”

Boehner talked up the possibility of grabbing four more House seats, but said the GOP is going to have to fight hard in what are known as “orphan districts,” located in states such as New York and California where the party won’t undertake a serious campaign in the presidential election and “there’s no significant Senate race underway.”

Did John Boehner forget about the record-setting Republican victories which swept him in to power in 2010?  Did he forget already that it was conservative enthusiasm that brought about that Republican tidal wave?  Apparently, he has.  Is there really no chance that with the proper funding and backing from the party, that something similar could happen again in New York?

Just ask Chris Gibson if upsets are possible in New York.

The shameful dismissal of Long’s chances prompted Conservative Chairman Mike Long to write a ‘Dear John’ letter to the Speaker.

Long wrote (full text at the end of this post):

“Our US Senate candidate, Wendy Long, with little money and shear faith in New Yorkers waged an almost impossible primary campaign challenge and won the right to be on the GOP line against all odds,” Long wrote in the letter. “Every place Wendy Long goes throughout New York State she wins over voters and impresses all who make the effort to be an educated voter.”

“Every Republican/Conservative Congressional candidate will benefit in November with Wendy Long’s name above his or hers on the ballot,” he wrote. “You, as Speaker of the House, would benefit with a strong Republican/Conservative voice in the Senate from New York State, instead of the current Senator who does nothing to pass the legislation the House sends to the Senate.” 

Senator John Cornyn also helped quell the Speaker’s snub with his endorsement for Long, stating:

“Wendy Long would make an outstanding addition to the U.S. Senate, and I believe she is the perfect candidate to break the Democrat stranglehold on New York.  I endorse her with enthusiasm and believe with her platform of Jobs, Freedom, and Accountability she can win this race.”

Unfortunately Senator, endorsements, while fantastic for moral support, do not win races alone.  Long is vastly underfunded in the race against liberalism’s darling, Gillibrand.  Through the end of June, the National Republican Senatorial Committee, of which Cornyn is Chair, has yet to contribute to the Long campaign.

It’s time to put your money where your mouth is Mr. Cornyn, otherwise your endorsement is about as helpful as John Boehner’s words have been thus far.

Here is the full text of Mike Long’s ‘Dear John’ letter:

Imagine for a moment how surprised I was to read that when you addressed the New York delegation breakfast in Clearwater at the RNC convention on Wednesday, August 29 that you considered New York’s US Senate race one of the places where there is “no significant Senate race underway. Imagine my disappointment, which unfortunately is very real and quite disconcerting when so much is at stake.

New York State, in 2010, delivered more new GOP Congressmen to you than any other state in our Nation. They helped you become the Majority Leader and this year will help keep the GOP Majority in the House, in fact may even be part of giving you a bigger majority.

Why would you say there is “no significant US Senate race underway when we both know that we are already fighting the enrollment numbers in this blue state? New York voters are concerned about the fiscal future of our nation and are looking for candidates who will go to Washington to make a difference.

Our US Senate candidate, Wendy Long, with little money and shear faith in New Yorkers waged an almost impossible primary campaign challenge and won the right to be on the GOP line against all odds. Every place Wendy Long goes throughout New York State she wins over voters and impresses all who make the effort to be an educated voter.

Every Republican/Conservative Congressional candidate will benefit in November with Wendy Long’s name above his or hers on the ballot. You, as Speaker of the House, would benefit with a strong Republican/Conservative voice in the Senate from New York State, instead of the current Senator who does nothing to pass the legislation the House sends to the Senate.

Instead of trying to strengthen a coalition of republican/conservative voices that will help the country you and I are proud to be active political participants in, you let a golden opportunity slip by and in fact inadvertently undermined what we both work so hard to accomplish: a strong fiscally sound nation.

Congressman Boehner, New York State has a very significant Senate race underway. Wendy Long, despite all the odds, is making this a very significant race and come November 6, 2012 you may realize just how significant it was, especially when more republican/conservatives congressional candidates benefit by having her name above theirs on the ballot.

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Wendy Long Promises to Put America on a Fiscal Diet

August 27, 2012 at 3:33 pm (Budget, Debt Clock, Kirsten Gillibrand, New York, Senate, Wendy Long)

With U.S. debt surpassing $16 trillion, Wendy Long and a group of young New Yorkers gathered in front of the National Debt Clock today to protest the mortgaging of our children’s future, the dismantling of the American Dream and the abject lack of leadership from Kirsten Gillibrand.
 
“Our debt is obese – suffocating job creation, mortgaging our children’s future and threatening to plunge us back into recession. Sadly, Kirsten Gillibrand refuses to even acknowledge the national debt as one of the most serious issues facing America – let alone pass a budget or take any steps to reduce spending,” said U.S. Senate candidate Wendy Long.
 
“It’s time Washington starts making healthy choices and as Senator, I pledge to put America on a diet,” said Long.
 
Since taking office less than four years ago, Senator Gillibrand has facilitated a $5 trillion increase in the national debt. Here are just a few of her contributions.
  • Never passed a budget since joining the Senate; 
  • Voted for the $787 billion phony “Stimulus Bill Saying It Was ‘The Beginning Of The Investment’ To Turn The Troubled National Economy Around;” 
  • Voted to increase the national public debt limit; 
  • One of only 7 Senators to vote to continue funding the corrupt ACORN; 
  • Refused to support legislation that limited federal spending in 2012 to $680 billion. The legislation also proposed a Constitutional amendment requiring federal spending to be capped at a percentage of GDP; 
  • Voted in favor of the largest tax increase in American history, Obamacare, which the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office estimates will raise the national debt by $226 billion in just its first six years; 
  • Voted against the repeal of wasteful corn ethanol subsidies; 
  • Refused to support a bill prohibiting budgets which increase the public debt in 10 years by more than it has increased over the past 220 years. Unmanaged, deficit spending that racks up more debt is all she knows.

Concluded Long, “Gillibrand is cynically selling out the next generation of Americans for corrupt ACORN, liberal special interests and a few votes from scared seniors. We deserve lawmakers who will make adult decisions. We deserve a budget. We deserve better than another grim milestone like $16 trillion debt,” said Long.

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Gillibrand Continues to Lie About Off the Sidelines

August 24, 2012 at 12:00 pm (Alex Wagner, Campaign Contributions, Democrats, Glen Caplin, Kirsten Gillibrand, MSNBC, New York, Off the Sidelines, Republicans, Senate, Wendy Long, Women)

New York Republicans are still waiting to hear Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand name a single Republican who has benefited from her ‘Off the Sidelines’ website. Seems like they’ll be waiting a little longer, too.

Despite the claim that Republican women have been helped by the site – claims made by Gillibrand herself – nobody from the Democrat’s campaign has been willing to offer any proof.  As such, her opponent Wendy Long, has challenged Gillibrand to put her campaign money where her mouth is.

A year after being caught by the Buffalo News misleading voters about her Off the Sidelines campaign, Kirsten Gillibrand is at it again.  This time, she is trying to represent the organization as a bipartisan social organization rather than exactly what it is: a front for Gillibrand for Senate.

On MSNBC’s NOW with Alex Wagner, Gillibrand said, “I’ve been doing it nationwide, trying to get more women, Democrats, Republicans, all women, to again, hold their elected leaders accountable, vote, and hopefully run for office. They just need to be asked.”
 
U.S. Senate candidate Wendy Long said, “The question remains, can Senator Gillibrand name a single Republican woman who “Off the Sidelines” aka Gillibrand for Senate has assisted?”

In response to inquiries, Gillibrand spokesman Glen Caplin said, “I’m not going to comment on a clear distortion of reality and the facts.”

This is the same Glen Caplin that told the Buffalo News on July 5, 2011 that “Off the Sidelines is not meant to be a fundraising venture, but rather an attempt to inspire women to get involved politically.”

This is the same Glen Caplin, who in the same article said, “It is very transparent that it is Gillibrand for Senate.” And then just days later following scrutiny from The Buffalo News updated the Off the Sidelines site to clarify that it was a Gillibrand project, and that donations were going directly to Senator Gillibrand.

“The only distortion is the con job Kirsten Gillibrand continues to perpetuate by falsely representing that Off the Sidelines is anything but a front for Gillibrand for Senate,” said Wendy Long.

Added Long, “Gillibrand should take down the site and turnover these proceeds raised under false pretenses to an organization dedicated to advancing all women, not just Kirsten Gillibrand.”

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Guilty! – Former Dem Majority Leader in New York Convicted For Theft

May 14, 2012 at 4:14 pm (Democrat, Embezzlement, Health Care, Loretta Lynch, Majority Leader, New York, Pedro Espada, Senate, Soundview, Theft)

The verdict is in – Pedro Espada Jr. has been convicted of four counts of theft.  The former Democrat majority leader in New York had been accused of stealing money from his federally funded health care clinic for low-income families, and using those funds for such expenses as school tuition, exotic cars, and birthday parties with pony rides.
From the Times Union:
Pedro Espada Jr., the former New York state senate Democratic majority leader, was found guilty of stealing from nonprofit health-care clinics he runs in the Bronx.
A jury in federal court in Brooklyn, New York, convicted Espada today of four counts of theft, while failing to reach a decision on other counts of theft and conspiracy. The jury failed to reach a verdict on any of the charges against his son, Pedro Gautier Espada.
U.S. Attorney Loretta Lynch accused the Espadas of stealing more than $500,000 from Soundview Healthcare Center, which the elder Espada started in 1978 and which gets more than $1 million a year in federal funding.

Via the New York Times:

A relentless political survivor who fought through years of corruption allegations to briefly hold one of the most powerful political positions in New York State, Mr. Espada joins a long list of state lawmakers, including others from his own hard-luck district, convicted of corruption-related charges in recent years. He and his son are accused of using hundreds of thousands of dollars from Soundview to support their lavish lifestyle.
Witness after witness testified about purchases large and small that Mr. Espada made with money from the nonprofit that was supposed to be used for the health needs of one of the poorest parts of the city. Instead, $100,000 in lobster, sushi and other meals was charged to a corporate credit card. Soundview money also went to private family parties, school tuition and luxury car payments.

As is typical of the Democrat party, Espada himself started playing the victim card, instead of taking responsibility for his actions.  The Times continues (emphasis mine)…

 A self-styled man of the people, Mr. Espada, who was born in Puerto Rico and raised in the Bronx, relied on the same defense in his trial that he so often turned to during his three decades in public life — maintaining that the allegations against him were the work of political enemies.

Toward the end of the trial, in an indication that he was preparing to argue the same thing about his anticipated conviction, he stopped paying attention to proceedings, instead paging through a book that argues that black people cannot find justice in the American legal system.

Espada may not have felt he could find justice, but the poor families who needed his network’s healthcare services have finally found it.

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Cuomo Administration Caught Trying to Silence Whistleblower

April 24, 2012 at 6:43 am (Courtney Burke, Governor Cuomo, Jeffrey Monsour, New York, New York Times, Office for People with Developmental Disabilities, Roy McDonald, Senate)

Apparently, quashing dissenting opinions is a staple of New York government…

From the AP, via the Troy Record:

The Cuomo administration tried to keep a whistleblower from a Senate hearing on the state’s care for the disabled, where speakers Monday recounted stories of daily abuse in a system portrayed as unable to keep even repeat abusers away from the victims.

The whistleblower is Jeffrey Monsour, a state worker and outspoken critic of the system that provides care to thousands of people. Monsour’s invitation to speak at Republican Sen. Roy McDonald’s “round table” was withdrawn Saturday after a call by the administration of Democratic Gov. Andrew Cuomo, but Monsour was invited again after The New York Times prepared to reveal the decision.

Courtney Burke, commissioner of the Office for People with Developmental Disabilities, told reporters it was “a misunderstanding,” but wouldn’t explain. She then said in brief comments to the panel that the Cuomo administration has made “tremendous” strides in protecting the disabled in the state system, while recognizing it wasn’t enough for some advocates. She left after making her remarks.

McDonald wouldn’t detail his discussions with the administration representatives who called his office about Monsour. Later McDonald said he wouldn’t “make enemies” in the administration or Legislature who could keep him from making legislative changes in the system.

Wait, what ever happened to the courageous Roy McDonald?  The one who just says “f*** it … I’m trying to do the right thing“?  That guy has gone from Johnny Bravo to tap dancing for the Governor?

Cuomo tries to strong arm a whistleblower out of an open invite discussion on abuse in the system, gets caught red handed by the New York Times, and then has to back off.  How very transparent and open of the Governor.

Read the rest here…

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