Monday, December 19, 2005

Congressman Shimkus and Why He Needs to GO!

A letter I recieved from Congressman Shimkus:

Dear Friend:

I want to take this opportunity to thank you for contacting me regarding the USA PATRIOT and Terrorism Prevention Reauthorization Act of 2005 (HR 3199).

Prior to September 11, 2001, there were restrictions on our intelligence agencies that do not make sense in today's world and placed severe restrictions on investigating potential terrorists. The PATRIOT Act and this reauthorization allow U.S. Attorneys, the FBI, and the CIA to all share information on their ongoing investigations.

This law increases penalties for attacks against railroad and mass transit; combats terrorism financing; and takes many other actions that are intending to prevent terrorism. Our law enforcement agencies need the tools necessary to fight terrorists as much as they need appropriate tools to fight drug dealers, organized crime, and gangs.

Attorney General Alberto Gonzales recently wrote that this bill "...equips law enforcement with the tools needed to fight terrorists, and it also includes new civil liberties protections..." He added, "The Patriot Act has been successful in helping prevent acts of terrorism in many ways."

Among the protections contained in the bill are just a four year extension on the wire tapping provisions, while most other provisions are made permanent; additional reporting to the court under these wiretap orders; additional protections regarding business records under section 215, including a guaranteed right to legal counsel; and continued Congressional oversight.

Another important provision for southern Illinois is the inclusion of the Methamphetamine Epidemic Elimination Act into this bill. Those provisions include restrictions on the sale of meth ingredients, include cold medicines, and tougher penalties for meth traffickers and smugglers.

Purchasers of pseudoephedrine and ephedrine would be required to show identification and sign a log when purchased from behind the pharmacy counter.

This conference report passed the House with bipartisan support, 251-174, and awaits Senate approval before going to the President for his signature into law.


Member of Congress

Congressman Skimkus is basically a big government neo-conservative and votes for everything the Bush administration wants him to. At least he's consistant- consistantly votes on bills which destroy our freedoms and civil liberties. I wonder when it was the last time Mr. Shimkus read the Bill of Rights or the Constitution? It hasn't changed since he was in high school, has it? I anticipated that he would vote for the revision of the Patriot Act, that was a no-brainer for him. But he also voted to send troops to Iraq, voted for the National ID Act, voted for CAFTA voted against getting out of the UN, voted for increasing the debt ceiling and voted to increase the federal government. He is no friend of freedom. A change in the guard is in order, he's doing a disservice to the constituents in the 19th District of Illinois. The Republican Party would be a lot better if they would just get rid of the neo-cons like Shimkus and let a few more Ron Paul types in their ranks. If Mr. Skimus doesn't change his tune, I will be running against him in the 2008 Republican primaries. It'll give the people in the district a choice to vote for real change.


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