Home > Constitution, Elected Officials, Flagstaff Liberty Alliance, Libertarian, Police State, Politics > Will Gosar Vote To Extend The Patriot Act Again?

Will Gosar Vote To Extend The Patriot Act Again?

By Elisha Dorfsmith

Yesterday, while making my daily thrift store rounds, I ran into Congressman Paul Gosar at the east side Flagstaff Goodwill. He was on a quick tour of the weigh and pay section of the store and paused long enough to tell me that he was disappointed in my blog. I told him that I was disappointed in his votes. He said that if I looked closely, I would understand why he votes the way he does. I told him that I do look closely and I still don’t understand. He was friendly and all smiles and the group he was with seemed amused at our conversation. I didn’t have time to press him on the issues but I learned that throughout the day, others did.

At an afternoon luncheon, a friend of mine asked the Congressman if he would pressure congress to force the president to get their approval for bombing Libya as the Constitution requires. He also asked Gosar how he would vote when the Patriot Act comes up for renewal next month. My friend said he did not get a straight answer to either question. As is often the case, Gosar said a lot of words but like your average politician, never got to yes or no.

In the evening, Congressman Gosar went on the Mitch & Joe show where they also pressed him on the issue. This time, Gosar actually came out and said that he did not know how he would vote. He’s waiting for more information and some reports from law enforcement. My guess is that he will vote whichever way the Republican leadership tells him to vote (which means he will vote YES). So far he has voted 96% of the time with the GOP establishment.

You can listen to the whole Mitch & Joe interview HERE.

A couple months ago, when Congressman Gosar voted twice to extend provisions of the Patriot Act, Gosar apologists at the Flagstaff Tea Party told me that he had to vote yes because he did not have enough time to look into what the provisions did. I thought that was pretty funny. Were they saying that Gosar had to vote to extend the Patriot Act so he could know what was in it? They promised me that Gosar would NOT vote for it when it came up again. I made some people mad that night when I told them that they were being gullible. Anybody who has read the Constitution can clearly see that the Patriot Act violates the Fourth Amendment and if Gosar doesn’t understand what the Constitution says by now, he never will.

As many of you know, in the past I have complained on my blog about Congressman Gosar not responding to my emails. A couple days ago, the Flagstaff Tea Party had an online poll and I got into a discussion in the comments section with Clark Dierks, Chairman of the Coconino County Republican Party. I mentioned that Gosar had not even sent me a form letter in response to my opposition to the Patriot Act.  To my surprise, a half hour later I received the letter posted below. All I can think is that somebody pulled some strings and told his congressional office to contact me. As of yesterday afternoon, several Flagstaff Tea Party members told me that they still have not received answers to their emails. Hopefully somebody from Gosar’s office is reading this and will get that taken care of. A lot of these people worked hard to get Gosar elected and they feel betrayed.

March 21, 2011

Dear Mr. Dorfsmith,

Thank you for contacting me regarding the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) Sunsets Extension Act of 2011.  I appreciate hearing from you on this important issue.

On February 17th, 2011, The U.S. House of Representatives passed H.R. 514, the FISA Sunsets Extension Act of 2011.  H.R. 514 does not reauthorize the USA PATRIOT Improvement and Reauthorization Act in its entirety; it only extends three key legal provisions, sections 215 and 206 of the Patriot Act and section 6001 of the Intelligence Reform Act, critical to the work of U.S. intelligence community.  These three provisions, which were previously set to expire on February 28th, were only extended for ninety days, through May 27th, 2011.  I voted to extend the expiration dates in order to give Congress and the American people time to evaluate these provisions to determine their usefulness and balance that with any concerns implicating civil liberties – without undermining current counterterrorism activities.

Section 206 of the PATRIOT Act authorizes the U.S. Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court to issue a single wiretap order to cover any communications device that a suspect may use.  Terrorists and foreign spies use multiple communications devices, i.e., multiple cell phones over a short time span, to evade detection. This provision is critical to the intelligence and law enforcement community’s ability to keep track of suspects under surveillance in the twenty-first century.

Section 215 of the PATRIOT Act allows the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) to apply for access to review business records of individuals in the context of intelligence or terrorism investigations.  This provision does not allow the federal government to monitor activities of ordinary, law abiding citizens and the law contains several conditions including congressional oversight, procedural protections, application requirements, and a judicial review process to protect against abuse.  Further, this provision is largely duplicative of existing procedures to obtain search warrants for records.

Section 6001 amends the definition of an “agent of a foreign power” to include a foreign national that may not be directly affiliated with a foreign power or internal terrorist organizations.  Without this provision, investigators would not be able to monitor “lone wolf terrorists,” (people who act out of ideology and are not necessarily paid by or controlled by a foreign government) which have become more prevalent over the past decade.

From the initial passage of the Patriot Act there was concern over its constitutionality and debate whether it went too far in granting law enforcement investigatory powers.   For the most part, the specific constitutional challenges that have occurred have been either found lacking or withdrawn or rendered moot after changes were made to the Act.  The current version of this Act has not been found unconstitutional.

The House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence and the House Committee on the Judiciary, the two house committees with jurisdiction over the PATRIOT Act, have committed to conducting a comprehensive review of the PATRIOT Act in the coming months.  I look forward a full, aggressive and thoughtful review over the constitutional legal authorities necessary for the U.S. intelligence community to keep pace with the evolving terrorist threat facing our country.

Again, I appreciate your thoughts and concerns.  It is an honor to serve as your United States Congressman.  Your suggestions are always welcome, and if ever I may be of assistance, please do not hesitate to contact me.

Sincerely,

Paul Gosar
Member of Congress

Will Congressman Gosar vote to extend the Patriot Act and trample our constitutionally guaranteed rights when the vote comes up again next month? My guess is yes but we still have time to put the pressure on and maybe by some miracle we can change his mind. You can contact Congressman Gosar here:

http://gosar.house.gov/

The truth about the Patriot Act:

 

flagstafflibertyalliance.com

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  1. Ronnie Elliott
    March 26, 2011 at 3:32 pm

    I’m very concerned about Gosar, but I was when he was campaigning. I feel he votes however the American Dental Association tells him to vote. He may be a one term congressman.

  2. Marc Lord
    May 19, 2011 at 5:05 pm

    Recently Gosar started responding to my e-mails. For many months he ignored them. I think he’s beginning to realize that there are many voters that are disappointed with him.

  1. May 26, 2011 at 7:36 pm

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