FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Monday, June 12, 2006
Bob Bruce for Executive Council - District 4
Contact: Greg Vine - (603) 899-5477
( CANDIA ) – Bob Bruce, Democratic candidate for Executive Councilor from District 4, is urging members of the Council to turn aside any funds that may come to the state to implement the so-called “Real ID” program. A legislative committee is debating whether to accept a $3 million grant to take part in the program. Bruce pointed out that, should lawmakers move ahead with the plan, the Executive Council also would have to approve of the state's participation in the pilot program.
"Frankly," said Bruce, "I'd like to see the Council send a message to lawmakers by going on record now as being opposed to the plan."
“There is no question that our country must remain vigilant in the wake of 9/11,” Bruce continued, “but if the actions of terrorists result in our resorting to invading the privacy of law abiding citizens – if our government begins chipping away at the civil rights of Americans – then the terrorists can claim a victory. Islamic radicals despise our way of life and the kinds of freedoms we enjoy in this country. Resorting to this kind of ‘tracking system’ surely would put a smile on their faces.”
Bruce further explained that the Real I.D. Act gives the Department of Homeland Security the power to set standards for the I.D.s and determine whether state drivers’ licenses and other I.D. cards meet those standards. The cards would include typical information, such as birth date, sex, a digital photograph and an I.D. number. Additional requirements, however, are likely to include a fingerprint or retinal scan.
“If you want to open a bank account, collect Social Security payments, take a trip on an airliner, or access any kind of government service, you’ll need one of these cards,” he said.
“The federal government already has assumed the power to track our Internet usage, examine what books we check out at the local library and intercept telephone calls,” said Bruce. “Where does it stop? They say these things are needed for the war on terror. The question is: do you believe these intrusions into our lives will stop if and when that war is won? I have my doubts.”
The Executive Council has the ability to say ‘no’ to this,” Bruce concluded, “and, if it truly has the best interests of our citizens at heart, it must say ‘no.’”