Crazy Bill Dies in the California Legislature!
Hold the Presses!
[Chuck DeVore] 9/7/05
often happen in the California legislature, so when it does,
everyone notices. What happened? Commonsense prevailed in the State Assembly
as lawmakers rushed to the session’s adjournment by September 9.
measure to fail was a Senate Joint Resolution 10 by Senator
Liz Figueroa (D-Fremont) blasting the USA PATRIOT ACT as a
law that, “…pose(s) significant threats to constitutional
protections…” while ordering the state of California
not to use state resources that could result in “…sharing
intelligence information concerning a person or organization…” It
failed 38-32 with 41 votes needed for passage.
DeVore represents 450,000 residents of Orange County
70th Assembly District.. He served as a Reagan White House
appointee in the Pentagon from 1986 to 1988 and was Senior
Assistant to Cong. Chris Cox. He is a lieutenant colonel in the Army
National Guard. Chuck’s novel, CHINA
ATTACKS, sells internationally and has been translated
into Chinese for sales in Taiwan. [go to DeVore index]
During the debate, many Democrats took up the now-familiar urban
legends about the PATRIOT ACT, railing against American citizens
being held without charges for up to 18 months, thousands of
people being jailed, and library and business records being indiscriminately
searched without warrants or the knowledge of those so targeted.
Republicans countered that since the PATRIOT ACT has been around
for four years now, wouldn’t it make sense that any unconstitutional
provisions would have already been brought under scrutiny by
the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) and likely overturned
by the courts?
The serious debate over a largely symbolic resolution underscores
a larger divide in the nation between those who know we are at
war and thus need to take all reasonable, prudent, and Constitutional
measures possible to win that war and safeguard the public, and
those who still persist in thinking the proper response to 9/11
is to apologize to the world for being Americans and go home,
hoping the bad guys will pick on someone else.
While the measure might still be revived before the end of session,
one of the two Democrats who voted “no”, Assembly
Member Lois Wolk (D-Vacaville), gave a very good rationale for
her vote. “Interoperability,” she said, would be
impaired by the measure’s language, explaining that she
was recently briefed by Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa
and the L.A. Police Chief Bratton on the vital need for local
law enforcement to work closely with federal authorities to prevent
further terror attacks.
This point, of course,
has been powerfully brought home by four indictments handed
down in late August in Los Angeles against
the leader of a militant Islamic prison gang and three others,
including a Pakistani national, on federal charges of planning
to attack National Guard facilities, synagogues, and the Israeli
Consulate in L.A. The arrests of the four happened largely due
to local law enforcement’s formal counterterrorism coordination
with the FBI.
Lest your hopes get
too high, a different bill that fails commonsense test did
pass and is headed to Governor Schwarzenegger’s
rapidly warming veto pen. SB 914 was approved on a 48-30. The
proposed new law makes it a crime to sell more than two puppies
younger than eight weeks old unless the seller receives written
permission from a veterinarian. The bill was originally conceived
to combat the already illegal act of smuggling underage and often
sickly puppies in from Mexico. As often happens, the bill morphed
into a measure that now threatens to arrest the 11-year-old down
the street who was simply trying to sell the cute litter of puppies
her dog had seven weeks earlier.
During the lively
debate Republican members reminded their Democrat colleagues
that it was bills such as this one that cause the
Legislature to be held in such low esteem by Californians. Democrats
countered that just because the police can arrest and charge
someone wimeone with the newly proposed crime, doesn’t
mean they actually would. Yea, right. tRO
This piece first appeared at Human Events Online
2005 Chuck DeVore