Home Opinion Letters Open Letter to Senators on the Real ID Act

Open Letter to Senators on the Real ID Act

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Dear Senators, and Senate Transportation Committee,

It is important that you understand that after watching the testimony on The Real ID Act, you either won’t or are not willing to protect the citizens of this state from the overreach of Federal authority that will ensue upon the passage of The Real ID Act.  After you passed it through Senate Transportation it will soon be scheduled for the State Senate floor.  This action is a threat to citizen’s privacy, an outright denial of the 4th amendment to the U. S. Constitution and an inability to stand your own state’s sovereign ground against Federal overreach.

The testimony given by our Louisiana Power Coalition, LLC’s representative, Mrs. Sandy MacDade was well researched, well documented, and accurately prepared.  There was no real substantive response from you Senators to her continued warnings about the “opt out” provision being touted by the author of this bill, Senator St. Germaine.  This “opt out” provision can only be done by THE STATE!  Only the state can opt the citizens out of The Real ID.  This provision is set forth with the language of The Real ID Act itself.  That one of the “official purposes” of The Real ID Act is to allow the federal government to “require what the Secretary of Homeland Security may deem necessary”   That means they can put further stipulations on the driver’s licenses.  FEDERAL AUTHORITY WILL OUTWEIGH STATE AUTHORITY IF THEY (FEDERAL) SO CHOSE.  THAT IS THE WAY IT ALWAYS WORKS – FEDERAL WILL CONTROL THE STATE.

No, instead you hired an attorney to represent the Department of Transportation to come in and argue about the words “may” and “can” in the law instead of answering or referencing The Real ID Act itself.  This gave the opponents to The Real ID Act, no substantive answer to the overriding question.  Will our biometric picture and our data be safe?  Why are you so adamant about passing The Real ID Act?

Furthermore, why was State Policeman Mike Edmondson allowed to come onto the House of Representative’s floor to lobby for the passage of this bill.  After some research it has been found that lobbying while on duty to a legislative body while in uniform is unethical.  If a paid State Policeman is allowed to come onto the State of Representative floor, why aren’t the citizens allowed on the floor.  We actually pay his salary and ultimately we were not allowed the same favor.  Why was the passage of this Real ID Act that important?

Also in lobbying against this bill in the capital we were disappointed in a group that is usually on the right side of the table.  Sandy McDade our LPC lobbyist stated, “Louisiana Family Forum, Mr. Gene Mills, sold out conservatives on Real ID! What did he sell us out for?  Since we don’t know why, perhaps the citizens will have to ask him!”

“Senator Adley, Senate Transportation Committee Chair, stated at the introduction of HB907 Real ID that the president of Family Forum (Gene Mills) told him (Adley) that he (Mills) supports the bill.  Interesting!  Mills told everyone else he was against the bill,” said Sandy McDade.  I had a long conversation on the radio with Mr. Tony Perkins (head of Louisiana Family Forum ) who was against the bill.  Then within a week, Mr. Gene Mills reversed course!  We’d like to know why?

Why did Governor Jindal veto The Real ID Act in 2007 but we have heard nothing from him on it this year?  Inquiring minds would want to know since it is our personal and private data that is going to be mined, stored, transmitted from the Department of Motor Vehicles.  There is reason to believe from research that our biometric picture and all of our personal data will be used for interoperability within other states and other governments.  Why Senators, didn’t you stand up for the citizens of this state and keep this federal overreach out of our state as has been done for many years prior to 2014?

Respectfully,

Diane Long

President of Louisiana Power Coalition, LLC

Diane.Long4040@att.net

An excellent letter. Let’s hope the politicians listen to the people, and not the power-seekers in DC.