It’s a funny thing, but I always had heard that Minnesota values included dependability and honesty. When Garrison Keillor talked his talk on Minnesota Public Radio, he always accented the folksy, reliable sincerity of Minnesotans. I’d thought that in Minnesota, a promise made would be a promise kept. But Senator Amy Klobuchar is eroding my faith in Minnesota values.
As a candidate for the U.S. Senate back in 2006, Amy Klobuchar promised that “I would have voted for the renewal of the Patriot Act. In the future, however, I will advocate for additional protections for civil liberties…“. Since then, she has twice taken an Oath of Office as a Senator to “support and defend the Constitution.” But in last week’s Senate Judiciary Committee markup of Patriot Act reauthorization, Senator Klobuchar voted for less protection of civil liberty, not more. She voted to contravene the Constitution, not defend it. She broke her promises twice in one day, once by supporting a substitute amendment that weakened Americans’ civil liberties and once by voting down an amendment by Senator Dick Durbin to protect Americans from warrantless search and seizure.
Tomorrow, the Senate Judiciary Committee will meet again to finish their Patriot Act markup. It’s not too late for Amy Klobuchar to restore our faith in Minnesota values. Give her office a call (DC phone# 202-224-3244, MN phone# 218-287-2219) and ask her to keep her promise. That means more civil liberties protection for Americans, not less. That means restricting all this warrantless surveillance activity, not opening it up to non-terrorism cases. That means respecting the 4th Amendment and moving back toward its mandates: warrants for searches and seizures, specifying a person and a place, upon a basis of probable cause.
Give your Senator a call and help us all feel good about Minnesota again.