I pledge that when elected I will not vote for laws that infringe on and erode our constitutional protections against unreasonable search and seizure afforded to American citizens. That is not a claim my opponent, Mike Quigley, can make.
Quigley just voted to extend warrantless spying on you and me for the next five years. He joined Republicans in voting to deny our civil liberties and further weaken our democracy and freedoms.
The Foreign Intelligence Surveillance (FISA) Amendments Act of 2008, which Quigley voted to extend for five years, was issued in 2008 by President George W. Bush to include warrantless wiretapping of United States citizens' foreign communications and other surveillance measures as a counterterror measure. It gives a blank check to spying agencies to monitor all of us, whether there is any reason to do so or not.
We don't even know how many of us are being spied on right now. When questioned by two senators on the Intelligence Committee about the number of Americans spied on "unintentionally" by the National Security Agency, the Director of National Intelligence responded by saying that "it's not reasonably possible to identify the number of people located in the United States whose communications may have been reviewed under the authority of the [FISA Amendments Act]."
There are ways to fix the law to balance legitimate national security needs against our constitutional rights by prohibiting dragnet surveillance, mandating more transparency about the government's surveillance activities, and strengthening safeguards for privacy.
However, Quigley didn't do that. He didn't even try.
Our country is drifting away from the basic civil rights that make us a free people. We can't stand by and watch it happen. Voting for me, a candidate who pledges to uphold our freedom and our constitutionally protected civil liberties, sends a powerful message. A vote for me says we regard our civil liberties as precious and we will fight these efforts to steal them from us. No blank checks for spying agencies.