Subject: Revise Unconstitutional Provisions of the USA PATRIOT Act
As your constituent, I urge you to support corrections to the USA PATRIOT Act, investigative guidelines and other government actions that threaten civil liberties. Congress must act to ensure government powers are in line with the guarantees of the Bill of Rights.
I have learned that government agents can now use a special intelligence court to obtain many types of my personal records -- educational, medical, financial, sales, library, etc -- even if they have no probable cause to suspect a crime. In fact, the PATRIOT Act prohibits the holders of that information, such as librarians, from disclosing that these records were obtained.
I have also read that the PATRIOT Act allows law enforcement agents to conduct secret "sneak and peek" searches of a person's home. Investigators can enter a home or office to take pictures or seize items. They may preserve and follow up on evidence gathered in this fashion for some poorly defined period of time, possibly forever, without ever informing anyone that a warrant was issued in the first place; thus removing procedural barriers to warrantless searches.
It worries me that the PATRIOT Act and changes to government investigative guidelines permit a vast array of information on U.S. citizens to be collected and shared with the CIA (and other non-law enforcement officials) without proper judicial oversight or other safeguards. This law effectively puts the CIA back in the business of spying on Americans.
I believe we should provide law enforcement with the necessary tools to fight terrorism, but the USA PATRIOT Act and related government actions also gave the government many new powers that go beyond the fight against terrorism. Some parts of the USA PATRIOT Act and other actions take away checks on law enforcement and threaten the very rights and freedoms that we are waging the war on terror to protect.
Once again, I urge you to support corrections to the USA PATRIOT Act and other government actions. We need to to ensure that government powers are used within the limits laid down by the Bill of Rights.
I look forward to hearing your thoughts on this matter.
To: Senators and Rep
Subject: Restore the Conservation Trust Fund
As your constituent and someone who cares deeply about wildlife, I urge you to fully fund the Conservation Trust Fund at $1.56 billion in the fiscal year 2004 Interior Appropriations bill.
Congress established the Conservation Trust Fund in 2000 and pledged to provide a dedicated stream of funding for a carefully chosen selection of our nation's most effective and important wildlife, conservation, recreation, and preservation programs. Unfortunately, a bill that abandons that pledge by cutting the fund by more than $500 million is expected to soon be on the House floor.
The cuts would undermine popular and successful initiatives that benefit wildlife, including the Forest Legacy program, the Land and Water Conservation Fund, and State Wildlife Grants. The Forest Legacy program provides funding to states and towns to prevent development from fragmenting and weakening healthy forests. The long-standing Land and Water Conservation Fund includes a state matching grant program that has provided support for more than 39,000 state and local parks, and a federal program that creates and enhances national parks, forests, and wildlife refuges. State Wildlife Grants help states improve the health of their wildlife and take steps to prevent species from becoming endangered.
The Conservation Trust Fund is a wise investment in our country's natural legacy. Please do all you can to ensure that it is fully funded.