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February 27, 2006

Final Senate Patriot Act vote tomorrow!

By Shayna Gelender, Field Coordinator, ACLU

Although lawmakers from both sides of the aisle agree that the president has overstepped his authority, Congress is now on the brink of voting to reauthorize and expand the Patriot Act, which would make secret searches of Americans' financial and internet records more coercive and more punitive. Please call your senators right now: the final Senate vote is scheduled for tomorrow, Tuesday, February 28.

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To: ACLU-NC Online Activists
From: Shayna Gelender, Field Coordinator
Date: February 27, 2006

Final Senate Patriot Act vote tomorrow!

Although lawmakers from both sides of the aisle agree that the
president has overstepped his authority, Congress is now on the brink
of voting to reauthorize and expand the Patriot Act, which would make
secret searches of Americans' financial and internet records more
coercive and more punitive.

Please call your senators right now: the final Senate vote is scheduled
for tomorrow, Tuesday, February 28. Demand that your senators oppose
Patriot Act reauthorization unless significant changes are made to
protect American privacy.

[Capitol switchboard for all Senators: 202-224-3121 Also:
888-818-6641, 888-355-3588, 800-426-8073, 800-828-0498 and 800-SOB-USOB
(800-762-8762) (that's for Senate Office Building, not what you're
thinking.... :-)]

For talking points, go to: http://action.aclu.org/call.

Last week, after months of debate, some key legislators cut a deal with
the White House to reauthorize the Patriot Act without making the most
important changes needed to protect our civil liberties.

The White House refused to negotiate in good faith on the most
important civil liberties and privacy protections, namely requiring
that any records sought be about a suspected foreign terrorist or an
American conspiring with terrorists. The reauthorization bill fails to
include these and other critical protections.

Senators Feingold, Bingaman and Leahy are attempting to add amendments
that would help fix key problems with the Patriot Act. The Patriot Act
must not be reauthorized unless these important changes are made to
protect our freedoms.

Call your Senators right now and tell them to support the amendments
offered by Senator Feingold and others to fix the Patriot Act.

Let us know youÂ’ve made the call: action@aclunc.org

Submitter: Joan Brunwasser

Submitters Website: http://www.opednews.com/author/author79.html

Submitters Bio:

Joan Brunwasser is a co-founder of Citizens for Election Reform (CER) which since 2005 existed for the sole purpose of raising the public awareness of the critical need for election reform. Our goal: to restore fair, accurate, transparent, secure elections where votes are cast in private and counted in public. Because the problems with electronic (computerized) voting systems include a lack of transparency and the ability to accurately check and authenticate the vote cast, these systems can alter election results and therefore are simply antithetical to democratic principles and functioning.


Since the pivotal 2004 Presidential election, Joan has come to see the connection between a broken election system, a dysfunctional, corporate media and a total lack of campaign finance reform. This has led her to enlarge the parameters of her writing to include interviews with whistle-blowers and articulate others who give a view quite different from that presented by the mainstream media. She also turns the spotlight on activists and ordinary folks who are striving to make a difference, to clean up and improve their corner of the world. By focusing on these intrepid individuals, she gives hope and inspiration to those who might otherwise be turned off and alienated. She also interviews people in the arts in all their variations - authors, journalists, filmmakers, actors, playwrights, and artists. Why? The bottom line: without art and inspiration, we lose one of the best parts of ourselves. And we're all in this together. If Joan can keep even one of her fellow citizens going another day, she considers her job well done.

When Joan hit one million page views, OEN Managing Editor, Meryl Ann Butler interviewed her, turning interviewer briefly into interviewee. Read the interview here.


While the news is often quite depressing, Joan nevertheless strives to maintain her mantra: "Grab life now in an exuberant embrace!"

Joan has been Election Integrity Editor for OpEdNews since December, 2005. Her articles also appear at Huffington Post, RepublicMedia.TV and Scoop.co.nz.

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