It may seem sometimes like Western politicians, especially Republicans, never dissent from even the most bizarre Presidential mandates. However, the truth is just that when they do, local mainstream media goes to great lengths not to cover it. Case in point: Colorado recently became the seventh state to pass a bipartisan resolution calling on Congress to bring the Patriot Act in line with the U.S. Constitution. The other states that have passed such measures are Vermont, Alaska, Hawaii, Maine, Montana and, yes, Idaho.
Our little-discussed resolution, titled the Safe Act, sailed through the GOP-dominated Idaho Legislature in March, stating that the Patriot Act threatened "some principles of our democracy which are so fundamental to the rights of citizenship that they must be preserved to guard the very liberties we seek to protect." It also called upon Idaho's delegation to act "on behalf of the citizens of Idaho," which they have been surprisingly willing to do. Both Sen. Larry Craig and Rep. Butch Otter have since sponsored federal bills aiming to add provisions protecting personal privacy to the Patriot Act.
Several key provisions of the Patriot Act are set to expire later this year, at which time the U.S. Congress will review them. President Bush is currently on the road promoting the preservation of the invasive legislation. To view the Idaho Legislature's resolution, use the search tool at http://legislature.idaho.gov.