Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Disturbed by reports of 'government overreach,' Rep. Vern Buchanan calls for reform of National Security Agency

Here is the news release:
U.S. Rep. Vern Buchanan, R-FL, today called on congressional leaders to take immediate action to reform the National Security Agency’s (NSA) surveillance programs following reports of “thousands of violations” of Americans’ privacy. 
Last week, an internal NSA audit obtained by the Washington Post cited 2,776 incidents where the spy agency engaged in the “unauthorized collection, storage, access to or distribution of legally protected communications.” 
“These latest revelations of government overreach are extremely disturbing,” said Buchanan, a member of the Congressional Privacy Caucus. “Our strength as a nation flows from the values and freedoms laid out in the Constitution, including the right against unreasonable searches and seizures. It’s imperative the both parties work together and institute reforms to protect the privacy and liberties of the American people.” 
Last month, Buchanan voted for an amendment to the 2014 National Defense Authorization Act, offered by Congressman Justin Amash of Michigan, to prevent the NSA from collecting the phone records of Americans who are not under investigation. 
The chief author of the Patriot Act, Congressman James Sensenbrenner, also supported the amendment which was narrowly defeated 205-217. The U.S. House is expected to consider the intelligence reauthorization bill this Fall, legislation Buchanan says is the appropriate vehicle for broader NSA reforms. 
“It is a slippery slope if we allow our basic freedoms to be eroded in the name of security,” said Buchanan.  “The time has come for Congress to address these issues in a transparent, public manner.”

Monday, August 19, 2013

Democrat withdraws from Florida CFO race after news of his bankruptcies

Via the Herald/Times Tallahassee Bureau:
Democrat Allie Braswell, a political unknown and Urban League official, dropped out of the race against Republican Chief Financial Officer Jeff Atwater on Monday, after a weekend of news reports about his three personal bankruptcies. 
The stories were first reported by the Jacksonville Times Union. 
Here's the press release from the Democratic Party: 

Tallahassee, FL — Today, CFO candidate Allie Braswell made the following statement: 
Against all odds, a boy who played on dirt roads in Oviedo grew up to serve this great nation as a US Marine, and work as an senior leader at one of America's most admired companies. That is what has always inspired me to serve, to ensure that today's boys and girls can live the American Dream. 
At the Urban League, I work every day with people who are struggling to make it. As I have experienced struggles in my life, so many people are struggling, and that is what inspired me to run for Florida's Chief Financial Officer -- to be a champion, standing up for the poor and middle class. 
Before I started this campaign I talked with supporters and friends and family. This weekend, I have again discussed this campaign with those I love, and have reached a decision. Today, I am withdrawing from the race for Florida's Chief Financial Officer. 
I have, at times, faced challenges in life that have not met with the outcomes I have desired. I take full responsibility for my actions, and apologize to my supporters. 
The bright spotlight of a statewide campaign has cast the ups and downs of my life into harsh relief, and I now know that this campaign is not the way I was meant to serve my community. 
Running statewide is a daunting challenge for any candidate; as a political outsider, I have now learned that I underestimated how my campaign would affect those I care about most.