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While President Obama has been getting a lot of criticism and scrutiny from the press, one Republican candidate has been getting scolded pretty harshly for her past votes for the Patriot Act and FISA:

While the people are outraged that this would occur, and point their fingers at the Obama Administration, the fact is one of our “own” is responsible for this tyranny.

That’s right, one of West Virginia’s own “Star” Republicans is to blame.

Shelley Moore Capito, darling of the West Virginia GOP, voted not once but TWICE to violate the 4th Amendment, and voted for the so called Patriot Act that allows the Obama Administration to spy on ALL Americans without a warrant, and then supported the repeal of the 5th and 6th Amendments by voting for the National Defense Authorization Act, which allows the government to detain you indefinitely, even ship YOU to foreign prisons, without a trial or due process.

Not only that, but she has also voted for CISPA to allow Obama and his team to spy on all of your email as well.

Now Shelley Moore Capito is running for the US Senate, with the blessings of many West Virginia State Politicians and GOP Party Officials.

While you are busy shaking your fist at the Obama Administration, you are missing the point. It is a fellow West Virginian that has given them permission to do such. - S. Chris Anders, West Virginia Campaign for Liberty  Huntington News, 6/7/13

Pretty harsh words there.  But Anders is honest in what he's said about Capito.  She was one of George W. Bush's loyal foot soldiers in the war on our civil liberties.  But Capito isn't the only one facing scrutiny:

The NRSC has been criticized for supporting establishment candidates, including open seats in solidly Republican states, when there were more conservative challengers running. Perhaps the best example of this came just last year when the NRSC backed David Dewhurst over Ted Cruz in the open Senate seat in Texas.

While Dewhurst enjoyed the support of the NRSC and many others, Cruz received strong support from the grassroots and managed to pull off an upset win in the July 2012 runoff. Another example was the Republican primary in Kentucky back in 2010. The NRSC backed Trey Grayson over Rand Paul, the latter of whom won the primary with significant grassroots support.

Capito and Rounds are very much in the mold of Dewhurst and Grayson. They would prefer to play politics than pursue policies that shake things up.

On fiscal issues, Capito has been anything but a fiscal conservative. She has 60% lifetime score from FreedomWorks and 50% from the Club for Growth. She also proposed net-spending increase of $151.3 billion since the 107th Congress, according to data complied by the National Taxpayers Union.

While not as bad as Capito, Rounds served two unimpressive terms as Governor of South Dakota, from 2003 to 2011, during which he raised taxes and fees and didn’t really tackle spending during the recession.

United Liberty reached out to the Club for Growth, which supported both Cruz and Paul in their bids for office against establishment candidates, for reaction to Moran’s comments.

“The NRSC is welcome to support whoever they like,” wrote Barney Keller, Communications Director for the Club for Growth. “We will continue to support pro-growth champions like Ted Cruz, Marco Rubio, and Pat Toomey, regardless of what others do.”

When asked whether they would back primary challengers to Capito and Rounds, Keller explained that the Club for Growth “would happily support a viable conservative alternative to both, and we are closely watching both races.” - United Liberty, 6/3/13

Of course I have to ask where these conservative critics where during Bush's years when Capito helped pass the Patriot Act and FISA.  And will these same conservative critics help sway Republican voters to see Capito as the Big Brother Republican that she truly is?  Her primary opponent, Pat McGeehan (R), has been speaking out against the NSA:

“After the IRS and AP wiretap scandals, it is apparent that the U.S. government is too overreaching and real leadership is needed if we are to return our country to a limited government.  If elected as U.S. Senator I will stand to defend the 4th and 5th amendments as well as the other.”

The National Security Agency used provisions in the PATRIOT Act to find the authority to spy on Americans’ phone conversations, without requiring probable cause.

Pat McGeehan’s Republican challenger, Shelley Moore Capito, voted in favor of the PATRIOT Act twice during the Bush and Obama administrations.

“I know conservatives in this great state are against unconstitutional searches and seizures and it’s time our elected officials stand up against this Obama administration and protect our freedoms” explained McGeehan.  “I take my oath of office seriously, and I will fight for a constitutional government to pass down to our children but we must act now.” - Huntington News, 6/7/13


Even Senator Joe Manchin (D. WV) is calling for the end of the broad surveillance of telephone calls and Internet usage:

“It bothers me, and I think it bothers you and every other American,” Manchin, of West Virginia, said in an interview on “Political Capital with Al Hunt,” airing this weekend on Bloomberg Television. “It should be stopped as far as the broad base that they’re doing. If there’s a profile and targeting that goes on, then fine.”

Manchin, 65, also indicated that Attorney General Eric Holder, who has been criticized for targeting news organizations, among other issues, should consider resigning.

“Whenever you feel that you have lost your effectiveness or may be losing your effectiveness to the detriment of the job that you do,” he said about Holder, “you have to evaluate that and make a decision. And I think we’re at the time now where decisions have to be made.”

The Obama administration and congressional allies have defended the collection of phone data from Verizon Communications Inc. (VZ) on all its customers’ calls and the gathering of data on foreign nationals from Internet companies.

“I’m wanting to do everything I can to fight the war on terror,” Manchin said. “There will not be another day in my life, my children or grandchildren’s life they won’t have to be vigilant against terrorists wanting to do us harm. But do you give up everything as an American?”

Manchin said he agreed with the recommendations of the commission set up to investigate the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks to establish a White House Office of Civil Liberties that would be consulted on these kinds of issues. Neither Obama nor his predecessor, George W. Bush, followed through.

“Somebody better be looking at what are my liberties, what are my rights, what are my freedoms,” Manchin said. “What did my founding fathers intend for me to have as an American?” - Bloomberg, 6/8/13

Now you can think whatever you want about Manchin's position on this.  He wasn't in the Senate the time the Patriot Act and FISA were passed so there's no way of knowing how he would've voted then.  But I appreciate him being on the right side of this issue.  He's even been echoing the calls of progressives in West Virginia, a group he probably rarely listens to:

U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder addresses the League of United Latin American Citizens (LULAC) annual conference, Thursday, June 28, 2012, at Walt Disney World in Lake Buena Vista, Fla.  The U.S. House is reportedly near citing Holder for contempt in the 'Operation Fast and Furious' gunrunning case.  (Joe Burbank/Orlando Sentinel)   newsgate ID# .B582201614Z.1.
The Obama Administration has been pummeled this week but do not expect me to come to their defense.  The two stinging controversies at hand, secretive seizure of press phone records and bureaucratic bullying of organizations based on their politics, represent the most detestable governmental actions that can exist in a free society.  Democrat or Republican, all should be alarmed and ashamed.  That President Obama was unaware of these activities only mitigates the degree of damnation deserved by a decimal.  While many Republicans of the political class use these controversies to score petty political points, Democrats must take a principled stand and demand accountability.  Anything less is a dereliction of duty to protect our most cherished freedoms.  

President Obama is a man of principal.  As such, he must take full accountability for the failings of the executive domain; apologize to the nation; promise a full and independent investigation; proclaim that this course will change; and fire those that have failed the public.  This appears to be what is taking place at the IRS.  The head of that agency has been forced to step down and an investigation ensues.  After reading the testimony of AG Holder today, I feel he and his chief deputy must step down as well.  Holder's refusal to accept responsibility coupled with his defense of the AP phone record drag net only further reinforces the need for a clean start in the Justice Department.  Fast and Furious, the drone memos, neglect of state sovereignty on marijuana law, and now the AP shakedown?  No, it is time for a change.  Holder must go.

Accountability for failing to ensure the most sacred of responsibilities entrusted to the Chief Executive, protection of our inalienable rights as a free people, requires a high price.  It also requires a promise to deliver.  Mr. President, the buck stops with you.  I have faith that you can resolve these matters as they must be resolved.  Nothing less is acceptable. - West Virgina Blue, 5/15/13

Conservatives get the message.  McGeehan gets it.  So do Manchin and progressives in West Virginia get it.  But does Capito understand?  Will she now have a change of heart on this issue?  Will conservatives even make the NSA, FISA and the Patriot Act issues in the primary?  I'm skeptical but I could be wrong.  The thing about this whole situation is as disappointed and upset I am with the Obama Administration, it make me furious that people who were loyal to Bush and questioned my patriotism when I was critical of Bush doing this now all of a sudden are making the a big deal about it.  So it was ok when the white guy from Texas was spying on everyone but it's not ok when the black guy from Chicago does it?  As much as I would like to see people in this country put ideology and political parties aside and come together on this issue, I just can't put this shit aside.  If these small government conservatives really want to convince me that they're sincere about the NSA spying then they need to renounce Bush and those who helped him get us into this mess.  That includes Capito.  Now I don't like McGeehan either but I would have a little more respect for West Virginia Republicans if they nominated him over Capito.  I wonder if the Club For Growth will throw their support behind him.  Right now the Democrats don't have a candidate.  I'm still hoping that Secretary of State Natalie Tennant (D. WV) will jump in.  You can read more about her here:

Part of the hesitation for Democrats is waiting to see how badly Capito gets hit in her own primary.  Now I'm from Pittsburgh and I know how conservative West Virginia can be.  But this is still the Democrats' turf and I hope Tennant or someone just as strong stands up to hold Senator Jay Rockefeller's (D. WV) seat.  Whoever that Democrat may be will have to distance his or herself from Obama, I understand that.  Hopefully that Democrat will follow Manchin's lead on this issue.  

Originally posted to pdc on Mon Jun 10, 2013 at 09:25 PM PDT.

Also republished by The Democratic Wing of the Democratic Party.

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