Sunday, July 04, 2004

Mayor Burnley Refuses to Sign Boone Resolution Against Parts of the USA Patriot Act

Last Thursday, the Boone Town Council passed on the third reading a resolution that calls on the federal government to review the USA Patriot Act and rescind executive orders and policies that limit or compromise liberties granted by the Constitution and Bill of Rights. Similar resolutions have been passed by hundreds of municipalities all across the country.

Councilmen Graydon Eggers and Dempsey Wilcox voted against the resolution. Eggers seemed to argue that giving up our civil liberties during Bush's War was okay by him, and Wilcox, while admitting that parts of the USA Patriot Act were real causes of concern, used the rather strange logic that if we were in "peacetime" (i.e., at a time when the Bush administration didn't feel the need to expand federal powers to snoop into our reading habits and e-mail messages), then the resolution against parts of the Patriot Act would be appropriate. Did I hear that correctly, that it's all right to stand up for your rights when they aren't threatened, but it's just unseemly to do so when they are? (Read Kathleen McFadden's coverage of this vote in the Mountain Times here, and scroll down.)

The one person on the Council who didn't have a vote in the matter was Mayor Velma Burnley, who is rumored to have been a Democrat at one time in her life. Scuttlebutt around Town Hall is that Burnley is reportedly refusing to sign the resolution, which refusal actually doesn't even matter (since neither her vote nor her signature is needed). But it is interesting.

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