Florida Veterans for Common Sense Call to Action

TV Appearance by Mike Burns: Our VP, Mike Burns, will appear on Channel 40, ABC tomorrow, March 25, 2008, between 12:00 noon and 12:30PM. (Channel 7 Cable in SRQ.) Mike will be talking about our Walkathon on Sunday.
 
ACTION REQUEST: Columnist Jeremy Wallace reported in today’s Sarasota Herald Tribune (Monday, March 24, 2008) on Rep Buchanan’s comments justifying his vote on FISA as follows:
 
Buchanan on FISA
U.S. Rep. Vern Buchanan, R-Longboat Key, is pulling no punches in blasting Democrats in Congress for failing to pass a viable electronic surveillance bill to protect the country from future terrorist attacks.
Speaking to the Sarasota Bay Republican Club on Friday, Buchanan said the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act passed on March 14 is “an atrocity.”
He said it prevents the government from monitoring phone calls of known terrorists by failing to grant retroactive lawsuit immunity to telecom companies that provide information to the government.
About 40 lawsuits have been filed against telephone companies, accusing them of violating the privacy rights of law-abiding Americans.
If the immunity provision is in the bill, it would protect those firms from potentially billions of dollars in claims.
Buchanan said it is clear the Democrats are bowing to trial lawyers instead of doing what is right. He said it puts the country more at risk.
“I can’t imagine why they would want to take that risk,” Buchanan said.
The House voted 213 to 195 on March 14 for the FISA bill without the immunity clause. Buchanan joined every Republican in the House in opposing the legislation.
The immunity issue has been the key sticking point in the ongoing fight in Washington. The Senate passed a bill last month that included an immunity provision that the White House has insisted upon. Without it, President Bush had threatened to veto the bill.
Rep. Buchanan’s position on FISA is contrary to the United States Constitution.
The Fourth Amendment Provides: 
The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized. 
 
The Constituion requires that Americans are to be protected from search and seizure by an independent judge reviewing an affidavit before a warrant issues. The executive does not, and should not, have unilateral authority to spy on Americans with warrantless wiretaps.
 
Does anyone, Rep Buchanan included, know of a single incidence where a judge denied a warrant to monitor a known terrorist as he implied in his comments? Let him name the judge.
 
For Rep Buchanan’s information, trial lawyers bring lawsuits for the proper redress of grievances. If the government spied on citizens without a proper warrant, they have the right to sue for redress. Rep. Buchanan apparently believes citizens should roll over and let the government and a “unilateral” executive trample on our sacred rights.
 
Rep. Buchanan is willing to flush away American Constitutional rights because he is cowed by terrorists living in caves and apparently believes we can’t combat them without subverting our system. Unlike Rep. Buchanan, patriotic Americans put the Constitution first. What has happened to land of the free and the home of brave?
 
Let Rep Buchanan know how you feel. Write to him, send Letters to the Editor and write to Jeremy Wallace about Rep. Buchanan’s shameful and unpatriotic comments. Republicans members and friends should speak up loud and clear.
 
Walkathon:
At the Walkathon we will be entertained by a bluegrass band, DANNY BEACH AND THE FLORIDA MOUNTAIN BOYS (See the Press Release Below the Line for Details on the Walkathon.)
 
Every one of us can get ten or twenty people to come to this fun nonpolitical event, which supports the best of causes. Do your part and help! Let’s have a huge turnout.
 
 
Walkathon Press Release: 
 
Florida Veterans for Common Sense Walkathon
100 Wallace Ave. Ste. 255 Sarasota, FI 34237 941-349 -5131 FLveterans@aol.com

 For Immediate Release

 A Walkathon on Siesta Key to benefit wounded veterans of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan is being sponsored by the Florida Veterans for Common Sense on Mar. 30, from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.
“This special Walkathon comes from a deep interest in veterans helping veterans by creating an event where the public can get directly involved to support the troops by participation and making donations to the Haley House Fund supporting the James A. Haley Veterans Medical Center in Tampa,” Geoff Morris, walkathon project chairman for Florida Veterans for Common Sense, said.  The event is non-political. 
 
All proceeds from this fundraiser will be used to provide immediate help to the visiting families of veterans with blast injuries, those afflicted with spinal cord and brain injuries, and other injuries sustained while serving in Iraq and Afghanistan.
 
The most seriously injured soldiers of these wars are sent to the James A. Haley Veterans Medical Center in Tampa, noted as the busiest VA hospital in the United States, where doctors and staff treat and rehabilitate some of the most severely injured Troops of Operation Enduring Freedom and Operation Iraqi Freedom. James A. Haley, VA Hospital is a Level 1 medical center and a high profile Polytrauma Center.  The sign at the entrance of the hospital says it all. “The Price of Freedom is Visible Here”.
 
America’s wounded service men and women need to know that their loved one’s are at their bedside, possibly during the worst time in their life, Morris noted. This is where the Haley House Fund comes to the rescue.
 
The primary goal of the Haley House Fund has been to provide temporary lodging and comfort for families of Veterans and Active Duty Soldiers being treated for life threatening injuries and diseases at James A. Haley VA Medical Center, located at 13000 Bruce B. Downs Blvd., in Tampa.
 
Some injuries have been traumatic brain or skull injuries, spinal cord injuries, amputations, burns, bullet / shrapnel wounds and so much more. While these warriors are rehabilitating from their injuries, the Haley House Fund enables families to be at the bedside of their loved one. These families are instrumental in providing comfort to their loved one in a time of need.
-more-
 

The Haley House Fund, Inc is a not for profit charity corporation 501 © (3), national and community in graphic scope. The Fund functions 100% on donations from the public and from Grants. The 2007 Organizational budget was $162,000. Haley House is operated by volunteer staff of 5 unpaid Board Members and numerous volunteers. There is no salary or compensation.
 
Until August, 2004, these family members and other important persons to the veteran or active duty service member, were paying top rates at local hotels, living out of their cars, taking second mortgages, and maxing credit cards, just be near the VA Hospital and their loved one. Today the Haley House Fund provides a comfort home nearby the James A. Haley Hospital for family members to stay at no charge to them.
 
The Walkathon provides our communities a wonderful opportunity to help raise the funds necessary to support the men and women who are facing long term recovery from combat injuries suffered while protecting our freedoms, Morris said.
Contacts:
 
Geoff Morris      
Florida Veterans for Common Sense
Siesta Key Beach Walkathon Chairman     
Morris & Widman PA
245 N. Tamiami Trail – Suite E
Venice, FL 34285
941-484-0646      
geoffm@mwk-law.com
 
Mary Ann Keckler
Director Haley House Fund, Inc.
P.O. Box 701
Brandon, FL 33509
813-468-0361      
maryannkeck@aol.com

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