For Immediate Release
Thursday, August 5, 2004

An Assault on Civil Rights and American Democracy

A "raid" on book readers dramatizing the nature of the conflict between the Patriot Act and civil rights, took place at 10:00 AM Thursday, August 5, 2004 at the Tippecanoe County Public Library, Meeting Room B, 627 South Street in Lafayette.

Following this event, Dr. David Sanders, candidate for the office of U.S. Representative for the 4th Congressional District of the State of Indiana, discussed the Patriot Act and the nature of terrorism.

"The preceding scene was hyperbole. It nevertheless dramatizes the erosion of our civil rights that the Bush Administration and Congressman Buyer have promoted. The goal of terrorism is terror. The terrorists will have achieved their aims if they can make us fearful enough to surrender our freedoms and ideals.

"The initial vote on the Freedom to Read Amendment, which would have stopped the assault on the civil rights of library and bookstore patrons, favored its passage. But then the Republican leadership arbitrarily extended the time for the vote and twisted the arms of Republican Congressman who had supported the Amendment. There was finally a tie vote on the Amendment. Congressman Buyer opposed the Freedom to Read."

"These strong-arm tactics have become typical of the Republican Congressional leadership. Middle-of-the-night votes, incredibly extended voting periods, arm-twisting and bribery are subverting the House of Representatives. Yes, bribery. The Medicare bill fiasco exemplified all of these elements. Retiring Republican Representative Nick Smith from Michigan has asserted that an attempt was made to bribe him. He said that he was offered $100, 000 by a fellow Congressman for the campaign of his son, who seeks to replace him, if he would vote for the Medicare bill. Campaign contributions from pharmaceutical companies were mentioned as a source of the money.

"The publication, The Hill, mentions the names of six Congressmen who tried to persuade Representative Smith to switch his vote. It is probable that one of the Congressmen named was the one who offered Representative Smith the bribe. Congressman Buyer is one of those six. He also is one of the largest recipients of pharmaceutical industry contributions.

"This would not be the first time that questions about Congressman Buyerís ethics have been investigated by the House Ethics Committee.

"I donít know exactly what went on in the House chamber the night and early morning of the Medicare bill vote. Neither does any other member of the public. But thatís just the point. The middle-of-the-night secrecy and skullduggery is an attack on the American legislative process. Has anyone from the local media asked Representative Smith about what occurred that night and what Congressman Buyer said to him?"

A graduate of Yale University and the University of California at Berkeley, Dr. Sanders conducted research at UCSF and the Whitehead Institute (affiliated with M.I.T.) before joining the Department of Biological Sciences at Purdue University where he is now an Associate Professor. David Sanders has been married to his wife, Miriam, for 17 years, and their three boys attend the West Lafayette public schools.


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