Friday, May 19, 2006

When can you search a . . . or a Member of Congress?

A couple of freshmen Members of Congress, Reps. Geoff Davis (R-KY) and Randy Kuhl (R-NY), have introduced a bill, H.R. 5295, the Student and Teacher Safety Act of 2006, to require local schools to deem any search "reasonable" and permissible by a full time teachers or other personnel

"on any colorable suspicion based on professional experience and judgment, of any minor student on the grounds of any public school, if the search is conducted to ensure that classrooms, school buildings, and school property remain free of all weapons, dangerous materials, or illegal narcotics."
Pete at Drug War Rant looked up colorable. It means "not genuine" or "seemingly true." I guess like a colorably intelligent Member of Congress? No really, there are some. Just not here.

DARE Generation Diary has a good call to action on this bill.

Rep. Geoff Davis, the prime sponsor, is in political hot water. President Bush was out campaigning for him last Friday.

* * *

Since I started working for the U.S. House of Representatives in 1979, I have been aware that Members of Congress give up most of the privacy that most Americans take for granted. When you enter politics, you give up the right to have secrets. Any fact that might provide insight into your "character" or "fitness for office" is fair game for journalists, or opponents, to publish and broadcast. Not only is the candidate or the officeholder subject to such exposure, but family members are as well. Does your spouse or do your children, siblings or parents have any foibles or scandals in their past or present? It is all legitimate grist for the "the public's right to know" mill.

How can such people have a shred of respect for the privacy of ordinary citizens? They have utterly no respect for their own privacy or that of anyone they love.

But this doesn't stop some folks with a closet full of skeletons from running for Congress.

Consider Rep. Randy Kuhl (R-NY), above, who wants to facilitate searching students.

In 2004, when he was running for Congress to fill the seat in the 29th District of New York being vacated by the esteemed conservationist Amo Houghton, according to The Almanac of American Politics, 2006, "...Kuhl's campaign was rocked in late October by the auauthorized release of his sealed divorce records, which included charges of excessive drinking and womanizing and an accusation that Kuhl had pulled out two shotguns at a dinner party and threatened to shoot his wife." (p.1236).

With this background, wouldn't this create a "colorable suspicion" to search the Honorable Mr. Kuhl anytime a police officer sees him within a half mile of a bar or gun shop?

Sphere: Related Content

No comments: