Montana Gov. Brian Schweitzer (D) signed legislation Tuesday (April 17) that bans the state's Motor Vehicle Division from enforcing the national rules, which set uniform security features for driver’s licenses and require states to verify the identity of all driver’s license applicants.
Washington Gov. Christine Gregoire (D) signed a bill Wednesday (April 18) barring that state from complying unless the federal government comes up with an extra $250 million to cover the state's expenses. The law also gives Washington's attorney general the right to challenge Real ID in court.
Montana's Schweitzer complained that the Real ID law is another way for the federal government to stomp on residents' personal privacy. "Montanans don’t want the federal agents listening to their phone conversations, rifling through their papers, checking on what books they read and monitoring where they go and when. We think they ought to mind their own business," he said in a written statement.
Gregoire in a statement said the Real ID Act "is another unfunded mandate from the federal government and, even worse, it doesn’t protect the privacy of the citizens of Washington."
Our legislators in Missouri should have been among the first to challenge this law, which requires that people who have been receiving driver's licenses for decades have to provide a birth certificate to show they are legally in this country. Americans should not have to prove they are Americans and please do not give me the nonsense about how people who have nothing to fear should not be concerned with having to show ID.
This is not legislation that protects us one bit. All it does is increase the cost of government and make money for people who specialize in providing voter IDs for driver's license or for voters. As I noted in the May 12, 2006, Turner Report:
Undoubtedly, companies will be vying to provide these voter IDs and one of the companies that stands a good chance of landing the state contract is Austin, Texas-based BearingPoint. On March 21, BearingPoint, which describes itself as a "leading global management and technology consulting firm," announced a teaming with Colorado-based Archon Technologies to "jointly pursue opportunities to provide information technology solutions for vehicle registration, drivers licensing and revenue management services to state, provincial, territorial and local motor vehicle departments in the United States and Canada."
The BearingPoint news release continued, " 'By aligning our business processes and information systems with Archon, BearingPoint will be better able to provide states with cost effective solutions to comply with the federally-mandated Real ID Act,' said Gary Miglicco, vice president for BearingPoint’s National Motor Vehicle Solutions Practice.
'Together, our two firms will review potential opportunities and work together to provide clients with integrated solutions that will allow them to upgrade their current systems and deliver results to citizens and other key constituents in an accelerated time frame.' Miglicco said the companies have already identified nearly a dozen potential market opportunities for 2006 and beyond."
Assuredly, Missouri is one of those markets since the following day, March 22, a Missouri lobbyist, Jay Reichard, filed documents with the Missouri Ethics Commission registering BearingPoint as a client. Reichard has some interesting connections. He shares a number of clients with another lobbyist, Andrew Blunt, younger brother of Missouri Governor Matt Blunt, with most of those clients added to his list shortly after the governor took office.
Though Andrew Blunt is not listed as a lobbyist for BearingPoint (a wise move since the FBI is currently looking into the license fee operations in the state), there is little doubt that Blunt and Reichard are closely connected.
Reichard is still the registered lobbyist for Bearing Point. With the money to be made from these businesses is it any wonder that the politicians in the party which has always stood against government interference is willing to tolerate one intrusion after another? As usual, follow the money.