Monday, September 26, 2005

Schumer Scores Zero On Protecting Privacy

Senator Grills Roberts on Right to Privacy, Should Have Looked in Mirror First

WASHINGTON, Sept. 23 /U.S. Newswire/ -- The Mayflower Compact Coalition, an alliance of black leaders and patriotic Americans seeking to strengthen the health and well-being of black America, is outraged by New York Senator Chuck Schumer’s Democratic Senate Campaign Committee’s idea that opposition research should involve fraudulently obtaining a rival candidate’s credit report, violating an individual’s right to privacy.

"Where’s the right to privacy in this case, Senator,” exclaimed Phyllis Berry Myers, co-founder of the Mayflower Compact Coalition. "We just sat through a week of hearings in which Democrat Senators like Schumer assailed Judge John Roberts on the issue of privacy and all the while the DSCC under Schumer’s leadership was violating this very right. What hypocrisy!”

Maryland Lt. Governor Michael Steele, a possible candidate for US Senate, learned from the FBI that the Democrat Senate Campaign Committee lifted his social security number and fraudulently obtained his credit report. Coalition Member and civil rights activist, Niger Innis reacted, "We find the DSCC’s actions troubling and disappointing.

I don’t think it is mere coincidence that the DSCC targeted the highest ranking, statewide black Republican elected official. Is illegally obtaining potential candidates’ credit reports standard DSCC operating procedure? American citizens need to know.”

"I’m neither a Democrat nor a Republican. I’m an Independent,” commented Reverend Anthony Williams, pastor of Chicago’s St. Stephen’s Evangelical Lutheran Church. "But you all know if the RNC or any other Republican organization had done this, all kind of invective would be hurled. The Republicans would be accused of ‘dirty tricks;’ called ‘racist’ and everything else but a child of God. By the way, where is the outrage from the Congressional Black Caucus? We want to discuss this matter with them.”

"I’m an attorney and former senior counsel to the Senate Judiciary Committee,” noted Cherylyn Harley LeBon. "Senator Schumer needs to take responsibility and be held accountable for the actions of his subordinates. If there is nothing to hide, Senator Schumer also should release to The Baltimore Sun, The Washington Post and The New York Times all emails and correspondence relating to the Steele matter. The voters of Maryland and the rest of us have a right to know what happened here. Refusing to do so would only serve to feed voters’ growing cynicism and continue to erode confidence in the openness and fairness of our electoral processes.”

"There is enough fear about identity theft and government invasion of our privacy without the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee engaging in such activity,” said Virginia Walden Ford, president of People of Color United and DC Parents for School Choice. "Our Senators should assist in protecting and guaranteeing our right to privacy, not condoning such gross violations. I’m disappointed Senator Schumer hasn’t publicly apologized to Lt. Governor Steele. We’re waiting for your apology, Senator Schumer.”