Republican U.S. Senate candidate Dave Westlake and I don’t agree on much, but we’re in total agreement that the PATRIOT Act is ineffective and should be scrapped:
Underdog U.S. Senate candidate Dave Westlake, making a bid to outflank fellow Republican Ron Johnson among tea-party activists, called Thursday for scrapping the Patriot Act.
The decorated Army officer said the act has proven ineffective for fighting terrorism, erodes civil liberties through overly broad wiretapping and should have been replaced within a few years of the 9-11 attacks.
Johnson has backed the continued need for the law, which expanded the ability of law enforcement agencies to investigate individuals. Incumbent U.S. Sen. Russ Feingold was the lone vote against the act in 2001, citing a lack of constitutional protections.
Westlake spoke a day after serving as a last-minute replacement at a tea-party candidate forum in Madison that Johnson missed Wednesday night. Johnson, who cited a personal scheduling conflict, last week told another tea-party group that he was still sketching out specific positions on constitutional questions.
It’s worth noting Westlake also said it was “weak” for Johnson to say he needs more time to decide positions on key campaign issues, another point that I’m in complete agreement with Westlake on. Ron Johnson has had plenty of time to figure out what he believes in, and the fact that he’s still having trouble articulating what he actually believes in bodes ill for his candidacy.