April 16, 2008

Republican Governor Weighs in on Spending Transparency and REAL ID

Here's good news from the right side of the aisle: the Republican governor of South Carolina has taken steps to help citizens get information about government spending. Following that is his editorial criticizing REAL ID and the lack of debate over it, presenting in straightforward language some of the problems it will cause.
Governor Announces New Web Site To Make Spending Information Available To Citizens
Gov. Mark Sanford today announced the completion of a new state Spending Transparency Web site, aimed at providing citizens with a greater degree of information about how their tax dollars are being used.
The site was created pursuant to a Spending Transparency Executive Order issued last year by the governor, and developed in concert with Comptroller General Richard Eckstrom's office. The goal of the site, which can be found at https://ssl.sc.gov/SpendingTransparency, is to bring more accountability to where tax dollars are being spent. The site - which is freely accessible to the public - contains reports collected by the Comptroller General's Office on all agencies' funds expended and their source.
REAL ID side effects
By Mark Sanford
April 14, 2008
If I were a betting man, I would wager most people haven't followed the debate on REAL ID. If you indeed missed it, I would ask you take the time to learn about what I consider the most troubling piece of legislation I've seen come from Washington since I have been governor.
REAL ID would surreptitiously require all 50 states to change their driver's licenses to act as de-facto national ID cards. It's outrageous, and not just because it was a backdoor way of doing something proponents in Washington have never been able to pull off in the past. I say "outrageous" because REAL ID was never really debated in Congress; because the cost of its implementation is handed down to states and individuals; and because it is an affront to Americans' privacy concerns.
[...] REAL ID disrupts this delicate balance of power in two ways. First, it turns the Founders' logic on its head by forcing states to act as agents for the federal government in creating a national ID card for federal purposes. Needing a REAL ID to board a plane or enter a federal building would also change the balance of power in something as seemingly insignificant as a visit to a member of Congress.
In short, there are many faults in this bill that could be sorted were there debate in Washington on REAL ID. I hope you'll join me in making your voice heard for truly debating this issue, and for pushing for change that would come with that debate.
Mark Sanford, a Republican, is governor of South Carolina.

Thank you, Governor Sanford! Maybe you'll consider other progressive issues that will benefit the people of South Carolina, and the rest of us in the USA. You're the anti-Lieberman!

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