FreedomWorks released a video this afternoon shortly after they joined Senator Rand Paul in filing a class action lawsuit against President Obama and intelligence officials over the National Security Agency’s violation of the Fourth Amendment through their domestic surveillance program.
While preparing to walk over to the court, FreedomWorks President Matt Kibbe said, “One of the footnotes I find particularly interesting, this is a quote from then-Senator Barack Obama, who complained about the lack of judicial oversight with the NSA’s programs. He said in 2005, ‘If someone wants to know why their own government has decided to go on a fishing expedition through every personal record or private document, the library books you’ve read, the phone calls that you made, the emails that you sent, this legislation gives people no rights to appeal the need for such a need in a court of law. No judge will hear your plea. No jury will hear your case. This is just plain wrong.’”
Kibbe went on to call this the biggest day in FreedomWorks history.
During the joint press conference, Kibbe said, “I don’t think this is a partisan issue. This isn’t Republican versus Democrat. This isn’t about the Obama Administration. This is about a government that’s crossed a line.”
Senator Paul and FreedomWorks are being represented by former Virginia Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli, who says that they filed the class action lawsuit “to vindicate the Fourth Amendment rights of every American who uses a phone.”
It’s official. Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) and FreedomWorks President Matt Kibbe have filed a class action lawsuit against President Barack Obama and senior intelligence officials over the NSA’s domestic surveillance program.
“On behalf of myself, FreedomWorks and everyone in America that has a phone, we’re filling suit against the President of the United States in defense of the Fourth Amendment,” Paul said in front of the U.S. District Court in Washington, D.C. “We will ask the question in court whether a single warrant can apply to the records of every American phone user all of the time, without limits, without individualization.”
“This, we believe, will be a historic lawsuit. We think it may well be the largest class action lawsuit ever filed on behalf of the Bill of Rights,” he added.
President Barack Obama, Director of National Intelligence James Clapper, FBI Director James Comey, and Director of National Security Agency Keith Alexander were named in the lawsuit. Former Virginia Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli will represent Paul and FreedomWorks in the case.
The lawsuit seeks a declaration the NSA’s bulk metadata collection program is unconstitutional and an injunction against further use. Paul and FreedomWorks want purged any metadata from the existing database.
Paul and FreedomWorks argue that they have a reasonable expectation of privacy under the Fourth Amendment as well as standing to file the complaint on the grounds that they are subscribers to Verizon and AT&T.
Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) will file a class action lawsuit this morning against President Barack Obama and intelligence officials over the National Security Agency’s domestic surveillance programs.
“I am filing a lawsuit against President Barack Obama because he has publicly refused to stop a clear and continuing violation of the 4th Amendment,” Paul said in a press release from RandPAC. “The Bill of Rights protects all citizens from general warrants. I expect this case to go all the way to the Supreme Court , and I predict the American people will win.”
Paul has long contended that the controversy over the NSA’s surveillance programs, through which the intelligence agency collects phone metadata of innocent Americans, is a matter that will eventually have to be settled by the Supreme Court. His PAC began collecting signatures for the lawsuit in January.
In addition to President Obama, Director of National Intelligence James Clapper, FBI Director James Comey, and Director of National Security Agency Keith Alexander will be named as respondents in the lawsuit.
Paul will file the lawsuit at United States District Court in Washington, D.C and will host a press conference in front of the courthouse at 11 am. The Kentucky senator will be joined by FreedomWorks President Matt Kibbe and former Virginia Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli, who will serve as lead counsel in the case.
There has been much focus on the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) report released last week, the findings of which showed that Obamacare will result in 2.5 million fewer people working full-time jobs by 2024.
Republicans have seized on the report as proof that Obamacare discourages Americans from working so that they can retain health insurance subsidies through the law and, by extension hurt economic growth. Those points were confirmed by CBO Director Doug Elemendorf in congressional testimony the day following release of the report.
But, as Jason Hart of FreedomWorks notes, the nonpartisan budget agency also went into detail on Medicaid expansion, another part of the law that will discourage Americans from working:
“CBO estimates that expanded Medicaid eligibility under [Obamacare] will, on balance, reduce incentives to work,” the nonpartisan budget office opined, citing a National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER) working paper Media Trackers called attention to last summer.
CBO listed “expansion of eligibility for Medicaid” as the second most important Obamacare provision affecting the nation’s labor supply.
“In particular, studies of past expansions or contractions in Medicaid eligibility for childless adults have pointed to a larger effect on labor supply than CBO had estimated previously,” CBO wrote.
FreedomWorks PAC has endorsed Dr. Greg Brannon in the North Carolina Republican Senate primary, confirming an earlier report of a pending announcement.
In a statement released yesterday, FreedomWorks PAC called Brannon the “clear choice for North Carolinians looking to preserve individual freedom and rein in Washington’s out-of-control spending.” The organization also pointed the candidate’s experience as a physician as evidence that he knows the impact of Obamacare on families and doctors.
“Greg Brannon is a solutions-oriented leader with a stellar understanding of the constitutional role of government,” said Matt Kibbe, President of FreedomWorks PAC, according to the statement. “He knows that North Carolinians - not some faceless bureaucrats in Washington - know what’s best for themselves and their families.”
“Greg Brannon will be a critical part of the Republican Senate takeover in 2014, and a welcome member of the Freedom Caucus within the new majority,” he added.
The endorsement could be key in the race. North Carolina House Speaker Thom Tillis is thought to be the frontrunner for the Republican nomination. The most recent numbers from Public Policy Polling found Brannon trailing Tillis by 8 points among primary voters. Both candidates held small leads over Sen. Kay Hagan (D-NC), according to the poll.
Brannon called the FreedomWorks’ endorsement “an honor.”
Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) can’t be happy with the latest poll out of Kentucky, released yesterday by Rasmussen Reports. It’s not that he finds himself in an unusual position against his Democratic challenger, but rather than his primary opponent is outperforming him.
The poll found that McConnell is tied with Alison Lundergan Grimes, at 42/42. That’s on par with other recent polls, which have found the Kentucky Republican holding slight, statistically insignificant leads.
McConnell’s Republican primary challenger, Matt Bevin, however, holds a 4-point lead over Grimes, at 40/36, just inside the margin of error.
Though the poll didn’t offer any hint of McConnell’s approval ratings, Rasmussen did measure voter favorability of the three candidates.
Kentucky voters have a mixed view of Grimes, who is viewed favorably by 40%, while 37% hold an unfavorable view. Bevin isn’t well known, but 32% have a favorable view. The same number said that they’d never heard of him. Twenty-six percent (26%) view him unfavorably.
McConnell’s numbers aren’t bad, though he’s still underwater, with 46% holding a favorable of the Senate minority leader and 49% expressing an unfavorable opinion.
As one might imagine, Bevin gloated about the numbers.
“These poll numbers are an accurate reflection of what I see and hear every day traveling across the Commonwealth,” said Bevin in a statement. “Kentuckians have had enough of career politicians like Mitch McConnell who compromise our conservative principles and instead vote for Obamacare, bailouts, amnesty and tax increases.”
Today in Liberty: House GOP ready to give up on debt ceiling, minimum wage and jobs, fis-cons come out against Farm Bill
“There is all the difference in the world between treating people equally and attempting to make them equal.” — F.A. Hayek
— Yet another Republican surrender, debt ceiling edition: Remember when House Republicans were talking tough about the debt ceiling in mid-December after they completely surrendered on spending cuts. House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan (R-WI), for example, said that they “don’t want ‘nothing’ out of the debt limit” debate. Yeah, they’re about to surrender on that issue, too. Via Politico: “The most senior figures in the House Republican Conference are privately acknowledging that they will almost certainly have to pass what’s called a clean debt ceiling increase in the next few months, abandoning the central fight that has defined their three-year majority.”
FreedomWorks PAC has endorsed Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell’s (R-KY) primary challenger, Matt Bevin, the grassroots organization announced yesterday, adding to the already contentious, polarizing race.
“For far too long Mitch McConnell has sat on the sidelines of pivotal fights, helping the Democrats pass unprecedented surveillance powers, the TARP/Wall Street bailout, numerous tax hikes and debt ceiling increases, and Medicare Part D,” said Matt Kibbe, president of FreedomWorks PAC.
“Most recently,” Kibbe continued, “he orchestrated the McConnell-Reid sellout bargain to increase the debt limit and fully fund a broken health care law, getting a $1.2 billion ‘special project kickback’ in the process. Kentucky deserves better, and looking at the dropping poll numbers for McConnell, there’s no reason to settle.”
“Now more than ever, we need strong fiscal conservatives who will fight to cut spending on the front lines, not the sidelines. Matt Bevin is a great upgrade for Kentuckians who are serious about transparency, fiscal responsibility and accountability in government,” he added.
McConnell’s campaign has denied responsibility for the “special project kickback” — funding for a river lock project on the Ohio-Kentucky border — to which Kibbe referred in his statement. Sen. Lamar Alexander (R-TN) reportedly requested the earmark.
The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) is trying to push through guidelines that would ostensibly institutionalize and legitimize the agency’s targeting of conservative and Tea Party organizations.
In November, the IRS announced proposed guidance that defines “candidate-related political activity” and “would amend current regulations by indicating that the promotion of social welfare does not include this type of activity.” The powerful tax agency will require groups engaging in candidate-related activity to disclose contributions.
FreedomWorks, a grassroots service center to some 6 million activists, is pledging to fight the proposed guidelines.
“While you were all celebrating Thanksgiving with family and friends, the Obama Administration was quietly releasing a new set of draconian IRS regulations that would make it virtually impossible for tea parties that want to participate in the political process to do their business,” said Matt Kibbe, president and CEO of FreedomWorks, in a video message to the organization’s membership.
Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI) sought to smooth things over with conservative groups on the budget deal he struck with Sen. Patty Murray (D-WA) in a pre-recorded appearance with on NBC’s Meet the Press, saying that the groups are “very important elements of our conservative family.”
Ryan’s comments came after House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) blasted conservative groups on Wednesday and Thursday for opposing the budget agreement before it was formally released, telling reporters that they’ve “lost all credibility.”
“I think John just kind of got his Irish up. He was frustrated that these groups came out in opposition to our budget agreement before we reached a budget agreement,” Ryan told host David Gregory. “I was frustrated, too.”
“But I think these are very important elements of our conservative family. I would prefer to keep those conversations within the family,” the House Budget Committee chairman said. “And I think he was just basically voicing his frustration with their opposition before we had reached our agreement.”