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President's Message
HOT Lanes Now Under Construction
State Council on May 13
Charter Commission (Evangeline Funk & Piilani Kaopuiki)
Case Against Rail Transit (Panos Prevedouros)
Astrid Monson, 1913-2006 (Arlene Ellis)
Transit Update (Charles Carole)
FBI Intimidation

FBI Intimidation

The League of Women Voters of the United States (LWVUS) expressed concern recently over a recent incident involving the LWV of Berrien and Cass Counties (LWVBCC) in Michigan. The LWVBCC on March 14 sponsored a public meeting on Openness in Government. Common Cause President Chellie Pingree was among four members of a panel which discussed why open government is important to everyone and why it is under challenge today.

After the panel, an FBI agent contacted the local League president, Susan Gilbert, to challenge comments that Pingree made at the LWV panel that were reported in a local newspaper on March 17. According to Gilbert, FBI agent Al DiBrito said that "this Pingree woman" was "way off base" in her comments about the USA PATRIOT Act, and that the League should have invited someone from the federal government to be on the panel and to respond. DiBrito told Gilbert a U.S. Attorney from the Grand Rapids office would contact her to give her the real story on the USA PATRIOT Act.

LWVUS President Kay Maxwell said "Citizens can be intimidated when an FBI agent calls and questions their activities." "Why should a citizen meeting on open government merit the attention of the FBI?" said Common Causes Pingree.

Thanks to Dorothy Cornell for bringing this to our attention.
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