June 25, 2013

Minutes of the Tuesday, June 25, 2013 SCC meeting at 7PM at the Portland Senior Center. GPCT attendees by chapters: Fairfield: David Bedelll and Rolf Maurer; Greater Hartford: Barbara Barry, secretary of GPCT; S. Michael DeRosa, co-chairperson of GPCT; Christopher Reilly, GPCT treasurer. Also: Allan Brison, GPCT co-chairperson; Linda Thompson, co-chairperson of GPCT, John Lancz, Timothy McKee;

1. a) Approved 5.28.13 SCC meeting minutes and b) accepted the EC minutes of: 6.17.13 meeting.

2. Treasurer's report from Christopher Reilly.

3. Agenda items from Linda, co-chairperson: a) Update on Mailing List Information; b) Discussion of Norwich Bulletin Election and Opportunity and c) possible Retreat Report.

4. Reports from our three representatives to the GPUS: Linda Thompson, Tim McKee, and S. Michael DeRosa.

5. Secretary’s report from Barbara Barry.

6. No: proposals or resolutions from chapters or a group of five CTGP Members or from the EC. 

7. Report from Christopher Reilly of the GPCT Internal Elections Committee who provided the results from it from the 4-27-13 GP of CT Annual Meeting.

8. GPCT response about: A.C.L.U. on June 11, 2013 sued the Obama administration on Tuesday over its “dragnet” collection of logs of domestic phone calls, contending that the once-secret program — whose existence was exposed last week by a former National Security Agency contractor — is illegal and asking a judge to stop it and order the records purged. The lawsuit could set up an eventual Supreme Court test. It could also focus attention on this disclosure amid the larger heap of top secret surveillance matters revealed by Edward J. Snowden, the former N.S.A. contractor who came forward Sunday to say he was their source. The program “gives the government a comprehensive record of our associations and public movements, revealing a wealth of detail about our familial, political, professional, religious and intimate associations,” the complaint says, adding that it “is likely to have a chilling effect on whistle-blowers and others who would otherwise contact” the A.C.L.U. for legal assistance. The Justice Department declined to comment on the suit. In other lawsuits against national security policies, the government has often persuaded courts to dismiss them without ruling on the merits by arguing that litigation would reveal state secrets or that the plaintiffs could not prove they were personally affected and so lacked standing in court. This case may be different. The government has now declassified the existence of the program. And the A.C.L.U. is a customer of Verizon Business Network Services — the recipient of a leaked secret court order for all its domestic calling records — which it says gives it standing. The call logging program keeps a record of “metadata” from domestic phone calls, including which numbers were dialed and received, from which location, and the time and duration. The effort began as part of the Bush administration’s post-Sept. 11 programs of surveillance without court approval, which has continued since 2006 with the blessing of a national security court. The court has secretly ruled that bulk surveillance is authorized by a section of the Patriot Act that allows the F.B.I. to obtain “business records” relevant to a counterterrorism investigation. Congress never openly voted to authorize the collection of logs of hundreds of millions of domestic calls, but some lawmakers were secretly briefed. Some members of Congress have backed the program as a useful counterterrorism tool; others have denounced it. “The administration claims authority to sift through details of our private lives because the Patriot Act says that it can,” Representative F. James Sensenbrenner Jr., Republican of Wisconsin, wrote in a letter to Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr. “I disagree. I authored the Patriot Act, and this is an abuse of that law.” Over the weekend, James R. Clapper Jr., the director of national intelligence, said that officials may access the database only if they can meet a legal justification — “reasonable suspicion, based on specific facts, that the particular basis for the query is associated with a foreign terrorist organization.” Queries are audited under the oversight of the national security court. Timothy Edgar, a former civil liberties official on intelligence matters in the Bush and Obama administrations who worked on building safeguards into the phone log program, said the notion underlying the limits was that people’s privacy is not invaded by having their records collected, but only when a human examines them. “When you have important reasons why that collection needs to take place on a scale that is much larger than case-by-case or individual obtaining of records,” he said, “then one of the ways you try to deal with the privacy issue is you think carefully about having a set of safeguards that basically say, ‘O.K., yes, this has major privacy implications, but what can we do on the back end to address those?’ ” Still, privacy advocates say the existence of the database will erode the sense of living in a free society: whenever Americans pick up a phone, they now face the consideration of whether they want the record of that call to go into the government’s files. Moreover, while use of the database is now limited to terrorism, history has shown that new government powers granted for one purpose often end up applied to others. An expanded search warrant authority justified by the Sept. 11 attacks, for example, was used far more often in routine investigations like suspected drug, fraud and tax offenses. Executive branch officials and lawmakers who support the program have hinted that some terrorist plots have been foiled by using the database. In private conversations, they have also explained that investigators start with a phone number linked to terrorism, and scrutinize the ring of people who have called that number — and other people who in turn called those — in an effort to identify co-conspirators. Still, that analysis may generally be performed without a wholesale sweep of call records, since investigators can instead use subpoenas to obtain relevant logs from telephone companies. Senators Ron Wyden of Oregon and Mark Udall of Colorado, two Democrats who have examined it in classified Senate Intelligence Committee hearings, claimed that the evidence is thin that the program provided uniquely available intelligence. But supporters privately say the database’s existence is about more than convenience and speed. They say it can also help in searching for networks of terrorists who are taking steps to shield their communications from detection by using different phones to call one another. If calls from a different number are being made from the same location as calls by the number that was already known to be suspicious, having the entire database may be helpful in a way that subpoenas for specific numbers cannot match. It remains unclear, however, whether there have been any real-world instances in which a terrorist was identified in that way, or whether that advantage is to date only theoretical. A 1979 ruling over small-scale collection of calling metadata held that such records were not protected by the Fourth Amendment privacy rights since people have revealed such information to phone companies. In a 2012 case involving GPS trackers, however, the Supreme Court suggested that the long-term, automated collection of people’s public movements might raise Fourth Amendment issues.

 9. Updates about actions taken by the CT legislature, our governor or the federal government and our actions: N.S.A., Syria, drones, immigration, CT HB6580 regarding “fusion” of political parties; other.

10. a) Update regarding the GPUS Annual Meeting to be held July 25 through July 28, 2013 in Iowa City, Iowa and b) the selected GPCT delegates to this GPUS Annual Meeting were determined by consensus: David Bedell, Timothy McKee and Allan Brison: GPCT co-chairperson.

11. SMD: the anticipated 2013 Jill Stein fundraiser/speech to the GP of CT at Portland Senior Center.

12. The GPCT Bylaws Committee members: Rolf Maurer, Cora Santaquida, Christopher Reilly, Linda Thompson, Barbara Barry, S. Michael DeRosa and Jeffry Larson, have not met yet but plan to do so as soon as they are able.

13. Reports from CTGP members to the (GPUS) National Committees.

Accreditation (AC): reviews any state chapter which petitions to join the GPUS; reviews criteria for delegates to GPUS annual meetings and conventions.

Annual National Meeting (ANMC): working on the July 25-28, 2013 GPUS Annual Meeting: Tim McKee and John Went.

Ballot Access (BA): discussion of efforts, difficulties, strategies and successes of the state Green Parties gaining ballot access: S. Michael DeRosa and Edward Schwing.

Black Caucus:

Bylaws, Rules, Polices Procedure (BRPP): for the GPUS officers and national committees: Amy Vas Nunes.

Coordination Campaign (CCC): distribution of GPUS money to Green Party public office candidates.

Dispute Resolution (DRC): mediation of any disputes within the GPUS organization:

Diversity (DC): strategies and actions to urge/maximize diversity within the GPUS: Linda Thompson.

Eco Action (EA): develop strategies for the GPUS regarding ecological matters.

Finance (FinCom): review and determine how to spend the money of the GPUS organization.

Fundraising (FC): raises money for the GPUS operations.

Green Party of the US internet news: acquire and write articles for the GPUS website.

International Committee (IC): develops/promotes GPUS positions regarding world issues. Hector Lopez, Justine McCabe and S. Michael DeRosa.

Latino Caucus: Hector Lopez

Merchandising Committee (MERCH): acquires items for the GPUS: Rolf Maurer and Hector Lopez.

Media Committee (MC): writes GPUS press releases.

Outreach (OC): interacts with other groups who may have similar interests of the GPUS: Linda Thompson.

Peace (GPAX): discusses/develops strategies of how the GPUS may promote peace throughout the world: Hector Lopez and S. Michael DeRosa.

Platform (PC): promotes positions on issues for the GPUS which are consistent with Green Party Ten Key Values: Justine McCabe and Amy Vas Nunes.

Presidential Campaign Support Committee (PCSC): develop strategies to support any GPUS presidential candidates. Timothy McKee.

Women’s Caucus: Martha Kelly.

14. Political actions to be taken in the near future; events GPCT wishes to participate in.

15. Formation, responsibilities of and volunteers for GPCT Committees: Outreach, Membership, Diversity, Fundraising and Media(inclusive of press releases, Op-Ed pieces, letters to the editor, Facebook, Twitter, and our website).

16. Chapter reports: verbal to the attendees and the written approved minutes to the CTGP secretary/EC members.

17. Selected the next SCC meeting will be the last Tuesday of July 30, 2013 at usual time; place will be determined. 

18. Other suggestions.

 GREEN PARTY TEN KEY VALUES: community-based economics and economic justice, decentralization, ecological wisdom, feminism and gender equality, future focus and sustainability, grassroots democracy, non-violence, personal and global responsibility, respect for diversity, social justice and equal opportunity.

 

Submitted by Barbara Barry, secretary of the Green Party of Connecticut

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