Angle Was ‘Undecided’ On PATRIOT Act In ’04

Finally a reason for liberals to love Sharron Angle?

In a 2004 candidate questionnaire, the Nevada Republican Senate hopeful indicated she was “undecided” on the Patriot Act, the post-9/11 law that expanded the power of police and the government and has long drawn the ire of civil libertarians, according to a copy of the questionnaire obtained by TPM.Angle, a member of the state assembly up for reelection at the time, answered thirteen questions on the “Nevada Families Voter Guide,” which is put out by the Nevada Families/Eagle Forum organization. One question reads:

“The US PATRIOT Act jeopardizes many of our civil liberties but does not make law-abiding citizens safer. Would you support/sponsor a resolution opposing the PATRIOT Act?”

The voter guide lists Angle’s answer on the question as “U” for undecided. There is also an asterisk next to the U, indicating that Angle provided comments that could not fit in the guide. Janine Hansen, founder and publisher of the Nevada Families Voter Guide, tells TPM that the records with Angle’s expanded comments are “no longer available” because Hansen moved in 2004.

Angle’s campaign did not respond to a request for comment on her position on the Patriot Act. Whatever Angle’s current position, she has not emphasized civil liberties in her campaign. Neither the current nor primary-season version of her campaign website mentions the Patriot Act or civil liberties.

Perhaps we should not be surprised that Angle is not a full-blown supporter of the Patriot Act. The Independent American Party of Nevada, of which Angle was a member in the 1990s, currently has a platform plank declaring that the law “clearly violate[s] fundamental privacy rights afforded by the constitution and must be repealed.”

Sen. Harry Reid (D-NV), for his part, voted for the Patriot Act in 2001 and for the Patriot Act reauthorization in 2006.

Also on the 2004 questionnaire: Angle said she supported making campaign spending reports “100% voluntary.”

She also answered yes on this question:

“The federal government controls 89% of Nevada’s land. Do you support the recovery of Nevada’s sovereignty and jurisdiction over the lands within Nevada’s borders including Yucca Mountain?”

The questionnaire was provided to TPM by Lee Plotkin, who in 2004 was writing political commentary for the Las Vegas Bugle newspaper.