Governor Mark Sanford, even though he has attracted a lot of negative attention recently, is not alone in his position on federal stimulus money. Members of Restore the Republic campaign had a presence at the South Carolina statehouse last week. National Press Secretary Ilona Blakeley, also serves as South Carolina coordinator for the organization, which she says opposes big government and seeks to restore the country to what she calls its original concept. Blakely says the stimulus bill contains many things which have nothing to do with recovery and reinvestment, which reek of “Big Brother” government.
For one, she says it mandates a compilation of electronic data for every citizen, in support of the Real I-D program, which the South Carolina General Assembly rejected. The federal proposal was considered a way to control illegal immigration. “So there’s backdoor language to get us to the real ID, which we cannot do, it’s illegal. And we don’t have the right in this state to take parts of the stimulus package and not other parts. So we have to reject the entire thing, as I read it.”
Blakely says the stimulus package allows for up to $5 million dollars to be spent nationwide for data coordination.
Blakely says the Recovery and Reinvestment Act also contains a provision for the compilation of a medical record on every citizen by the year 2014. “And it can be freely exchanged between all governmental agencies. You may think you have the right to complete privacy of my medical records, as the HIPPA Act says. But you don’t actually have the right to exclude everyone from viewing your records. The one entity you can’t exclude is the government.”
The HIPPA Act provides for a citizen’s right to privacy of their medical records.
What Governor Sanford says he did Friday was to certify, not to apply for, a portion of South Carolina’s stimulus money. So that reserves $700 million for the state, but Sanford says he’s still planning to divert the money to reduce debt. The Governor’s attorney says he has until 2010 to actually apply for the money, and then two years after that to disperse the money. Sanford says he won’t request the money until the General Assembly agrees to pay down the state’s debt.