Our freedoms are at stake in GOP Senate race
A recent cover of Newsweek featured a heavily armed, helmeted officer with the caption, "Police State: America's New Way of Life." New Hampshire's motto, "Live Free Or Die," stands in obvious stark opposition to such a dangerous, chillingly un-American trend. But a so-called conservative candidate for the U.S. Senate, Kelly Ayotte, is determined to chisel away our freedoms and replace them with such a new police state.You think I exaggerate? I wish I were.Think about this: Our freedoms have been boosted by the proliferation of cell phone recorded videos in the 21st century. Now citizens have a chance to record what really happened and let the facts speak for themselves. How would you feel if a candidate running for federal office wanted to end this important freedom and allow only the police the ability to record and create evidence? Believe it or not, Ayotte steps heavily on freedom by her opposition to citizen video recording of police actions. Pretty scary stuff - kind of Stalinist, really.For years, police indiscretions have been brought to light through citizen vigilance. I can't imagine any definition of living free that does not allow, even encourage citizens to record police actions.In keeping with our Live Free Or Die tradition, in 2009, with Republicans as co-sponsors, House Bill 312 was submitted, simply permitting the recording (on a cell phone or other device) of police activity. She successfully worked to kill the bill in the Senate. All but one of the Ayotte for Senate TV ads features a uniformed police officer, and her latest ad shamelessly politicizes her prosecution of the man guilty of killing Manchester Police Officer Michael Briggs.Her job as state AG, of course, required such prosecution. But we're talking now about the U.S. Senate. The federal government exists in part to protect our freedom, which is a heck of a lot more pervasive than merely prosecuting the bad guys as top state law enforcement officer.On a consistent basis, AG Ayotte testified before the Legislature to curtail civil liberties and protect the power of the police state. Ayotte also spoke against the Castle Doctrine, which gives a crime victim the right to use force when attacked when that victim is legally in a place where they have a right to be. Instead, Ayotte suggests that a potential victim has a duty to retreat, rather than defend themselves ... cold comfort to a woman walking home late at night and confronted in a dark street, or someone in a wheelchair, or a nightclub patron being surrounded by a group of thugs out to bash someone for fun.Kelly Ayotte has spent her life enhancing and enlarging the power of the state and its police and enforcement mechanisms against its citizens. Having garnered the support of the GOP establishment, it is now no surprise that as the GOP primary nears, she is tripping over herself to embrace anti-immigration extremism, 14th Amendment repeal nonsense. That amendment ensures that each natural born baby is an American citizen.How far back would the law go? Would we all have to prove that our ancestors who were the first to arrive in the United States were all here legally, or that they all became citizens? Should we create a new police state bureaucracy - the Department of Citizenship?The evidence is in: Police, like the American government, work for the citizens, not the other way around.State senator from 1990 to 2004, Burt Cohen hosts a radio show, "The Burt Cohen Show," which can be heard on WSCA-FM and at TheBurtCohenShow.com.