Local representatives betrayed constituents

Perhaps real journalism is not dead in the mainstream media. I was delighted to finally see a thoughtful piece on the substance of the NSA spying story on the front page of the July 26 News (“Western New York reps support NSA phone data sweep”). I would much rather read this than more of the distracting drama over the whereabouts of the whistleblower, Edward Snowden, on which most mainstream papers have focused their coverage.

Jerry Zremski’s piece revealed that in the recent House vote attempting to defund the NSA program that is being used to spy on all Americans, all four Western New York House members, Republican and Democrat, openly chose fear of backlash from their respective party leadership over love for their constituents, the Constitution and this country by voting against the Amash amendment. This is simply unacceptable.

Western New Yorkers deserve representatives who will uphold their inalienable right to privacy. Republican Rep. Chris Collins actively enabled the NSA to continue to commit constitutional treason, and yet he calls Snowden a traitor. Democratic Rep. Brian Higgins’ weak subservience to President Obama and the Democratic leadership is no better. Western New Yorkers, whether we root for the blue team or the red team, are smarter than these so-called representatives think we are. We will remember this betrayal the next time we go to the voting booth.

Michael O’Brien