Gary Peters on Homeland Security



AdWatch: endorsed by VoteVets for military service

A liberal group announced it was going on air to promote the incumbent Democrat. VoteVets Action Fund said in a press release that it would be spending $750,000 on ads touting Peters' "career of service in the military and public office, and the results he delivered." The ads seem designed to counter Peters' Republican opponent, Iraq War veteran John James of Farmington Hills.

VoteVets described itself as the "largest progressive group of veterans in America." A 2016 report from the Center for Public Integrity described the group as a "liberal 'dark money' nonprofit."

The new ads will start airing Thursday in multiple TV markets, including Detroit, Flint and Grand Rapids, according to a press release.[Ad text: "Call Gary Peters. Thank him for sponsoring the Securing America's Ports of Entry Act"]

Source: Detroit News AdWatch on 2020 Michigan Senate endorsements , Nov 7, 2019

Less-than-honorable discharged veterans can regain benefits

Peters notes legislative victories on bills he has helped pass with Republicans--including those protecting rights of service members. Peters helped pass a provision that helps service members given a less-than-honorable discharge because of negative behavior file petitions that could help them change their status and potentially regain benefits if they can show their behavior was because of issues such as post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) or traumatic brain injury (TBI).
Source: Detroit Free Press on 2020 Michigan Senate race , Oct 25, 2019

Protect religious non-profits against terrorism

Two senators have introduced bipartisan legislation to give funds to synagogues and other religious and cultural institutions to help provide additional security against potential terrorist attacks. Rob Portman (R-Ohio) and Gary Peters (D-Michigan) introduced Protecting Faith-Based and Nonprofit Organizations From Terrorism Act, or S. 1539, to authorize $75 million annually for fiscal years 2020-2024, for the Department of Homeland Security's Nonprofit Security Grant Program.
Source: The Times of Israel on 2020 Michigan Senate race , May 19, 2019

Served in US Navy Reserves; signed back up after 9/11

The son of a WWII veteran, Gary Peters was 34 years old and a successful financial manager when he became an officer in the US Navy Reserve.

Following the terrorist attacks on September 11th, Gary signed back up for the Navy Reserve, and again served overseas in support of US operations. During his twelve years of service, he received numerous awards and citations, including the Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medal and the Military Outstanding Volunteer Service Medal.

Source: 2008 House campaign website, petersforcongress.com, “Issues” , Nov 4, 2008

Voted YES on extending the PATRIOT Act's roving wiretaps.

    Congressional Summary: To prohibit Federal funding of National Public Radio and the use of Federal funds to acquire radio content, including:
  1. broadcasting, transmitting, and programming over noncommercial educational radio broadcast stations
  2. cooperating with foreign broadcasting networks
  3. assisting and supporting noncommercial educational radio broadcasting
  4. paying dues to such organizations
  5. or acquiring radio programs for public broadcast.

Proponent's Argument for voting Yes:
[Rep. Blackburn, R-TN]: This bill gets the Federal Government--and Federal taxpayers--out of the business of buying radio programming they do not agree with. This is a bill that is long overdue. Regardless of what you think of NPR, its programming or statements by its management, the time has come to cut the umbilical cord from the taxpayer support that has become as predictable as an entitlement program. Much has changed in the media landscape since the wiretaps, to seek certain business records, and to gather intelligence on lone terrorists who are not affiliated with a known terrorist group. The Patriot Act works. It has proved effective in preventing terrorist attacks and protecting Americans. To let these provisions expire would leave every American less safe.

Opponent's Argument for voting No:
[Rep. Conyers, D-MI]: Section 215 of the Patriot Act allows a secret FISA court to authorize our government to collect business records or anything else, requiring that a person or business produce virtually any type record. We didn't think that that was right then. We don't think it's right now. This provision is contrary to traditional notions of search and seizure which require the government to show reasonable suspicion or probable cause before undertaking an investigation that infringes upon a person's privacy. And so I urge a "no" vote on the extension of these expiring provisions.

Reference: FISA Sunsets Extension Act; Bill H.514 ; vote number 11-HV066 on Feb 17, 2011

Repeal Don't-Ask-Don't-Tell, and reinstate discharged gays.

Peters signed HR1283&S3065

Repeals current Department of Defense policy [popularly known as "Don't-Ask-Don't-Tell"] concerning homosexuality in the Armed Forces. Prohibits the Secretary of Defense, and the Secretary of Homeland Security with respect to the Coast Guard, from discriminating on the basis of sexual orientation against any member of the Armed Forces or any person seeking to become a member. Authorizes the re-accession into the Armed Forces of otherwise qualified individuals previously separated for homosexuality, bisexuality, or homosexual conduct.

Nothing in this Act shall be construed to require the furnishing of dependent benefits in violation of section 7 of title 1, United States Code (relating to the definitions of 'marriage' and 'spouse' and referred to as the 'Defense of Marriage Act').

Source: Military Readiness Enhancement Act 10-HR1283 on Mar 3, 2010

Endorsed by VoteVets.org; against wasteful defense spending.

Peters is endorsed by VoteVets.org Endrosement

About VoteVets.org:
Founded in 2006, and backed by over 220,000 supporters, the mission of VoteVets.org is to use public issue campaigns and direct outreach to lawmakers to ensure that troops abroad have what they need to complete their missions, and receive the care they deserve when they get home. VoteVets.org also recognizes veterans as a vital part of the fabric of our country and will work to protect veterans' interests in their day-to-day lives. Statistics:

Issue Advocacy:
The nature of war is changing, and the needs of veterans in the 21st century are different than in past eras. To that end, VoteVets.org has successfully fought for the following:

Opposing argument: (ACLU, "Surveillance Reform After the USA Freedom Act", June 3, 2015): The USA Freedom Act that passed by a 67-32 margin is not as strong as we wanted. It is markedly weaker than the original version of the USA Freedom Act that the ACLU first supported in 2013. We supported a sunset of the provisions in an effort to advance more comprehensive reform, including rejecting surveillance through cybersecurity information-sharing legislation. Notwithstanding this, however, it is very clear that the USA Freedom Act is a historic step forward.

Opposing argument: (Cato Institute , "Cato scholars differ on USA Freedom Act", Oct., 2015): The privacy community remained divided over the USA Freedom Act. The final version of the bill reauthorized several expiring Patriot Act provisions, but limited bulk collection. Some legislators argued that to pass new legislation would only provide the government convenient new legal justification for its spying--which it would interpret broadly. On the opposite side of the argument stood some pro-privacy groups who held that modest reforms were better than no reforms at all.

Source: H.R.2048&S.2685 14-H2048 on Apr 28, 2015

End bulk data collection under USA PATRIOT Act.

Peters co-sponsored USA FREEDOM Act

Congressional summary:: Uniting and Strengthening America by Fulfilling Rights and Ending Eavesdropping, Dragnet-collection, and Online Monitoring Act or the USA FREEDOM Act: