Dear [Edited for Privacy]:Needless to say, I reject the Senator's assessment of the situation in Berkeley and his arguments against the Semper Fi Act. Having a government body give preferential treatment to a private protest group's efforts to barricade a federal office is not free speech. In this case, it is a deliberate act aimed at thwarting a legitimate, non-political government body in performing its well-established mission and it plainly violates the constitution. If different levels of government do not agree, it is an issue for the courts, not the streets.
Thank you for expressing your views regarding comments made by the City Council of Berkeley, California. I appreciate your advocacy for our troops. Their brave service must be supported, appreciated, and honored.
Like you, I was disturbed by the City Council's ill-considered comments; however, stripping federal funding from the city would hurt residents who were not party to those comments and set a precedent inconsistent with the constitutional right to free speech.
In case it is useful to you, I have included the contact information for the City Council of Berkeley. Expressing your views on their comments is an act of civic responsibility that affirms the significance of the free speech rights protected by the first amendment, and I appreciated that you took the time to share your thoughts with me.
Thank you again for contacting me.
By Senator Brown's logic (or his staffer's, we all know they don't actually write these things), if the Washington, DC City Council decides that its no longer "business as usual" for the Congress and gives a protest group a free permit to block the city streets leading to the U.S. Capitol, that is allegedly protected speech and it doesn't offend the constitution.
Furthermore, this view that striping Berkeley of its earmarks is somehow cruel to the sea of poor innocents is show's a complete lack of understanding for what is at stake here. This position absolves the people of any responsibility for the actions of their government (a government that I might add is more or less acting in rebellion against the Congressional power to raise an army).
In reality, the Berkeley City Council was elected by the people of Berkeley and this Council has a consistent pattern of engaging in these kinds of shenanigans. If the Council chooses to persist with these acts, the nation has every right to punish the residents of the city for it until such time as their government elects to respect the offices of our federal union. Not only is the "Semper Fi Act" just, the situation is egregious enough to fully demand it.