Carroll County Times

Kipke called a coward for withdrawing support of proposal to cut off NSA utilities

The leader of a Maryland conservative group in an email Monday called House Minority Leader Nic Kipke a coward after Kipke withdrew his support from a bill that could cut off the National Security Agency's water and electricity.

Patrick McGrady, chairman of the Maryland Liberty Political Action Committee, used underlines and capital letters to get his point across to supporters Monday, asking them to "call and email Kipke IMMEDIATELY" to "let him know that we oppose his cowardice and are disgusted with his non-leadership on this bill."

Kipke, R-Arnold, was actually one of five Republican delegates who decided last week to remove their names from House Bill 1074, a day after U.S. Rep. C.A. "Dutch" Ruppersberger, D-Baltimore County, slammed the proposal.

But McGrady's email focused on the House Minority Leader.

"Instead of siding with liberals like Dutch Ruppersberger, Kipke should be fighting for us," McGrady said in the email. "When protecting our God-given rights under the U.S. Constitution could cost Kipke politically, he'll gladly sell us out."

The bill, led by Del. Michael Smigiel, R-Caroline, would deprive NSA headquarters at Fort George G. Meade of water and electricity carried over public utilities if the agency continues to collect electronic data without specific warrants.

The proposal would also ban the use of NSA-derived evidence in state courts and prevent University System of Maryland schools from partnering with the NSA on research.