Begich goes after Treadwell for ties to a firm pushing REAL ID

U.S. Sen. Mark Begich’s campaign sent out a release on Monday questioning GOP Senate candidate and Lt. Gov. Mead Treadwell’s commitment to privacy. The release pointed to a company that Treadwell helped form in 1995 called Digimarc, which has provided the potential technology for REAL ID, “an invasive national ID program widely unpopular with Alaskans of all political leanings,” the release said.

“Almost everyday Mead Treadwell tells Alaskans the government ‘snoops too much’ while concealing his history of profiting from a national ID card scheme Alaskans roundly rejected as an invasion of privacy,” Susanne Fleek-Green, Begich’s campaign manager, said.

In an interview, Treadwell said that he doesn’t support REAL ID, and that he hasn’t been involved in the company’s management since around 1999, when he was a consultant. Treadwell has also said that he doesn’t support a photo ID law in Alaska, even though one of the law’s major proponents, Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach, came to Alaska to testify for a voter ID bill last year at Treadwell’s invitation, Kobach told the Anchorage Daily News, a characterization that Treadwell disputed.

The REAL ID ACT passed Congress in 2005. Billed as a tool to fight against terrorism, what it basically entails is that driver’s license information be placed in a database and shared with every other state. According to the feds, states have until 2017 to comply, if the law doesn’t get repealed, which is likely, considering that Alaska is one of a number of states that passed legislation bucking the bill.

Begich has cosponsored a bill to repeal the act.

Digimarc is a digital watermarking technology provider. About 70 percent of licenses across the country use the company’s technology. It lobbied Congress heavily for the Real ID ACT, which it called “transformative” for the company.

Treadwell said that he once passed on a contact with DMV to Digimarc years ago, when he was a private citizen. Since being lieutenant governor, he has not talked about the company with DMV, nor with anybody with the company about DMV, he said

Treadwell said that even though he doesn’t support REAL ID, he’s “proud of the company’s success and its global impact.

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7 thoughts on “Begich goes after Treadwell for ties to a firm pushing REAL ID

  1. T. Williams

    Treadwell is NOT a conservatibve Republican. He is a RINO. Treadwell supported gay rights advocate Matt Claman. He talks about privacy and now this. Bottom line, you just can’t trust this guy. He claims to have done this and that. Fact is, in the first year Treadwell was in office the Governor sent hima letter scolding him and telling him his only job was to run elections. In other words, Parnell knew what a goof ball he was and wanted to keep him at a distance. The only thing he was responsible for was elections and he’s screwed that up. What a waste of time this guy is. He’s the king of commissions, task forces and nothingness. He accomplishes nothing. He is unethical as heck collecting a state pay check while campaigning 24/7. Even back when he worked in the Hickel admoinistration, the state ombudsman iinvestigated his activities and reported that Treadwell conducted his duties unethically. I’m not really interested in electing this guy to anything.

  2. Duane Bannock

    The Real ID Act does NOT include a database of driver’s license information. That is a myth continually pressed by those that have not read the actual bill or even the executive summary. Please understand, I’m no big fan of the Act, but its not “1984” either. Rather, it is a collection of best practices to safeguard your identity and requires all DMVs across the US to abide by a set of standards in determining your identity, safeguarding the information and a system for product inventory and security.

    To suggest its a National ID Card is to consider your vehicle’s license plate a “National Registry for vehicles;” it’s very similar: have you ever seem a license plate that wasn’t ~ 12″ x 4″ metal with 4 holes in the corners? That’s the standard. States are free to design, color, style etc as they please.

    Will Real ID prevent the US against another 9/11? No, not by itself. but it will make your driver’s license and/or State of Alaska ID a better document.

    Duane Bannock
    former Alaska DMV director 2002-2007

  3. J Ichibon

    To me, this attack seems a bit ludicrous. Treadwell was a consultant for digimark well over a decade ago, helping with watermarking technology on DVDs! He has historically been extremely against federal overreach, and I just don’t see him as the person this attack paints him to be.

  4. Norm

    Treadwell, the more I learn about him, seems like he makes it up as he goes. One more point of proof that he isn’t a true conservative or for that matter cares about the protection of privacy. Once again, Treadwell makes it up to suit his political expediency. I think it just shows how insincere and phony this guy is.

  5. Jeff Landrum

    From this we now know two things: that Treadwell is not only an enabler of “Papers, Please” police state bs, but he may well be the Republic Party candidate for US Senate.

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