But this year, the Patriot Act has started attracting more attention from people on the right. Gun owners and antiabortion demonstrators, for example, have expressed fears they may be targeted by a future Democratic administration as domestic terrorists.
"We don't want a nameless, faceless bureaucracy exercising this kind of authority," Rep. Butch Otter (R) of Idaho told the Monitor.
In some parts of the country, left-leaning activists reached out to sympathetic local conservatives after failing to muster support on their own. That was the case in Boise, Idaho, where Green Party activist Gwen Sanchirico formed a coalition called the Boise Patriots along with National Rifle Association members, antiabortion activists, and environmentalists.
"We agreed that we would leave our political baggage at the door, and we would only come together to defend the Bill of Rights and our Constitution," Ms. Sanchirico says. Boise passed their resolution on Sept. 30.
Elsewhere, conservatives acted without any prodding, as in Oklahoma City, where a group of Christian home-schoolers and their parents testified on behalf of a resolution later rejected by the city council.
In Kenai, the resolution movement benefited from strong support from elected officials such as Rep. Don Young (R), who called the Patriot Act "one of the worst pieces of legislation ever passed." The Alaska Legislature also passed a statewide resolution, one of only three states, including Vermont and Hawaii, to do so.
Kenai Mayor John Williams says the independent spirit of Alaskans, as well as a significant number of hunters and gun-rights activists in town, helped catapult the movement. "Alaskan people by and large are very independent. They want their land, they want to be able to hunt," he says.