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Porkbusters update: Sen. Salazar responds (sort of)

Posted by Richard on September 23, 2005

Last Sunday, I posted in support of Porkbusters and listed a half-dozen examples of Colorado pork touching all of Colorado’s congressional districts. I subsequently sent my pork list to Colorado’s seven Representatives and two Senators, adding appropriate introductory material explaining what I was doing and what the Porkbusters project is. I asked each one of them to respond in a very specific way:

For each item listed, please let me know whether you’re willing to support diversion of that appropriation to Katrina relief. If you’re a Congressman, I’m especially interested in knowing if you’ll put the nation first and agree to forgo an appropriation for your district.

If there are any other pork or "discretionary" appropriations for Colorado that you’d like to propose for diversion to Katrina relief, please identify them. I’ll add them to the Porkbusters (truthlaidbear.com/porkbusters.php) list of Congressional commitments and credit you.

Today, I received my first response. It’s an email from Sen. Ken Salazar — or from his office, actually. It’s a form letter that they haven’t even bothered to update since it was written, as evidenced by (emphasis added):

We also need to evaluate what went wrong in the hours and days after the hurricane hit that may have resulted in a lack of adequate preparation for a storm of this magnitude and in the unnecessary delays that caused untold human suffering and, in some cases, cost people their lives. I have already written to President Bush urging him to seek the resignation of Michael D. Brown, Director of the Federal Emergency Management Administration (FEMA), and have joined a coalition of Senators and Congressman in calling for the creation of a panel modeled after the 9/11 Commission to examine the failures that led to the lack of preparation for Katrina and the inadequacy of the response, and to develop recommendations for how our nation can avoid repeating those failures.

Contemplate also the concept of evaluating what went wrong after the hurricane that may have resulted in a lack of adequate preparation for the hurricane. I can’t wait for him to get to the bottom of that.

Needless to say, Salazar’s office completely ignored everything in my message beyond the word "Katrina," which triggered the sending of response 137B or something like that. Not only did he not support any spending cuts, he closed by alluding to how willing he is to throw more money:

In the coming days and weeks, I will be supporting a number of measures in the Senate designed to further address each of these urgent needs, including funding for critical health care needs. I am a proud co-sponsor of the Katrina Emergency Relief Act of 2005 (S. 1637). I believe this proposal offers the most effective and efficient way to ensure that Katrina survivors have access to health care. Toward that end, I welcome your thoughts. In particular, I will keep your suggestions on funding nutrition, employment and education initiatives for Katrina survivors.

Yeah, I can tell how much you welcome my thoughts, you arrogant windbag.

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7 Responses to “Porkbusters update: Sen. Salazar responds (sort of)”

  1. Chuck Pelto said

    TO: Sysop

    RE: Senator Salazar’s Form Letter

    I’d appreciate seeing the full text of this letter. It would help me vis-a-vis my responsibilities towards addressing transportation issues in Pueblo County, Colorado. This in respect to the recently passed SAFTEA-LU act, a.k.a. the transportation act of 2005.

    Regards,

    Chuck Pelto

    Pueblo Area Council of Governments, Citizen Advisory Committee

  2. Mike Weatherford said

    Those of us who actually live and work in Colorado need to do everything possible to see that Komrad Salazar is an one-term senator.

  3. MIKE COOK said

    I like it, I did not vote for the “windbag” and it is unfortunate that Washington has not yet got the message of stop the pork.

  4. Chris said

    Here’s the text of the email from Salazar, which I received as well (similarly non-responsive to my original query to him)

    Dear Chris:

    Thank you for contacting me regarding the devastation caused by Hurricane Katrina to the city of New Orleans and the surrounding Gulf Coast region. I appreciate hearing your views on this national tragedy.

    Let me first say that I share the deep sorrow felt by Coloradans and all Americans at the immense devastation and tragic loss of life caused by Hurricane Katrina along the Gulf Coast. A city and region have been irreversibly damaged; people have lost their lives, homes, and families; and our nation has had part of its identity forever altered. All those affected by this terrible disaster are in my thoughts and prayers.

    The three cornerstones to homeland and disaster security are readiness, response, and recovery. Hurricane Katrina revealed to me that after almost four years of Homeland Security preparedness, readiness and response was inadequate.

    We must now move quickly to ensure that the response and recovery going forward is as effective as possible, and that we do not repeat the mistakes in the run-up to, and in the immediate aftermath of, this tragedy First, we must do everything we can to save the lives of those remaining in New Orleans, and to provide the tens of thousands of evacuees with food, water, shelter, and anything else they need. Second, we must continue to work to repair New Orleans’ damaged levees, drain the city of flood waters, and begin the process of rebuilding the shattered Gulf Coast. The job won’t be easy, but with the combined efforts of federal, state, and local officials, and with the help of the $62.3 billion in emergency funding passed by Congress in recent weeks, we will succeed.

    We also need to evaluate what went wrong in the hours and days after the hurricane hit that may have resulted in a lack of adequate preparation for a storm of this magnitude and in the unnecessary delays that caused untold human suffering and, in some cases, cost people their lives. I have already written to President Bush urging him to seek the resignation of Michael D. Brown, Director of the Federal Emergency Management Administration (FEMA), and have joined a coalition of Senators and Congressman in calling for the creation of a panel modeled after the 9/11 Commission to examine the failures that led to the lack of preparation for Katrina and the inadequacy of the response, and to develop recommendations for how our nation can avoid repeating those failures.

    Finally, it is important to emphasize that this is not about blame or partisanship. We must determine exactly where the gaps are in our readiness and response, and fix them. And we don’t have time to wait; next week or next month, we could be dealing with another terrorist attack, hurricane or other disaster. Katrina showed how unprepared we are. We owe it to the victims and the rescuers to act quickly to fix what ails our emergency preparedness.

    In the coming days and weeks, I will be supporting a number of measures in the Senate designed to further address each of these urgent needs, including funding for critical health care needs. I am a proud co-sponsor of the Katrina Emergency Relief Act of 2005 (S. 1637). I believe this proposal offers the most effective and efficient way to ensure that Katrina survivors have access to health care. Toward that end, I welcome your thoughts. In particular, I will keep your suggestions on funding nutrition, employment and education initiatives for Katrina survivors.

    Again, thank you for contacting me.

    Sincerely,

    Ken Salazar

    United States Senator

  5. Bronco30 said

    You got the “Bug Letter”. Typical. http://www.ishipress.com/bedbug.htm

  6. John Jorsett said

    Anyone gone to his web page? Anyone who puts up a picture of himself in a cowboy hat looking like an uber-doofus really needs an image consultant.

  7. Libercontrarian said

    Just… HOW did we elect this doofus to the Senate? How did it happen? :-<

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