While fires were still scorching vast amounts of land and lives were still in the balace in Southern California, the state’s Lieutenant Governor John Garamendi had time to politicize the relief effort and throw darts at President George Bush.
This Week’s Top Scrooge – October 26, 2007
Garamendi also had time to appear on several news shows earlier this week to erroneously say that the war in Iraq was to blame for a limited amount of National Guard troops able to fight the fires in California.
Without missing a beat, he also said the president’s visit to the disaster scene Thursday was a distraction.
In one interview the Democrat said, “OK, President Bush comes out, we’ll be polite. But frankly, that’s not the solution. How about sending our National Guard back from Iraq so that we have those people available here to help us?”
Savvy reporters were able to dispute Garamendi in a heartbeat with these facts from the Pentagon:
Some 1,500 Army National Guard and Air National Guardsmen are helping firefighters, not on the fire lines, but doing other tasks to free up the firefighters.
About 100 defense employees, including active duty military personnel and civilians, are fighting fires. That’s 12 firefighting teams, mostly civilian, and their 12 fire engines.
550 Marine Corps personnel at Camp Pendleton were prepared for possible firefighting duty and did help with the fire right on base.
Another 17,301 National Guardsmen are available in California, if needed.
Six C-130 aircraft fitted with firefighting systems were sent to Point Mugu, two from the Air Force Reserve at Peterson Air Force Base in Colorado Springs and four from the Air National Guard in Wyoming and North Carolina. They arrived in California in time to begin flying missions Wednesday morning.
11 Pentagon helicopters equipped with water buckets are available to help in fire suppression.
Local bases, under emergency assistance authority, provided some 10,000 cots to local evacuation sites.
There are about 300,000 uniformed and civilian defense employees and dependents living in the San Diego area.
Also, a former White House adviser, confirmed that another 1,500 National Guard troops were available in a moments notice and more could be pulled from other states.
Shame on you, Lieutenant Governor Garamendi for picking such a critical time to spit out such useless garbage. You should have taken a cue from Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger and our president, showing compassion for the victims and the relief workers.
However, you chose to be a political arsonist instead of a leader amongst Californians needing quenching relief.
Shame on you, This Week’s Top Scrooge.
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