So as to prove that he's not just running off incoherently about hating rescue workers, Issa wants you to know he's proud of his alternative plans for spending federal funds. To that end, he's triumphantly sent around a press release listing all of his new earmarks (word doc, h/t Chris Reed). So what, you're probably wondering, has Representative Issa chosen to crow about that exemplifies the "local money for local issues, federal money for screw you" spending mantra? Here's the quick list:
San Diego Regional Interoperable Computer Aided Dispatch Project -$6 million
San Diego Regional Communications System (RCS) Upgrade -$3.5 million
Gang Prevention Program (City of Oceanside) -$500K
Lake Elsinore Emergency Operations Center -$250K
Murrieta Creek Flood Control Project -$13 million
San Luis Rey Flood Control Project -$7.2 million
Perris II Desalter (Perris, CA) -$2 million
Non-Potable Distribution Facilities and Demineralization/Desalination Recycled Water Treatment and Reclamation Facility Project (Riverside County) -$2 million
Santa Margarita Conjunctive Use Project (Camp Pendleton) -$1 million
San Jacinto & Upper Santa Margarita Watersheds Project -$355K
San Diego County Fire Safety and Fuels Reduction Program -$45 million
Corpsmen/Medics Civilian Nursing Training Program (Oceanside) -$1.6 million
Vista Community Clinic -$1 million
North County Health Project Oceanside Clinic Expansion (Oceanside) -$1 million
Railroad Canyon I-15 interchange project -$8 million
State Route 76 (widen and realign) -$5 million
San Luis Rey Transit Center (Oceanside) -$3.1 million
West Vista Way (City of Vista, widen) -$2 million
French Valley Airport (Temecula) -$1 million
Renovation and expansion of Fallbrook Boys and Girls Club -$500K
Some pretty nice projects in there. But it begs the question: Ahem, why do all these people need "to come to the federal government for the dollars versus this being primarily a state [or local] consideration?" Rep. Issa? Bueller? Bueller?
Lemme just venture one guess. Rescue workers in New York don't vote in Temecula or Oceanside do they? Oh yeah. So only when Issa is trying to hook it up for his own self should federal money be spent on state and local projects. Not only cruel and hateful, but selfish and duplicitous too. He's building himself quite a nice collection of adjectives. Full of crap isn't technically an adjective, but it also applies.
"That is a pretty distorted view of things," said Frank Fraone, a Menlo Park, Calif., fire chief who led a 67-man crew at Ground Zero. "Whether they're a couple of planes or a couple of missiles, they still did the same damage."
"New York was attacked by Al Qaeda. It doesn't have to be attacked by Congress," added Long Island Rep. Pete King, a Republican.
"I'm really surprised by Darrell Issa," King added. "It showed such a cavalier dismissal of what happened to New York. It's wrong and inexcusable."
Lorie Van Aucken, who lost her husband, Kenneth, in the attacks, slammed Issa's "cruel and heartless" comments.
"It's really discouraging. People stepped up and did the right thing. They sacrificed themselves and now a lot of people are getting really horrible illnesses," she added.
New York Democratic Reps. Jerry Nadler and Anthony Weiner and GOP Rep. Vito Fossella also added some heated criticisms of Issa. Issa, however, remains mostly unrepentant:
I'm not sure if he's just a soulless ass or if he's also actively trying to undermine the entire foundation of post-9/11 conservativism, but Darrell Issa is doing his level best to spit on the rescue workers who got sick at Ground Zero in the aftermath of the twin towers attacks. He's flatly refused to vote for federal funding that would provide medical care to these victims of the attack because, in Issa's mind, it apparently was just a local thing, and not a major one at all:
"It simply was an aircraft, residue of two aircraft, and residue from the materials used to build this building," Issa said during a hearing into whether a new 9/11 victims' compensation fund should be launched.
Which is odd since, as Rep. Anthony Weiner notes, "The gentleman voted for [original 9/11 funding] because we had the national sense that this was not an attack on New York City, this was an attack on our country."
But hey, keep up the dispicably cruel hypocrisy Rep. Issa. Feel free to even bring some friends along. Because all it proves is that 9/11 to you is nothing more than a tool to intimidate people into sacrificing Constitutional rights and attempt to justify the $3 trillion Iraq boondoggle. That's when it's a national issue. That's when America is at stake. Only when it serves the political interests of Darrell Issa.
But when the heroes who sacrificed at Ground Zero need help? For Darrell Issa, that's not America's problem and it apparently sure isn't his problem. It's...well...somebody else's problem.