12.31.2009 0

Editorial: A Simple Question Left Unanswered

  • On: 01/05/2010 09:25:52
  • In: Homeland Security
  • On November 29th, Senator Jim DeMint (R-SC) put a hold on the nominee to head the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) and, at that time, hardly anyone noticed. Now, that there was a terror attack on U.S. soil and TSA was unable to prevent it, the left has turned its sites on DeMint.

    For some unexplained reason, Democrats now claim that Erroll Southers was their chance at preventing Umar Farouk Abdumutallab from boarding that Northwest flight. But what they don’t want you to know is that regardless of DeMint’s hold, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) could have overcame it with simply 60 votes.

    Regardless of Reid’s inactions, the fact is Southers should not become the head of TSA until he answers the very simple question regarding public employee unions for the workers in the department that Jim DeMint rightly asked.

    What we know is that Barack Obama, on the campaign trail, wrote to John Gage, President of the American Federation of Government Employees (AFGE), that “If I am elected president, I will work to ensure that TSOs (transportation security officers) have collective bargaining rights and a voice at work to address issues that arise locally and nationally.”

    And we also know that Department of Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano has stated in testimony to DeMint that she doesn’t believe collective bargaining and security are “mutually exclusive.” In fact, she is very candid about the fact that “should the workers desire to be organized in such a fashion,” she would allow them.

    So, there is every reason to expect that Erroll Southers will allow his employees to form public sector union and that union would then be able to hold public safety hostage at will.

    Americans for Limited Government’s President Bill Wilson recently stated, “Mr. Southers ought to have an opinion about whether union bargaining would harm the administration of transportation security or not. The fact that he did not deny it outright is troubling enough, since it indicates that he is considering it.”

    Not to mention that Southers’ own background is murky at best—so murky, in fact, that even when he does answer questions, he can’t necessarily be trusted.

    According PoliJam, “Errol Southers, a former FBI agent, had reportedly used his office in the 1980s to access a federal database in order to look into the background of his then-estranged wife’s new boyfriend. In a sworn affidavit on October 22, Southers gave certain details about the incident to the Senate homeland security committee, only to later notify the committee on November 20th that his first account was incorrect after the committee had already approved his nomination the day before on November 19.”

    Said ALG’s Wilson, “What is emerging with Mr. Southers is a pattern of dodging questions, withholding information, and changing stories. None of which qualifies him to head the TSA, although he may have a future in politics. The Senate should reject this nomination and send a message to Barack Obama that the TSA needs to be headed by a nominee who has a demonstrated ability and willingness to be forthcoming to Congress about what is good security policy, and what is not.”

    Good work, Senator DeMint. If Reid’s minions won a notorious dissimulator as head of airport security, make them vote lockstep for his installation. Then, they can bear the brunt for the consequences.


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