Saturday, March 19, 2005

Pop Quiz, Hot Shots

Which state do you think has a better shot at keeping its bases open and its residents employed?

In Florida, Governor Bush and the state's Congressional delegation are waging a campaign to protect 21 installations that generate $44 billion a year for the economy, behind only tourism and agriculture in the state.

In California, Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger appointed a California Council on Base Support and Retention, whose co-chairman is Leon Panetta, the former Democratic congressman and White House chief of staff. Mr. Schwarzenegger has also hired Clark & Weinstock, a Washington consulting firm headed by the former congressmen Vic Fazio and Vin Weber, to help protect California's military installations. Of California's 91 major bases in operation when the base closings began in 1988, 29 have been closed or realigned.
Florida seems to win when it comes to federal anti-terrorism money for ports, so why not let them keep their bases as well?

Were I Governor Schwarzenegger (for one thing, I'd be shorter, but that's beside the point), I would make this one of my top priorities for "saving" California. Not only would closed bases mean lost jobs, but they seldom mean infrastructure or economic benefit to the state - at least not for a very, very long time. Ask the folks out around El Toro. And the LAX folks who could've used the volume break they won't be getting from a needed additional regional airport.

I'd also suggest to Jim Hahn that this wouldn't be a bad cause to play up right now. Band together with El Segundo, the other beach cities, and state government and protect the city. San Pedro, especially.

No comments: