Texas 21

Devoted to discussion about the 21st Congressional District of Texas. Currently occupied by Congressman Lamar Smith (R).

Saturday, July 01, 2006

So NOW Lamar's Worried About the Tab

This little item is especially ironic given the last entry. WOAI in San Antonio reports about a serious shortfall in stateside funding for military bases. Include right here in TX21:

And Fort Sam Houston in San Antonio hasn't been able to pay its $1.4-million monthly utility bill since March, prompting the energy company's automated computer system to mail out 1,300 disconnection notices for many of the post's administrative buildings.

CPS Energy spokesman Bob McCullough insists the company understands the problem and won't turn off the lights any time soon.

But Col. Wendy Martinson, Fort Sam's garrison commander, still lies awake at night worrying about what services she can afford to lose and what services she can't - but will have to cut anyway.

"Every time something goes away it impacts a person ... a soldier or their family or one of our civilians," said Martinson, whose post has 27,300 military and civilian workers. "I'm charged with taking care of them, not taking things away from them."

Spoken like a real leader. One who's concerned with taking care of her troops and making sure they and their families have what they need to complete the mission.

Lamar's response to this problem is a classic of misdirection:

In a letter to Army Secretary Francis Harvey, (Lamar) Smith said he worries the budget crisis will affect Fort Sam's ability to accommodate the 11,000 additional personnel being sent there starting next year by the Base Closure and Realignment Commission.

"That Fort Sam cannot even pay for basic post operations is, frankly, Mr. Secretary, a disgrace," he said.

That's like the Congressional equivalent of "How can I be broke, I still have checks."


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