Thompson Double-Talking Delta

Mississippi Second District Representative Bennie Thompson, the state’s highest ranking Democrat, was recently installed as the new Chairman of the House Homeland Security Committee. A provision in the first piece of legislation passed by the Democrat controlled House of Representatives included a provision that recalculates Homeland Security Grant funding away from a fifty-state first responder plan and toward an “as needed” plan. This new calculation reduces the funding Mississippi firefighters, police, and other emergency and first responders will receive.

After passing the legislation earlier this month, Thompson said in Washington, DC, “I represent a rural district and a rural state…It would be nice for my state to have all the money that it needed. But the reality is that there are other states who have greater risk who need the money. So I’m ready to make the sacrifice.”

But Thompson wants to have it both ways.

According to the Associated Press, Thompson changed his tune in Itta Bena when speaking to local elected officials from the Mississippi Delta, “In remarks late last week to elected officials from around the Delta, Thompson said he intends to make his district the beneficiary of dollars and jobs related to homeland security…Thompson, a Democrat, said new money will be spent for ‘for protection of ports, for first responders such as police, fire, EMS. I plan to make sure that we get our apportioned share. These are things that need to be addressed anyway.'”

“If Representative Thompson supports sending Homeland Security funds to New York and California rather than his own district’s firefighters and police, that is his decision. But it is poor leadership for him to talk in Washington DC about the Mississippi Delta making a sacrifice, only to come home and promise that money to his local elected officials even though he knows he already gave it away. Thompson is double-talking the Delta,” said Mississippi Republican Party Chairman Jim Herring.

* * * * *

“The new Democrat-controlled House won quick approval of the first item on its agenda Tuesday, a bill sponsored by Rep. Bennie Thompson, D-Miss., that would implement some recommendations made by the panel that studied the U.S. response to the Sept. 11 attacks…. Another provision, which could take money away from Mississippi, would change the funding formula for homeland security grants to states, basing them on risk of terrorism attack rather than population….Thompson, the new head of the House Homeland Security Committee, said ‘I represent a rural district and a rural state…It would be nice for my state to have all the money that it needed. But the reality is that there are other states who have greater risk who need the money. So I’m ready to make the sacrifice.'”

http://www.clarionledger.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20070110/NEWS/701100356/1001/NEWS&cid=0&ei=YSilRejIEJHwowLInbm7DA

* * * * *

“In remarks late last week to elected officials from around the Delta, Thompson said he intends to make his district the beneficiary of dollars and jobs related to homeland security…Thompson, a Democrat, said new money will be spent for ‘for protection of ports, for first responders such as police, fire, EMS. I plan to make sure that we get our apportioned share. These are things that need to be addressed anyway.'” (Associated Press 1/30/2007)

http://www.clarionledger.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20070130/BIZ/701300380/1005

MS Republican Party
1/31/7