Monday, April 24, 2006

The Ports Deal Opposition Did Not Immunize King

Much has been made of King "breaking" with Bush over the Dubai ports deal earlier this year. King is supposed to be some sort of "hero" for speaking out. King stood up with Senator Schumer to demand an investigation into the deal and got praise for that.
Does this make him more appealing to democrats or people who are concerned about port security? Some say yes, but the answer should be NO.
King recently voted against increased funding for port security which mirrored his vote back in 2003 when he voted against an amendment for more money.

The fact is, even without the Dubai Ports World deal, our port security is still miserably bad. Back during the 2004 election, Sen. Kerry brought up the fact that only 5% of incoming cargo is checked "....95 percent of the containers that come into the ports, right here in Florida, are not inspected. Civilians get onto aircraft, and their luggage is X-rayed, but the cargo hold is not X- rayed."
Bush countered "I don't think we want to get to how he's going to pay for all these promises. It's like a huge tax gap. Anyway, that's for another debate."

Has our port security gotten better since 2004?
Not at all.
King says its better but still only 5% of incoming cargo is checked. "Well, they are safer than at 9/11. You know, they say that only 5 percent is actually tested. But a good number of the cargo -- a very high percentage of the cargo is actually screened overseas, and it's monitored. So, it -- listen, we have a long way to go. But it is far better than some of the critics say."

How is the same number as two years ago better?
Isn't it contradictory for King to be against Dubai Ports World managing our domestic ports but as he says "a very high percentage of the cargo is actually screened overseas"?
He is still accepting the fact that foreign security is checking US-bound cargo. What about the foreign ports controlled by DP World?
Does King find it acceptable that US-bound cargo is "screened" at those ports?
How is it better than DP World managing US ports?
It isn't.
While King makes noise about the deal, he also lays cover for Bush.
The DP World deal is only a small part of the over-all problem with port security and King has been MIA on the larger issue of checking cargo.
On Meet the Press King offered some weird convoluted explainations for the weak port security "
"MR. RUSSERT: I--gentlemen, the Democrats have--are saying very loudly that they have tried repeatedly to put more money into port security. Benny Thompson, Democrat on your committee, Congressman, he tried to increase spending by a billion dollars, he wanted to double the number of oversea port inspectors, he wanted to put radiation portal monitors. And every time, the Republicans said no, you voted no. Do you regret now opposing some of those measures to improve port security?

REP. KING: Tim, we have voted to increase port security dramatically, it’s gone up almost $2 billion since four years ago. Almost 100 percent is screened, it’s not actually examined. But even, you know—people use a number that only 5 percent of the cargo is actually examined. Even Senator Clinton the other day, said 15 is maximum. So it’s between 5 and 15, we do have to do more. I support doing more. In fact, my committee is holding hearings next month, Congressman Lundgren, Congresswoman Harman are holding hearings on the issue of port security. More does have to be done, but a lot has been done also.

MR. RUSSERT: So the Democrats were right?

REP. KING: No, we—no, a lot more has to be done. The fact is you don’t just throw money at it, you do it in a way that works. Well, half this technology the people are talking about doesn’t work that well, and the idea is how do you do it? You can’t be examining every piece of cargo that comes in, it’s to do it effectively and also to do it in a way that doesn’t stop world commerce. Having said that, we realize more has to be done. But their idea, in all due respect, often is throw money into it. And you—again, the idea is to do it in an effective, smart way. I think more should be done, and I’ve said that all along."

More has to be done but the Democrats aren't right according to King. And in doublespeak King says "almost 100 percent is screened" but then "it's not actually examined."
King has opposed increased funding for port security and makes cheap excuses. He argues that funding has "gone up almost $2 billion since four years ago" yet he is opposed to "just throw money at it."
Where did that $2 billion go? That's only $500million to cover all our ports from New York to Miami to New Orelans to San Diego and more plus airports. That's just a drop in the bucket and in four years, nothing has changed with cargo.

How is it that we are not checking all cargo coming into this country? Hong Kong checks 100% of cargo containers and HK is a huge pacific port. And they use US made machines "Since 2004, the Hong Kong Terminal Operators Association, which includes both public and private shipping companies, has screened 100 percent of containers using two huge American-built scanners. Trucks carrying containers drive through the machines, which screen for radiological material or high-density metals that could be used to shield a nuclear or "dirty" bomb."

Almost five years after 9/11, multiple attempts by Democrats to get more port security money voted down by King and the republicans, and the uproar over DP World the pace of securing our ports is still stagnant.


Anonymous said...

You must have forgotten to mention this tidbit about your golden boy Denenberg:


January 11, 2005, 11:30 AM EST

A Nassau County lawmaker has been arrested on one misdemeanor count of election fraud, District Attorney Denis Dillon said today.

The complaint, which also was announced today, alleges that Legis. David Denenberg (D-Merrick) falsely stated that eight people had signed a designating petition when they had not actually signed their names to that petition. Dillon in the release said the lawmaker had signed a designating petition for the position of "Member of County Committee."

J said...

Nothing to say about King voting against port security?
Oh, lets talk about King being on the threat watch-list of the Secret Service back when Reagan was president and he visited nassau. Great resume for King.
Just an FYI, Erin King Sweeney forged signatures but her godfather Dillon let it slide.

Anonymous said...

Wow, I think I hit a nerve. I don't seem to remember Erin King Sweeney being in handcuffs. Actually what I do have to say about port security is that King just introduced the most comprehensive port security legislation in our nation's history. But I'm sure you knew that already.

Anonymous said...

1) Erin King Sweeney's godfather gave her a bye.
2) What port security legislation? There is nothing goimg on at our sea or air ports. Nothing. King has ignored that for years and just jumped on the issue with the dubai issue.

Anonymous said...

This election isn't about King's daughter its about King and Denenberg and Denenberg has been arrested for petition fraud and King hasn't. And if you haven't heard about King's port security legislation then your not doing your homework as well as I thought you were. Also, Denenberg better watch out it looks like Suozzi might endorse King. Check out this article in your favorite newspaper Newsday:

Grumman site may become emergency center


April 25, 2006

WASHINGTON -- The former Grumman site in Bethpage could become a regional emergency operations center under a proposal by Nassau County Executive Thomas Suozzi if a catastrophic natural disaster or terror attack struck the metropolitan area.

The plan - to turn an already fortified former U.S. Navy building into a bunker to house federal, state and local personnel necessary to coordinate the response to a calamitous event - is backed by House Homeland Security Committee Chairman Peter King (R-Seaford).

King has asked the House appropriations committee to partly fund the $10-million project, which if completed would also serve as a counter-terrorism academy and a depot where medicine and other emergency supplies can be stockpiled. Nassau would fund the rest.

"Tom Suozzi, he's the guy who came forward and asked me to do this," King said in a telephone interview yesterday. "It's a legitimate project and I recommended it to the appropriations committee."

The success of King's request won't be known until the end of the year, after Congress and President George W. Bush complete the federal budget.

Rich Rotanz, Nassau's commissioner of emergency management, said the facility would be designed to function as "a large-scale emergency operation center to coordinate a region-wide event."

Given that both Nassau and Suffolk counties fall within the threat area that encompasses New York City, Rotanz - a former high-ranking New York Fire Department official - said the Bethpage site would be an ideal location to "stockpile and preposition critical assets."

Initially conceived in the aftermath of the Sept. 11 terror attacks, the plan was put together by local authorities in earnest following the Hurricane Katrina disaster, officials said.

Copyright 2006 Newsday Inc.

Anonymous said...

1) There is nothing in the congressional record for a port security bill by King.
There have been other legislation introduced but all by Democrats.
2) King has consorted with known terrorists and murderers, The Secret Service considered him a threat to the president.
3) I would gladly match Kings record against Denenbergs
4) My favorite newspaper is the Financial Times followed closely by the Frankfurter Allgemeine.
5) King is finally doing something for Long Island. Wow. Does that mean Suozzi will endorse him?
That's a pipe dream

Anonymous said...

You mean Denenberg's record of not doing anything to get Nassau Medical Center out of its financial mess, to stop the rise in property taxes, to get a deal done on the Colisium, to fix the parks system, to get more cops on the street, to stop the rise in home invasions, or to stop the increase of gang presence. It really looks like he is doing a lot. And now he votes in favor of gay marriage. I don't think the moderates he is trying to win over are going to enjoy that vote.

TimJ said...


1. NCMC has problems no question, but they have had long standing problems.

2. Their was a one time increase in property taxes to get the county out of the mess we were in. property taxes is a problem, but the majority of it comes from school taxes, which can be traced to pataki's cuts in school aide.

3. A deal for the Coliseium is moving foward

4. while the park systems need more work they are in better shape now than what they were.

5. more cops have been put on the street, just because it wasn't at the level DelArbra wanted doesn't mean they weren't added, In fact the amount of cops added was exactly the amount the NCPD reuqested.

6. Crime is actually down in nassau County and Long Island as a whole, and according the FBI Nassau County is the SAFEST COUNTY IN THE UNITED STATES

7. Denenberg didn't vote for a gay marriage bill. he voted for a partnership bill which is favored by the majority. This is Long Island not Mississippi. While King voted to put discrimination into the Constitution (now THAT is what won't sit well with moderates). Keep in mind Long Island is more open to gay marriage than the country as a whole, though I would be inclined to say the majority don't support gay Marriage, however the majority here certaintly do not suport making it a ban in the constitution. the country as a whole doesn't support that, and you think Long Islanders are more conservative on the issue of putting a Same Sex marriage ban into the Constitution than the nation as a whole? What????

Anonymous said...

King should not try to find out what the GLBT community thinks of him.