NY-03: Peter King - Knee-jerk reactionary
by Dave Mejias for Congress [Subscribe]
Mon Aug 28, 2006 at 08:54:30 AM PDT
In a recent Newsday article, Peter King endorsed a proposal to base our airport security on a full-scale racial profiling program. This is a cheap election year stunt aimed at motivating King's ultra-conservative base, NOT at increasing security. The security of our country is a serious problem that requires significant thought and practical answers. King has repeatedly shown that he cares little for coming up with a real solution.
Then, Peter King (probably stung by the criticism he received) dramatically reversed himself. During an appearance on Fox News Sunday, King's new opinion was that airport screeners should merely take into account a person's ethnicity as part of the threat equation in combination with displayed behavioral characteristics. His initial position followed by his subsequent flip-flop further proves that King, the Chairman of the Homeland Security Committee, has no serious solutions for our nation's flawed security procedures.
A blanket policy to require all people of Middle Eastern and South Asian descent to undergo additional security checks at our nation's airports is ineffective, senseless and counter productive to the war on terror. National and local law enforcement officials agree that targeting people for increased scrutiny only because of their race, ethnicity, national origin or religion is ineffective policing, negligent and dangerous.
Let me put that more clearly: Peter King wants to implement an idea that just doesn't work.
Ray Kelly, the current NY Police Department Commissioner who eliminated a similar racial profiling program, put forth a successful security-screening practice that focuses on specific behavioral patterns to trigger increased scrutiny. Kelly's program resulted in fewer searches and more effective results. I support Kelly's policy and believe it should be used as the benchmark for our nation's security efforts because racial profiling is a mediocre tool that hinders law enforcement.
Despite his rhetoric, Peter King has only delivered security failures and disappointments to the residents of New York. In addition to his support for racial profiling, funding for New York's security and anti terrorism efforts have been cut by 40% under King's watch and he failed to get the Republican Congress to support a budget increase of formula-based anti-terrorism grants for high threat and high density areas. All of these failures prove that Peter King is ineffective, irrelevant or asleep at the switch in Congress.
Peter King has said he is planning to run his campaign on his homeland security credentials. He may want to reconsider.
Democrat for Congress, NY-03