Friday, July 28, 2006

What Burns Said to those Firefighters is a Disgrace

Now we know what Burns really said in the Billings Airport.

U.S. Sen. Conrad Burns pointed across the Billings airport Sunday and accused a member of an elite firefighting team of not doing “a God damned thing’’ and charged that crew members just “sit around’’ on the job, the original version of a state report said.

The original report we got yesterday had the worst parts edited out. Can you believe that this is the man we have representing us in Washington? These aren't Montana values, they aren't even barroom values. It is obvious to me that Burns has spent too much time in DC, he has no idea what Montanan's hold as valuable. One of the things we value here are the men and women in the trenches to keep our land and homes safe from fire.

“See that guy over there? He hasn’t done a God-damned thing. They sit around. I saw it up on the Wedge fire and in northwestern Montana some years ago. It’s wasteful. You probably paid that guy $10,000 to sit around. It’s gotta change.’’

Rosenthal wrote in both versions: “I offered to the senator that our firefighters make around $8-$12 per hour and time-and-a-half for overtime. He seemed a little surprised that it wasn’t higher.’’

A hot head that shoots his mouth off without having any facts at all. It's embarassing to all of us. I would crawl under a rock and pretend it never happened if I didn't want him gone so badly. How did Burns respond?

“I have since addressed my concerns to the proper officials about the way in which fires are handled. Please accept my apology for any hard feelings that my comments may have caused. I have the utmost respect for the job firefighters have done in Montana.’’

Is that how we show respect in Montana? Using foul language to describe people we have the 'utmost respect' for? This is not the man that I want to represent me. Speaking of someone I have the utmost respect for and want to represent me, here is what Jon Tester had to say:

“During this dangerous fire season, all Montanans are grateful for the thousands of firefighters who are on the front lines protecting our homes, property and wild lands,’’ he said. “These dedicated professionals are to be commended for their bravery, hard work and sacrifice. Until the rains come, Montana will remain at risk, and it is the responsibility of every Montanan to support our firefighters and let them do their job.’’

That is a man with class. He could have taken a shot, but he chose to just speak his peace.


amandanator said...

I sent an email to Tester thanking him for his restraint and not taking a shot a Burns.

Tester's a class act in my book.

my other side said...

From Conrad Burns' official campaign website:

"As I work for you as your United States Senator, my decisions are guided by my oath to support, protect and defend the Constitution, my commitment to the future of Montana, my great love for America, and my philosophy and values"

And where is his evidence of that?

The Montana Human Rights Network has a great brief on Conrad Burns:

In 1994 Burns found himself in the center of a controversy over an anecdote he relayed to the editorial board of the Bozeman Chronicle about how difficult it is to live in Washington, D.C., "with all those niggers." Shortly thereafter two attorneys from Butte came forward to reveal that Burns had told them "Mississippi Nigger" jokes on a flight back to Washington, D.C.

Actions speak louder than words. I can't help but smile though, all the better for Tester.

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