Tuesday, August 01, 2006

Montana Firemen's Association Respond to Burns

Kurt Bushnell, president of the Montana State Firemen’s Association reponded last Friday to Burn's accosting the Virginia hotshot crew last week. The letter, published in the Helana IR, is very well thought out and makes some excellent points.

Sen. Burns has access to, not just the tactical decision makers on these recent fires, but the actual policy makers of DNRC anytime he wants. So why in the backdrop of an airport in Eastern Montana, bash the brave men and women on loan to us, whose only responsibility on the fire was to take orders. Sen. Burns’ stint in the military should’ve reminded him of that. For the most part the brave folks who turn the dirt over with a shovel and pick ax are not the folks making the decisions on a fire ground.

This very point came up in a discussion over at Left In The West. One poster said:

there has been a lot of clamor in the farm and ranch community along the lines of what Burns said. We have to remember that that same community makes up much of his base, so really, I think the statements were made to pandor to his base...

Matt Singer responded with:

If pandering is his excuse for calling firefighters lazy and overpaid and then making a threat to one of them, he needs to go. This is literally disgraceful. There may actually be a need for reforming the way fires are fought in this country. Conrad Burns, because of his stupidity/senility, can no longer address that issue. He is never in a position to publicly criticize firefighters again, even in a responsible way.

You see the problem here? We have the most ineffective senator in the country making himself even more ineffective. Was he ever effective at representing Montana and our wildland fire needs? Bushnell continues:

Moreover, to refer to a government agency’s location as “ridiculous” and being “somewhat surprised” that fire fighters only earn between $8 to $12 an hour is further testimony that Sen. Burns has fallen out of touch with the folks he’s supposed to be representing. I hope he remembers that when fire fighter issues cross his desk.

The firefighters of Montana are very lucky to have a straight shooter like Bushnell represent them. One more note of interest before I wrap this one up. According to a piece in the Roll Call, during a conference call with Montana journalists, Burns was making a real effort to cover the whole thing up.

During the call, a Department of Agriculture official based in Montana rushed to Burns’ rescue and took over answering questions about firefighting efforts in Montana. When the official, Undersecretary Mark Rey, stopped speaking, Burns thanked the reporters for joining the call, and everyone hung up.

Except the video camera was still rolling.

“That’s the way to shut that down,” Burns is seen saying on the tape, a video file of which was e-mailed to HOH. “Huh? That works!” Then came a “you bet!” as he put on his white cowboy hat and prepared to get up from his desk.


granny said...

I am again reminded of Al Franken's remark that nobody in the Senate thinks any less than Senator Burns.

The only thing that shocks me here is what a truly rehensible human being he really is.

granny said...

I had some off the record background to give you, but your email keeps getting bounced.

amandanator said...

Ok, so at the risk of sounding like a moron without a clue...what or who is HOH??

Shane C. Mason said...

HOH = Houses Of The Holy?

I am not sure really. The article appeared in Roll Call, and HOH is never mentioned otherwise. I did a google search, no real luck unless they are talking about the indian tribe.

Anonymous said...

I believe HOH is "Heard on the Hill", the Roll Call feature quoted.