CommunityPam's House Blend

Tom's terror alert policies, big shock, were politicized, strategized with GOP consultants

I’m telling a whopper THIS BIG.” The f*cker was lying. Consulting with Repug pollster/strategist (and owner of one of the worst hairpieces in the U.S.) Frank Luntz about Ridge’s trips to battleground states during the campaign is hardly a non-political use of the Homeland Security director’s time.

As just about anyone with a brain figured out (that leaves out Freepers), Tom Ridge jerked that color-coded joker up and down based on how hot the water was on the administration. They played people like fiddles with this crap alert system. Who loses? Everyone, because those security alerts cost local municipalities tons of money. I was in NYC just before the GOP convention, and the traffic and delays caused by the unnecessary ratcheted up security was just devastating to business. (AP):

Former Homeland Security Secretary Tom Ridge met privately with Republican pollsters twice in a 10-day span last spring as he embarked on more than a dozen trips to presidential battleground states.

Ridge’s get-togethers with Republican strategists Frank Luntz and Bill McInturff during a period the secretary was saying his agency was playing no role in Bush’s re-election campaign were revealed in daily appointment calendars obtained by The Associated Press under the Freedom of Information Act.

We don’t do politics in the Department of Homeland Security,” Ridge told reporters during the election season. His aides resisted releasing the calendars for over a year, finally providing them to the AP three days after Ridge left office this month. Homeland Security officials said the meeting with Luntz at department headquarters was aimed at improving public communication of the department’s message, particularly on TV. Ridge declined an interview with the AP about the calendars, referring questions to former aides.

“We did not discuss homeland security in a presidential campaign context,” said Susan Neely, a former assistant homeland security secretary who attended the May 17 session with Luntz and Ridge. “We asked him his impression of how well we were explaining whatever the issues were of the day. There was no follow-up meeting.”

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Pam Spaulding

Pam Spaulding