March 04, 2004

Fire Fighters President Says Use of Fire Fighter Images in New Bush Ads Smack of Political Opportunism

The Emperor has no uniform...

General President of the International Association of
Fire Fighters, AFL-CIO (IAFF), Harold Schaitberger:
"I'm disappointed but not surprised that the President
would try to trade on the heroism of those fire
fighters in the September 11 attacks. The use of 9/11
images are hypocrisy at its worst. Here's a President
that initially opposed the creation of the Department
of Homeland Security and now uses its first
anniversary as cause to promote his re-election. Here
is a President that proposed two budgets with no
funding for FIRE Act grants and still plays on the
image of America's bravest. His advertisements are
disgraceful.

Support Our Fightfighters, Show Up for Democracy in
2004: Defeat Bush (again!)


http://releases.usnewswire.com/GetRelease.asp?id=155-03032004

Fire Fighters President Says Use of Fire Fighter Images in New Bush Ads Smack of Political Opportunism

3/3/04 6:34:00 PM

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

To: National Desk

Contact: Jeff Zack, 202-824-1506 or 202-390-9778
(cell); Jim McBride, 202-824-1566; both of the
International Association of Fire Fighters

WASHINGTON, March 3 /U.S. Newswire/ -- The General
President of the International Association of Fire
Fighters, AFL-CIO (IAFF), Harold Schaitberger, issued
the following statement today after President Bush
unveiled new political ads that use images of fire
fighters in September 11, 2001 attacks for political
gain:

-- As Bush Trades on Heroism of Fire Fighters, His
Homeland Security Funding Cuts Hurt Fire Fighters and
Communities --

"I'm disappointed but not surprised that the President
would try to trade on the heroism of those fire
fighters in the September 11 attacks. The use of 9/11
images are hypocrisy at its worst. Here's a President
that initially opposed the creation of the Department
of Homeland Security and now uses its first
anniversary as cause to promote his re-election. Here
is a President that proposed two budgets with no
funding for FIRE Act grants and still plays on the
image of America's bravest. His advertisements are
disgraceful.

"Bush is calling on the biggest disaster in our
country's history, and indeed in the history of the
fire service, to win sympathy for his campaign. Since
the attacks, Bush has been using images of himself
putting his arm around a retired FDNY fire fighter on
the pile of rubble at ground zero. But for two and a
half years he has basically shortchanged fire fighters
and the safety of our homeland by not providing fire
fighters the resources needed to do the job that
America deserves.

"The fact is Bush's actions have resulted in fire
stations closing in communities around the country.
Two-thirds of America's fire departments remain
under-staffed because Bush is failing to enforce a new
law that was passed with bipartisan support in
Congress that would put more fire fighters in our
communities. President Bush's budget proposes to cut
Homeland Security Department funding for first
responders by $700 million for next year and cuts
funding for the FIRE Act, a grant program that helps
fire departments fund equipment needs, 33 percent by
$250 million. In addition, state and local programs
for homeland security purposes were reduced $200
million.

"We're going to be aggressive and vocal in our efforts
to ensure that the citizens of this country know about
Bush's poor record on protecting their safety and
providing for the needs of the people who are supposed
to respond in an emergency."

------

About the International Association of Fire Fighters

The International Association of Fire Fighters,
headquartered in Washington, DC, is the 16th largest
union among the 64 national unions that makeup the
AFL-CIO. The IAFF represents more than 263,000
full-time professional fire fighters and emergency
medical personnel who protect 80 percent of the
nation's population. More than 2,900 affiliates and
their members protect nearly 6,000 communities in
every state in the Unites States and every province in
Canada.


http://www.usnewswire.com/

-0-

/ 2004 U.S. Newswire 202-347-2770/


Posted by richard at March 4, 2004 04:25 PM