Wednesday, September 13, 2006

Kean Drags Ground Zero Victims Into Election Season

Three New York and New Jersey Congressmen are demanding a Justice Department investigation that could lead to criminal charges against former Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Christie Whitman, who is accused of misleading Ground Zero workers into believing that the air they were breathing was safe. Thousands are now suffering serious health effects from their work on the pile.

At hearings last week in New York, Whitman was the most frequent target of lawmakers who charged that ground zero workers were not protected as they worked to clear the pile of toxic debris. Whitman, a former Republican governor of New Jersey, declared in the days after Sept. 11 that the air in lower Manhattan was
safe for workers and residents. But she has said she and the EPA always differentiated between the air quality in lower Manhattan and at ground zero.
And to add insult to injury, former NJ Governor Tom Keane is accusing the Congressmen of playing politics.
Former Sept. 11 Commission Chairman Thomas Kean, also a former Republican governor of New Jersey, said it was troubling that the Democratic congressmen "would misuse the heroic service of thousands for their political gain in an election season."

The congressmen — New York Reps. Jerrold Nadler and Anthony Weiner and New Jersey Rep. Bill Pascrell Jr. — said the health of their constituents, and not politics, was their concern.
Never mind that the three Reps have been fighting for years to get help for the Ground Zero victims and ensure that this never happens again. (And where has Tom Kean been all this time?)

Never mind that all three Reps are in perfectly safe seats and have little "political" to "gain" this election season (as opposed to Kean's son, who is trying to unseat New Jersey Senator Robert Menendez.)

Kean Sr., until recently portrayed in the media as a fair-minded, bi-partisan centrist, seems to be intent on setting a new world record for the fastest self-destruction of a reputation. In addition to the current slime he's wallowing in, he's come under attack in recent days for serving as a consultant for the "Path To 911" docudrama, ABC/Disney's recent error-ridden, Republican inspired attack piece on the Clinton administration.

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