23 Days: Dole sits on the sidelines...

DAY 23

Yesterday, a Raleigh News & Observer editor noted that “Dole sat on the sidelines for years as residents of Washington and Beaufort counties fought the landing field and filed lawsuits.” Dole chose to stay silent until after the N&O wrote a front-page story about her indecision. Even Gov. Easley had to turn to senators from other states to find someone who would help him stop this terrible idea. Time and again, Dole has been content to sit silently by while others do the work. While we think she was more than likely motivated by politics, the N&O editor has another plausible explanation: “Maybe Dole, who is spotted in North Carolina only occasionally, didn’t know those counties are in North Carolina.”

October 2008: Editor Of Raleigh News & Observer: Dole Dodged The OLF Issue. John Drescher, the executive editor of the Raleigh News & Observer wrote, “Dole sat on the sidelines for years as residents of Washington and Beaufort counties fought the landing field and filed lawsuits. She sat there after others in the congressional delegation opposed the landing strip. Maybe Dole, who is spotted in North Carolina only occasionally, didn't know those counties are in North Carolina…Dole stayed uncommitted -- until spring 2007, shortly after The N&O published a front-page story about her indecision. Then Dole finally told the Navy she was opposed to the proposed location for the landing field.” [Editorial, Raleigh News & Observer, 10/11/08]

September 2003: Dole Criticized For Not Doing More About Naval Proposal. In September 2003, Dole was criticized by Mayor Bunny Sander of Roper, saying that as an Armed Services committee member, Dole should have done more to keep the OLF out of the county. Sander said, “This is not over. Nobody has done enough, or we wouldn’t be standing here today.” In a statement Dole said, “This is critical to our state at a point when our top priorities must be to bring new jobs to NC and to strengthen our state’s economy.” [Associated Press, 09/10/03]

May 2004: Dole Criticized For Not Fighting Proposed OLF Site.
In 2004, North Carolina Senate leader Marc Basnight criticized Senators John Edwards and Elizabeth Dole “for not doing enough to fight the proposed sight.” [Associated Press, 5/26/04]

June 2004: Dole Supported Funding For Washington County Site. In 2004, the Norfolk Virginian-Pilot reported that Senator Elizabeth Dole supported funding for the outlying landing field site in Washington County, North Carolina. According to the report, a Senate appropriations bill included the funding for the site and “The Senate bill’s provisions on the field have the backing of Sens. John W. Warner, R-VA, and Elizabeth Dole, R-N.C., virtually guaranteeing their approval in the GOP-controlled Senate.” A Dole spokesperson said that Dole supported placing the outlying landing field in North Carolina, but had “concerns” about the Washington County site. [Norfolk Virginian-Pilot, 6/2/04]

November 2004: Dole Accused Of Making Political Deals To Locate The OLF In North Carolina. In November 2004, The Raleigh News & Observer printed an editorial accusing Dole and Senate Armed Services Committee Chairman John Warner (R-VA) of making a political deal to locate the OLF in North Carolina. The News & Observer said: “Elizabeth Dole had co-signed a letter to the Navy saying they wouldn’t oppose any site chosen by the Navy for the OLF. Warner, the powerful chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee, represents Virginia, where the Navy’s new jets were to be based, and where the Navy’s own studies prove the facilities are adequate. He was among the first to know his constituents didn’t want the noise. The obvious alternate [for a new OLF] was Dole’s state.” [Raleigh News & Observer, 11/30/04]

April 2005: Dole Wouldn’t Take Stand Against Site. In 2005, the Raleigh News & Observer reported that Dole is “not taking sides in the dispute over the Navy’s proposed outlying landing field, in spite of pressure from constituents and environmentalists.” [Raleigh News & Observer, 4/4/05]

March 11, 2007: Dole Still Wouldn’t Take Stand Against Site.
In 2007, the Raleigh News & Observer reported that “despite years of study, [Dole] is not ready to take a stand on the Navy’s plans to put a landing strip alongside a migratory bird refuge in Eastern North Carolina.” Thomas F. Earnon, an expert on North Carolina politics at East Carolina University noted that Dole “might find [herself] walking a fine political line on an issue that directly impacts few people but is attracting statewide attention. Dole is up for re-election in 2008.” [Raleigh News & Observer, 3/11/07]

March 16, 2007: Charlotte Observer Slams Dole For Ducking The OLF Issue While Governor Easley Fought Against It. An editorial by the Charlotte Observer said that Gov. Mike Easley is “calling on the N.C. congressional delegation to pull the plug on funding until the Navy agrees to discuss alternatives…The governor is taking direct aim at Republican Sens. Elizabeth Dole and Richard Burr. He has asked for their help he said, but ‘they do not want to interfere.’” Furthermore, the edirotial noted that “A major reason many people voted for both our senators is the expectation that they’d show good judgment about what the federal government should and should not do, especially as it affects North Carolina.” [Charlotte Observer, 3/16/07]

March 19, 2007: Dole Campaign Polled The Popularity Of The Outlying Landing Field. In 2007, according to the Raleigh News & Observer, Elizabeth Dole’s campaign for reelection conducted polling that, among other things, sought to gauge support in North Carolina for the Navy’s proposed outlying landing field in Washington County. Dole, according to the article, said that “she will not take a position on the location until the Navy completes a public comment period.” [Raleigh News & Observer, 3/19/07]

Dole Requested Another Public Hearing The Same Day That Her Polling Was Announced. On March 19, 2007, Dole’s Senate office issued a press release calling for an additional public hearing on the Navy’s proposed outlying landing field in Washington and Beaufort Counties. The same day, the Raleigh News & Observer reported that Dole’s reelection campaign had finished conducting a poll that gauged, among other things, public sentiment towards the landing field in North Carolina. [Dole Senate Office Press Release, 3/19/07; Raleigh News & Observer, 3/19/07]

April 3, 2007: Governor Easley Asked Senators Outside Of North Carolina To Help Because Dole Wouldn’t. North Carolina Governor Mike Easley asked senators in other states to help block the proposed site of the outlying landing field because, according to the Associated Press, “North Carolina GOP Sens. Elizabeth Dole and Richard Burr have yet to agree to do the same.” [Associated Press, 4/3/07]

April 6, 2007: Dole Wrote A Letter To The Navy About The OLF, But Didn’t Say She Would Oppose It. In April 2007, Dole wrote a letter to the Secretary of the Navy asking him a series of “pointed” questions on the proposed OLF sight. In the letter she asked that Navy Secretary “fully appreciate residents’ legitimate concerns, I urge the Navy in the strongest possible terms to consider this opposition and factor it into its final decision.” Dole then said in an accompanying statement that she would only use the answers help reach her position on the issue. [Charlotte Observer, 4/6/07]

April 19, 2007: Dole Finally Opposed OLF Site Ten Days After Burr Announced His Opposition. Ten days after Senator Richard Burr announced his opposition to the outlying landing field in Eastern North Carolina, Senator Dole announced that she opposed the proposal on April 19, 2007. [Associated Press, 4/19/2007; Associated Press, 4/9/07]

October 2007: Dole Said To “Stay Tuned” On OLF, Not Ready To Decide If She Would Support Navy Landing Site.
On October 11, 2007, Dole stated that she was not yet ready to oppose a Navy plan to place a landing field in northeast North Carolina. After a closed meeting with local community leaders Dole said, “Today is my listening period. We’re trying to find out what’s in their (the Navy’s) plans.” [Virginian-Pilot, 10/11/07]

January 2008: Navy Cancelled Building Of Landing Field On Controversial Site; Dole Still Supported Building It Elsewhere In North Carolina. On January 22, 2008, the Navy dropped plans to build an outlying landing field in Washington County, North Carolina. The Navy also announced, however, that it would still seek to build the landing field in northeastern North Carolina. According to the Raleigh News & Observer, “Although the landing field would only generate 50 jobs, Dole has said it could provide future economic benefits, such as an East Coast base for the next-generation fighter jet.” [Raleigh News & Observer, 1/22/08]

---Disclosure: I am Kay Hagan's Online Communications Director---

Comments

92 Days 92 Ways

Hey Folks,
If any of the North Carolina politicians are serious, they would be asking the Navy for a true Need Study. They should also ask about BRAC and the roll back of encroachment.
Between NAS Oceana, Chambers Field, and NALF Fentress the Navy has six runways, all of these runways are designed for high-performance aircraft. When the jets were being moved from Florida, the available capacity at both NAS Oceana and NALF Fentress was measured to accomplish the move. Now suddenly ONLY Fentress can be used to do FCLP’s. Yes, read the Notice of Intent in the Federal Register dated April 9, 2008. They are only considering NALF Fentress for FCLP’s
Then read the Hampton Roads Joint Land Use Study http://www.vbgov.com/file_source/dept/planning/Document/JLUS_Ch4.pdf
The Navy is not to use NAS Oceana for FCLP operations; Virginia Beach is mandating this on the Navy. This is to help the good patriotic folks who want the $1 billion in revenue however they don’t want the byproduct. Export the negative impacts across the state line.
Also, take a look at new residential development in the Accident Potential Zone-1 and high noise zones where Virginia Beach and Fentress was to roll back encroachment. http://va-virginiabeach-realestate.governmax.com/ This is just under the runway in APZ-1 – look at their advertizing http://www.209sykesave.com/brochure.php?b=3&number=31020. These are the folks suing the Navy to the tune of $500 million because the noise bothers them, why did they move there? It’s a good way to get our NC tax dollars, just file a suit. There are hundreds of new homes in these prohibited zones after BRAC law to stop encroachment.
The greed of Virginia and Virginia Beach is staggering. They are even applying pressure the Navy to keep the new carrier George H.W. Bush, being built at Northrop Grumman Corp.'s Newport News shipyard. They don't seem at all concerned about what's best for the Navy or national security...they just want that carrier in Virginia for financial reasons, period. http://hamptonroads.com/2008/10/congress-members-lobby-navy-secretary-against-fla-carrier

By direct failure to curb and roll back encroachment around the Master Jet Base, we are now in a roundabout way on a list for an Outlying Landing Field.
Where are our politicians? If you read this and find it appalling, help us by contacting our elected officials. There have been over 22 potential sites for this Outlying Landing Field, you could be next.
Please help us and stand with NC. THIS IS WRONG.

Kira