Gov. Mike Easley on Wednesday said U.S. Sen. Elizabeth Dole is failing residents of two counties where the Navy is considering building a jet landing strip by not speaking against the project.
In an unusually sharp exchange, the governor -- who had worked with the Navy to find the sites -- urged the state's congressional delegation to heed local opposition to the so-called outlying landing field in Eastern North Carolina.
The Democratic governor's letter drew an immediate and negative response from the state's two Republican U.S. senators, who earlier this year united behind him in asking the Navy to reconsider its site near the Pocosin Lakes National Wildlife Refuge.
"We disagree with your view that the best course of action is now for the congressional delegation to recommend that the Navy develop yet another list of potential locations -- in addition to the 21 sites it is currently considering," Dole and Sen. Richard Burr said in a joint statement.
The senators said they had expected local residents to reject the sites the Easley administration and the Navy developed. They said the Easley administration should continue working with the Navy to find a site that has local support and meets the Navy's needs.
The senators' response drew an even sharper reply from Easley, and he focused on Dole, who sits on the Senate Armed Services Committee.
"The U.S. Navy is funded by the U.S. Senate, therefore it responds and reports to the Senate," the governor said. "I hope Sen. Dole will accept her responsibility and speak for her people."
"I hope Sen. Dole will accept her responsibility and speak for her people."
That'll be the day.
In any even, kudos to Governor Easley for saying something that should have been said five years ago when Liddy first started selling out North Carolina to curry favor from the Republican leadership in the Senate. I'm glad someone finally explained to her who she works for, short though her tenure may be.