Friday, June 25, 2010


Charles Djou Shows he’s a rookie

by Larry Geller

Charles Djou has joined the ranks of Republicans who believe they can spout pretty much anything on Fox News and get away with it.

Although fifteen foreign-flag vessels are assisting in the Gulf cleanup effort, he insisted on TV that international ships were not being allowed to assist because of the Jones Act. But he was caught, perhaps embarrassing Hawaii.

First, the facts. From the Deepwater Horizon Response web page

Currently, 15 foreign-flagged vessels are involved in the largest response to an oil spill in U.S. history. No Jones Act waivers have been granted because none of these vessels have required such a waiver to conduct their operations in the Gulf of Mexico.

Djou went on Fox News to claim that Obama’s refusal to waive the Jones Act was not permitting foreign vessels to assist in the Gulf oil spill cleanup. It’s an old mantra for him but he blew it this time. He said:

It’s important that we take help from whomever and wherever they’re willing to offer it. … So why are we not waiving the Jones Act to allow international help to come in?

Trouble is, the Jones Act doesn’t apply. And should a foreign vessel be subject to the Jones Act because of some particular cargo it is carrying, the Response webpage cites the statute under which it would, indeed, be granted a waiver.

Djou has been making a big deal with his demand, including posting a statement and video on his own web page. Here it is in Google’s cache, because now that the truth is out, he has removed it (or it would be here.). Even in the Google cache, his video statement has been disabled.

“I agree with the President that our nation’s top priority in addressing the Gulf accident is to stop the leak, clean up the mess and hold BP accountable.

“I am disappointed, however, that the President has failed to waive the Jones Act for foreign ships, who want to assist in the clean-up efforts. There is no good reason to turn away international help in responding to this environmental catastrophe.

“Nevertheless, I look forward to working with President Obama to temper the House energy bill and craft a sensible long-term energy strategy for America that makes sense for our economy.”

The 90-year old Jones Act blocks foreign vessels from operating in U.S. waters. Multiple foreign nations including Mexico, Canada, and Belgium have offered to assist the U.S. in cleaning up the BP oil spill disaster, but have been prevented from doing so because of the Jones Act. European companies with advanced environmental clean-up technologies could dramatically speed the Gulf coast clean up. The prior administration had waived the Jones Act to help with Hurricane Katrina relief efforts. For Hawai‘i residents, the Jones Act has resulted in increased costs for goods.

As I post this, the Fox News video won’t play on my computer, though that could just be Windows Vista’s Friday trick on me.

Speaking of tricks, Djou also voted against the campaign disclosure bill. Yes, he would rather we not know who supports his campaign by paying for ads.

Democrats -- Hirono, Y.
Republicans -- Djou, N.

Earlier, he was one of only five Republicans to vote against the Don’t Ask Don’t Tell amendment, thereby aligning himself with one of the most anti-gay of Republicans. Tags: , , , ,


Larry... I thought Djou was one of the few Republicans to vote FOR repeal of Don't Ask Don't Tell -- but for the wrong reasons. He is basically following military chain of command since top brass support the repeal. But he has added his own homophobic reason by declaring that he's seen colleagues in the reserves get re-enlistment bonuses and then declare themselves gay to be booted after they pocket the bonus money. So Djou's position on DADT has nothing to do with what is right, fair, and equitable.

larry you're wrong about DADT ... go check facts

Larry, you have zero evidence of why Djou pulled this press release from his Web site and I can only guess that you just made up the reason.

That content was pulled, along with a few other press releases, because the Congressman cannot have official content (paid for by taxpayers) also placed on his campaign site (certain restrictions apply).

Peter, I never said anything about why Djou pulled his web page. I just said it was pulled. I then posted the original text. It speaks for itself, whatever it says.

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