As six Republican senators devised a plan to yank $2.3 million in federal funding for Berkeley programs, the mayor of the famously liberal city apologized Wednesday for his hard stance against a Marine recruiting center.
Two City Council members vowed to soften their stance as well.
The Republican plan would give the funds, intended for a school lunch program, UC Berkeley and ferry service, to the Marines instead.
“Patriotic American taxpayers won’t sit quietly while Berkeley insults our brave Marines,” said one of the senators.
Barbara Boxer was not amused:
But Sen. Barbara Boxer, who proposed some of the funding for the projects, said groups in need of the funding shouldn’t be punished, said Natalie Ravitz, Boxer’s communications director, in an e-mail.
“Berkeley City Council members have shown complete ingratitude to our military and their families, and the city doesn’t deserve a single dime of special pet project handouts,” DeMint said in a statement.
Today, U.S. Senators Jim DeMint (R-South Carolina), Saxby Chambliss (R-Georgia), Tom Coburn, M.D. (R-Oklahoma), John Cornyn (R-Texas), James Inhofe (R-Oklahoma), and David Vitter (R-Louisiana) introduced the Semper Fi Act of 2008.
Six names that should be high on McCain’s VP list, IMO.
The bill would rescind over $2 million in hidden earmarks for Berkeley, California in the 2008 Omnibus Appropriations bill, and transfer the funds to the Marine Corps. U.S. Congressman John Campbell (R-California) is introducing a companion bill in the House of Representatives.
Last week, the City Council of Berkeley voted to oust Marine Corps recruiters from their downtown office, saying the Marines were “uninvited and unwelcome intruders.” Berkeley officials also voted to give the radical protest group Code Pink space outside the recruitment office and urged them to “impede, passively or actively” the work of Marine Corps recruiters.
One earmark provides $243,000 in taxpayer dollars for the organization Chez Panisse to create gourmet organic school lunches in the Berkeley School District. Chez Panisse is dedicated to “environmental harmony” and their menu features “Comté cheese soufflé with mâche salad,” “Meyer lemon éclairs with huckleberry coulis,” and “Chicory salad with creamy anchovy vinaigrette and olive toast.”
Gateway Pundit said: The Horror!! Those nasty Republicans…
How dare they deny the Berkeley children their eco-friendly gourmet lunches!
Another earmark would spend $975,000 in taxpayer dollars for the University of California in Berkeley Matsui Center for Politics and Public Service, to create a new endowment and cataloging the papers of Congressman Robert Matsui. U.C. Berkeley currently already has a $3.5 billion endowment.
Now, all of a sudden the Mayor, and some of the City Council members are feeling pangs of regret…
”We apologize for any offense to any families of anyone who may serve in Iraq. We want them to come home and be safe at home.” the Mayor said.
At their Tuesday council meeting, leaders will discuss scrapping a letter that might be perceived as targeting the center or the Marines.
The letter said that the recruiting center was not welcome on Shattuck Avenue and that the Marines were uninvited and unwelcome intruders.
Silly me…I perceived that to mean that they were targeting the center and the Marines. Apparently I need a reading comprehension class?
Hat tip: Gateway Pundit
Geoff has one of his famous charts up at Uncommon Misconceptions if you’re interested in seeing how Military recruiting is doing these days.
*Hint: Not too shabby!