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Wednesday, July 13, 2005

Is the CT coalition afraid of John Warner?

Whos' afraid of this guy. If you said the CT coalition, then you're correct.

If the moving of the subs from Norfolk to Groton will save the Navy 200 million dollars why won't the delegates from CT make that the highlight of their case? Because they are afraid of Senator John Warner? Come on guys, we're talking about the saving the submarine base and ten of thousands of jobs in Connecticut and if closing the base in Norfolk will save the Navy millions, then I'm sorry but I think the people of Groton could care less about Senator Warner's feelings.

From the Norwich Bulletin

During the hearing, coalition Chairman John Markowicz said there is a flaw in the Navy's original calculations, suggesting such a proposal would produce no cost savings. Coalition analyst Gabe Stern testified when reconsidered using more accurate data, moving Norfolk's subs to Groton would result in a $200 million savings to the Navy.

Skinner's questioning of the Norfolk scenario was seen by many as significant, suggesting the commission may be interested in exploring options other than closing the Groton facility. It is, however, a strategy Connecticut's congressional and state political staffs are not willing to pursue for fear Virginia Sen. John Warner, Republican chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee, might use his influence to work against Connecticut's interests.

"I'm not a politician," Markowicz said Monday. "Our position is, any flaws with any other scenario is something the commission can consider, and they ought to be able to investigate. We will respond to any questions they might ask us."

The Navy considered, but rejected, transferring Norfolk's subs to Groton as an alternative to closing Groton. Coalition members considered making that part of the state's presentation, but it was deleted because of "time constraints."

Disagreements over the state's strategy have slowly grown in recent weeks. The coalition, a group of volunteers who have been meeting for two years, has been excluded from many of the recent strategy sessions held by state and congressional staffers. For the first time in two years, members of the press were asked to leave the coalition meeting Monday.

Dauphinais asked for the closed-door session, which lasted more than 90 minutes, so members could discuss a "top-down strategy."

It was during that discussion that the decision to exclude any further references to Norfolk was made.

It's sad that the coaliton took the Norfolk proposal off the table and you can bet that this will come back to haunt them if the base in Groton is closed. Maybe Rob Simmons should stop commenting about the tasty rice he enjoyed eating at Guantanamo Bay and get back to saving the base.