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Lingle: Hirono Voted Against Funding Tsunami Warning Network

Excerpts from a press release issued Thursday (Sept. 13) from the U.S. Senate campaign of Linda Lingle:

U.S. Senate candidate Mazie Hirono earlier this year voted against funding the Tsunami Warning Network that provides Hawaii with early tsunami detection and warnings. The high-tech buoy network faced $4.5 million in cuts in February, and Hirono opposed bipartisan House legislation to fully fund the critical system for FY2013.  

"Hirono voted against the best interest of our state — a state in a Tsunami high-risk zone — and against one of our most important life-saving tools, by voting against fully funding the Tsunami Warning Network," said former Director of Hawaii Civil Defense and Linda Lingle Campaign Manager Bob Lee.

Despite Hirono’s disregard for her constituency, the House of Representatives voted to strengthen the Tsunami Warning Network by reinstating full funding for education and awareness programs of the National Tsunami Hazard Mitigation Program, and DART buoy network maintenance for FY 2013 [2], according to Lee. …

Asked for a response, Kinsey Kiriakos, Hirono’s campaign communications director, said this:

Earlier this week, the National Weather Service Employees Organization (NWSEO) endorsed Mazie Hirono for U.S. Senate. NWSEO represents the professionals who work at the Pacific Tsunami Warning Center (PTWC) in Ewa Beach, as well as the thousands of professionals who staff the 122 weather forecast offices around the country. The Organization endorsed Mazie because of her successful opposition to efforts to close PTWC and her staunch opposition to the Republicans’ 2012 budget crafted by Rep. Paul Ryan, which would have slashed funding for tsunami and severe weather warnings.

Or, as the NWSEO President Dan Sobien said, ‘Mazie Hirono understands the importance of accurate weather forecasting and tsunami predictions for the people of Hawaii. Time and again, she has shown her commitment to Hawaii’s emergency preparedness. She supports the Hurricane Forecast Improvement Program and with her leadership, Hawaii will be more prepared for severe weather. Mazie also recognizes the importance of the dedicated professionals who work for the National Weather Service. NWSEO is proud to endorse Mazie Hirono for U.S. Senate.

The NWSEO endorsement clearly indicates that the professionals who are tasked with providing tsunami warnings prefer Mazie Hirono in the U.S. Senate.

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