Ohio2006 Blog

News, analysis, and comments on Ohio elections.

Tuesday, August 15

Cong. OH-2: Wulsin (D) Unveils National Security Plan

Hitting back hard on the issue of homeland security, 2nd Ohio Congressional District candidate Dr. Victoria Wulsin (D-Indian Hill) has released a national plan to improve America's defenses against terrorism.

"Are we any safer today than we were 5 years ago? It's time to secure our borders, our ports, our airports, and our neighborhoods," said Wulsin, a public health doctor. "The current Do-Nothing Congress has neglected our homeland security for too long. It's time to focus on the real threats to our nation and to put America's safety above political grandstanding."

Wulsin's plan has six pillars:

1. Protect Our Ports. Wulsin calls for "programs to screen 100 percent of containers entering U.S. ports," of which "less than 5 percent of the cargo on passenger airlines and only 3 percent of ship containers entering the country" are currently inspected. She notes that "Port Cincinnati is the fifth largest inland port in the country," making "port security along the Ohio River especially critical to a comprehensive national security plan," and "Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky International Airport maintains a massive shipping center that includes a Delta hub, a USPS bulk mail distribution center and DHL, UPS, and FedEx hubs."

2. Secure Our Airports. Wulsin demands improved airport security, including "[p]rograms to detect deadly liquid explosives" and updating our passenger screening program. Within the district, improvements are needed at Cincinnati Municipal Lunken Airport and Blue Ash Airport as well as Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky International Airport.

3. Support First Responders. Wulsin calls the federal government to "practice what it preaches and provide funding for full preparedness," because "[f]irefighters and law enforcement personnel must have the equipment they need to respond to terrorist attacks and the outbreak of deadly disease" including radios and protective gear.

4. Secure America's Nuclear Sites. Calling attention to a critical but neglected area, Wulsin calls for upgrading security "at all our nuclear power plants" to prevent the theft of materials that could be used in dirty bombs, and because "the nuclear plants themselves" are "prime targets." Americans "at severe risk" include "138.6 million people" who "live within 50 miles of spent nuclear fuel."

5. Prepare for Bioterrorism. Wulsin calls for federal funding and coordination for state and local government "to distribute vaccines and medical care" in the event of a bioterrorist attack. "Today, only two states have sufficient workers to distribute vaccines in response to a bioterrorist attack. There are over 7,000 chemical facilities in the United States and toxic releases there could threaten a total of more than 70 million people." She says that "community volunteer providers," including clinicians, emergency responders, and the public health clinic staff, must "play a critical role in planning for, detecting, and responding to acts of bioterrorism and other public health emergencies." Cincinnati "is uniquely positioned to reach full preparedness" and should "set the example" for the nation.

6. Secure the Borders.
"Our nation's borders are not secure," Wulsin declares, calling for an "overhaul" of border control programs. Under the Bush administration, "apprehensions of undocumented individuals at or near the Mexican border has declined by 31 percent" and "apprehensions of undocumented individuals within the interior of the country has plummeted by 36 percent," and just this year "[u]ndercover agents ... had no trouble repeatedly entering the country with simple forged documents." Nevertheless, "[w]e still do not have a comprehensive screening system to identify visitors to the United States."

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