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January 18, 2007

Inhofe will ensure FEMA responds

McAlester News-Capitol

By Matt Lane
It’s not a secret that I don’t often agree with Oklahoma’s senior U.S. senator when it come to many of the big issues of the day. He’s a staunch Republican and I’m a dyed-in-the-wool Democrat.
Not a match made in heaven except that Jim Inhofe is a man who has the courage of convictions. He says what he means and, at least every time I’ve had the honor of speaking with him, he means what he says.
Take our current crisis as an example of just how Inhofe works for us, the people of Oklahoma. Here’s what he said on Tuesday:
“In light of the response to this summer’s Oklahoma wildfires, I was ready to go to the administration and the president if they did not respond to the Governor, but that was not necessary in this case,” Inhofe said. “FEMA is now on the ground in Oklahoma setting up an Emergency Operation Center and organizing the relief effort. I have been in touch not only with Governor Henry, but also with Oklahoma Emergency Management, FEMA and power companies throughout the state to ensure that Oklahomans will regain power as soon as possible.”
Would he have been pounding on the Oval Office door if the response had been otherwise? That is a distinct possibility.
Inhofe fights for Oklahoma like a bulldog, and right now that is exactly what we needs.
He has told this newspaper he will work to ensure aid flows and we all get the help we need. Inhofe said he drove through McAlester on Sunday on his way north from Dallas. He saw the destruction and he understands the serious situation we are all in. I am confident he won’t allow the Federal Emergency Management Agency to drop the ball. They wouldn’t dare with Inhofe breathing down their necks.
McAlester will recover, things will get better; however, we need help from our friends, neighbors, Oklahomans and our fellow Americans.
In the next weeks and months all of us will need to remember our common travails; we need to help one another and dole out an extra portion of patience. Also, take time to thank the men and women working to help our city and area recover. If you happen to see Sen. Inhofe, tell him thanks also, because he not only talks a good game, he plays it hard for the people he represents — you and me.


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