July 08, 2010 1:28 pm ET - by Walid Zafar
Sharron Angle, the Tea Party darling who turned into a mainstream Republican ostensibly overnight, just can't follow the script her handlers have written for her. Despite the best efforts of GOP strategists and operatives to keep her far away from the media, Angle still manages, through conservative outlets, to air her fringe and antiquated beliefs.
During a radio appearance on the Alan Stock show yesterday, a caller asked Angle about the $20 billion escrow account created by British Petroleum and wondered if the Senate hopeful agreed with his sentiment that the account amounts to a "slush fund" and whether she believed government should be doing that to a private company.
ANGLE: Well, the short answer is no. Government shouldn't be doing that to a private company and I think you named it clearly, it's a slush fund. The problem with even the EPA is that it's all about money. It's a taxing/fining agency and what we really needed was a management agency. You know, what happened in the Gulf was BP didn't do their checklist. And we need somebody there to say, "Did you do your checklist?" Well you know, they cut corners, didn't do their checklist. What we got was criminal, actually. A criminal and willful act here because they were doing those cut corners. But everyone in the petroleum industry shouldn't be penalized for one bad person's actions. It would be like throwing us all in prison because one person committed murder. That's exactly what's going on here. It's an overreaction by government for not the right reasons.
It's hard to take Angle seriously, much less consider her fit to be a legislator. As she puts it, regulating an industry is tantamount to charging everyone with murder. Such convoluted reasoning has her coming off less like someone interested in fixing the nation's problems and more like the elderly woman at the John McCain rally who worried that then-Senator Obama was an Arab and, therefore, untrustworthy.
What's more astonishing is that in the same breath, Angle accuses BP of criminal behavior and yet says that government's only responsibility is to be a management agency. Those beliefs make even less sense considering that she wants to deregulate the oil and gas industries.
Having had some time to think about it, the caller and I shouldn't have used the term "slush fund"; that was incorrect."
My position is that the creation of this fund to compensate victims was an important first step-- BP caused this disaster and they should pay for it. But there are multiple parties at fault here and there should be a thorough investigation. We need to look into the actions, (or inactions) of the Administration and why the regulatory agency in charge of oversight was asleep at the wheel while BP was cutting corners. Every party involved should be held fully accountable.
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