Sunday, October 09, 2005

Casey: Tackett's Appearance with Byrd No Different Than President Bush with NYC Firefighters at Ground Zero 3 Days After 9-11

Sen. Robert C. Byrd announces his Senate candidacy at the State Capitol, surrounded by Adjutant General Allen Tackett, Rep. Nick J. Rahall, Rep. Alan B. Mollohan and Gov. Joe Manchin.Adjutant General Alan Tackett, in full military uniform, appears on the far left. This photo is from the front page of the September 28, 2005 Charleston Gazette.

State Democratic Chairman Nick Casey was on Bray Carey's Sunday show this morning, mostly throwing the usual partisan bombs. Casey repeated his cheap shots from last week accusing Congresswoman Shelley Moore Capito of being an opportunistic vulture awaiting the death of Senator Byrd. On state issues, Casey drug up the coal severance tax lawsuit even though the lawyer representing the coal companies is Senator Byrd's campaign chairman. However, toward the end of the interview, Casey was asked about the controversy surrounding state Adjutant General Alan Tackett appearing on stage in uniform at Senator Byrd's reelection announcement a couple of weeks ago.

General Tackett's appearance at this rally would be a nonissue had he appeared in civilian clothes. The sole problem most people have with this is that he appeared in military uniform. While Tackett falls under state National Guard regulations and these regulations do not expressly prohibit what Tackett did, many people nevertheless feel what he did was inappropriate.

In response to this question and Carey's comments about his personal opposition to police or military involvement in politics, Casey said he felt there was nothing wrong with what Tackett did and that he saw it as no different than the New York City firefighters appearing with President Bush at the rubble of the World Trade Center on September 14, 2001. Carey was a bit surprised at this statement and pressed Casey, to which Casey responded that he felt both events were equally political.