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Contact: Cindy Roberts
January 5, 2010
AFA opposes Southers' nomination to head TSA: will make air travel less safe for America's families

The American Family Association (AFA) today announced its opposition to Erroll Southers' nomination to serve as the next head of the Transportation Security Administration.

The AFA's opposition is based on two things: Southers' evident intent to unionize TSA workers, and questions concerning his own honesty in testimony before Congress.

AFA President Tim Wildmon said, "Giving collective bargaining rights to TSA workers will essentially turn over the nation's air security to union bosses. The primary tactic unions use to get concessions is a walkout or the threat of walkout. If they walk off the job, for example, right before Christmas, it will create chaos and make air travel less safe for America's families. After what happened on Christmas Day, we just can't take that chance.

"Plus union rules will hamper the flexibility the TSA needs to respond rapidly to terrorist threats, and make it difficult to reward outstanding screeners and just about impossible to fire incompetent ones. All that will compromise airline security even further."

Bryan Fischer, AFA's director of issues analysis, added that character issues are also a concern.

Fischer said, "Southers admitted to Congress that he had asked a fellow law enforcement official to do an unauthorized search of a law enforcement data base twenty years ago in a personal domestic dispute. But he didn't admit until just last November that he himself had likely violated the federal Privacy Act by personally downloading and distributing confidential law enforcement information about his ex-wife's boyfriend. And he only coughed that information up when pressed by a senator, and only after his nomination had already been approved in committee.

"While he did what he did twenty years ago, he lied to Congress about it less than two months ago. He just doesn't have the character or integrity to be entrusted with all the confidential information that's in DHS and TSA data bases. Character counts in public service, and he's a quart low."

The AFA sent an action alert to its network of 2.5 million citizens, asking them to contact their senators and urge a "No" vote on Southers' nomination.

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