On the KerryTech list, Teresa from DC writes me…

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I was at the John Kerry $25 fundraiser at Brandy Pete’s last Saturday night, which I’ll take over a Meetup any day of the week. (The only thing lacking was food, which drove us to dash over to Chinatown at about midnight, just as the DJ moved into old-school Madonna). First of all, my compatriots Dave and Alex now could use the new pickup line, “Our friend over here is one of the big shot KerryCore fundraisers.” Well, maybe not really big shot– I have absolutely no idea what my standing is on KerryCore until they improve the website– but thanks to the Karen Zelevinsky’s donation of thirty minutes ago, I’ve just smashed through the $1000 barrier for the KerryCore fundraising.

KerryCore has not yet come up with a name for this achievement, though if I had raised it for the DNC I would now be a “Minuteman”, and I’d be 10% of the way through earning a phone briefing from Terry McAuliffe. But that doesn’t excite me in the slightest. I just want a personal email from someone helping the Kerry campaign thanking me. (I did get an email from Sanford Dickert, CTO of the campaign, advising me to be patient. On April 4th, I wrote up this proposal on how to improve KerryCore).

Well I just got my very first email of thanks, and not for raising a cool grand. Instead it’s just a simple thank-you note, from someone else who’s participating on the campaign, in at least a symbolic way. It’s from Teresa, a woman in DC with a very important job, that for the last three months she hasn’t been not allowed to have. No, not the Senator’s wife, but Teresa Chambers, the Chief of the United States Park Police. Last December was stripped of her duties because she told the Washington Post some simple truths: the Park Service is underbudgeted, and its patrols are stretched thin. The NPS’s Deputy Director, Don Murphy charges that Chambers revealed ongoing budget discussions and “lobbied” by simply talking to the press.

Read Teresa’s website HonestChief for the whole story. This story is now going on 3 months, and neither the White House nor the Interior Department has done the respectable act of reinstating her. I couldn’t believe I missed not one, but FOUR of my journalistic hero Timothy Noah’s columns on this. In his most recent Chatterbox column, Noah expresses his puzzlement about the lack of attention outside of the DC area:

“Chambers’ failure to make the big time is probably attributable to the misapprehension that her firing is a local story. The police patrols in question are in Washington, D.C. Still, Chambers was fired by the Bush administration for essentially the same reason Foster was threatened with firing.”
[Foster is Richard B. Foster, the chief medicare actuary, whose information that wasn’t allwed to be revealed of his estimate of the Medicare drug bill’s costs]

So I wrote on the KerryTech list a letter of support to Teresa, and she thanked me on the list! That’s quite a thrill, given that she also counts among her supporters various Fraternal Orders of Police and about a dozen Congreesmen. Maybe someday I’ll hear back from Yang Jianli, another prisoner of conscience, if only John Kamm can help get him released.