Senator Conrad Burns Attacks Firefighters
Montana Republican Senator Conrad Burns berated firefighters at the airport for having done a “piss-poor job” in coming from clear across the country to help fight a fire in his state.
Sen. Conrad Burns ‘ recent verbal attack on a firefighting team for its work on a Montana blaze angered some firefighters, drew harsh criticism in state newspapers and has left the three-term Republican scrambling to repair the political damage.
Burns, one of the most vulnerable incumbents in the fall elections, confronted members of a firefighting team at the Billings airport on July 23 and told them they had done a “piss-poor job,” according to an official state report and the U.S. Forest Service. The Hotshot crew had traveled 2,000 miles from Staunton, Va., to help dig fire lines for about a week around a 143-square-mile wildfire east of Billings. The crew was awaiting flights home when Burns made his comments. The senator, who has a house in Billings, said he was expressing the frustration of ranchers who were critical of the way the fire was handled. He later apologized for his harsh remarks.
People say idiotic things when they’re angry (or drunk). But one would think a seasoned politician like Burns would have more self-control than this.