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CA vs USA On Boats Promised to Ghana

GHANA MORE IMPORTANT THAN CALIFORNIA SAYS USA

In one of the greatest insults to California and it's nearly 32 million citizens by the federal government, the Clinton Administration has reneged on the promise to supply California with two US Navy surplus boats located at the San Diego naval base. Instead, the boats are to be given to the African nation of Ghana! California has only seven boats, most of the boats are too small to be operated in bad weather, and needs more boats to patrol over 1,100 miles of it's coastline. The California Department of Fish and Game was to use the boats to nab poachers, polluters, and even drug smugglers. Instead, the boats are to be used by Ghana to patrol it's coastline for smugglers and refugees.

California was given legal title to the vessels on the 9th of March. "We did have every good-faith intention to transfer those boats to California," said Tara May, spokeswoman for the Defense Department that handles surplus military equipment. "But before we could do that, a national priority came up and took precedence."

A 1991 federal law makes military surplus equipment available to states and foreign allies. When two claims are made on the same equipment, the state need is secondary, says National Security Council spokesman P.J.Crowley.

"The Ghanese are among the African states that are a priority for trying to improve their coastal defenses," says Crowley.

California Governor Pete Wilson hopes to get replacement boats. "It's 'President Pander'," Sean Walsh, spokesman for Wilson, said of Clinton. "He promises something...then he goes over to Africa and needs goodies to give and says, 'Sorry California' we get the short end of the stick."
LA Times 4/1/98


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