Richardson plans meeting with pair of commissioners

Gov. Bill Richardson will complete his mission to meet with all nine Base Realignment and Closure Commissioners on Thursday when

Gov. Bill Richardson will complete his mission to meet with all nine Base Realignment and Closure Commissioners on Thursday when he meets with Chairman Anthony Principi and Commissioner Lloyd W. “Fig” Newton in Washington, a press release from Richardson’s office said.
“I have made a commitment to meet face-to-face with all the commissioners and this trip fulfills that pledge,” Richardson said in the press release. “These personal meetings with the commissioners have proven a great opportunity to make our case to keep Cannon Air Force Base open.”
The base was placed on the Pentagon’s recommended closure list in May, and New Mexico’s delegates and local community members have been fighting the recommendation ever since.
At Richardson’s side during the meeting will be Sen. Stuart Ingle, R-Portales, and Hanson Scott, director of the state office of military base closing and support.
Ingle was upbeat about Cannon’s chances Tuesday evening in a phone interview from his ranch.
“We basically have to win,” Ingle said. “Every individual who wrote a letter, made a phone call, (and) stood out there in the parade with a sign … will have something to do with it. I don’t think I’ve ever seen an area pull together like they have on this issue.”
Ingle said they will argue Cannon’s military value during the meeting and attempt to demonstrate “many grave errors” in the Pentagon’s reports.
“You won’t find any base in the (United States) that has less criticism from the public than Cannon Air Force Base,” Ingle said, adding that Richardson is “doing a heck of a job” meeting with all the commissioners and representing Cannon before the panel.
The three will discuss their strategy on the plane trip up to Washington, Ingle said. They will also meet with a general at the Pentagon, and later in the day with Sen. Pete Domenici, R-N.M.
“It is critical that every BRAC commissioner hear directly about the strategic importance of Cannon to our national security and the tremendous impact closing Cannon will have on eastern New Mexico,” Richardson said.
Richardson’s mission to meet all the commissioners face-to-face has taken him across the nation, to cities like Salt Lake City, Las Vegas, Nev., Pensacola, Fla., Miami and Los Angeles.