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Election 2004

Kerry Campaign Space Advisor's Flip Flops

By Keith Cowing
NASA Watch
October 22, 2004

Editor’s note: At last week’s debate between Lori Garver and Frank Sietzen, Garver was heard to suggest to a number of aerospace contractor representatives that they block access to NASA Watch from their employees. When pressed as to why she’d make such a request, she eventually admitted that it was because there were some things about her on NASA Watch that she did not like. It would certainly seem that Lori learned the wrong lessons from her time on Dan Goldin’s senior staff.

14 October 2004: Debating Space: A Tale of Two Policies – One Real, One TBD

Lori Garver: “Exploration is exciting, but it isn’t the only thing we get from space. Sending a few people to Mars (maybe) isn’t the most inspirational thing that we can be doing.”

14 January 2004: NewsHour with Jim Lehrer, PBS

Lori Garver: “I’m very enthused about the initiative. This is what we should be doing with our space program. The reason Mars is exciting when Spirit [rover] landed on it is because we believe we’re going further.”

14 October 2004: Debating Space: A Tale of Two Policies – One Real, One TBD, SpaceRef

Lori Garver: “the plan is based on political rhetoric rather than technical and fiscal reality. It was developed in secret without involving the U.S. scientific and engineering community or potential international partners” … “those of us on the Democratic side who tried to help with this effort early on were told specifically our help was not wanted.”

18 July 2004: RE: [kerryspace] Come Celebrate Kerry’s Great VP Choice, Edwards!, KerrySpace Yahoo Group

Lori Garver: “Please don’t write-off the Kerry-Edwards camp on space. The Bush initiative is simply hot-air and has made it impossible in an election year for Kerry to say much on space. What he has said — will support increased funding for NASA R&D, will support Prizes, a more genuinely international effort, etc… is already more than most Presidential Candidates. It took Bush 3.5 years and a tragic Shuttle accident to come up with a policy. Democrats will be able to pull-off a better record — if not rhetoric! Totally agree on futility of ISS as pharmacy source and need to retire Shuttle — Kerry can be convinced of this, but perhaps not in the campaign. The Moon-Mars Blitz was a good way for Congress to see citizens supporting space — always a good thing.”

20 February 2004: Evaluating the New Space Policy: A Panel Discussion, Marshall Institute

Lori Garver: “The White House does seem to be very open to, and encouraging of, global participation, especially European. This is also a very positive aspect of the program.”

Lori Garver: “My view is that the administration really did this on their own, as is appropriate. It is a U.S.-led program and they contacted the heads of agencies of the other countries literally hours before the announcement. What is telling to me is that I’ve been told that the response was overwhelmingly positive from everyone they called. They recognized that they didn’t need to have been part of the discussion, they recognized that this was U.S. led, they want to participate at the right time, and they look forward to it. Given our history on international space station, that is extremely welcome news.”

Lori Garver: In my view, what the President announced on January 14 is really a re-focusing of NASA. In some ways it isn’t very new. I have worked in this community for twenty years and we have all known we were going back to the moon and Mars; it has always just been a question of when and how to provide leadership and a framework to do it. I believe that is what the President laid out and we should all be very grateful, as I am. When I was at the Policy Office at NASA, I would have been absolutely thrilled to have such a presidential announcement and an initiative which was thought through to the extent that I believe these folks did in advance of the announcement. There has been a lot said about the initiative being formulated behind closed doors which I would associate with Dr. Logsden’s remarks in his editorial in Space News a few weeks ago. In many ways, this was the only way something like this could be done. All of us would have loved to be part of it and would have refocused NASA in our own specific way, but in my view we need to get behind this effort because it is a very significant new focus for NASA.”

NASA Watch founder, Explorers Club Fellow, ex-NASA, Away Teams, Journalist, Space & Astrobiology, Lapsed climber.