“There are opponents of Congressman Simmons who would love to see the base shut down,” [Simmons Chief of Staff Todd] Mitchell said. “They don’t seem to be able to win on tying Rob to the president or [House Majority Leader] Tom DeLay [R-Texas], so they would love to see the base on the list.”
Brian Hamel, a former GOP congressional candidate in Maine who now consults for communities facing military-base closures, said that if the base is closed Democrats would definitely use that against Simmons by citing the immediate economic loss to the district. (Savodnik)
Yes, Democrats will use the closure of the base against Simmons. And why not? He made it a campaign issue in 2004. If the base stays open, he'll be trumpeting it to the stars in 2006. Absolutely, Simmons has left himself wide open for that line of attack.
The idea that Democrats secretly want to see the base closed is nonsense. I imagine that only Republicans work at the base or benefit economically from its existence, right? This statement by Mitchell is more than a little panicked and desperate, and shows just how worried Simmons is about his political future.
Therefore, if the base goes, expect to see a lot of attacks on Democrats for being anti-military out of the Simmons camp.
Savodnik, Peter. "Fate of Rep. Simmons, sub base intertwined." The Hill 12 May, 2005.