<!----Enter Date Bellow *****************> Weekly Update for September 22, 2000 <!----End Enter Date Bellow *************>
Weekly Update for <!----Enter Date Bellow ****************> September 22, 2000 <!----End Enter Date Bellow *************>

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Normally these things start on Monday, but this one starts on Sunday, September 17th. Jill and I took her Mom and neighbor to the Browns game. It was there, on a cell phone, that I found out that my campaign manager, Facrep, and good friend Mark Bohn’s son had been rushed to the hospital. We went over to Mark’s house in the evening, but the family hadn’t made it home yet. Scott didn’t make it home at all. We stayed as long as we could, left a note, and drove back to DC. We got in at 3:30am.

Monday dawned and Lobby Week began. It’s always gratifying to see so many volunteers willing to give so much of themselves to our common good. I spent the morning ping-ponging between the Hyatt and the National Office, where a real tussle of a runoff was being counted. I introduced Jane Garvey to the Lobby Weekers, then went back over to the national office so Randy and I could meet that afternoon with Don Ossinger on some airspace issues.

Immediately following the meeting I finished my Lobby Week remarks on computer, printed them, and hauled back over to the Hyatt to deliver them to the assembled delegation. Whew! It even sounded like I’d practiced them. Immediately following the remarks I did an interview with the Federal Times, and went back over to the NO to hear the election results. Lucky for me my wife is a controller over at Dulles now, so I was able to ask the Eastern Region RVP to let me attend their Lobby Week Dinner. Even though he’s a big shot Fuse let me horn in on his region, and even bought me some good grub.

Tuesday I met with the STL contingent to discuss some equipment issues, then went over to the White House for a Rose Garden ceremony for the signing of the “Long Term Care Security Act” by President Clinton. (Memo to activists and computer whizzes...look this one up and share it with us...it's got some good provisions for federal employees.) It was raining so they moved it indoors to the EOB Briefing Room, but it was still very cool. Third row, watching the President of the United States.

From there it was over to Lobby Week HQ to catch Congressman Oberstars’ remarks. For those of you who’ve never heard him speak, he sounds like a controller and knows EVERYTHING about the system. He is one of our staunchest allies and a man I greatly admire and respect. I really wanted to each lunch this time, but I did an interview with Aviation Daily instead. After lunch I met with a couple E-Board members to advise them I would be travelling on Thursday, and also discussed Anchorage pay issues with Ricky Thompson.

I met briefly with James Ferguson to discuss his participation in IFATCA. James is a Standing Committee Chair on the IFATCA Constitution Committee, and serves on the Finances Committee as well. James and I agree that aggressive participation in IFATCA may have some tangible benefits for our membership---like not having to read French weather, ala METARS.

I then met with Jim Washington, FAA head of ARS. We had a brief but cordial discussion. Immediately following this meeting I worked a couple office issues before ripping up to the Hill for the Lobby Week Congressional Reception. I must tell you that this one was the very best, with huge congressional turnout and a class function for our members to showcase their organization. I ran into Senator Max Cleland again, who came over specifically to see me, and we had a very good discussion. The man is a living monument to courage, dedication and devotion to God and country. And he likes me. I’m speechless.

Wednesday was hell day, and one I won’t soon repeat. It started at 7:00am in Jane Garveys’ office, where the Chicago situation was briefed. At 8:00am I was back at NATCA for a meeting with Mark Pallone and a constituent on a retirement issue. At 10am I met with Mike Connor from NARI for an inbriefing on their initiatives. At 11am it was back to FAA for a meeting with Maureen Woods and the folks from STL to seek some clarity on their issues.

At noon I met with the Legislative Committee seeking to open the channels of communication with them and the Department. At 1pm I met with a representative from PAACE who is working for the agency on a performance management project (which I believe will die due to funding constraints.) At 2pm I met with RVP Gus Guerra, and there will be more on that at a later date.

At 3pm the Chicago story hit the media, and I quickly, with assistance from Sherrod Shim, Barry Krasner, Pat Forrey and Carol Branaman, crafted our response. Barry was in town for the McNally farewell, and it was good to see his competitive juices flowing again!!! Hmmm....he had that look in his eye....

From there I departed for the airport, with a cell phone glued to my head. I eventually went through two batteries that day, between NATCA issues, friends from Chicago calling and the unfortunate incident I was travelling towards. I got to Cleveland at 6pm, got to the funeral home around seven, got to Mark’s house around 10, got to my house around 11, got off the phone around 1, and got my remarks prepared around 3. I was more sad than tired.

Thursday I helped my campaign manager, my facrep, my friend bury his son. Scott Bohn was my friend, too, and I’m going to miss him. He was a really neat kid. I read my remarks after writing them, and again before the service and couldn’t make it through them without breaking down. I prayed for strength, and asked Jill to help me focus on the task. I have no idea how I did it at the funeral, but I did. I think it might have been a higher power.

After the reception it was back to the airport and back to DC. I got lots of work done on the phone with C90 issues, media inquiries, and got an update from Adell on Board Meeting issues. We got into BWI around 7 and home around 830pm. (Home is a relative term here. Hotel, Sweet Hotel is more like it!) One pepperoni pizza later I was out.

Aha!!! Friday!!! Adell gave me the lowdown on Board Meetings (so I wouldn’t look like a total putz), and at nine o’clock I jumped right in and started. We got a lot accomplished, which I will leave for the official minutes to reflect. We didn’t get to every issue, and that’s disappointing.

Carol Branaman had an excellent suggestion for streamlining the more routine Board actions (charity, untimely vouchers, etc.) She wants to see us spend less and less time on the mundane and more and more time on the greater issues of importance to the membership. All I can say is, Ladies and Gentlemen, start your engines!! I think we are on the cusp of some serious achievements as an organization.

I know I have previously shared with you all that Mike McNally was working some issues for me. As of this hour, all issues, all negotiations, all MOUs, all agreements between the parties….. are mine.

I’m unbelievably proud of you all. You work like dogs so we can convene in Washington, and when something tragic happens, like it did to our brother Mark, you jump in with both feet. Your kindness to his family is something he will never, ever forget.

I start early and stay late because I love it, but I also do it because you deserve it. Have a wonderful weekend, and we’ll be in touch.


JTB <!----End Text Field **************>

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