In your February 8 article on Christie Whitman, our former governor says that “having more women in politics and government can only help our country.” I agree completely — as long as they’re not like Christie Whitman.

Earlier this month a federal judge in NYC blasted Whitman for reassuring the public, as head of the Environmental Protection Agency in 2001, that the air in lower Manhattan was safe to breathe only a few days after the 9/11 attacks. A later internal EPA review found that this was done at White House prompting and was totally misleading. The pointed criticism by U.S. District Judge Deborah A. Batts came in a class-action lawsuit brought on behalf of people who claim their health has been compromised by exposure to toxic, airborne debris from the towers’ collapse. The judge said Whitman’s public statements at the time were “without question, conscience-shocking.”

Given this legacy of respiratory illness and abbreviated life expectancy for 9/11 rescue workers and residents of lower Manhattan and Brooklyn — not to mention her reckless fiscal policies as governor — it’s a wonder that Whitman dares show her face in public. Yet here she is consulting, promoting her book, and peddling her cures for the GOP. Instead of talking glibly about “individual responsibility,” she might try taking responsibility for her own official misdeeds. Then she might be worthy of our attention.

Alan Goldsmith

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