The president and C-E-O of the Dubuque Area Chamber of Commerce says proposed federal homeland security rules are “just ridiculous.” Stuart Sandstrom says while the federal legislation may be well-intentioned, the bureaucrats who’ve written the rules have “gone off the deep end.” Sandstrom says they’ve used a “one-size-fits-all” approach for the entire country with mandates that’ve been left unfunded. Sandstrom says we can all agree that Washington, D.C. needs a certain level of security that Washington, Iowa, doesn’t necessarily need. Sandstrom says the rules for ports are particularly cumbersome. Sandstrom says the way the Coast Guard is writing the rules, the same level of security needs to be implemented at the ports of Dubuque and Council Bluffs as are implemented at the ports of Baltimore and L.A. He says it means the security personnel on the Diamond Jo Casino boat, who have a little microphone to call somebody if there’s a problem, will now have a gun. Sandstrom says if the threat level rises and the proposed Homeland Security rules are followed, it means people going into facilities along the rivers must go through the same security measures as folks do at the airports. Sandstrom says that means anyone entering the gambling boats or the Mississippi River museum in Dubuque must go through magnetometers and have their bags searched. Sandstrom spoke yesterday at an Iowa Chamber Alliance news conference at the state capitol. Homeland Security director Tom Ridge will be in Johnston, Iowa, this morning to speak to “first responders” and other emergency personnel.
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