Last Friday, Wagner dedicated a fair amount of air time to blasting the staff at Mitchell International Airport. It seems that he was in an uproar because some snow caused some planes to be diverted. One of these planes happened to be carrying a friend of his, who is also a business associate of his wife.
During his tirade, he spoke to Airport Director Barry Bateman on the phone. Mr. Bateman explained that the problem was that the FAA landing system equipment failed due to the snow. You can read the whole explanation here.
In Wagner's squall of squawking, he gets several facts wrong.
- He claims that the plows weren't called in until 7:30 p.m. The story reports they started plowing at 6:45 p.m.
- Wagner said every weather report predicted the snow earlier. The National Weather Service didn't predict it until much later.
- Wagner doesn't understand that there are two levels of government here, and confuses the county with the feds.
- He feels that one can treat a sensitive piece of equipment like one would treat their TV satellite dish, even though he says that he wouldn't have done it.
- Wagner claims that the airport was closed, even though planes were taking off. They just couldn't land.
Wagner also goes on to state at one time that planes couldn't land because of the FAA equipment, and in less than two minutes, blames the plow drivers for not clearing the runway. In fact, he blames just about everyone short of me.
He was so manic about this issue, that he wouldn't listen to the man he was interviewing. If you don't believe me, you can hear the audio of it for yourself. But be warned, you will feel the urge to yell out, "Objection, your Honor. He's badgering the witness."
What he fails to mention is that if it was due to the plowing, or lack thereof, that this would have stemmed from the draconian budget cuts issued by County Executive Scott Walker.
And now that they are forecasting snow again for Thursday, don't be surprised by a repeat performance.