Deceptive political attack ad on

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The banner ad posted by the Sandy Adams campaign attacking Suzanne Kosmas that has appeared on hits a new low for political deception in the usually civil space community. The banner links to a page put up by Adams which is both strikingly inaccurate and remarkably vicious even this polarizing year.

Adams, in person and in her campaign, is surprisingly unaware of any of the details of the space program or the NASA budget process; her answers to questions are superficial and seem derived solely from partisan talking points. She denies that George Bush canceled the Space Shuttle program in 2005 and ordered cancellation of Space Station, while the district was represented by Tom Feeney, a Republican. It has been clear for years that this would result in the loss of thousands of Space Shuttle processing jobs at Kennedy Space Center. There was never any possibility that these people would simply transfer to Constellation.

But Adams asserts that the Shuttle program was proceeding routinely until it was suddenly canceled out of thin air by Obama and Kosmas. I.e. her attack on Kosmas includes: "Fact: She stood with Obama as he ended NASA's human spaceflight program." In fact, Obama single-handedly saved the Space Station from the cancellation ordered by George Bush.

Adams also ignores the Herculean effort of Kosmas to get the NASA authorization bill through Congress and signed by the President in astonishingly rapid order, a bill which provides for a significant increase in the NASA budget. Adams also claims that cancellation of Constellation will hurt research and development, which is actually getting a larger share of the budget, and that it will hurt national defense. In reality neither Constellation nor any of its components has any military role.

Legitimate issues of debate abound in any political campaign. However Adams' attack is inaccurate to the point of simple fabrication and demeaning to the point of viciousness. A meaningful program in human spaceflight can survive only if it is supported by a consensus. A candidate who is willing to abandon that consensus by making the space program itself partisan and demeaning in such venial terms those of us from the other party who have dedicated their lives to it will never, in the end, advance our cause.
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