Politico takes aim at gov’t film adviser

Homeland Security could bid buh-bye to Hollywood

WASHINGTON, D.C. — A congresswoman thinks the Dept. of Homeland Security should just say goodbye to Hollywood.

As the House appropriations bill for the 2006 DHS budget came up for a floor vote on Tuesday, Rep. Marilyn Musgrave (R-Colo.) offered an amendment that would eliminate the $136,000 salary of a department employee who offers advice to filmmakers on portrayals of homeland security actions. The House adopted the amendment, which transfers the money from payroll to grants for state and local first-responders.

“We should direct this money to actually help the people who respond and save lives,” Musgrave said.

None of her colleagues spoke in favor of preserving the salary paid to Bobbie Faye Ferguson, a former thesp who appeared in skeins “Designing Women” and “The Dukes of Hazzard.”

Other governmental agencies, including the FBI and the Dept. of Defense, have employees who similarly advise Hollywood. Musgrave promised to go after their salaries, too.

“This is a similar function that numerous other federal agencies possess, and is necessary in helping those in multimedia make their projects as accurate as possible in order to provide the public with a better understanding of the department’s activities,” DHS spokesman Brian Roehrkasse told the Associated Press.

Ferguson’s salary could be restored when the House’s bill goes into conference with the Senate’s appropriations bill for DHS.