When the budget sequester started in March, the Federal Aviation Administrationannounced that it would soon shutter 149 airport towers nationwide.
Enter U.S. Rep. Frederica Wilson, the South Florida Democrat best known for her sequined hat and matching ensembles. Wilson is also famous for her passion -- whether speaking out for inner city children, Haitian refugees, or, in this case, air traffic controllers facing layoffs.
On April 4, Wilson held a press conference to protest the threatened closing of the North Perry airport in Pembroke Pines. Wilson gave a rousing speech -- sometimes over the noise of airplanes flying overhead -- against the FAA’s plan.
Wilson said fighting the sequester was "the civil rights movement of 2013 ... It's going to hurt people, people will die, people will suffer, people will lose their homes, people will lose their tax break."
The next day, the FAA announced that it would delay closures slated for Florida and other states until June 15. Lots of politicians expressed relief including U.S. Reps Lois Frankel, D-West Palm Beach, and C.W. Bill Young, R-Indian Shores.
But Wilson’s press statement had a different tenor: she took credit for the FAA’s decision though only for the airport in Pembroke Pines:
"Congresswoman Frederica Wilson successfully postpones closure of the North Perry airport tower," announced the headline.
The press release continued: "Following the Congresswoman’s month-long campaign to save the tower, which included fact finding, speeches, official requests, and legislation, Congresswoman Wilson was notified, this morning, by FAA officials that the tower had been granted a temporary reprieve from closure...."
There is no dispute that Wilson fought the closure and a day after her press conference, the FAA announced the closure delay. But should she get credit here for prompting the FAA to act? Read PolitiFact's analysis.