CONCORD – New Hampshire’s many spinach farmers and somewhat more numerous spinach eaters can rest easier this weekend knowing their Congresswoman, Carol Shea-Porter, is fighting for their interests in Washington. Here’s Rep. Shea-Porter on NHPR’s “The Exchange” this morning calling herself  “particularly pained” that anyone would suggest her vote for spinach was any less important than, say, funding our troops:

And I want to talk about the pork for a moment, because I looked at that as a down payment for the American people . If you looked at the spending bills in every other year, President Bush and the Republicans put in other spending bills on the supplement, the emergency supplement. Some of them really are emergencies like Katrina is an emergency, and the Avian flu like they put in is one, but there’s never been a bill, a supplement, since the beginning, that didn’t have something else in it. And when you look at what we had in it, we had money to take care of veterans. We had money to take care of wounded soldiers. We had money for Katrina. We had money for children’s healthcare. We had money for spinach, and I feel particularly pained by the way they acted as if that were just a waste . We had a crisis because the Administration and the FDA wasn’t doing their job and the USDA. We had a crisis where we had an e-coli breakout and the spinach farmers voluntarily destroyed their stuff for America. To keep Americans safe, they destroyed their crop. And so I thought that was perfectly legitimate to reimburse them. That’s what we’ve always done, we’ve helped farmers in different areas of the country. So it wasn’t pork like that and I’m sorry that it was used as a political ploy to make it look bad.” (Carol Shea-Porter, New Hampshire PublicRadio, May 4, 2007)

“If only Rep. Carol Shea-Porter cared about our soldiers as much as she cares about spinach producers,” said Fergus Cullen, chairman of the New Hampshire Republican Party.