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Fwd: Brown: Politics played role in Katrina

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  • Greg Cannon
    ... http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20070120/ap_on_re_us/katrina_brown NEW YORK - Political storm clouds gathered again over the federalgovernment s response to
    Message 1 of 1 , Jan 20, 2007
      --- Julie Keller <jakeller@...> wrote:

      > To: utepprogressives@yahoogroups.com
      > From: Julie Keller <jakeller@...>
      > Date: Sat, 20 Jan 2007 06:08:37 -0700
      > Subject: [utepprogressives] Brown: Politics played
      > role in Katrina



      NEW YORK - Political storm clouds gathered again over
      the federalgovernment's response to Hurricane Katrina
      as formerFederalEmergency Management AgencyDirector
      Michael Brown said party politics influenced decisions
      onwhether to take federal control of Louisiana and
      other areas affectedby the hurricane.

      Louisiana Gov. Kathleen Blanco said the partisanship
      Brown described was"disgusting," while a White House
      spokeswoman said Brown was making"false statements."

      Brown told a group of graduate students Friday that
      some in the White House had suggested the federal
      government should take charge inLouisiana because
      Blanco was a Democrat, while leaving Mississippi
      Gov.Haley Barbour, a Republican, in control in his

      Brown, speaking at the Metropolitan College of New
      York, said he hadrecommended toPresident Bushthat all
      90,000 square miles along the Gulf Coast affected by
      thedevastating hurricane be federalized — a term Brown
      explained asplacing the federal government in charge
      of all agencies responding tothe disaster.

      "Unbeknownst to me, certain people in the White House
      were thinking,'We had to federalize Louisiana because
      she's a white, femaleDemocratic governor, and we have
      a chance to rub her nose in it,'" hesaid, without
      naming names. "'We can't do it to Haley (Barbour)
      becauseHaley's a white male Republican governor. And
      we can't do a thing tohim. So we're just gonna
      federalize Louisiana.'"

      Brown, 52, declined to say who in the White House had
      argued forfederalizing the response only in Louisiana.
      He said that he'd laterlearned of the machinations
      through Blanco's office and from federalofficials.

      Blanco reacted sharply to Brown's remarks.

      "This is exactly what we were living but could not
      bring ourselvesto believe. Karl Rove was playing
      politics while our people weredying," Blanco said
      through a spokeswoman, referring to Bush's
      toppolitical strategist. "The federal effort was
      delayed, and now thepublic knows why. It's

      Eryn Witcher, a White House spokeswoman, denied
      Brown's claims.

      "It is unfortunate that Mike Brown is still hurling
      false statementsabout the events surrounding Hurricane
      Katrina," she said. "The onlyconsideration made by the
      administration at the time of this tragedyand since
      are those in the best interests of the citizens of the

      Calls made late Friday seeking comment from the
      federal Department ofHomeland Securitywere not
      immediately returned. A spokesman for Barbour, Pete
      Smith, hadno immediate comment.

      The question of federal control became a source of
      contention afterKatrina. Bush asked to put military
      relief efforts in Louisiana underfederal oversight,
      but Louisiana officials rejected that idea,
      keepingstate control over National Guard troops. They
      worked together withfederal forces.
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