Tom Tancredo's excellent suggestion


Congressman Tom Tancredo has made an immenently sensible suggestion about the handling  of hurricane relief funds to Louisiana.

WASHINGTON, DC. — Congressman Tom Tancredo (R—CO) wrote a letter to Speaker Hastert, urging him to direct federal hurricane relief aid through channels other than Louisiana public officials. Citing incompetence and a history of corruption, Tancredo said a bipartisan select committee of the House should administer the aid and provide accountability for the $52 billion requested.

Among the reasons he cites for this rechanneling of funds are these:

Over the last thirty years, a long list of Louisiana politicians have been convicted of crimes; the list includes a governor, an attorney general, an elections commissioner, an agriculture commissioner, three successive insurance commissioners, a congressman, a federal judge, a State Senate president, six other state legislators, and a host of appointed officials, local sheriffs, city councilmen, and parish police jurors. Given the documented public corruption in the state, I am not confident that Louisiana officials can be trusted to administer federal relief aid.

Clearly the federal response from FEMA in the aftermath of the hurricane was hampered by bureaucratic ineptitude. Making matters worse, the Mayor of New Orleans and the Governor of Louisiana have demonstrated mind—boggling incompetence in their lack of planning for and response to this disaster. According to one recent media report, "A year ago, as Hurricane Ivan approached, New Orleans ordered an evacuation but did not use city or school buses to help people evacuate. As a result many of the poorest citizens were unable to evacuate. Fortunately, the hurricane changed course and did not hit New Orleans, but both Gov. Blanco and Mayor Nagin acknowledged the need for a better evacuation plan...[but] did not take corrective actions. In 1998, during a threat by Hurricane George, 14,000 people were sent to the Superdome and theft and vandalism were rampant due to inadequate security. Again, these problems were not corrected." 

If you care at all about relieving the misery of the poor in Louisiana, you will urge Congress to adopt it.
Clarice Feldman   9 07 05