NEW YORK (AP) -- Party politics played a role in decisions over whether to take federal control of Louisiana and other areas affected by Hurricane Katrina, former FEMA director Michael Brown said Friday.
Some in the White House suggested only Louisiana should be federalized because it was run by a Democrat, Gov. Kathleen Blanco, Brown told a group of graduate students at a lecture on politics and emergency management at Metropolitan College of New York.
Brown said he had recommended to President Bush that all 90,000 square miles along the Gulf Coast affected by the hurricane be federalized, making the federal government in charge of all agencies responding to the disaster.
"Unbeknownst to me, certain people in the White House were thinking we had to federalize Louisiana because she's a white, female Democratic governor and we have a chance to rub her nose in it," he said.
Brown declined to say who in the White House had argued for only taking control of Louisiana, but said that he'd later learned of the situation through Blanco's office and from other officials on the federal level.
Blanco reacted sharply on hearing what Brown had said.
"This is exactly what we were living but could not bring ourselves to believe. Karl Rove was playing politics while our people were dying," Blanco said through a spokeswoman, referring to President Bush's top political strategist. "The federal effort was delayed, and now the public knows why. It's disgusting."
Of course, it's disgusting. Everything this administration does is disgusting. I keep waiting for the mass revolt against them, although I do view the 2006 mid-term takeover as the symbolic "shot over the bow."
I wrote several pieces concerning this administration's handling of rescue and aid efforts during the Hurricane Katrina crisis, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, and here. It devastated me, and still does when I think about it. Much like how the events of 9/11 still make me cry.
In my lifetime, I have never read about, lived through or seen such a dispicable and corrupt American government as the one that has ruled this country for the last six years.
I will never forget. Don't ever forget.