Tancredo Says No To New Orleans

By Justin Gardner | Related entries in Dumb Things Said By Smart People, Hurricane Katrina

This is truly sad.

Tom Tancredo, the man who called for the bombing of Mecca, says he doesn’t think the federal government should get involved give the state or local governments the money.

U.S. Rep. Tom Tancredo, R-Colo., asked House Speaker Dennis Hastert not to send federal disaster aid to officials in Louisiana, calling state and local government there incompetent and corrupt.

In a letter to Hastert on Wednesday, Tancredo urged the speaker to create a “bipartisan select committee” of members of Congress to oversee federal disaster spending in Louisiana.

“Given the abysmal failure of state and local officials in Louisiana to plan adequately for or respond to the effects of Hurricane Katrina on the city of New Orleans, and given the long history of public corruption in Louisiana, I hope the House will refrain from directly appropriating any funds . . . to either the state of Louisiana or the city of New Orleans,” Tancredo wrote.

Tancredo lashed out at New Orleans Mayor Ray Nagin and Louisiana Gov. Kathleen Blanco, both Democrats, as having “demonstrated mind-boggling incompetence in their lack of planning for and response to this disaster.”

He issued a milder rebuke to the Federal Emergency Management Agency, accusing it of “bureaucratic ineptitude.”

“It’s a shame. Instead of offering constructive advice and assistance, a United States congressman is wasting our time with stereotypes and accusations,” Brian Richardson, a spokesman for Sen. Mary Landrieu, D-La., told The Associated Press. “Louisiana will rebuild with or without Mr. Tancredo’s help.”

People of Colorado, please vote this guy out as soon as possible. He just doesn’t get it.


This entry was posted on Friday, September 9th, 2005 and is filed under Dumb Things Said By Smart People, Hurricane Katrina. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

12 Responses to “Tancredo Says No To New Orleans”

  1. Icepick Says:

    I think you have misrepresented his statement. It appears that he’s not saying “No Federal Help for Rebuilding New Orleans”. He’s saying don’t give it to the local and state governments, because they can’t do an effective job. In fact, he appears to be calling for direct federal management. I don’t know how they could get any more involved than that.

    I am amused by the fact that he thinks that a ‘ “bipartisan select committeeâ€Â? of members of Congress ‘ could do a better job! Stories are starting to appear about Congress’s role in this disasater, beyond the obvious one of putting FEMA in the DHS.

  2. Icepick Says:

    Here’s a link to the actual letter Tancredo sent:

    http://tancredo.house.gov/press/pressers/0907TancredoBlockAidToLouisiana.htm

    The opening paragraphs:

    Given the abysmal failure of state and local officials in Louisiana to plan adequately for or respond to the effects of Hurricane Katrina on the city of New Orleans, and given the long history of public corruption in Louisiana, I hope the House will refrain from directly appropriating any funds from the public treasury to either the state of Louisiana or the city of New Orleans. Instead, reconstruction and relief funds dedicated to the people of New Orleans should be administered by a private organization or a select committee similar to the historic Truman Commission.

    Public corruption is a well known problem in Louisiana. The head of the FBI in New Orleans just this past year described the state’s public corruption as “epidemic, endemic, and entrenched. No branch of government is exempt.� 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.

    Nothing too egregious, besides the idea that Congress will automatically be better….

  3. Icepick Says:

    Sorry, the last paragraph is mine. I goofed up the HTML blockquotes around the two paragraphs following “The opening paragraphs:”

  4. debsay Says:

    Justin,

    How is he wrong here? He is asking for Federal oversight into the spending and for the Federal Government to handle the money themselves instead of allowing the incompetents to get their hands on the money…. I agree with them.

    After watching this train wreck, the total incompetence of the local and state government I wouldn’t trust them to wipe their own asses!!

  5. Icepick Says:

    But debsay, do you trust the feds to be able to wipe their own asses, plus the asses of LA and NO?

  6. Justin Gardner Says:

    Frankly, I assumed that anybody who read the excerpt would understand that I was talking about the fact that Tancredo didn’t want the fed to get involved in funding the state and local governments. So he is saying “no” to New Orlean’s and Louisiana’s efforts. I mean, his call for a “committee” is in the second paragraph of the excerpt. It’s not like this information is hidden.

    However, I can see how it can be misunderstood so I’ll change it.

  7. Icepick Says:

    Thanks, Justin. No harm, no foul.

  8. Sas Says:

    Good job.

  9. augie4th Says:

    Ha ha. By the congressman’s logic, louisiana (or any state) should refuse to pay any federal taxes, given that a much larger list of federal employees, contractors and subcontractors have been found guilty of negligence, graft and corruption with such funds. Furthermore, we shouldn’t even have contractors and subcontractors of federal money without “special committees to oversee” such funds given that there is waste and corruption in every branch of government. I could see this congressman on the watergate hearings: “the executive branch will not receive any more tax money for justice or defense given that they’ve been gound guilty of corruption with campaign funds…” what an illogical and irrational letter that is blind to any extension of its own stupidity.

  10. Caroly Says:

    Yeah, what we need to do is give the money to Halliburton – they’ll know what to do with it.

    So, now big federal government is good? Please don’t tell me you think giving no-bid contracts for “reconstruction” to Halliburton equals supporting small government.

    Has anyone else noticed that the “small government” talking point has been quietly dropped from the GOP’s platform? Ever hear about small government anymore? Nope.

    The defenders of states’ rights have apparently all left the GOP in favor of cushy jobs at Halliburton.

  11. Loki Says:

    As a New Orleans native and resident I can wholeheartedly say that I do not trust either local, state, or federal levels at this point. I got back home in late Oct and have not left yet.

    The Feds of the current administration are guilty of a gross abandonment of the basic social contract. They hung us out to dry (odd metaphor, but appropriate here). The thing that is really at the root of the issues is that we were NOT devastated by Katrina. We were devasated by the failure of the levees, courtesy of the Army Corps of Engineers. Since then we have watched the federally based nepotism far outsrip even the professional grafters of our local government. Halliburton and Shaw Group employees stopped wearing and badges or uniforms that would associate them with their employers several months back. That should tell you something.

    I myself have seen the federally deployed mercenaries, yes mercenaries, toting automatic rifles standing guard over FEMA employees. Mercs who have never been permitted to operate on American soil. Blackwater, look ‘em up.

    At least the local grafters have much more harsh and active critics seeking to curtail their stupidity. They also have a basic survival imperative tied to rebuilding. The feds…not so much.

    In the meantime we sit here in the active part of Hurricane Season with levees (the Corps promised would be ready by June 1st) which are not only unready, but still in the mid stages of reconstruction.

    The American people have been incredible to all of us, the government on all levels has betrayed us. My father is a veteran, this is not the America he fought for.

  12. Kinyodia Says:

    Being one from the region since birth, I beleive Tom is right on the money. Government is so dirty that you know when a Louisiana politician is lying because they’re talking.

    Now I need to take a bath.

    - K

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